Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘women’

The “Taboo” Subject

I have recently been introduced to Dan Brennan’s blog  Jesus met Mary – A Sacred Friendship Gathering from fellow blogger Alise Wright  who was so impressed by his writings and upcoming seminar, that she featured him in her blog.  Dan is passionate  to find true meaning and depth in platonic male/female relationships in today’s culture.  Because he is in another state, I am not close enough to attend his seminar,  held in Chicago, IL this April.  But I have thoroughly enjoyed his many articles and research on this topic – considered a sort of “taboo” subject by most Christians today.  And Alise is privileged to be one of the many who will be attending and be blogging about the event.

The article below will make you think – and even have you coming away with more questions than answers on this complex subject concerning men and women – can they really just be friends?  What if your culture, church leadership and other Christians believe you can’t – does it not promote distrust and fear?  Will men and women be robbed of something deeper?  Does sexuality have to be the only motivating force in relationships?  Should we buy into what they tell us – and be afraid that every male/female relationship will result in an affair?  Is that just a given – no matter what?  What if we looked at it from a healthier point of view?

I personally have enjoyed many “friendships” with men over the years – some of my best friends tended to be guys in high school and college.  I still enjoy talking with men and find them interesting – and not at all like me.  I’m constantly sharpened by their humor, honesty and straight forward way of thinking.  I find men to have no hidden agenda – if they like me – they just like me, no questions asked.  In all my years through my many friendships, I have only had one situation that I deeply regret.  It was someone who was motivated by fear and culture as I was.   I believe that if he had believed in the power of friendship, mutual love and respect, and a value in a brother/sister bond – instead of being motivated and influenced by fear and distrust – I believe that in time things would have been different and our friendship restored.  When you care deeply for someone – love covers a multitude of sins, bad choices and regrets.

I only mention the above story to you because when I read Dan’s articles I was able to say – YES!  I CAN RELATE TO THIS!  And was very excited to have someone who has not only been through this kind of situation – but is passionate to change how we look at our relationships – in a more healthy way, without fear – bringing out the best in each other – bringing value and acceptance to others regardless of male or female.

The following article is by Dan Brennan – and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

The Sexualization of Culture.

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Interesting…

Man and woman in bathing suits in a rowboat ne...

So Greg and I were sitting at the kitchen table having a discussion over scrambled eggs, toast and coffee, when suddenly we found ourselves on a topic that has been hashed around in our home MANY times:  Why can’t a man think more like a woman?  And to be fair – Why can’t a woman think more like a man?

Greg, of course – sides with all the men out there and sees the need to defend his “maleness” – while I struggle to fight for the “right to be heard” and explain that women just don’t think like men.

It is a very familiar dance.  The male vs. women thinking – a completely different approach to life,  to people and relationships.

When men see something such as a picture or image on TV – it does something for them.  When a woman sees that same provocative thing – they are usually disgusted and turned OFF.  When a woman is just being friendly to a man it can be interpreted as something else – but the man can think that it means something else entirely.  The woman see that as it is – just being friendly.  And making a new friend.  When a man is friendly to a woman – woman usually see this as friendly – unless it is creepy in some way – while a man may be thinking totally differently about his friendliness and her responses to it – leading – shall we say – somewhere else?

Greg was telling me that he heard on a radio program the other day – how men like seeing pictures of women – so these same men think that sending a nude photo of themselves will somehow be a turn-on to women he’s never met on the internet or through text messages.  Clearly men DO NOT UNDERSTAND WOMEN.

I love all my friends and I have many – both men and women.  But understanding the differences in how men and women relate with one another can takes a lifetime.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  A well rounded person should have friends from both sexes and have an easy rapport with both.

And after being married to the same man for almost 30 years, I can clearly see the differences – at least in our home:   Men see and feel through their eyes.  Women see and feel through their heart.  

Because men assume that women feel as they do – often times conversation can be misunderstood.  And because women assume men think like a woman – when they just want a “good talk”  (like they would with any of their girlfriends) – it can be misunderstood.  Woman love having deep conversations and often times their guy friends are like their girl friends – comfortable and dependable.  With nothing meant – and no interest whatsoever.

