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I’m over you, now what! 4 Things to consider before your next Relationship

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“There’s plenty of fish in the sea” “you deserve better” “you’ll find someone else better” “you were never right for each other” Who has not heard these quotes, while they’re well intentioned, why do they not make anything actually better? I’m not sure if this is the season for it, or why, but I keep seeing posts about people going through heart break. While I’m currently not in a relationship, and it’s been several years since my last one, there are a few things that I’ve noticed that seem to help people around me get over their loss. “Get Over” their break-up isn’t the best way to phrase it either, deal with it in a healthy way is probably a better way to look at it. The truth is a break-up will always hurt, even years after, we learn how to not let it affect us the same way. I don’t claim to be a relationship expert, or even a novice for that matter, these are just a few tools that I’d like for you to consider.

Love yourself first

A friend of my told me this a few months back and it has stuck with me since. “You want to understand yourself, not know yourself.” Meaning that knowing something is more as if you’re accomplished all that you can, while understanding is more of a evolutionary process. Loving yourself first is important because of the EGO. When I say your ego, I don’t mean the small voice that convinces you that you can lift that large obstacle, or that you can overcome anything that get’s put in your way, or that you’re more beautiful than others think you are. I’m talking about that voice that tells you “you’re not good enough” “you’re not beautiful enough” “you will NEVER accomplish that goal you set out to do.” This life as we know it is filled with both positive and negative, and when it comes to the EGO, people generally think of the positive side and forget the negative. If you’re constantly having negative self-talk, there isn’t a person in the world that will make this magically stop. Additionally if you’re looking for someone to “complete you” or “make you better” you typically aren’t confident about yourself. Loving yourself first means that you don’t let negative self-talk dictate your day. We all have those negative feelings, some people learn how not to take it seriously. Loving yourself first means that you put your well-being first, by putting yourself first you ensure that your needs are also met. What I’m not saying is to not be loving and kind to others, but imagine a scale if you will. If helping someone is going to come at a far greater negative impact to you, perhaps you should reconsider helping them. Loving yourself first means that you set realistic boundaries, that you are open and honest about your well-being, and that you don’t let others take advantage of you.

What’s your Compass

“I believe in honesty, even when no one is looking”

“I want to have 2 kids, a boy and a girl”

“I believe that my wife should have a choice whether she wants to work or not”

“I want a partner that shares my faith”

“I want a partner that will help me be a better version of MYSELF, and me HER”

My list is much longer, but those are some of the things that are important to me, and I’m looking for someone who has a similar list. Then together we can help each other accomplish our life goals, being together is mutually beneficial. I’m well aware that some couples might not have the same exact goals, but lets’ look at an example for comparison. Lets say the husband wants to be a Doctor, and he wants to help impoverished people, his wife in turn wants to be a Lawyer, who also helps impoverished people. While they don’t have the same career goals, can you see how they can still accomplish their overall goal together? He can provide medical services, while she helps with legal and equality issues for the same group of people. The two of them together can form an organization that helps people.  While this is a hypothetical couple, it illustrates the point well, they don’t have the same specific career goals, but by partnering they can help actualize their full potentials. Simply put, that person helps you accomplish YOUR goals, without diverting you from your path. By knowing where it is you want to go, you can help identify the person that will be the right co-pilot for you, given your goals.

WHY matters more than WHO

You meet someone, they’re attractive, you share a few things in common, and you also feel sexual chemistry. “Wow we have so much in common, would you like to go on a date?” While this is ok for a first date, having a long term relationship should be way more complicated than that. What are their life goals, what are their core values? Do they want to have children, how many do they want to have? How are they going to help me accomplish the things I’ve already set for my life? Have you ever broken up with someone, and then think to yourself “Wow they were totally wrong for me!” If that was the case, why were you together for months, why together for 5 years; worse yet why were you about to marry that person? Psychologist have coined the term “limerence” or “the honeymoon phase.” They both refer to the stage where you’re infatuated with someone, and it’s partly because of the chemical reactions taking place in your body. You find them highly attractive, even though you don’t share everything in common, you feel as though you do. While somethings should be red-flags, you’re willing to overlook their flaws. Scientists have said that this could last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years of a new relationship. While I’m not saying that those feelings aren’t real, what I am saying is that your body is having a chemical reaction, one in which you don’t have much control over. Forming a life together isn’t a small step, but if it’s based on only your physical attraction and sexual chemistry, you’re in for a huge surprise! At some point in your relationship, that insatiable attraction you felt in the beginning will fade, your animalistic sex drive will also fade. That is why it’s important to base you decisions on “the why” you’re with that person, that’s why your compass and life goals matter. That way your relationship won’t be based on just physical attraction and sexual chemistry.

