friendship

I Shouldn’t Do Research…or…How To Scare The Pee-pee Outta Myself In One Easy Step…or…What A Long Winded Ramble…

I gotta laugh at myself. I was doing research…well what really happened is this…

There I was, minding my own business when a mutual friend…
*as an aside, when I use the word “friend” it has contextual meaning to me that means quite a bit more than the casual social media form of the word, in other words, I know a bunch of people. I talk to quite a few. I have very few friends. K, got it?*
…mentioned how odd it was that a Water Witch lived in the Desert. I knew who she was talking about but, it had never really occurred to me that that would be an odd thing…

With me so far?

Anyway…there I was minding my own business all skinny and stupid, yes I’m “skinny as all hell:, and I decided to go to some sites and blogs and find out why it would be odd that a Water Witch would love the heat and enjoy the desert. I’m not sure I agree with the reasoning they used. They said she was “supposed” to be a winter person but, that doesn’t make sense to me cause it takes heat to get water to move. Don’t believe me, the heat in the oceans gives rise to hurricanes. Those and the storm surge that comes along for the ride is a bunch of moving water…

Holy smokes, writing is easier after coffee but, don’t wanna wake anyone up…

So…like I keep trying to get to… minding my own business doing research in blogs and stuff, articles and s**t when I got to an article or a blog or a site that wanted to talk about what “rituals” to use…and I ran like a rabbit being chased by a coyote…

Here’s an odd tidbit of thought as another aside…I never asked Aj what rituals she uses. She would answer, she said she would but, I have boundaries. I don’t invade people’s privacy. Her practice is HERS. If she decided that I needed to know, she’d tell me. In the meantime, I won’t ask because I don’t really have any need. A person I used to know would say, “didn’t I tell you? Must not be any of your business”. Sometimes, when I want to ask someone a question as background for writing, I ask permission to ask…

…and back to where I was going…

I understand the principals of the Practice, I get the basic tenets and have a sort of basic grasp of what the elements represent. I know about “energy” and its uses. Those things are like chemistry or physics. You don’t have to “believe” in them or “do” them. They happen. It’s the “doing”, the Practice and Ritual, the “work” for lack of a better term, that makes me quail. I have roughly zero desire to know how that goes…let me clarify, I don’t really have a problem with energy transference, that’s physics. Healing and Empathy have direct correlations, if not actual similarity, to things that are in my faith. Using food as a part is similar to, not the same as, Communion.

Still wandering along with my ramble?

What I don’t want to know but, in the vein of facing what I don’t know that I probably should in order to gain insight into what I write about, are the details, not of any one person’s rituals but, as an overview. Hmmmm…I’m not even sure that makes sense to me…I don’t need to know the tools used. I don’t particularly need to know the spells. I don’t need to know what happens in a coven. I don’t need to know what someone involved with tarot or divination is thinking or even where they make contact. I don’t particularly care what clothes are worn during any of these processes…in point of fact, it is not my business. Why would it be? I’m not a Witch nor will I ever become one…and Rituals, Pagan Rituals, Christian Rituals, rituals in general, scare me. Praying or the Pagan analog is something I’m comfortable with but, I don’t particularly tell people how I pray…

Yes, I am using a Christian phrase to describe a Pagan practice. Don’t beat me up. I am merely using a construct, an imperfect one, that “I” know…

Heaven help me, this is getting wordy and I still haven’t gotten to the point…*laugh, very small laugh, at self*

…so, given everything I’ve written so far, why? In the words of the Bard, “that IS the question”…Ignore for a moment My Favorite Water Witch. Ignore also, My Favorite Hedge Witch”. Ignore also that I say my motives are selfish, and they are because these women are my friends. Why would I go out of my way to find out about some things I don’t understand? Why would I tend to be so protective of them?

Truth be told, I can not “ignore” those things. I am protective and curious because of them. If it were not for the Witches I know, would I be writing this, looking at things that scare me, facing my own cultural and religious bias against them, seeking out other Witches to gain perspective on a  very non-homogenous group, asking questions and trying to understand?

