Love

The Politics of Sex

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I really don’t know how to begin today’s article because I am shocked every time this subject comes up. And it comes up often in my candid conversations. So, let’s just put it out there; people in close, intimate relationships are afraid to have good, satisfying sex! There, I said it! Now, I may be over generalizing, but I am certain that this is fact, not opinion. Yes, folks are having sex. Yes they are getting the job done. But, there is this other level that my readers, and friends tell me about that drives me insane!

Let me share a story with you in order to set the stage for the conversation. This is a recap of a recent discussion with a female friend:

Rita: I know you spend a lot of time writing and coaching people about their relationships. Can I ask you a few questions?

Me: Sure

Rita: Things are okay in my relationship with my boyfriend, but he won’t talk to me. I try to get him to but he doesn’t really say anything. What should I do?

Me: When you say he doesn’t talk, what does that mean? Is he quite, avoiding? Does he ignore you?

Rita: Oh, we talk but when I ask him a question he says he will think about it and let me know in the next day or so.

Me: What kind of questions make him take so much time to answer?

Rita: You know, all the usual stuff. Do you love me? Am I the only one for you? Do I please you in bed? Nothing out of the norm.

Me: Well, what’s there for you when you ask him?

Rita: What do you mean, what’s there for me?

Me: I mean, you’re asking interesting questions, but why those questions? What’s there for you? Do you love him? Is he the only one for you? Does he please you in the bedroom?

Rita: Oh, I see what you mean now. I am asking because I have those concerns about me. Is that it?

Me: I don’t know but let’s take a look. Can you answer the questions?

Rita: I think I love him, yes. I feel that he is good for me. And we have a reasonable sex life.

Me: I hear you trailing off through the answers. Is there something there about the sex?

Rita: No, we have a good sex life and it happens often enough. Nothing crazy, but good.

Me: What’s missing that’s not there now?

Rita: Well, I like things a little “freakier” if you know what I mean. He is just very “vanilla” about sex. But it’s fine, we are really good together. It’s not a problem.

Me: How does it go when the two of you talk about spicing up the sex life?

Rita: Oh! I couldn’t talk to him about that! I mean not SEX!

And that’s when the “You’ve got to be shitting me” warning bell went off in my head! Further discussion revealed that Rita was very interested in a more exciting sex life. And not only was she unwilling to talk to her boyfriend about it, she could not imagine herself doing those things with him! She said that she was thinking of cheating in order to get this part of her life fulfilled. Here she was blaming him for lack of discussion and she was holding back BIG things. She was asking him if they were committed to each other and she wasn’t. She was asking if the sex life was good, knowing she was unhappy and unfulfilled. And the saddest part of it all was that she would not entertain the possibility of a discussion. No way, it wasn’t going to happen. End of story.

We Fool Ourselves

In Rita’s case, she was looking to her boyfriend to fix what she wanted without telling him. She was blaming him for her lack of sexual fulfillment. She knew that there was a deep desire within her to have a wilder sexual relationship, but couldn’t picture it with him. WHY?

Why, when we have perfect partners in every other regard, are we willing to settle for something less in our sex lives? The real answer here is fear. We are afraid to have open discussions about sex, even when it’s with our sex partners. But we are also fooling ourselves into thinking that our partner would never be willing to have such a conversation.

I asked Rita if she would consider the possibility of the discussion and she flatly said “No”. She was cutting of any chance of getting what she really wanted with her boyfriend and resigned herself to cheating or being unfulfilled. It stuns me every time I hear it. And I hear it a lot.

Quit Fooling Yourself!

Just think of the possibilities within Rita’s relationship if she were to open the dialogue of having better sex with her partner. Does anyone truly feel that her man would not want to discuss it or just listen. HELL NO! He’s a man for the love of all that is holy! We love sex.

