This past week has been interesting as I laid to rest a 6 year dream of mine. As someone who often plans years in advance, it was a disappointment that the hundreds of choices I made that were in line with this dream were all for naught. I knew it was coming and I knew that it would be uncomfortable but I misjudged the level of non comfort I would feel. Dreams can be one of the things in our lives that inspire us to hope. It’s interesting how I was so convinced at one point that I would have my dream fulfilled but as time passed, I saw it escaping my grasp until it was gone completely. And there was nothing I could do about it. I think that we’ve all been in places where things have happened out of our control that we can’t fix. The crushing of a dream requires an evaluation of one’s life and goals. You think in a different way because your thoughts are no longer filtered through the lens of your dream. The finality of that fact might be both a blessing and a curse because it requires an adjustment of thought. However, we have to acknowledge the change in our lives and in some situations fill the gap of the dead dream with another dream that we can pursue. We can take the “L” and move on with the knowledge that we learned something worthwhile from the experience despite the discomfort at the end.
This was an interesting article that caught my eye. There are so many definitions of a what a good woman is that honestly vary from person to person. One’s childhood, culture, and also environment also play a huge role in their personal definition of a good woman. While some of the guidelines or signs were very markedly traditional, I think that they speak to many of the societal expectations of womanhood today.
Nothing like some good old-fashioned satire. While this article is funny, it reminded me of a couples therapy book that I have been reading. In it the author asserts that most arguments in marriages are impossible to resolve and that the biggest predictor of the longevity of a marriage is the way that a couple argues and how they repair the relationship as they go through hard times. But this article was pretty funny…
While doing some very needed spring/summer cleaning I came across some notes that I wrote from someone’s presentation about four years ago. While I don’t remember their name, I do remember being more than slightly annoyed that the presentation took about two hours to get through ten points. However, in order to stay awake, I wrote down the ten points. And, I’m posting them so that I can continue throwing random pieces of paper away instead of saying “I should post this on the blog sometime.” Here goes:
1. Never be satisfied- Don’t be content with your present condition or position.
2. Be single-minded -Stick with what you start and be focused.
3. Don’t look back- Don’t be fixated by past experiences
4. Go Forward- Don’t procrastinate. Act. Set a date and get started.
5. Press On- Continue what you start
6. Be motivated from above
7. Adopt a mindset of a pace-setter. Go for something and don’t settle for status quo. Put the quo in the status.
8. Draw inspiration from positive role models
9. Keep away from the wrong crowd and from people who make it their job to discourage you.
10. Keep your eyes on the prize.
Listening seems to be a skill that has lost value over the past few years. While people hear, they very rarely take the time to listen. I remember experiencing this as a younger child of three. My grandparents were in town and I was riding with them. Consequently, they got turned around and I as the non-directionally challenged three year old proceeded to tell them how to get to our destination. For some odd reason, my grandparents decided that the word of a three year old wasn’t valid so they proceeded to ignore my directions and ask people around them. Finally after about an hour of driving they decided to give my directions a try and they ended up right where we needed to be. I say all this to say that listening is a lot harder than merely hearing. Listening involves putting your own agenda to the side and devoting your attention and focus to the words of the other individual. It means that you aren’t day dreaming about vacation or your grocery shopping list while they are talking. Listening gives you insights you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. It challenges you to think differently and to develop empathy and understanding of the other person’s viewpoint or perspective. I’ve listening to many a person and heard what they were trying to say but weren’t really saying. Complaining about a spouse’s job or time spent with their friends sometimes meant, “I’m feeling neglected and want you to invest some of your time and energy in me.” Yet, their message wasn’t getting through because their spouse wasn’t really listening to what they were trying to say. Being deliberate in taking the time to really listen will make a difference. Guaranteed.
I feel like so much time is spent on people’s feelings. I say this in the context of therapy and relationships. Feelings aren’t necessarily bad but they can blind us as to what’s going on. Almost everyone can think of a time where they didn’t want to do something or didn’t feel like doing something but yet they did it anyway. Were their feelings any less valid? No. Most probably had a legitimate reason to feel the way that they did. One thing I found myself thinking about this week was that our feelings are always valid. This means that we feel the way we do for a variety of reasons that don’t require an explanation. While the feelings are always valid, they are sometimes not relevant. This means that we have to take the time to look beyond what’s now. While validating our own feelings we can also acknowledge the fact that at times feelings are completely irrelevant. Meaning that while they can be uncomfortable, we can’t afford to base our lives on the shaky foundation of how we feel.
So I was recently introduced to this guy’s voice though an awesome 15 second video on IG. I’ve been “youtubing” his stuff ever since. As somewhat of a music nerd, I’m always impressed with voices that sound flawless without artificial assistance. This video is a few years old but if you were to listen to his newer stuff you would see a change in the level of his control and the cleanness of his runs. First off, I love Musiq Soulchild but I honestly think that this rendition might be better than the original. It’s a GREAT song that pretty much anyone can relate to. I have such an appreciation for people with incredible voices like his that have such a clear quality.
During a conversation that I had earlier this week, someone said to me that there’s a fine line between strategy and manipulation and we cross that line all the time. It really made me think about all the times that we do things that would normally be characterized as manipulative but are actually strategic. Therapists do this all the time with clients. The thing is that the difference between being manipulative and being strategic is that when you’re strategic you have the other person’s well being as a priority. Being manipulative is more self serving. This automatically made me think of all the times that people have manipulated situations or people for the sake of getting or appearing good to a potential significant other. Some might argue that these actions are more strategic than manipulative. I think that they can go either way. If you’re sincerely convinced that your presence in the daily life of your potential significant other will enhance or benefit them in some way, you’re more on the strategic end of the fine line. In no way am I advocating for stalking and not taking “no” for an answer, but we have to realize that there are times we have to strategize in order to get an actual chance. Sometimes you just have to know what end result you want and strategize backwards in order to get it because it’s the only plausible option. Because the line between manipulation and strategy can be so blurred, examining your motives can be one of the only ways you can know what side of the fence you’re on.
I’ve always been someone who liked to take pictures. From the moment that I got my first cell phone with a camera, I liked keeping a picture gallery of some of my experiences. While I’ve never been a fan of being in pictures, I have always recognized the significance and sometimes even the importance of capturing a memory in the form of a picture. However, one thing that I have noticed is that some moments do not require a photograph. There have been so many great moments that have happened where I’ve reached for my phone to take a picture but stopped. I think that that there are some moments in our lives that don’t require a photograph because taking one would in some way cheapen the moment. There are some things we experience in life that should be remembered by the feelings associated with the experience instead of pictures. While journaling can be another way of remembering experiences, there are some moments that are so special and significant in one’s life that words and pictures will never be able to fully capture the essence, experience, and the feelings associated with that event. The truth is that while a picture can be worth a thousand words, a memory can be worth a million. The experience in itself is worth it. Enjoying the moment, basking in the present and mentally filing it away without the visual aid of a photograph can make it that much more meaningful. Knowing that you won’t have a photograph to remember it by makes you all the more vigilant about capturing the experience through as many of your five senses as possible. It’s a far cry from looking through a photo album and reminiscing but can be so much better because you don’t have a photograph to remember the moment by and as a result, you remember more. Taking the time to live in the moment can help you to not have regrets later.
This article really made me think. The author brings up some great points about teaching children that they have the right to say “no.” While I don’t think that this example is extreme, I do think that more of a middle ground could be created between sharing and not sharing. The truth is that many people in the world don’t share but I don’t know if that’s a real life lesson that should be demonstrated to a toddler. Fostering a good sense of empathy might naturally lead to more sharing as opposed to just teaching it as a behavior.