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?

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Love,Sex, Marriage. A Modern Man’s Perspective!!

Holding Hands Walking

These past few months have been interesting, it’s as if someone turned on a switch. For the first time, I’m really giving a lot of thought to my future. I thought that I’d take some time to reflect back and try to make a succinct thought on what my expectations are for my next relationship. At the same time I thought it would be great to look back at some of my previous thoughts, and see how they have evolved. Since turning 34, I’ve been really thinking about my future, both marriage and career. I’m not one to just jump into anything blindly, call me cautiously optimistic, I’m also the type that has to HAVE A PLAN! I know some of you neurotics will get this. Of course in preparing for this post I wrote down a few key points that I thought I should cover, but as things go, that plan quickly went out the window. Before I get into it, I wanted to make clear that I’m currently reading a book called “The Sacred Search- What if it’s not about who you marry, but why” by Gary Thomas. I wanted to state this upfront because as I was reading, I realized that many of the points I was making in my previous posts, were more succinctly made in this book. I’ll do my best at being clear about what are my thoughts and what are from The Sacred Search.

The One, a single person’s Unicorn!!

Movies and society seems to have a narrative about “The One” when you find them, they will complete you, make you feel whole, they’ll be your light in the darkness. This person posses something you lack. It’s interesting though, after a break-up you hear a totally different narrative, work on yourself first, learn to love yourself, you need to heal yourself before you move on. So of the two which is true, they’re opposite points so they both can’t be true. In Sacred Search, Gary Thomas points out a possible hurdle with thinking that “The One” will complete you. You see when you depend on someone else to make you whole, you’re coming from a place of weakness. We’re all human and have our own faults, what happens when that person isn’t physically able to carry you? What happens when the stresses of life and work are too great for them to carry, and have to carry you too? That could create a situation where that person feels too much pressure, and when they’re not able to carry you, what then, how will you go on? In contrast coming from a place of worth and self-confidence in yourself, you don’t need another person to carry you through the relationship. For me what I’ve noticed is that relationships should be Mutually Beneficial, instead of the other person picking you up and carrying you. If you’re both there to guide each other on your respective paths, if the other person is physically incapable of guiding you at a certain point, you’ll be more than capable of helping yourself. Because you already possess the strength to carry yourself, you’re also capable of helping your partner through their difficult times. Life isn’t always what we imagine, sometimes you finally get that dream job, and it’s not as you’ve imagined. What happens when the insatiable romance fades, what happens when you get to know the other person better, and they’re not everything you thought they’d be? If life has thought us anything, it’s that in most cases when you put a person on a pedestal, most of the time they don’t have the qualities you thought they had.

We just had Sex, OH I think I LOVE YOU!

I’m no Scientist or even a psychologist, but why is it that when you have sex with someone, after being intimate for the first time, or even after a few times, you find yourself thinking, wow are they “The One”? Perhaps Science can help explain this better than I can, there are chemicals that are released in our bodies. One such chemical is the hormone Oxytocin (also known as the love or bonding hormone)which is released after sex, and makes you feel more connected to your partner. One of it’s effects is the desire to cuddle, while this hormone is present in both male and female, they do effect them differently. The human body and brain are very complex, and the various chemicals released could cause a false sense of a connection that might not be there. Instead of just focusing on the strong feelings you get after sex, or in the beginning of a relationship, Sacred Search cautions us to wait until at least after the 1st year before we make any big commitments. I’ve seen first hand friends’ relationships that end, and you hear the old saying “I don’t know who you are anymore.” While physical attraction and sexual chemistry are important. A healthy sex life does more than satiate your sexual urges, it creates a deeper connection (chemically). That’s why it’s ultimately important, for the longevity of your relationship, that you’re in it for more than the sexual chemistry and physical attraction. Gary Thomas points out this is the reason it’s important to also base your relationship on deeper things such as Values, Beliefs, and Life-Goals. Ask any married couple, that insatiable sex drive eventually fades. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, you probably know of a couple that are even more intimate than when they first met many years ago.

I’m committed to you, WELL except for A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I. Besides that though, I’m totally committed!

In my naive mind, I saw a relationship as something you stick to for the long run, well that is unless you come across major differences. In that case, sure divorce might be an option. Not to get biblical or anything, but the Bible never saw marriage that way. When you get married you’re committing to stay together forever, and work out your differences. Now you’re probably thinking “What if my spouse develops or I uncover some serious problems?” That’s why asking yourself “Why am I getting married” rather than who you’re marrying is so important. Gary Thomasuggests that instead of being blinded by the Intense Infatuation you feel in the beginning, remember the chemicals in your body are automatically giving you a false sense of connection to that person. We should find out about the other person, ask questions to see if our values and beliefs are aligned. Remember it’s possible to feel intensely connected to a person, and then find out they’re verbally or physically abusive. Sadly many people still stay in these relationships. In my writing and reflection I did in the past few months, that’s the conclusion I came to also. When you make a commitment, it’s FOREVER, through sickness and health, for better or worse, in richer or poorer. People are inherently flawed, we all have our battles we’re fighting, and at some level you cant hold it against your spouse for also being broken. At the same time though, when buying a car or a house we do our research, and marriage is supposed to last longer than all of those things. We can’t be naive, we should definitely ask the tough questions, sure we may have to walk away from that relationship, and breaking up is HARD. Not to sound insensitive, but if we choose the wrong person to spend the rest of our lives with, we’re going to end up doing much more damage to both of us, and our families that have to endure those relationships.

