F.O.M.O: Fear Of Missing Out

For the ones who has no idea what F.OM.O is, you aren’t the only one. I just recently heard of this term from my pastor Mike Todd a few months ago. He had a whole series about it and the acronym means “Fear of Missing Out.” At first I thought that I knew what depth Pastor Michael was speaking but it wasn’t until I turned the screens off and looked at the world around me before I opened my eyes to it.

What I saw hurt me. I saw a lot of fake. Not meaning this in a disrespectful way but in a completely real way. I saw people doing things that was just not them or who they represent. People saying things that they know should never come out of their mouths to impress the people around them and participating in activities way before it is time for them to experience them.

I questioned so many different things that I saw, just trying to understand why. Is it because of past traumas? Is it genuinely who that person is? Do they really think doing what they were doing was both beneficial and productive to their future? No matter what question I asked myself, it still didn’t hit as hard as the idea that they are just afraid. Afraid of missing out.

Recently I’ve come to know a young girl. From the outside looking in you saw beauty, strength, compassion and intelligence. For a while I started noticing very small cues that didn’t really fit who she is. One day she was involved in a very bad incident and who she was behind closed doors opened and all of her demons came rushing out full force. The person that I saw was not that loving, beautiful, intelligent little girl but actually quite the opposite.

It made me mad. No not mad. INFURIATED is the word. I was utterly disgusted at what I saw and I was broken to see such horror coming from somebody who I thought was so pure at heart. For a while, I was angry. I couldn’t go a moment without her being on my mind and me wondering if there was something that I could have done to help. From anger came the sadness. Complete dark sadness filled me up and it got me working overtime on trying to figure out “Why?!”

After the sadness came the feeling of terror and that’s when it hit me. Yes, all of the reasons that I mentioned in the past may have been a factor whether it was a traumatic event or something that she was introduced too but it all pushed me to the word “FEAR” and I felt it heavily. Maybe her actions weren’t due to selfishness or the lack of knowing who she was but maybe she, like me, was afraid.

What was she afraid of? How could fear put her in the situations that she openly and voluntarily put herself into? How could fear make her say the things that she said? Do the things that she did and overall, be somebody that she isn’t? (Lightbulb) FEAR OF MISSING OUT. Fear of not being accepted. Fear of not having a certain person or group of people like her. Fear of not being good enough. Fear that the person that she wanted to be would not be cool or beautiful in today’s society.

Due to the nature of the incident, I will not get into the details but I would like to say something for everybody who has similar fears of missing out. It is ok to miss out. Missing out can actually be a joyful feeling. One thing that life has taught me is that there is ALWAYS another door to walk through. What this young girl and many other people fail to realize is that when you act on fear you tend to get exactly what you fear would happen. Fear of being late to work will lead you to speed and get pulled over by the cops which in term will make you extremely late. Fear of a spouse leaving you will lead you to eventually pushing that person farther away and possibly leaving because of the accusations and control. The list goes on.

Funny thing is fear of missing out will actually have you missing out. To the younger crowd, this portion is for you. I get it. I truly do. At one point I was a teenager. I wanted the attention. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be the cool kid. Luckily I had a very strict mother who did not allow me to make most of my decisions until I was ready and I thank her for that. Back then was a different era though. Now we have cell phones that allow you to take videos and post pictures. We have the internet where you can be anybody that you want to be and put up fronts to make people believe that you are something that you aren’t. Because of the fear of missing out, many of the younger kids are getting in trouble for doing things that they know they are not suppose to be doing.

Well let me explain something. You craving to be fast and grown is only going to slow down your progress and growth. You acting now because you are afraid of missing out is going to lead you to missing out. Prime example. You want to hang out with your friends. Your parents say that you are too young to hang out without adult supervision, so you decide to sneak out. Guess what? Now, because you were afraid of missing out, instead of getting that car when you are 16, you have to wait till you can buy your own car. You want a job but now you can’t get one because you do not have reliable transportation to get you to and from work. With no job, how are you to earn enough to get a car? Or gas? Or shopping sprees with your friends? I can go for days on end about this subject but I am sure that you are getting the point.

