Tag Archives: starting over

Charting a new direction

New chapter or new book

I viewed a Facebook picture that essentially read “sometimes you just need to close the book rather than keep reading the pages.”

How many times am I going to start a new chapter in a book that I should just close and move on to a new book. It’s a concept that I am acting upon rather than waiting to see what happens next or what the next chapter will be.

This book represents my life and the journey that I am on, with all it’s interesting twists and turns not always easy. Relationships require work, some more than others, and the choices I make then place that relationship on a scale, if you will. The more I invest, the more return that I expect.

Is that fair though? I contend that this is actually a mutual decision not always revealed or discussed and therefore it’s easy to be misdirected or even unintentionally hurt.

I’m certainly not a master with relationships, and certainly not insightful, but I have had many experiences that I have tried to learn from.

My new direction, my new book, my life walk, has new purpose. I learned some principles recently that really caused me to think about what do I need to change about myself. What new choices, decisions do I need make moving forward? I have been glancing back at what was, wondering whether a particular situation still had hope. I have decided that I needed to fully close that book and stop writing new chapters or have hope and anticipation while seeing that many attributes had not changed. This was a decision that didn’t come under duress but rather “why did it take so long for me to come to this decision ?”

I’m a hopeful person, taking Jeremiah 29:11, kind of hope to heart. So with a new hope of something better to come, I have excitement that is growing that my future is bright with much to anticipate.

I’m not able to adequately examine the lives around me. I have too much to focus on my life and I recognize that I need to make some practical changes, life changes, mind and physical changes. Spiritual changes too.

So this is why that I have shared these thoughts. Recognizing that I have been reading in the same book too long, re-reading pages of my past, writing new chapters without fully considering the time that is being absorbed and being wasted on a wish, not even including a practical prayer. Hopefully these thoughts have helped you examine where you are too.

It’s time for me to come back to earth and refocus on what is before me, not behind me.

“Goodbye in Her eyes”

Her eyes, his eyes, does it matter whose eyes?  Haven’t we all been here before, when someone we have loved or lusted after has decided to move on.  I have found myself here on more than one occasion, and every time, I have learned something new. Something new about me, or the other person. This song in particular, performed by Zac Brown Band is on my iTunes, and besides the words, the harmony is so on tune. I however don’t play it over and over again, just for the tune, but for the message.

“Sometimes I feel  like a clown- Who can’t wash off his makeup”…

………”Oh, but like the tide her love has come and gone
And it’s time for me to go.”

There is so much in this song that I can totally relate to.  That is the power of music, how it relates to the needs  of so many people and shares the truths we all face.  This song has spoken to me in many ways and I think it’s different for each individual, for we have our own story to tell.  As I reflect back on my journey, this song helped prepare me for that day in more ways than one.

Have you heard the song?  Here are the lyrics…

“Goodbye In Her Eyes” sung by Zac Brown Band, from the album Uncaged

 

I could tell that it was over
When her lips met mine
It was an emptiness in her voice
Hesitation when she smiled
She didn’t have to say a word
It was just so plain to see
She had found what she’d been looking for
And I knew it wasn’t me

I saw goodbye in her eyes
I don’t think I can change it
There’s no way to disguise
We will never make it

Sometimes I feel like a clown
Who can’t wash off his make-up
The life she wanted ‒ it was gone
Prince Charming ‒ I wasn’t
But I would trade a thousand Babylons
To be in her arms tomorrow
Oh, but like the tide her love has come and gone
And it’s time for me to go

I saw goodbye in her eyes
I don’t think I can change it
There’s no way to disguise
We will never make it

Now she sees right through me

Should I hold on to what we’ve got
Is it just a waste of time?
One thing that I know for sure
I saw goodbye in her eyes

I saw goodbye in her eyes

I know you got somebody new now
All my candles have burned out
He’s gonna love the way you shine
So did I
So don’t smile at me it ain’t what you mean
(Goodbye)

With that goodbye in your eyes
I know that I can’t change it (now you see right through me)
There’s no way to disguise
We will never make it

I saw goodbye in your eyes
I know that I can’t change it (now you see right through me, goodbye in your eyes!)
Should I hold on
We will never make it (now you see right through me, goodbye in your eyes!)

