Need & Want

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I have many times in vain tried to teach my children the difference between needs and wants.  Most often these lessons have come in the form of physical items such as toys, presents, clothes or sometimes even dessert.

It has always been a relatively easy differentiation for me to see from the object related needs vs wants and how I or my children really do not need anything but that we want it.

As I have explored lately some of my deepest emotional needs that I have carried throughout my life, many brought on from childhood events and experiences and at time the intense feelings of rejection and loneliness and the emotional need this has created within me.

I need to feel wanted, loved, and accepted.    I need a hug, time and attention when I am down discouraged or feeling those intense feelings of solitude or loneliness that seem to have been such a deep part of me for as long as I can remember.

I do clearly understand the feelings of need I have and do experience and why they are so present in my life.  I have come to understand the experiences that have created that deep emotional and many times unmet need in my life.

The realization struck me that emotional needs are very similar to those we express from a physical perspective of…. I need that new car, I need that new toy…

When we express our desires in the form of “I NEED” we surrender ourselves to an inability to control our emotions or our self.   Need implies that we have no control over it and that we truly need it to survive, ie;   air, food, water.

While we may be overwhelmed with emotion and we truly believe we ‘NEED’ a hug, someone to listen or someone to be present, the reality is that we “WANT” a hug, someone to listen or someone to be present.  We want it and by recognizing that we want something instead of need something it creates the power within us and around us to have that what we want.   Need leaves everything to desperation or chance while want allows for us to take control and not leave anything to chance.

Emotionally wanting is more powerful and liberating than emotionally needing is, need is hopeless with no other options and we maintain no control over it.

When we recognize that emotionally we WANT something instead of NEEDING something then we can make choices that will allow us to get what we want instead of hoping for chance or happenstance to provide what we need.

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No Role Model Here – LiAngelo’s blame game

The recent arrest of LiAngelo Ball and other UCLA players in China for shoplifting has brought to the attention the insane polarization of this country and how even our common courtesy towards one another is dictated and driven by our political climate.

As most of you are aware, President Trump intervened on behalf of these college hoodlums that were arrested for shoplifting in a country whose laws are far more strict than our own.  These kids should have been rotting in a jail cell awaiting trial for their flippant disregard and disrespect for the laws of a country they were invited to visit as ambassadors for NCAA Basketball and UCLA, yet our President Donald Trump interceded on behalf of these athletes to bring them home.

LiAngelo Ball has subsequently withdrawn from UCLA to pursue his basketball dream in Lithuania due to the fact that UCLA indefinitely suspended him for his egregious actions while representing the university.  LiAngelo then further states that the ONLY reason that he thanked President Trump for intervening and saving his sorry butt was because UCLA made him do it.  He also claimed that the only reason he shoplifted was because the other two were doing it.  This kid has no regard for any rules and has no common decency in life.  He cannot take any responsibility for any of his own actions and continues to disrespect the very people who saved him from a very difficult self caused imprisonment in a foreign jail!  He should rightfully still be sitting there!

I do not care if you agree or disagree with President Trump politically,  he saved this kids future.

THANK HIM and MEAN IT!!!

If we cannot be gracious for something this significant due to political differences then we are doomed as a society.

What in the world has LaVar and Tina Ball taught their children?  The Ball family does not believe that rules apply to them, that they are better than everyone else and therefore do not need to follow them.

Social order is built on just that… ORDER.  Rules help create order.

My fear is this…  MY CHILDREN.

I have worked hard to teach my children gratitude, integrity, honor, respect, ethics, morals and hard work.  None of which the Ball boys possess.  Yet these athletes by the sheer grace of God have been given the opportunity to play ball and have millions of kids look up to them as role models.   (LaMelo Ball has over 2 million Instagram followers)

These are NOT role models!  These are hoodlums!  These kids represent the opposite of everything I have worked so hard as a parent to teach my children.  Sadly I hear from my son, “but dad, he is good ball player”  I DON’T CARE if they are the best players on the planet (which they are most definitely not!) , they are horrific examples for my children.

Sadly, too many parents will pay homage to them by purchasing the merchandise their father peddles from one conflict to the other as his boys and him are so good at causing.

As a parent, I choose to fight for the soul of my children and encourage them to support decent role models who deserve to have kids look up to them off the field before I let them talk about their play on the field.

 

Kindness Begets Confidence

kindness

 

Previously I have written about how we treat others is truly a reflection on how we feel about ourselves titled ‘Self Reflection in Others”

This post was about how we feel about ourselves is manifest in the way we respond and interact to those around us.  When we accept this self realization we can become kinder and more gentle, yet more powerful and confident.

The other side of this spectrum also holds true.  When we are treated poorly by others, we often react to the stimuli, whether this reaction is silent or outspoken for the world to hear, we all react.

The difficult part of this comes within ourselves.  Do we choose to see and listen to the abuse from others, allowing them to ruin our day?  Do we shy away from someone due to potential conflict?  Do we deny ourselves experiences based upon someone else’s behavior?

Many times we choose to allow others power over us in the way that they treat us.   We teach others how we want to be treated based upon what we will accept from them.  When we hold our ground, kindly, firmly,  yet peacefully we have more power in that moment than the other person could ever have.

Power comes from confidence and knowing who we are.   Part of this knowing is understanding this dynamic of how we treat others is a reflection upon how we feel about ourselves.

