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Friday, September 5, 2014

Understanding how to love...














Currently, with tremendous strain, I can bench press 280 lbs. one rep. But, I don’t. Instead, three days per week, I bench press 150 lbs. 20 reps, then I drop to 100 lbs. and bench press another 20 reps. Guys all boast how much they can bench press one rep because it sounds impressive. However, it’s truly a specious exercise – they’re not building endurance or true fitness because they’re only doing it once, lifting beyond their real capacity. Me, I choose to lift less weight at higher reps because I want to build meaningful fitness to my genuine capacity.






It’s a lesson from the gym that’s even more important in our relationships. We should only represent ourselves to our truest capacities, as well as recognize the true capacities in our partners. Otherwise, relationships fail and people get hurt.






All of us mean well going into relationships. We put our best self forward and we see only the best in our love interest. Yet, it’s so easy to get caught up in that which we’re not. We want to be what the other person seeks, and we want him or her to be what we seek. And, it all works perfectly – that is, till we realize one or both of us are beyond our capacities. It’s like my bench pressing 280 lbs. I can do it once to impress, but I can’t sustain that level. If you want the real me, I bench press 120 lbs. really well.






In relationships it’s vital that we know our true capacities from the start, adhere to them, and truly recognize our love interest’s capacities. It’s just being honest, and when we do this, it dramatically reduces the odds of someone getting hurt.






Yet, it’s tough to do. It’s so hard because ideals don’t always align with reality. What we want in a relationship can be the antithesis of what we’re capable of. There are classic examples we all can relate with. Someone wants a relationship, but makes no time for it. Someone wants a relationship, but is emotionally still buried in a past one. Someone wants a relationship, but doesn’t have the emotional health to cultivate it. We’ve all done this, experienced this or witnessed this – and it only results in pain.






Bishop T.D. Jakes talks about the importance of realizing our capacities for love and how they vary based on who we are and what we’ve been through. He uses the metaphor that if we’re 10-gallon people looking to be filled with love, we’re never going to be filled by someone who only has an ounce to offer. By the same token, if we only have an ounce to offer, that’s fine, but let’s know that we can’t promise to give more than we have. There’s no right answer, just an honest one.


In this way, we must approach a relationship with accountability on our part, and clarity toward our partner’s capacities. We may want a certain type of relationship, but are we capable of it, and are we being honest and fair to our partner? And, are we able to view our partner with clarity, ensuring he or she is capable of the relationship?






The key to this is utter honesty and following our instincts. If we overextend our capacities in any way, it never feels right, and we have an obligation to stop it or, ideally, be authentic enough not to do it in the first place. Similarly, if our partner’s words are contradicted by actions or circumstances, don’t overlook that. Recognize each other’s true capacities and respect them because if you don’t, someone will get hurt.






Now, this isn’t psycho babble or new-age psychology, but common-sense life experience. I’ve been on both sides, as many of us have. I’ve tried to be someone who I wasn’t, and it didn’t work. And, I’ve overlooked signs in others that I shouldn’t have. There was no ill will in any of it, just intentions wishful beyond our capacities. What I learned in the process, though, is that there’s ultimate joy in being authentic in acknowledging both our own true capacities. Maybe the relationship will reveal itself as soul mates or prove unrealistic. It’s the variables of love. But, the beauty in being authentic in our capacities is that we have the honesty, authenticity and courage to just be us.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Time to be happy again

 
Often, it’s our obligation to make things right. If we don’t, then we, too, are perpetuating a wrong or injustice, further harming others. No, I don’t mean make things right because we’ve intentionally done wrong.

Rather, I mean that if there’s a cycle of dysfunction, we must have the courage, wisdom, and tenacity to say, Enough! This destructive pattern not only stops with me, but actually changes with me. It’s a really powerful process where you, as a lone person, can change your life, your family tree, and the lives of many around you.

We unfortunately are cyclical creatures, following the pack. Although we have free will and astounding amounts of opportunity, we rarely use it. We know that our life paths are alarmingly dictated by those of most influence in our lives. The surest way to be a parent is if your parents were  parents. The surest way to become an alcoholic is have parents who were alcoholics. And, the surest way to being a terrible boss is to be groomed by a terrible boss. These risk factors create systemic, generational wrongs – and they go on and on.

And, it’s up to us – and only us – to stop them. No rule book said that if my parents were uneducated, impoverished, alcoholic-addicts, I had to follow that path. Sure, statistics said YES. However,  your not a statistic unless you make yourself one. I’m an individual. And, I’ve long known that I alone had the power to right the wrongs in my life – and I continue working at that every day. This is my life and no one dictates its potential but me. This took a long time for me to discover but I have. I had to have me world broken down and who knows if my world will ever fully recovery but today is the beginning. Its time to be happy again, time to be happy for real. Be true to myself and work hard at staying true without reliving the path that I once followed

Breaking the cycle isn’t easy. I'm been there, and it’s a never-ending process. It’s a difficult journey because there’s no road map and usually no support. I am lucky however because on my journey my wife has decide to stay with me and help me see it through.

It’s like walking on ice for decades, where as long as you stay up, you’re fine, and the fear of losing footing keeps you laser focused on every move you make. Yet, the struggle is motivating, righting wrongs is empowering, and breaking cycles is liberating. You may have been born into it, but you can likewise grow out of it. Heritage, genetics, environment, upbringing – you can be more than all of it. Right the wrongs, break the cycles, and live to your potential.

On a final note; I want to say one more thing. A idol of my passed away Robin Williams. He truly was one of the people in this world who made me happy. He made me laugh and his energy was intoxicating but unknown to most where his demons; demons which seemed to  have won a fight.

What I ask is this; please remember we all have demons, we all face demons each and every day. No one is pure. Be true to yourself and face those demons; find help because you are not alone. Be remembered as Robin is; for what you gave to this world, not how you left it.