December 29, 2011

For 2012: Learn your lover, know your lover…Save a Heart…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:19 pm

The dating thing can be a cold and brutal game. Finding that proverbial soul mate can be very difficult. If you have a mate let me encourage you to make this your New Year’s resolution.

With all that you have, with all that you are, “FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM AGAIN!”.

Having said that, kick off the song that I picked to set the mood for this post and read on.  Leave a comment or two if you have some thoughts or an opinion.

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As I reflect on my own experiences in this arena (this thing called love and relationships) I hope that I can begin to knit the following into the depth of my consciousness and effectively share it with my mate…

Note: I hope this helps you in the maze, so Let those who have ears hear.

Whenever we enter a relationship, we don’t often think or see beyond the physical being.  We are attracted to the body, face or personality.  We may like what the person does or how they do it and want to be a part of that.  We may even experience a pull from within that we can’t actually explain.  But how often do we stop to consider the true depth of the person we are attracted to?  There is a being before us who has a past, present, and future.  There are flesh and bones, hurts and scars, feelings thoughts and ideals.  When we enter the world of another being we must be willing to be a part of it all.  When someone entrusts their heart to you they are giving you a piece of their soul.  You cannot treat a soul casually.  You must protect, nurture and handle it with care. Our interactions with one another; go far beyond the face, the body, and the hair. One other thing we must consider when we enter someone’s heart, that there is a heart and soul inside of us of which they will play a part.

So, in a nutshell all I’m saying is respect the heart, mind and soul…

December 27, 2011

Tech Tuesday…”What does this mean?” …your interpretation?

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:34 am

Hey passengers, as you know Tuesday’s theme on the train centers around technology.  Question, can you figure this one out?

The Gift from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

 

December 12, 2011

Why this trains leaves the station daily…

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 7:17 pm

Hey LifeTrain passengers, This is the beginning of a new day. And even though it’s Monday (Merry Monday for us LifeTrain riders) remember, you have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind…let it be something good.”

I am not a poet, but I am trying to be a Poem…

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All Aboard…The LifeTrain!

December 9, 2011

Station stop 2day: PhiLOsoPhicAL

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 6:46 am

Hey passengers, welcome aboard…with the week winding down, your conductor is feeling a bit “Philosophical”.  So as I greet you with a smile, punch your ticket I hand you a few cards with some words of what I deem as wisdom on them.  I hope you’ll pass along.  Make It a GREAT day! The cards read:

Card one:  “Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” – Mark Twain

Card two reads:  “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not but, rejoices for those which he has” – Epictetus

Card Three:  “Problems are simply challenges waiting for solutions to meet them. The two are partners.  Think with resolve that a solution will present itself and it will. Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. ”

And as you hop off the train I ask each of my co-riders, “can we agree to this?”

…”Lord, help us to always trust in your saving grace, especially when I am tempted and put to the test.  Help me to be faithful to you and give me the courage and strength to resist temptation, especially temptation to compromise or to be indifferent to your word.”

All Aboard!  The LifeTrain!!!

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December 8, 2011

Therapy Thursday…”About Lonliness”…PART III

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:01 am

Welcome aboard passengers.  And welcome to Therapy Thursday on the Train.  This week we have a guest speaker, Dr. William Wallace Ph.D. .  Today I’d like to share a conversation I had over lunch recently with Dr. Wallace where we stumbled upon the very topic we are looking at this week, “loneliness”.  First let me tell you a little bit about my friend, Dr. Wallace.

His academic achievements include a Bachelors of Science Degree from University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky; Masters in Business Administration / Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida.  He received his doctorate degree from Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota in Applied Management and Decision-making Sciences with specialization in Leadership and Organizational Change.

He currently serves on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and Commissioner for the International Association for Continuing Education and Training and American National Standards Institute.  I should also mention that Dr. Wallace proudly served his country in the US Military.

Kick off the mood (music) and enjoy the interview…

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The interview:

Chuckie:  Welcome aboard the Train Dr. Wallace, we are so glad to have you with us today.  Can you introduce yourselves to the riders.
Dr.Wallace:  I am Dr. William Wallace and currently serve as the Supervisory Academics Program Manager, Army Management Staff College (AMSC).

