Unconditional Love-The Story of Friendship

>> Monday, August 30, 2010

I saw him on the subway and we instantly recognized each other. We haven't seen each other in a few years and immediately we were catching up on old times. He was a friend outside my close circle of friends and he was known for being such a sweet person. He was also known for his scars, as he has burns on his face and hands. His burns are not just on the third layer of his skin but have also caused some disfiguring. He is shorter than the average male, a great speaker and sees life in such a beautiful way.

I thought of him today as his life is so inspirational. We had known each other for a few years and one day when we were talking about life, school, immigration, cooking, latest headlines, etc. I had been curious of how he was burned and decided to ask him. He was more than willing to tell me. He said he was best of friends with a guy he called his brother. They grew up together in his country. They shared many good times and he shared a few of them with me. One day there was a fire in his friends house where they were eating. He spoke of it as sudden and that it was a very large fire that ran quickly throughout the house. They tried to put it out themselves.

He said he could not breathe and ran out thinking his friend was right behind him but he wasn't. At this point it was too dangerous to go back in but he went back thinking I cannot live while my friend dies. He went back in and dragged his friend out. He suffered burns on his body while his friend was unharmed by the fire. Eventually they made it to the states some time later and they kept in contact. His friend always asks for forgiveness as well as continually thanks him for saving his life. He told me he always responds, "Would you stop it. It's no big deal. You're alive and that's what matters." I dared to ask if he had any regrets to which he said, "No. I would do it again even though I know I would have been burned.

Of course I was just amazed by his life. He had such a hard time dating and always wanted a family. He stayed as a single guy for more than ten years after he finished school. Many people tried to match make for him but no prospective bride. It may have been when he was 35-40 years of age when he met this young beauty. I still don't know how they met but she must have seen the catch that he is and they are now married with two children. I was so happy for him as many people were. I was even invited to the wedding. It was beautiful and he was all smiles. I remember thinking, "If he would sacrifice his life for his best friend, what will he do for her?"


Marriage Proposals

>> Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Well, while looking at videos about great marriage proposals, I saw a few of both the good and the bad. I cheered for one prospective husband and then saddened for others. I decided to show you my two top pics. It was an emotional roller coaster watching all the brave men profess their love in front of many. On a talk show one gentleman was turned down by his girlfriend of a few months. At a family dinner the boyfriend proposed in front of her family and she said no. Yet during a concert the performer received a yes after singing a song he created just for the moment. In another video one gentleman showed up at a shopping center as a Night in Shining Armor with a chariot and four assistants to retrieve her. She also said yes. I have so much respect for men from watching these videos, as society encourages men to take the lead on requesting the woman's hand in marriage. It is no easy job and you have to be so sure she will say yes. Especially in public.



>> Sunday, August 22, 2010

In all families I recomend welcoming spirtual fullfilment through meeting with others who share your same outlook on life. This is extremely healthy for a family unit as outside input can make a world of difference in bringing enlightenment and unity to any marriage. Today was our first time at church in Virginia (the sister church to New York) and I loved it. The Speaker spoke about Forgiveness, Bitterness, Malice, Spite, Cattiness and Justice. They all overlap but each have distinct characteristics.

The highlight of his sermon was poignant and so needed. My favorite part was when he spoke about being hurt by his family and he read 1 Peter 2:21-25, NIV. We get hurt and are wounded, retreating and holding back from those who hurt us. But Jesus used his wounds to help others and to heal others. Although hurt, he never held back his love. He lived 33 years on the earth and people treated him poorly, doubted his abilities, lied on him, spit on him, beat him; even his good friends betrayed him yet he never held back, hurt back or took justice into his own hands as he could have. 2 corinthian 1, says with the comfort you have received, go and use your experience to comfort others. The example of Joseph (Genesis 50) was used as he saved his people and was not spiteful when he could have been. Hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, put into jail, labeled, etc. Yet he was not bitter. Good thing as when the time arose to make a decision as a man with the highest ranking position in the land, he forgave and so thousands benefited.

These points are very useful for family but he also applied them to marriage. With your past wounds do you hurt others? Do you hold back resources, affection, a kind word, all because you are hurt. Maybe hurt by someone from your past and the person present in your life is suffering? Do you hurt others back through gossiping, cattiness, spitefulness and forgiveness? Are you trying to get justice? Must they feel what you feel in order for you to be satisfied? Do they have to say sorry 77 times before you are willing to let it go? Do you have silent tantrums? How important is it for you to get even? Have you developed a hard heart or stubbornness that surprises you about yourself?

History is based on people who felt like this and have made stupid decisions as a result. Look back at their mistakes and then look forward to what would happen if you let it go, throw it away, start off fresh, treat it like the cancer that it is, read scriptures, release in yoga and exercise, use creative prayers, write it down and burn it, start a fund, help someone else, renew yourself, talk it out with your spouse. These are just some thoughts I came up with after his message. Forgiveness is difficult and the issue will try to resurrect, and that's o.k. because you are in control of it. Forgiveness may be hard, but it is liberating and it feels gooood.


