Lessons of Life.


I had an entirely different subject written. Edited. And proofread. Before circumstances changed .What a difference a week makes. I prefer to listen to people’s problems and not share my own. In this way, I don’t think about mine. Too much that is. Recent experiences have left me feeling trapped in an emotional wind tunnel. I am still processing everything. Trying to figure out how I arrived where I am. Life can truly be cruel at times. I also know time is the emotional healer.

The nature of what happened is irrelevant. I realize this might lead to speculation. It’s okay. This post is very cathartic for me. The hope here is that readers will recognize a part of themselves. Perhaps realize what has been lost. Find the clarity that was always there. Hiding in plain sight. Akin to the white elephant in the room. Clarity brings transparency. Awareness. Forces us to own up. Remove the scales covering our eyes. And in the process learn painful lessons. It is possible that we were already taught these lessons. But needed the reminder. A refresher course. Following are some of the lessons I have learned over time, but were recently reinforced.

Lesson one: “When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future” ~ Bernard Meltzer. From 1998 to 2000, a US television network ran a show called Forgive or Forget. I watched it religiously. It lived up to its name. Guests talked about things they did wrong. To a family member or friend. The offended person had to make the choice on whether to forgive or forget. Initially, it was a highly rated show. Millions related to the emotional complexities of every story. At the end of each episode, if the offense was forgiven, the person would be waiting behind a door. If not, the room would be empty. It was good TV.

We make mistakes daily. Blunders which hurt. Abominably. Some are easy to forgive. Others take time. People forgive and move on. Others own the hurt. Clutching it like a lifeline. They feel justified in doing so. It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend. Actions and words cannot be taken back. But we can lay the foundation for a better future. Forgiveness does not change what happened. It is not saying what happened is okay. It means not allowing the other person to control your happiness. And how you feel about yourself. It should change us. And how we respond to situations in the future. We must give and take. People are not perfect. We must not forget when the shoe was on the other foot. Doing so enables us to move on. To heal. To prevent irreparable damage to our most important relationships.

Lesson two: “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than what you settled for” ~ Maureen Dowd. No truer words have ever been spoken! It’s imperative that you love yourself. If you do, you will not accept anything less than what you deserve. Throughout my life I have learned that if something, is not freely given to me, it’s not worth having. I speak in terms of our relationship with others. You don’t have to take this piece of advice. Go on. Settle. I can guarantee you the time will come. As it always does. When it will no longer be enough. You will feel a yearning. For better. Complete fulfillment. More. Whether it is a better, loving relationship. Attention from a spouse or loved one. A better job. A change of pace. You will be unhappy. Unless you make the change. And stop settling.

Lesson three: “We teach people how to treat us”~ Dr Phil. In words and actions.  The situation develops gradually. Sneakily. Like a thief in the night. An inch here. A mile there. Complacency sets in. You keep forgiving. Behaviors become established. And change is hard to come by. We should establish and maintain boundaries early. Regardless of the nature of the relationship. Don’t assume everyone knows and follows the rules of social etiquette. Once a pattern is in place, good luck trying to change it.

A word of advice. Take each of the relationships in your life, and ask yourself: “How does …..treat me?” Furthermore, do some self-examination. Yes, we should expect to be treated with kindnes, love, and respect by those who profess to care about us. Caring about someone should not hurt. Nevertheless, self-examination requires us to consider the extent to which we have contributed to their behaviors. Have we put them on the edge because of our own behaviors? Are they reacting to the situation or the person? Molehill are easily transformed into mountains. The mole hills were always there. However, the last one was the mother of all mole hills. It got misconstrued. We cannot will people to change their behaviors. But, we can establish boundaries early. Or regret later.

Lesson four: “Change always comes bearing gifts” ~ Price Pritchett. We’ve all wished that we could bottle an emotion. A hug. A kiss. A tender moment. An unusually great day. Etc. Save them for later. When the going gets rough. When we need to seek peace. Why? Because people change. And so should we. Let me hasten to add a word of caution. I do not mean that you should change who you are. Your values. Beliefs. Personality. The essence of you. No. Never. However, if a behavior changes. And that behavior affects your life. How you feel about yourself. Then it’s time to put the gears in motion.

