Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Advice’

10 Important Things I Learned This Year

1. Let go of the past – It does NOT define me – there’s so much in the present to be thankful for and concentrate on.  This includes people and circumstances I can’t change.

2. Friendships cannot be forced – if you have to try to convince someone they should be your friend – or continually be the only one reaching out – then these people are not your friends – pray for them – but let them go.  True friendship should not be hard work – it is a meeting of the minds and a ‘heart’ connection.  Comfortable like an old pair of slippers.

3. Surprises in life happen when and where you least expect them – my husband and I started attending a ‘church plant’ of about 50 members last fall and have found ourselves in a new season with new ministry opportunities – and new relationships – something we never thought would happen.

4. Making a stand for things that are right can make you very unpopular with friends and family – but we do it anyway.

5. Sometimes painful things can resurface – it’s okay to cry, hit something (or someone) jump up and down or SCREAM!!  Just don’t stay there long.  Get up and don’t allow yourself or others to do that to you again.  Ever.

6. Make your relationships a high priority – marriage can be hard work – but it’s worth fighting for.  Don’t allow it to become stale and boring.  DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!  Fall in love with your spouse all over again – it can be done – just ask me!!

7 . Find an outlet for your creativity – I’m a musician first – a writer second.  I know that I have to do both of these activities in order to feel healthy and ‘get it out’.  Find something you are passionate about and DO IT.

8.  Invest in people – even if you have been burned by doing this in the past – by even one other person – don’t give up on investing in them.  We need other people and they NEED us!

9.  Give advice only when it is asked – and even if it is asked – keep it short and to the point with A LOT of love and graciousness.

10. Treat others like you would like to be treated – It sounds good on paper but it does not always translate well when applying it to those in your life.  Always say to yourself, ‘would I like to be on the receiving end of this email, phone call or conversation?’  If not – then don’t write or say it.

 

This is just a glimpse into some of the things I learned this past year as I continue on my journey.  I hope you are doing the same!

 

God Bless

 

Are You A Leaf, A Branch Or A Root?

Tyler Perry in the Star Trek movie

Image by feastoffun.com via Flickr

I borrowed the following video found on youtube – from a friend on facebook and shared it on my wall.  But if you are not a friend of mine on there – you would not have seen it.  It is typical Tyler Perry comedy – him playing one of his characters, Madia.  I love this because even though Madia is not ‘religious’ and has no claim to even being ‘moral’ she has many good things to say that are just ‘common sense’  and sound advice to those in bad relationships – and about relationships that all of us have in our lives.  It is done with such openness and authenticity – it made me chuckle – but also made me say to myself, ‘she really gets it’.

I particularly like what she says about the people who come and go in our lives and how she likens them to either, leaves, branches or roots.  I have had people in my life fall in all three categories – and she is very accurate – you will see.  The leaves and branches people can really mess you up – leave you ‘high and dry’ – but they teach us something – usually one thing that we can hang on to.  The root people are the people who are in it for life.  I’m not talking about family – because family has to – it’s their job and no one can help who they are related to.   But other friendships that don’t have to – have no ‘family’ obligation to you.  They are just there because they love you – no matter what.  These are the people you enjoy doing life with – because they ‘get you’ – and you ‘get them’.

Watch for Tyler Perry having a hard time staying in character – pretty funny stuff – and I bet you’ll be agreeing with me that – Madia may be a little eccentric – but she’s RIGHT ON.

Enjoy and God Bless!

How To Find And Keep A Man

Cover of "He's Just Not That Into You"

Cover of He's Just Not That Into You

In this day and age where it is common for couples to have marital problems and get divorced based on those problems – I thought I would write an article devoted to some well-known ‘secrets’ about finding, loving and keeping a man.

1.  Find a man who thinks you are the sun and the moon and most of the galaxy as well. I love the movie, ‘Run Away Bride’ – where Richard Gere tells Julia Roberts – ‘you need someone who can’t wait for you to wake up in the morning – just to hear what you’re going to say’.  If you have a man like that in your life – you are blessed.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be loved like that.  Greg thinks I’m cute when I first wake up in the morning too!  Greg’s strong stubborn love has literally kept our marriage in tact – when we hit a rough patch.  This is the kind of love you want.  Don’t settle for anyone who will not die and even take the fall for you.

