Love is Patient

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So it has been a while since I have been able to share my One Word Challenge.  I assure you that doesn’t go without many lessons in between.  I have been learning so much about myself and about others.  I have been learning about loving interactions as well as what love truly mean.  Love is not always a lovey-dovey feeling where you are constantly wanting to make-out with the person.  Love is not always liking the person either.  Love has its share of hardships and struggles, but love is always a choice.

There are many times to which I have felt I cannot truly love a person because they have hurt me so greatly.  Well the fact of the matter is, I too have hurt myself greatly.  It is a two way street and if I was truly going to hold myself accountable for something I did, not the other party, then I need to own up to it.  Honesty.  A big dose of honesty.  I have realized though in being honest with myself it makes everything clearer in a seemingly cloudy situation.  Relationships you see can be quite messy if you allow them to be.

Love is pretty limitless and straight forward you see.  It is our misconception to what WE think love is that makes it messy.  Can we actually conceptualize love?  I think we can start this journey by first and foremost choosing to love.  It is a paradox.  By choosing something we don’t fully understand–it seems a bit absurd.  We know what it takes to love by the examples set by those who have gone before us.  Take for an instant Jesus.  This man died for me.  If you look at the events surrounding His life, He set an example of complete and total love.  Look at who His best friends were.  They were sinners like you and I.  They were those who were cast aside, deemed unworthy of normal folks, and most of all looked down upon.  Sinners that didn’t deserve the attention of the others.  He surrounded those individuals with love.  You see, when it comes down to it, we are ALL sinners.  It is in our human nature.  We are always going to hurt ourselves and others.  Always.  So what do we do to start this journey of love?

1. Pray.  Pray fervently.  Learn who God is.  Learn who you are in God.  That is where you will really learn to grow in focus and in purpose.  Here too is where you will learn about your vocation (your duty and calling in this life).

2. Learn to integrate God into every decision you make.  If it is not out of love for God, rethink your decision.  This is where we give up our selfish ways.  We surrender our wants and desires for God’s Will for us.  Let go of anything holding us back.  Remember WWJD bracelets?  A constant reminder of our actions?  This is a really hard step.  It is extremely hard to fight against selfishness as it is written in our human DNA.

3. Talk to God about those who have hurt you.  Learn to love through forgiveness.  As you forgive others, God will forgive you.  That is an important part to this puzzle.  This becomes easier as you will grow in understanding toward others through forgiveness.  I have learned in this step a lot of times the person hurting is a misdirection their hurt on to you.  For right, wrong, or the other reason–we should try to see that and love them despite their hurtful actions.

4. Be honest with yourself.  If you know you are struggling with something….something embarrassing.  Something that you could never tell a soul about or you might just die.  Well guess what?  God already knows what you did.  It takes something of true humility to be completely honest with yourself and lay it all out there.  It takes true humility to own up and make up for what you have done.  It changes you.  It simplifies your decisions.  It makes things more clear.

It takes a lot of love.  I have chosen to love without placing limits on myself.  I have chosen to never hold back my love for anyone.  Love puts others needs before our own needs.  That one is a really hard one.  I will never stop witnessing to the love that God shows me each day….or trying to witness to that love.  I will never stop trying my hardest to demonstrate that same love to others.  I am not going to lie though and tell you I have mastered it because I am far from perfect.  It is hard being patient with my 14-year-old brother when he is being a 14-year-old annoying boy.  It is hard for me to love my sister when she is being dramatic about the rules my parents are placing when she can’t use my mom’s phone after 10pm.  It is hard to love friends who cannot tell you to your face they are moving and let you find out via Facebook.  It is so hard not yelling, screaming, keeping it all in perspective when it seems like hell has broken loose.  It is hard loving those who drive you bonkers!

It is hard to love your siblings all the time, but I am asked to love them regardless.  It is hard loving your coworkers when they purposely push your buttons just to see how far they can push until you break.  Love doesn’t break.  Love stays cool and keeps it in perspective.  Love overlooks all of the petty small things.  Love looks deep into the heart of the individual and connects continually.  Love makes all things possible.