Something to consider, in all likelihood, the person might not have changed, we just know them better. Sometimes we need to change actions, attitudes, and ways of thinking to overcome a difficult situation. To stamp out vicious cycles. This is the type of change I am advocating. Sometimes it becomes necessary to do the necessary. One day I will look back on this past week, and be reminded that “good things fall apart, so better things can come together”.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Take This…You Will Need It (ladies)


The one year anniversary of my return to the blogging world is fast approaching. I started this blog mainly to stay in touch with my nearest and dearest. Doing so led to a journey of self-expression, and discovery.

Valentine’s Day is upon us. Yet again. As it always does. No. This post is not about any of the sappiness generally associated it. Yes. It’s expected. Some type of declaration. Perspective on love. And the single life. A yearning for companionship. An update on your love life. I believe that if anyone. Be it a man. Or woman. Waits until Valentine’s Day to express extra love and appreciation, they are failing miserably.

This post is of a different nature. About a week ago, I received shocking news .My cousin’s long-term boyfriend (14+yrs) viciously attacked her, and another friend. The attack (a total of 18 stab wounds) was witnessed by their two children. Sadly, the last memory these kids will have of their father for a long time, is one in which he tried to kill their mother. And in the process rob them of a father too. However, it was not her time to go. If you believe in a God. Deity. Sculpture. Stature. Whatever. The powers that be have other plans for her life.

I was shell-shocked for days. The previous Christmas, I went home after being away for more than a decade. I spent time in their company. Lovely family I thought. The young man in question and I attended the same primary school. My cousin is a strong, beautiful woman. She did not deserve the emotional scars inflicted on her. Or the kids. She will get through this.

As I mulled over the incident, it was a struggle not to hate this man. I went through a series of emotions. Anger was the most recognizable. Finally, my thoughts rested on what attracts us to each other, and in particular how a relationship gets started. Generally, it all starts with a pick up line. An attraction. Yes.

Ever wonder how some guys always manage to say the right things? Listen up. A few months ago, I came across a television program, called the PUA~ The Pickup Artist. A show which taught men the techniques, body language, and words to use to score a date. Get a first kiss. Keep  women interested. Keep her wanting. To seduce her. Pretty much how to have women eating out of their hands.

I remembered SMH, and thinking how freakishly sad. I stared in disbelief as these men worked their “majic” on the unsuspecting women. I soon forgot about it however. Life went on. A few weeks ago, memories of the PUA flooded my subconscious. During a convo with someone, I learned there were places, websites, books, etc, where men can go and hone their skills.

My mind went into overdrive. So, I decided to investigate the matter. There is a book called Double-Your-Dating. With a corresponding website Double Your Dating. Users are invited to sign up for newsletter updates. I shook my head in awe. There is one company here in the UK, the  PUA which runs booth camps, complete with self-proclaimed instructors, who for a fee, will get guys into “shape” to attract women. Be sure to read the reviews! There are a lot more out there, such as This, which might be an US based sight.

I cannot keep this knowledge to myself. I have more than a few girlfriends who have been hurt so many times, I gave up counting. My own education on the matter continues. I leave it up to you, to decide how to use this knowledge. Hopefully, the women reading this will pass it onto the women in their life. Ladies, wouldn’t it be good to recognize a pick up line that is rarely used? When you are being taken for a ride? Some tactics are easily recognizable. Many are downright stupid. Others simply leave you speechless. Click on this link Top 10 Pick Up Lines  and get ready to ROFL.

However, some guys are so smooth. Their tongues are even slicker. They are clever. Charming. They are Master PUA’s. It’s harder to spot them. They are at the top of their game. It takes a while to figure them out. But eventually you do. And hopefully, it‘s not too late. You have not become another statistic.  I think it would be funny if a guy uses a one liner on a woman, and she turns to him and say ‘Double Your Dating, page 4 right?” or “The PUA episode 3”. Unfortunately, it’s happened to all of us. At one point or another. If we are indeed honest with ourselves, when we look back on certain relationships, we will wonder, what in the world?

