Tag Archive for encouragement words

Attitude and Gratitude

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Last week I wrote about our ability to choose how we approach life and the problems it throws our way. In the event you haven’t read it, here is the link, Lights, Action, Drama!!!!!!!!!!! . Many readers did not agree with my assessment and challenged the idea of being able to make such choices. I was told that it is not always possible to view a situation and choose how to respond. A family member actually claimed it was not possible based on how the issue was presented and our past experiences. Their point was that we don’t have control with regard to how we approach and respond to crisis and everyday problems. The belief here is that it just is what it is and getting upset is a natural and uncontrollable part of the process.

I have to call “Bullshit!” here folks. If we feel that there is no ability to control and modify our responses based on how we feel and what our past experiences are, well just shoot me now and dump me into a pine box. Life has no chance to improve over where we stand today. Why should we try to improve anything? Are you kidding me! What a crock of crap! This view point simply tells me that these folks have no interest in changing for the better and we should all accept them for the emotional messes they are.

It’s fine with me if people don’t want to look into themselves and gain control and understanding about how they interact with those in their life, but don’t tell me it’s not possible. It can be difficult, it can be overwhelming, and it can be tedious, but it certainly is not impossible. So, if you don’t want to look inside and create a space for others to join in conversation about interesting and profound topics, fine! Just gain the understanding that YOU don’t want to bring your best to the dialogue. Let the rest of us open up and see what we can achieve via the approach and context.

Proof in the Pudding

All around me I see examples of people who choose to make the difference by selecting a path that allows them to remove preconception and barriers. I find it interesting for people with absolute reasons to complain and nothing to complain about. In fact, many times these same people not only are complaint free, they bring with them a joy that appears to be boundless.

For instance, a friend of mind named Wendy has a non-curable spinal condition. When I first met her, I was in love with her vibrant personality, out-going, good nature and her sense of humor. I truly look forward to each time I get to see her. She is never boring and always a great conversationalist. Her stories captivate me. She keeps me laughing from the time we meet until we depart. She smiles and the world smiles back. In my mind, it is impossible not to be attracted to such a beautiful spirit.

But look at it from another perspective. One day I thought to myself, this woman who delights everyone around her, has every reason to be angry and bitter. She could be mean to everyone she meets and we would allow her to do so because of her condition. People could easily agree that having such a physical burden rightfully allows her to have anger and distain. But here she is without a complaint and draws love to her like a moth to a flame. Her life force is bright enough to light a city block. I realized this is the choice she makes for herself and those around her. She can get away with the other behavior, but she chooses not.

Despite her physical limitations, my friend Wendy moves through life with all the grace and dignity anyone could ever ask for and she inspires me to be a better person. Wendy, if you’re reading this, YOU ROCK!

Another example is my partner here at RLA Advisors, Jay Simcic. At the time of this article we have been living through record setting high temperatures of more than 100 degrees. During this time, Jay lost his air conditioning for 8 days. With the Independence Day Holiday there was no means to get parts faster for the repairs and pending relief. Because of work and other responsibilities, Jay and his family were unable to leave the house for more comfortable surroundings. They were forced to endure the heat in a home without AC for each of the eight days. They had friends and family offer their homes, but again life did not allow for the relocation.

As the ordeal came to an end, Jay shared with me how grateful he was. I asked him to explain. He stated that he was grateful to have friends who were willing to offer their homes, He was grateful for neighbors who called to check in every day. He was grateful to have the money to pay for the repairs. His perspective was one I had not considered, but given all things he chose to take a positive view of the bounty he has been blessed with, rather than the misery he had endured. What a great choice! And imagine the impression this choice will have on his young daughter. The impact will be priceless.

And last, after a heated discussion with my girl friend, I was able to share a profound gratitude with her. As we settled into bed that night, I explained that I was grateful that we had such a discussion. She was puzzled, so I went on to say that I was grateful that we were working on our relationship and brave enough to have the talk. I was grateful that we were talking at all and face to face. When I served over seas in the military, I and many others were unable to have face-to-face conversations with their loved ones. I was grateful to have her, there with me in bed. I know people today who have lost their spouses, parents and children, who would give any price to have them back for one more conversation. Any conversation, an argument or otherwise. So in contrast, I am pleased to choose to be grateful.