Seriously GOD why haven’t you given me a perfect Wife/Husband Yet!

“Have I done all that I can?” “Have I put in the WORK?” These are a few of the questions I started asking myself a few months back, not just about my relationships, but about my career also. In my reflection I found that I sometimes came from a perspective of privilege, feeling that I’ve worked hard enough, I DESERVE to get it easy now. That of course is a fundamental flaw in looking at life through that lens. Life doesn’t care if you’ve been good or bad, whether you’ve worked hard or not. It will be life, it will have it’s good moments of immense joy and jubilation; and it will also have it’s moments of deep despair. How we approach each situation depends on us, when you put in the work you get to reap the benefits. Aside from a few fortunate ones, many people that are rich are that way because they have sacrificed a lot to get there. There’s no easy road. Whether you’re religious or not, have you found yourself saying “God why haven’t you sent me the perfect wife/husband yet?” I didn’t know this, but as far as biblical references, aside from a handful of times, God never specifically ordained a spouse for anyone. When talking about marital choices the bible talks about “wise or unwise” choices. I know that Romance movies idolizes two people meeting, that were destined to be together. What we’re forgetting though is that those are the exceptions not the rule. We’d all like to feel special, but for most of us we have to work hard for what we want. If you want a dream spouse, then you have to go out and find her/him

For those that are embarking on that journey to find the partner that’s best suited for them. I hope these few words can help guide you in your decisions. Relationships are inherently hard, we don’t need to create our own obstacles. Whether you’re thinking about marriage, or just looking for a long-term relationship, we have to go into it with as much information as possible. Making a bad decision is already painful enough, but if you can avoid it all together, why not take that extra step. As always go with love, and may you find peace and joy as you embark on your journey.

Doing what you Love requires WORK, lots of Hard Work!!

Happy Tuesday, with a new day brings new possibilities to do life differently. My last post Coming into my Masculinity Full Circle was a bit more intimate, in that I was willing to share things about myself that were more personal. It was completely unexpected that I would get as much love and acknowledgement that I got. I generally am a private person, so giving details about my journey to virtual strangers wasn’t easy, but in doing so I believe I got one step closer to my goal. I started writing so that I could look back and see where I came from, and my transformation on the way. One of my newest followers from my latest post begintobelieve was also one of the many things that inspired me this week, with the post “How to stay Connected to your Purpose…”

This past Saturday I had a bad day at work, a series of experiences had me questioning whether it was time for something new! I however quickly got over it, because for most of the week I was being primed by various things I saw. The constant message that I got was that work, will be hard, and at times unbearable. For most of us that’s what work is, it’s something we do because it will give us the resources to do other things that are more important to us. Besides a bad day at work is by no means a rare occurrence, so why was I so easily ready to “throw in the towel?” Although I left on Saturday feeling frustrated, the following day I went in with an attitude of grace, kindness, and an overall good mood.

I had a Bad Day, so what!!

I think part of the reason I was able to bounce back is because of a few things I saw during the week. I don’t have the Job I want now, but it doesn’t mean I can’t continue to work towards what I want. One of the lessons my new job has thought me is that I get great satisfaction from working with my hands, and fixing things. While the interaction with other people might not be pleasant, I will still have overall satisfaction from what I do. It’s also interesting that the same week I decide to “Go all In” meaning that I would continue to find ways to get what I want out of my job, my boss approached me with an opportunity for more responsibility in my first job. To make it more appealing, the new responsibilities involved me working with my hands, and using my mechanical ability to find problems and implement solutions. Having a bad day was a way for me to face a fear that has been hidden for sometime now. I just became another year older with my Birthday a month ago, and I keep feeling that I’ve failed because I don’t have the career I think I should have. The reality though is that most of us don’t have the career we desire, and we learn to make do with what’s in front of us, and make the best of it. By giving my all in my current jobs, I’m putting myself in a position for recognition for other responsibilities. After-all the new responsibilities I got was my boss’s idea, although it’s something I was thinking about, he initiated the conversation.

Do what you Love, and you’ll never WORK a day in your life!!

I’ve heard that saying over and over again, but are we setting ourselves up for failure by thinking that way? Do what you loveIn a way it’s the “I’ll get that great job and then…” syndrome. Getting a great job is a great goal, but that job WILL come with challenges. I feel that thinking if I do something I love I’ll never work isn’t giving the real picture. While some hobbies are fun, it doesn’t mean that you will yield something that’s financially sustainable. Doing something you love does come with work, you face new challenges, uncertainty, and failure at every turn. So while you’ll be happy, does it mean you’ll be happy 100% of the time. My Pastor Steve touched on this recently also, sure he loves teaching, but there are times he would rather do a mundane task such as “pumping gas” It touches on the larger point that we expect 100% satisfaction form what we do. In my Research on “Workplace Motivation” for my Business Psychology degree, I found the same evidence. I interviewed multiple participants, and none of them were 100% happy with their jobs. What they were though was largely satisfied with what they do, and the person who rated themselves as highly satisfied, gave a self rating of 9 out of 10. Although they were highly satisfied, there was still plenty of room for growth. They were working in a once in a lifetime opportunity, and was something that they weren’t looking for. When I hear stories of people who made a profession out of something they’re passionate about, I’m cautious in my rush to emulate them. Sometimes you have to ask is that person is the exception or the rule. Put another way not everyone will find meaningful work, and and what they do may not be financially sustainable. The majority of us will have to make do with what we have.

Find ways to incorporate your passion into what you do NOW!

“Get creative!  From time to time come up with ideas on how to incorporate what you love into your work while staying in line with doing what you have to do.” – begintobelieve

While it might not be possible for all of us to find something we love, and make it a career. The opportunity still exists to find waysHard Work to incorporate our passion into our current work. I think it was interesting that when I accepted that idea, God/The Universe delivered on that promise. As I mentioned earlier I was offered an opportunity for more responsibilities at one of my current jobs, and the new responsibility was aligned with what bring me satisfaction at work. Sometimes work isn’t always going to bring us everything we’re looking for. There’s no rule that says you can’t do something you’re passionate about outside of work. A friend has been telling me for months now to volunteer at my church, she thinks I would be great in a Counseling/Teaching role, and for a long time I’ve been ignoring her. I think I was looking for a “One Stop Shop” kind of opportunity. Perhaps my journey is to devote myself to various areas, and each bringing me a different satisfaction, and together they’ll give me the kind of satisfaction I’m looking for; it may take some juggling.

What’s your Priority!

Where do you rate work? My Pastor Steve made a great point this weekend “We’re not supposed to be completely satisfied with WORK” Or put another way, there are other things in our lives that should be more important than work. His priorities looked something like this 1. God 2. Family 3. Others 4. Work 5. Church. I thought it was both interesting and refreshing that “The Church” came where it was on the list, while church is important, it’s not meant to be everything in your life, not even more than family and fostering other relationships. When I say Church, I’m talking about the physical building, not your devotion to God. While work does give you money, which gives you resources, and those resources to build a better life. I see many people putting work before their relationships, and for me that’s a deal breaker. Sometimes I know I’m guilty of putting work ahead of many things, “I can’t take this weekend off, or I can’t go to that event, I have to work” One of the things I learnt in my Research about Workplace Motivation is that it’s about a balance, those who were happiest didn’t think that work was everything. So while work is important, it can’t be my only source of happiness. What about family, friends, nature or other aspects of life? It’s also true that I’m not currently in the particular field that I think will bring me satisfaction, but I can’t let that be my only source for happiness, I have to find ways to diversify my happiness portfolio.

Thank you for reading, as I continue on my journey, I hope that we can influence each others. I find that others can be a great source of inspiration, of course looking within is also key. We spend most of our time at work, I hope we can learn to find ways to make it more satisfying. After all it’s called a Work/Life balance for a reason, we’re supposed to have a mix between work and life.

Coming into my Masculinity Full Circle

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I was speaking to a friend last night after she read my last post, while she thought it was a great post; and that it revealed another layer to me. She did point out that I always seem to stay away from sex, and she was right, I was intentional in that. I soon realized though that she was right, it’s a vital part of who I am, and to not talk about that aspect, wouldn’t give a full picture of who I am. So I’ve decided to break my silence. I decided to start writing because I wanted to have a record of my transformation, and my hope is that I may help others on their journey also, so leaving out this part won’t be a full picture of my journey.

***This post deviates from my usual safe topics, and I’m about to embark on one that’s seen as a bit taboo, but if you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll no I’m never afraid to say what I mean. This topic might be a bit more graphic for some, So this is your opportunity to stop reading. I do encourage you to keep reading though, as always I will give a full picture of what I’m talking about, and by reading all the way to the end, you won’t get any misunderstands about my view.***

So where do I start!

I’m sure that my now most of you should know that I’m Christian, and I believe strongly in my faith. While I’ve been Christian for most of my life, there was a point in my life where I strayed away from my faith. I’ve since returned, and I continue to grow everyday. Late last year I heard a teaching at my church on The Power of Love, and it has changed my view on Sex, and my conduct as a Christian. Since that message I’ve decided to Abstain from sex until I’m married. As a Christian it’s taught that sex outside of Marriage is a Sin. While Christians are generally conservative, it’s my belief that God intended for sex to be something that is ammazing, exciting, and will leave you writhing with pleasure.

“…Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching, and no one would criticize me. I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine. Your left arm would be under my head, and your right arm would embrace me… I was a virgin, like a wall; now my breasts are like towers. When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees…”

No that is not a quote from the newest steamy novel, it’s form the Bible, specifically Song of Solomon 8. I know this is just one chapter, but there are several other cases of this type of language.

So how should I behave!

“Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people” – Ephesians 5:3 (NLT)

Here we learn that many sexual behavior is condemned outside of a covenant relationship. It’s also interesting to note that the Greek word pornea is used here, which is the word for pornography. Impurity, meaning washed clean; also referring to being in a self-serving mind set. Lastly greed referring to not getting your own needs met. When we combine the three, we see that Sex is part of the covenant relationship, and taking any action that is self satisfying (including masturbation), or somehow getting your needs met, would constitute as sin. Now I know you’re thinking that with all those rules, it doesn’t leave me much room. Well you’re right, but if you follow the path, it’s also very rewarding in the end. I was practicing this but without much of a method, or a guide on how to conduct myself, I was a bit lost. I read a post from another writer Bryan Reeves, and I believe that through his work on the subject of Male Sexual Energy, I’ve found a kind of Guiding Principles to help me in my walk of abstinence.

Doing nothing is a Option!

Since very young, men are taught to respond to a female’s presence by acknowledging her with an action. Then as a teen we’reMan looking at woman thought that if we see a beautiful girl, “we’re to go get her number” or “go talk to her.” In instances where a few males are gathered together, at the mere hint of a female, it seems they become a pack of apes, hollering and hooting at her. For the male that doesn’t replicate this behavior, he is seen as weird, and the most hated question “why wont’ you go talk to her? do you not like girls?”  Bryan suggests that instead of responding in the way we’ve learnt all our life, what if we acknowledge that we’re aroused, and then do nothing! Additionally there seems to be the idea that on the opposite side of sexual arousal is a relationship. The “I think she’s hot, so I must start a relationship with her” syndrome. As I’m sure you all know physical attraction is only a very small element of a successful relationship. How many people have met someone very attractive, and things fizzled very quickly after. By not acting on every sexual urge, we give the other parts of our brain to process and think. A man is a visual creature, and a woman’s body is curvaceous, and with every rise and fall or her skin, it brings a very strong arousal in a man. In many cases though, you don’t just go around having sex with every attractive person you see, so how has doing nothing not caught on yet?

Delayed Gratification brings greater pleasure later!

By not giving into every single sexual feeling, I can learn to harness it in one direction. Women imagine if your guy comes home, you’re sitting on the couch reading a book/watching TV (in hopes of not being chauvinistic or stereotypical, this seemed a better example). He’s been thinking about you all day, and he can harness all that sexual energy into not just being sensual, but also be ravishing. Then you have one of those toe curling episodes, where you feel satiated rather than the usual “Ok get away from me now feeling.” As Bryan suggests, instead of focusing purely on a woman’s physical body, you learn to respect, and understand her mind and body as one. By channeling all your energy into one relationship, it gives greater focus. By understanding that you will have periods where you’ll be sexually aroused, and sometimes by others who’s not your spouse, you learn that you don’t have to act on it. By understanding that this is how you were made, there is also no guilt, but when you do decide to act, it’s in a focused direction.

So what does this have to do with Anything!

By practicing abstinence, not only am I fulfilling my Biblical directives, but I’m also keeping my sexual energy for a committed relationship. Understanding that I will be sexually aroused, but that I don’t have to act, helps me to harness my energy. Harnessing my energy helps me to focus all of that energy on one person, in explosive passion and service. I’m only at the beginning of my journey, so it’s too soon to really tell what the benefits will be. From my experience so far, I’ve felt an awakening in me though. By not objectifying women, I’ve began to see them more that physical objects, that I have to acknowledge in some kind of prehistoric display. As I continue to learn, I anticipate that I will get to the next stage, mind and body.

**Thank you for reading, I hope it wasn’t too bad. I wanted to give a clearer picture of my journey and what I’m hoping to accomplish. As with my last post, I hope that this can help spark conversations between men and women. There is a greater love and level of satisfaction for everyone out there. Imagine a world where we learn to harness and perfect our sexual energy. Seem to me there could be more peace!!**

 

 

The Meaning of Living- According to Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

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.