2. Looks are deceiving. A shy guy that is hard-working and has integrity beats the ‘hot’ guy that some girls have to have.  They totally miss the nice man with the kind eyes who will move heaven and earth for them.  Looks never impressed me – if they were there – then it was a bonus – but it was not a deciding factor for me.  Look deeper.  Dig.  You may just find a diamond in the rough.  Choose someone who will protect your heart and never make you cry.  Those men who don’t protect your heart and make you cry are not worth it. Choose someone who prefers you to every other woman he has ever met.  Imagine growing old together and raising a family with him.  Someone who will never look at anyone else the way he looks at you.  Someone who you can trust.  Forever.

3.  Choose someone with a similar background and faith. I believe there is enough struggle in marriage that you should not intentionally give yourself another one.  When someone comes from a similar home and faith – you have that to draw on when times are tough – when raising children and especially teenagers – it takes wisdom and perspective from both sides.  And sometimes your similar faith in God is all you have.  Give yourself every advantage when wanting your marriage to work – long-term.

About 4 years ago I purchased the book ‘He’s just not that into you‘ because I had heard great  things about it.  It reveals the truth behind the verbal and non-verbal phrases and excuses men use when they are ‘just not that into you’.  Because it is written by a man – and how they think   I decided that my daughter needed to have this book.

She had been through some difficult relationships – and was not picking up on the ‘signals’ of non interest early on – therefore propelling herself back into the misery of ‘first time – shame on you – second time – shame on me’ syndrome.

I have some of my own things I wish to modestly submit – having had a few years experience with men.  30 to be exact ♥

1.  You must develop a deep friendship.

Having a friendship with Greg saved our marriage when it went through a dry patch and emotionally hit rock bottom.  He was always first and foremost my best friend – and that saved us.

2.  Expect that things are not always going to feel romantic. If you expect that your marriage will be  always be romantic and based on ‘feelings’ – and I’m talking about passion and intimacy – and feelings of happiness and well-being -you are going to be very disappointed.  If you or your partner gets bored easily and cannot ride things out –  then you may as well pack it in.  Long term marriage isn’t for you.  Very quickly the ‘thrill is gone’ when couples live together – have irritating habits – have children, bills, family problems – and life in general goes sideways.  Feelings like, “I love him – but I’m not in love with him‘ or ‘I don’t feel it anymore’ – are very normal – and it needs to be addressed as such.  When this happened to me – I thought there was something horribly wrong with me – not realizing that you won’t always feel like it.  Some days you won’t even like each other very much.  NORMAL!  I wish somebody would have told me this.

3. Treat him like a King – and he will treat you like his Queen. The woman sets the tone in the home – and with a man.  Even in friendship – it is usually at the pace of the woman.   So – be the first to respect and honor – and it will be returned – how can it NOT be?  A man worth marrying and having in the first place – wants to fall hopelessly under your ‘spell’ – and die in your arms.  We woman tend to get grouchy and ‘naggy’ all the time – instead of growing wiser and adapting to the simple needs of our man.  And I say simple – because men are not as emotional as woman and can compartmentalize issues and relationships in their lives easier than we do.  The basic needs of a man – that include (and are not limited to) food and sex –  and a fundamental need to be admired.  The person that they most want to impress is you!  So you must admire them!  If you don’t – someone else will.  I guarantee it.  Strip a man of his manliness and pride – and take him from being your ‘hero’ and reduce him to a mere shadow of a man by nagging or belittling him – and you are in for SERIOUS issues.  There will be emotional removal, physical absence and much more.  Women have a need to be cared for, listened to and told they are the most wonderful and beautiful woman in the world.  If you don’t listen to her heart – emotionally care for her or express your feelings for her – there are FIVE guys waiting in the wings – lined up to tell her what you will not. And very soon – you will be emotionally shut out.  Don’t let that happen to you.