Golden Rule of Relationships

I’m sure everyone is familiar with “Do unto others as you would like them do to you!” For simplicity, lets say that you like your coffee black, with no sugar or cream. Let’s say that your friend likes their’s with some honey, 2 sugars, and 5 creamers. If you’re getting your friend coffee, would you get it the way you like, or the way they like? If you bring them a straight black coffee with nothing in it, they’d probably spit it out in disgust. So why is it that when you’re doing something “nice” for someone you are more likely to bring them a black coffee, after-all that’s the way YOU like it, why can’t they be more thankful. While that’s a very basic example, it’s the way we tend to view our relationships. When you give someone something , you tend to give them something you’d like, and then you wonder why they never used your gift again. When it comes to relationships, I think the Platinum rule should apply, “Do unto others as they would like done to them.” Should you treat everyone with honesty, respect and love, of course you should. At the same time there are times where you have to consider their preference before you do something. This is why I believe that open and honest communication goes a long way, and why we should spend time actually getting to KNOW people. This is especially important if we’re going to be in a committed long-term relationship with them. A great resource I’ve found is learning about The 5 Love Languagesif you find that you don’t agree with anything I’ve said so far, I hope you’ll at least consider this resource. This is probably one of the biggest obstacles facing most everyday relationship, those that aren’t somehow dysfunctional.

While these are just a few snapshots of things to consider, realistically your list will be much longer. You have to consider aside from your physical attraction and a few things in common, why are they in your life? How is this person helping or deterring you from YOUR goals. If you’re planning to be in it for the Long-haul, there are soo many things to consider. The point is that you have to base your decisions on some intangible goals also. By loving yourself first you will have room and energy to devote to loving someone else, rather than learning to love two people at the same time. By looking at what’s below the surface, their values, beliefs, and life goals, you can make a better choice of who will be best for YOU. Why that person specifically, what do you have to gain by having them in YOUR life? Finally having open and honest communication about the things that matter most to you is essential, how will you communicate what’s important to you? It’s a scary thought, but do you have the courage to walk away if that is not the wisest relationship choice for you. Better yet, what if you can know this relatively soon in the relationship, so that you don’t have to experience more pain and heart break after a life together for years.

Just a few thing to consider, I’d love to hear some feedback. What’s on your list, what will you do differently to ensure that your next relationship lasts for the long-haul? Do you have the courage to ask the tough questions? Are you heading into your relationships with all your wits about you?

Oh no I think I came down with S.O.S!!!

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It has occurred to me that I may be suffering from S.O.S (shiny object syndrome). I was reading a post from a fellow writer yesterday (yes miasilvvs I’m talking about your post “The Chase”). In her post she talks about loosing interest in a new relationship after some time has passed, she calls it “The Chase” As I was pondering life, as I always seem to do often. It dawned on me that I might be experiencing a case of Shiny Object Syndrome.

O pining about the Future!
For the past few months I’ve been giving serious thought to what I’d like by future to be, aside from my next relationship, I’m specifically thinking about my career. I’m getting older, and I’d like to have stability in my job. For me part of what has been difficult is that I also need to feel intrinsically motivated with what I do. Otherwise I’ll end up sabotaging what I do, mostly subconsciously, not intentionally. Looking at what I’ve accomplished, I feel as though I can do better, or that I should be at a different place, much further along. I know that many people will say I’m crazy, and that I should feel proud. I was talking about this with a friend a few days ago, and while I don’t think I’m where I should be, that’s what also gives me the motivation to move forward.

