I’m a soul man…

November 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

I am a big believer in soul mates. I love the concept, I love the manifestation of the concept when two people really buy into it and embrace it, and I love the inspiration it provides people to go forth and seek, not someone, but The One ™.

Having said that (and I recognize I’m going to lose some of you here) I am a believer in soul mates on my terms… not necessarily everyone elses. In simple terms, I’m a believer in soul mates, not sole mates.

I believe there is someone for everyone, just not a specific someone. I think there are several someone’s that will “work” with each of us to a level that will give other people cavities. By definition, of course, there is, and has to be, a “best someone” for everyone. However, I do not believe you need to meet, court and spend the rest of your life with that person to be complete and happy.

In fact I am quite certain that the vast majority of us never meet “the best one” for us. She is in Nepal, or he is in Cleveland (I’m a boy, I get to put the girl in the uber-cool destination if I want to!!!), and you are… well… you know where you are.

And thats okay, because right there where you are is someone who is absolutely fantastic for you… a soul mate. It might be someone who makes your heart sing (if you think that line is cheesy, immature or lacking exposure to the reality of the world… keep looking you haven’t found yours yet), it might be someone who leaves you star-struck (and reaching for a dictionary) every time they speak because of their magnificent intellect, or it might be someone who provides a level of support, security and piece of mind previously unfathomable (or maybe it is all of these and more).

But there is something(s) about that person that make them absolutely wonderful for you. Actually, put in better terms… there is something about them that makes **you** wonderful for you. They elevate (without even trying to do so), empower and embolden you.

Your whole is greater than the sum of your parts… that, and you can be around them for more than 90 minutes without wanting to strangle them. 😉

Here’s what you should never do, in my opinion. You should never question if the person you are interested in is your soul mate, at least not in the overly traditional sense. You should never ask “is this The One.”

I’m not suggesting you should settle; absolutely noone should settle. However, you should also not delude yourself into thinking that the wonderful person walking beside you might just be the biggest mistake you ever make (because you are focused on them and might therefore miss “The One”).

Everyone is fabulous, and everyone is flawed… wonderfully, amazingly, endearingly, and tragically flawed. Embrace this, understand that the unique defining difference between your grass and that grass over there is the side of the fence upon which it resides… not its color, or length, or how meticulously it is edged (although a well edged lawn is pretty cool… if your into that sort of thing).

In short… don’t spend so much time looking for perfection that you miss the fact that you have a pretty good dose of it right in front of you. Appreciate your partner for what they are, not what they are not. Remember, a zealous subscription to the overblown modern notion a soul mate could very well leave you as a sole-man (or woman)…

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According to you…

November 12, 2010 § 1 Comment

So, there’s this song…

You may not know it (or you might)… but your kids certainly do.  There are so many places I could go with this particular song… and later, I just might actually.  However, for today, I’m going to try to be focused about it.

sunshineThe simply interpretation, of course, is that if you are not kind, positive, supportive etc. to your partner, and someone else is, you are going to lose them.  However, the reality is not that simple.  In most cases there will not be “someone else” unless you are already being non-supportive, negative, etc.  By and large with relationships, or anything else, really; you get out of them when you put into them.

People want, and deserve, to be appreciated.  People want to be reminded of not just why they are with you, but why you are with them as well.  This means you need to both act the part of someone valuable – AKA be valuable to the relationship – and reaffirm your partners value in the relationship.  When was the last time you:

  • Told her she was beautiful when she was at her casual best (read: not dressed up… but just her).
  • Thanked her/him for the many things she/he does daily as part of just being a responsible part of the household… you do appreciate those things, right?
  • Instead of just laughing at their jokes, actually acknowledged your partners good sense of humor.
  • Told him you miss him after 7 minutes, or let her know when you were randomly thinking of her in the middle of the day.

You get the idea.  

Can you think of 5 great things about your partner, just off the top of your head.  Go ahead, try… I’ll wait 🙂

It’s pretty easy when you stop and think about it right?  

Well, how about you put them in a text message or an email or even *gasp* on paper and send them off to her/him right now.  Seriously… do it now… once again… I’ll wait (I’ve got all day) 🙂

I hope you did it.  You see here’s the thing, by and large, if you take the time to communicate with someone and they know how you really feel about them; you will seldom, if ever, have to worry about what they look like “according to him.”

Lets say you had a car…

November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

classic carsLet say you have a car, you know this because you just looked out the window and its sitting there in the middle of your driveway.

The problem is, you (literally) cannot remember why you have this car.  You’re not sure what value it adds to your life, what you would do with it, or why you would even want to have it around.

(I know, I know, but play along please, I really do have a point to make here 🙂 )

In fact, this car is a bit annoying now that you think about it.  It stands right in the way of your mail box and now you have to walk around this car to get to your mail.  It costs money, you have an insurance bill sitting right there on your desk, and there is a gas card bill as well.  Clearly it has broken down from time to time because you have a mechanics bill as well.

Heck, as far as you can tell, this car is the bane of your existence.

So… you find yourself in this situation, what comes next?

Unfortunately, people often don’t take the time to figure out why they have the car in the first place, what it does for them.  Instead they begin the process of deciding what to do with this nuisance, and frequently, this means figuring out how to dispose of the car.

I say unfortunately because I believe what many people don’t do with their relationships is figure out why they are in them in the first place, and what those relationships do for them.  They see their chosen partner as a barrier or inhibitor to things they need or want.  They see them as a drain on their resources.  And most importantly, they simply are unable to see the benefits of the relationship.

I believe that before one ever starts to evaluate what to do with something, relationships included, they should have a full list of the pro’s and con’s to work with.  This means digging deep and remembering why you were attracted to this person in the first place.

In most cases (there are certainly exceptions like abuse etc.), considering divorce (or splitting up a relationship) without recalling why this person used to put a smile on your face from the moment you saw them and tears on your face the moment they left (rather then the opposite, as might be the case currently) is tantamount to deciding to sell your car without remembering that it gets you to work, to the store, the kids school and to the beach, etc. reliably day after day, or how it feels to be on the open road, windows down, music blaring on a fabulous spring or summer day.

If you are struggling with your relationship right now, take some time away from your frustration to reminisce on how you got here. Not how you got to the problems, but how you became a couple in the first place.  Remind yourself of what kept you up until the wee hours of the morning, when sleep wasn’t important, only being together mattered.

If things are great right now… take some notes.  Someday you might be in the previous paragraph rather than this one, and when you are, its surprising how difficult it can be to remember what is so great about this person.  Right now you probably don’t feel like you need them, but some day those notes will come in handy (even if you don’t ever struggle… someday your kids will **love** reading them, trust me!).

Just be sure to take a close look at that ‘ol jalopy before you trade it in… it might be a classic!

  • The short version…

    I've been through a divorce, learned (I believe) a lot from it and want to share it with anyone who might find it useful. With any luck, people will read this PRE-divorce and who knows... maybe not have their own divorce story to tell.