You Make It Seem So Easy…

My friends often ask if it is as easy as my writing indicate. For this I apologize. To think that behavior modification is easy is understating it at best. However, this too is a choice. You see, I was quick to anger in my younger days and those choices many times lead to disaster. I found wasted effort in making poor relationship choices with those close friends and family who were simply caught in the cross fire of misguided emotions. Hurt feelings were more difficult to repair than to protect. Regaining my integrity after an emotional out burst was not always easy. So now I make different choices and so can you.

I love the feeling of appreciation when a good conversation takes the place of what could have been a bad one. I like getting the heart of the emotion rather than bearing the searing heat of it without real benefit. I love being able to finally HEAR those around me and I do it by choice. It is nothing simple or difficult it just is there for each of us to take advantage of. Choice is one of the greatest possibilities we have in life. So choose wisely my friends.

Is it easy? You choose…

 

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

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Lights, Action, Drama!!!!!!!!!!

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Relationships today have taken a turn in which life represents art. I am referring to reality TV and the influences it has on our own lives. I am a huge fan of reality TV and I fault no one for watching and enjoying the carnage that takes place on such programs. Forget the Amazing Race and Survivor, I’m talking about the original day-time dirt. There is nothing better than watching a couple of strippers cat fight over a trailer trash, red-neck, hillbilly for female dominance of the Sunny Meadows RV and Trailer Park. YEE-HAAAWWWW, that’s just good old fashion fun!

I get to laughing out loud watching this kind of thing on TV. At times I find myself crying from laughter and thinking, “My life is great”. On occasions I feel as if I need a good dose of day-time trash to make me see my life as good and wholesome compared to others. But the reality of reality TV is that we see ourselves in those performing or living out their lives for all of us to view.

Don’t deny it! We have all sat in front of the idiot box and thought, “We should talk to my in-laws about going on that show”, or “That reminds me of our last Thanksgiving dinner”. We all know someone, some where who would fit right into the current top-of-the-morning “Talk Show”. There is no reason to be embarrassed by it or them, it’s just the way families are. We are all dysfunctional to a certain degree, but we can choose to act upon it or take a different path.

The Set Up…

Going through our daily lives and relationships with those around us, we encounter issues and problems of all kinds. Disagreements, arguments, confrontations, they are with us or part of us every day. And we get to choose how we approach and deal with these every day occurrences. Let me say that again, every day occurrences.

You may make a case that there are days when we don’t have issues and problems. Well, perhaps so, but again that is a choice. But consider that every occurrence in life is presented to us with a choice of how we will behave. In other words, regardless of the situation, we get to choose what happens by how we act upon the issue. What’s that? You don’t believe it? Let’s look at an example…

Johnny and Peg are a married couple. Johnny pays the bills as is their agreement. While paying the monthly cell phone statement, Johnny logs on to view the bill via the web in an effort to find a possible reduction in price based on the couples total usage. He discovers three calls from Peg’s phone to his best friend Tom. All were placed last Friday evening while Johnny was at a company dinner function. The total time for the three calls was more than 90 minutes!

Johnny feels he must address this with Peg immediately. He gathers the phone bill and storms into the kitchen to find Peg.

Cue music. Camera pans from left to right. Camera pulls back for a full view of the audience pounding their fists in the air to a chant of, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry…”  Enter Jerry, announcing, “And on todays show we have Johnny who is here to confront his wife Peg about her recently discovered infidelity” The audience screams their disapproval. What a great show! Let’s get a front row seat! Johnny has chosen the reality TV approach. This should be good!

OR

Johnny and Peg are a married couple. Johnny pays the bills as is their agreement. While paying the monthly cell phone statement, Johnny logs on to view the bill via the web in an effort to find a possible reduction in price based on the couples total usage. He discovers three calls from Peg’s phone to his best friend Tom. All were placed last Friday evening while Johnny was at a company dinner function. The total time for the three calls was more than 90 minutes.

Johnny feels he must address this with Peg, if only for his curiosity and peace of mind. Over dinner when he asks, Peg reminds him that Lisa, Tom’s wife, had visited that evening after she and Tom had argued. Lisa left her apartment upset and without her phone. Once she was clam she called to talk to Tom and borrowed Pegs cell phone. They worked it out and Lisa was back at home happy later that night. Boring, I know, but Johnny is in control of choosing and the out come will be very different based on his choice.

