How to Show Love Giving to Those That Which You Wish to Receive

p8Why don’t you turn the tide? Instead of expecting to receive something, be the first one to give. Nothing can compare to the feeling of joy and contentment once you see a person brimming with happiness after he or she receives your gift.

Humans nowadays are too attached to material possessions that they eventually forget to see the real beauty of life. The riches we acquired here on earth are something we cannot bring with us when we die. It is the laughter, the memories we have with each other that makes our existence worthwhile. It is quite saddening that we put too much weight on things that don’t even matter.

We fail to realize the value of things that money can’t buy.

Give to those people that which you wish to receive. Don’t wait for them to give you something before you can actually show them your love. The Law of Cause and Effect tells us that anything that you send out into the universe will come back to you. You may not know it but you will soon get back the effort that you put out.

Once you give, you get.

If you want to receive love, you have to give love. You can’t just continue to take and take. Your selfishness will get you nowhere. Plant great things and you shall harvest what you deserve. It’s a cycle. One scenario is when you start being mean towards a person and depending on the gravity of your action, pretty soon that person will also be quite rude to you. If we only learn to start the cycle with kindness, for sure we would’ve achieved world peace by now.

Start with goodness.

Nothing goes wrong when you start doing something with goodness. If your loved one can’t give you flowers on Valentine’s Day, be the one to give. Initiate the loving gesture. Besides, the web makes it so much easier for us to grab alluring bouquets through online flowers. Lower down your ego, being the first one to give doesn’t make you the lesser person.

Be true and be you.

Do not be a hypocrite and create an illusion that you can afford to give something that you know is beyond your means. You will only slowly destroy yourself in the process. You can never give something that you don’t have. Learn to settle with what you are and give what you can. Be honest with yourself. A gift no matter how big or small will be appreciated as long as it genuinely came from you – the real you.

Life Is a Journey, Not a Destination Live Out Loud

p7I truly believe that life is a journey and not a destination. The goal in life is not to rush to the finish line, but to enjoy every step of the journey as much as possible along the way. Nothing makes this sentiment more clear than when you lose a loved one. I know this because I just loss one of my favorite uncles who always seemed to live life out loud. He was so full of life and laughter. You always knew when he walked into the room because he had such a grand presence. Ironically, he was also the one in the family who assumed the role of notifying family members when there were grave illnesses and deaths of other family members and longtime friends. Sometimes he would call to announce deaths of others who had such a distant and/or non-existent relationship with you that you would have to ask, “Who”? Then he would go through the lineage year by year; person by person, until you finally said, “Oh yeah, I remember – that is so sad to hear of their passing”. Sometimes what I would really be thinking is, “Um, I really have no idea who you are talking about”. But, in any case, I would express my condolences all the same.

Although my uncle was a very religious man, he seemed in many ways to be intrigued by death. I am not sure if this was based on the time he spent in the military, or what. But, anyone over 50 was considered old by his standards and was subject to the grim reaper knocking at their door at any moment. Anyone older than that just needed to be thankful as they were simply living on borrowed time; according to my uncle’s ideology, anyway. By the way, I loved my uncle dearly yet I have never shared his preoccupation with death or his rigid views on the relationship between age and death. It’s a good thing he was always up for a good debate. My viewpoint on the correlation between age and death, I would tell him, was predicated on the fact that we all know of little ones who have had very short lives here on earth as well as knowing elders who have lived well beyond a century! My uncle and I even debated this very subject during the funeral of his dad, my grandad, who lived to be over 90 years of age. And his mother, my great-grandmother, I reminded my uncle, was over 100 years old when she passed.

My uncle would humor me by listening to my side of the debate, but in all the years I have known him, he has never changed his opinion. Even though I did not agree with him on many things such as this, I have always had respect for people who have strong opinions and are not afraid to voice them; even if it may not be a mainstream point of view. That was one of the many things I loved about my uncle. He had many opinions that were clearly not mainstream. If you knew him; you would always know where he stood on issues. I do, however, believe that he and I both agreed on at least one point concerning life which is that our time here on earth is very precious. That is why it is so important to live life to the fullest and enjoy the journey each and every day. I remember the last time I saw my uncle. It was an invaluable experience that I would not trade for any monetary or material value.

Speaking of such, on the day that I went to see my uncle in the hospital, I actually had a prior engagement planned. My friend and I had already made plans to hop on the train and do a day trip to one of the outlet malls to shop for handbags. We had been talking about this day trip for months and finally made arrangements to go. At the very last moment, in the midst of planning the last minor details for the trip, I received a phone call from my mom who informed me that my uncle, her brother, was in serious condition in the hospital. I could hear the fear in my mom’s voice which confirmed to me that not going to the hospital to visit my uncle that day was simply not an option.