No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even bother to be asking if I would. Probably, knowing the way I think, I’d be mocking and deriding. I’d be using words that tend to p**s me off when they’re directed at people I like. I’d be on some stupid page being a jerk. Also, given that The Witches are women, and I am “not a woman”, further that I tend to be a bit of a “Richard” towards things I think I have permission to bully, I’d probably use sexist phrases that offend the crap out of me when they are directed at women that are in my group. I know me, sarcasm is my default. I love being condescending. It’s a “sport” or a hobby to me…They are also the way I deal with things I don’t understand…

…and again, The Witches are a couple of things, no snark intended, that I really don’t understand. I have no true understanding of people that find the Spiritual World to be as tactile as the Physical World. I also do not understand women, again, not being sarcastic or sexist, I just don’t. Kipling explained “why” I don’t far better than I may,
“She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.”

Aside from my selfish motives, and I am not “entirely” able to set those aside, why? What point is there in even trying to understand? I mean, if I NEVER asked another question, if I never even made any further attempt at writing out these posts so that I might see my own words and think through the thoughts The Witches provoke, they would still keep me around…I hope…*tiny joke*…but, I would not be true to myself if I were to abandon the questions and the introspection that facing myself brings up.

I suppose I could ask them, “what would you think if I were to publicly make some smarta$$ comment about a witch being ‘some ugly old hag that can’t get laid’?”…

…Except for a few “tiny” problems… First, I think that would hurt them. I wouldn’t do that for the world. Second, doing that as a test, without warning them that the comment is coming, would be untrue to me because I don’t believe that. Third, I know better than to believe the stereotypes. Witches come in all forms and sizes and ages and sexualities and every other variation that women are. So, that is several lies for the price of one…

…and if I hit them with it un forewarned, my life would be FAR less complicated because, poof, no more Witches, no more looking beyond my own construct, and no more Water Witch… no more Hedge Witch… just asshole Miller wondering why he did that…but…at least I wouldn’t have to be afraid of Ritual and Practice, right?

I don’t particularly “enjoy” fearing Ritual but, I don’t really want to not fear it, either. I DO want to protect The Witches with my words because, if someone that LOVES them is afraid of them then, what about the people that don’t love them and will never attempt to understand them? They know that I will keep trying…for them…and for me…to understand. They also know that my grasp will be imperfect. It’s ok.

*****

I wrote this entire post and added this afterward because it is the Truth I don’t want to face…

This is “what” scares me. To Practice, as I understand it, you must allow yourself to be a “conduit” for energy, be it for healing or divining or whatever. To be an Empath, you must feel what others feel. That flow means that you allow something into yourself and become a medium. My limited grasp thinks that you could possibly allow something inimical to yourself in…and not be able to control it. To be a Healer, you have to directly contact the “unhealthy” and that it could do you harm. Leaving you subject to the whims of something or someone that not only doesn’t care about you but, actively wants to hurt you.

Does that also explain my being “protective” of The Witches? That they would willingly take that risk in order to help someone, to make themselves vulnerable to harm, that sounds distinctly like “no greater love…than to lay down your life for another…” I SHOULD want to protect someone that would do that. I should be “concerned” that people I love do that…and will again and again…and they are my friends. I do not ever want to even contemplate them being harmed, not physically, emotionally, or spiritually harmed. I would rather be hurt myself than see The Witches, or my wife harmed.

If I got this section wrong, I’m sure they will tell me. I’ll give it this, though, if I have the mechanism right, I do not want to stop being scared for them. I know this bit also if I’m right, they will let me know…they’d better because I’d rather know the Truth and be scared than be a “happy idiot” not knowing…

*****

It really is ok that I don’t understand. It’s ok that I remain scared. It’s also ok, better than ok, that they don’t fear me for what I represent. I mean, male Christian, isn’t that the group that made a few, 15 or so, centuries of hell on earth for their faith and a few more centuries of b.s., if you subtract the “Christian”, for their gender?

This is enough introspection for one morning. I’m not doubting myself. I’m not doubting The Witches. We’re there for each other.

It’s what we do. In that case, I think I’ll end with a quote from my favorite, sarcasm, blogger…me…”Hell…f**k it…who really cares? Roll with it and just enjoy the ride, huh?’

