An Open Letter

My dear (name withheld), I hope this letter meets you well.
Well, you’ve asked for more and in the interest of time I realized that an open letter would be ideal. But why, you blatantly uttered and recall my response, you are not alone, there are many others who would find this useful.

Story:
You’ve been disappointed by the facade and I could tell from the frown, you have no more tolerance for lengthy speeches so I will spare you. You didn’t have much to say yet I felt your pain. You were vibrant, naive and unassuming only to feel like it’s just another joke.

You’ve come to your wit’s end and have labelled this journey, yep the ‘relationship’ journey a mirage filled with it’s incessant turns and challenges. I am a firm believer in love, a hopeless romantic, fun loving, realistic expectations and optimistic outlook yet all for nothing. Why am I the odd one out ? Why does it appear I am making a mistake? Is there no value for standing tall for something?

Questions:
Why should I continue to be different?
Why bother being a ‘goody-two shoes’ ?
Why shouldn’t I just go with the majority and be like everyone else?
Why bother with the risk of ridicule, indifference and jeers ?
Why bother confronting average, a state many would rather assume is ideal ?
Why be different when it’s easy to blend in ?
Why bother you ask ?

My Response:
I know why you’ve asked for my opinion, you know I will be as sincere as can be, I will be honest, poignant and ‘matter-of-fact’ direct.

I do feel your pain, you’re struggling, pressured, overwhelmed and frustrated. I sense your desire to buckle, give in and be like almost everyone. I honestly knew how serious you were when you insisted that it’s probably better to be average than exceptional. It is now getting tougher as the last wall of defense has begun to break down too with family and close friends even those you admired and trusted for sound counsel all insist that the issue is your personal interpretation. That perhaps you’ve misinterpreted that same script of living right, standing tall and not compromising your ideals and values. They are comparing you with others…now that hurts.

I am concerned because you sounded so ‘weak’, your resolve ebbing, your gaze distant and not surprising grounds once gained you are now ready to concede. Your stance and disposition speaks volume, I can see and hear that much…

The Monster:
So I won’t sugar coat my response; I won’t speak over you in hope that somehow that will keep you afloat for a few.
I won’t go for the quick fix.

So here goes:
You are right, average appears easy and I do admit that the natural tendency to adopt such a position is natural in time. That ‘monster’- PRESSURE (peer, societal, age etc) is real.

The pressure to succumb to the majority, the pressure to fit in, the pressure to ‘steady the boat’, the pressure to be accepted and the pressure to be average. Well, before you tune me out can you please give me a few minutes and listen to my story?

Well, your response will determine mine, so it’s your call – I am waiting.

(To be continued if you tell me so…)

Negative Gain

Negative Gain


Time is running out. Year after year, the young are getting old and the old are getting older – day by day, a minute at a time!
But part of growing old is asking questions that peel back the layers of reason and logic.

In today’s fast-paced world of tight and gruesome schedules, demanding routines, long ‘grocery’ lists, huge deals, giant
leaps, and great gains. But at what price? It does appear we gain so little, yet lose so much. It is still a GAIN some insist but let me submit to you what it is,
A Negative Gain. When you add it up, you lose.

Let me clarify what Negative Gain is. Negative Gain is making it big alone, with no one to celebrate with you.
Negative Gain is external success with internal failures.
Negative Gain is a beautiful exterior with a decaying interior.
Negative Gain is smart compromises but lost ideals.

Negative Gain is gaining the world and losing one’s soul.
Negative Gain is like successful couples with abandoned children or an unhappy marriage.
Negative Gain is akin to an individual giving ‘all’ in hope of retaining, but losing it all.
Negative Gain is knowing so much, yet applying so little.
Negative Gain is the accumulation of accolades, but the conspicuous loss and/or absence of family and good friends.
Negative Gain is the accumulation of life’s goods and treasures with an empty soul.
Negative Gain is a gigantic loss.

Question: Let me ask you a simple question, “What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What
could you ever trade your soul for? What is your soul worth?” Matthew 16:26 Message Version

Check this video out: [youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=WrJMOzs1hKI]

It is easy to get busy. It is easy to lose sight of what’s really important.
It is easy to keep running, to keep chasing, to keep grasping, to keep fighting, to keep demanding.
It is easy to maintain the status-quo, ignore the ‘check-engine’ light and keep racking up the score.
It is easy to focus on others to the detriment of your self.
It is easy to become a shadow of your vibrant, determined, focused and passionate self.
It is easy to adapt to compromises to the detriment of your conscience.