Newness is always soo exciting!!
There’s a kind of excitement that comes from doing something new, the discovery is invigorating, but like all things in life, there’s usually a plateau for the newness. I started a new job a few months ago, while I didn’t see it as being a career, I still enjoyed it. I still did my best, and I learnt something new each day. Now that I’ve been there a few months, I’m starting to learn about the “cons” of working there. It’s no longer shiny and new.

What does the future hold for me?
As I was contemplating my future with that job today, it dawned on me that the past several years have been like that. It’s not that I’ve not held a job for more than a few months, I was in the Military for 10 years. Although it’s only part-time, I’ve had a primary job for the past 6 years, and work a 2nd job to supplement my income. Perhaps I should be doing something that will allow me to move, or change jobs every few months. That way I can stay in the newness stage, hmm something to think about next!

No one said figuring out what to do would be this hard, while the future looks uncertain. I’m confident that I will find the Career that’s right for me for where I am in my my life. After-all I’ve gotten thus far, and I haven’t imploded yet. What about you, is anyone else feeling like they get tired of things quickly. Are you also longing for the excitement of going on a new adventure?

Something’s gotta Give!!

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I can’t believe it’s been a few weeks since I made my last post. I’ve been spending the time mostly reading and responding to posts, thought I’d give all you real bloggers out there a chance to do some real writing :-). All kidding aside though, it’s been an interesting few weeks, like many of you who read this, I too have my moments of absolute joy, and my darker moments of turmoil. It’s always interesting what I notice in those moments though, what picks me up. I’d like to share a few of those things with you.

My main struggle these days, in addition to embracing my singleness, and discovering who I AM. I seem to be struggling to find a job that calls me, one that I can say “ah ha this is my PURPOSE, this is what I was made for” In my last post “Finding your Purpose might be easier than you thought!!”, I talked about how we can find happiness by letting “Our Light” be our purpose. I incorporated that into my daily life this past few weeks, and it made a noticeable effect on my attitude. Some days at work are brutal, but by embracing my positive attitude as my purpose. It has allowed me to reset more quickly after dealing with a bad customer experience. Although this is a good tool for the overall work motivation, I still felt as though something else was missing. I’m someone who will only do things if I can predict the outcome. At this point in my life I have absolutely no idea what the future holds, I don’t know what I’ll be doing Career wise 1,2 or 5 years from now, and I’m not very comfortable with that feeling. While I’m generally not worried that I won’t find something that’s the right fit for me, just the uncertainty is hard to deal with. So why not do something you ask? So far the things I’ve set out to do haven’t worked out, and I believe that it’s because I’m still in my growing phase, I’m still learning something else that is part of the lesson I’m to learn. I have faith that God has something bigger than I can imagine in stored, so I’m learning to let go.

Live as though Heaven is here NOW!

So before I go on and on about my uncertainty about my career path, let me tell you what I saw this week that helped put things into perspective. For me I have to remember to be in the PRESENT, while having goals and future plans are important. If I’m not living in the present how will I know what path I’m supposed to be on. I believe that the signs are always there, you just have to look and listen. I may call it God, you may call it The Universe or Destiny; there is still a force that pushes us in the direction that is aligned to who we are at our core. Just as how last week the sign was to let “My LIGHT” be my purpose, I came across something else that points to the same concept.

This is an excerpt from a Song by Steven Curtis Chapman:

” This Life passes in the blink of an eye. But the Story has only begun. So go, Taste and SEE the goodness of God”

Secondly while watching the Movie “Heaven is for Real” a familiar Bible verse was highlighted. Many know it as “The Lord’s Prayer.” “…may your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10 – NLT

So I know that these were all biblical references, but bear with me a bit more if you don’t share my Faith. You see all of these references are about enjoying Happiness NOW, rather than waiting for something to come by and sweep you off your feet later. Whether it’s that awesome job, or perhaps you’re in search of “The One” you don’t have to wait to find happiness. You see true happiness comes when you learn to embrace and enjoy where you are now. If you fall into “and then” thinking, you may never find that happiness, because you’ll be constantly chasing a goal that will keep eluding you. To be clear I’m not saying that EVERY goal you’ve set for the future can be actualized now! If your goal is to be a Doctor, and you haven’t gone to Medical School, you cant just go start treating people :-). Take myself for example, I see myself becoming a Counselor, I see that as my purpose. While I don’t have a Masters or PhD in Psychology now, being a Counselor involves helping  those in need, those in personal conflict and relational issues. Although I don’t have a degree in psychology, I can still help friends and those close to me. I can even write posts such as this one that will help to lift up and encourage others. In my case I don’t have to be a Counselor or Life Coach to help others, there’s other ways to fulfill my purpose in this case. So what I am saying is to find what makes you happy, learn how to incorporate that into your daily life. Just as Christians believe that Heaven (a future time, when there will only be happiness and no pain) will come later, there is nothing stopping you from having some heavenly traits here now. Just as the verse said “your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” I believe that we can have a little bit of heaven here now, we don’t have to wait for it sometime in the future.

