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Showing posts with label love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love. Show all posts

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Loneliness is such a sad affair

It's amazing, we live in cities with tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions of people, yet we somehow find a way to be lonely.  I'm not necessarily saying lonely all the time, but you know we all have our moments.  For some people, the moments are occasional, but for others the moments are lasting and seemingly without end.

The anniversary of my marriage was the other day.  We were pretty low key about it.  It's not that we didn't consider it important, but we consider it a step in a lifelong process. In my first marriage, we focused too much on reaching and celebrating the milestones and not enough time on the health of the relationship.  So, for me, I look forward to us working together and letting the milestones come naturally and then taking time to celebrate them rather than making a production of reaching and planning them.   We've had many really good moments in which it all seems to click, but we've also had growing pains.  Unfortunately, blended families rarely work as smoothly as The Brady Bunch.  There is a period of time it takes for everyone to get know and trust each other  Anyway, our schedules do not always permit us to spend us much time as we'd like getting to know each other and/or discussing what we need to.  Any married couple with two working parents, I'm sure can relate.  This leads to moments of loneliness in which we feel the other can't always be there for our daily life challenges, concerns or triumphs.  So, it is our goal in the next year to find enough or make enough 'us' time to help with that.

This all got me to thinking about loneliness.  I believe everyone has times of loneliness in which they realize it is just them and their Higher Power (God).  For example, my wife is aware of and empathizes with my current neck injury and I her knee injury, but neither of us has experienced the specific injury problem/level of the other.  Therefore, there is a certain amount of loneliness we have in dealing with our injuries.  I imagine when a spouse has cancer it is sort of like that too.  You support him or her as much as you can, but ultimately, they have to be the one who battles it.


So, how would I classify the types of loneliness.  Based on what I've experienced, on what I've seen in others and on what I can surmise, here is a breakdown of loneliness.

  • Where you miss the closeness of family.  The following are circumstances that could lead to familial loneliness. 
    • Your family of origin is not very close-knit.  For whatever reasons the bonds you see in 'perfect' families never fully took, stuck or were available.  
      • You never really knew your family--this can either be immediate family (such as a missing parent) or extended family (such as aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents).
      • You knew them but for whatever reason or dysfunction there was a lack of closeness.
    • You family of origin is scattered or busy.  Getting together can be an undertaking in some circumstances.
    • Your family of origin has been decimated.  As we get older we lose those who have been a fixture of our family.  This can secondarily lead to a breakdown of remaining family.  Unfortunately, for me, this type of circumstance has hit close to home.
  • Where you miss the closeness of friends.  The following are circumstances that could lead to this type of loneliness.
    • You have few if any friends.  
      • No man is an island.  We all need to be part of a bigger gang.
      • People are generally social creatures and best thrive when surrounded by friends.
    • You have few close friends
      • You may have a lot of acquaintances, people you see at work, church or wherever.
      • However, at the end of the day, you may not really have much of anyone to be able to call on.  To me that is the definition of closeness.
    • You have close friends, but they are often unavailable.
      • They have a busy schedule and it is hard to find time with them.
      • You are separated by significant distance and it is hard to get together easily with them.
  • Where you miss the closeness of a romantic relationship/marriage family.  The following are circumstances that could lead to relational loneliness
    • You are single and unattached.  While being single has its perks, one of the drawbacks is not having someone to curl up with and hear "I love you".
    • You have a relationship/marriage which is by strife and disconnect.  Relationships on balance are meant to be a safe place for us.  One where we can share our joys, fears and all other feelings in between.  When this is limited or nonexistent in a relationship, it can feel vary isolated.  Isolation of course can lead to the disintegration of a relationship.

