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Saturday, July 23, 2016

From Above

Hey all - looks like July is almost in the can.  Summers fly, winters walk!

We are often faced with things beyond our control:  other people's unacceptable behavior, out-of-control children, and the weather.  Now I'm not saying you have to be religious to do this, but faith in a higher power is a sure fire way to be less irritable and critical over these dark smudges on an otherwise decent existence.

There is a G-D.  There is something, or someone, up there that knows you inside and out.  He knows when you're hurt and you're angry.  He knows when you've been done wrong.  And He knows who's responsible.

Our high-conflict neighbors think that a smack in the mouth is the only solution for these problems.  They're wrong.  Our L-D and Master, while still quick to forgive, has much stronger weapons in His arsenal.  We can't make someone lose their job, get dumped by their significant other, or contract a fatal disease - and let's be honest, we wouldn't really want to make any of that happen.  But G-D can, and sometimes will, do all that and then some.

Don't get it twisted - I'm not saying anyone should pray for someone else's demise.  G-D's not anyone's hitman.

What I am saying is that G-D sees everything they get away with.  He doesn't put you to a burden of proof because He's already seen all the evidence.  And more often than not, they don't "get away" with any of their misdeeds or malfeasance because their case files remain open for the pendency of their natural born lives.

And whether He executes His judgment sooner or later is not our concern.  Point being, neither is our desire for vengeance.

One way to live an empty, unfulfilled, unsatisfying, unpleasant, and unpeaceful life is to hold grudges.  To remain furious and hateful long after the offense has been committed.  To forever resent someone for "getting away with it" instead of simply fixing whatever damage was caused. 

I'm not letting them off the hook, don't worry - we all know that alpholes exist.  But the responsibility for seeking a pound of flesh from each person who hurts us is not the responsibility we're meant to carry.  We are not avenging angels out for justice like some movie hero.  We are not knights commissioned to slay a dragon like some RPG character.  And (yup, you knew I was going there) we don't live in a comic book.

We have goals to reach, levels to advance, and a duty to be true to ourselves.  Burning with revenge and obsessing over others' misdeeds gets in the way of the important work we need to do.  That's why it's kicked upstairs to He who always dispenses justice so we won't have to do so.  Leave that business to Him.

Let's be real - for some of us, like our high-conflict neighbors, a peaceful life is way too boring.  Good.  As they sometimes tell parents of over-scheduled children, we all need to be a little bored now and then.  That's how we get creative enough to build lives of substance and not of routine.



DISCLAIMER:  The above does not endorse or reject any particular religion or set of beliefs.  It just states that there is a G-D.  Those of you who are atheist or agnostic are entitled to disagree, with and only with respect.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Getting Too Comfortable

Hey All - enjoying the Saturday afternoon of July 4th weekend!

I don't normally share a lot of personal information through this blog, but this time I've something I'm proud to share - I'm engaged!  I'm engaged to a beautiful, sweet, hilariously funny, and very loving woman.  She makes me smile and laugh every morning I wake up with her, and every night I go to bed with her.  We have our very own love, and we're happy with it every day.

Now don't get it twisted, it's not such a surprise - in fact, I showed her this post before I published it, so she's completely fine with me talking about us.

But unlike the overly-aggressive types we sometimes deal with, I'm not saying this to boast or brag.  I have no need to flaunt my relationship with a beautiful woman as if it were some type of possession I purchased or prize that I won.  However, since some of my audience might be single for extended portions of their lives, or may have given up on women for many reasons, I think it's appropriate to say that as long as you look for love in the right places, and continue to look even after it "doesn't work out," chances are better than average that you'll find it.

But assuming that does happen, what then?  Is the war really over?  Are the closing credits rolling?  Are our issues really finished and done with?

Not a chance.  Not a chance in hell.

When we betas do finally "get the girl," the movie does not end.  Rather, a new chapter begins.  That means contributing enough to the relationship.  That means paying a little more attention to what she wants and needs.  That means surprising her when she least expects it.  To put it short, that means acting like you give a damn.

Now don't get it twisted.  I didn't say sacrifice your individual just to make her happy.  I also didn't say become a henpecked, yes-dear, spineless, soul-less, shell of your former self.  That's crap.  And definitely don't become that guy who talks endlessly about how out of control his wife is, waits for a reaction, and then says "It doesn't bother me."  Guys who do that are looking for attention that they don't deserve.

What I did say was to act like the relationship matters.  Don't just be a spectator, be a participant!  Yes, you won't both do all the same things together, and yes, you will need some alone time and some guys'/girls' nights out.  But make your together moments count!  Surprise her by covering a few household chores that she would otherwise do.  Buy her a few little presents.  Plan a date night with a few surprises!

And in those hopefully rare occasions when you get annoyed with each other and do something stupid, have the good grace to (a) calm the flip down; and (b) apologize for your part in the disagreement.  No, that does not mean "the woman is always right," this isn't The Good Men Project, but it does mean that if there's a disagreement happening, you're both doing something that's not perfect.  And the saying, "you can be right, or you can be happy," is particularly applicable.

Be happy?  You got it.  Be proud?  Keep at it.  But be comfortable?  That's where it all gets flat, stale, and used-up.  Don't get so comfortable with your newfound love that you forget to keep it up.