Acting on F.O.M.O. is actually going to create you to miss out on so much of life. A life that you have no idea how big and vast it actually is. Missing out on opportunities that could slingshot you into success without having to be a victim in a survival story. Your actions today can and will pull you from that great job a few years from now. Your actions today can actually pull you away from that person who will actually be there to push you forward and help you grow. Your actions today can push you out of the group of people that can help you up when you fall. So listen to me when I tell you that I completely understand your fears. I am 32 years old and I get those fears as well.

Should I take that job? Should I buy that drink? Should I respond to that message? We all go through it but don’t taint who you are because of a fear. Like they say, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” So continue building yourself in the direction that you know you are suppose to go and stop being afraid of missing out.

Missing out can actually be joyful. Missing out on that decision that could have left you hurt. Missing out on that lecture that you hate from your parents. Missing out on that bad decision that seemed fun at the time but wasn’t worth it in the long run.

I have a teenage girl and a son who is almost to his double digits. Each day I make sure to tell them that I love them and when they leave my presence to be smart about their decisions. I tell them regularly to look out for each other and to no put themselves into a situation that is going to require healing in the future and I will say the same thing to you. Don’t allow the fear of missing out to put you into a situation that will need healing and involve you to miss out in the long run.

If this has helped you, feel free to like and comment your thoughts and please share because maybe it could help somebody in your circle as well.

.

If you woke up looking for a $1,000,000 and you found it, would you be mad? Part 1

I wasn’t always a tower technician. I wasn’t always a private investigator. I wasn’t always a busboy at a restaurant or a mental health tech at a hospital. Before it all, I was an armed security officer and boy was I good at it. Almost daily I would have altercations or situation that could have ended way worse than it did. One of these altercations allowed me to come up with this quote and I have learned that I can use it in any situation.

Long story short, I was in a very bad part of town in Tampa, Fl. I was working at an after hours night club and boy I tell ya, it was an animated crowd. You name it, it was there. From out of place tourist to dope boys “reppin” their part of town with a flag hanging out their back jean pockets. From old guys getting their late night fix for the night to young girls building up a name for themselves in the worst of ways.

Every crowd would show up and everybody was welcome. Well, as long as you didn’t start anything with anybody. This night in particular was one of the off nights. A man was kicked out from the bouncers and was handed to me. While I assessed the situation, he started belligerently taking his frustration out on me. Coming from a former Army veteran who was present in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I could see that this man was only acting on his pride and how it was hurt.

I calmly asked him why he was so angry. Basically, he saw a woman in the club that he liked and tried to get her attention. The woman’s current boyfriend intervened and introduced himself and it led to them getting into a small fight. Luckily the bouncers were able to get them situated.

The dude cursed me out for about 20 minutes saying everything that he could to try and get me angry. Threatened on killing me. Said I was nothing without my gun. Made fun of the hourly wage that he thought I had. The whole nine yards. I eventually told him that the club would be closing in a half hour and that would have more than enough time to stop at the gas station across the street and buy some beer before they stopped selling for the night. He didn’t care. He wanted me to get angry. So he decided to do exactly what I hoped he wouldn’t do. Threaten the patrons safety by claiming he would leave and come back full of his boys and shoot up the club as everybody was clearing into the parking lot.

And that’s when it hit me. “Sir. If you were to wake up craving to have a $1,000,000 and decided to go out and search for it, how would you feel if you found it?” He said more slick remarks saying that he would pay some of my bills because he knew that I couldn’t afford it blah, blah, blah. I then asked if he would be mad if he found it. Of course he said “No.”. So I hit him with the “Well this morning you woke up craving for attention and you are doing the most in trying to find it. I’m telling you that you are about to receive the attention that you are clearly looking for but know that once you get it, you cant get mad!”. Lets just say that he didn’t like that response and definitely didn’t like the attention that he ended up receiving.