Silent Tantrum

>> Thursday, August 19, 2010

There is one in every marriage. At one time or another, one spouse gets angry at the other for various reasons. Everyone has their own mechanisms for how to handle their emotions and one way is by turning on the silent treatment. Usually someone who can ignore their significant other, as an adult, shows they have had practice at dealing with angry issues-passively. The practice of this behavior, over time, reinforces an unhealthy form of coping. Chances are at this age or stage, shows how this individual has handled their anger as a child, to their parents, with their siblings, at work, and with peers. If you think about it, this silent anger seem to be a good way to handle any escalating dispute. Just not speak. We know the saying, "If you do not have something good to say, don't say it" and "It takes two to dance (argue)". It is then difficult to know how long one should stay silent on the matter. The famous rule of thumb says don't go to bed angry with your spouse. The next day is a new day and should start off fresh. But what if your inside emotional turmoil does not agree with this philosophy?

Sometimes if the original issue is extremely pressing, the silent treatment can lead to a Silent Tantrum. I call it silent tantrum because it is the silent treatment that lasts one or more days. If the original issue is not dealt with it can present itself as an off and on connection, reflecting the person's difficulty to deal with the situation. Of course when presented they may deny it as the spouse may not recognize that they are still upset about the situation. If left, it can go on to really hurt the person and the relationship as Silent Tantrums can go on to become Bitterness. This is the end result and most damaging of any relationship as criticism and demeanorism is bred. With that said, it is important for the other spouse to become proactive, finding a quiet time to allow their partner to speak. It is important to note, as hard as the information being received is, it is important for them to be expressed no matter what is said. It has been bottled up so long that it is expected to be ugly. Be prepared and know that exposure is your friend. It sets both partners free from the bars made during the silent tantrum. Of course the other tool is timing. Timing when confronting the issue and making sure it is during the rule of thumb period.

*The opinions and concepts above are based on observations and counseling sessions of various couples over a 7 year period.


They've Gone Camping

>> Friday, August 13, 2010

As a parent of all girls or all boys there are some great benefits. I had a week of peace to myself as the men of my house went on their annual father and son camping trip. I was free; swimming, reading, visiting friends and family. Last year I was able to spend the night at my girlfriends house and have another friend, who was getting married, spend the night at my house. She always says what a great time that was for her as the last moments of singlehood.

It's great during the summer if you have only girls as well. You can make a week of some sort of annual getaway. This was the seventh year for the fathers and sons. It was last year when the girls wanted in on the fun. So it is now the Father and Son/Daughter annual camping trip. None of the wives have dared to break the tradition, especially now when they have found this new freedom. I have received calls from mothers who let both their son and daughter attend the trip and realized how much "self-rejuvenation" they have missed.

This all started when three good friends, one being my husband, were shooting the breeze when they had an idea of going camping. Only the boys seemed interested at the time. The girls may have been thinking of the bugs. So the idea came into fruition. Now on average, about ten families go to a camp site in upstate New York. This is their second site and they are hoping to go camping in Delaware next summer. I like that sometimes one family is unable to go so the others pitch in financially.

This really was a good idea. Try putting something together for your family during the summer break that you consistently do every year. The children will always refer back to it stating what a fun time they had. They remind themselves of events that occurred, reminiscing fondly.As a mother of two boys, I always notice how they seem to come back taller and more mature. A week away just shows me how fast they are growing and that the rest of the year, I don't want to miss anything in their lives. (Of course that is not possible).

This year they told me stories of frogs and lakes and this year no bee sting and yellow butterflies and catching dragonflies with their nets to later let them go with the frog and smores at the campfire and new funny made up words from former campers and new made up songs, and how they learned to swim and loved the onion burgers and seasoned chicken and the look on so-an- so's face and the stars at night and the bigger tent this year and the girls all sat around, etc. It sounds like so much fun. But I won't give up my one week of tranquility. That's my week of growth.


Missing New York

>> Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I miss New York so much. Although I am enjoying Virginia, home is such a special place. As a family we are settling in and have thrown away a lot of boxes. It seemed as though they were taking over. My husband and boys have gone on their annual Father's Son Camping trip and I am left with a sense of peace. Especially at night when I was suddenly aware of no noise; not even a car driving by. It was almost madness, if I hadn't worn myself out purposely from work in our new place. I finally down loaded my last minute pictures from my phone before coming here. The pictures in the Amusement Park is from the new Coney Island. They received funding so it will no longer be closed. At least no time soon. I went to a wedding and took pictures of their cake. I love weddings. I have pictures of New York from New Jersey at night and by day. You'll see my former train station in the Bronx with the famous landmark building that was once a Fort. Then I took two great shots of City College on my last day of work. That was hard for me. The picture of the gathering of people was taken at the end of church. Lastly my boys wanted to go running on the track in Riverbank State Park. They looked up and said, "mommy take a picture of the sky, it's so beautiful". Uhh, migration. It's a lot of work. To all who have moved out of state or country, I would like to say, "We are not worthy".