I have been at sickbeds. I have heard from people before their final ‘cross-overs.’ I have been told life is never about the ‘GAINS,’ the ‘toys,’ or the trophies.
Perhaps rightly so consider a popular anonymous quote, ‘the best things in life are really not things’. Those ‘things’ are intangibles – love, family, friendships and most importantly faith.
So what’s your soul worth?

Culled from ‘Get Off Your Duff’ By ‘Flo Falayi (Published Dec. 2010)spacer.gifspacer.gif
Image Source: lovingmyground.tumblr.com

My God is Awesome.

I love this worship tune from Charles Jenkins and the Fellowship Church Choir.
Check it out, listen and enjoy this song

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz8BgLSC24E]

If this blesses you, share it with your friends in your respective networks.

My God, Your God and Our God is Awesome. Believe that!

10 Tips For Touching Base.

Friends, TGIF!As an avid ‘collector’ of relevant information (quotes, nuggets etc) might I add. It is expedient to visit one’s archive often to discover priceless jewels. This “10 Tips for touching base” is one for couples.

Promise to practice what you read below, wishing you the very best.

Here are the 10 Tips For Touching Base.

 

ten
  1. Focus on face time. Email, phone calls and texts can not substitute for true bonding.
  2. Start off with small talk.
  3. Don’t mix business with the pleasure of each other’s company. Set aside a weekly 30-minute period to manage bills and household issues. Sitting down with an agenda may feel a bit like a staff meeting, but staff meetings make healthy businesses. And the fact is, they make healthy marriages and relationships as well.
  4. Progress at a natural pace. Those daily five minutes will feel forced at first. But when you do that at least five days a week, you’ll eventually reach the point where that will feel inadequate.
  5. Relax! This is a no-pressure contact.
  6. Focus on connecting. Ask, “How was your day, baby?” or tell a story abut yours.
  7. If you can’t spontaneously share, it’s fine to prepare.
  8. Be Intentional. It should be understood by both that no matter what, this is that time.
  9. Have a shared signal that it’s chat time.
  10. Go with the flow. when your connection leads to a physical or even spiritual one. If the moment seems right for a hug, kiss or a shared prayer, go right there. – Tips By Dr. Ronn Elmore.

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Make a Difference: Autism Weekend.

arrow_left.png The Riverbank Autism Awareness Weekend is less than 3 days away and we are busy finalizing details.
2012 RIVERBANK…
Autism Awareness WeekendSATURDAY, MAY11th, 2012
Join the team, “The Riverbank Prays” in the 9th Annual Autism Speaks Walk at The Soldier’s Field, Chicago on Saturday, May 11th, 2012.

Agenda

  1. Arrive Downtown @ The Riverbank (560 W. Van Buren): 9.00 a.am.
  2. Departure to Soldier’s Field:9:10 a.m.
  3. Opening Ceremony:10:00 a.m.
  4. Walk Starts: 10:30 a.m.
  5. Walk Ends: 11:00 a.m.
  6. After Party: 11:00 a.m.
  7. Departure: 11:15 a.m.

SUNDAY, MAY12th, 2012
We will ‘localize’ this awareness further as The we host a symposium addressing “Autism in the Minority Community” at
The Riverbank Center (560 W. Van Buren) from 11.00 a.m. CST.

May11th &12th
DON’T MISS IT.
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icon_twitter.6.gif FOLLOW ON
TWITTER
icon_facebook.6.gif FRIEND ON
FACEBOOK
icon_forward.6.gif FORWARD TO
A FRIEND

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Love Story – Anon


Love Story
(Marriage) – Anon

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce.. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.
She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that everyday for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy.. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife’s divorce conditions.. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully..

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. >From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time.. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead……I cried and cried uncontrollably and carried her for the last time from the room to the hall with tears streaming down my face and gazing at my only son, his tears rolling from his eyes, they made me cry even more. I had lost my love, my wife and a loving and caring mother and nothing I could do now to put the clock backward. I had all the time now to look at her motionless body in detail but I knew it was going to be only for a short while until she made her last journey to the Lord…..I held my son and wept again and again thinking of all the things I did not do for her when she was still alive……. ..and placed gently the flowers in her hands with my tears trickling on them…….she was gone forever, all my tears would not bring her back . - Author unknown, but acknowledged.

Moral of the story:

  • Don’t take for granted what you’ve got and learn to fall in love with the same person many times and might I add every day.
  • As always, Relationships Do Matter.

pFlo

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