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Relational Gravitation and Wasabi

Relational GravityTake a moment to picture in your beautiful head, an archery target; you know, the kind with circles one inside of each another, like a cross section of Russian stacking dolls. Now forget the archery, and also the Russian dolls… unless they’re cute (Eeep!)

All I want you to think of is the concentric circles. …you know, like the ripples from a pebble dropped in a pond.
In the middle of the circles you should imagine a dot. This dot is the center of your capacity for relational intimacy. Its a God shaped hole, only God can fill that center dot. Read that sentence one more time.

Relational Wasabi #1 – If you’re missing God from in that center position, everything and everyone else is sucked in towards the middle of your relational intimacy. This creates all kinds of wack and stuff.

Relational Gravitaion - 1345449_12595961

Why wasabi? – Think of the way it punches you on the inside-front of your head when you get a good mouthful of it. Sometimes we need that sort of wake-up in our relationships with others eh.

Ok, now move your attention outwards to the next circle, the one that encircles the God dot. This circle is only big enough to hold one person at a time, and is designed to cuddle your Significant Other. Naawww, thats cute. Ok, moving on.

Relational Wasabi #2 – If you’re missing a Significant Other, sort of person from that position…here it comes… then what happens is that close friends, (obviously of the opposite gender), are gravitationally pulled towards that position of relational intimacy. And here’s the hook: Even if you instinctively know that its not meant to be.

Moving onwards and outwards, we have the next level of circle, ring, ripple thing. This one’s capable of holding between 3-5 peeps. These are your peeps; You know who I mean, YOUR peeps.

Relational Wasabi #3 – If you have less peeps in this circle than you’re capable of holding… (Like, you can handle 5, but you currently only have 2 in your life) Than friends from the circles further outwards, get inadvertently dragged inwards. (Not always a bad thing.)

This process continues on outwards another few layers, each bigger circle able to contain more individuals at that particular level of relational intimacy. Apparently average humans are only capable of maintaining current and active relational friendships with up to 100 people at a time. You may obviously “know” more people than that, but you quite likely won’t have the emotional space to be engaged with more than that.

Relational Wasabi #4 (Last one, I promise, but its a doozy) – If you have more people in any circle than that circle is capable of containing… you feel stress, emotional overload, overwhelmed, disconnected, and emotionally drained.

And the worst part is, you are STEALING relational intimacy and connection from the other people in that level of circle of relationship. You’re hurting your friends. Stop that.

Get some self control, consider who your friends are, evaluate what relationships in your life you need to re-focus on. Stop treating people who love you and have the relational right to your intimacy, as if they don’t belong in that level. Stop that.

Like a take-home doggy-bag of goodies, here’s two take home points:

#1 Be aware of relational gravity pulling people into empty slots that they might not be capable or trustworthy enough to fill. (This one hurts us, aye)

#2 Don’t steal intimacy from deserving peeps, and dish it out to mere acquaintances who don’t actually care for it or value it. (This one also hurts us, huh)

You have been listening to the voice of slightly pained experience, combined with common-sense reason. (Mostly experience. Ouch).

Chur

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Friendship Growth Cycle

Invisible boundaries; Are there such things? Not the awkward social kind that some people like to poop on, but the invisible limitations on the strength or length of a friendship.

What do you do when you think you have hit one of these limits? Press on? Pull back? What creates the limit? Are they permanent, and based on universal incompatibilities between two people?

A friendship is a relationship of enjoyment and trust between two people, right? Of course right.

If you have a friendship based only in enjoyment of the other persons company/personality, but you don’t share any trust between you, then no kind of intimacy can ever grow. Without any kind of trust and intimacy, the friendship is only going to ever be shallow and on the surface level. You have now reached the current limit of your friendship.

FriendshipCrap - Graph01On this graph I happened to have lying around, you can see the same thing goes for if you have a friendship based solely on trust. You might trust this person completely, but if you don’t actually enjoy being around them, then the friendship is boring.

So here is my dilemma, what if you have a friendship that has a great level of enjoyment which is continuing to grow, however the growth towards trust has stalled.

Maybe a new level of trust was extended, but someone breached that somehow. You pull back for a minute, maybe you’re a little hurt.

FriendshipCrap - Graph02You re-evaluate your friendship… is the level of enjoyment worth pursuing the trust again? How much trust are you willing to put forward?

Are some friendships supposed to not grow beyond a certain level? Who sets the level? Is it subconsciously mutual?

Surely the more trust you share with someone, the more you get to know them, and then the more you enjoy about them? So a friendship should be self perpetuating, it should continue to grow of its own accord, shouldn’t it?

Yes and no. The friendship scale isn’t one dimensional; there are at least 5 graphs that could be charted based only on trust as an example:

  1. Actual Outgoing – (The level of trust I extend towards you.)
  2. Perceived Outgoing – (The level of trust you think I extend towards you.)
  3. Actual Incoming – (The level of trust you actually extend towards me.)
  4. Perceived Incoming – (The level of trust I think you extend towards me.)
  5. The overall level of trust in the relationship. (The other 4 combined and overlayed)

The same goes for the enjoyment, there’s the actual enjoyment for each person, and the perceived enjoyment for each person. I may think that you enjoy my company more then you actually do.