When my girlfriend says she wants to try something new in the bedroom, I become singularly focused with such an intensity that I feel like a sexual super hero. I want to know every detail of what she’s thinking and talk it through. We greatly enjoy the conversational fore play of new ideas and thoughts. The difference is that we have adjusted our dialogue to include sex, fantasies, and new ideas. We have consciously made the choice to offer up any ideas that come to mind and explore the possibility of adding them to our sex lives.

So, I suggest that if Rita, and others like her, should give this a try. Get to the place in your relationship where anything goes within the conversation. It’s only words and they don’t hurt. Don’t make the discussion anything other than what it is, an opportunity to talk about sex with your partner.

Make it beautiful, make it sexy, make it dirty, but just do it!

How to Make it Happen

So where do we start? Great question…

Without reinventing the wheel I will offer up some ways to jump into the conversation with relative ease and safety. Here at RLA we have been building a base of materials for our readers to pull from and I went back through the last few months to find help. Jay Simcic wrote a great piece about our inabilities to read minds. I think this is a good starting point for couples. Read the article and begin the discussion. Here is the one I am recommending: Men and Women Read Minds Poorly .

Then Jay hit another home run with What Does it Take to Turn a Guy On? . This has some silliness in it, but the last part really brings home the point.

Then a few of my offerings to assist with furthering the conversation. These include The Language of Love , Listening Like a Lover and Relationship Boundaries . I recommend that people share these with their partners and find out where they are in the relationship. I feel that you may get a big surprise. At the very least some hot conversation.

Let’s all stop fooling ourselves into thinking we are different and that our partners don’t have the same or similar desires. We are human beings and sex is part of what we do for reproduction and pleasure. Why not enjoy it to the fullest? I find that I don’t get everything every time I engage my girlfriend in conversation, but I get way more than if I just wished about it. Stop wishing and start sharing. I dare you…

Let me know how it goes or if we can help. And don’t hesitate to send me a follow up question.

Until next time…

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 2

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Relationship ChallengeIf you missed the first part of the Relationship Breakthrough Challenge you can view part 1 here.

Imagine for a moment that you’re at home relaxing.  Your husband comes home a little late from work.  He shows up with a big grin on his face.  He looks at you and says “Look honey, I bought a new car.  Isn’t it great?”

What would be the first reaction you have?

More than likely it would be nearly the same reaction as anytime you’re about to get into a disagreement of this type.  You know, when he does something without telling you and you feel like you should have been informed or better yet, consulted.

Patterns rule our world…

It is through patterns of emotion that we react and deal with things in our lives.  We use the same emotions over and over again because we’ve built a pattern of use that protects us, helps us cope, and gives us some level of comfort in knowing what comes next.  And it is THESE patterns that will keep you confined to a cage of limits to how you can deal with situations.

It is the pattern you default to that limits your ability to see new courses of action to take in your relationship.  Why?  Because you can only react the way you know how.

In fact, you probably don’t even know you do it.  If you don’t know you do it, you can’t have control over it.  And if you don’t have control over it, then your default emotion and reactions run you, you DON’T run them.

Which can be a problem when you’re in a long-term relationship.

Consider that these problems, that you react to in the same way over and over again can cause you massive amounts of stress.  And that could lead to more problems in the relationship, more stress, and even depression.

But…

Where does stress come from?

Stress is created when your view of the world, your view of how your relationship should go, is NOT being met.  You have a standard or expectation of how things in your relationship should go.  And if they don’t go that way, you default to the emotion and reaction for that situation.

Of course that doesn’t do anything to progress your relationship or the situation forward.  In fact it may cause it to get worse.  You’re reacting to everything and never gain an upper hand because you’re falling into a default way of being with your partner.

When those issues don’t go a way and you continue this cycle it impacts you both emotionally and physically.  And that compounds matters.

The true impact of your relationships?

Our relationships magnify our emotions and impact every other aspect of our lives.  If your relationships at home are problematic, they will impact work.  If your relationships at work are problematic they will effect your home life.