Equally, love is patient seems to be a theme.  Love is patient, love is kind.  Love is being patient and kind with ourselves through the journey.  Love unites.  Love brings us out of our misery and what a beautiful blessing when we feel that love radiate from our soul.  What a beautiful notion to love all those who come in contact with whether that is an everyday occurrence, once a year thing or whatever it may be.  Love doesn’t mean you won’t get upset or angry.  Love doesn’t mean that you are going to like or agree with a person’s believes.  Love just means you are going to be available to help them at any given point if that is what you are asked to do.

When it comes down to it, love helps us get through a lot of bull-poo-poo.  It helps us work through our own problems and it helps us appreciate each and every creature or being there is.  It helps us more than we can realize.

Let us be brave enough to choose to love through our pains, sorrows, and hardships.  Let us love non-judgmentally.  Let us love without wavering.  Let us love as God loves us.

Hugs and blessings,
CatMan

Love is…motivation and a verb!

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I am still venting over a situation that happened later in the day yesterday.  I am no longer angry….but in a simple sense I am now left motivated. 🙂

Love is a Verb...this motivates me to continue to love when others cannot!

Love is a Verb…this motivates me to continue to love when others cannot!

A friend to whom I considered a pretty close friend and I got into it.  Long story short, he hit a transition in his life and is acting out.  He is hurt and being reckless.  I have been trying to care enough to reach out.  I wanted to reach out to make sure he was OK.  He stopped talking to me.  I knew something was up.  SO, I see that he is magically in a relationship on the Book of Face.  I am sorry, but I had to do what I did.  If I was in a smacking distance, he would have gotten a smack for sure.

Last time, I saw this friend was in April.  It had been since college since the last time I saw him.  At least 5 years…or so.  To make a long story short, we both exchanged “I love you’s” and a kiss or so.  That always makes things more complicated.  We have known each other for almost 8 years and he pulled this card.  We didn’t talk about the kiss or exchange of words or anything until I brought it up yesterday in a moment of complete courage and honesty.  He knows I care enough….but right now, I stand for a truth he cannot yet face.  Hence why the label would be “overbearing” and the underlying emotion is a combo of anger, guilt, and “immediate physical gratification”.  

At this point, he is in a high level of uncertainty and hurt.  Dealing with coming back from deployment transition, a break-up over that deployment, missing his family as he is no where near them, and coming up on the crossroad of a career change.  That is a hell of a lot to process alone.  He is putting himself through this complete hell.  So like a good friend, I reach out and try to be loving.  That is just me being me being me.

For the first time in my life, since knowing Dr. Pepper, this is the first time it has gotten remotely hard to love on him.  The conversation yesterday made me initially angry.  I was so furious with him.  He knew I was mad too.  He claimed it was because I was passionate–I was overbearing.  That is not it at all.  I am a passionate person yes.  But I am coming across “overbearing” because I care too much when he doesn’t care at all.

Now, Saturday night into Sunday morning, I couldn’t sleep.  So, I wrote a letter.  I wrote an unsent letter to him.  July 7, 2013.  I wrote out the very things I wanted so badly to tell him explaining my actions and observations, yet time didn’t allow it.  The time was not right to send it.  So now, I sit here with a letter that does no good and a feud with a long time friend over what??   Me trying to make an attempt at being a better friend to him.  The same night as the letter, I heard in my heart that I am not praying enough.  I needed to really try to pray much more.  NOW I see why!!

I must confess I can feel Dr. Pepper in my heart.  I felt the restlessness prior to the letter and about 2 weeks leading up to this blow-up.  I feel confusion, tension, and most of all he is just uncertainty.  I let it it go.  I pray…then move on…

He said a lot of very funny things to me.  He said that when he said “I love you” it was only in the friend sort of way.  Um…then we kissed?  Friend’s don’t kiss or say I am glad this didn’t happen prior to this point either.  A mutual friend said his body language was not consistent with that comment.  Nonverbal language speak volumes.   And maybe it was awkward for him.