The Final Act

As I said, these issue are there for us each and every day. Many pass us by without notice and others are thrust upon us to be dealt with in the rudest fashion possible. Either way, we get to choose how we take on the situation. Tell me I am not performing well enough at work. I can call the boss an asshole or ask what is missing that would benefit both of us. When the car breaks down, I can complain about it or deal with the repairs. Either way I have to get it fixed. Find a strange entry on the cell phone bill and get upset or inquire as to why.

Each time I get to choose and be in control and powerful with the choice. I have what it takes to keep the conversation moving forward and in a positive direction. If it is true that Peg is cheating on Johnny, does he need an audience and a talk show host to know how to handle it? I should think not.

Give the benefit of conversation to those around you. Let them be part of the engaging dialogue and offer them the opportunity to get open and honest with you. In return you can be in control by providing the space for such conversation. Many people don’t know how to get to this point but that, in and of itself, could make for a great conversation with someone you love. Embrace the idea of conversational intercourse. It can be extremely stimulating.

That’s it for now. I have to run off to find out if Marty, Sean, Terry or Bubba is Betty Lou’s baby daddy. The DNA results are in! And the hits just keep on rollin’.

 

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

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Making Any Relationship Work

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Recently, I was asked what the key is to making a relationship work. Those of you who read my articles know that I am a huge fan of communication. I love to engage in meaningful conversation, with friends, family and, of course, my lover. Conversation brings meaning to everything, without it, we have no method of relating or conveying thoughts, ideas or feelings.

I even enjoy conversation about things I don’t like. My friends and I discuss political views and I listen and engage. I have dialog with others regarding differences of religious views and beliefs. I will open a talk about food, working out, music, movies, social programs, gas prices anything, as long as it is meaningful and everyone gets something from the interaction. I don’t like all these subjects, but I love the conversation. I find it mentally stimulating and valuable information in order to truly know others.

It has been said that we should never talk about politics or religion. I would suggest, that a person not able to remove themselves from the emotions attached should not have those conversations. Some of the best interactions I have are with people of differing view points. Why would we only want to engage with like minded people? If everyone is thinking the same thing, 50% of the people are not thinking. So talking with those who don’t agree with our opinion is just that, talking. Listen, engage and have fun.

But, what is really the key to a good relationship? If conversation was all there was, we would be in perfect relational status. With 24 hours news, cable TV and the internet, we talk or get talked to, all the time. So, conversation is only a means of developing and maintaining our relationships, not necessarily the key to success. Not only did I want to provide an answer to my reader, I wanted the answer for myself. What is the key?

Reaching Out Through Technology

In today’s world of distance and technology, it’s been stated that relationships have changed. I would argue, that we have changed as people and how we interact with one another. We have a litany of medias barraging us from the moment we wake up to the minute we go back to sleep. Television, radio, email, internet, social media, cell phones, texting, we have a constant flow of information blasting our senses every waking moment. I myself will have the TV on while I check my emails. I can do both and I like it. But it has changed us not as people, but in the way we interact.

With information flowing into us from everywhere at all times, it is natural for us to filter what we hear and how we hear it. It used to be called selective hearing by married couples. We have the ability to hear what we want when we want to. And with the amount of “stuff” being thrown at us, it stands to reason that we will miss things or just refuse to hear them. It’s not our fault, it is the way of our current world.

Children have adapted faster than many adults, as they don’t see most technology as new. It was here when they arrived on the planet and they simply just use it. Us, more mature folks, have had to adapt and that may mean that we miss things from time to time. We have changed the way we interact, we have more stimuli than ever before and we have technology creating a physical gap between us.

It’s not wrong, it’s just how it is.

We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult to have solid successful relationships. So, What is the key?

Where is Your Hat?

Yeah, where is your hat? That’s right? Here is the key…

When it comes to making a relationship work, I would ask this simple question. For me the answer is easy. Take a look at you and your relationship, if you want the best out of it then get committed to it. Put your hat in the ring. If your hat is on a hook somewhere else then you are not focused here. If your hat is in another ring, then your are committed to something else. The key to making any relationship work is throwing your hat in the ring and committing to it. Communication gets all of the moving parts put in the proper places, but if you’re distracted by all the background noise we suffer with daily, are you really listening? Is your hat in the ring or tilted slightly on your head? Relationships work well and they work best when we commit to them. And although it takes a little work, the benefits are enormous!

