I have been recommending a wonderful book entitled, “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul” by Jason and Crystalina Evert. The Everts have literally travelled throughout the world speaking to young single people about finding love without having to settle for less. Besides authoring numerous books on the subjects of relationships and love, they run a website entitled chastity.com. Check out the book and their website.
Every woman knows when something is not right in a relationship; there is a lack of peace. Generally when faced with two options: fix the relationship or get out, a woman will attempt to remain emotionally married and postpone indefinitely getting out of an unhealthy relationship. They stay put and try to rehabilitate the relationship. The key in all of this is to avoid committing to such guys in the first place and to begin to recognize the difference between a “frog” and a “prince.” The question becomes when to pass on a potential boyfriend. The Everts identify “The Top Ten Guys to Avoid” and describe each type in florid detail.
Flip-Floppers are easy to detect because they will drag on a physical relationship without bothering to make a clear commitment. Women who fall for flip-floppers are masters of denial and often create excuses for why the guy won’t commit to them. Love thrives in the presence of commitment so a woman should not waste literally years dragging on a relationship that exists only in their imagination.
The “Problem Child” comes from a troubled family and has had trouble with the law, difficulties at school, an addiction to drugs or alcohol, a history of violence, or all of the above. Women who fall for such guys begin to feel sorry for them and to “see in him what nobody else does.” These women are hoping for a miracle makeover and are always thinking about how great he will be in the future. The best way to deal with a problem child is to let go of him and teach him the priceless lesson that poor behavior results in negative consequences.
The “Walking Hormone” has one thing in mind, self-gratification at the expense of women. He will often manipulate women with pressure or guilt. He won’t hesitate to make a woman feel like she is a cruel, heartless, and stingy prude for denying him his physical “needs.” If a woman has any self-respect, she should have no choice but to dump him. When a woman begins to doubt or ignore the voice of their own conscience, she becomes her own worst enemy. Walking hormones scan their environment for women who possess lower-than-average self-esteem. At the root is a fear of rejection and thus she is less likely to just say no to his desires. Generally such men make deadbeat dads, poor fathers, and are prone to view pornography on a continuing basis. Such a man has trained himself in selfishness and lust and is limited in his ability to make a gift of himself to a woman.
This is just a sampling of all the wonderful information contained in this book and it would make a wonderful Christmas gift for all who are serious about relationships.
The first step to wisdom is to get in touch with the negative feelings that you may not even be aware of. Gain an awareness of your negative feelings. Ask yourself if you are gloomy or moody. Do you feel self-hatred or guilt? Does life seem pointless or make no sense? How about looking at those hurt feelings! Get in touch with these very powerful and potentially destructive emotions. A whole lot of people are very depressed and lonely. It is only when making contact with joy that you may well understand just how depressed and lonely you are.
The second step is to understand that that feeling inside of you may not be reality. It is in you but it may not accurately reflect reality. Many people from all walks of life, even those one might consider very intelligent or very powerful, don’t understand this. As one man put it, “I got a pretty good education. It took me years to get over it.” Wisdom and spirituality go hand in hand and you may well have to “unlearn” a lot of what you have been taught especially by the secular society. We live in a society that is not spiritual, nor interested in what spirituality has to offer. This means you may have to stop trying to change other people including our spouses, your bosses, your friends, and even your enemies. You don’t have to change anything other than to recognize that negative feelings are in you. No person on earth has the power to make you unhappy. There is no event on earth that has the power to disturb or hurt you. We have been told the opposite so much that we create a lot of messes that are so difficult to clean up. Let us suppose you plan a picnic and a rain storm washes out the picnic. Who will feel negative? The rain, or you? What might be causing that negative feeling, the rain or your reaction? So step two says, the feeling is in the person, not in reality.
The third step is rather straitforward, never identify with that feeling. Do not define your essential self in terms of a feeling. If you want to say that depression or gloominess is there, that is fine but not, “I am depressed.” If depression or hurt feelings is there right now, let it be, leave it alone, and it will pass. Everything passes, everything. If you are a person who seeks kicks or thrills, then get ready for depression. Do you want your drug? Get ready for a hangover! If you try these first three steps many times (perhaps even thousands of times), you will get it. Many people have arrived at the conclusion that if they were just loved by somebody or belong to anybody or anything (such as a group) they will be completely fulfilled and happy. But the opposite is what is true, what you and all of us need to do is to love another. We are undeniably created in the Image of God and that means loving God and our neighbor first and foremost. Love, by its very nature, wants to give to another. Wanting to be desired, applauded by others, or attractive to others is a waste of time and energy. You can be blissfully happy without it. You do not have to do anything to acquire happiness. “God is not attained by a process of addition to anything in your soul, but by a process of subtraction.” If you want to be free, examine what needs to be dropped from your life.
The fourth step to wisdom is to understand that we always want someone else to change so that we will feel better or good. What does that do to you? Well what happens when someone close to you does change? What does that do to you? Well very little as you are still vulnerable to your feelings and whims. You are the one who needs to change, not your spouse or your boss or a friend. When we are hard at work on ourselves and our spiritual journey then we will barely notice what we think might be wrong with others or the world. “The world is right because I feel good.” Anthony De Mello
Media executives are making a lot of money churning out trashy films, downright stupid television programs, music that speaks of hate toward women, sleazy magazines, and pornography-laden material that proliferates on the Web. While these media types are partly to blame for generating this stuff, someone is indeed buying this junk. This is not only dumb, it is also destructive. We are literally poisoning ourselves and future generations.