Greg has had to learn the art of listening – because I like to express myself through talking things out.  And I have had to learn that he doesn’t just want to talk all the time 🙂  And by communication, we’ve learned that I am a natural “nurturer” – loving to help, encourage and lend support to those out there within my reach.

And I have learned that Greg needs to be admired and be the “hero” in my life – making even the most difficult of days – better.  He longs to fix and offer wisdom and advice to my everyday problems and situations.  He loves to be connected and be consulted in even the smallest of decisions.

We’ve learned to support each other and to play to each other’s strengths – and yes,  even help each other understand why men and women react and respond the way they do – when it seems foreign to us.

It’s – interesting.  It’s called life.

What do you find the most interesting about woman – if you’re a man?  And about men – if you’re a woman?  Do you try to walk around in their skin once in a while to see if you can understand them better?  Try it – it’s very – interesting.

God Bless

To Walk In Someone’s Shoes

Nike shoes.

Image via Wikipedia

Last night I watched a program on the OWN channel that I had recorded from a few weeks ago.  It was a “trading places” show – only with a very underweight young woman and a very overweight woman – forced together under a doctor’s supervision to “exchange” eating plans for one week.

It was very interesting – and these two women learned much about each other during the process.  The underweight woman consuming about 4 times her usual calorie intake for one day – and the underweight on a near starvation diet of toast, tea and soup.

When the program began – the doctor explained that putting these two ladies together was actually going to help them both clearly see how they both regarded food in much the same way and had things in common because of that.  One avoided and denied – the other used food as a comfort and an “inside hug” – both clearly not healthy approaches to the “fuel” that the body needs to survive and function correctly.

I got to thinking about this as I was watching this program.  We have more in common with people who are different from us – than we even realize.  If we stop and walk around in their body for a while – it would amaze and even shock us!

What can I learn from you today?  What can I teach you?  Today I want to stop and consider before I think anything about you.  I want to allow myself to climb inside of you and walk around a little bit – and then hopefully – I too – will understand.

When was the last time you walked around in someone else’s shoes and really understood things from their point of view?  Did your perception of them change?  Were you amazed at the load they carried?

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.

Mrs. Grumpy And The Temporary Files

Today my dear husband and I were having a lovely trip into the country – we attend church in Enumclaw which is quite a little drive from Renton – but it’s beautiful – and on a day like today there is a crystal clear view of Mt. Rainier. This time I actually remembered to pack along my digital camera to get some great shots of the mountain in all its glory.

While looking for a spot to take the pictures from I happily spotted an espresso stand in the middle of nowhere – which was actually open on a Sunday! I expressed my joy to Greg who was focused on finding “just the right spot” for pictures – I even mentioned it to him, “it’s actually OPEN”!! I said – expecting that he would take note of it and later come back to it. So after finding a place complete with some beautiful cherry trees to take some pictures – we got back in the truck and I said – do you remember where that little coffee place was? I was confident – because my husband is NOTHING if not a “human compass” – knowing how to find things – even if it’s been YEARS since he’s been there. He never gets lost and always has a brilliant sense of direction – unlike me – who has NO sense of direction. But he replied, “What little coffee place?” Hmmm. This couldn’t be good. I wouldn’t be able to find my way out of a paper bag – let alone far into the country with nothing familiar to guide me. So I tried the best I could, “Don’t you remember we passed it on the way and I said, “It’s actually OPEN!!”? He did not. No recollection at all – UNTIL we passed by it and I exclaimed, “There it is!!! – See?” He was like, “No I don’t remember that – I thought you were talking about the Grange Hall being open” Hmmmm. Why would I CARE about a Grange Hall???? Wow. Yeah – that sounds just like me – “Hey let’s pull over RIGHT NOW and go in the Grange Hall – it’s actually OPEN!!! YIPPEE!!!!” Right.