  • Where you wonder about your role.
    • Sometimes we might seem like we are just another cog in the wheel at our job.
    • Sometimes we wonder if we were not present, would anyone care that much.
    • Sometimes in our group (friends/family/etc), we can be just another voice and not necessarily feel like an important one.
    • Sometimes we might wonder about our role in the cosmic scheme.  That is do we matter to or in our Higher Power's universe (God).
  • Where you wonder about your impact.
    • Sometimes we wonder if we are making a positive difference in the lives of others.
    • Sometimes we wonder if we are raising our children in the best way.  That is are we being the best leader.
    • Sometimes we wonder if we are doing anything significant in the world are or we just replaceable?
  • Where you wonder about your legacy.
    • Sometimes we wonder if we were gone if we'd be forgotten or missed that much.
    • Sometimes we wonder if after we are long gone will there be any sign that we mattered.
      • Lasting impact in the lives of others--lives that we positively changed.
      • A 'monument' to what we left behind.  It could be things we built or created, ideas/concepts/writings that we shared, a marker that we mattered somewhere.
  • Where you wonder about your eternal destiny.
    • We think about this during our lives, but we might consider it more as our health starts to deteriorate.
    • We might wonder if we be 'punished' or 'rewarded' for the life we lived and the ideal we tried to follow.
    • We might wonder if we will see those we lost along the way.
    • We might wonder if we will even have any sense of self or awareness after the final curtain has gone down.
    • We might wonder if there is any real existence after this life has passed.  (All we are is dust in the wind?)


As I indicated previously, I believe that everyone experiences loneliness of a sort at some time or another in their life.  I think it's unavoidable and can even be beneficial in that it can help clarify who or what really matters in our life.  As social creatures if we feel too much loneliness, I believe we have a tendency to try to assuage it.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, I believe we have to keep a few questions in mind when trying to lessen or assuage loneliness.

  • Is the amount of 'loneliness' we feel reasonable to expect or feel, especially relative to our situation?  
    • Is it excessive and indicates a mental health issue?
    • Is it excessive and indicates a need to interact or connect more with others?
  • Are we spending too much time, effort and trouble trying to 'remedy' it and not enough effort accepting it as 'part of life'.
    • We can recognize some loneliness is okay and doesn't need to be 'cured'.
    • We can recognize our efforts to 'cure' our loneliness may be way out of wack with the extent of loneliness we are feeling.
      • Just because we are feeling kind of lonely doesn't mean we have to go out every night looking for others to 'cure' it.
  • Are we mistaking the type(s) of loneliness we are feeling?
    • If we feel too much existential loneliness, trying to deal with or 'cure' it with a relationship is probably a mistake.
      • Family/friends can support us, but they can't be our reason for being or our crutch to avoid dealing with existential loneliness.
      • If we focus on using relationships to solve our existential loneliness, we may end up with too many, too new, too involved, too entangled or some other unhealthy relationship issue.  Ultimately, while others can help support us and help us walk through life, it is up to our and our Higher Power to work out the existential questions.
    • If we feel too much relational loneliness, trying to 'cure' it with an 'existential' solution is likely a mistake.
      • While it is important for us to feel like and be driven by a purpose in life, a purpose will not replace the benefits of healthy relationships with others.
      • While it is important to focus on our purpose, we can't necessarily focus on a purpose 24/7/365.  Even if we throw our lives into a purpose, there will be downtimes in which it will be hard to relational loneliness.
    • Like resentment, we can only ignore or suppress relational loneliness for so long before it blows up in our face.
      • We will search for an outlet to 'fix' it and it may not be a very healthy one.
      • Our purpose may very well suffer if it has to compete with too much relational loneliness.

I guess my takeaway on the matter of loneliness would ultimately be this:
  • Some loneliness is okay and even expected.  It can also be a positive driver for change.
  • It is important to know when work on changing it and when to learn to accept it (serenity).
  • It is important to recognize the type and degree of loneliness you are facing so you can address it the proper way.
  • At the end of the day, after we strip it all away, it is between us and our Higher Power, but we are given the gift of family and friends just as Adam was in Genesis to support us in life.

Loneliness can be such a sad affair, but like much else in life it is how you choose to deal or cope with it when it is present that can help determine just how sad it is.

This is one of the most hauntingly sad songs that I've heard.  Knowing how she lived and died and how alone she must have felt as she struggled with anorexia 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The heart doesn't care what is proper...