I quit that job that night. I realized that what I was searching for in life I would not be able to find working in the security industry but I learned a huge lesson that day. I learned that we tend to be looking for things in our lives on a daily basis, not really evaluating what all it entails and many times we get what we are looking for, but we get it in a way that we didn’t expect nor want. Even though I quit that job, I was able to walk away with understanding. Understanding that this young gentleman had to find out the hard. Be cautious on what you are looking for because you may just get it in the end.

Understand your feelings

Greetings! How are you doing today? While reading through this post ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” Throughout the day we feel many feelings such as fear, anger, joy, acceptance, disgust, sadness, surprise, anticipation and the list goes on. As we all know, we go through many different feelings throughout the day. From the moment our alarm goes off in the morning to the time we lay our head in the bed, our days are consumed in an abundance of feelings and emotions and can tend to give direction to our day unless we grow to understand why we feel what we are currently feeling.

Without properly allowing ourselves to understand our feelings can be very dangerous. Like putting ourselves on autopilot and just going where the road takes us.

How many times have you woken up, made your coffee and had goals set to crush early in the morning and the moment you open up your news feed on social media, got that email or text, or just simply hit traffic in the morning and it disrupted the way that you felt. Did you retaliate? Did you respond or cut somebody off because of the feeling at that moment? Acting on negative emotions out of impulse rather than understanding how and why you feel that way will tend to put you into a deeper negative situation.

Try this exercise. Next time you feel a negative feeling and you are actually aware of the feeling, purposely stop moving. Ask yourself what you are feeling and then ask yourself why you feel that way. Was it the way that somebody said something or a look that they gave you or could it possibly be just how you read the text. Maybe it wasn’t directed the way that you read it. Once you figured out what actually gave you the negative feeling, then you can think of all of the way to react to it to deescalate the situation or even feel the need to react at all.

Four years ago I had a traumatic even that I put myself in all because I failed to understand exactly how I felt and I reacted in a way that put me into a situation that almost killed me. Ever since then I have made it a purpose to constantly ask myself “How am I feeling and why do I feel this way?” and so far it has worked very well for me. There were times since then that I was able to get out of fist fights, I was able to calm somebody down with an unnecessary argument and I have been able to help educate the people around me to do the same. Now I do it out of a force of habit.

At first it may seem very alien like and uncomfortable to do but you will notice that it will also change the way that people look at you. Instead of being that hot head that nobody wants to be around out of fear of you lashing out, they may now feel comfortable inviting you places. Instead of somebody who turns a simple situation into an all out war, now people will feel comfortable to open up and hold a conversation with you and it gets even deeper. You will feel better towards yourself and be able to have better relationships with the people around you. You will feel more comfortable taking the wheel of your life and going the direction that you choose instead of having the situations of life push you where it wants you to go.

Don’t let music ruin your life

Today while I was at work I heard somebody joking around about me saying that I “make love to the tower” when I’m working. Of course I heard many laughs. When one of my coworkers asked him what that means, they responded saying that I serenade the tower and sing love songs from the time I climb up to the time I climb down and sure as s#%@ I heard some more laughing. Behind the laughter I heard requests to change the genre to rap, rock, club and many others because they didn’t want to listen to what I wanted to listen to.

I decided to put on my headphones instead and told them that they are welcome to listen to whatever they wanted on the speaker. When asked why I listen to what I listen to I gladly reminded them that they are everything that they surround themselves and a lot of our moves come from ideas that we listen to.

I tend to listen to JP Cooper and Allen Stone radio on Pandora because of the feeling that I get from that type of music. Jason Mraz “I’m Yours” is my all time favorite song. I listen to music that I can relate to. Music that gives me a better perspective and makes me feel good. Don’t get me wrong. I listen to all types of music but I prefer music that is productive and the reasoning why is because I don’t want to want the negative to become the norm in my mind.