Chuckie:  Dr. Wallace we were at lunch recently and we got on the topic of loneliness in this country.  We started by talking about some work you did way back on a communications line.  Tell us how that enlightened you to this situation. How can we as a Society resolve this problem?
Dr. Wallace:  During a session with a media company a few years ago, I realized how deep this problem “loneliness” was in the United States. I would call people who would feel so grateful just to have another voice on the other end of the line because I would take the time to talk to them. I don’t know if this problem can be resolved.  As we study the differences in generations, the latter group known as the Millennials referred to as the “Me” (what’s in it for me; WIIFM group) may illustrate that the Society as a whole may be moving away from the sense of community and fellowship except through the use of social media. Additionally, what we may be seeing in the realm of social media may not be the positive support needed to address the loneliness issue.  If social media were used to positively communicate the message of community and fellowship, it would be a great step in the right direction to at least address the problem of loneliness.

Chuckie:  I’ve had people tell me that it is possible to feel lonely when surrounded by people.  What do you say to that?
Dr. Wallace: Segregation makes many feel loneliness even when there are people around and today, segregation comes in many other forms. Most people feel lonely because they’ve lost a family member, experienced breakup, divorce or a long-term relationship gone bad while others feel lonely because of the fear of rejection and isolation.  Some are lonely just because they have trouble relating such as our men and women of the Armed Forces, who return home to find that they can’t readjust back to the daily life they left when they went to serve their country being deployed in the various war zones around the World.  Even neighbors who grew up together can feel themselves distant based on life experiences and challenges.  Children who have been sexually abused and don’t feel able to trust anyone to talk about the acts.  Spouses, men and women, who have been subject to abuse and not be able to interact with their neighbor for fear of being looked down upon or fearful that the results from violence will show and raise alarm for those committing the acts. All these situations may also lead to something far worth, such as death or suicidal thoughts. As a result, there may be an estimated 19.2 million Americans who may suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Chuckie:  With the holidays coming up this issue will probably be more prevalent.  Do you think that part of why holidays feel more lonely for many people is that our society has high expectations for this time of year?
Dr. Wallace: It is amazing how many people are isolated and feel a sense of emptiness especially during the holidays. I’m not sure of the high expectation to which you refer, but I do think it is very difficult to have had the year start off very unproductive for people and think that simply because the holidays are coming, we are just going to leap for joy like all our problems are just going to disappear because it is the holiday season.  I do believe the holidays offer a sense of hope and optimism of what could be.  I would encourage each of us to make this a personal goal with the expectation that there is hope and that things will get better and reaching out to those who may be less fortunate.  Giving and/or sharing is a wonderful thing.

Chuckie:  Any thoughts on what we can do individually to help in this area within our society, especially during the holidays?
Dr. Wallace: The holidays should absolutely be a time to bring cheer and encouragement.  In memory of a great humanitarian, Mr. Bouda Ncharre Jean, I reflect on his life as he would greet every person he ever met with a warm smile and when time permitted, words of encouragement.  He always focused not on how things were, but how they could be with the right attitude.  If you would be interested in knowing a little more about this extraordinary man, visit www.bnjfoundation.org to read his story.  He was a hero and an inspiration for so many and his story provides an example to all of us on how to treat people and live a wholesome life of community and fellowship that could be emulated every day and especially during the holidays. Sometimes you never know just how much a smile or just a greeting can uplift someone who just might be having one of the worst days ever.  I encourage everyone to celebrate our life each day with another, whether in words, deeds, or just a smile.

Chuckie:  Good stuff, hey before we let you off at the next station, any parting thoughts for the riders.  Oh, and can we expect you back soon to discuss another topic?
Dr. Wallace: Sir, this has been an absolute pleasure and would am humble to have had this opportunity and would surely embrace an opportunity to return and share with such an astute audience.  From me and my family, a very happy holiday season.