Should I hold on
Is it just a waste of time?
One thing that I know for sure
I saw goodbye in your eyes
I saw goodbye in your eyes
I know that it’s over

Dating Sucks!

That’s exactly what she said as we were sipping on beers at a recent “meet-up” at one of my favorite local pubs.  It was a sentiment that rang true for many around us. Of course the standard….”be yourself”….”don’t set any expectations”….”meet in public”… were all opinionated as truth.

It was a fun discussion. I stood up, and she said that her “date” would be two inches taller than me, and the tallest man she has dated. We all wished her well, and I have not yet seen her to ask her how it went.  Her thought though resonated with me a bit more than I expected.  Why is dating “suckish” and why do so many of us search out for that one true love on-line so quickly?

I have been participating in these “meet-ups” for some time and unofficially, its evaluating in person.  I have tried the plethora of dating sites, only to find out in person that the woman was not exactly as she appeared online.. To be honest, I have veered from some “indicators” of mine as well.  My question though still remains, why does this process have to be so crazy?  I don’t have the answer really, but I have enjoyed meeting plenty of people during these informal gatherings, celebrating a slice of life that many enjoy.

The “meet-ups” I have enjoyed have revolved around; happy hour, trivia, movies, theatre, food, craft beer, breweries, and soon hiking and biking.  All great locations to meet individuals in the flesh.  For the time being, I think I am taking a break from the “dating” side of life, and enjoying the moments, a little bit more. This way, I don’t have to worry if dating sucks.

I’m on a mission…..

I’m on a mission. It’s not top-secret, I’m not in the military, I’m not in law enforcement, and I’m not paid to investigate. I am though, still on a mission to find a spiritual place to call home.

I thought that I had found a home but as I was experiencing my deepest pain and darkest time it seemed the people were too busy for me. They knew of my plight and they were busy with their own priorities. I don’t blame them completely, but I am hurt. Hurt that more didn’t reach out, call back, send an email or a card. I slumped into a dark place not because of this experience but because of my own.

I have been here before but I recognize that this isn’t God’s doing, or lack there of. This isn’t God’s fault, and I become sad when others try to blame God for things He doesn’t do. The reminder should be is that we are human and we do human things including failing each other.  I could have reached  out better in the midst of my personal storm. I slid into a funk and stayed there for several months.

So in the last several months I have started to search again. Visiting different and diverse places of worship. I have re-visited my former place and while I knew several folks, and they have moved into a new building, I haven’t really reconnected. I am trying to determine if I should just move on and search for something new.  I was sad on Sunday because it’s was a birthday of a step-daughter, and I have no recourse to reach out. Cut off, because of all that happened. She doesn’t know the whole truth and it’s probably not a good time for her to know that, perhaps never a good time for that, but that didn’t help my sadness.

So here, in the midst of my mission, I reflect on what didn’t work right while trying to find the place that is right for me. My mission continues!

Lost Keys

Last night I was participating in a Mardi Gras Pub Crawl, an activity that has you bar-hopping with a group of friends.  It was Mardi Gras celebration, at least the best kind you can have in Denver, CO.  Of course the festivities circled around having beer, beads, and a merry time.

After the 4th establishment, and walking around in 20 degree weather, I decided it was time to head home. I searched my pockets and my jacket only to determine that I had lost my car keys. Despair had fallen upon me, as this had never happened to me in my memory, and I was just shy of freaking out.  Being the calm, cool, collected guy that I am, I set out on a mission. Before I left on my search I had confirmed with a friend that I may need their help to return home though I was not sure what good that was since I had no keys to enter the home, and was not sure what the garage code was.