Think about times you’ve had a fight with your spouse and leave the house in disgust.  You may have found yourself in a foul mood on the way too work to arrive even worse than when you left the house.  You might even confide in your “girlfriends” at work who will side with your view just because they are your friends.

“How could he do such a thing.”

“He could learn a thing or two.”

All of these comments fuel your anger and you end up taking it out on one of the men in your office.  It all continues to escalate unless it’s handled sooner rather than later.  I would even bet you take your anger out on your kids if you have any.  They’re in your face, constantly wanting something… and you yell at them.  They just want to do what kids do and play.

But where does all this come from and how do you break free?

You lose every ounce of power you have when you react in your default emotion or reaction.  Consider that you give your power away to your past that has you be the way you are.  I’ll explain more about the past in just a minute but for now, I’m sure you’ll agree that you do lose your power in these situations.

You’re not in control.  I bet that when you have a problem or an event takes place that doesn’t go the way you think it should, you blame something or someone.  You might blame the event for causing you to get upset.  You may blame your partner for causing you to “get that way”.  But you rarely if ever take responsibility for how you react.

How could you.  You think it’s some external force causing you to be a certain way.

The problem is that when you blame something and you DO NOT take responsibility for your actions, reactions, and emotions you are at the effect of life.  And when you are at the effect of life you lose all the power in your relationship.  You essentially hand it to whoever will take it, push your button, or cause you to react.

That’s no way to live life.  But it’s how we all have done it for so long.  Until you get responsible.

Hang with me a few more minutes and you’ll get what I’m talking about.

Regain your power!

Consider that the common “thing” in every upset, problem or negative reaction you have is YOU.  And it is YOU who needs to take responsibility for your actions.

You see, no one can push your arm, leg or knuckle and cause you to be mad, sad, or unhappy.  What typically happens is… something happens, you make it mean something, and react to the meaning.

Once you see that it is the meaning that triggers certain emotions, you can take control back.  Once you become aware of this meaning, identify where it comes from, you can now choose whether you’re going to get upset or take a different action.  Your partner isn’t in your head pushing buttons making you be a certain way.  You’re reacting to something he did and the meaning you assigned it.

Once you begin to see that you do have control you can regain your power over every relationship situation.  You get to choose what you get mad at and what you don’t.  But you are no longer at the effect of life.  Now you get to choose when you act and when you don’t.

And that gives you the tool to work things out, talk things out, and deal with the issues instead of get upset and move into your default emotion.  You are now equipped to handle problems quickly and easily.

So how exactly do you deal with a problem?

First, take responsibility for your own emotions and reactions.  “He” didn’t MAKE you do anything.  He did what he did and you made it mean something that caused you to unconsciously react.  Now that you know you do that, you can take responsibility for your reactions and emotions.

Now you can get them under control and confront him without the emotions that hold the conversation back.  You may find your conversation with him now is empowered by who you are being in the situation.  You may find that he respects you more for talking to him in a civil tone rather than reacting how you’ve always done.

By doing this you will gain a level of power with yourself that transcends the relationship and transforms it into something you never thought possible until now.

Change your relationship and change your life…

Here are the steps you can take to improve your relationship, take responsibility for your emotions and reactions, and move your relationship and life to another level on the playing field.

  1. Identify one default behavior you do when you get upset with your partner.
  2. Look at what he did and find out what that action or event means to you.  (Be honest here, you can only make progress if you’re brutally honest with yourself.)
  3. When did you first give that type of event meaning?
  4. It’s just an event, can you give it up and take responsibility for your own emotions and reactions?
  5. Now be fully aware of when you’re about to react to an event.  Go through the process and just be with it.  Don’t react.
  6. Now you’ve got control and can choose the emotion you want to use to discuss the situation with your partner.

Is it really that easy?

Yes.  And it does take practice.