I was reviewing some of the topics I've set aside to write on, but haven't and this one seemed appropriate with Valentine's Day coming up.  I remember a time in the past in which my heart wanted a situation to work out which my head said it wouldn't.  Yet my heart insisted that's what it wanted.  Anyway, even though the situation would have been allowed, it wasn't for the best (age difference, different points) and probably would be frowned upon.  Yet, I couldn't turn off my feelings just because maybe I knew it wasn't for the best and that society and those close might frown upon it.  I know sometimes love or feelings bloom between two people who by virtue of social mores are not considered 'appropriate', but the fact remains that the feelings are there.

I thought I'd written about how grief doesn't care about social expectations, but I don't see it now.  I will either find it or write my thoughts on it.  Like grief which occurs on its own terms, the heart doesn't care what's proper either. We love (or don't love) whom our heart tells us to.   I'm going to divide this idea into three categories.


We've seen the perfect couple on paper.  They both are smart, nice looking, have a lot in common and they may eventually even get married.  But, they seem to struggle, they drift apart and wake up one day realizing that they have nothing and perhaps they maybe never truly did.  In some ways, the life of their relationship may have resembled my purchase of my 2004 Dodge Neon with the backstory below.  Anyway, the selection of the 2004 Dodge Neon was like a relationship that looks great on paper and seems to meet one's needs, but is lacking that love or chemistry or feel.  Just like I bought the 'practical' car which I ended up being blah about, people may 'buy' such relationships, but never have their heart truly 100% into it.


In the meantime, we've seen couples that seemed very mismatched.  One is much older, much more 'successful', much more 'attractive' (according to worldly standards), much different personality-wised, or some other such differences.  Yet, there is deep love and connection between the two that defies convention or in some cases what society deems is best.  Take the example of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  He was clearly magnitudes more talented than her musically.  He was British by birth and she was Japanese by birth.  They were raised in different religious backgrounds. Also, he was married to someone else at the time when they met.  Furthermore, she was blamed for the breakup of the Beatles.  On paper, they looked like a serious mismatch.  Yet, by all accounts their relationship was the happiest point in John's life.  His heart didn't care what was considered proper or what society approved of.  His heart loved Yoko for Yoko.


The third category is situations which are not considered appropriate due to age, ethical or other similar type considerations.  We've seen this in various stories about inappropriate teacher/student, therapist/client,  doctor/patient, police officer/criminal type, honors student/bad boy (or girl)  'relationships'.  In these situations, there is a certain excitement with the forbidden.  There is a certain chemistry each finds in the other, but there is usually a certain understanding between the parties that relationship is not terribly appropriate.  Sometimes, the head screams "DISASTER" or "WRONG", but the heart says, "I LOVE" and it doesn't matter what our head tells us, our heart is pulled a certain way.


The heart has this funny way of knowing what is important to it and gravitating towards it.  The heart doesn't think to itself I know this relationship is wrong or right.  Neither does the heart make a list of why a relationship is appropriate or not or fitting or not.  The heart just tells us honestly what it feels.  I'm not saying we should pursue what the heart tells us to, nor should necessarily mind it when it  rejects.  However, it is important that we not ignore our heart either.  We do so at our own peril.  If the heart isn't at least acknowledged, I believe it can ultimately bleed into our lives in an unhealthy way--drinking, gambling, drugs, acing out, etc.  If the situation is not appropriate due to legal or ethical issues, it is important to deal what is driving the heart towards the situation instead of indulging it.  If a situation does not have legal or ethical hurdles, it is important to explore whether the situation is healthy for us before pursuing it.  If it is clearly unhealthy, yet you want to pursue it, it is important to address the underlying driver for that.  If a situation doesn't appear to have ethical or legal problems and doesn't appear to be unhealthy, it is still important to be honest with yourself and ask yourself if your heart is into it or if it is just your mind telling you to pursue it.  It is just as important to recognize and be honest with yourself what you are drawing (or trying to) from the relationship.  In other words, are you in it for the right reasons.

My final takeaway, acknowledge and address your heart, but don't let your heart run the show by itself.  Similarly, while it is important to not let your mind clinically determine if a relationship is right for you, your mind should not ignored either.  Many relationships run directly from the heart have lit the sky like a supernova only to collapse in disaster.  While many that seem to be more subdued have grown to shine more over time as the couple really gets to know and appreciate each other.

