Tag Archive for family

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore….

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this article:
Rating: 0.0/4 (0 votes cast)

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

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this article:
Rating: 0.0/4 (0 votes cast)

Attitude and Gratitude

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this article:
Rating: 0.0/4 (0 votes cast)

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

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this article:
Rating: 0.0/4 (0 votes cast)