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There Was A Truck Across The Road

Yesterday morning, while I was having my coffee and smoke before work, I heard a boom. I didn’t think anything of it…till the sirens. The highway that I take to work is behind my house and the entrance that I use is about 1/4 mile away. It’s just a crossover that lets you go across 2 lanes of traffic to get to the northbound side…and someone coming south didn’t see the semi crossing his lanes. He hit the truck. He died. I KNOW that road. I know how fast traffic is. I suspect that it was quick. I hope he was gone before the flames got to him…
I don’t know who it was. It was just someone that was either coming home or going to work. No one expects that at 5:30 on a nice Fall morning that they won’t make it home from work. No family expects it…

I was going to write some cutsie pie post about a Blanket Fort…at least that was what I had been thinking about during the week. Yesterday morning changed that. I’m not going to use some person I don’t know as a tool to beat down people, please don’t read that into this.

Tell your person that you love them. Tell your people that you love them. If you’re in a fight and leave the house before you leave say “I love you”. Say the words.
Let the people that you surround yourself know what you like about them. Tell your wife she’s beautiful or your husband he’s attractive. If you don’t have either or a person, find someone and let them know.

Quit being so spiteful and fearful. Look for common ground and quit embracing xenophobic hate. Don’t consign people to Hell. When you take that stuff in, is that what you want in your heart when there’s a truck across the highway?

Let people in, don’t push them away.

*****

I like online conversations. It lets me see what I’ve missed. I’m sort of a functioning agoraphobic. I don’t ever want to leave home. As a result, most of my meaningful communication is online. The other day, I introduced someone I have been talking to for a couple (?) of years to Aj and Z. I am incredibly selective when I do that. I need to be sure that they fit. It was an emergency. My wife is feeling poorly. Just a bad cold…I think…but, I get stressed when she is because she’s my wife…anyway…
I introduced her to Aj and Z.

*When I NEED “prayer”, yeah not really Pagan but, still communication with the spiritual and not the profane, so, it’ll do, I go to Aj and Z. It covers the bases, Christian and Pagan.*

I was worried, yeah, that she wouldn’t fit, not because of her but, just because…well…Aj and Z and I respect them. My point, after I dropped offline for the night, the next day, I read back what was said.

As it turns out, much to my not surprise, she and Aj act just like old friends. They have a deep and abiding love of their Craft. They see beyond what I see. They both NEED to be grounded. Z, well, to tell Z she couldn’t get outside would be the end of her. I am glad I did and wonder why I waited. I should have known that.

What’s the point of this bit? Their worlds got a bit bigger. Mine did, too.

*****

I decided to write this to say when the end comes, the world ends, even if only for one person. I don’t know if I say it enough to them so…

You’re important to me. You, who you are, means more to me than mere typed words can express. I think about y’all all the time…and no this doesn’t mean that I think that what “I” think matters as much as that you have my, for what it’s worth, gratitude for letting me into YOUR worlds. That YOU matter. That you guys have embraced me being different and let me into your lives. If I don’t say it enough, I’ll give it one more shot. The compassion, patience, and understanding you’ve shown to my grumpy, middle-aged, hidebound, fearful, egotistical, worry-wort self, is beyond my understanding… Thank you all for letting me in to your worlds. I love you all dearly for it.

Life is vanishingly brief. It can end on a workday morning because you didn’t see the truck across the road.

 

Comfort

The closest intimacy isn’t physical, it’s mental…

I had some random bits rattling around in my head and, since I woke up far too early and haven’t written one of these in some time, decided to let them out…

Hiding your insecurities doesn’t show any self-confidence, it shows the lack. You don’t have to share them with everyone but, someone should know…

I have a friend. It’s an odd sort of friendship. Most start from the outside in. They start with the surface stuff like “Wow, nice Crocs, I love mine, how about you?” and, after some years, gets to “I was having nightmares last night reliving (fill in the blank ugly life event)”. Ours started in the middle and are working our way out. I don’t recommend that as a way to find friends but, it does let you rapidly get there. *grins*

Related to the previous, if you’re going to start there, be prepared to keep that person close forever because you just gave them lots of “permission”. You told them that they could hurt you by revealing your secrets. You told them that they could judge you based on your past. You also told them that you believe in them meaning, you expect them to neither reveal nor judge you.

