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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Indifferent Detachment

Hey All - about to start a week's vacation, but not before sharing my newest thoughts with you all!

There's a new meme going around social media.  It asks the question, "Have You Ever Just Lost All Respect For Someone?  You Don't Hate Them, But You Have No Desire To Speak With Them?"

If you've lived, and conversed with people, the answer would have to be yes.  Even our more outgoing cousins, who are fraaaaaands with everyone, have seen this happen.

It's not really something to celebrate or advertise, because it's still stating that you have a low opinion of someone else.  And whether you like someone or you don't like someone, they must still be respected as another human being.  However, if it is necessary to remove someone from your life, it shouldn't really be shunned either.

Let's say you're a boss.  You want people who help run the business and make it even more successful than it already is.  But what if there are people doing the opposite?  People who show no respect for what's needed and don't care about their jobs?  If they do it badly enough, you need to let them go.

The phrase, "it's not personal, it's just business, often comes to mind."  You don't hate them as people, perhaps, but you can't have them working for you anymore.

The same approach is needed to those you choose to have in your social circles.  If they're not "doing their jobs" as Friends and Neighbors (family included), you need to let them go too.  Not the teeth-gnashing, finger pointing, high-conflict approach, of course - we're not animals - just letting them go from their position, simply and professionally.  Their services are no longer needed.

It doesn't have to be a Hollywood movie scene, either.  We're not characters, we're real people.

Once it's over, you don't keep re-hashing what they did do and what they didn't do that led to this firing.  That problem has already been resolved.  You wish them well on their way, and keep going on the path you've chosen without them.

And once they've reached that point, odds are better than likely that Our Mother has seen what they've done.  It's not our job to seek retribution, no matter how justified it might seem, it's Hers.  Trust in Her to attribute just the right consequences to their actions - Her job, period.

More than that, life is simply too short to think about those we don't love any more than necessary.  And it gets even shorter when we mimic their snark, their arrogance, and their b*tchiness.  So let's not, and trade those thoughts for those who do love us.

But youuuu-uuu're living in an echo chamber!  But youuuu-uuuuu're not getting reality without people "just being honest" with you!

That may very well be your truth.  Let's keep it that way.  We don't do high conflict in here.  Find somewhere else where that's welcome.

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

MOTHER PROTECT US, FATHER EMBOLDEN US.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Repeat Performance for Father's Day

Good Evening All.  I don't usually post reruns, but I think what I posted last year for Fathers' Day says it all:

I know that I appreciate my dad immensely.  He'd be pretty humble about it, but much of what I post in the blog is an outgrowth of the life lessons he taught me.

But even more than my appreciation of him, is my appreciation of Him:  G-D the Father.

Now this isn't based on any religion in particular.  It's just an understanding that there is a supernatural being who has a completely rational expectation of us to recognize and fulfill our personal responsibilities.  Our Mother Lady Karma is the One who handles things we can't control, executes judgment against those who wrong us, and pardons us for our errors.  G-D the Father, however, has a very different role to play.

What He does is remind us of what we CAN control, and that we'd better handle it to the best of our abilities.  His message is, "I'm not going to do your job for you."  Should we get started and keep moving, He is very likely to provide assistance, and quite possibly rewards, along the way.  But if we don't work for it, He won't provide it.

Our Father G-D doesn't want us to give up trying after only a few attempts.  He wants us to get our hands dirty and fail again and again until there has to be some sort of success, great or small.  He wants us to rise above critics and nay-sayers, disable our triggers when they are not needed, and to be as disciplined as possible in our thoughts and actions.

He knows that we'll make mistakes.  Honestly, He expects them to happen.  And He also expects us to keep our emotional reactions to a minimum because they'll only get in the way.  Our Mother can kiss our skinned egos to make them better.  But Our Father wants us to heal them ourselves, because we can!

That doesn't mean He's mean or unforgiving.  If He were, He'd be convincing us all to jump off bridges and end it all.  Instead, He wants us to live, and live right.  He wants us to understand that every new day is another chance to get it right, and not to eternally punish ourselves for when we get it wrong.  He wants us to own The Four Pillars, and own them hard!



So, Friends & Neighbors, today I hope you told your fathers how much you appreciate them.  And every day going forward, I suggest we show appreciation to Our Father G-D by making ourselves even better.

DISCLAIMER:  The above message is not an endorsement or a rejection of any organized religion in existence.

RESPECT ALL

BEFRIEND FEW

LOVE ONE

HATE NONE.

I EXIST.

