When We Rush Into Friendships

I’m sure you have heard the expression, love at first sight, but have you ever heard that love at first sight can be very detrimental to us, if we are not careful. This concept does not only apply to romantic relationships, but to any new person who comes into our lives. We may be willing to share deep personal secrets with a person before we have tested them to see if they are really trustworthy. I researched the Internet before writing this article, but found very little information for this subject that affects us so profoundly.

When a person comes into our life we have two ways of looking at them: 1) What are they looking for from me? 2) What am I looking for from them? If we are looking for a friendship whereby we need someone to confide in about our personal life then we have to question our own motives: Am I confiding in this person because I need to do that, or is it because they impress me, and I want to share with them so they will accept me, love me, and be my friend?

It is very important to avoid rushing headlong into a relationship with someone without knowing them first. On a personal note I have suffered greatly by confiding in people who I should have kept on the periphery of my relationships. I brought them into my close inner circle of friends too quickly, and I was damaged greatly. People can promise you the moon, and stars, but never deliver. They use cunning manipulation to get from us what they need, with no regard to what we need or are looking for in a friend. When this happens we find ourselves at a loss, not knowing what to do with the shattered pieces of a broken, and betrayed friendship.

Remember it is crucial that we test those who say they want to be our friends. Don’t divulge too much information to someone who we know nothing about. For some of us we have given everything, our time, our finances, our possessions, and many other things to those who only have in mind to use, and betray us. I’m not saying that we can never trust people in our lives, but go very s-lo-w-l-y with someone new, and wait until we know for sure that they are who they say they are, then we can open up about ourselves. This is a process that takes time and diligence on our part. Although we may want to share with a new person our deep dreams, aspirations, and sensitive personal information, but if we go too quickly we may wreak havoc on ourselves by not listening to our gut instincts.

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The Fatherless Generation

The generation we are living in is known as the Fatherless Generation. For many of us, our fathers didn’t have the time for us, and may have abused us to the point where we developed addictions, and other dysfunctional behaviors. The treatment of our  fathers ingrained in us deep seated resentments, bitternesses, and unforgiveness. The hurt from the past comes to haunt our present, and our future. How do we escape the hurt? Is there anyone we can turn to to trust? Is there anyone who loves us?

Very few people know what love is, and for many, “I love you” is used for manipulation to get what we want, be it sex, money, status, or other things. We search for this love because we are trying to escape the hurts incurred from our formative years with our dads. The drug, porn, gambling, and alcohol industries are making money hand over fist because of the poor relationships we had with our fathers. We use these vices to numb the pain, but it never works.

We wanted intimacy with our dads, but never received it, so now we look for it in other places; in the dark side of humanity. It’s in the darkness that we carry out our deeds; continually looking for something better to fill the aching gap in our souls, yet never being satisfied. The alcoholic is always looking for another drink, the drug addict, for another high, the porn addict, for another image, and the gambler, for another bet.

It’s never too late to make the necessary changes to bring healing into our lives. When the process of healing is completed we will find we have more peace, contentment, prosperity, and better emotional, mental, and physical health. These things are achievable, once we decide that enough is enough, and we’re not going to settle for second best anymore. We have the ability to change, and it starts with our attitude: We have to adopt an attitude that makes us willing to learn new things, and be taught by anyone, or anything.

Though our dads may have damaged our past, and affected our present we look to the future as being the best days ahead of us. Yes, dad may have been cruel to us, but we are not going to be cruel to us. We will love ourselves, encourage ourselves, and discipline ourselves to do great things we never thought we could do. Whether our father is living, or has passed away, keep in mind that we can, and will become a successful person.  * Adapted from The Hurting Person’s Guide to a Happy Life, by Paul Moore. This soon to be released workbook is concise and to the point, and will help us to become happier people. Watch this site for more details.

