Although I may not always respond or acknowledge (I’m working on that as well as my communication skills) I truly appreciate and value every response. Whether it is a like or sharing some words. It’s not natural or always easy for me to share. I’ve lived as though I’ve had something to hide for most of my life. Some who have known me longer might say I was very quite or shy. Then through sharing, listening and being vulnerable I’ve learned that a lot of us have similar feelings even if the actual circumstances are different or unique. This has given me and fed the urge to share. With this sharing I do my best to be intentional with my words and with my feelings. I hope to never offend or upset. Rather inspire and promote thoughts or questions. As I said before… the older I get the more questions I have. I believe our lives and the way we live our lives as a society deserves thought and questioning. Not in a way of making wrong or causing hate and upset. But in a way of making conscience choices based on our current level of knowledge. For me the times where I grow is when I obtain or experience a different perspective. A way of looking at something through a different lens. I believe everyone’s perspective has value no matter how offensive, thoughtful or ignorant it may appear. We all have lived through valuable experiences that shaped this perspective. So rather than arguing or just agreeing I invite us all to listen and ask questions so we can better understand each other and grow together. Because honestly no matter what your race, color , religion or belief is. You should take a moment to consider how it is just a miracle and incredible we are all here at this same moment in time.
I’ve been really struggling lately with the realization that I won’t be home and able to spend as much time with my wife and daughter. For those who don’t know. We sold our home in CA and moved to AZ in July last year. This move was thought about for years but also there was a lot I never thought about. Since Charlotte was born 23 months ago I’ve been blessed with being able to be home the huge majority of the time. Something most fathers and some mothers do not have the luxury of experiencing. I’ve been present and able to create a unique bond with my family which has allowed us to grow and become closer. It makes me think about the impact this will have going forward. The impact on me is profound but I’m curious the impact on my daughter. Based on current situations I’m not sure the next child (when we decide to have one) will get the same time Charlotte received. It’s kinda like a real life experiment with real life results. I try not to project to far into the future but as I get older life seems to leave me with more questions than answers. I find myself questioning whether providing a certain lifestyle and certain luxuries are really going to matter. Or if my time/presence is more valuable than any object or lifestyle I could provide. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’m not looking for sympathy as I know how fortunate I am just to be here. In my heart I believe my time/presence is more valuable than anything but I constantly struggle with the balance aspect. Where is that line… when and where should I cross it?
I always dreamt of having a little girl. Holding her, loving her and raising her. What I did not expect was the profound love I would receive in return. This girl is a lover of all things. Whether you are a person , animal or tree. She gently touches and smells the flowers as she walks by. She gently pets our dog Ziggy and says good boy. She says hello and lovingly touches the trees she encounters. She wraps her arms around your neck squeezing tight and says I love you. She is so deeply and thoughtfully connected with her surroundings. Sometimes I feel as if I’m the one being raised and she is the one to look up to. Her kindness and genuine love constantly remind me of what is true and what is valuable in life. That is just one of the many things my daughter taught me.
We spent a few days up at the beautiful Lake Arrowhead, CA with some family. Even on vacation in an amazing place I find myself worrying about the past and the future. Not being present enjoying the gorgeous scenery and the time with my family. I don’t know about you, but I usually seem to get distracted and caught up in my thoughts about work, stuff I need to do or just silly unnecessary baloney. It really takes a pep talk with myself to snap out of it and realize that this moment right now is what I need to be focused on. The work. The stuff. The baloney. It will all be there waiting for me. Dwelling on them does nothing but create anxiety and an absence from the moments happening now. One thing I’ve noticed is the pep talks get shorter and easier the more I do it. So next time you feel yourself distracted and not in the present moment just focus on your breath and remind yourself that this moment right now is all you need to focus on. We may not be able to slow down time, but we can be more focused and present with the time we do have.
Guilt and vulnerability. Two words and feelings that usually do not go together. In my own life guilt has consumed me. It has ended relationships. It has hurt those that I love. Most of all it has hurt myself and shaped the way I interact with people daily. Guilt does not always mean that you have actually done something wrong or hurtful. For me guilt comes from not feeling adequate. Not being able to meet someone’s needs or wants. Not being able to relate or understand someone’s feelings. Guilt has many forms. I find when I come from a place of guilt I become more defensive and close minded. The guilt does not allow me to be vulnerable. When I am vulnerable I can get my feelings/point across in a respectful and positive manner. I can actually connect with people. When it comes from a place of guilt… look out!
There is a saying, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. My wife always laughs at me and wonders where the heck I learned all these old sayings. I guess I was just lucky enough to encounter some wise old souls in my lifetime.
Treating people with respect and being vulnerable really does create a positive interaction the majority of the time. We can disagree or have a different point of view without feeling guilty. We can still relate and connect even though we do not see eye to eye. There was a quote I found from The Huffington Post website from a blog written by Charlie Maffei. (I will post the link below at the end) The quote goes: “Being nice to nice people is great, but being nice to those who are not nice to you is how the world becomes better. We should not want to defeat or humiliate those we don’t agree with but to win their friendship and understanding.” I know from experience that it is not always easy. Some people have some outrageous point of views. But that is the beauty of being human. We all have a different experience of life and life’s little situations. We do not always have to agree with everything and everyone. But we should at least be open and vulnerable enough to listen and try to understand. We can simply take some thing positive or what works for us from a conversation or article. Then simply just let what you don’t agree with or understand go. I feel if we just tried to understand other people’s views rather than argue we would learn a lot more about them and ourselves. So I invite you to really listen and be vulnerable next time you have a conversation, read or watch something. You may not succeed every time and that is okay. It is about trying, being aware and recognizing what guilt and vulnerability mean to you.
I do not agree with or relate to everything in the article in the link above. But I did take away something positive and it was very enlightening to see a different point of view. Just as you may not agree with or relate to everything I write about. But my hope is that something you read or experience sparks you to find peace in your guilt and comfort in your vulnerability.
Below are some wonderful words. Inspiration comes from many things. Mine happens to come from the ones I love most. Where does your inspiration come from? Remind yourself daily 🙂 Enjoy!
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”