Sunday, February 12, 2017

You'll do What you Want

I heard that line once at a seminar. The explanation wasn't quite what I expected though:

Say your teenage son declares at the beginning of the semester that he wants an A in history... but then spends all his spare time playing on his X-box. Did he really want that A in history? Apparently not as badly as he wanted to master the X-box game.

See, the reality is that each of us will do what we want... and if we watch what others do, we can find out what they really want.

The exwife who says she encourages the kids to spend time with Dad.. but Dad doesn't see them for months on end. Does she really want them to spend time with Dad? Probably not.

Or what about the dad who says he wants to see his kids, but doesn't bother to do anything about it- doesn't communicate with their mother, allows her to set the rules, doesn't do anything to provide a place for them to stay when they're with him. Does he really want to spend time with them?

The man who says he wants to earn more money, but rather than looking for a better job or going back to school, spends time with his buddies polishing his cue-skills at the bar. What does he really want?

The politician who tells his constituents that in his commitment to reducing crime, he's backing the latest gun control bill. Given the CDC data on gun ownership and crime rates, what does that politician really want?

Or we can look at the other politician who says (insert your choice) industry prices are out of control and we need more regulation. Does he really care about keeping prices down for his voters or does he have a hidden agenda?

Individuals in their private lives are pretty straight-forward, but when it comes to politicians, it's sometimes a little harder to figure out what they really want. This may be a little conspiracy-theorist of me but the reality is that politicians also "do what they want."

Politicians who push for gun control don't really want to reduce crime. They don't care about crime rates. They want a population that is afraid of owning or even holding a gun. They want a population dependent on law enforcement to protect them. They don't want citizens. They want cattle.

Politicians who push for more regulation on any industry don't want reduced prices (which are often caused by greater supply or lower cost). They want power.. and maybe higher prices. They definitely want justification for more and more oversight, regulation, government control... power!

What about your life? Are you doing what you REALLY want? Or are you doing something to sabotage yourself? I know I do.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sorrows That the Eye Can't See

Who am I to judge another
when I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
sorrow that the eye can't see.
Who am I to judge another? --
Lord, I would follow Thee.

There are lots of sorrows that the eye can't see-
Physical ailments like fibromyalgia and infertility.
Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Heartbreaks, like a miscarriage or childlessness, financial challenges, waiting without answers, watching a family member or loved one live with any of these things.

Everyone has their own unique bundle of sorrows that they keep private, that are too embarrassing or painful to even talk about.

I know what's in my pack.

There is gratitude, certainly- there have been a few sorrows that have been taken from me. Angers that have been replaced with understanding and peace. The freedom that comes with letting go and knowing its not my problem to solve or my burden to carry anymore. Frustration that has been replaced with recognition and acceptance.
But there's also a lot of hurt-

Divorce, and the struggles and hurts and heartbreak that come with divorce. Twice. The looks that come with judgment.. and knowing those judgments are flawed, and knowing there's nothing to be done because those minds are made up, even sharing your side of the story won't get compassion or understanding.

Infertility. I've known since I was 18 that pregnancy was something I would never experience. The experience of falling in love with that little someone I've just met but known for months, of seeing my sweetheart in my baby's face. Nope, not gonna happen for me. And seeing others live this- oh, it hurts!! I don't begrudge their experience, but sometimes it's almost more than I can bare.

Social ostracism. I wasn't one of the cool kids in high school. But I was lucky enough to still find a group of wonderful friends. Since high school, though.. *shrug. I don't know that I've found my place. I'm not someone's wife. I'm nobody's mother. I'm nobody's best friend (or at least it feels that way sometimes). I'm nobody's mentor or hero. I'm not the one anyone really rushes to sit next to in church. I'm nobody. Who will remember me?

Misunderstood. Some who think they know me... well frankly they don't. Some, I don't really care. But others, it hurts. Those who should know me better have chosen to not listen, not see, and therefore they don't know. And it's not just their lack of accurate knowledge that hurts.. but sometimes, the magnitude of the misperception is what hurts more. "You really think I'm like that??"

So what do I do with it all? *shrug. That's the million-dollar question.