 

 

Friendships That Grind Us

Friends are one of the greatest gifts life brings our way, and without friends we would have a very lonely existence. There are many reasons why we are given friends, but I believe one of the main reasons is to polish us. All of us six billion people here on earth are one big family whether we like it, or not. Our roots go back to the first two people on earth, Adam and Eve. Since we are family, we have the responsibility to encourage, motivate, and correct our friends. This process is known as grinding, and it hurts sometimes.

The Greek word for family means ‘to grind,’ and it’s through grinding that we become a polished gem, without any flaws or burrs. For some people this process may never happen because of hurts that hinder us from trusting others in our lives. We cut people off out of fear of being hurt any more. Let’s look at this in more detail:

When a friend says, or does  something we don’t like we have several options:

1) We can take it as an opportunity to learn from the experience.

2) We can examine ourselves to see if there was anything we did wrong to create the situation, and if we did, be willing to make amends.

3) If we feel the person has hurt us by what they have said and done, then that leaves us with a few options as well:

a) We can forgive them.

b) We can set boundaries with them.

c) We can choose to distance ourselves from them, or limit the time we spend with them.

d) We can cut them off.

I believe cutting a person off is a very drastic measure to take, but if we are continually being abused by another person there may be no other way to deal with the situation. Keep in mind that if we cut someone off, and  they contact us to say they have repented of their behavior, then we should be willing to accept them at a distance. By that I mean test them to see if they have sincerely repented of their behavior. If they have, then we have our friend back; if they haven’t then we may need to continue to keep them out of our lives. Remember although they have hurt us, they may genuinely care about us, but don’t know how to show it. By cutting them off, especially without an explanation, it may hurt them very deeply. Use care before you decide to take this step.

Boundaries are a helpful way of dealing with negative behavior from our friends. They enable us to set limits on what we deem as acceptable, or unacceptable behavior. When the boundaries are crossed we have to deal with it, nip it in the bud, before it festers inside us, and becomes a resentment. If a person continually over-steps our boundaries then we may have to look at more drastic measures which may include cutting them off.

The principles described here all contribute to the process of ‘grinding.’ An argument, or disagreement is a good opportunity to clear the air, and express that which is unpleasing to us from the other person. It’s a two way street; what we expect from our friends has to be tempered with what they expect from us. This is a two sided way of interaction with our friends, and the process is known as giving, and taking. If our relationships are only one sided then we have to address the situation with the other person, if they listen we have won our friend back, but if they don’t listen, then measures must be taken to protect ourselves. Disagreements, arguments, boundaries, and correction are all tools of grinding. If we use the tools correctly we will have greater peace and happiness. *Adapted from The Hurting Person’s Guide to a Happy Life, by Paul Moore.

Blame and Excuses

We’ve all done it at one point or another, that is, to pass the buck, make  excuses, and blame others for our shortcomings. This lifestyle might be suitable for toddlers, but for many of us adults we revert back to our toddler age when confronted with a wrongdoing. We get angry, throw out smoke screens, and assume no responsibility for our actions. Why? Because we’re hurting people, and hurt people, hurt people. It seems so much easier to point the finger at someone else than to accept that it was us who made the mistake.

Have we ever experienced someone who hurt us deeply, and then turned around, and blamed us for their actions. It’s a very sad thing to experience, yet it is a reality for many people. Their hurt from the formative years carried well over into their twenties, thirties, forties, and some people never escaped the damage of their upbringing. In this generation we have children in adult bodies making adult decisions based on childlike  mentalities. In short, we never achieve happiness, or come to know our real selves.

What about the excuses we make?

Excuses are closely related to self deception especially if we come to really believe in what we are saying to others. We deceive ourselves into thinking that the whole world is wrong, and only we are right, and have the right answers. We can never be backed into a corner , as we always have an excuse for everything. These white lie excuses will lead to our downfall, as people will come to disrespect us for our words, and they will distance themselves from us. The result is a very lonely existence, as all we have left is our non-working excuses.