Don't let the heart rule, while the mind drools.
But don't let mind dictate, while the heart waits.

* Backstory of my 2004 Dodge Neon:  I decided to replace my 1997 Ford Escort.  I had previously owned  a Dodge Shadow which I was comfortable with and was looking for something similar.  In doing a little research, I found that the Dodge Neon was a follow-up to the Dodge Shadow with better performance.  So, to me, it seemed like a practical and reasonable choice.  On paper the price and specs seemed to right for my needs, but when I test drove it, it didn't feel quite right.  I figured it was because I was used to my Ford Escort and that in time I'd get used to it my new car.  The funny thing is that I never did get used to it and when I rented another car a couple years later, I liked the rental better.  Eventually I got rid of the Neon for a car like the rental.  Just like two people who match well on paper, the Neon and I seemed like a great fit, but in the real world, I never felt it.

If you like this post try the following: 

Relationship term meanings - not the Webster Dictionary version.
Love transcends time... An appropriate song...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

What is your "Piano in the Dark"?

Some songs just grab your attention for reasons you don't know and one day when you are listening to it many years later, their meaning hits you and you realize that there is probably a reason you have always loved or connected with the song.

In the late 1980s, Brenda Russell co-wrote and recorded Piano in the Dark.  The concept is at once both simple and involved.  The words and the music are powerful.  In the song, Ms. Russell's character is at a very disconnected place in her relationship.  It feels dead to her.   She's thinking she's strong enough to call it quits.  But, her mate knows how to reach her and as she is getting ready to leave, he plays the piano for her and she realizes that she still loves him.

For me "Piano in the Dark" is a synonym for that special something about your significant other pulls you in, that keeps you from leaving.  It is that special something about him or her that you just can't live without.

This got me to thinking the subject matter.  In your relationship, do you have that special something that your mate does, says or is about him/her that you can hold onto?  What is it about your relationship that keeps you there even through the rough spots?  This blog is essentially about what keeps people in relationships, even through the rough patches.

From what I see the following are one or more reason why people stay in relationships even through turbulent times, not necessarily in order of constructive:

  • Comfort factor.  Sometimes we've been with someone so long that the relationship feels like a well worn shoe.  In other words, not elegant, not necessarily even warm fuzzy, but comfortable.  Stephen Stills: Love the One Your With
  • Functional factor.  This can be for raising kid(s) together, convenient living arrangement, appearances, etc.   Sometimes, this can be a consideration or The Consideration.
  • Fear of the unknown or codependence factor.  Sometimes, the idea of 'starting over' is too overwhelming and it just seems easier just to stay together.  Sometimes, the idea of being without a someone, even if that someone doesn't treat us right, can be daunting, especially if we haven't spent enough time on ourselves.
  •  Honorable factor.  This can take the form of staying together for the sake of the kids or staying together because of a commitment to the Father or something similar.  I believe that these are good reasons to stay together in a lot of cases.  Definitely, take the children into account and definitely if you are married, don't think that a vow before God should be taken lightly.  Too many people do that.
  • Special factor.  There really is that something special about the other person that keeps drawing you to them.  It can be that voice, the way they are good with the kids, that sense of humor, that sweetness about them, the way they love you.  John Michael Montgomery: I Love the Way You Love Me

I would say we all, but there are some that don't care.  But most people hope that find that someone special and that what made their mate special will always light up a glow in their heart.  So, I will focus the rest of the blog entry on that.

I believe that it is important to spend a few moments from time to time in contemplation and prayer.  Remembering what it is about our mate that we love and to remind them from time to time why we love them.  Life can get hectic, difficult and/or cloudy and it is important to establish a pattern of keeping in mind what we like about our significant other.  But, perhaps even more importantly, spending a few minutes letting them know we are thinking about them.

So, I guess I will end this as a I started this by asking what is your "Piano in the Dark".  For me, it is my wife's warmth, the way she appreciates me--especially the side I don't like to publicly show and the way she cares for my daughter.  It helps that she's got that Creek Indian look about her ;-)

But, I digress, I challenge to find, remember or express what is your "Piano in the Dark".