I retraced my every step, including the steps in between, to those pit stop areas.  My first 3 stops, though not in the order that I visited them, all came up short, but the 4th stop held success!  MY keys, in all their glory, were to be found.

I quickly realized how stupid I had been in not checking before moving on, arguing with myself on why I had my whole set of keys and why didn’t I just left them in the car and carried my spare. I continued on my self bashing on all the silly reasons this had come to pass in the first place. I of course let my friend know that they no longer needed to wait for me, as I had recovered my keys.

I had been in a series of karma related snafus recently and I just thought that this was part of that punishment for what I had done, or what I was doing, and fully deserved my punishment.

As I reflected today, the day after, on this bizarre experience, I could easily relate my lost keys to other elements in my past relationship as points to ponder for self-reflection. That is, when I think I have lost something valuable, I retraced my steps to determine where did I go wrong, and what can I do to recover.  I’m trying to explain it  better, but just suffice to say, that I have experienced a “lost keys” feeling in my past relationship.

I have been doing more reflecting as of late to determine what actions, or in-actions, I do, and how does that relate to intimacy in relationships.  What actions, or behaviors “keys” have I done, and what were the results of those actions.  This probably doesn’t relate to you at all, but as I was thinking today, I have been in plenty of situations, where my actions, or those of my lover, sent me into a spiral of despair, trying to figure out, where did it all go wrong, and I set about to retrace my steps.

My search in what I did, and how I did it, helped to pinpoint what the issue was/ is.  Sometimes those keys were right on the counter, or right on the tip of my tongue, and so I found them quickly, other times the search was more detailed, more deliberate in discovering the truth, and those often took time to get everything back on track.  Am I making sense here??  I see now that some of the experiences I have had relate much in the same way of how I felt last night.

Wondering where my keys were, wondering if I would find them, wondering if I had to start all over, or when I found them, was it okay to start where I left off??  I’m actually in that process now.  Having lost my keys, and then found them, and wondering if I can just pick up from where I left off.

Relationships are not that simple, at least not in my situation.  I find that I don’t want to start back, where I left off, or where it all ended. I find myself wanting something new, or having a new set a keys that  I know will work, cut from new steel, shaped in a new way, maybe the material is stronger, lighter, more true.  Losing my keys certainly put me on an adventure, to find the truth, to discover where I left them, and what would I be doing differently once I found them.  Those were the thoughts I had today.  It was great to find the keys, but as I relate it to relationships, some keys are just not worth keeping. Some I just need to throw away, and find a new key, to open a new door, a new lock, and let me pass through.  It was somewhat like a new revelation had been upon me.

Yes, it’s good to hang on the keys  you need, but sometimes you just need to lose the keys that you have, so that you can change direction, with a new set of keys.  The more I thought about that today, the more I just wanted to throw my keys away!

Same boat, different captain!

I live in a very diverse community. Multi-cultural, socio-economically diverse, young and old, but yet we all bleed red.  While we are different in so many ways, I think we all deal with life’s problems in much the same or similar ways. We’re in this journey together, but we have different captains.

I have decided to seek insight from a trained professional, rather than go back to the same sources on how I should deal with life’s circumstances and really how I should be dealing with, addressing and changing to my own set  of circumstances. I’ve decided to follow a different captain.

I think that we often seek the advice of family, friends, co-workers, even complete strangers, when we are faced with life choices. It’s only natural, right?  I mean we seek our best friend’s input when it comes to dating, love, conflict, strife, happiness, etc. and yet when someone decides to follow or seek out someone new, and worse a professional in the field, there seems to be resentment, or the glare of an eye, or perception.

The mental health community it seems to me, has always had it rough, as if it was an embarrassment to seek advice and counsel for life’s questions, concerns, and issues. That an individual is actually looked down upon for even considering such a move. And that my friend is shameful.

