Friday, August 31, 2012

Make Someone Happy?

  A friend on Facebook was bored the other night.  She had overheard someone saying the phrase, "Happy wife, happy life." and wanted to know what people thought about it.  I had heard it before and my first thought was that the quote obviously came from someone (a man I'm assuming) who is dissatisfied with their life or relationship.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to start speechafyin'.   

  In its simplest form the statement is true.  The essence of it.  If you are with someone you truly love, you wish to see them happy.  If the love of your life is happy, then yes you'll generally find yourself happy too.  Some of the happiest times I've had were in the simple moments of making someone happy.  Well, I suppose I should really say; when I did something and the other person allowed themselves to feel happy.     

  Crap!  Here comes all that convoluted hard stuff.  I hate when that happens.

  Look, if you punch somebody in the eye, they're mostly gonna be mad.  If I handed you the keys to a new car you'd probably be pretty happy. That's all shiny surface stuff though.  It's once you start veering off into all the different scenarios of personal relationships that it gets complicated.   

  The plain and simple fact is you can't make somebody else feel something.  Isn't it about choices we make?  Isn't it how we feel about ourselves at any moment that dictates how we interact with others.  You can't make somebody love you can you?  You can court and woo till the cows come home.  If the other person just isn't into it, you're sunk.  Much like if someone is unhappy with life or a situation you're going to have a tough time trying to make them happy.           

  If one is in a blissful relationship where each is their own person and there is true communication and all that, the phrase would never even enter someone's head.  In a very general sense if you're happy with yourself your partner will be happy.  If you're in the type of relationship that is so prevalent in today's world where people don't really know themselves or their partners, the idea of that question is probably ever on a man's mind.  No sex?  Gotta make her happy.  Cold and distant?  What did I do?  Gotta make her happy.  Divorce?  Crap!  Try and make her happy.  It's a cold wind that blows when it all gets that complicated.  

  That's where the self worth part comes in, isn't it.  If you don't love yourself enough to be yourself, how can a relationship survive?  We've all had to make compromises in a partnership, sure.  But if you can't be the person that you were at the start of things how can you or your partner ever find happiness?  You just can't find happiness always trying to make someone else happy.  If you're in a relationship where you keep seeing red flags because you're making too many changes, always just trying to make the other person happy; something's gotta change.  If you don't value yourself or the relationship enough to change that situation then blame and resentment will start creeping in.

 It's not that you can't go see that movie you don't want to to show somebody you love 'em.  Or buy those flowers, or whatever.  Those are important moments in a relationship.  It's showing you care.  You will indeed show the other person you want them to feel happy and loved.  Just do it because you want to and not because you think you have to.    

On the other hand, maybe someone just couldn't think of a word to rhyme with husband.

I suppose I could go on.  And on probably.  I won't though.  I've poked and prodded at this post long enough.  

Keep your stick on the ice.  We're all in this together.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spiders and Snakes

  It's been over a month since writing some Notes, and well, there it is.  I do want to be more consistent about writing this blog. No excuses or promises of being better about it this time though.  Either I will or I won't.  I have been doing a lot of writing though.  Just not for this blog.  I guess you could say I've been using writing as therapy lately.  I've been lucky enough to find a therapist I don't have to pay.  Someone I don't even have to go see for that matter.  Someone who reads the words I vomit into the ether without direct judgement.  And I feel I've come a long way.  I was in stasis for a long time.  As often as I've told you that change is good and all the other  things we've discussed here, sometimes you just lose sight of your path.

  Some of you reading this might remember me mentioning in a past post or two how writing this blog started becoming very formulaic for me.  How I started trying to satisfy some set of self-imposed parameters.  That should've been a clue for me right there.  There was something wrong and I couldn't see it yet.  The thing was I wasn't really being creative any more.  Not in how I was approaching writing.  Not in how I was approaching life.  I really need to be creative in some fashion.

  And then there was the whole social aspect to life.  I have been spending the bulk of my time alone.  Not that I particularly mind being alone.  I never really feel like I get lonely.  Well, maybe every once in a while.  Nothing major though.  My point is that the whole purpose of this blog started out as a study in interaction. Kinda hard to talk about living with other human beings if you're always only in your own head.  I just didn't feel comfortable enough in my own skin I guess to want to be around others much.  I have been reconnecting with life outside me a lot lately though.  The all important human interaction drives my creativity with this blog.

  Right.  Now that that's out of the way, let's move on shall we?            

  I've wanted to write a post for some time now.  A lot of things have crossed my plate that I might have written to you about.  I just couldn't though.  Until today.

  Are you familiar with any Native American belief systems?  About totems and the medicine they carry?   As usual I know just enough to get me in trouble.  I've been blessed enough in my life to have been close to someone who exposed me to it.  I've  talked about it and even found out what my personal totem is.  I can't for the life of me remember what it is, but I knew at one time.  The idea is that everything around us has something to teach us.  A totem can be anything in nature.  If you notice a feather on the ground don't just pass it by.  It's trying to tell you that you are on the right path in some aspect of your life.  Have you seen a Red Tail Hawk lately?   He can see the distant hill and the rabbit trying to hide right under his gaze.  Hawk sees the bigger picture without losing the detail. Hawk may be telling you that you are ready to make a decision about something or make some change you've been pondering.  This way of thinking was an every day part of life.  Not a fad or religion, but a way to see the world we walk on.  A way to be part of the world along with every other single thing.

  Many of us don't even come close to realizing that we are part of the world and not its lord and master.  Few people would be mindful enough in today's world to realize that a simple spider that is seen in a corner every day might be a messenger.      

  Snake medicine smacked me right in the face today.  There was no being mindful about it.  I would've had to have been dead to miss it.

  I'm sitting in an Indian joint waiting a long time for service.  I was under the impression this place had a buffet on Saturdays.  At least the banner hanging on the building said it did.  When I walk in the guy who greeted me seemed kinda surprised to see me.  I held up my forefinger to indicate that there would be just one.  His extended arm invited me to sit anywhere I so desired.  He came over with a menu and I inquired about the buffet.  I'm not sure exactly what he said, but I knew the gist; there was no buffet.  I looked over the menu and decided what to eat pretty quickly.  Then I sat and waited.  And waited.  And...  

  Suddenly the two young girls and their mother sitting at the only other occupied table leapt up screaming and dancing.  I hear the word snake.  There is no one else around.  Whatever staff was on duty was M.I.A.  I go over to see what the problem is.  There's a tiny little black field snake on the window sill next to them.  The sill was in full sunlight.  Geez it musta been nice and warm there.  I took the snake with me and let it go outside as I left. I guess neither one of us should've been there.

  While I had the snake in my hand and it was trying to wrap itself around my wrist my mind travelled 25 years maybe into the past.  There was some stage production or other that I was involved in.  Now I don't remember the exact particular, but somebody saw a snake on the stage.  A tiny little black field snake.  I took that one outside too.     

  Snake medicine.  Snake medicine is about transmutation.  Perhaps turning something toxic or poisonous into something of value.  Like turning snake venom into antivenom.  It's about the process of change I guess.  In its simplest form the snake sheds it's skin to become seemingly new.  When it's done it's still a snake, but it's changed.

  At that very instant I couldn't help but see in full force the lesson of snake medicine.  I am definitely changed by life and choices I've made.  I have shed many skins.  But I am still me.  I am still the same person with the same things that drive me to live as I must.

  Stay on your path.  Find it.  Embrace it.  Walk it.

  Alright.  I'm outta here.

  I'm pullin' for ya.