I am sure my friend could not believe that I was cancelling our shopping trip. We both knew we were foregoing what most likely would have been a blast because when she and I get together, we tell jokes, poke fun at each other, and constantly laugh about the minutest things. Everyone should have a friend like this. Every now and then, we have serious conversations. But for the most part, she and I just seem to find humor in many different situations. It’s like being friends with Jay Leno or Eddie Murphy – she’s that funny, but without the cursing! Once we were out having lunch during the work week and an elderly gentleman came over to our table after he finished lunch and playing chess with his friend. Obviously retired, he said he and his buddy have been playing chess for years. He said he just had to come over to our table before he left and comment about how he got such a kick out of listening to our non-stop chatter and laughter. That’s the kind of fun my friend and I always have whenever we get together – the laughter is contagious!.

However, I knew going to visit my uncle was going to be my priority that day of our trip. When I got to the hospital and saw my uncle, the look of surprise and sheer joy that came over his face when he saw my mom and I was priceless. I will never forget the way he threw his head back in laughter just for the simple fact that he was happy to see us. My uncle has always had such a strong presence and a bigger than life personality. Seeing a glimpse of that as he lay in his hospital bed was a memory that I will cherish forever. On the flip side, for just one brief moment, I looked at him in that hospital bed and for the first time I felt his vulnerability. I saw for one fleeting instant a sign from him that he had accepted the fact that he was seriously ill. I tried to play down his comment to me when I leaned down to kiss him on the forehead and asked him how he was doing. He responded, “Oh, your uncle is just too old”. Like I said before, my uncle has talked about aging ever since I can remember. But, it was the way he said it that time which made it seem like he was succumbing to his illness. I tried to dismiss what he said – but deep down, I felt he really meant it. My uncle has always been the strong, prayerful warrior who would visit the sick and shut in and give them hope. Now, as he laid in that hospital bed – even with his bible laying across his chest and reading glasses nearby, I felt he was now that person who was in need of prayer and encouragement.

After we greeted each other, I immediately poured my uncle an obligatory glass of ice water. Not just water, it had to be ice water. This gesture was my “job” which my uncle had assigned to me when I was a little girl. This tradition was part joke which we always laughed about each time we saw each other and it was also part of what sealed our connection as uncle and niece. I took my “job” of getting him a glass of ice water very seriously. I am pretty sure there were times he wasn’t even thirsty, but it was our tradition and he would always drink the obligatory glass of ice water no matter what. So after the traditional pouring and drinking of the ice water, all the childhood stories and reminiscing began between him and my mom. This was one of their traditions each time they got together. They proceeded in telling the same funny childhood stories about growing up in the country which they said they would not have traded for anything in the world.

My mom and uncle laughed and then laughed some more as they retold the “milk-‘n-bread” AKA the “milkybread” story which I may have heard over a dozen times (or two) over the years. But it has always been just as funny each time I hear them tell the story of how all their siblings would gather around a pan of fresh out of the oven cornbread doused with buttermilk. They all readied themselves with their spoons in hand waiting to dive into the delicious feast; each one vying for their favorite section of the bread pan. My uncle, being one of the oldest and biggest, always got his favorite section as well as his fair share of the pan of bread. My mom, the ultimate negotiator/diplomat, always seemed to have gotten her favorite corner piece, as well. I almost feel like I was there with them, back in time, as I watched my mom and uncle’s eyes light up as they relived their “milkybread” story through tears of joy and laughter. Of course, they also had to tell the story of when my mom was a majorette and my uncle was the drummer in their school band. As the story goes, they would ride back home on the school bus. My uncle, being the prankster that he was even back then, hid behind one of the seats in the back of the bus. He did not resurface until after he heard his cue which must have been music to his ears listening to my mom shouting at the top of her lungs to the bus driver in sheer panic to, “Stop the bus, my brother is missing!” Only then would my uncle pop up from hiding after hearing her shrilled command to the bus driver. They laughed and laughed as if it had just happened yesterday. The story-telling would not be complete without them re-telling the story of the snakes. They talked about swimming down by the creek near their house and then noticing there were snakes swimming in the creek with them. Listen, it does not matter that the size of the snakes gets bigger and bigger each time the story is retold. The point is sharing in the joy between my mom and uncle as they laugh while telling their childhood stories. To this day, however, because of the snake story I cannot put on a pair of boots without first smashing down the entire bottom half and shaking it out rigorously, just in case a snake is hiding in there.