The friend and I have an agreement. It is that while most friendships have some conditions they’re rarely codified, we did ours. We have two rules. First, “no hiding” and second “trust”. Those rules take “offense” off the table. Neither of us is allowed to take offense at what the other says, within broad reason, some words would hurt, but, not at being told the truth. It also means that we have blanket permission to speak into the other life…

Other odd thought about her. No one, well maybe a couple of people, even know we’re friends. Her friends, out there, don’t even know I exist…I hope. Not that I’m hiding her or fear being hidden. It’s just that there’s no need for others to know…

There’s a “game” she tries. We call it “dare”. She tries to find things to shock me and push me away. I let her. She CAN startle me. Does it frequently but, I don’t easily scare. I am a bit flattered that she tries, that means she cares enough to want me to stay no matter what she throws at me. I encourage her to keep trying because, the more I pass, the less she fears…and the dares give me insight into what drives her…

Look, not everyone is going to be close. Not everyone should but, everyone NEEDS some few people to be unguarded around. Some person that you trust with the “flat sides” of your personality and past. I have a couple. I still don’t know why she decided on me. I asked and I’m not sure she really knows why she decided to reach out to me. I have no clue, after much “wailing and gnashing of teeth”, why I accepted her trust and returned it. After much thought, I still don’t know…and decided the reasons aren’t important. What does matter is that she exists in my world and, if her words can be taken at  face value, that I am in hers. That’s enough. She’s my friend and I want, every time, what’s best for her. That’s a comfortable place for me…and I’m rarely comfortable with friends.

Crossings…

Once upon a time…
Some people were wandering in the wilderness. They had been seriously lost. They had wandered for a generation and had begun to believe that they would never find their way out. Finally, they got to where they could see where they were going. They could see the goal that they had begun to believe they would never reach but, there was a river in the way. That brought their dreams to a crashing halt but, their holy men prayed and they were given an answer from their God. He said, “I will make a path through the water and you will set monument stones where you walk that path through the river.” They agreed. They had the leaders of their tribes set those stones in the middle of the river where they had walked on dry land. Then their God closed up the river over those monuments leaving them unseen except for in the memories of the survivors…

Now, no matter what happened, they couldn’t cross back and they couldn’t disregard the importance of honoring the monuments their God had instructed them to place. They didn’t know what the future would hold, only that their past was closed to them…

Our lives are like that. Sometimes we face obstacles that seem unpassable. We get to the edge and don’t know what to do. We can see where we need to be, it’s right over there,but, we can’t see a way to cross to it…and then something changes…

I was faced with one of those places recently. I have had issues with trusting people, with believing that they will remain true to what they say. I have friends that have helped me get to the edge of the river by showing me that THEY could be trusted but, that was hard won, like the journey leading to the river. Still, I wanted to keep my distrust because it’s safer that way…and something happened. Just like in the story, one more person came along and changed things. They changed it by trusting me first…

The story shows, to me, a bunch of other things…

It shows me that, once crossed, we can not go back to our past…

It teaches that, although we fear the river might close up and swallow us, it is better to cross and begin again, no matter our fears.

It also lets us know that those crossings aren’t done alone. They asked their God for help and crossed with each other…

We don’t always see those crossings. Sometimes we look back and realize we did cross.

Sometimes the milestones and monuments differ. Some are places in time. Others are locations or objects. The most important are the people that help us and we keep them in our memories and hearts forever.

In the end, the best monuments are the memories of the times that a person neither pulled or pushed but, took our hand and walked along side. They are never seen but, exist to this day.

I have my Stones. I do them Honor by both remembering them, they are with me always, and not going back to who I used to be.

Don’t Use Those Words Again, Please

Ok, I’m having one of those moments when I need to say something in public to random strangers…I need to make sure that, by saying in public what I would say in private, that my words are not so easily dismissed.

I have a friend that I’ve written a few blogs for or about. I have no need to lie to her or pander to her whims. There is zero monetary or personal gain for me from telling her things just to make her feel better and, besides, that isn’t me. I have told her things I am SURE she didn’t want to hear. So, when I compliment, it is the absolute truth…well, there is my own bias which could, perhaps, color my subjectivity…

So, let’s begin. Do you do things that concern me? Yes and we’ve talked about them at length so, there’s no need here. Are you perfect?