So true is how others treat us is how they feel about themselves.  Those that are angry or mean spirited individuals in reality have terrible self esteem and do not like themselves.  Whether it be the waitress that was rude, the tire tech that called you a jerk, the guy that flipped you off on the highway.  These individuals who go through life bulldozing over others are so disgusted within themselves that they react to their own internal struggles and guilt by abusing those they come in contact with.

As we lift and serve one another we can find that we actually become stronger, more confident individuals as this manifests beauty within ourselves.  We see ourselves in the people we serve with heartfelt kindness and genuine intent.  We can improve our own self loathing through this service.

The way we treat others, including strangers, not only reflects how we feel about ourselves but also creates within growth in those feelings.   If we treat others in a negative fashion, we will certainly see ourselves worse than we did before.  If we are kind, we too see that within ourselves.  We gain confidence, strength and humility along the way.

Strengthening the Bonds of Love

I have never experienced the joy that comes from seeing my older children as they grew into adulthood and the interactions that come on a daily basis.   My entire life has been focused on being a dad, I have always tried to be a good dad and be there for my children.  As many of you who have followed this blog over the years are aware, these opportunities were taken from me through the choices that others made.  These choices impacted my life directly as my children were taken away from me by there mother and the choices she made to fall in love with someone else.

Now I find myself in an amazing marriage to the most incredible woman I could have ever dreamt of.   We have a great life!  I am watching my soon to be 5 year old grow up and I get to see her excitement for life daily.  What a blessing for me to finally after all these years be able to watch.

My little Bella brings so much love and joy into my life.

Shared experiences strengthen the bonds of love we feel for one another.

I have missed out on many of these shared experiences with my older children.  I love them deeply and unconditionally.   The bond however is different.   They are more closely bonded to their mother by nature of these shared experiences that I was robbed of.

My daughter Alexa I was blessed with through my marriage to her mother.   I have many more shared experiences with Alexa than I do my other two.  I have a deep bond with Alexa, although I love all of my children the same.   I see her and interact with her daily.   This has strengthened my bond with her over the years.

Shared experiences drive our connection with those around us.   As we strengthen these connections through time together, quality time, we can strengthen the love we have for one another.

Relationships require effort.  All things in life require effort.  Our choices are where we place that effort.   If you are struggling in your relationships and want to get them back on track, start by increasing time together that will create more shared experiences, thus intensifying the bonds between us.

Inspiration calls Ambition

Light-bulb

Inspiration comes, and inspiration goes

Ambition comes along , and the inspiration grows

many are inspired, yet few in life attain

killing the ambition , and forever stay the same

yet some seek for inspiration, with ambition by their side

seeking lofty mountains and climbing with the ride

Seizing opportunities as inspiration lights the way

seeing opportunity in each and every day

yet those that kill ambition, and never reach their dreams

Blow out inspiration and all that it can bring

sitting on the sideline, they murmur with each breath

seeing only unfairness that lasts until their death

Inspiration comes to all who seek, and beckon to its call

combining with ambition, some work to get it all

Inspiration is a gift that grows with each time that we heed

The call of inspiration sounds, to give us what we need

So follow inspiration, nurture it with care

add to it ambition, and chase it if you dare.

 

 

 

Love is service, not emotion

Love for many is elusive.  We find infatuation quickly and jump into relationships based upon infatuation while professing we have found true love.  True love exists however few understand what this is.

Infatuation makes our hearts beat faster and our minds to go to mush as we get caught up in a whirlwind romance often driven by the flames of physical passion and desire.  We crave the burning chemical rush from the flames of this passion and believe we have found our soulmates.  We come from a space where our own needs and physical desires are met.  These self serving emotions are just as quickly snuffed out and we are left wondering what went wrong.  There is no foundation for infatuation, it is fleeting and built from nothing.  Infatuation hits quickly and dies faster.  We pick up the broken pieces left over from our crushed expectations and move on to the next adrenaline rush of emotions believing this time it will be different.

The world sees this as love.  We hear continually that one can fall out of love.  I argue this is impossible.  One cannot fall out of love.  We fall out of infatuation.

Love is different.  When love is real it is service.  It is kindness.  It is compassion.  It is not self serving and driven by the whims of change.  It is not fleeting and it does not die.  For when love is real, our desire is to serve others that we love, not for them to serve us.

YES we can love someone whom does not love us back.  This is common and happens often.  The greatest love stories are those that both parties have placed the others needs before there own.  They serve one another.

There are many stories told of couples when one becomes ill and the other one steps up to serve them and care for them.   It is clear that their bond and love they share grows during these difficult and trying times.  Their love grows during this season of service and caring.

We often hear of a mothers love for her children. WHY?  Because when the children are young they are fully dependent upon their mother.  Their mother loves them and this love grows as they continue to serve them.  Children learn to love their mothers as they in turn serve their mother as they grow.  Children desire to please their parents and in so doing they serve them, this service develops love.

There are many that will argue that in just as many cases that one person serves while the other one takes.  While this is true, look at the one that is always the one that is the most heartbroken when a relationship ends.  It is ALWAYS the one that served and gave the most to the relationship.

True undying mutual love can only be attained when both parties make the other a priority and serve them without expecting anything in return.  True love is service.

Anyone who goes to a foreign country to serve for any reason always comes back with a love for the people and culture in which they served.

If you are struggling in your relationships and wonder where the magic went, try genuinely serving each other and be amazed at where this will lead.