Tag Archives: Dating

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

I am reminded again that relationships with God and others take practice.

 

When I was a child and took music lessons my parents would constantly prod me to practice. Any musician or athlete knows that it takes lots of practice, sometimes tedious practice to develop any sense of ease and freedom in playing. Being a musician I know this and only wish that I had spent more time in practice! We may initially resent our parents or others who lovingly prod and push us to be the best that we can be. In retrospect we may find that they have given us a great gift!

 

I know it takes lots of practice to develop a talent, but why is it that I think my relationship with God and others should just come automatically? Those skilled at relationships take time working at them. How often do I take the time to resolve an issue in a relationship? Sometimes we just go on, never really talking through or resolving the issue. In terms of our relationship with God, it also takes practice. They don’t call it “spiritual practice,” or “practicing faith” for nothing! But sometimes I get so tired of practicing – taking the time to meditate and pray whether alone or with others. It seems like such a waste of time. There’s so much else to be done!

 

It is only in daily practice that I gain any skill, depth and freedom  as a musician or an athlete and it takes daily practice to gain that same skill, depth and freedom in loving relationships, whether with people or with God. What practices do I have in place that develop my relationship with God and others?

Advertisements

THE MOST AWESOME ORGASM!

NOTE: I AM FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO POST EVERYDAY, LET ALONE A FEW TIMES A WEEK. FOR THOSE WHO READ THIS BLOG, I WILL TRY TO POST EVERY SUNDAY, THEN PERHAPS SOME DAY OR DAYS DURING THE WEEK, BUT AT THE MINIMUM I WILL TRY TO POST EVERY SUNDAY. Enjoy the journey!

We all chase after it, in one way or another. We somehow expect that in this life we will find total fulfillment and happiness whether it be through our spouse/partner, that “perfect someone,” through our work, our house, our car, friends, our children, our church, synagogue, temple or mosque, our guru – our favorite self help writer, our minister, priest and the like. Somehow all of us expect perfect happiness on this side of life, whether we’re aware of it or not.

Think about it. We place high expectations on our boyfriend/girlfriend, our spouse, friends, spiritual path, church and even ourselves to bring us happiness and fulfillment. Somehow we expect that one day we will arrive, we will find perfect serenity, perfect consummation, perfect happiness – the perfect orgasm through one of these means.

We all feel a fundamental sense of disconnection – from our Source and from one another.. And this very incompletion makes us continually reach beyond ourselves to find completion, be it in a person, place, thing or philosophy/spirituality. And this is good. But the sooner we realize that none of this will EVER make us FULLY complete, connected, happy, etc – the more peaceful we will ultimately be. Our expectations of one another, our spouses, of possessions and even of our spiritual path become realistic.

Ronald Rolheiser, in his book The Holy Longing: The Search for A Christian Spirituality, has a great chapter on sexuality – this Divine energy which drives us to seek completion and fulfillment outside of ourselves because we all feel a sense of incompletion. Yet, he says, the truth is, we all live with the “frustration of a lifelong, unfinished symphony” (c.f. p.205ff). On this side of life we will never find the perfect orgasm, the perfect person, or constantly live in a state of total fulfillment. The good news is, the sooner we accept this, the sooner we will stop expecting people or things to bring us the total fulfillment that only Divine fulfillment can. And, consequently, the happier we will be. Much pain and sadness in life comes from disappointment born of dashed expectations that this person or thing will completely fulfill us.

So face it, we’re never going to have the perfect orgasm. Ironically, when we realize this, the more connected and fulfilled we will feel.


Healing Presence

Did you ever know someone in whose presence you felt connected, peaceful and refreshed?  We literally are healed by such people.  We draw strength from them.  When we walk about life alone, or trying to do it all ourselves this may work for a while.  But gradually we loose our life force and begin to whither on the vine.  Conversely when we open ourselves to healing presence in others, life takes on new meaning and it’s as if our spirit comes alive with this new food.  “Not by bread alone do we live!”  We need the “food” of others in order to live well in this life.