Are you perfect? Nope, but, not one single human is. Yes, you are able to be opinionated and angry at times…just like every other human on the planet…

Now, for the reason, I’m writing. You say things that I wish you wouldn’t. You describe yourself with words that make me sad. I’m not a sad person by nature so, when I am, there’s a good cause…

Lately, you have used the words “slut”, “whore”, “easy lay”, and “fat” as descriptions of yourself.

*sigh*

I don’t know how to convince you that you are not correct. You are just not correct.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying sex. Period. That you do doesn’t make you an object. It makes you human. Those first three descriptors are words that make me think that you think of yourself as an object, an item to be used and discarded. You are not. End of story.

You are also not “fat” or any other negative. You do exercise. You swim, run, and row. You are in good physical shape. You might argue that you could be in better shape. So could everyone. I’m thin as a rail because of an accident of genetics, not because of anything I actively do.

Maybe you believe my rebuttals to your words or maybe this will make my point better…

*remember the part about no free compliments, remember those words when you read these*

You know I never had kids and you don’t fill that spot in my world, for two reasons. First, because being called “daughter” has bad connotations to you. Second, because you aren’t in that spot. You are a trusted and loved friend. Having said that, if you were my daughter, I couldn’t be prouder of you.

Do you realize what you’ve done?

You were smart enough and brave enough to leave an abusive relationship at a great cost to yourself. You have realized you made some mistakes and are taking steps to quit them forever. You see and confront your demons every day and push them farther back into their cage. You have not judged ME for what I’ve done, let me share my demons with you, and helped me face mine while dealing with your own. You have become, without intent, one of the people I trust…and you know how rarely I give that.

Those words that you use about yourself, please don’t. Those mistakes you think define you, you aren’t them. You are defined by your triumphs…not your defeats.

When the haters and the voices judge you, remember my words, not theirs…My words will tell you that you do have worth. They will say that the PERSON you are is valuable. That your soul is untarnished. That you are needed for something that isn’t tangible, your mind. That the world is a better place for having you in it. That, just by existing, you make me smile.

My words will tell you that you do have worth. They will say that the PERSON you are is valuable. That your soul is untarnished. That you are needed for something that isn’t tangible, your mind. That the world is a better place for having you in it. That, just by existing, you make me smile.

Like I said up there,those words you said about yourself,  please never use them again. You are not them. Not before, not now, not ever. I may not be objective but, you earned my subjective view.

I may not be objective but, you earned my subjective view. To me, you’re irreplaceable.

 

…And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

Being me is an odd place for some values of that word. To say that I have “trust issues” puts it mildly. I compartmentalize people. I am willing to share bits of what I think as the situation demands. I can tell people about the events of my past but, not the “internal” stuff that goes along with them. I guard, with a passion bordering on paranoia, my emotions from the chance of hurt. I will readily push away anyone that I think might cause emotional distress, won’t even think twice about it. Poof, gone. I “run like hell” at the first sign of a chance that I might be coming close to allowing more than superficial trust.

*sigh*

It’s part of being me. Not the best part but, something that exists. Sure, I’m capable of affection and care but, not close enough that affection could be something greater.

So, imagine my surprise, and “distress”, lacking a better word, when earlier this week, someone I sort of knew reached out to me and I replied, just expecting them to vent and be done. I’m a good listener and keep secrets. *editorial, if you ask me not to tell something, I NEVER do* So, she asked if she could “rant” to me. I don’t know why she picked me, not sure she does. We have sort of talked. I knew some of her past. I’ve even blogged about some of it, in a guarded way, in the past when I was talking about how women are treated by men. I digress…

Then the unexpected happened, she started telling me stuff that she really doesn’t tell people. I went from random outsider to, “these are the ugly bits, the private bits, the fears, what cha gonna do with them?”…

And I freaked out. Completely out.Buggy. “Danger Will Robinson”. “RUN AWAY!” out.

I started to. run I mean. I went back into “survival mode”. Was in the process of convincing myself that survival was the best plan. That the old instincts that had served me so well, were the best instincts. That trust is “a fool’s game”. I really wanted to run. I didn’t want to allow the off chance that my fears were correct. I wanted to take the empathy I was feeling and get rid of it. I wanted to not allow the tiniest chance that I might be hurt. I wanted to be ENTIRELY selfish…

So, I didn’t do any of that.