So it was then that I tossed around an idea – I have actually had my suspicions on this subject for quite a while now. Here it is: Men have “temporary files” it’s a little scary because they often cannot find the file anywhere once it downloads. Lots of little “temporary files” with no permanent destination. Just lost and forlorn – looking for a home. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I have thousands of those on my computer and every once in a while I have to clean them out – or it clogs up my hard drive and it runs slow and sluggish. Women burn thoughts and all external information straight to their “hard drive”. Yup – that’s our default setting. One it downloads – it’s there permanently. It takes much more effort to remove it – and sometimes like a pesky file or virus on your computer – it cannot be removed at all. Ever. With Men – they are just a “click” away at all times from “deleting” those temporary “bites’ of information. I think it’s why they look so confused and lost most of the time when trying to talk to them. Greg says he’s desperately trying to figure out what I’m saying – and trying to come up with the correct response fast enough so he won’t look like an idiot. It’s a full-time job sometimes to try to “access” the correct “file”. And let’s face it – sometimes it’s not even there anymore. It’s gone. POOF!!! There’s no memory of it – nothing. Just gone.

Sometimes I feel like I’m a crazy person. Searching for understanding from someone who will not make me feel like I’m insane. “You didn’t say that” he will say. And I will respond, “I most certainly DID.” You know – those conversations.

Ah – the complexities of men and women – trying to battle it out – speaking their own unique languages – which make no sense to the other. It’s blissful and wonderful sometimes, isn’t it? Can’t you just feel the love?

I’m thinking the old, “can’t live with them – can’t live without them” certainly applies BIG TIME – right here.

Maybe this is why women are sometimes grumpy. We remember everything. I think it is not always a blessing. Oh to sometime be a man. Live and let live – “Don’t need this “temporary file” – I’ll just delete it!” Wow – what a concept.

Here’s wishing you plenty of patience today as you try to understand the complex language of the sexes.

God Bless

The Great Gender Myth

We are all guilty of doing this. We assume. We tell bad jokes concerning it. We make judgment calls.  I call it – “The Great Gender Myth”

For example: Men do this regarding women all the time. Let’s face it – the only example that men have of woman – is their Mother – and/or their sister and most obviously – their wife. Not that there is anything wrong with these particular examples – but while it is maybe all that man has to base his opinion on – it may be WAY OFF!

My Father-in-law is a great example of this. His mother was Norwegian – thus devoid of most any emotion and was all about “duty” and “appearances”. She was a school teacher – ran a strict household with 3 sons – not “touchy feely” at all. Next – he married a voluptuous “blond” – who was the polar opposite of his mother. She was and is warm and caring – the off the charts “sanguine” personality.

Then came me. When I was introduced into this family some 30 years ago now, I don’t think my future Father-in-law knew what to do with me (still doesn’t). I did NOT fit into his “mold” for how woman should be or how they should act. I was raised to be very independent – not afraid to speak my mind – didn’t live in any man’s shadow. I was and still am – a deep soul who loves a “heavy debate” about life and spiritual issues and can hold my own against any man or woman for that matter!  Every time I would accomplish something difficult – whether it was learning a new computer program – or directing another theater production – he would always have that look on his face that I can read very well now – astonishment and pride, One time many years ago we were discussing something and he made some “crack” about how women are – and I looked right at him and said, ” well I’m a woman – and I’m not like that” or some such thing. It has become the joke in our family that I am most definitely NOT like most woman!  I LOVE a good book – can win at Chess against most any man – and love word games like Scrabble.  I’m also a good cook – love a good cry and I’m very “girly” so it seems I am a “mystery” to most men.

Woman do this about men too.  We only have our own father and brothers as an example growing up – and again most obviously our boyfriend or husband as we are older.  I would say that my father and husband are polar opposites as well.  My father the methodical music professor who believes that everything is better if you just “get your work done” – is a driven and passionate man – full of conviction and “duty” – it was the way he was raised – and there was not very much emotion from the family who raised him – or his biological parents.  My husband couldn’t be more opposite in terms of the family in which he was raised.  His mother just oozed of emotion and warmth and as a result Greg is VERY warm and friendly – not afraid to show emotion – and hugged and kissed our kids and me ALL THE TIME.  But I would say that Greg is much more patient and easy-going than my father is.  Greg doesn’t like to read – only when he HAS to.  He hates to “write” and put himself “out there”.  Too embarrassing.  He’s very private – does not like games or “deep” thinking and conversations – and it was always frustrating to have people “probe” into his inner most thoughts.  He’d rather keep it more surface and keep his feelings more to himself and be guarded.