Well, the story-telling has ended and I cannot believe that my uncle is gone now. I try to find comfort in remembering that he is now in a much better place; even better than his childhood memories that brought him so much happiness. He is in a familiar place that he prepared himself for his whole life to spend into eternity. Fortunately, his boisterous laughter and memories will live on forever in my heart and in the hearts of everyone who was lucky enough to have known him. I am so glad that I made the choice to go with my mom to visit my uncle that day in the hospital. Although I had no idea that would be the last time I would see my uncle, the memory of his laughter and storytelling are forever embedded in my memory.

Oh, by the way, and on a lighter note – my friend ended up going shopping at the outlet without me that day. She sent a text that evening and asked me how my uncle was doing. At the time, he was actually doing better which I explained to her. Shortly thereafter he had even been released from the hospital. She said she was happy to hear that he was doing well. After all the pleasantries and well wishes were extended, she then texted me a picture of the brand new Kate Spade briefcase that she bought during the shopping trip. You know the briefcase, the one I had my eye on for months! She’s got a lot of explaining to do. She didn’t stop there. About a week later, we were in a joint meeting at work and she had the nerve to place the huge, and admittedly gorgeous, briefcase right in the middle of the table across from me. I think she was trying to be cute – or spiteful; take your pick. I could literally smell the new leather aroma from across the table! Of course, no one else in the meeting knew she was taunting me, so I just had to chuckle to myself and keep it movin’.

But guess what? In all seriousness, the last minute decision that I made that day to forego my shopping trip with my friend and visit my uncle was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The positive, lasting memories that came from that one moment in time was shockingly the last time I will ever see my uncle, kiss him on the forehead and bring him a glass of ice water. That moment will far outlast any material thing on this earth. Like I said before, the goal in life is not to rush to the finish line, but to enjoy each and every step of the journey as much as possible along the way. The unforgettable journey through a time of shared memories that I experienced visiting my larger than life uncle for the last time here on earth was priceless! You just never know the last time you will have the opportunity to see someone and tell them you love them. With that in mind, make your journey through life one that you will be proud of and one with no regrets. And remember, live life out loud day by day as a beautiful journey.

Men Cursed to Privilege Blessed to Respect Women

p6Dating one of my girls, a privilege for any man lucky enough to have not just one daughter, but three, the concept of privilege came up… white male privilege. I talked about a fact we both knew about – me through burgeoning awareness; her through life experience. Male is the safer gender. Female is the at-risk gender… at risk of violence and ridicule, to name just two. Males more commonly transgress females than the other way around. And men learn as boys interacting with girls how women can be, in many cases, allowably mistreated.

Times like this – now I’m in my late forties, and on a date with one of my three princesses – I’m ready to pour the acid over myself for all the silly and insensitive and disrespectful things I’ve said and done against women, usually inadvertently, though still done. Like the time I had sex with a girl and promptly bragged to my mates about it. (Later, I was required to pay some restitution for this sin through a varietal of ‘tribal’ justice.) Sure, I was only eighteen, but the point was I’d been disrespecting women (girls) most of my life by then. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t something I was brought up to do – my parents would’ve frowned on the many ‘boyish’ things I’d done, that most ‘boys’ do. I was probably not the most misogynistic male going round. Just a normal male kid. Just a regular male man. Just a typically misguided human being. That’s the point; my disrespect of women was emblematic of the attitude of society’s men.

***

A ‘thing’ took place. A man with a lot of influence in Media took a stab, with his matey mates, against a woman who happens to be a journalist, and threatened violence, as “banter,” which is another way of saying, “I want to get you back without having to suffer any of the consequences of my actions, and, because I’m using humour, I believe I’ll not only get away with it, my matey mates will think I’m a hero, and everyone will know how funny a bloke I am.” Trouble is the expense of that “banter” on the innocent party involved – and all women, even to every minority. Mocked by a man joking about violence. Mocked by being scapegoated through the vicarious involvement of his matey mates. Several days of deafening silence as they all almost get away with it. Probably many around who did not want to point the finger at Eddie… “He’s Eddie! Eddie can’t be violated.” Retribution issued as a joke; a barb with a fatal sting issued by an inoculated violator. The propagation of the worst male privilege typical of an outdated, The Footy Show, genre. “You [women] want equality… I’ll show you equality, and treat you like I treat my mates, because that’s equality” garbage. Men behaving like men think men are, but not in the same galaxy as men. And don’t know what they’re actually to be apologising for, which makes the issue the size it actually is. They don’t have any idea what they’re doing wrong!

***

So I share with my adult daughter just one thing I’d done to disrespect women. Cringe. But what’s been done has been done. There’s no excuse to go there anymore. It’s time to change, and if we won’t change nothing will change us. My daughter understood. She’d heard of that sort of thing before within her own cohort. She forgave me in an instant, for she knew the condition I, like all men, suffer – we’re more privileged than we often give call to realise.