I put some demons to bed by deciding, to consciously allow trust. By deciding to skip the middle bits and go straight to *word for the week* *smile thingie* storge. It’s the Greek word that means ” the love that friends feel for each other… Storge love is unconditional, accepts flaws or faults and ultimately drives you to forgive. It’s committed, sacrificial and makes you feel secure, comfortable and safe.”

What the hell? If I’m going to risk trust and hurt, why not risk everything. Remember those parts a few paragraphs ago about “trust issues”? If that’s hard, why not make the hardest step?…

And I freaked out…again…lather rinse repeat…a couple more times…

And, in the mean time, because of what she has shared, I am, with her permission, writing blogs that are solely about her, these two The Worth of a Soul and Redefining a Person thinking to myself, “what a s**t head you are that you would write to serve a purpose and then run away”. I had accepted her trust, shared my demons in return, and I STILL couldn’t decide to run or stay…and I found myself writing this one Feeding the Demons. In the last one, I made a public statement of commitment. Hard to retract that.

*****

It’s part of my own healing process. I was trying to help her because I am a nice guy…and slammed into my own baggage. That’s the odd thing. I may be helping her but, the reaching out that she started made me face my fears. She didn’t do it intentionally. I think that if she had realized the anguish it was going to cause she wouldn’t have. She can be many things but, cruel is not one. There was no intent to cause stress for me in her. My “public face” is confident and sarcastic. I can be a vocal person. I like to talk. I just don’t like to reveal much. *here doesn’t count. typing at a screen is talking to myself*

She uses the word “test”. We are both being tested in this case. Her’s is, will she decide I’m unneeded and leave when my usefulness is over?

Will she find herself thinking I require too much effort when she has no energy to spare? I wouldn’t blame her if she did.

Mine test  is different. It is,  if she does, how will I react? What if she does walk away? What if she doesn’t need my insecurities while dealing with her own “stuff” and does the smart thing, tell me to “eff off”? Will I say, “yeah, I was right, never trust anyone that hasn’t proven themselves”, “don’t become attached to friends because they ALWAYS let you down”? Or will I try again, knowing the risk?

In the end, only time will tell. Ask me in a year how it went. Ask me in 5 how she’s doing. Check back and see if some demons have finally been put to rest. Yeah, I’m still scared that I made a mistake but, I have to take the chance. I have to try to learn. I think that I have found a person that will not fail the test, I just hope that person is me.

Embrace

Embrace.

That word eliminates fear. It’s hard to be scared of a hug. The warmth of arms wrapped around you and the feel of another heart beat.

Sometimes a hug is just a thought. It’s a quiet prayer in the dark or a memory of a voice. It’s thinking, “that’s my friend and I love her”.

Hugs keep my monsters away.

An Unexpected Post…So I Cheated…

I have an unexpected day off so, an unexpected post…

The Muse is off with her kids for the end of Summer Fun. The Surrogate Muse is doing family stuff. Aj is working. I’m on my own and staring at a blank screen…again…*grins*…I think I’m going to cheat. I wrote some “rules” that are really the way I do stuff, just written out. Maybe they make sense. Some are generalizations. Some apply to me, alone. Some are just the way I process information…

*****

1.   Having something greater than yourself to believe in is important.

2.   Be fair in your dealings with other people.

3.   Do not believe your own bulls**t.

4.   Be sparing with the loyalty you give and, once given, do not be disloyal.

5.   Tell the truth to yourself and others.

6.   Everyone has their flat sides.

7.   Being generous is fun.

8.   Being surrounded by nice folks is better than being surrounded by exciting folks.

9.   Adventures are for kids.

10. Laugh at yourself.

11. Love someone.

12. Treat people with respect and dignity.

13. All politicians lie.

14. Different people do things differently than you do. That should not exclude them from the people you love. If you exclude them, it is your loss. Some of the finest people I know do have made choices that I would never  made. I am a better person for having them in my life and would be much diminished for having kept them out.

15. Some days you will be a complete jerk. You will pay for those days.

16. You will never understand women unless you are one. I am not.

17. It’s ok not to see eye to eye with your spouse on the little stuff like politics.

18. It is not ok to disagree with your spouse on the important stuff like faith and money management.

19. Never ever disrespect your spouse in public or private. If they were worth marrying, they deserve your respect. Teasing is not the same as disrespect.