Culture is defined as the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time. Somehow we must confront the supreme ugly and sad nature of current trends and celebrate that which is good and right. If someone arrived from a remote culture where there was little or no contact with the “modern world” of America, how would they react to all of this sleazy material? For example how do you react when a pop-up ad for “XXXHot Young ThingsXXX” flashes on your computer screen when showing guests family vacation photos? Would you want your children to look at a website like that or for that matter any child to see that? I hope that your answer is a resounding “NO!”
One typical defense raised to those who would voice a complaint against such filth is that everything under the sun is protected by the First Amendment and that any attempt to regulate content is “censorship.” The second defense is “just turn it off”, no one is forcing you to listen to those musical lyrics or watch that particular TV show. This is nothing more than an insincere defense and really, it is quite pathetic. Afterall would some of these media types want their own children exposed to this trash or go a step further, would they want their own grown children to be in a pornographic movie or be the object of someone’s hate-filled musical lyrics? I would hope not.
First and foremost we should demand more from our entertainment, media, and adverstising industries. We should be able to watch a sporting event such as the Super Bowl or World Series and not have to keep a tight hold on the remote for fear of what might fall out, pop out, or stick out next. No one should have to drive down a highway looking at billboards advertising strip clubs. The intelligence and values of the vast mainstream of American culture is constantly being insulted by a “freakish fringe” promoted by the media and politicians. How can anyone in their right mind watch or listen to someone like Howard Stern or Hugh Hefner and yet these men are held up as some kind of role models and are placed in postions of high esteem as if they had something to offer us and our children. They don’t and they do nothing but appeal to those facets of human nature that can in fact destroy families and even whole cultures (not to mention one’s soul as well!).
Those who promote this stuff are also insincere because they do not like it at all when they are insulted by someone’s elses “hate speech.” There is a double standard in place and those who promote filth cannot have it both ways by hiding behind the First Amendment or the “just turn it off” defense when it only suits their purpose. The culture has become polluted with negative stereotypes, sexualized content, and very rough and inappropriate language. When individuals are bombarded by sexual imagery the “just turn it off” defense does not work because this imagery is everywhere. Our culture is toxic and it is damaging relationships that matter, especially in the family.
Almost everyone struggles with the difficulties and the differences of opinion that arise from their relationships. For example, how can a couple bridge the gap between our culture’s romantic expectations about love (a recurrent theme in so many movies) and the reality of everyday domestic life together? Or how do you live with the differences that occur in a relationship where two totally different people must interact, compromise, and live together? How can you communicate effectively as a couple without hurting one another? How can couples reconcile the different cultural, familial, and individual expectations that you and your partner each may hold so dear? How do couples solve the problems and resolve the conflicts that occur in even the happiest of relationships? And finally, how does a couple nurture love over the years of a long relationship-especially given the demands that work and parenting exert on a married couple? In a happy relationship, couples must come to terms with all of these issues. In a conflicted relationship, the partners often feel frustration and pain because they cannot “get a handle” on the issues well enough to live in peace together. The very best marriages in the world will present spouses with issues that require adjustments, compromise, accommodations, and soul-searching. Human beings have an innate drive to be happy and fulfilled, and relationships are one of the primary ways that all of us express that desire. A presentation will be made in these blogs over the next few months to explore “Seven Paths” that can serve as useful guidelines to explore the “terrain” of your own relationship. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
You are happy and mentally healthy if you enjoy being with most of the people you know especially family and friends. Generally you like people and are more than willing to help an unhappy family member, friend, or colleague to feel better. You lead a generally tension-free life, laugh a lot, and rarely suffer from the aches and pains that so many accept as the unavoidable parts of living. You enjoy life and have no trouble accepting that others are different from you. The last thing that should come to your mind is to criticize or try to change another person. You are creative in what you attempt and may enjoy more of your potential that you thought was possible. Since no one can be happy all of the time, even in difficult situations you know you are unhappy and you will attempt to do something about it. Consider those who have physical handicaps, this can often be a great occasion to witness sheer joy on the face of another human being. If you are curious about mental health read “The Myth of Mental Illness” by Thomas Szasz published in 1961. He has some compelling thoughts on mental health. All psychological problems have spiritual solutions. Happy New Year to all and may a peace that surpasses all understanding be with you. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.
How about a New Year’s resolution of getting to know yourself better. Take the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and find out your four letter type. Then read about that type and learn more about yourself. Our personalities can be seen as having two aspects, our temperament and character. Our temperament looks carefully at our inclinations such as why are some people inclined to stay at parties until the sun comes up and why others run out of gas and want to retreat back to their homes. Some are fueled by the incessant social contact, others are ready to call it a night. Your four-letter temperament type can be said to be likened to your thumbprint. Each of us is a unique, unrepeatable act of God with the cooperation of our parents. In the play “Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw (turned into a very famous musical entitled “My Fair Lady”), the protagonist strives to create a person just like him. Henry Higgins as he works with Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” to remake her over in his image finally exclaims in frustration, “Why can’t she just be like me!” Eliza has her own inclinations on how to go about doing things. In a family it is important to be aware of our spouse’s and children’s temperaments. If we continually try to make our spouses and children do things based on our own inclinations, this can well breed some resentment on their part over time. They have their own inclinations on how to get things done. Learn to appreciate their approach to things. Seek to understand rather than to be understood. If you or someone you know may need counseling, please contact Lamar Hunt Jr. or see his website at http://lamarhuntjrcounseling.com/.