4.  Bring the fun back into the relationship. I’m proud of my many relationships with my guy friends – we laugh and have fun!   Woman bring a ‘child-like’ quality to the men in her life – and to the man she is married to.  I love to hear ‘you make me laugh’ from my guy friends and especially my husband. He loves that I tease him and love to have fun.  And when he teases back – I know he likes me.  I have enough guy friends in my life including a son and son-in-law – to understand that when they tease – it means you are IN!  And just as women set the tone in the home and for her children – I believe that a woman sets the tone in a love relationship.  Set the tone through humor.  Humor and  laughter can ease the tension of a stressful work day and external stresses in his world.  Make his world a safe and fun place – lighten the load with laughter.  Discover what it is like to have fun again!  Go on dates.  Laugh at each other.  Lighten up!  Enjoy each others company – even when just eating a meal or watching TV.

and finally

5.  Be honest with each other about everything. Trust each other enough to tell each other the truth.  It’s a sad thing when there is no ‘safe place’ to confide – either because when tried – it was quickly dismissed as trivial or not important – or because you stuffed things so deeply you don’t know how to share them.  Try to work through that fear and work on  being completely and totally honest.  A man will respect you for telling the truth – no matter how much it hurts.

God Bless you and your relationships!

Being The Right Person

Love for Arts

Image via Wikipedia

When we’re young we think we’re going to find the ‘perfect’ person to fall in love with – and eventually (hopefully) they will love us back – and then want to get married.

This is on a woman’s mind from very early on.

Love is the great ‘romantic’ idea.  She wants someone who will adore and love her – move heaven and earth to be with her – and be her ‘hero’.

Men have something very different on their minds when they start thinking about the opposite sex.  It is not usually about ‘love’ or romantic thoughts – and they can compartmentalize feelings (or lack of them) in lieu of physical attraction and sex.

When love finally hits a man – goes straight to his heart and he cannot get that girl out of his head – then he knows he is in trouble.  For good.  And he tries to be everything he can be – to say and do what he must for ‘win’ her.

She is looking for someone to save her – complete her and love her.

He is looking for someone to love him – respect and adore him.

There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s normal and natural.  But what I’ve learned through life is this:  Finding the right person is not nearly as important as being the right person.

We can enter into a love relationship expecting someone to make up for our lack.  To ‘fill in’ where we are not strong.  To be able to save us from our past.  No one can.  There is no perfect person – at least I’ve never met one yet.  And if you enter in to love or marriage thinking this – you will be very disappointed.

I’ve even heard of women (and men) saying, “when they marry me – I’ll be able to change them”.  You can’t.

Change in behavior can seem to be happening when the relationship is new and exciting – but long-lasting change is impossible.  No one changes anyone else – permanently.

Oh we see it on TV and in the movies – some of the best literature has it in there too – the ‘wild – untamed’ man – who falls helplessly in love with a woman and is willing to change for her.  And while I put great faith in love and the power of it – ultimately you are setting yourself up for a fall if that’s what you believe.

Develop a friendship with your partner.  Friendship is an easy give and take.  Ask  yourself, “would I still be their friend if I wasn’t involved with them – didn’t love them – wasn’t married to them? – Do they make me laugh?  Do I want to know them deeper and spend more time with them? – Am I the kind of person that they would want as a friend?”

Be the right person.  Fix things that are going on inside of yourself – insecurities, bad habits and negative patterns.  Expecting someone else to swoop in and ‘fix’ your troubled mind and heart is not realistic.  And you cannot ‘fix’ theirs either.  The longer that you are married – the more you realize this truth – and accept it.

There are people in whom we have chemistry with and are very compatible. There’s no denying this fact.  Those that have a better chance of making it in love and marriage are those from a similar background with many things in common.  But this does not guarantee – it just makes it easier.  Choose someone who is easy to be with – and that you can picture yourself growing old with. Someone who doesn’t require so much work.