He really had the audacity to say “don’t be offended.  I don’t let people in”…After 8 years, how could I not be offended??  Then I asked him how he could be in a relationship if he “didn’t let people in”…that isn’t going to work unless the relationship is based around one thing and one thing hurt people know well (take it from someone who has been there) physical aspect only.  Carefree interaction.  Someone to hang out with and do things with. No honest commitment.  Simply IDEAL for someone who just doesn’t care.  It is horrible and in the end it just sucks even more.  

All you are doing is using each other to get by until your so miserable you can’t breathe and you either choose to move on or move to the next level.  I chose to move on in my situation.   It was masked by “I love you”  but, really it wasn’t that at all.  It was more infatuation than anything.  That is what I found out.  What a trick, thinking I actually cared about a person when all it did was leave me bruised and even more broken.  Learned a hell of a lot though about myself and what I didn’t want.

So what is the purpose in all of this?  To pray more and not worry about it.  Love is a verb remember!  Some get it and others do not.  We love them even more through prayer and that is all I have to say.  It no longer makes me angry as much as this situation motivates me to keep moving forward and pray harder for his tormented self.  Love is a choice.  It is better to choose to love through prayer and keep moving forward.

I suppose this was bound to happen eventually right?    🙂

ON a high note, I got closure with Nomad on Independence Day.  That was both rewarding and delightful. YAHOOOOOOO!  Clarity was finally achieved Captain!


CatMan

Love is Silent Listening

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I have found that I am a heavy analyst and a processor.  I like to talk things out.  I like to play detective and try to determine what is the most probable fate for my situation at hand.  I think I probably watched too much CSI and NCIS as a child, but I continue to still analyze and thoughtfully ponder none the less.

Sometimes the most loving action someone can take toward someone who likes to “talk it out” is really take no verbal action at all.  Sometimes all I need to do is spit whatever it is in my mind out with a logical sound ear at my disposal and it is that silence of listening intently to make sense of the babble coming out that is the most loving action a person could give.  Once it is out in the open, much like a puzzle, pieces of the puzzle are able to be placed together one by one and solutions become clear.  There are other ways to draw clarity as well but this is my go-to usually.  If you desire to work on your listening skills, this was a good little article I found, http://stress.about.com/od/relationships/ht/howtolisten.htm.

Other ways to which I find helpful for processing would include journaling, coloring or painting, singing and randomly dancing around like a goose, going on a drive, spending time in silence, praying, or pondering whatever it is bothering me in my heart.  If I can talk it out with someone who is my most immediate relief in drawling clarity usually.  Another set of eyes on the matter is never really a bad idea I suppose as ultimately I am the one making the final decision on the matter at hand.

It is both a blessing and a burden to be an analytic type.  When it comes to situations though, I almost always have to have some sort of closure at hand before I can get them out of this mind of mine.  It is painful when I must hold something in my head and heart for too long before it finally goes.  Patience.  Prayer.  Life is so messy and intertwined sometimes.  I have grown in acceptance with knowing I cannot control or change certain situations and that actualization has helped in letting go and giving it back up in prayer.

I think why I like verbalizing what is going on is because then everything is out in the open. Free as a naked Jay bird!  Truth, honesty, lies, facts, love, hate, gossip, and emotions of all kinds come out and then once released–I can breathe.  The problem here is that by speaking what is in that dear little head of mine, it can be hurtful, overwhelming and more destructive than constructive.

To limit the amount of destruction, I have a few friends who have helped at one time or another just simply listening and giving me their heartfelt advice.  My parents have helped me significantly in this department too.  It can be hard as you want to be considerate of the time to which you ask a friend to help you process things.  They might be sleeping or working or doing something to which they aren’t able to listen right away.  God is always up and always there.  No curfew.  No sleep.  No limit to his time listening to you on account of something “popping up”.  I do my best to process and voice my concerns to God now-a-days.  That has seemingly been the one thing to which has helped me achieve peace.