And this works for any and all relationships. Take a child for instance, when we tune out all the noise and listen just to them, it becomes their entire world. And in return the child will listen back. They become engaged and want to interact. It is beautiful to watch.

I enjoy the exchanges I have with my friends and family. I treasure dialogue with my lover. If I were to become distracted, what benefit is there for any of us? The key to making any relationship work is taking the time to disengage from all of the garbage infecting our senses and just listen to the one we want to hear from. Put your hat in that ring!

We have an easy excuse given the massive informational input we have each day. It becomes common to say, “I forgot”, “I didn’t hear you say that”, or “What?” but if you want the relationship to really work, commit and throw your hat into the ring. Take the time to listen and hear what’s there for each of you. Not all conversation is fun and not all is worth having, but you only get to decide when you open yourself to the possibility of good dialogue.

So there is the key as I see it. Don’t miss the chance for your child to explain they are unhappy, it may prevent additional issues. Don’t miss the chance to help a friend with a problem, you may have the same one later. Don’t miss the chance to hear about a religious belief, you may discover God. And never miss the opportunity for some to tell you that they love you.

Every time it comes to your relationships, my advice is to throw you hat into the ring.

 

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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Listening Like a Lover

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Listen First

             Up to this point I have written several posts about talking. Now don’t get me wrong, I want all my readers to engage in conversation. However I thought it a good time to reverse the tables just a bit and discuss the art of listening.

             Talking is the beginning of sharing our thoughts and ideas. But without a willing partner talking alone is akin to oral masturbation. If you’re doing it by yourself, the results can sometimes be less than spectacular. So when talking to each other, make certain that you have an active partner. If they are not interested or distracted, hold the conversation for a short while until things clear up and each of you can take an active role in the dialogue.

             With that said, it is equally important that you be a good listener and not just hear the spoken words. Listening can be a great way to pick up on subtle things that are conveyed through voice inflection and body language. In a relationship discussion what is not said can be more important than what is said. For example, if a partner uses the word “fine” to end an emotionally charged conversation while turning away and folding their arms, does it really mean “fine”. NO! It means exactly the opposite. Although this is an extreme example that could be picked up by the dumbest of all men, you get my point.

 

Why Is This Important?

 

            Regardless of the situation, by listening first, and I mean really listening, you put yourself in a very powerful position. As the listener you will get all of the information being offered. It gives you the ability to think about the message and create a reasonable, informed answer. This will help in advancing the conversation, learning more about your partner and if it is an argument, the listener has the power to shut it down with complete understanding of the other’s position.

           It’s better to understand than to push a point for the purpose of being “right”. In relationship dialog there is no reason for right and wrong. Being in a relationship is just that, relating to each other. There is no need to dominate, no need to prove the point, no need to be right. Just listen first and try to completely understand your partner. You may be surprised by what it actually conveyed.

          Several months ago I called my daughter and asked if she had spoken to her mother recently. In, what I thought to be, an angry tone, she replied, “Yes, she called me”. Very short and to the point, however I thought she was angry. All she really said was, “Yes, she called me”. Rather than ask why she was angry, I chose a position of power and asked her to share her thoughts about the conversation with her mother. We then had a wonderful, twenty minute, phone call. Had I chose to argue about her tone, the conversation could have been markedly different.

 What is the Benefit?

             In relationships we are emotionally invested. Our feelings are exposed for anyone to nurture or damage. And this leaves us feeling vulnerable to the next attack. In reality it is each of us who has the opportunity to choose to listen and engage in the conversation. There is nothing to fear when we are listening, because all of the information is coming to us. We are not hurting each other, merely listening to what is being imparted. If we choose to add meaning upon what is said it becomes our own fault.

             Listening can be sexy as well. If partners are discussing sex, desires or wants be open to what is being said. Engage by asking probing questions; 

  • Does that interest you?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • Is there more there that we should discuss?
  • Tell me more…
  • What can I do in that regard?

 Any additional question or comment to keep the dialog moving can only help. Try not to use the word “No” until you’ve listened to everything your partner has to say. He or she may be nervous and not get the words right at first. Give them room to expand and listen while they relax and get comfortable with the exchange.