When I find myself watching the time
I never think about all the funny things you said
I feel like it's dead
Where is it leading me now
I turn around in the still of the room
Knowing this is when I'm gonna make my move
Can't wait any longer
And I'm feeling stronger but oh
Just as I walk through the door
I can feel your emotion
It's pullin' me back
Back to love you
I know I'm caught up in the middle
I cry just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no, gave up on the riddle
I cry just a little
When he plays piano in the dark
He holds me close like a thief of the heart
He plays a melody
Born to tear me all apart
The silence is broken
And no words are spoken but oh
Just as I walk through the door
I can feel your emotion
It's pullin' me back
Back to love you
I know I'm caught up in the middle
I cry just a little
When I think of letting go
Oh no, gave up on the riddle
I cry just a little
When he plays piano in the dark

--Written by Scott Cutler, Jeff Hull, Brenda Russell

Saturday, August 13, 2016

What's love got to do with it?

I was at a concert the other day and noted how me and my friend Jennie each had someone with us that cared for and cared about us.  Anyone who knows my history knows that relationship have been something I've had to work at, but I digress.  But I can say that I have been loved along the way and that for some reason my wife Kristi seems to have warm fuzzy feelings towards me, even when I don't feel lovable.

I was thinking about my late brother and how he had never gotten married and never was even close to it.  I know one of things that always got to him was that he never truly felt loved.  He was loved more than he realized, but I digress. Thinking about that actually made me pretty sad, BUT it also made me realize something.   Finding someone who truly loves you is a blessing.

Anyway, in pondering the above, I also thought about what love is and what it isn't. What is is meant to be and what it isn't meant to be.

The bible speaks on love and marriage extensively, sometimes seemingly for and against it.  See below:

But, my understanding of love is this:

  • Love is not meant to validate us.  Our validation comes from our relationship to our higher power.   Love is a gift of our higher power to help us not feel alone, isolated and unappreciated. 
  • The love of another isn't meant to make us complete us, it is meant to complement us
  • Love shouldn't be to 'fix' or 'solve our problems', but instead free us from feeling alone and unappreciated such that we can with focus on dealing with the things we need to.  I think that's at least part of what the apostle Paul was saying in 1st Corinthians above. 
In short, love and marriage are meant to enrich us, not to replace what is missing in us.  Love is meant to be beneficial to both parties and not to feed into each other's dysfunctionality.

I guess my takeaway is rely on the your higher power (God) for your validation, but appreciate the value of love which He has provided for us.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Taking care of yourself: why it's not selfish to love yourself first

The past month has been a difficult one for me.  Some of which I will share here, some of which I won't.  (originally posted in April 2015)

The part I will share: My dad has Parkinson's and he is at a late stage.  He has lost the ability to eat by mouth, he has lost so much weight, he has lost almost all ability to take care of himself.  I've had to make DNR type decisions for him and put him on hospice.  To a lesser extent I've had to deal with family drama which is typical when multiple siblings are are involved.  As his POA, I've had to do what I think is best.  As he did not leave a living will, I've had to try to figure out what he would want and/or what is best for him.  Anyway, very depressing and definitely no fun.  After losing my mom last July, I'm starting to feel parent-less.  I've had a few other lesser things weighing on my mind too.  Some of which had got me down.

Anyway, I wasn't feeling my lovable self.   My girlfriend had noticed that too.  I've heard you have to love yourself first before you can love another.  There were days in which I felt like I wasn't throwing out as much warmth as she was.  I felt kind of bad about this and my instinct was what's wrong?

Within the past week, the cloud started lifting, part of which is my dad seems to have stabilized.  Also, I've come to better terms with his imminent passing.  The upbeat nature and warmth came out of hiding.   She noticed that.  I had noticed my capacity for warmth had diminished temporarily. but now that the clouds are lifting, I am back to my usual warm. My realization: if you don't take care of your own needs, up to and including feeling good about yourself,  you will not be in the position to love another the way you should.   She had been through her own losses fairly recently too, so God blessed me with someone who understands all this.