Over the years I have sought insight on how and why I approach some of the challenges I have dealt with, and these professionals have helped me through some of my darkest times, deepest time of need, when I felt alone and embarrassed to discuss my issues with a friend, or family member, only to find relief, acceptance, and guidance in a timely manner.

When I look back on what my family or friends shared, there certainly was a  mixed message. One that I probably wanted to hear, rather than the truth of the situation.  I’m not saying that seeking that advice is wrong, or shouldn’t be sought, but what I am saying is don’t neglect the opportunity to seek out a 2nd opinion from someone who is trained in the field, whatever it is you have a question about.

I have been going through some amazing life changes, and some very personal in-depth look as to who I am, and why I do what I do, and to date, I’ve not had a friend, or family member ask of me the questions that I have had to reflect on. The why behind the action, the need that is being met, and is that need justified and necessary.  Some really very difficult truths exposed and acknowledged, and then the change in the choices to be made.

I do seek input from family and friends, but in this new chapter of my journey, I have decided to seek counsel first, before the insiders in my life. It has offered me a sense of security in that I am singular in my approach to my new direction.  Rather than having a variety of naysayers, or what not, to what i have decided to do.  Is this the right course of action?  Is this what I should be doing?  I guess the only one that can answer that, is me.

I have been reading, ever so slowly, the book on Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I still have so much more to read, but the first few pages read just like my life.  I’ve been learning more and more about what  I can control and nothing more.

So for now, I have a new captain.  As I share with my closest friends, this fact, I know the ones that will be the most supportive.  I also know the ones who will not be, and the ones who will look down their noses and wonder why.  It’s a shame that we live in world where seeking this kind of insight and advice is frowned upon in general, when help is really just a phone call away and many are too afraid to dial the number, yet have no problem following the wrong captain.

I equate it to this. I don’t go to the fast food joint, to seek financial advice, I don’t ask the plumber what medical procedure I should do, and I don’t go to my banker and ask about insurance.  I go to the ones that are experts in the field, are trained in what to do, and have practical experience for the issue at hand.

I am perfectly content on the path that I have chosen, recognizing that my faith will guide me and that my captain will steer me clear of the icebergs that I am dealing with. I am in a much more better place, than I have been before, excited about what the future will be.

Who will be your captain?

Forgive and Forget- which one is more difficult?

To forgive takes love, to forget takes humility.  This is a subject that has affected me greatly over the past couple of years and one that I am still trying to master. Will I ever really master it?  I really don’t know the answer.  I find it comforting in my faith, that the good book that I read does speak to the issue of forgetting my mistakes.  I wish that my brain had the capacity to do just that, forget.  I suppose that it does, as I do not remember all the details of my young life, and there are early chapters where my memory is faded, but for the “biggies” the life-changers, those BIG mistakes, those are pretty easy to remember.

I was visiting with my parents recently who described some of my early childhood activities in our neighborhood, relating that I was the local “ambassador” on our street, greeting neighbors, riding my bike all around, and in general a pretty good kid. Frankly it was not a memory that I have held onto, yet my parents, in their 90’s have related this to me pretty well and succinctly.  I was surprised to hear the story especially around new company, but happy that I proved to be well-behaved at that time, and did something that my parents were proud of.

I have posted before about regrets, and having many of them.  I have many pride points too. I write though about what I am going through, and try to express my feelings and for me I have been on this track of self-improvement.  I guess it wouldn’t be the multi-billion dollar industry today, if it wasn’t on everybody’s mind and agenda. Supplements, diet, exercise, fitness, self-help, books, seminars, etc. I guess i am just one the of millions looking at what I do, deciding what I can change (and as it turns out, most of it I can) and determining what is the priority.  I haven’t spent the much time on what I need to change during my short life, but I have determined that what I have been doing thus far isn’t working.

I’m not completely fulfilled, and I am yearning for more, and there are still goals I am trying to accomplish, and a few that I need to come to terms with.  Much like a woman, who has a natural time clock in her body, for example to have children, she has to make a decision on what she will do, and only has so much time to determine that.