I’m a man who has three daughters. I put it this way, because as a father of daughters I feel like a man – not a father, but a man – a man who’s not always worthy to be called a man, let alone a father, for some of the things I’ve done – as a privileged male – in my time.

Men, we need to stand up and no longer rest on the excuses that reveal we really don’t understand nor truly care about what women face. Change needs to happen in us and it’s our women who ought to have given up praying for that change by now. But we can change, one man at a time, to cause a revolution to take place; a revolution of understanding: because of the male privilege we men have, we’re to treat women differently to men if we’re to treat them the same.

Relationships Do Some People Only Know Who They Are When They Are Rescuing Others

p5rWhen one generally ignores their own needs and focuses on other people’s needs, they can be described as someone who rescues others. As a result of this, it is going to be normal for them to neglect their own life.

Out of Balance

It could be said that while it is good thing that one doesn’t ignore other people’s needs, there is no reason for them to ignore their own needs. The ideal will be for them to be for others and to be there for themselves.

When one doesn’t experience life in this way, they are going to be used to running on empty, so to speak. Ultimately, they will give far more than they receive, and this will lead to a tiring existence.

A New Beginning

However, although experiencing life in this way is not going to be in one’s best interest, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to simply change their life. For one thing, they could believe that this is just how life is and that they haven’t got a choice in the matter.

Along with this, there is likely to be the kind of feedback that they get from other people, and this could cause them to believe that they are doing the ‘right’ thing. The approval that they get from others will then make their life easier.

Pain

There can then be times when they feel good, and times when they wonder what is going on with their life. The feedback that they get from others will allow them to disconnect from how they feel from time to time.

But as the pain within them won’t simply disappear; there could be times when they end up behaving differently. The people around them could then come to the conclusion that their behaviour is out character, but this won’t be the complete truth.

Anger

What this is likely to show is that they have allowed themselves to acknowledge how they feel, and as they rarely do this, it is to be expected that there will be moments when they explode. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that they will end up changing their behaviour, as they could soon return to how they were before.

This is likely to come down to the fact that they will feel guilty and ashamed after they have expressed how they feel. So in order to make themselves feel better, they could end up doing what they usually do.

A Common Occurrence

If people rarely tried to rescue others in today’s world, then it would be easier of one to realise that they don’t need to experience life in this way. But as this is something that so many people do, there is less chance of this taking place.

One could come across people who are used to be rescued, or they could be in the same position as they are. Through being around these types of people, there is going to be no reason for one to reflect on their own behaviour.

An Analogy

This is then going to be similar to what happens when one has been in a room for a while that has a certain smell; they will soon get used to it and it will no longer register. But if someone else was to come into the room, they would notice it straight away.

When it relates to being rescued or rescuing others, this kind of behaviour is only going to stand out when someone doesn’t experience life in this way. Yet if one generally rescues others, they are unlikely to spend much time around people who don’t experience life as they do.

Selfish

And even if they were to come across someone who didn’t neglect their own needs, they could see them as being someone who only thinks about themselves. They could then come to the conclusion that the other person needs to change.

In their eyes, there could be two options: either one ignores their own needs, or they ignore other people’s needs. This is then going to be something that is black and white, and there won’t be another option.

A New Outlook

If one was to get to the point where they had had enough of overlooking their own needs, it could cause them to look for answers. Part of them could be no longer willing to experience life in this way.

Even so, this doesn’t mean that part of them won’t want to hold onto how their life has been for so long. They could begin to wonder who they will be if they were to change their behaviour.

An Identity

One way of looking at this would to be to say that this is to be expected as they have experienced life in this way for so long; however, there is also the chance that they have always been this way. It is then not just how their life has been during their adult years; it is how it has been since the beginning of their life.

If they have always put other people’s needs before their own, this is likely to be a sign that they had to fulfil their caregiver needs during their childhood years. This would have meant that their needs were ignored, and it wouldn’t have been possible for them to develop a sense of self.

An Act

Instead, they would have had no choice but to develop a false-self and this would have been something that allowed them to survive. This would have also set them up to feel ashamed of their own needs.

So if one was to let go of this act and to no longer rescue others, they are likely to end up feeling empty, and as though they no longer have a purpose. But if they were to stay with this emptiness and to see what is underneath, they are likely to end up getting in touch with how they felt all those years ago.

Awareness

In order for one to create an identity where they no longer need to rescue others, it is going to be important for them to embrace their true-self. This can take place through working through the pain that is within them and for their true nature to be affirmed, among other things.