A side note, I previously had dated someone who had had her life collapse about her.  Instead of facing the demons, she sought a distraction in relationships.  I came to realize she didn't love me so much as she loved the distraction.   She was using the relationship as a means to find love for herself rather than processing and looking inward and seeing herself as having inherent God-given value.  Whenever my life needs would pull me away from seeing her, she'd take it personally.  She'd let me know that "she wasn't a priority".   I realized that to her I was part of a 2D vs. 3D relationship,


I guess my takeaways are this:

  • Be kind to yourself and take care of your own self-needs and you will be in the best position to give to another.
  • A supportive significant other will not try to 'fix' your problems/concerns, but will be there for you.  He/she will be there for you through the good and rough patches.
  • In healthy relationships, each partner understands the ebbs and flows in the other's life and doesn't personalize them. 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Letting go and letting God - The timing and art of letting go.

As some of you know two years ago (2014) I had two significant deaths.  One was a friend from a church group I was attending, the other was my mom.  In 2011, it was my brother Bill.  As many know, I had a divorce in 2011 as well and various relationship disappointments over time.

So, I've had a little bit of experience in losing and letting go.  I've noticed a few things about letting go and this isn't meant as a 'blame' blog, but rather an observation one.

1) Our society isn't built for the proper grief,  Maybe any modern society isn't, but I don't know.  It's funny one week you are burying your mom, the next week you are back at work.   It's like, well we are sorry your close loved one died, but time moves on, there are deadlines.  So, after a few days, suck it up and pretend like nothing happened and keep pressing on with your job.   I don't blame anyone in particular.  Everyone has a job to do and people rely on me.  They can't just wait around until my head stops spinning from the recent tragedy.  In other words, the world invariably has to move on at some point.  But, sometimes it feel a little bit insensitive.

2) Everyone says, I'm sorry to hear about your <lost love one>.   In my case, it was my mom last July.   I know they are and I appreciate them for that.  But, sometimes everyone is not really sure what to say.  I don't blame them, grief is not a subject taught in school.  It tends to be something we pick up on the fly.  My friend James, whom I love like a brother, lost his mom around the beginning of the century and his dad more recently.   I was a friend of the family to them.  I liked his parents, but I didn't have the day to day interaction with them.   I was sad for him and I was bothered that our circle lost two wonderful people and the world was a little less complete place because of that.  Alternatively, everyone who knew them was better off for knowing each of them.
     James, your parents really set the example of how to raise a family and how, as a couple, to treat each other.  You and Pat were very blessed, but you know that. :-)
Anyway, he first lost his mom and I attempted to comfort him along the way and then grieve with him.  But, I knew whatever I said/did, fell short.  I just couldn't relate.  When I lost my brother in 2011, it really hit home.  I finally understood the hurt of losing such a significant person in your life.  I was able to revisit the loss in the lives of friends and say, you know I get it.  Moving forward, I now know how badly it can hurt someone, and not just in an abstract way.

3) Grief, really doesn't care what anyone thinks.  Grief has its own wants and needs.   I could say, well, that person was just a friend I knew for a short amount of time, so it's silly that I should really bothered by their passing.   Society might say, it's been years since, he/she has died, you need to move on.  Grief says, I'm not ready to let go.  You can push aside grief, but invariably it is still there just waiting like a needy child to be comforted.    Now that I think about it, grief is a bit jealous.  It can demand your attention.

4) What is moving on, what it isn't.
    a) It isn't forgetting about that person.  It person/relationship was significant, this may never happen.  You don't have to spend all your waking moments thinking about them to honor them or the significance of them in your life.
    b) It isn't disrespecting that person's memory.  Going forward is not disrespecting, it is meeting healthy needs in your life,
    d) It is knowing that nothing you can do will change what happened.  It was time for the loved one to go or the relationship to end.
    e) "Going there" only from time to time, rather than focusing paralyzing time/attention on them.
    f) It is being able to look back more clearly at the timeline of the loss.

I guess, the takeaway for me, is to try to be respectful of the mourning of another.  Each person's needs are different.  The best thing you can do is keep the other in your prayers that God gives the proper healing they need, He does it in the time which is right for them and gives you the patience and understanding to accept it.