I might be afraid of that. This insecurity will lower my enjoyment of your company, no matter if its true or not. So you see the perceived level of trust and enjoyment plays a big role in the overall friendship.

– – – – – – – –

So although the start of a friendship will grow under its own power, its when it hits some sort of limitation that you have to choose if you will let it stagnate there.

If you’ve reached your current max level of enjoyment of someone, in order to grow the relationship further, you have to choose to purposefully look for things that you enjoy about who the person is, and what they are like.

On a low level of intimacy, maybe its something as shallow as liking their accent.

If your friendship is closer it might be something more personal like the way they tilt their head ever so slightly when they’re confused. Or the sparkle in their eyes when they think of something funny.

If your friendship is lacking trust, what can you do to make yourself more trustworthy? How can you forgive them and safely extend your trust towards them without being naive? Being vulnerable with your heart is a risk, and takes trust… how much of your heart are you willing to risk hurting?

Maybe they are not trust-worthy at that level yet.

That is all.

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The Depravity of Deprived Sleep

I’m conducting an unintentional socio-scientific experiment involving layered sleep deprivation over a prolonged period of time. I myself am the main test subject in the study, alongside with a couple of my flatmates and friends.

My theory thus far is that prolonged lack of sleep may have some detrimental side effects on a few of life’s smaller matters such as work productivity, perceived mental capacity, hormonal/emotional balance,  sense of humour, and general life longevity.

With “nights sleep” as our unit of measure, being roughly equal to a 12 hour night time period: The deprivation for during the period of 4 normal nights sleep has been assigned to the test subjects as follows:

  • Subject C was allowed 2.5 nights sleep out of 4 nights,
  • Subject B was allowed 2 nights sleep out of 4 nights,
  • Subject A was allowed 1.5 nights sleep out of 4 nights.

For the sake of scientific research and the good of mankind, Subject A has been requested to perform their own psychoanalysis and record their notes so that the researchers may better understand the effects of this depravity. These notes are attached below:

  1. Subject A appears to demonstrate a complete lack of respect for writing in the first person.
  2. Subject A shows an astounding level of higher intelligence by assigning themselves into the role of lead researcher. Brilliant science will now follow.
  3. Subject A has taken on a serious note and observed that 1 side effect of not sleeping for a night is the brain doesn’t sort the days thoughts out during the night. No sleep=no brain refresh=same thought patterns=banana sandwich for lunch(Last point not relevant but very true none the less).
  4. Subject A finds themselves thinking on the same trains of thought even up to 30 hours after a thought’s ‘best before date’ has passed.
  5. Subject A is expressing what appears to be erratic behaviour but is actually more normal than the average human sleeping.
  6. Subject A has decided to reallocate research funding towards a more pressing social/economic matter; that of the caffeine drip via intravenous administration.

That is all.

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New Perspective

Fresh PerspectiveHi there,

You may not remember me, but I wrote some stuff here a while back. I thought it wasn’t too bad, but I’m definitely biased.

Today is a Sunday, ‘normal’ Christians are doing church right now. I’m feeling abnormal today, but its not my fault because I woke up with a fresh twisted perspective on my life and life in general. You see, I awoke this morning in the same frame of mind that I went to sleep with last night, I had honestly hoped it would have rearranged itself in that time, but it turns out blind optimism doesn’t do deliveries overnight, its more of a 3-5 business day sort of thing.

I’m laying spread-eagled on my back, staring up at the ceiling above my bed. Suddenly it occurs to me in my deepest knower-of-things, that nothing is holding me back or tying me down. I have a free will and a creative mind. I don’t have to stay in this town, I don’t have to live near my family, I don’t have to keep this job, I don’t have to live in this country. I don’t even have to love this girl or that girl. I. can. do. any-thing.

My mind buzzing, it races through the suddenly available options. If this, my life was a movie or a computer game… If my character has discovered himself to be in a new land… what would I want him to do? …where would I make him go, and who would I make him become? 

Will I travel across Europe as a wandering artist, painting and photographing my journey? Will I live under an overpass in America, sleeping on cardboard at night, and painting the pavement with chalk during the day? Will I take up a cause in Rwanda, giving my life to help people who can’t help themselves? Will I turn a darker leaf, weasel my way into an underworld of dealing drugs and assassination plots?

The artist option tickles my fancy, so I start to plan what of my belongings I will sell, and what should get stored at my parents house. …selling my car will get me the ticket price to anywhere in the world. I’ll need an extra SD card for my camera, and a laptop to organise and upload my photos. That’s it really, I’m ready to go. I could leave within 3 days if I could sell my car that soon.

I’m 100% serious right now, I’m ready to drop off the radar. If I die over there, somewhere random, maybe no one ever finds my body, it’s only my body that dies, sad for my family and few friends, but I’ll see them again anyway. I’ll probably be fine though, statistics at least are on my side.