I had these two examples – so I assumed all men either are very private and driven – or warm and more surface.  I have since found that was a myth.  I have a few guys friends that have blown that myth clear away!  I enjoy discussions with them about God and life in general – enjoy reading their writings and thoughts – and am encouraged, knowing that like-minded people are NOT just of a certain sex.

What myth do you have about men and woman?  Have you met people in your life that have “blown it away”?  Do you see uniqueness in every man and woman, knowing that God made them that way for a reason?  Do you value the people in your life that bring a different awareness that things like intelligence and passion are not gender limited?

Look around you – enjoy the people in your life that God has given you today.  And be encouraged!  God has a wonderful sense of humor and just when you thought you were absolutely right about your own “myth” – you’ll be surprised!  And they may be put in your path to challenge you and bless your life.

God Bless

Finding Our Level

So today, Greg and I were driving home from a grocery run at our nearby “Winco Foods” – and I was deep into conversation – something I most always do.  I was happily chatting about the deep meaning of the universe – or some such thing and Greg was quietly sitting there – somewhat preoccupied – but not any more than usual – when suddenly he interrupted (I was making a good point too) and said, “I don’t think my door is closed”.  Wow.  Just like that.  From the “mysteries of the universe” to the mundane and ordinary in about a nano second.

This event is what I would call “typical” in our relationship.  And I would not be surprised by it in the least – and just chalk it up to “that’s the way that it is” – if another similar event hadn’t jogged my memory and I knew that I just HAD to write about this – as I’m sure most every relationship faces similar challenges with being “on the same page”.

The other event happened a few weeks ago.  We were having a “dilly bar” at Dairy Queen and sitting in the lobby.  Greg was facing right toward the counter and behind the counter, the kitchen.  I was looking at him and facing in the direction of the lobby and beyond that – the window looking outside.  I was again talking about something meaningful and deep.  Greg seemed engaged in our discussion – even interjecting things once in a while to show that he was receiving the information – processing it – and very quickly proving to me that he was with me by asking probing and thoughtful questions.  He doesn’t fool me.  All guys do this – and I know what’s really going on in there.  They have “tuned out” – and gone to their “nothing box”  The signs are usually all there – the glazed over eyes – the mouth twitch – the sudden jerky movements and darting eyes.  Yup.  We know. It was at this particular moment in time – after saying something that required a response from him – that he suddenly focused his eyes on something directly over my left shoulder and exclaimed in a loud voice, “Something’s on fire in there – I see FLAMES!!”  Of course he did.

This is the dance we do.  And ours is even more interesting because we are both self-employed.  So that means I have twice as much husband (this is not always good) and half as much money (this is NEVER good).  And we have had to adjust to being with each other in the same house 24/7.  And we’re not even retirement age yet – so it’s like a practice run for us.  It works pretty well most of the time – his office is upstairs and mine is down – he works a lot at night-time leaving me with the house to myself many nights to “do my own thing” – which I love – so it’s not all bad.

But we are learning.  After 28 years of being married it is a new season to begin learning things all over again and to find our “level”.  Greg likes closeness and “time” from me – I enjoy my “space” and friends – like to write and communicate with others in my world – and don’t need the closeness as much as he does.  He works really hard at not “smothering” me and I work really hard at giving him my full attention and closeness.  It is a dance.  We are very different people – and we’ve become different over the years with our likes and dislikes.  I was very young when we got married and I think I have changed over the years – as he has too.  It is like getting to know someone all over again when there are no children anymore to raise and be focused on.  I have found my friendships VERY important to me and need many different people in my life.  It’s like adding seasoning to my world – each a different spice – some more peppery than others – some mild and sweet – each one is special and has their place.  Greg would be fine without anyone else but me in his world.  So we’ve had to make adjustments along the way – and be fine with that.  It is a dance.

Hope you all are finding your “level” with the relationships in your life.

God Bless

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