While I was listening to some of the lyrics that they were jamming on, i noticed some familiarities from what the guys were happily singing. Familiar to the stories that they tell throughout the day. Woman, sex, drugs, violence and drama. They were literally rapping about things that they currently do not realizing that when the music is off, that same lifestyle is what they constantly complain about and it hit me yet again. WE ARE WHAT WE EAT!!!

We all have heard the phrase “You are what you eat.” I have made a post about this a while ago but for the people who haven’t read it let me know what that means to you? Take a few moments out of your day and ask yourself “What does the phrase “You are what you eat” mean to me” Dissect it fully and understand that you are EVERYTHING that you ingest.

The definition of INGEST is to take in · be absorbed in · be immersed in · be rapt in · be lost in · be fascinated by.

So you are what you ingest. You are what you surround yourself with. You are the people you hang around. You become what you see on television and social media. Many times, we fail to realize what our surroundings are and what is actually influencing our thoughts. A large amount of our alone time is immersed in music. When you are working, you have music on. When you are at the grocery store you are listening to music. When you are in the car on the way to your destination, you are listening to music. So we are surrounded by many voices not realizing the affect it can have on us in the long run.

If, since birth, you listened to music that falsely told you how life is suppose to be, would you grow up being as productive as you could have with positive influences? Well todays “entertainment” is ruining peoples lives.

From songs of woman telling you to leave your girl because she’s bored, or telling you that “its not cheating, its just a whatchamacallit”. Lyrics telling you to spend all of your hard earned money in the clubs and get a girl who has a girlfriend so that you can add more bodies to your list.

Understand that music is a form of entertainment but also understand that the majority of the artists don’t live the lifestyle that they are glamorizing themselves. Today’s younger generations are being brainwashed to believe that is cute for a woman to be crazy and its cool to be intimidating. Thinking that its fun to ride dirty and do drugs. Thinking that being smart is actually a negative.

Well I will tell you that a DUI isn’t fun. Broken bones from doing something stupid under the influence is not fun. Walking into a room that most of the people in there have seen you naked and them judging you is not fun. Having 10, 20, 50, 100 soul ties and then not being able to have a serious relationship is not fun. Not being able to find a job because of things that you posted on your social media or posts that you permanently put onto your body is not fun.

So I want you to understand that its ok to listen to whatever music you want. I know I do, but don’t let it ruin your life by constantly brainwashing yourself to believe that not cooking and not cleaning will still get you that ring. It’s just entertainment.

Think Positive On Purpose

Ask 100 people if they want to go skydiving and look at their faces as a response. Of course, many will jump on board and love the idea but what about the people who don’t? When asked “Why?” you will get a lot of excuses like “I’m not jumping out of a perfectly fine airplane!” and the infamous, “What if the chute doesn’t open?” At first, I was one of those people and I completely understood where they were coming from but it took for me to change my perspective in life and on a whim I decided to jump out of an airplane and I loved it. What I learned is that everything that I feared about jumping out of a plane never even happened and that’s when I started questioning everything. Questioning my fears. Questioning my negative thoughts and that’s when this lightbulb turned on. WHY ARE THESE THOUGHTS EVEN HERE?.

What I’ve come to the conclusion is that our thoughts are the way they are because of traumas and insecurities introduced to us from our past. Why does somebody have trust issues? Most likely because an event in the past that hurt them either physically or mentally and now that person refuses to trust in order to keep from feeling that pain again. Like a self defense mechanism. Many of those thoughts weren’t even experienced in person but rather seen on a screen or heard of, like why is the average human being so afraid of killer whales even though there has never been any known attacks in the wild? While dissecting these thoughts and reasons behind these thoughts I have realized that almost everything that we have become has been built off fear and getting hurt. Once you understand that is the only time that you can change the way that you think and how do you fix that? By thinking positively on purpose.