So this act of forgiveness and forgetting for me is a process.  The part that I am dealing with the most is the forgetting. Like many others I have my very fair share of mistakes, Most that I wish I never did, some that I equate to just growing up, and others I knew were dead wrong.  I am and have been accountable for my actions.  But the forgetting part has not been so much on what I have done, but on what has been done to me and against me.

I was in a relationship that ended poorly, with lots of hurt on both sides, and a lot of immaturity.  There were plenty of great times, but when that bad hit, it hit hard, like a knock-out punch that once recovered, I’d ask myself, where did that come from????  Only to recognize that it had been me, who was the perpetrator, though in denial, like the river in Africa.  There was certainly enough blame to fill an ocean, but my recovery from all of that hurt has been slow, and now on to dealing with it, how to forget.

The humility part, the time heals all wounds part, the understanding of how my faith affects and effects the process. The action in my brain to truly move forward. These are the issues that I am dealing with.  My faith makes it easy to forgive. There is incentive to do so, and it’s really quite wonderful to do so, rather than hold onto the hate…….. like its own revelation, right now, to not hold onto the hate, the burden of all of that, is truth revealed.

Why have I chosen to forgive and not to forget? Is it a choice, do I have the same control over forgetting that I have over forgiving? Now as I read what I have written, I think I do. I think I can apply the same measure and reason to both issues. I think that if I searched my faith more in-depth, the two are hand in hand.  I’ll still remember the hurts but I don’t have to relive that pain over and over again.

This reminds me of a business relationship I was once a part of. That once that business fell apart, I felt an incredible amount of anger towards the individual, and for almost a year it consumed me, my attention, my thoughts, and it affected my health. The business partner had moved away, and was unreachable, our interaction was nil, and it was as if he just walked off the planet.  About a year later, he arrived back in town, and I made a point to confront him, and express my feelings, and in the process, asking for forgiveness about the hurt, the pain, the rejection and the anger,  I had felt toward him. Through our brief conversation, we spoke truth, and I felt finally free, and from that point on, I never reflected about that issue again. I can’t explain it really, other than it was God that set me free.  You don’t have to agree about that, and it’s okay, it’s not your blog. But I get it, and I understand that many are still searching for that truth in their lives.

I am grateful that I have taken a step forward in writing a blog, as my friend relates, putting my toe into the water.  This has been therapeutic for me, able to express what I think, and maybe in the process helping someone else.  I am not an expert, not a professional writer, not a relationship expert, not an expert in anything really, just a willing vessel.

I have a lot of growth still to accomplish, some inner patterns to change, a lot of improvement. I write to share my side of the story and everyone has one.  I still have more work to do in the forgetting department, to show humility. I suppose that if I hope that one would show that toward me, I should be gracious enough to express humility myself, as well.

Moments of Regret

I saw on FB today a great phrase that inspired me to write. “A moment of patience, in a moment of anger, saves you a hundred moments of regret.”  Regret is a strong emotion, perhaps stronger than anger, because anger may last for a bit of time, but certainly not longer than regret.  I have reflected on my short life and have many moments of regret, and times when I wished that I exhibited a bit more patience.

Don’t you find yourself in those same thoughts?  I know that we have a story to tell, interesting and intriguing in their own way and of course, we all have suffered pain, and regret. Certainly we have experienced joy, peace, love, happiness as well.  While I cannot change my past, I can make changes in my future, changes in my behavior, my choices.  It’s in these areas that I want to change most.   Not because I am a terrible person, but I want to live life more fully, with purpose, with hope, rather than hanging onto the past and the pain.

This journey that I am on now, I have learned so much in such a short time, and I am amazed at how far I have come.  Patience is a virtue, they say. Wolverine, from the X-Men,  says he doesn’t do well with patience and I can totally relate.  Once you have spoken the word, you can’t take it back.  I used to be more careful about my responses, but I have witnessed, my own error in judgement when I didn’t exhibit grace and instead blurted out hurtful words,  waiting to spew the next volley of venom, all in the name of being right, and still not being happy.