Consider you and I are meaning making machines who give meaning and react with emotion any chance we get.  And it didn’t just start.  We’ve been doing it since we were children.  And we’ve carried that along with us every step of the way.  In the next article I’ll talk about how these meanings are the story of our lives and made us who we are.  I’ll show you how you can truly transform your relationships into something you’ve always wanted.

So stay tuned for the next post.  In the mean time, drop us an email or leave a comment.  Let us know how things are going for you.

Love… to infinity and beyond,

Jay

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What’s Your Style of Fore Play?

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Now before you go down a different road, let me explain the question.

Recently, while in a coaching session, I was discussing results of a group interaction with my team leader. The team leader is another coach. We covered quite a few areas of human behavior within and without the group. I had an issue with one of my group in that she was not responding as I had wished. Further, I was having difficulty probing her and gaining information to motivate her into action. It may seem odd that I write this blog about how to make things work with relationships and then I myself have the same or similar problems. I even discussed this in a recent article, the link is here for you to review: Making Any Relationship Work . I should think this  proves that even coaches need coaches.

This reality exists with us all. You see, we are the same at every level of our existence and no problem, behavior or issue is new to human kind. So yes, I have the same troubles. But my team leader was generous enough to share a perspective with me that I had not yet discovered. When I explained what I perceived to be road blocks in the discussion with my teammate, and that I would shut off the conversation at the point I thought the resistance would go to hurt feelings, he asked if this was “fore play”?

Fore play? I had never considered the context outside of the implied sexual content. His point was that we all have a style of fore play that brings us to the main act. So let ask again; What’s your style of fore play?

Fore Play in Everyday Life?

Given that the woman I was attempting to coach is a very nice, educated, hard-working adult and I could not get what I wanted. There had to be more I was missing. I gave up in the conversation and possibly didn’t provide her enough space to open up and join in the conversation because, in her mind, the fore play was not over.

What a concept! It makes my outlook on conversational resistance change 180 degrees! Is it possible that people have this need for a style and approach to conversation? YES! And to prove the theory I began a discussion and a fact finding mission. It’s not about being right, just finding a new distinction to share and create with.

My team leader went on about children. When a conversation takes place with a small child they are always eager to engage. They love the attention and the stimulation. Talking is new to them and they revel in it. Tell them to do their homework, take out the garbage, brush their teeth, go to bed, they know the end result, but does that stop them? Hell No! And here comes the fore play… Thousands of excuses, reasons why it can’t be done, asking for delays, pleading, but in the end, they just do it. Every child is different in the approach, but all children have this natural propensity to push back.

This is the set up for how engage in conversation throughout life. It doesn’t have to be bad or good, it’s just that we want to have a little massaging before we get to it. Now, knowing this gives me a new way to approach or look at how we get to the main act of life.

My team leader said he was certain that my girlfriend and I loved each other. I agreed.

He asked if there was ever a time when she would accompany me to an event that she really didn’t want to attend.

“Sure” I said, “There have been several occasions.”

“Did she argue or complain before going? And did you know she would support you in any case?” he went on.

I said, “Of course!”

“Consider this was her style of fore play”, he ended.

And It’s There Everyday

Now that I understand the reasoning and basic programing we all have about how we approach and are approached, I take the opportunity to view these “nuisances” as an availability to advance and progress the conversation. And having the distinction gives me great power in the conversation itself.

While I was writing this article, my girlfriend came into the office and asked that I hang a mirror in the bedroom. We relocated two weeks ago and both of us have been working hard to get the apartment in order. She was lucky enough to spend the pervious weekend at the beach leaving me to finish decorating and hanging pictures. So, rather than ask for a moment to finish, request that we do it another time, or just ignore her, I got up from my desk saying, “It’s not like I’m writing my article or anything important…”

Did you say, “Go brush your teeth and get ready for bed”?

And as I entered the bedroom, she asked,”Was that sarcasm I heard in your voice?”.

“Do it right now young man and no arguing!”