Let me show you what I mean. Next time you are aware of having a negative thought, purposely change that thought into a positive. It sounds really hard but try it and I promise you that any scenario will have a positive perspective or point of view. The moment that you change that thought into a positive, evaluate how it makes you feel or see if it will push you into a productive direction. I can almost guarantee you that it will.

I will be 100% honest and transparent with you. I am not a therapist. I do not have any degrees or any training behind any of my ideas and theories. I will say though that I have become extremely observant through the years and tend to see things in ways that most people don’t. Continue to be aware of your thoughts and purposely change the perspective into a positive and before you know it, it will become second nature.

You will eventually not have to intentionally think positive. It will become a part of who you are. Somebody who once had road rage will eventually thank somebody who cut them off because of the positive belief that “they cut me off to save me from an accident that I may have been a part of a mile down the road.” Instead of having a breakdown when somebody lost their job they would instead think that “Now I have enough time to work on myself and now have an opening for a better job”. Think positive on purpose and become the positivity that you want to see in the world.

It is OKAY

Todays society has brainwashed us all to believe that we have to please everybody. Brainwashed us to believe that we need to make everybody happy. Brainwashed us to put others before ourselves, but for us to be able to give anything, we must first have it ourselves. It is beyond impossible to make everybody happy and there are times when people that we always make happy wont be and all I am here to say is that it is okay.

It is okay to be frustrated at times. It is okay to want to be alone sometimes. Just as it is okay for you to be happy, it is just as okay for you to be sad. People will try to shame you for feeling emotions at times because it doesn’t help what they are going through and it is okay. Do not allow the selfish wants and needs from other people deter you from your growth.

It is okay for the class clown to be quiet sometimes. It doesn’t mean that something has to be wrong with him/her. Its probably just that he/she doesn’t have anything to say. Its okay to try ask if everything is alright but once they give you the answer, don’t try and force them to be the person that you want them to be for you because it will only add frustration and eventually resentment in the long run and create a negative emotion that wasn’t their to begin with.

It tends to be extremely hard if you are in relationships as well, whether its a spouse or a friendship but know that its okay to have your individual emotions. Society has created this rule saying that if you are best friends or an intimate relationship that you have to do everything together and I have one simple question. Why? Simple right. Why, when you are in a relationship that you have to be connected by the hip and if you aren’t then they can’t be a best friend or a loving spouse. It is okay to run errands alone so that you can clear your head. It is okay to do an activity with friends. It is okay. Do not allow people to make you feel obligated to do things that go against what you want and need to do for yourself. If you need space, take it. If you need to change your environment, change it.

Many times people will try and push their emotions onto you. They may think that something is wrong even though nothing is wrong at all and then create that feeling through their actions only to validate their initial accusation when nothing was wrong to begin with. You alone are the only person who can change your outcome and its okay to be selfish with your means of healing or progression in life.

If you want to wear the shirt, wear the shirt. Don’t let outside voices create insecurities in yourself because of what something looks like or how people might talk about you. If you want to do the activity, don’t let outsiders dictate you to move in another direction. Do what makes you happy and always remember that its okay to tell people “No” as well. Don’t let the emotions and beliefs of somebody else make you feel obligated to do anything and everything they tell you, or ask you, to do. You are in control and from me to you, just know that whatever you choose, it is OKAY.

A Healed Cup Is a Filled Cup

Imagine owning a tin cup. You have had that cup for a very long time. Throughout that time you may have had several accidents that damaged it. Dropped it a few times. Put a little too much pressure on it. Let people use it and now has brand new scratches that you’ve never seen before.

Those accidents have created bruises, dents, scratches and in some cases were even serious enough to create leaks. Unfortunately this is the only cup that you have.

It is your cup and it is your responsibility to seal it if you ever want to be able to fill it to it’s full capacity. Correct? Well how would you feel if I was to say that you are that cup and everything in your life has molded you to the shape that you are.