There is nothing wrong with accepting that we did something wrong to another person, apologize to them, ask for them to forgive us, and turn away from repeating the same behavior. As we grow into maturity by abstaining from blame and excuses, we see our true person emerging. We become someone who can be relied on, because we’re willing to admit we made a mistake. Ironically it’s by accepting our wrongdoing, and acknowledging it, that we achieve true happiness. People are attracted to those who stand up and say,

“I was wrong, it was my fault, please forgive me, I’ll do my best to never do that to you again.”

You can do this! It just takes a little attitude adjustment and realizing that we are all imperfect, have flaws, and need inner healing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a mistake, we all make mistakes, that’s a given, but it’s what we do with the mistakes that will either make us happy or miserable. Some of the greatest people on earth made very serious mistakes, yet they were forgiven once they acknowledged their hurt to another person. So it is with us, we accept our wrongdoing, and forfeit our blame and excuses for true peace and happiness. Serenity comes to those who take the blame, and refrain from excuses. * From The Hurting Person’s Guide to a Happy Life, Chapter 4, Blame and Excuses.

Attitude

Have you ever wondered why some people go farther in life than others? Is it because of upbringing, is it because of missed opportunities, or does it involve something greater. For me I found that things started coming together for me after I changed my attitude. It wasn’t until I changed my attitude that things began to come around for me. Here are three things that can happen when a person changes their attitude:

Prosperity – Good things come to people with a good attitude: Money, health, stability, security, open mindedness, peace, all needs met, and a sense that all is well. Opportunities present themselves, and we seize the opportunity.

Living in the current of life – Life is far from standing still, and we are in the center of motion. It’s like a rushing stream or river, we are right in the middle of the current. There are those on the side of the river where it pools, bacteria and other deadly attitudes can be found there, but in the middle of the stream we can drink of it and not be harmed. That’s where we find momentum, in the middle of the stream of life.

We never give up – People with a good attitude don’t give up. The world around us could be falling apart, but our integrity, dignity, self esteem, and self worth maintain us. We aren’t easily intimidated, and we know what we want, and go after it. Can’t is not in our vocabulary, and our word is as good as a lawyer’s contract. We have sweet sleep, and our families are happy, and content. Our children seek good careers, are obedient to parents, and peace reigns in the home. We assume responsibility for our actions, and deeds.

So we see that with a good attitude, good things come our way. It’s imperative to avoid negative attitudes, as we will be brought down to into a mediocre life that produces nothing but hardship and pain. Changing our attitude is the greatest thing we can do to create happiness, prosperity, and peace for ourselves. If we are unwilling to change our attitude we may never realize the life we could have had. It starts with attitude. *Taken from The Hurting Person’s Guide to a Happy Life, Chapter 1.

The Gift of Encouragement

In my early years I seldom received a kind word from my family, and as a result of my conditioning I became  a negative, pessimistic, and critical person.  It very easy to give a critical word to someone, but now I find it a privilege, and honor to encourage someone. Let’s look at what encouragement does for someone:

1) When I’m encouraged I feel good about myself. I feel like a worthy person; that I’ve done something good. It makes me happy to get encouragement from friends and others.

2) When I encourage my friends I notice that they respond in a way that brings us closer together. They appreciate my kind, and sincere words that come from my heart. Love grows where there is encouragement.

3) Encouragement could save a person from doing something desperately wrong in their lives. They may be contemplating taking their life, or just feel like giving up. An encouraging word from a friend or stranger could turn things around for the better.

4) Encouragement gives life, it’s positive, and it satisfies our souls better than a good meal.  The benefits from encouraging someone are more numerous than the stars in the sky. With encouragement we can accomplish the most difficult tasks.

5) Finally, Encouragement provides the environment for growth, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. It fosters so many good, and healthy responses in our life.

Take the time to encourage someone today. Give them a kind word. It could be a compliment, or something as simple as a pat on the back. Take care of yourself, you’re all you’ve got.

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