I MATTER.

I BELONG. 

I DESERVE.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Words That Hurt, Words That Heal

Hello All!  Hope you're having a nice relaxing summer Sunday!

Recently, we've seen two celebrities forget to think before they spoke.  One said something so heinous and disrespectful that she lost her job, but the other one appears to be facing significantly less severe consequences.

Roseanne Barr had a sitcom she starred in rebooted (and ret-conned so her husband did not die), and it became a real hit after only a few new episodes.  Aaaand then she tweeted a statement that seemed to indicate that a former Obama senior advisor, who happened to be African-American, was the illegitimate child of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes. 

Not smart.  And it led to job loss for a whole cast and crew that had nothing to do with what was said.  Hopefully the show will be repackaged somehow.

Mere days later, Samantha Bee became so incensed at Ivanka Trump's perceived failure to rein in the President, her father, that she used a word beginning with "C" and ending with "T," which has been universally thought of as the worst thing that a woman can be called.

Not smart.  But her job and her broadcasting segment have been left intact.

It remains to be seen why both instances do not warrant the same consequences.  I've already discussed this with a few other people to understand how the same actions mean different consequences for different people.  Despite the fact that the "C-word" was once considered to be as evil as the "N-word," there is a segment that now believes that it was completely legitimate for Bee to have used this word, most likely because it was used against a member of the President's family.

When we finally reach the Point of Evaporation, the need to use this type of hateful and divisive language will dissipate.  Our high-conflict friends and neighbors will find themselves without a stable of victims, and there will be a dearth of enablers and sycophants to encourage their behavior.  Until that happens, it seems to me that there would need to be the same or similar consequences for same or similar behavior.

"But look what youuuuuuu said!"  "But look what heeeeee said!"  "But look what sheeeeee said!"

NONE of that exonerates what weeeeeee said.  Let's try to own what we say a little more - and hopefully think before we speak so we won't have to next time - and spend less time finger-pointing at their side and making excuses for our side.

Caveat to our friends in Hollywood:  You are here to entertain us, and not to insult us.  You were not elected by anyone to govern us, and you did not receive fame and recognition because of your debating skills.  Please find ways to entertain us without finger-pointing and name-calling.  You might be pleasantly surprised.

RESPECT ALL.  BEFRIEND FEW.  LOVE ONE.  HATE NONE.

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Better Now

Good Evening All.  Hope you're enjoying the middle frame of this three day weekend!

I've been doing a little research from other self-help resources.  A good friend of hours gave me a time-honored classic that I had not already read - "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.

I don't know about you, but this book should be required reading!

Thing is though, he teaches the same lesson my father tried to teach me when I was a younger man.  I remember quite a few dinner table conversations where I'd have some kind of argument with my Mom or my sister (they were tough ones, you had to be there), and I'd get annoyed or angry during that argument, my Dad would always interject with a simple admonition:

David?  Eat your dinner.

What was trying to say, in plain-spoken every day English, was the same thing that wise men throughout the ages had said, from the Buddha all the way up to Tolle himself:  Focus on what's in front of you, right here and now.

For my Star Wars fans, Qui-Gon Jinn said the same thing in the Star Wars prequels:

Don't center on your anxieties, Obi-Wan.  Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs.

One huge obstacle to achieving Emotional Maturity and the Point of Evaporation is that we rehash and post-mortem things that are in the past, and we worry and get scared over things that have yet to happen in the future.  We either stay in the past abusing ourselves for mistakes we made or cursing the memories of those who did us wrong, or we look away to something that has not happened yet, assuming it even will.  And when we do that, we are distracted, unfocused, and hopelessly triggered.

(1)  Past bothering you?  Place it in your reference library and keep it there.

(2)  Future worrying you?  Prep for it.

(3)  Anything happening right in front of you?  No?  Why not?

The best way to leave the past behind, and to patiently wait until the future becomes the present, is to get a better now.

Either get busy doing something now, or meditating when unoccupied.  And if you feel yourself going back to memories of what happened - be it recent or distant - or anxiety and fear about what will or won't happen, pull yourself back to now.  And if now is boring, unboring it!

Moreover, the past and the future is the province of Our Mother Lady Karma.  She knows that the past and future are beyond our control, so She handles it.  It is She who decides whether the past hurts us or helps us, and it is She who delivers what we will face in the future.  Transmit your guilt and fear to Her, we don't need it!

The present, on the other hand, is the province of Our Father . . . and by extension, US!  The present is when we do what I always tell my Islanders to do . . . Make Something Happen!  Or nothing, if need be - but make that happen anyway!!!!