We have all been through a time in our lives where we were damaged. Maybe it was a something that was told to you at a very young age that you believed was true, only to find out was wrong all along. Sometimes the damage was physical such as touching a stove which left a burn along your arm.

Trauma is a part of life. Some will hurt more than others and some are extremely hard to heal from but it is something that is suppose to be learned from rather than held on to.

Insecurities. Trust issues. Jealousy. Those are all areas in your life that can drain from your cup if you don’t heal yourself. Failure to heal those wounds can be very dangerous in the long run. By not taking responsibility for your healing you will naturally expect others to heal you.

I can tell you that, until my late twenties, I was that individual that expected people to automatically do for me that I was suppose to do for myself. I would jump from relationship to relationship hoping that the next person would show me something different,

Going from job to job thinking that it was my boss that made me hate my job. Making excuses in every aspect of my being for why I was going through what I was going through. Not taking any responsibility for the emptiness that was inside of me

Running to the next woman to fill the hole that the last one dug into me. Moving to another state hoping that where I was previously was just uniquely difficult and I can be better off somewhere else. Many people don’t know the details, but it took the clicking sound of a “loaded” Glock 43 that was pressed to the roof of my mouth when my youngest daughter was taken from me by her mother to realize that something needed to change.

From that day on I did a lot of soul searching. I read countless self help books and talked to several people who picked themselves up from rock bottom. In doing so I learned that my problems derived from the lack of properly recovering from traumas stemmed as far as my childhood, and to confidently fill my cup to its max I would have to take time to myself and heal before I took any steps in any direction whether it was work, making friends, dealing with family and even starting a relationship.

I can say that I am a healed and my cup is now full. Full of love. Full of happiness. Full of forgiveness. Full of life. Now that I am healed I am able to see the affects of dealing with people who aren’t healed. People who I would gladly pour into because I had plenty to spare, and that’s when it hit me. The people that I was pouring into did t heal their damages. So as much as I poured in, the more leaked out.

Before I knew it, my cup was draining more and more until I wasn’t doing things out of the kindness of my heart. Now I was doing it because it was a job. I wasn’t kissing the way that I use to because now it was an obligation to heal a wound that I didn’t put there. I was being drained of happiness because of the lack of healing on my partners end. In the process of filling up others cups, I was becoming empty and slowly staring to have leaks myself.

I learned that I can tickle you all day long but I will never be able to make you happy. I can call you beautiful and give you compliments from the moment I wake up til the moment I fall asleep but I can’t take away insecurities. I can give all of my passwords and my location but it will not make somebody trust.

So remember that life is full of traumas. Some leave bruises while others create leaks. Leaks that will constantly drain you until you figure out what is needed for you to heal. Proper self care is priority. Just remember that a healed cup will always be a full cup.

The Number 10 Rule

We all have heard the phrase “There are more ways than one to skin a cat.”, and I am sure that most people understand it but I don’t think that it gets as much credit as it should. The first time that that quote held weight on me was in a situation that I experienced while in a training exercise in the military.

I was stationed in 25th Infantry Division out of Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. My unit was just returning home from a deployment in Iraq and it was time to get back on the grind. As an E-4/specialist, myself and many of the lower ranking soldiers were stuck doing the garbage details that nobody wanted to do it. One phrase that I learned early on is to work smarter not harder. Well I was ordered to carry 10 long boards from one area to another.

It was not a hard task but rather just very time consuming. We had plenty of time to kill while getting the area set up so I felt that it would be best to take my time and not run myself ragged so I decided to pick up my first board and start the walk to take it to its location. As I picked it up I hear, “WTF Rivera! What are you doing?” from Sgt. @@@@

As I drop the board and get to parade rest, I reply that Sgt. ***** gave me orders to take these boards to the cleared out location across the field. He then responded that I am doing it wrong and to take 2 at a time. Without Sgt. **** being there, I was forced to follow the orders of the new Sgt. So I go back and grab another log and then start making my way to the provided location.