I’ll probably end my wandering eventually, find a random little town I like, somewhere in the world, maybe in Romania. I’ll find cheap accommodation and a crappy job. I’ll work it well though, planning my own plans. I’ll start a business, become an official on the town council, we’ll get better funding for the local school, and I’ll love our gatherings at the small village church. I’ll love a girl, buy a house, raise a family, have a pet something. I’ll wake up early every morning so I can look across my pillow at my wife’s face as she sleeps peacefully beside me; studying every freckle and every tiny wrinkle, loving them like they were the sweetest of small things.

By this time, I’ve had a shower, and now I’m finishing the last of my morning coffee with one final thought…

*I could do all of those things here in this life too.*

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Gods heart shared with me

It’s another step in the process of how He is drawing me closer in. From a literal/analytical point of view, I find the whole process to be so fascinating and yet so tender.

How can the God of the entire universe whisper something in the ear of a random 20something year old guy from nowhere in some random little country and it bring him to tears because its so sweet and vulnerable? Or not how, but why?

Thats  me. Tears dripping onto my pillow at some time past midnight, not because my heart was broken by a girl, or not because life doesn’t work how I wished it did, or whatever normal guys my age secretly cry about, but because the God of the universe takes time to speak to my heart from the tender part of His. My mind = blown.

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The most attractive thing on earth

The most attractive thing on earth is obviously going to be somehow related to humans of the female persuasion, but you can’t pin it down to any one physical trait, because besides being very shallow, it pretty much varies with peoples personal preference.

I think the number one specific thing that most guys will consistently find attractive in a girl is basically a certain attitude. Strength in vulnerability. This has nothing to do with being emotional, in fact, most guys are seriously turned off by too much emotions. On the other end of that scale is when strength is taken too far it becomes hard, which is also a big turn off for most guys.

(There is always the exception, some guys are attracted to emotional girls, and some find hardness sexy; but from what I’ve seen, they’re both the sort of guys that girls should avoid.)

The perfect mix is when a girl can be genuinely vulnerable with how she is feeling, and yet despite that be strong. Genuine vulnerability calls out something hard-wired deep inside us men, a sort of pre-historic, instinct type, desire to guard and protect; and when its coupled with an inner strength and courage, it acts as a multiplier, screaming out that this girl is one worth fighting for.

Vulnerability alone is a primeval call for the man to bring comfort; But when there is a dash of strength in the mix, its a call to fight both FOR and ALONGSIDE. And it’s super attractive.

(A word of caution: to the degree that this is powerful attraction, is to the same degree opposite if its faked or used to manipulate.)

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Gap Theory

Whats the point of good intentions? I have a problem that I really don’t understand, I have many great ideas about things to do or create, and yet I see a major gap between my intentions and the end results.

How the hell does this happen to me? I try so hard, I don’t think its for a lack of desire. Its like I’m missing something that I don’t even have a word for. Hang on a second, I’ll make one….”Oomph”

You get that by taking the word ‘life’ and then subtracting half each of ‘passion’, ‘purpose’ and ‘drive’. What you end up with is a seeming lack of ‘Oomph’.

As a ‘grown-up’ human being, what can I do to reduce that gap and regain my ‘Oomph’?

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Toxic Perfection

I’m a perfectionist and its probably killing me from the inside out.

I hold myself to a standard that is a thousand times higher than I expect of others, yet for an unknown reason, I’m always surprised and hurt when I consistently fail it. Talk about stupid huh?! I fear failure like a snake in the dark, and then I set myself up for exactly that.

If I can’t reach the mark with something, I won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.
Its all or nothing…in every area of my life.

All or nothing sounds like a great life motto, but its actually prideful arrogance and fearful insecurity covered in the cloak of determination and the pursuit of excellence.

All to often, I’m unable to give something my all, so I give it nothing. There are vast areas of my life where I’m missing enjoyment and possibilities, because I’m scared of the first-time stepping in the door and failing.

Let’s get down to the serious brass tacks of the situation…

Problem: Perfectionist to a fault
Solution: Accept risk of failure

Us perfectionists have to become vulnerable, and be willing to fail. We have to force ourselves to try something new and dangerous because we might like it, rather than not trying it simply because we might not like it or we might fail at it. (…I think that makes sense?)

I’m not saying you and I have to accept failure; we just have to accept the risk of it.

This ranges from taking up a new sport or making that job change, to simply trying something new on the menu today. (Or asking that cute receptionist out… go on, you know the one I mean.)

Here’s to the delightfully painful resignation of casting off from ‘sound reasoning’, and setting full sails in the winds of chance and possibility; Cheers!

 

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A Non-Brass-Tacks Introduction

Hello fair internet friends, here comes the classic new blog line… “Welcome to my blog!”  *gags*

Lets talk about serious brass tacks. First things first, they’re serious, they’re sharp, and they’re made from brass. Actually though, this time they’re not.

In this blog, if you haven’t noticed already, I’m sharing my personal opinion in a largely non-filtered way. I’m talking about stuff in the manner I’m thinking about it, at the time of writing it.

It’s a process, so please bear with me.

 

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