It's also the time where we take stock of our thoughts and feelings and own them hard.  Nothing that happened in the past or might happen in the future should have that much effect on what we feel, think, and do right now.

I hope anyone out there beating themselves up or worrying themselves sick can take this advice to heart.  Just . . . eat your dinner.  Thanks Dad!

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

RESPECT ALL.  BEFRIEND FEW.  LOVE ONE.  HATE NONE.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Lady Named Karma

Hey All - Hope you had a good weekend!

Big news this week, a story that made me feel sad on a few levels:  The conviction of Bill Cosby. 

Like many of us, I have wonderful childhood memories of Bill Cosby:  In the early 80's, I remember my father and I bonded over the movie "Bill Cosby Himself," filmed live in Toronto.  A performance that included the Chocolate Cake For Breakfast, and other stories of his children.  My dad would often repeat, "Cosby is right - children are brain damaged!" 

Watching the Cosby Show in the 80's and 90's was required viewing on Must-See-TV Thursday nights!  Just about everything that happened on that show, you could relate to your own family.

Fast-forward to this decade.  The question of how so many people could simply sit on accusations for years, or even decades, and now seek to portray Cosby as some sort of perverted demon is simply not clear. 

However, his prosecution for crimes against Andrea Constand is different.  Those accusations were  reported soon after they occurred, but since she was suing him for millions, the Montgomery County DA declined to prosecute charges at the time.  However, since there had never been a written agreement not to prosecute, the current DA decided to actually file the charge mere weeks before the 12-year statute of limitations expired.  So the accuser didn't actually sit on it for years, but actions taken on it were somewhat held in abeyance.

Now that it's over, and he actually has been convicted of crimes committed against one victim, it's an honest tragedy.  The notion of him doing these things behind the scenes is terrible.  More than anything, I would like to think that the jury got it wrong, and that his attorneys will be successful on appeal.

However, the jury may have gotten it right.  If they did, then it validates everything I have said about Our Mother Lady Karma.  She doesn't need a vote of confidence before executing judgment.

A jury of Cosby's peers found that he took advantage of Ms. Constand in a particularly hideous way.  He also happened to have done so while married to a a permissive and enabling wife.  When this is done for long enough without remorse or regret, it comes within Our Mother's jurisdiction.  There is such a thing as natural justice, and it appears that we've seen it happen.

Bill Cosby is the last person I'd ever call an alphole.  Apparently he was one.  That's why they called in The Big Girl.

Farewell, Dr. Huxtable.  You will still be remembered for your talent and your charitable deeds.  But you must be remembered for this too.  We can only imagine that other predators like yourself will take heed of the consequences that await those who violate others' bodily integrity so that this issue will reach the Point of Evaporation.  Until then, we'll have to settle for a slow boil.

THERE'S A LADY NAMED KARMA.  SHE'S NOT ATTRACTED TO BAD BOYS AND SHE'S NOT FRIENDS WITH MEAN GIRLS.  SHE MONOPOLIZES REVENGE AND RETRIBUTION BECAUSE SHE HAS BETTER TOOLS AT HER DISPOSAL THAN WE DO.

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

RESPECT ALL.  BEFRIEND FEW.  LOVE ONE.  HATE NONE.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Revenge Evaporates

Hey All.  Looks like spring is finally here!

This is kind of an old-hat topic, but I felt the need to return to it.

Demonization Is Death.

Part of the reason we stay so angry at those who wronged us is that it's so easy.  It takes no skill at all to just get angry.  That's why children are always doing it and need to be taught how to stop.

This world we live in has become more and more contentious by the day.  Physical confrontations are started and manipulated to go viral.  Debates escalate into full-out war just because someone doesn't like someone else's FB post.  And divorces are less about an orderly termination of a marriage and far more about making the other former spouse's life as difficult as possible.

The reason for this is because we stop trying to understand the ways of our opponents and we instead see them as less than human, undeserving of respect, and something to be destroyed with as much pain as possible.  This is a mistake of the highest order.

This way of thinking enables the narcissists, abusers, and manipulators to do even more of what they do.  It justifies their high-conflict personalities, and encourages them to be aggressive where no aggression is needed.  It also keeps us stuck forever blaming, pointing, and self-victimizing.

How To Stop?

(1)  The Fact That It's Their Fault Does Not Give Us a Lifetime Free Pass.