While you might still be on the road to happiness, remember that you don’t have to wait until you get to your destination to find happiness or fulfillment. It’s possible to enjoy some of that now. By shifting your perspective, and realizing that it is possible to actualize some of your dreams today, it will get you in a better mind-set to accomplish more later.

What if I tell you to Keep Going, even if you’re not Successful!!

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Have you ever had that feeling of being tired, tired of doing the same things without the effect you desire? A few days ago it hit be like a brick, while I’m continuing to move forward, I was just tired of running the race. I needed a break from the Rat Race. In a few of my other posts I may have mentioned that I’m single, and that I’m also struggling to figure out what to do for a career. The past rear has been great spiritually, I’ve made a lot of progress in finding myself, and becoming a better man. I feel much more prepared to one day be a husband and father. With all my progress it dawned on me that in a few month it would have been 2 years since I was in a Relationship. I’ll be the first person to tell you to take YOUR time, don’t let anyone else tell you when’s a good time to move on. But I couldn’t help thinking, wow has that much time passed already. I also celebrated by 34th Birthday a few weeks ago, and while I’m on a path, I don’t have a clear picture of my destination. I have a job that has a potential of becoming a career, but it’s also not part of my vision for myself. So in a nutshell, both of these realizations hit me all at once, I’m so not where I’d like to be. You’d think that this would have sent me into a tail spin of depression, but a few days later, I’m actually very hopeful. The past year has thought me one thing for sure, I always have what I need when I need it. I just need to tap into it. So today I’d like to share with you why I’m still in a great mood, after I realized that I’m not as close to my dreams as I’d like to be.

I’m blessed with certain Gifts by my Creator, because I’m ME!

Living my the mantra, I’m where I need to be, has served me well. Last year around this time, I began to move towards figuring out myself, and what my purpose was. I took a course through my church that helped me to figure out what my Spiritual Gifts were. It was interesting that I took a few Personality Inventories that I was already familiar with from my Undergraduate studies, but I had never made the connection before this. Understanding how I could give back to others helped me with my focus. I also learnt my gift at just the right time, I was able to help close friends through their various break-ups. Through my relationship woes, I began to focus on how people behaved, and tried to find keys to have a better relationship. If it wasn’t for my relationship problems it would never had been my focus. I’m blessed with the gifts I have because I’m me, and those gifts serve ME well. My gifts aren’t something abstract, they are rather part of me.

Do what works, continue to do it even if it hasn’t paid off yet!

“One must, from time to time, attempt things that are beyond one’s capacity. The pain passes but the beauty remains” – Pierre Auguste Renoir

I never knew that the famous Painter Renoir suffered from severe arthritis, so much so that his hands were deformed, yet he continued to make beautiful works of art. Would you have done the same, given his severe handicap and excruciating pain, why go on? When I think of my current struggles in finding a career that’s right for me, this gives me inspiration. Sure I might not be where I think I should be, but that doesn’t mean I’m not where I need to be right now. With each passing moment I learn new things about myself, I learn what I’m capable of and what my limits are. Those are valuable traits to learn when you want to invest time into a career. While I’m not in that career now, it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to get it eventually. I’m in a good place, I know how I can help others, and even though it’s just on a small scale right now, I don’t know what the future holds. Today I went for a Hike/Run (meaning that I run unless it’s a very steep climb, then I hike), there was a point where I wanted to stop all together, it was yet another steep incline. Although my muscles felt tired and tight, I kept going, then eventually I began to pick up speed again. Before I knew it I was running at my normal pace, it seemed that I was even picking up speed. This reminds me of life, sure sometimes you want to stop, to quit, but if you can push through, soon you’ll be running again. The steep climb that you were experiencing is behind you, you don’t even think of it anymore.