** Since this was originally posted, my dad passed away at the age of 74 (May 1, 2015)


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Stages of relationships and love

In honor of Valentine's day, I am blogging about the stages of love and relationships.  These may differ for everyone.  Anyway, here goes.

Meeting stage:
1) Meeting stage--online or in person.   They first catch you attention.
2) Thinking about them stage.  Wondering if they might be interested in you.

Initial realization stage:
3) Denial that you like them.  This is triggered by the need for self protection, aka not getting shot down or hurt.
4) Admitting you like them.  It can be in a dream, daydream or just realizing you can't get them off your mind.
5) Initial curiosity if he/she could be the one.  The other person is an angel to you and can do little wrong.
6)  Asking him/her out.  This is the concession that you'll go nuts if you don't ask them out.

Dating stages:
6) Denying how much you have the hots for the new person to your family/friends as you don't want to risk getting told to chill.  :-)
7) First date, hope he/she likes you.
8) Further dating, building a foundation.
9) Joking about marrying the person, but secretly you are dreaming it.

Secondary dating
10) Denial that you are really falling hard for them.   Once again, self-protection.   You can't get hurt by another if you aren't vulnerable.
11) Insanity of holding in your expression of love.  Literally, it's driving you nuts.
12)  One day it just comes out, I love you.
13) Denial to family/friends that you are in love (sometimes they've seen this act and they wonder about you).

Getting super serious.
14) Serious talk about marriage.  You are talking it out.
15) People ask if you've thought about marriage.  Third stage of denial: you play it cool and act like, in God's time.  What you really mean is your d*mn right I have, but I don't want to admit it.
16) Biding time before asking, meanwhile planning on it and scoping rings.
17)  Planning asking her hand in marriage.
18) Asking.
19) Admitting to family/friends you are thinking about marriage.  ;-)

Planning marriage
20) Talk it out and plan.
21) Fret about it.
22) Plan more
23) Fret more
24) Bicker
25) Make up.
26) Finish planning.

The marriage stage
27) Pre-wedding drama with family
28) Marriage
29) Hoping things work out.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Codependence and "Little Precious"

I have been busy the past few days, but I wanted to at least put a short entry for today.   I was talking to a friend in CODA and it occurred to me what extreme codependence looks like.

As many of us know, this is Gollum from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.   Anyone who knows anything about this series of books/movies, knows that his character has an extreme codependence on the "Ring of Power".   He is so stuck on the ring that he will go to any lengths to hold onto it or get it back if he loses it.   In fact his body and mind have been corrupted by the longing for and the influence of the ring.   He calls the ring "little precious" and speaks of it in a very deranged manner.

The insanity he displays when longing for and/or holding onto the ring bring to mind what extreme codependence look like:

* A single-minded pursuit.  (Living for the relationship)
* A smothering grip. (Controlling/Fear-based).
* The unwillingness or inability to see how such codependence can be destructive. (Delusional)
* Losing oneself when trying to reach for hold onto one's own "little precious". (Destructive)

In considering whether a relationship is healthy or not, if you are honest, would you see the relationship as "my little precious"?  In other words, would you see it as something you can't cope without or do you see it something that enhances your life but that takes work to keep healthy.

You fight for what's important to you, but you can't live your life as if its continuation depends on THE relationship.  I'm not advocating something like simply walking away from an imperfect marriage--except where it is abusive, threatening and/or the vows are shattered.  Instead, I'm advocating not trying to hold onto the unhealthy with a deathgrip.  You fight for what's important.  However, when the fight becomes an unhealthy death-grip, you step back and let the chips fall where they may, reaching out to your Higher Power (praying/meditating) for guidance.  Once again, I'm not meaning pushing towards breakup or divorce when the relationship is not so healthy, but instead letting the relationship flow in a natural direction, not a forced or fear-based one.  A relationship that is tied up in extreme codependence is fear-based and not love-based.  As the scriptures say...

Let all that you do be done in love. (1st Corinthians 16:14)

Just some thoughts for the day...

* As of 12/29/2016, this blog was updated for editing and reposting purposes. I know LOTR is way out of date, but the concepts within the blog are not.