Check out this week’s Episode. Listen in every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Evening at 7PM Eastern Time on Western Reserve Digital Broadcasting.
Please give this show a listen. And forgive me for not writing too many posts lately. I have no excuse other than I haven’t really felt the need to vent much lately…
Another Show that is mostly all music. In fact, I don’t even think I added a Public Service Announcement to this Episode. Why? You may ask. Even if you don’t ask, I will tell you. Because, I was actually on vacation when this first ran on Western Reserve Digital Radio.
I produced it ahead of time so I could take a few days off and go to the mountains. BTW, if you want to be the first to hear the new Episodes, you can tune in at 7PM Eastern Time every Sunday. But, let’s get to this episode.
First off, an Artist who reached out to me on Reverbnation. Karen Lee Andrews doing a track called “Higher” More about Karen here.
Next up a Group who I also found over on Reverbnation. Shades of August. Doing a Track called “Scarecrow”. Want more Shades of August? Head on over here
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Featured Image courtesy of Time.com
How is it that this conversation seems to be excluding male victims? Why has it become another reason to promote sexism and prejudice?
When did it happen? That the only people who have been victimized and hurt by exploitive and narcissistic people are women? This culture war seems to be getting its marching orders from the very kind of people it is outing.
People with an agenda who most likely are just as guilty as they are victim.
Initially, I thought to avoid this entire topic. Most likely because it is far too close to home. Because, I a self identified heterosexual male have also been victimized. And have also been guilty. I have been on both sides of the battlefront.
Image Courtesy of RockPaperShotgun.com
That is why it is probably important to use this conversation to create and establish clear boundaries. If you have ever read anything I have written; than you know that I am a proponent of boundaries. And maintaining them.
I have not always been this way. For most of my adult life, boundaries in relationships were flexible spaces that had plenty of gray in them and lots of room to maneuver. When I set boundaries in my personal and professional experiences, they were set to please me. I created the boundaries and I could change them at will.
It was not until recently that I started to realize that boundaries are not like some demilitarized zone that is negotiated. They are firm lines in the sand. At least for me now. When I set a boundary, it becomes sacrosanct.
Image Courtesy of Hanna Krynicki
You may wonder how I came to this place. Where I can now discern an appropriate boundary. And keep it without difficulty.
It was a painful road that included plenty of rejection and introspection. Plenty of misunderstandings and loss. Plenty of difficult choices and sacrifice. It was not something that I read about in a book or blog.
Some guru did not come along and enlighten me. I did not take classes or go to school and get a degree to figure this out. I have lived it. And have had to somehow reconcile the failed and lost relationships with my own failings and faults. My own weakness and desires coupled with sorrow and grief have led me to a place where I would rather keep a boundary than breathe. Because I do not want to hurt anymore.
And my relativistic view of boundaries is what has lead me to a lot of hurt. Lots.
Where did it start? At work. My first real job. I worked in a place where I had lots of free time and few people around. I had a coworker. She was interesting and lonely. I guess she was horny and also had a murky handle on appropriate boundaries. She was married too.
Image Courtesy of Cosmopolitan.com
So it began. Sex at work and with a married woman. Bad Choice. Rather then go any further with the story, suffice it to say that it ended badly. I became so afraid of the consequences of our actions that we agreed one day to end it.
I also became so emotionally attached to her, that when we did end it; I was heartbroken. I ended up alone and afraid. And sad. Shortly after that, I also lost my job. And my sense of right and wrong in terms of personal relationships. All the work that had been done in church and at home in terms of parenting went right out the window.
I lost track of what was right and wrong when it comes to having a personal intimate relationship. Did I mention that she was older and had seniority? Does it matter? I was a willing participant because of my own desires and weakness.
From there, it just got worse. I started having sex with anyone that was willing. Just trying to fill a hole in my own heart. Trying to somehow find the moment of comfort and acceptance that I had. It never worked. After numerous lovers, I was still lonely and afraid. I was still missing that one minute of time where I had felt attractive and desired. Where I felt like I was competent and acceptable as a lover.
Image Courtesy of sparkpeople.com
Trouble was, I was already bent by that first affair. I was bent towards a predilection for seeking and being with people who already had personal commitments. I did not realize it at the time. But a part of me was thinking that I could somehow get back to that moment by mimicking the first one with similar circumstances.
And that delusion led to a psychosis. That it is somehow possible to have intimacy with another person who is previously committed to someone else. So for years, I kept trying to get back to it. That one moment.
I got back to minutes like that. And even had some long term intimate relationships. But they always ended in disappointment and heartbreak. Every single fricking time. And people getting hurt. Even people who NEVER asked to be hurt, being hurt badly by my problems with intimacy. People who never even got a chance to decide if my bad choices would hurt them.
So was I a victim? Not really. But I became a perpetrator. I was so desperate to get back to that moment in time, that I started preying on people. I started looking for people who were also lonely and horny and had trouble with boundaries. And I found them. Where else? At work of course.
Image Courtesy of Lifehopeandtruth.com
I recently realized that I was doing this. And have changed it all up. The only way I can figure to do this is to determine what boundaries I will hold myself at. To understand where the boundary is and to keep it with all my heart. No matter what the other person may say they want or need. No matter how easy it may look to get what I want.