Say to yourself, “Can I be happy with this person for many years to come?  Can I accept them – flaws and all?  Without them changing?  Is there anything I cannot live with?”

These are important questions.  They are simple – yet revealing.  If we take the emphasis off of them – and any expectations we may feel – then we can concentrate on the really important thing: ourselves.

Imagine what a great world this would be – and what healthy growing marriages there would be if everyone accepted this fact – and stepped up – saying, “I’m going to take personal responsibility for me”.  And leave it there.

I challenge you today:  God is the only one who can change hearts.  He is in the business of deep healing – from the inside out.  Allow Him to do His job with you and others.  Don’t depend on others (even your spouse) to complete you and fill you up.  That’s God’s job.  And His alone.  He will not fail or disappoint you.  He is the one who will help you to be all you can be in a relationship – and to be the right person. You can count on it.

I am praying for you

God Bless

The Love Relationship

PUK1894p257

Image via Wikipedia

I was in the gym today with Greg when he said something that sparked a long humorous conversation.  He was trying to tell me something – I didn’t hear correctly – started to interject something totally different – and he stopped me and said, ‘You’re just not hearing me – you’re not hearing my heart‘  Oh brother.  I say ‘Oh brother’ because he is saying it with TONS of sarcasm in his voice – and a chuckle at my expense!!

This has been a part of our love relationship for years now.  The differences in us that make us laugh.  Greg making fun of women – (mainly me) and imitating  all the silly ‘girly’ phrases and things we women do.  It works for him – because he always manages to get some kind of reaction from me – and he likes that.  And I tease and poke fun at him – when he becomes too serious – or too stuffy – and it always makes him laugh.

Men love to make fun of women.  Case and Point:  The movie ‘Titanic” – where the old Rose is saying about her memory of Jack (the man she loved) – ‘he saved me in every way a woman can be saved’.  Greg loves to make fun at that movie – and especially cheesy lines like that.  His first response is – ‘You’ve GOT to be kidding, right’?  But I know what she meant by that line in the movie – women get it. Women understand these deep mysteries of feelings and emotions – and Men pretend they don’t. When probed – I have discovered that men really do get it – it’s just not ‘manly’ to admit it.

Now why is this?  Men have feelings and emotions – this is for certain – and no one can hurt a man like a woman can.  Remember the recent series “Men of a certain age”?   Actor Ray Romano tells his son about women, ‘they have many ways they can hurt us”.

So if this is true – and men feel the same feelings about love and other things that we do – why is it considered weak – or ‘girly’ to admit it?  Very few men will admit to crying at a sad movie – although I’ve seen both my husband and son do it – but not many others.  Most men are guarded when it comes to expressing those ‘touchy feely’ feelings.  And I believe it is drilled into them as little boys to be tough and not show emotion.  That somehow it weakens them to admit they struggle – or have fear – or are afraid – or feel helpless in the midst of love – or can be hurt enough to cry.  Remember the song in the 70’s by the group ’10cc’ where one of the lines is ‘Big boys don’t cry’?  How sad that men believe this – how sad that they are made to feel they must be like this.

It is interesting that when you know a man – really know him – he is not afraid to reveal some of that emotion.  But he must feel safe. And just because they don’t feel like they always can express emotions like a woman can – does not mean that they don’t have them.

I’ve been married to this man of mine for 29 years this Sunday – and one of the great things I’ve discovered is this:  we are different – but we are basically the same underneath all the layers.  Our emotions are basically the same – with different reactions to pain and hurt.  We both know what it feels like to be vulnerable and misunderstood – or to be used and tossed aside.  We both understand love and relationships – and have felt all sorts of emotions in relation to each other and in raising children.  We both can still make each other laugh – and we’re great friends – even through some of the rough patches that life has thrown at us.  And that’s so nice to know. ♥

He will continue to tease and make fun – I will continue to make him scratch his head in confusion – and make him laugh – it is our dance.  And so our journey continues – with its mysteries and lessons – and its laughter. It is our story – it is our love relationship.

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