Being someone else's victim does not make us flawless, does not exonerate us from all of our own wrongdoing, or render us immune to our own responsibility.  Contrary to popular opinion, it does not place us onto a pedestal from which we can continue judging, ad infinitum and ad nauseum, or to hurt others with immunity and impunity.

(2) We Cannot Spend A Lifetime Blaming Someone Else For How We Are.

The way to deal with our opponents is by either (a) removing them; or (b) refusing to allow them to trigger us.  Not by attributing all of our misfortune and shortcomings to them.  Yes, they still are alpholes and narcissists, let's be honest.  But what they are is far less important than what we are.  Whatever they may have done or said is not an excuse for us being filled with bitterness and resentment, no matter what the enablers and sycophants might suggest.

(3) Reach The Point Of Evaporation.

As I've said in my last post, when speaking about Tony Robbins and #MeToo, most modern-day problems and grievances eventually reach a Point of Evaporation.  Racism, sexism, rape culture, and other types of hatred do still exist, but they're shadows of their former selves.  It is only a matter of time before the Point of Evaporation is reached there - and at that point, the backlash that you may think is deserved against those perpetrators is no longer necessary.  It has evaporated into thin air.  So let our hate and anger do likewise.

To reach Emotional Maturity, resentment and grudges must be contained, controlled, and where possible, eliminated forever.  It doesn't mean that they weren't wrong, and it doesn't mean that we didn't get wronged.  But it does mean that we are not ruled by hate and anger at someone else's actions, and we are instead taking responsibility for our lives.

It's not our place to seek revenge, and it's not our obligation to remain in a state of war against people we don't like.  We are not avenging angels, and it's not up to us to interfere with the judgment that will be executed against them.  I've been giving Her a little bit of a break lately, but say it with me . . .

THERE'S A LADY NAMED KARMA.  SHE'S NOT ATTRACTED TO BAD BOYS AND SHE'S NOT FRIENDS WITH MEAN GIRLS.  SHE SOLELY DOMINATES THE FIELD OF VENGEANCE BECAUSE SHE HAS MUCH BETTER TOOLS AT HER DISPOSAL THAN WE DO.

Let's let it evaporate, and kiss it on up to Our Mother.  She'll handle it for us.

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

RESPECT ALL.  BEFRIEND FEW.  LOVE ONE.  HATE NONE.

FROM HERE TO THE POINT OF EVAPORATION.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Beyond Our Control

Good Evening All - hope we're all enjoying the spring weather.

Yes, there was a tone of sarcasm, in case you missed it!

This weekend, we are faced with two things that can make our lives pleasant or unpleasant, that we have absolutely no control over.

Taxes.

It's not something anyone truly enjoys, but as American citizens, we are obligated to provide a percentage of our income to our federal government, as administered by the Internal Revenue Service.  Anywhere from approximately 25% to 40% of our income, one way or another, must be given to the government, and sometimes more is given to states and local municipalities.  Some call it the social contract, some call it a form of socialism.  But it's still there, and we face untold penalties and consequences if we refuse to do so.

And once that money is provided to the government, as required, we have very little say as to what it's used to accomplish.  And honestly, they don't always do the job we hope they would.  That's why my father always taught us, "If you owe taxes, don't pay them before April 1st.  They don't deserve your money earlier than that." 

Most of us get refunds, where our employers take more taxes out of our paychecks than the government actually requires, and they are required to return the difference.  Many call this the return of an "interest-free loan."  Still a nice little bump that helps pay a few bills, etc.

As unfair as it often is - the prospect of having a government take money from us, under threat of civil and criminal penalties, knowing full well that we have no recourse against that government using our money in ways we don't like - it's something we have no control over.  It's not a cause celebre that anyone can take up and expect to be taken seriously.  Like it or lump it, unless and until someone completely dismantles and reorganizes the IRS, and rewrites the tax code, we've all gotta pay.  End of story.

Weather.

It's out of control.  We've had all four seasons in one week.  Sometimes in one day.  A winter that has not yet ended.  Well, this might be normal by upstate New York/New England/Minnesota standards, but certainly not be Northeast/Mid-Atlantic standards!

We can't demand sunshine all the time, and we can't manipulate meteorology.  But we can prepare and dress based on what we believe will most likely happen.

So let's save our energy for those many issues that we actually can do something about.  These two are not among them.  Kiss 'em up to Our Mother Lady Karma instead.

I EXIST.  I MATTER.  I BELONG.  I DESERVE.

RESPECT ALL.  BEFRIEND FEW.  LOVE ONE.  HATE NONE.

EMOTIONAL MATURITY.