On the way back to get another 2 boards, Sgt. $$$$ came over and also thought it was ok to tell me that I was doing it wrong. “Load 4 logs on that tarp over there and drag them so that you can take them faster.” I was beyond frustrated and that’s when the “There are more ways than one to skin a cat” and I opened my mouth.

“My orders were to take these 10 boards from this location and make a pile in that location. if I was to take 1 log at a time, 2 logs at a time or struggle with dragging 4 at a time on a tarp, the end result will still remain the same, so can you get off my back and let me do my job.”. Of course that didn’t quite end well for me and I caught myself walking the logs back and from one spot to another throughout the day but the message was engraved into my skull. A few years later I was out of the military and I was in a leadership position working as a security guard at a government contracted facility.

I was observing a guard working on a task that needed to be done before his shift was over and I asked him what he was doing and why he was doing it that way. He responded “Because the end result be as my boss wanted it.” As soon as he said that, it instantly brought back the horrible smoking that I got carrying the logs. I gave him advice on a way that may possibly be easier but allowed him to continue with whichever way that he chose.

From that day on I understood the power of micro-managing and a great deal of what it takes to be a good leader. A leader isn’t somebody that demand ways to do something but is somebody who trusts in his guys. Somebody who can give advice and supervise to make sure the end result will be completed satisfactory and in a beneficial way for everybody in the end.

To this day I catch myself using that story to explain to bosses, supervisors, parents and owners to help paint the picture that there are many ways to accomplish a task. I have had a ton of snapback from people not willing to listen but I have also had a lot of great feedback from people who applied it and got a great end result. Hell, many actually learned, themselves, of better ways to get jobs done so that they can teach it the next time around.

So next time something needs to be done, understand that there are usually more ways than 1 to accomplish something and think about the number 10 rule.

Trust and Communication The basis of a healthy relationship.

While there are many other areas that need to be worked on in a relationship, trust and communication are the two main areas that hold a relationship together. Without one, the relationship begins to weaken and will eventually end, losing everything else that goes along with it.

There are family relationships, professional relationships, friendly relationships and pet relationships that communication and trust will affect but the one that I want to talk about is the romantic relationship.

To this day, my wife hates my analogies but this one seems a bit fair to use. Picture a relationship being a chain. The stronger the bond, the more secure it is. Each link is given a name such as Sex, Intimacy, Punctuality, Cleanliness, Security, Personality, and many, many more depending on what you want and need in a relationship.

Out of all of these links in the chain, trust and communication is the lock and key. Without a lot a key, anything and anybody can come by and sever the bond in your relationship. Get the picture? Now let me show you how.

First I will start with communication. Communication is the key to the relationship chain and without it, you will never be able to gain access to the relationship. Just like your house key and car key, communication is carried with you everywhere you go and is an important part of everyday life.

Throughout any part of any relationship, matters will need to be discussed in order to keep an organized lifestyle ranging from picking up the kids, setting dates and times to events, grabbing milk on the ay home and expressing feelings to one another. Everybody wants to stay in the loop when it comes to their spouse and without proper physical and verbal communication it is easy for many situations to get out of whack and trust can start to diminish.

Of course, there are many other ways to diminish trust but the lack of proper communication can lead to misinterpreted views and unproductive thoughts that can lead to negative feelings. From there, that is when situations could really start heading into the wrong direction.

Trust is the lock that connects the link of the chain. Depending on the strength of trust, anybody and anything could easily break the bond and destroy any romantic relationship. Some of the major causes of trust issues derive from infidelity, past experiences, and control. Yes I said it. Needing to have control is never letting yourself be vulnerable and that will eventually lead to lack of trust to the people around you, but that will be written in a separate article about the links to the chain of a relationship.

Trust is extremely vital because without it, nothing and I mean NOTHING positive can grown. Honest words could be mistaken for sarcasm. Late responses and missed calls can lead to negative seeds the will grow from the water of negative thoughts. Coming home a little later than usual could question if there are other people or other forms of inappropriate activities and those thoughts only will lead to disaster.