 

December 6, 2011

About Lonliness…Part II

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:21 am

Good day riders…Sometimes things come from the strangest places.  Today’s post is actually an excerpt from a conversation string in the “COMMENTS” section of Part I of “About Loneliness”.  Oh, if you don’t know…now ya know…this week’s subject is about Loneliness.  I thought that it would be a very appropriate topic for this time of year (the holidays) to touch on this subject.  While I am only sharing a small part of the conversation I had with a reader, I suggest you check out the very thought provoking questions that were asked and my attempt to intelligently converse.   While you are there feel free to chime in.  So kick the associated music off and read on.   …All Aboard!

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I sometimes tell people that if I were to say hit the lottery for millions. I would make sure my family and inner circle of friends were taken care of. I would then use some of the money to help out mankind in some way…and then. I would get my Howard Hughes on for some of the reasons you eloquently outlined above. Alas, God the father gave us the type and pattern of community and relationship, i.e. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He wants us to commune. Check out the book: “Everyone is Normal, until you get to know them” by the Christian author John Ortberg.

In moments of sadness and sorrow (such as the loss of my mother recently) we have a tendency to isolate ourselves.  As I look back during that time, I just wanted to be alone…alone for the rest of my life.  Loving people, having contact with people costs and sometimes that cost can be very high.  The death of my mother, the loss of my first marriage…well it costs.  For a time I was laden with pain, grief, guilt, remorse, and an overwhelming loss of control, feeling completely cut off from people. “Not a single soul knows what it’s like,” we find ourselves thinking.

Perhaps that is why the author Rob Bell writes that the most beautiful phrase in every language is

“Me too!”.

Thus I am identifying so much with your comments by saying…Yep, me too!

The fact is we all know that life is messy. And because life is messy, people are messy. And because people are messy, we are messy.

And that terrifies us.

As a result, we often only want God for the sake of social order and religion for the sake of social control*. But the grace of that type of God is only for those who abide by the social norms, enforced by a religion that protects the social law. Those on the outside remain on the outside, and the blind continue to lead the blind.

We don’t know what to do with the collision of pure Creator and messy creation, so we set boundaries.

And we protect these boundaries.

And we identify with these boundaries.

And those on the outside remain on the outside.

Read the four gospels and you will find that Jesus makes a habit of finding wrecked, messy people. He doesn’t fear the collision because he doesn’t work in black-and-whites. With an overwhelming, gentle power he walks through our fortified boundaries to remind us that he touches dead things and makes them alive.

We avoid dead things.

We avoid messy people.

Jesus seeks them out.

When we learn to embrace the messiness, to trash the dichotomy of saint and sinner, and say that “the only true perfection available to us is the honest acceptance of our imperfection,” we can come down from our safeguards against the messy and come alongside Jesus as he finds the wrecked, the broken, and the filthy.

There is something soulful about flowers in cement. The image reaches into our hearts and reminds us of our sainthood and our sin. Removed from the concrete, the plant is just another plant; but imbedded in the dead-grey of the sidewalk, its radiance is magnified tenfold.

When we come to realize we are all flowers in cement, perhaps we can take the scales from our eyes and see as Jesus sees, and join the chorus of saint-sinners that whisper to a broken world,

December 2, 2011

About lonliness…Part I

Category: Thoughts — chuckie @ 12:12 am

The world grows ever smaller, more connected, more crowded, and ironically, increasingly lonely for many of us.  This is a problem with a whole host of unhappy consequences, not just for the individuals who experience it, but for society as a whole.

It’s important to point out before I go any further that loneliness is not the same thing as being a private person, or a “loner,” because some of us actually both need and enjoy a lot of time to ourselves.  Loneliness, instead, refers to the difference between the amount of social contact and intimacy you have and the amount you want. It’s about feeling isolated, like an outcast.

(That said, the opposite of loneliness isn’t popularity either – you can have dozens of “friends” and still feel lonely. True intimacy and feelings of relatedness are much more about the quality of your relationships than the quantity.)

Persistent loneliness is not only emotionally painful, but can be more damaging to our physical and mental health than many psychiatric illnesses. For instance, lonely people sleep poorly, experience severe depression and anxiety, have reduced immune and cardiovascular functioning, and exhibit sings of early cognitive decline that grow more severe over time.

Since the holidays are now upon us I will expand upon this topic next week.  Have a great weekend!

All aboard, The LifeTrain!