Some of us, because of past hurts, tend to crawl into our shells, afraid to depend on others, afraid to open our hearts or even ask for simple help.  Perhaps this initially feels the safer way to go about life; but gradually we begin to die, perhaps not physically, but our spirits begin to whither.  Is this any way to live?

It’s no accident that creeds, mission statemets and the 12 Steps begin with the word “we.”  None of us can do it alone.  Yes, in opening ourselves to others, to groups, to churches, to lovers – we may indeed get hurt.  But what’s the alternative?   A safe, but lifeless existence?

Who are the people from whom you can draw healing and strength?  How are you called to be healing presence for others?


Leaving Home

Today is traditionally held to be the Feast of the Epiphany, on which the visit of the Magi is commemorated. We don’t know who they were or even how many there were. We don’t even know if they were Kings. One thing is sure though, they were seekers. And to seek, they had to leave home and travel a long way.

I think too of the Holy Family and their need to leave home for a long time and go to a foreign land because Herod was after them, killing all male babies. We read this as if it were a blip on the map of their existence, but I can only imagine the sojourn that must have been, before they felt safe to return to their homeland.

Sometimes in order to seek, to grow as people, we have to leave home, we have to leave that which is comfortable. Think of a budding relationship. So many of us who are single “seek” that; but in order to find it, we have to leave that which is comfortable and slowly take the risk of entering another’s life and space. Whatever we seek, sometimes we have to leave that which is comfortable in order to find it.

Sometimes, however, we are forced to leave home. I think of the many gay people who have been forced from their homes, their churches and their circle of friends simply because they come out as being gay. I think of those who have to leave home, jobs, friends because of the violence of war that surrounds them. I can only imagine how painful it would be.

Yet I have to believe that in every home leaving, there is a home finding, a discovery of a place called home that is deep within us and not dependent on external factors.

What do you seek? What “home leaving” do you need to do in order to find what you seek?


Happiness and the Ever Allusive Boyfriend

Once again, I’m not strictly speaking of finding a boyfriend, but happiness, the ever allusive happiness that we all seek.

Last night at a coffee shop I began reading a book called The Way to Love:  The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello.  Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and spiritual guide who, in his many books and conferences, brought together Eastern and Western spirituality.  He himself was raised in India so was familiar with Eastern concepts.  If you have not read anything by him or about him I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!  It’s amazing how very much in line he is with the thinking of Tolle, Dyer, Jung, Frankl and many others who speak of being free of ego attachments and realizing the grace of living happiness in this moment no matter what is happening around us.  These people, I believe, like the Christ, have keys that can make a tremendous difference in living a happy, more peaceful life.  The Way to Love is a very small volume, something you could carry in your pocket, but is packed with lots of insight and practical wisdom that can change the way you go about life!  It’s published by Image Books, Doubleday.

Last night, on the heals of yesterday’s meditation, I read De Mello’s take on ever allusive happiness.  He says we are programmed from birth to believe that we cannot be happy without things, that happiness lay somewhere in the future when I get this person, thing or place.  Or we are programmed to believe that if we just change the situation and the people around us, then we’ll be happy, or when all our desires are fulfilled we’ll be happy.  All of these are FALSE.  It is only when we stop clinging to these things that we begin to experience what peace and happiness is.  It is only when we let go of these things and simply live this moment and accept what is here and now that we can begin to live in a greater state of peace and happiness.  For then we won’t waste a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to get this or that or to change this or that circumstance in our lives (See pp.5-12 The Way to Love) It’s difficult for me to put this in words, but I know what it feels like when I stop looking to the future for happiness, or some person, place of thing.  I know what it is to experience peace and happiness when I accept interruptions to my day, or when my day hasn’t gone as I had planned, or when something seemingly bad happens.  I know what it feels like when I simply accept that and stop resisting it.

I want to continue exploring this.  I find myself being lead to read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning which chronicles his experiences when he was in a concentration camp in World War II and how he found that even in such horrible and unspeakably inhumane circumstances, one could still be happy.  Imagine the freedom!