Although it seems altruistic, it is really self serving. For whatever the reason, I keep those boundaries. Whether it is because I do not want to be hurt, nor do I want to hurt anyone else. I keep those boundaries.
The irony of it all. Personal and professional boundaries are ridiculously easy to discern and keep. They are created by social conventions and good old common sense. They are pontificated by every “morally correct” person riding their high horse in to solve the problem. You know who you are. The Generals and Colonels of the #metoo movement who have yet to cop to their own failures.
What is the upshot of it all? Decide for yourself to keep the boundaries come hell or high water. And when someone crosses your personal or professional boundaries, call them on it. Do it quick and without mercy. Don’t try to spare their feelings. Don’t try to keep or get that job. Just tell them to their face they are trying to cross your borders and they are not ever, ever getting there.
Image Courtesy of Natalie Whipple
If they back off, great. If they do not, then take it to the next level. Take it to the streets if you need to. Blow the whistle and stand on the rooftops shouting out the truth. If they still do not back off, take them to court. Involve the authorities that are charged with dealing with people who do not understand boundaries.
If you are still afraid or concerned, then let me know. I have ways of discretely persuading people to back off that you will never need to know about or have any personal involvement in. I do not charge for this service either and no one will ever know we spoke of it except Jesus.
Some things I like to do for the pleasure of it. I just enjoy it. But, that is another story for another time.
Cover Image courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@petekp
Have you ever heard someone say, “Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude?” It is one of those platitudes that bring understanding to the hearer. Because it makes sense. According to author Lewis Howes, “An attitude of gratitude means making it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all parts of your life, on a regular basis, for both the big and small things alike.” As Howes puts it, “If you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always have more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never have enough.”
Naturally, at this time of the year; we start to look at our lives and ourselves and wonder to ourselves how we may improve our lot. Or at least our outlook on our lot in life. Because many people believe that it is not about what we have or what happens to us that defines us as people, it is about how we respond to what happens to us or what we have. What our response is to the world around us and the events that occur in our lives does create us as people. How we respond determines what we do next.
—-Image Courtesy of https://psychlopedia.wikispaces.com/Introspection
And what we do next determines if we gain any positive change or if we make things worse. I have seen this effect in my own life. I have had setbacks and disappointments. Failures and fallings. I have seen some troubles. And caused some trouble. In retrospect, I see that when I responded with gratitude even though I failed to understand my circumstances or the reasons for them; that I was given some clarity on what to do next. And peace over what I am experiencing. And understanding of how to avoid the same thing happening again.
That may be the most valuable thing that comes from being thankful. Sufficient understanding to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. As George Santayana wrote so eloquently in “The Life of Reason”; Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Although I am not certain that anyone has ever said this, I am fairly certain that those who do not understand their past mistakes are going to make them again. And again. And again.
Where does gratitude place us then? Does it bring supernatural humanity to our difficult and challenging lives? Does it somehow bring Aunt Martha back to life? Or get you your job back? Or bring your spouse back? No. It really will not. Most times the tragedies and problems that we all face on this earth will not be reversed miraculously by being thankful for them. In fact, being thankful when your child takes ill or flunks out of school, or when you wife cheats on you or when you write a completely off the wall report that gets you fired seems counterintuitive doesn’t it?
Is it even possible to give thanks when you get the news you have cancer? Or when you find out that your best friend is moving away? Or your mom was just killed in an auto accident? Or if you find someone stole your identity and all the work you have done to bring prosperity into your life has been dashed causing you to become behind in all your bills and on the verge of foreclosure?
The answer is yes. It is possible to give thanks in tragedy and loss. When you disappoint yourself and those around you. When things start going badly and you have no control over it. It is possible.
Image courtesy of https://www.sunshinewhispers.com/about-me/
If you take comfort in the Holy Scriptures, and take the time to read them; you will see that people did give thanks. Even when God told them to do unthinkable things. Consider Abraham. He was commanded to sacrifice his own son whom he loved deeply. And he fully intended to obey God. He took his precious child to the place God commanded. He started the fire. He had the knife to his son’s throat. And God interrupted Abraham’s plan to obey. A burnt offering was provided and Isaac was spared.
If you look closely at this story in the Holy Scripture, you see that Abraham worshiped God despite what he was told to do. Within worship there is gratitude. Deep heartfelt and genuine gratitude. And although in this story, a miracle did occur; it was Abraham’s attitude that got him through this incredible test. His attitude was that God would provide. And God did.
So it may be that having an attitude of gratitude actually lifts a person above their circumstances. Creates an altitude of gratitude. Above the pain and disappointment. Above the grief and fear. Above the temporal things that sometimes seem so out of whack and confusing. Above the world and its schemes and petty concerns. Above it all.
Today, when you are giving thanks consider Him who has given us all things to enjoy. And who constantly seeks to bring us into fellowship and worship. Give thanks to Him who is Worthy. And rise above it all where there is order and love and peace. Give thanks to God Most High, for He is good. For His Mercy endures forever.