             I suggest never getting angry during times of conversation. This adds to those body language messages we discussed earlier. By remaining calm we have a better chance of getting our thoughts out clearly. And as the listener, anger dulls the senses and makes really understanding much more difficult.

             With anything, this takes practice and it takes two people. If one is angry, neither is ready for a conversation. If one is distracted neither can communicate. And if one is incapable, neither have a chance to properly share.

             So, give listening a try and let me know what comes of it. You may get a surprise, you may find something you didn’t know or you may just connect better than ever before. In any case, let me know how it goes. Your story may be what helps the next reader have a better relationship.

 As always,

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

 Bobby

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The Language of Love

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Warning: If you are easily offended by language, profanity or open discussion about sex, love and/or relationships, read no farther. This post is for those open minded people who wish to have a conversation about their personal lives in an effort to improve them and those who engage in the discussion with them. Again, if you are easily offended, STOP READING NOW!!!!!!!!

The Personalities of Conversation

As human beings it’s natural to interact and communicate with each other. We have conversations as groups both small and large. We share thoughts with acquaintances and intimate details of our lives with close friends and family.

 Our mission here at Relationship, Love & Sex Advice is to stimulate conversation and open a dialog for better and more thoughtful communication. We want everyone to jump in and share in the discussion. In some cases, this will be the only avenue for people to get an honest answer to a question, and that’s fine with us. Our staff and guest writers will never hide behind a politically correct veil. Instead, we will shoot you right between the eyes with the most candid response we can fire off.

 For me it is personal, in that, I have a love affair with the English language. I find it to be a thing of beauty and if used correctly will return positive results no matter what the discussion. As you read further, you may find this a bit odd given what I intend to cover here today. You see, language takes on different personalities depending on when and where used. Many disagree with me on this point and feel one should always be as proper as possible. I suggest otherwise.

 Consider when we attend church; our language is appropriate for the event. We wouldn’t be caught saying, “Damn nice sermon today, Father”, of course not! When going to a sporting event, we generally have looser vernacular than during our time at the office.  Golfing tends to bring out euphemisms that normally would be frowned upon in other areas of polite society. And when I served in the military, I was not politely asked to obey a command, I was told to move my ass and get it done! Different language personalities for different areas of life.

Here’s my issue

We see this within ourselves and we know that we change our lexicon to fit the place, time and environment. So why is difficult for us to discuss love, sex and relationships without feeling like our forth grade librarian just entered the room with a pocket full of detention slips? You know exactly what I mean. We tend say words like penis and vagina through a whisper so thin they could barely be heard in a sound proofed room. A different language personality for a different discussion, and be happy to engage in the conversation.

We need to proud of dialog and learn from each other, especially our lovers. Don’t whisper the words, find out what is acceptable, get comfortable using them and define boundaries. I’m not suggesting getting vulgar, but this is love and sex we are talking about. It’s messy, dirty and invigorating, accept it and get used to it. Talk about it and decide with your partner what is acceptable and what is off limits.

Is it okay for a man to text his partner, “I want to have my mouth on your pussy tonight”? I think so, but that’s me. And using the word vagina in this context is just a mood killer. Should she be comfortable texting back, “And I want some cock too”? Yes, if that’s what turns them on, but using the word penis should be criminal. They are just words and they fit perfectly in this private, intimate dialog.

The word “fuck” is used countless times in movies and books and nothing is thought of it. 50 Shades of Grey is now considered “Mommy Porn” and other than a few attempts to ban the book, it has been received with rave reviews. So why are we so afraid of the words when it comes to our personal sex lives? Answer: we are uncomfortable with the words and/or feel our partner is uncomfortable with them when we use them about us. And yet we will both read the books and watch the movies, how disappointing…

Let’s Get Filthy

So I invite each of you to share this post with your partners, discuss the feelings and thoughts surrounding the use of “dirty” words in your relationship and sexual encounters and clearly define the “Off Limits” boundaries. Getting turned on by conversation can and will come to an abrupt halt if an unwanted word is used. Be respectful of each others limits and best of all enjoy what happens as the conversation develops.

If you have never ended a session of sex out of breath, sweaty and soar, I feel sorry for you. Let’s take this opportunity to change all that. Getting filthy in the mud of love is as good as it gets. Let me know how things go and try not to injure each other.

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

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