When there is much overwhelming matters on my mind, I speak directly to God and tell Him all of my worries, stresses, situations, emotions–everything no matter what time it is.  That way nothing is said out of emotion and I can truly reflect.  No harm done to others and God can handle it.  Then, no one gets overwhelmed by my craziness and God already knows what is happening anyways.

Whether I talk it out with friends or God, I have come to the conclusion that love is silent listening.  Love is donating the time to helping a friend process and throw it all out there.  Love is giving support physical, mental, emotionally, spiritually and through prayers.

Just something to ponder….

❤ CatMan

Day 39: I am tired and this is getting hard…

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As Jonathan Livingston Seagull said, “keep on working on Love.”  Dumb book, good quote.  😉 (as delivered by a friend)

Even though this is hard, I will still find humor!  I must as this is a rather heavy post.  Just jam to this one for a while….good ole’ Whitney Houston classic!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C-fD54Inn8

Love most definitely is something that is to be worked on throughly each and every day.  It is hard to think, but much like anything that is a seemingly new way for our brain process we must think about it in everything at first until it becomes second nature.  Love is not something we learn over night, yet if integrated into our lifestyle now, it will become easier and easier to love.  They way of love is deep and intimate.  You start to look at a person and love them despite hurting you.  The hurt as I understand it is what comes across when someone is deeply troubled.  Look past the initial wrong doing.  Stare a little deeper into their heart and soul and realize that this person is very special despite their flaws.  I was taught not to judge another as that is not loving them.  We are taught to help our brother and sister’s out if we are able to yet not to be taken advantage of.  We are encouraged to look through the eyes of God and not that of our human nature.

It is easy to sit and judge a person.  It is harder and more challenging to love on them and pray for them.  The more we pray, the easier it will be to come into a loving light with them.  There are a lot of people in my life that have hurt me or hurt those that I love.  I tend to react verse take a step back and see the reality of the situation.  Emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual misfortune whether warranted by self or other such situations is something I have been called to look upon with TRUTH and conviction.  Yet, if I am really loving this person, then I need to love them in a real way and not speak everything on my mind even though this person lies to themselves, others and really uses and abuses himself and others involved.  We say you are old enough to know better.  It is a tricky sort as to say “he should know better”.  But if a person is really ill, then should we say that?  I think the thing that makes me less tolerant of this specific situation is that the person involved is above getting help.  So as reckless as this road is he is walking, he is the only one that can choose otherwise.

How to have compassion toward someone that has a problem with substance abuse, how to have love toward someone whose demons seemingly mask themselves underneath the surface–then they are OK until the next episode where they manipulate their way back,  and how am I to do this??  I will tell you.  I am called to pray for them.  That is the hardest.  Pray for their awareness.  Pray for my ability to have compassion and to speak the TRUTH toward him and be the beacon of light to which I am called to be.  That is how one develops compassion through times as such.

I am a big proponent that if someone has a problem, you hit that nail on the head.  You fix the problem and you move on….in many cases it is not that simple.  I would like to think that everything should be so simple, yet due to fear, anguish, guilt, and other such negative thoughts that are infiltrated into our core as we are humans all cause such complications as to “not deal” with the situation rather put a temporary bandaid on it.  Bandaids will fall off and nothing will be corrected.  That part frustrates me.  Get help.  I say this out of love because I am tired of seeing the same wrong doing repeated toward others.  I am tired of seeing those I love hurt.  I love him, really I do.

Today’s Prayer:
“Lord grant me the ability to love this person as you love me and all of my many faults as I know I am not perfect.  Let me think about every word before it escapes my lips.  Let it be words driven by truth and love.  Let me contemplate my every action before it is done.  Let my action be driven by truth and love.  Let my thoughts be pure and think only out of love of my family, friends, and those who are placed in my path today.  Let all of my life be driven by love! Amen.”

Exhaustion at it's finest

Exhaustion at it’s finest