20. The most beautiful woman in the world is the one you look at and see “forever”.

21. Be good at something.

22. Your spouse is not your servant. Your spouse is your partner.

23. Your emotional energy is not your own unless you are single. If you have a spouse/partner, your emotional energy belongs to them.

24. There are two people in the world that you have to keep happy. They are your spouse and your boss. You are not the third.

25. Having an active imagination is important. You have to practice to keep it that way.

26. Be a goof sometimes.

27. Be serious only when you have to.

28. There are two times of the day, on the clock and off the clock.

29. It is not all about me. In fact, what I want matters very little.

30. Don’t stress stuff you can do nothing about.

31. Different views and different ways of doing things do not make people evil. It makes them different. Being evil makes people evil.

32. What people do in their own private lives, if it does no harm to children or violence to anyone, is none of your business.

33. Protect the rights of others. Particularly protect the rights of folks you disagree with.

34. Don’t spend money you don’t have.

35. Show public affection for your spouse. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. Someday, you’ll be dead and then it’ll be too late to do it then.

36. You’re gonna argue and fight with the people you love. Fight fair.

37. Be grateful for what you have.

38. Have friends that are women, if you are a guy. That way when you screw up with your wife, they can tell you exactly how bad you screwed up. Also, women aren’t afraid of hurting our male ego’s, so they’ll be more honest with you.

39. Make damn sure your wife knows that you have the friends in 38 above and realizes that she has zero reason  to be jealous of them.

40. Never ever give your wife a reason not to trust you. DO NOT EVER. This is not a conditional, “I wish I hadn’t gotten caught” thing. It is a moral absolute. Never break the faith. Period.

41. Put the seat down. Your life is easier for it.

42. Put your dirty dishes away and help fold the clothes.

43. If you have places in your past that you can never go back to, stay way away. Doesn’t mean not to revisit them in your mind to remind you why, but to stay away from the edge. There was no water in the pool the last time you jumped in, there isn’t gonna be any this time, either.

44. Read books.

45. Study failures so you don’t make the same mistakes. Study successes so you can figure out what they did right.

46. I am a big boy. If I screwed up, I’ll take the heat for it.

47. At some point every day, I’m gonna screw up.

48. Aches, pains, and headaches happen. Being in pain is not a good reason not to get on with the business at hand.

49. Do not live as an angry person. Anger is easy. Anger is also counter productive.

50. Do not let emotion rule your decisions. Think about them when you are calmer. A knee jerk is only good in the Dr’s office.

51. Don’t depend on other people to take care of you. They have themselves to take care of.

52. There is NO provocation that justifies violence toward women. Not one single reason. Not even “she hit me first”. If it gets that bad, leave. Period.

53. Related to 52, I reserve the right to leave.

54. If you hurt my wife, you’ll be dead and I’ll be waiting for the cops to show up.

55. I know a bunch of people. I like a bunch of people. I depend on very few.

56. Be a team player.

57. Hate is a bad thing. It should be reserved for the truly despicable. Dislike, on the other hand, happens all the time.

58. Life is fun.

59. I had no idea there were this many d**n rules.

60. When I was a kid, I thought I could do whatever I wanted when I was an alleged adult. I was not correct.

61. Sometimes, you look up and realize that your closest friends are people you never expected to be friends with.

62. For me, some of the people I’m closest to I will probably never meet in person. That doesn’t mean they have any less value to me.

63. I’m a homebody and like it that way. My house is dark and quiet. It has the woman I love in it. Home is safe and secure.

64. My wife is my best friend.

65. Some of these are specifically about a few people. I hope they see these and realize that I am talking about them.

66. I’ll add more to this list.

67. They did not teach mind reading in school. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt and do not assign motive without input from them.

68. Think for yourself. Fact check. Draw your own conclusions. Do not assume that everyone that says they are an authority actually is one.

69. Don’t be afraid to be wrong and admit it. Just don’t be wrong about the same thing twice. Find a different thing to be wrong about.

70. Minimize your hypocrisy. It’s ok to have views that conflict with others of your views. It’s not ok to have views that conflict with your actions.

71. Don’t be a Christian and have “Stone Him!!!” as your first response. If that were the case, we ALL deserve to be stoned.