“No” I offered, “Just a little fore play”.

So Where Do We Go From Here?

As interesting as it is, and yet little known, this distinction can dramatically change how we react or interact with those in our lives. Just imagine the possibility of being in control of removing the fore play from the conversation and getting down to the “real thing”. Would you get more or less upset with your children? Would you be able to have a different kind of discussion with your relatives during the holiday seasons? Could you tolerate and understand the co-worker you have had issues with? The possibilities go on and on.

And now for the main act…

When she says, “I’m not in the mood”, is this her offer to begin fore play?

Don’t miss the sex because you don’t like the fore play. Relish it!

What’s that Dear? Yes, I’m almost finished…

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 1

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Relationship BreakthroughOver the next several weeks I’m going to challenge you to have a breakthrough in your relationship. I’m committed that you uncover different aspects of your relationship that allows you to take the bond you have with your partner to a new level.  This is going to require you to pay attention and practice a few steps.  And when you do, you’ll SEE the results.

Over the coming weeks I’m going to talk about different aspects of how to overcome limiting beliefs, how to overcome stress, and take responsibility for certain aspects of your life. I’m also going to have you  look at the story of your life, how to uncover the truth that you really never lose, and how your decisions ultimately guide your life as you know.

During the next 4 to 5 weeks all I ask is that you keep an open mind to the ideas that I provide you. I’m certain that if you follow along do the practice sessions and continue to practice on a daily basis you will have breakthroughs in all the relationships in your life.

Let’s start with our emotions.

One of the things that we tend to do is we look at our relationships and all the problems we have.  However, what we fail to do is look at the problems objectively.

What I mean by that is… take someone who has tons of money, has everything that they could ever want, but hates life. Then look at someone who is a paraplegic who has every reason to hate life but lives a fully satisfied, happy, and joyful life.

If you begin to look at your problems objectively you may see that they really aren’t that big.  Besides, every problem you ever encounter can be handled.  And we’ll talk about how you can deal with them in later posts.

One area that allows you to feel like you’re doing well in your relationships is making progress toward some goal you WANT or NEED.

When you’re making progress toward a goal, you feel alive. You thrive with positive emotion because you can see you’re moving in the “right direction”.

And if you don’t feel like you’re making progress toward that goal, you SEE it as a problem to overcome.

Consider that the circumstances of our lives don’t control our emotions or how we feel.

You may look at an event that seems to be negative and say that it was the event that caused you to feel a that way. This is completely not true. YOU control how the event occurs to you.

To turn your problems into something workable you first have to shift how that experience occurs to you. In order to do that you must change your “should’s” about the experience.

For instance…

My wife barked an order at me.  She shouldn’t have done that.  She should have ASKED me to do what she wanted.  Instead she pissed me off and I yelled at her.

Consider that my reaction was based on how it “should be”.  And the “should be” is something I totally made up.

Now consider you do the same things.  You have a list of “should’s” in everything you do in life, PRIMARILY your relationships.

“He should open the door for me.”

“He should cook my dinner.”

“He should let me orgasm first.”

Our lives are built from a world of “should’s” that we didn’t know we had.

We REACT, not to the event, but how we think it should go.

Consider for a moment that your “should’s” were created from the experience of your life.  That’s how you came to believe them.  Now they seem true to you even if they aren’t.  These turn into expectations that may go unfulfilled because you’re partner doesn’t know.

The Devil Inside

If having these expectations of how things “should” go wasn’t enough add to it one of the deadliest relationship killers of all.

Our default emotion.

Yes, you have a default emotion.  It’s something that you default too when things don’t go the way they should…  It’s natural for you, it’s your default.  We all have it and sometimes are different depending on the “should”.

For instance angry people will get angry when an expectation is unfulfilled. Depressed people will get depressed when their expectation is not met. Ambivalent people get ambivalent.

These are default patterns that will drive us in our relationships.  They will be what you resort to in those “circumstances”.