I NEED A BOYFRIEND!

OK, I really don’t NEED a boyfriend (Although if there are any good guys out there, drop me a line!  :-)).  I woke up this morning and looked over at the other side of the bed, the empty side, and I immediately found myself thinking that I was missing something, and that if I just had “him” (whoever “he” might be) laying next to me and walking through life with me, then life would be good!  Gratefully, I quickly “woke up” and realized that I was beginning to feel badly due to some perceived lack, when the reality is, life is good right now in this moment!

Do you ever find yourself thinking or feeling that?  Ever find yourself thinking and yearning for this or that, whether it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, a house, a new apartment, new furniture, moving to a new place, being this or that kind of person, or in this or that kind of profession?  “If I just had that.  If I just had him.  If I just lived there.  If I just were a ______ (fill in the blank).  If I just didn’t suffer from _________.    If I just had a different job.  If I just had a different partner.  If I just had a day off . . .Then life would be good!”  And the list goes on.  Consciously or unconsciously most of us walk through our days with such thoughts running around in our heads.  And as a result we stay in a perpetual state of agitation and lack of fulfillment.

We are always bombarded with messages that say just that.  Listen to love songs, observe commercials, watch sitcoms and movies.  The message is usually:  “You lack this and you really need it.  Then you’ll live happily ever after!”  Look at shows like American Idol and the like.  People clamor after fame and this perceived “good life.”  When I get there, then life will be great!  Every day we are bombarded with images of beautiful people with seemingly perfect lives, or even spiritual “gurus” who make us believe that we too could have what they have and then we would be happy!  If we get to the day to day reality of these people’s lives we will find that their reality, their concerns, their struggles are much like ours.  Eckhart Tolle says that whether we have seemingly “arrived” or not, the world of form will ALWAYS disappoint.  If we place our happiness or our fulfillment on this person, place, thing or fame of some sort – and even if we place our spiritual fulfillment on some future happening or place we go to – we will be frustrated.  The key he says is accepting what is NOW and simply living the present moment.  Once we do so, we will find a peace and contentment that is true and NOT DEPENDENT on our external environment or having this or that.  Then, ironically, we will fully and freely (without clinging) enjoy the people, things or places that are around us.


The Dating Game

I ran across a guy I know the other day and man, he looked good! I think he likes me, but I’m not sure of the nature of his liking me. Is it as a friend? A friend and romantic interest? Just a social acquaintance?

If you’re anything like me, any modicum of self assurance by which I live sometimes goes flying right out the window when I am in front of someone in whom I am romantically interested! And then the mind starts going: “What does he think of me? DOES he think of me? Does he like me? Am I good enough for him? Would he ever date me?” And the chatter goes on and on. I now realize that when I am in such a state, I am clearly not aware and centered. The ego has taken over.

When I am able to step back from this chatter, I realize that this is not me, it’s the ego. The ego wants him badly. The ego always wants more and is never satisfied. The ego is what makes me self conscious. It makes me think that I am lacking something and that I must always be grabbing after something or someone outside of myself to complete me or make me happy. This is the greatest fallacy of the dating game and relationships. And that’s why so many relationships fail! We enter them thinking that we lack something and that this other person is going to give it to us. Over time, we realize that they’re not going to give us happiness, or security or the like and we are again left with ourselves

When I am centered in the deepest sense of who I am beyond the ego’s chatter, self confidence returns, precisely because I’m not grabbing after something or someone, but simply PRESENT to them! No expectations. When I am able to be present to someone without looking to them to give me something that I think I don’t have (i.e., happiness, a full rich life, love, connectedness) then I am truly able to relate to them from a peaceful, detached place. And this is a good basis for a relationship that is good and true and not based in self seeking. A relationship based in self seeking is doomed to be a disappointment.

If you’re single, . . . how’s your dating game going? If you’re partnered, how present are you to your partner?