72. Appearance is over rated. What’s inside is more important.

73. Male vanity is just dumb. If we were supposed to be good looking we’d have been born women.

74. Discomfort or minor aches are not a good enough excuse. You’ve been cold, wet, hot, tired, sore, itchy, or whatever. Eff it and drive on.

75. There is no excuse for not being on time unless you are on fire or bleeding. Early is better than late.

76. No one cares how well you did in high school or college. What matters is how well you did 5 minutes ago.

77. The reward for working hard is more hard work.

78. You can not control an other person. The only person you can control is yourself. Clean your own side of the street.

79. I am not responsible for trying to figure out how anyone other than my spouse thinks. I can not do that either.

80. The retarded wildebeest at the at the back of the pack is the one the lions eat. Don’t be a retarded wildebeest.

81. *added 8/22/2015* My friends and loved ones are of many faiths and orientations. I love them more than I like you. Given the choice, I’ll be on their side, every time. If you are homophobic or anti-whatever-their-faith or insulting to them in any way, you’re gone. No argument or discussion just removed from my world. I need them. I don’t need you.

*****

I wrote these over a period of some months and my life. *grins* I hadn’t really revisited them for a year and a half. I looked at them again, today, and realized I needed #81. Other than that, feel free to comment, critique, or suggest additions…Thanks for following along…

 

Y’all Win

*Throws up hands* Y’all win.

I seem to be outvoted. I suppose it was a foregone conclusion. When Aj and Z and even this nice young lady, https://awaketostillness.wordpress.com/about/, *editorial, I don’t know her real name* have ganged up on me to tell me that I MUST admit that I’m “amazing”, I’ll surrender.

Now that we have that out of the way…

I’ll surrender but, there’s a condition.*grins*

I don’t have the market cornered. If I’m as good as they say I am, then they are, too. In that group, “amazing” is average. I can live with that. *grins* I’m still in awe of the Ladies I think of as friends. That’ll never change but, I’ll admit to amazing.

Now, may I please go back to normal? *grins*

*editorial, I suspect that Aj will only be satisfied with an unconditional surrender*

Let Someone Else be Amazing

I don’t want to be amazing.

Aj and Z won’t quit bugging me. They keep telling me I’m amazing. It’s not that I have a bad self-image, it’s just that I don’t want to live up to that standard. I really do like who I am. I have some great traits. I’m loyal, smart, hard-working, and honest. I’ll stand up for my friends and do my best to encourage them and build them up in public or in private. I strive to be the best husband I am capable of being. I’ve got a sense of humor that lets me laugh at almost everything, including myself. I’ve gotten past addiction and survived mostly sane. Those things aren’t amazing. They’re just part of me.

I’m also lazy, profane, hypocritical, a slob, judgmental and cynical. I don’t pay attention when I drive and my diet is mostly meat or snacks. I have to fight back my anger.

I’ll be happy to be myself. I said it up there, I like who I am. Being me isn’t amazing. It’s fun. I enjoy that I’ve got friends and a wife that are comfortable enough with me, and me them, that they can tease mercilessly. I love that I have people that I trust enough to listen to…even if I have to write a post like this to disagree. I’m not being hard-headed…well, maybe I am a bit. I just see things differently.

Amazing is a hard standard. Amazing doesn’t give me any wiggle room for my off days. Sometimes I do stuff that makes me think “what kind of idiot?…” I suppose some of those count as “amazing” *sigh*
Besides, if I’m amazing that doesn’t give me a word for the people that amaze me. There are people in the world that raise kids as a single mom. There are people that put their lives on the line to defend our country. There are people that run into burning buildings or cars. There are people with artistic talents that enrich our lives. There are scientists that probe the mysteries of the universe and the world around us. Those people are amazing. The women in my world that I look up to are amazing.
Look, I know y’all are trying to help. I love y’all to pieces. I know that good things have come out of my life and more will. Let’s just find a different word. My ego doesn’t need to be amazing to feel good about myself. I have “my collection of Yankee women” to remind me that I’m loved. I have my faith to do the same.
I’ll make y’all a deal, I’ll be Miller. Miller is a good guy. Miller is semi-normal and well loved. That’s more than I ever expected and enough to make me happy. Fair enough?