Now consider you don’t even know that you do it. You react to life as if life is making you do things. You react to events in your relationship as if the other person is making you angry, depressed, or sad.

They aren’t DOING it.  Consider for a moment that it is YOU who gets to choose how you react.

The only way that you can gain control of your emotions and make a difference in your relationship is to become aware of it and modify it.

So here are a few steps you can take to identify what your typical patterns are and change them so you can take your relationship to the next level.

Identify your dominant emotion.

What you want to do is look at how you act.  Be honest with yourself and identify the dominant emotion that you turn to in times of need or crisis. Take a sheet of paper out and write down all of the emotions that you use during a given day.  They can be both empowering emotions as well as disempowering emotions.

You may notice that you turn to the same emotions over and over again. These are your dominant emotions. These are the emotions that you turn to when your relationship doesn’t go the way you think it should.

What’s the fix.

Now I want you to look at the emotions that you just wrote down.  Think about what emotions you would rather have or that would make a difference in your relationship when the crap hits the fan.  What emotion would you have that if you had it, would make all the difference in the world.

For instance, if your dominant emotion is anger what emotion would you like to have in place of anger that would transform your relationship with your partner?

If you’re depressed, what emotion would you like to have in place of it that would give you a breakthrough in your relationship.

Again, be honest with yourself and write this down on that piece of paper.

Practice awareness and shift the emotion.

The next step in having a breakthrough in your relationship is to practice being aware.  You must “SEE” when you’re turning into your dominant emotion.  Said another way, if you’re dominant emotion is angry, then notice when you get angry.  If your dominant emotion is sadness, notice when you get said.

I’m not saying look back into the past.  I’m saying notice it when it happens.  Once you notice it you have the control to shift it.  This is your opportunity to shift that dominant emotion into the one you said would cause a breakthrough in your relationship.

If you’re angry, notice it and shift it to joyful (or whatever you chose).  Shift depressed into happy.

What ever it is you do, shift it into what it is you WANT.

Just by doing this exercise you will gain so much power over your emotions you may surprise yourself.  And when you do this it may even impact others around you.

Anchoring the emotion.

The next step is to make that shift happen so you don’t have to think about it. The only way that can happen is if you continue to practice day after day, recognize your dominant emotion and when you’re having it, shift it into the fix emotion. As you become aware and practice these emotional shifts you are gaining control over your results.

Let me explain what I mean by that last sentence. Imagine that your partner comes home from work and demands that you make dinner. Your normal condition would be to get angry. What would it be like if instead of angry you got joyful. You don’t have to have a reason, you just get joyful. It would shift the situation considerably. In fact your joyfulness may impact your partner’s emotions. How awesome would it be if he ended up being joyful because of you.

As you can see we have dominant emotions that were dealing with time and time again. It’s natural and we all do it. But sometimes those dominant emotions may not be healthy in our relationships. So it’s up to us to take control, identify those dominant emotions, shift them into emotions that will progress the relationship forward and enable it to be a spectacular partnership. Once you do that you can continue to condition your dominant emotion into something that you enjoy.

Once you do this for you relationships, you may notice that it rolls over into the other areas of your life.

If you have questions please go ahead and ask them below. Most importantly I’d like you to read this more than once and then go practice.

I would love it if you would let me know your results. Also next week we’re going to talk about how to overcome stress and what taking responsibility really means. This could be the secret sauce that allows you to transform your relationship to a whole another level.

Love… To infinity and beyond.

Jay

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We’re Not in Kansas Anymore….

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The last several weekly articles have generated a debate that has fascinated me, the RLA staff and many readers. Here are the links to the two that started the conversation: Lights, Action, Drama!!!!!!!!!! and Attitude and Gratitude Check them out if you haven’t already.