We each have our own cross to bear, our own scar, skeleton, mask we hide behind.  For each, our toil is different, yet in this very simple expression of patience, I think everyone can relate.

I am thinking of times right now, where I should have had more patience, perhaps life would be different for me.  I don’t have any answers to the big questions in life, but I would agree, had I been more patient, it would have saved me from a hundred moments of regret.

The Bitter Truth vs. The Sweetest Lie

I heard a message a few weeks ago, and the subject came up about telling the truth, or sharing a little white lie.  It was a poignant topic for me, as I sat and listened to all the reasoning of the benefits and consequences of such actions.  I queried myself in how did I carry on in life, and relationships, in work and in play, and all the places in between. Examining my own reactions to such life’s experiences and drawing a conclusion on what response precipitated telling the truth, or in which cases it was okay to lie.

I wonder, though not for long, how do you carry yourself down this path.  How have you responded to life’s challenges, and in turn, what has your life become?  I have done plenty of self evaluating and I have found that if I shared the bitter truth, while uncomfortable, the truth is still the truth and it was left on the table to discuss.  It’s become more important to me to answer this way because the alternative is to remember which lie has been told and what to keep up with.  I can’t say that I have mastered the art of this, but isn’t honesty the best policy?

Truth in relationships is an absolute must. Trust, like truth is a foundation, and without it, there is no true relationship. I guess that’s where this idea of a sweet lie, or white lie enters the picture from how many “drinks” have I had to how much money I have spent, etc. It comes down to what’s important to you. The substance of truth, or the absence of it. What do you want, the truth and nothing but the truth, or are you okay with, “what you need to know” is the answer.  For me, in this journey, I am making changes from what once was to what I want it to be now, and that is dealing with the bitter truth.  I’ll achieve happiness quicker that way, it may not be easy, and that’s okay. Some of my greatest victories occurred after having to deal with the greatest challenges.

Denied again but I’ll remember…..like an elephant

I really should not be surprised given my history, my background and my experience, but for just a few moments, I was piping hot.  It had been the 2nd or third denial in so many months. This isn’t about the usual topic of relationships, but credit. Well it is about relationships, they just don’t know it yet.  Who is they, you ask?  It’s the biggies, the Wells Fargo, the Bank of America, the JP Morgan/ Chase kind of banks that one day will come looking for me and my business, and I will say a resounding “NO”.

I understand why they said no, and even though the letter says they did  much consideration and research, yada, yada, it was still a “no”.  They mentioned my past, but I sit here perplexed, because if I examined their past, they should get a big fat “NO” too.  It’s easy for me to remember the collapse of the mortgage market in 2008, because I had to experience that front and center. It was no fun then, and it’s still no fun, having to deal with an unbelievable set of circumstances, and trying to move on from my past, into my present, so I can go forward in my future.  Plus my past has so many positives. What I did to move forward. Taking care of my debt to society, every penny. And yet, my past comes back to bite me, time and time again.

Why is it that the big guys, can say no to me, and yet when it was their issue, all they do is pay gobs of money and off they go on their merry way.  I should not have any expectations really. What happens, is supposed to, it’s the law of attraction.  I’m not in a position of power or influence yet, but when I get there, I will certainly add my 2 cents, or more.

I was frustrated, but now, I have moved on to the next priority in my life, the really important things.   It’s not that being denied isn’t important, there are lessons to be learned. One lesson I would say, is live within a budget, because not learning that simple life plan, will heap tons of coals on your future, and I am not talking the diamond kind of coals.

No, it’s okay now, I really do get it, but it’s the disparity that I see between the have and the have-nots, but that is for another time. As for now, I’ll remember, like an elephant, especially when they come calling on me for my business.