Improper communication and lack of trust will slowly but surely push the individuals involved in the relationship away. Without trust, the individual who missed the call may get accused of ignoring them or involved in a disrespectful activity when in all actuality was taking a nap, in the middle of licking the barbeque sauce of their fingers or just forgot to put the ringer on after they left the movie theatre.

By the time the person is able to explain what is actually going on, the negative seeds may have grown into a tree of deception and the explanation will not be believed and accusations will be made. Of course, nobody wants to be accused of anything that they are not doing, so that will cause insecurities in the accused which will then build frustration and even more lack of communication.

If the problem doesn’t get fixed early on, everything that is said will bring more and more arguments, which will then build more and more actions that will lead to the lack of trust and the cycle will continue the infinite downhill spiral until both parties are to a point of no return and the relationship will end. People who loved each other at first will separate as enemies who will never want to see each other again.

I understand that trust and communication can be very hard to work on but with the proper practice, guidance and a lot of patience, the chain to the relationship will be held tight and secured by a sturdy lock and key that could withstand any storm.

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Years ago when I attended college, my professor wanted to see where our head was before she started the class. She asked all of us to introduce ourselves and once we were done, she wrote a quote on the white board.

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”

She looked around the room and told us that this quote was going to be our first homework assignment. It was not going to be graded so there was no pressure on getting the wrong answer. All she wanted us to do is give us a few sentences of what we believed this quote meant to us.

The following morning, all of the students were seated with their papers out and the professor was standing at the front, quietly, with a smile on her face. Nobody said a word and she just looked around. After a few minutes, she pointed at a young man and asked him to stand up and explain what the quote meant to him. He had probably the simplest of answers. His response was a few sentences about how it referred to air, and that even though we can’t see it, its extremely important.

The professor gave him a nod of approval and then picked somebody else. This time it was a young female. Her response was very different but still had the same meaning. Air. By now I was feeling extremely self conscious. Fearful that I did what I always did, overthought the question. So I knelt in my seat and hoped that she wouldn’t call on me. Of course, I was the next that she called on. Standing up, this is what I said.

“What is essential is invisible to the eye” means a lot more than air. Yes it is very important and yes we can’t see it but I don’t think that the quote meant it. What I feel that quote means is that everything that is essential to life can’t be physically seen. You can show love but you cant see it like an actual object. You can show confidence but you can’t physically look and see it like a parked car. Everything that we need in life can be shown but none of it can be seen physically through your eyes. Essentials such as self-growth, having morals, integrity, honesty, confidence, happiness, etc. Without any of these invisible traits, who would we be as a race?

It was extremely hard to do but she had a wide smile and said that that was the response that she was looking for. Ever since that day, I have lived by that quote. I have actually planned on eventually getting it tattooed on me for a reminder but haven’t because its embedded in my head but the meaning still sticks.

We wouldn’t be much of anything if we didn’t realize what is essential if you think about it. Ask yourself that question and look in the mirror. What are some essentials that you have always needed in your life that you can’t physically see? Have you gone through traumas and overcome them in ways that you never expected until you looked back and thought about it? Have you made some internal changes that helped you become a better person? Were there things that you have done that didn’t fit your morals, whether it was an action or even a thought?

Now lets change the tone a little bit. What we can physically see is rarely an essential need. Today people are going through a rough time. Why is that? Is it because they are chasing money? The nice cars? The people? The objects that we can physically see tend to come far from what we need. I can name quite a few people who have money for days and aren’t happy. People who have nice cars and houses but don’t have morals. Many of these people actually got their money because of the lack of integrity and honesty and in a blink of an eye it all can be taken away whether it was from somebody who they thought they could trust, who is now rich or a simple contract tha

Once the objects are gone, the essentials will still remain out of sight and remain internally. Work on the essentials that you can not see and everything that you want will come into your physical view.