 “Maybe we are not supposed to find the pieces. Maybe we are the pieces.” –  Peter Sollett

In another post I was reading Labels and Independence, while this talks specifically about relationships, I found worth in this statement. Instead of looking for what we need out there, as in I’m going to find the perfect career, I’m going to find the person that makes me complete. We should start looking from within, start with what you’re good at, or perhaps find something about your current job that you like. Then make that something that you focus on, and find ways to improve it. Similarly with relationships, start with yourself, don’t look to someone else to define or make you whole. Sure we want to find a partner that enhances who we are, but we should be able to define ourselves without someone else. This week was easier than last week for me, I made a small change to by daily routine. I made it a point to incorporate something I love doing into each day. There’s something satisfying in knowing that I helped someone solve a problem, or made their life better. So each day I would try to write a comment to at least one post I read, and it did improve my overall mood. Despite what was going on at my job, I was still doing something that made me happy.

May your week be filled with joy, peace and love. I hope that we can all continue to run the race, even though you might want to give up, keep going you’ll find your pace again.  Also I hope that you recognize that you already possess everything you need to succeed. The people and resources you need now are already in front of you, it’s just a matter of tapping into them.

The Meaning of Living- According to Jim Carrey

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One of my favorite Comedians has always been Jim Carrey, and Dumb and Dumber has been one of my all time favorite movies. I had previously heard that Jim Carrey is brilliant, and I had thought it was one of those things people say about someone. Today I had the privilege of listening to a Speech he gave at a University this year. I think it’s the most succinct compilation of thoughts I’ve ever heard that gives a glimpse of what Life is about. I took down a few of the ones that touched me, because they reflected the path that my life is on currently.  I highly recommend that you look at the video: Full Speech: Jim Carrey’s Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation

(The following is a few of the Quotes he gave in the speech, along with a few of my thoughts and why I think what he said is noteworthy)

  • You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you Love (For me I see people living life according to what they think society and others want them to do, and many of them seem soo unhappy. So why not do something that you’re passionate about, something that makes you feel alive and vibrant at your core)
  • Live your life asking how can I have an effect on the world while I’m here?
  • Ask how can my gift change the world, not what can the world do for me.
  • What if people see me without my mask! (The lesson here is to not let fear and the EGO stop you from being your authentic self)
  • To find peace you first have to let the Armour go. (Instead of fighting against who you are, your authentic self, stop worrying about what the world thinks. The masks we wear prevent us from achieving full happiness. To find peace within ourselves, we must let go of all of these things)
  • Our need for acceptance, can also make you invisible. (We’re constantly striving to feel wanted and accepted, but as we continue to look to others to bring us satisfaction, we find that the goal is always moving. We continue to try, but can never accomplish what we set out to do. This race makes us loose our uniqueness, and we become invisible, we’re no longer our true selves)
  • To find Peace we must let our Light shine through, and take the risk to let ourselves be seen. (Remembering that we all have a gift, something unique that we bring to the world, that is our light, our beacon. Be must be willing to be seen with our flaws, our shortcoming. While recognizing that we bring a talent, a gift to share with the Universe. As Brene Brown would say, we must be willing to be vulnerable)
  • Don’t let Wealth, Fame, Prestige … distract you from your true purpose in life, which is to let your Light shine through!!
  • There should be nothing more important in this world than you. (Learn to embrace and invest time into perfecting your gift)
  • Don’t let your EGO(the voice that tells you that you’re not good enough) fool you, know that you already possess everything you want, believe it and it will come to pass.
  • Stop worrying about how your dreams will come through, just believe, and don’t get caught up on what the vessel looks like. If you miss your chance, the Universe will find a way to bring it back around again.

With each passing day, it’s ammazing what we can find that helps define our path. I’m happy that I’m at a stage in my life that I’m able to learn about these things. After all in the end I’d like to know that I’ve lived my life, and that I’ll be satisfied with what I’ve done. This is just one small stem towards that future. Thank you Kathleen for first posting this, and for guiding others to find their light.