I am well aware that not every man subscribes to this type of mentality. There are men with good souls. Warmth. Caring. Gentleness. Men who are genuine in their words and actions. I salute you. However, on the other side of the coin. Some are not. They are predators. They are unavailable. They were unavailable before you met them. During the dating process. And will be, long after you decide it’s time to move on. Read this article and see if you have ever dated a chap who fits this description of Unavailable Men. I know I have!

So, how do you separate the wheat from the tares? The wolves in sheep clothing? Practice. Learn your lessons. Pay rapt attention. A lot starts with the first meeting. How you two become so besotted with one another. Statistically, women start labeling relationships long before men. Carefully observe him. Listen to what he says and does to get your attention. See if the same words and actions continue. Or stops after a heartbeat. The majority of my followers are female. A word to the men; if you are reading this, and it does not apply to you, you will not be offended.

If you are a decent, hard-working fellow, who has never had to use any form of manipulation, to attract and keep the affections of a woman, you will not be offended. If you believe that a man should use his natural ability, be himself, and be confident in the fact that one day, he will find his companion, you will not be offended. If you are gentleman who has treated women honestly and fairly. Say what you mean, and mean what you say, then again, it bears repeating, you will not be offended. I won’t keep going. You catch my drift.  However, if this is not you. Get with it. I make no apologies for reminding you of your cowardice in using tactics to get and keep. Remember this quote: “The Karma of mistreating a good woman is the one you finally end up with”. I had to change the curse words!

Life is a risk. Loving someone is a risk. Expressing interest in someone, knowing it might not be returned. Is a risk. We cannot help who we are attracted to. This is a scientific fact. However, you can control how the relationship progresses. Sure, many of us have been forced to learn the same lessons over and over again. Until we get it. Until the brain and heart finally become synced. With love and relationships, they are generally not speaking the same language. Let alone living in the same body! I wish I had come across this information in my teens, twenties, and even in the recent past. I realize now that there are lessons I had to learn. Through some very painful, and emotionally draining experiences.

I hope this post enlightens my fellow sisters. And let the PUA know that at least the women reading has a better idea of what to look for. I hope women peruse the sites mentioned above.  Search for others. You will learn something new.  You will cringe, as I did, when you remember times when you fell for a particular line or tactic. Hook. Line. And sinker. Like a kid in a candy store.

At the risk of being repetitive; fantastic men still walk the planet. However, it’s the not so good which must be sifted. Like wheat. The ones who actually pay to be taught how to attract and seduce women. The ones who watch videos, and read books on how to manipulate you. And a situation for their benefit. So. Next time a guy walks up to us, uses body language, and lines which sound as though they were marinated with honey for weeks, you will recognize it. You will not fall for it, all over again.

You will be more cautious. And decipher whether he can be given the benefit of a doubt. You will be smarter than the average cookie. The lights will be on, and this time, someone will be home. YOU. You might actually be saving yourself from a lifetime of hurt. Pain. Disillusionment. Anger. Emotional scars that takes decades to heal. And the ones that never do. You will learn how to recognize your future ex-husband.

In the season of love, you might be lonely. Anxious. Even mildly depressed on the Valentine’s Day. Newspaper, store, and TV ads will cause you to wonder when you will get your turn. You will be reminded of a time when there was someone. This Valentine’s Day your arms are empty. There will be no flowers. No romantic dates. No passionate kisses.

I hope you spare a moment to reflect on this thought: think about the men you were saved from. You’ve had some really close calls. Afterwards, celebrate you .The wonderful. Loving. Intelligent. Caring. Gorgeous. Smart woman you are. The one your mother raised you to be. You will kiss a lot of frogs, before you find your prince. However, he will be worth it. He will look only upon your heart. He will complement your life together. All other men will be put to shame. He will love the person you are. Without reservations. And conditions. You will be happy. You have to believe that.

One final note; women play games too. I welcome a response(s) from any chap with his take on the games women play.

Here is a pick up line and a subsequent response; Guy:”What’s your sign?” Gal: “Do not enter…:)

In ending, choose well. And wisely.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan