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September 2012
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November 2012

5 entries from October 2012

My life, my choices, my mistakes, my lessons, absolutely someone's business

6a00d83451f27e69e2017ee493aabc970d-piSo there’s always a lot of Facebook picture/meme’s going around, right? They usually have inspirational, or sappy messages. Some even have snarky messages that summarize how we feel towards “that person!” You know who I’m talking about there, right? That person is the person who we may be angry with but to whom we could never actually say that thing too. Now, I love Facebook (although I’ve actually been working on a post that shares some negative views on it) for a host of reasons. For me, it’s better than cable TV. It’s free entertainment. I also like Facebook because it shows how people think, and for me this is the best part, they can’t hide what they really think. See, the above picture. It gets slapped up and I’ve seen a lot of friends post it. It sounds so great, right? MY LIFE! MY CHOICES! MY MISTAKES! MY LESSONS! NOT YOUR BUSINESS! What a terrible way to live! What an incredibly lonely way to live a life. I think it shows the faulty thinking that I am better alone than I am with the responsibility of living with someone. This idea misses the point because it fails to recognize a few truths. Truth 1: Our actions have consequences for other people. Our actions impact others. It would seem to me that this is a self evident truth but so often we seem to miss this simple truth. My mistakes will effect the lives of those around me. This poster is ultimately selfish. It reflects a way of living that fails to admit how our lives impact others. On an aside note, I often find people who want to live by this type of motto the first to point out how others decisions have negatively impacted them. Truth 2: We need the impact of others to truly experience community Trying to live on an island is a sad and lonely place. Humanity was created to be in community. We were not created to be by ourselves doing our own thing, learning on our own. We need others in our business. We need others asking us questions, keeping us accountable. Truth 3: This is a lonely way to live. Sure, this is directed at someone but what drove the person to be with that someone in the first place. The desire and need for community, for relationships. In the end, we need each other. That’s actually what drives social media and all the good and bad that comes with it.

What is your character sketch?

In college I had the opportunity to be in a few plays. I was able to do some Shakespeare and a few other authors that to be honest, I forget. I enjoyed being able to play a few bigger roles and a few smaller roles. My favorite for the character sketches was the smaller roles. Play as Romeo? That character is pretty much defined for you. Play as Sebastian? That character is laid out for you. Certainly, there is a difference in character portrayal by each actor but if anyone went off reservation about those characters, people would flip. The smaller characters? No one cares too much about them. I played a government agent once. He was identified in the script as "Government man #1." That was it. I called him Jim. He liked pickles only on his hamburgers. Hot dogs had to have mayonnaise and chili. Jim lived in a small ranch house with a white picket fence. His lawn was kept meticulously and he only used American made products. His closet was organized by color and function. He had two bathrooms in his house but only used one because why would a single man need two bathrooms? Jim only had the law. It was his mistress, his lover and his greatest source of angst. Relationships had died on the alter of Jim's obsession with the law. At night, he would soothe his pain with 12 year old scotch. Every Sunday Jim put on his only navy blue suit (pinstripes) and went to the seventeen baptist church of his hometown. How do I know all of this? Because I wrote Jim's story. I made up his background and decided what my interpretation of his 3 lines totaling 42 words would be. His story, his character sketch was mine to do with as I wished. Which brings me to the point of this post. What is your character sketch for your life? There's plenty that you don't get to make up like I did for Jim, but the basic question still applies. What story do you want to tell with your life? This is, perhaps the greatest question of your life. What story are you telling with your life? The difference between the story you are telling with your life and the story you want to be telling with your life is the degree to which you will find mental happiness, I believe. Is your story selfish? Is your story boring? Is your story selfless? Is your story exciting? By and large, you get to decide what you do with your life. You get to decide the story you will tell with your life. And the beauty of it is that it doesn't matter what happens to you, or who wrongs you. You still decide the story that your life tells. Someone wrongs you? That's an opportunity to tell a story of forgiveness. Forced to make a decision about life? How would you feel if the story was shown on the big screen? One of the biggest problem areas in relationships that I see is in the area of what story will we tell as a couple? What does it mean for us to tell a love story? I have found the greater the difference between the story each person thought they would be telling and the actual story they are telling is proportionate to the amount of angst and frustration in their relationship story. So two questions for you:
  1. What story did you want to tell with your life?
  2. What story are you telling with your life?

Change. What do you believe?

Recently, I asked a client what they believed about change. They shared this with me and gave me permission to share it with you. What I believe about change...
Change involves risk. Change requires courage. Change requires an acceptance that you don't have all of the answers. Change requires a desire to change. Change requires time and commitment. Change requires you to do things differently. Change involves objective thinking. Change is possible.
What do you believe about change?

The four steps of trust restoration

Restoring trust in a relationship can be one of the most difficult things that anyone has to do. Many people think that trust must be earned. I used to be one of those people. Now, I often urge people that ultimately, trust must be given. It can never be earned. That doesn’t mean it should be without boundaries. In fact it should have good boundaries. I believe there are four steps to restoring trust in any relationship. These steps are linear and usually have to be followed in order. Those steps are:
  1. Both people have to agree there is a problem
  2. Clear, measurable action steps need to be identified and agreed upon.
  3. Time has to be given for the action steps to be followed (this is in itself an act of trust with boundaries).
  4. Trust has to be given.
What do you think? How could these steps help restore trust in a relationship you are in or know of?