The power of choice and the recognition of being in control of choosing has brought out stories that prove the point. At first it seemed odd that people around me made an argument of no possibility of choice and that we have no control over our emotions or how we react to situations. So, we here at RLA took a deeper dive and followed the rabbit down the hole. The first post addresses how we choose and the consequences of doing so. If we allow ourselves to be controlled by emotion, that too, is a choice.

The second post gave insight to the perspective in which we choose to live. I give several examples of how I and people around me make bold choices to do the right thing in the face of what could be considered “wrong”. The reality is that there is no “right’ or “wrong” but WE choose to make it into something that we can label and therefore be comfortable with. I like that we have a conversation going about our ability (or not) to choose how we act, react, and engage.

So, back to the stories… Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a woman named Savannah, who was gracious enough to discuss our web site and asked questions about what we do here at RLA. She was intrigued and shared many aspects of her life with me and my friends. She was open and direct and shared one story after another. Savannah had us all laughing about her family and their behavior.

During the discussion, the option of choice was brought up. We talked about how making choices and being in control brought a great position of power to any relationship. I offered that if we wanted the truth about any situation, our best bet was to ask a woman 70 years old or more. You see, my opinion is that there is no greater truth than that from an old woman. They have seen it all, lived it all and done it all. Furthermore, they have absolutely no reason to hold it back. They will fire the truth at you as if it were being shot out of a Remington model 1100, right between the eyes and with no regard to your feelings. You asked, they deliver. Old ladies are the Dominos pizza of truth, delivered right to your door, hot, fresh and under 30 minutes. “Does that dress make you look fat? Oh Honey! When you walked into to church this morning, I thought there was a college football game about to start. I mean, silver stripes just aint’ your thing Sweetie. Now, I don’t mean nothin’ by it, but if you want to keep that dress at least get some advertising for the back side.” And there you have it the double report from the model 1100 fired at point blank. I LOVE OLD WOMEN! They choose to live by their own rules.

And Savannah, once again, had a story. She has an aunt who, at the time, was 92 years old. And Aunt Janie liked to have things here way. She made no bones about it, she liked things to be a certain way based on her proper upbringing in the state of Georgia. You see, Aunt Janie had lived during a time when manners were taught and observed by everyone in the community and she was not about to let go of what she viewed as proper. In addition, Aunt Janie knew this was her choice. Her choice came with consequences but that was also fine by her. As Savannah explained, Aunt Janie was the kindest person you could meet. She loved company and was a gracious southern cook. Aunt Janie was as happy to have visitors at any time as most single older women are. But there was one thing she would not compromise. Aunt Janie was raised in a time when a visitor “called” before they arrived. As was the custom in her younger days, it was proper to schedule a visit, especially to the home of a single woman. And now was no different.

Savannah said that even though the family all knew of this “rule” some of them tried to visit unannounced. The results were less than spectacular. Every unannounced visitor found Aunt Janie sound asleep on the sofa facing the TV. And no matter how hard or often they knocked, no one could wake Aunt Janie. When Savannah told Aunt Janie that she had missed several visitors due to her afternoon napping, she was stunned to find out that Aunt Janie had missedd nothing. Her 92 year old aunt was playing opossum! She explained that she knew of each and every person who came calling and she feigned sleep rather than answer the door to an unannounced caller. She was set in her ways and no one was going to alter the proper nature of her rules. Aunt Janie further explained that she increased the volume of the television, slumped down into a sleeping position and watched through half open eyes as the company banged on her front door. How cool is that? At 92 years old, Aunt Janie was still saying, “Do it my way, or bite my A$$!”

In this case Aunt Janie made a choice, it had consequences and she lived by her rules. Love it or hate it she chose to conduct herself as she saw fit and I feel like that alone is enough to offer some respect.

So, this will wrap up my rant on choice unless there is more out there to discuss. The conversation has been stimulating and thank you to all of those who have shared in the dialogue. Keep choosing and offer the same to those in your life. You be surprised as to the results.

As always,
Love with no shame and ask with no fear.
Bobby

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