Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dealing with tough times? Don't place blame!

I think lots of us have these little defining moments in our lives (especially from childhood/teen years) that direct us in a different direction whether we realize it or not and something from that moment sticks with you your entire life. One such moment in my life was in 10th grade when we had a substitute teacher. Not just any substitute but the infamous Mrs. Stewart.... she was probably the most abused substitute but mostly because of her own doing, I think. We got nothing accomplished in that class except I made a perfect paper airplane and sucessfully delivered it to her.... by express air, of course. This landed me in the principal's office which, actually, is the ultimate goal of just about everyone in a class that she is subbing for so this wasn't a punishment but a reward and when I went into the office and they asked who the teacher was they just kind of laughed and said "go ahead and sit over there" .... the office staff knew this was the goal and they, at least seemingly, understood.

There wasn't much to do in the office but listen to the secretaries talk. They started talking about a student (cant remember his name) who was just always extremely polite and caring about people. One secretary said "With all that he has been through it is simply amazing that he is the person he is".... I realized something very important then but I didn't really take it to heart until just a few years ago after I realized that my mistakes with Tiffany were related to the opposite of what this person was doing. Right now I am in a situation where I am watching someone go through the same type of struggle and failing at it the same way that I always did -- a way that this kid in high school learned very early to avoid.

There is no secret that some of us have more pain than others and there are various reasons for why this is the case. We don't know the reasons and we may never know. Another thing that is certain is that there will always be someone there to care for us.... for some people it may only be a single person while others have an entire army. Again, we don't know the reason for this. Regardless of how many people care it is important on how you handle your attitude toward the negative situations that are in your life. The way you RESPOND to a situation means a whole heck of a lot more than WHAT the situation is.

I have had a lot of emotional pain in my life. A lot of it was self-inflicted, I'm sure but there was a good portion of it that was completely out of my control. The reality is that I deal with the same approximate amount of pain now than I did 5 years ago but yet I am handling life a lot better now than back then. I find myself trying to process what it was that changed. Where was the defining moment that my life "got better" even tho I have always been dealing with the same stupid crap that seems to happen in my life. I don't have the answer to this. I know there are a lot of things that happened right around the same time like moving to Virginia, getting a new job, being treated for ADD, etc..... I don't, however, think that these were the biggest influence on things. It leaves me still asking the question of what happened that made things better and what is it that I can do to help someone thats feeling the same way through their time of pain and help them deal with it..... Unfortunately all that I'm learning (first hand) is how much pain that I must have put so many people through during that time. The only thing that I'm leaning towards is that there really isn't anything you can do to help people in this scenario because its something that they need to figure out themselves -- as much as I'd like to be able to fix it for them.

What I've been noticing recently is how much guilt plays a role in the way people operate now. Even looking at the way people drive in Northern VA shows a subtle guilt motivated attitude. If someone pulls out in front of you your instinct is to tailgate them. Justice isn't really being done but I think a hidden motivator is to make sure the person in front of you knows that they screwed up and to make them feel guilty. We're also getting better and better at being a dickhead underneath a calm and collected "its ok" ..... Phrases like "oh, that's ok. It's not like I really cared about the fact that you hit my car and now my family has no way to get around" .... Again, it's the guilt card being played. I think the same type of thought holds true in situations where people are going through an extremely tough time.

Let's, for example, say you called "Joe's Car Shack" about a problem with a car that you bought from them. This car dealership typically has about 600 cars in it's lot and you get the image of a large car dealership. Someone named Joe answers the phone and tells you that he just isn't able to help you.... as a result, you get pissed off and think you're just being bullied by some big car dealership. You hang up the phone but a week later someone tells you about how this guy who runs a car dealership by himself just lost his entire family in a house fire and he's on the verge of bankruptcy. Suddenly, you feel a lot different about the scenario and when he calls you back a few days later and tells you that he actually found a way to help you out, you are completely amazed by the fact that he actually did keep working on a way to take care of his customer despite everything that had been going on in his life. Sure, Joe could have told you all of that on the phone but if he told you all of that, how would you really respond? I imagine not too well.

The problem with being in horrible situations is that we naturally want to tell the world how bad things suck for us right now and basically tell the world to back off because you can't deal with it. What happens when we let this surface is we become tagged as a complainer and/or someone that just simply can not deal with life. The most important thing that we can do in these times where everything is going wrong is accept the fact that there is no one, including ourselves, that can do anything to change the scenario and focus on what is going on in other's lives. If you take the time to find out what is going on in someone else's life rather than complain about your own you very often will find out that you are not alone and you'll find yourself in a conversation that goes both ways and your story gets shared in a positive way because its a two way conversation rather than a one way complaint. What ends up happening is that person that your talking to may talk to someone else and tell them that its amazing how well you're holding things together despite all the crap you are going through. This process may continue and you'll find that you end up with a lot of people that respect you in ways that you never imagined they could but the important thing is that you don't complain about the situation your in because these people have seen you in a light where you are bigger and more powerful than your problems -- which is really the way that we all want to be seen.

Of course none of this directly makes the pain any better but, I suggest, what it does do is prevent a good amount of extra pain being dumped on top of you. Eventually you find that you have a lot of other things to focus on rather than the pain your experiencing and you'll find that you're better able to deal with the horrible situations in your life because you're at least getting a break from them. If you'd rather complain and MAKE people feel bad for you you'll find that it pushes the people that really DO care away and, aside from that, you're focusing on horrible things 24 hours a day which just leads to an endless snowball.

Labels: , , , ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Friday, April 27, 2007

You're living in a dream world....

What does that really mean? It's a negative comment made to someone who supposedly doesnt understand "the way the real world works" .... It's said to someone who is "broken" in the way they think......

..... or is it the other way around? Maybe the way "the real world works" is what is broken?

We're becoming such an "advanced" society... we're doing more than we have ever thought to be possible -- and yet there are more depressed people now than there ever were. Every person experiences stress and most experience it at least once daily. I hardly think this is what God intended, however, I do believe that stress is a part of this world functioning properly but living in constant stress is not.

In The Matrix, Agent Smith was explaining to Neo how the machines had created the perfect world but the human mind couldn't respond to it. Neo was told that the machines had to create a world with problems so that the humans could function mentally. The irony is that the entire movie was based on the stories told in the Bible -- is it possible that the authors of the movie understood the Bible more than many Christians do (whether they practice it or not is irrevlevant in this case).

Imagine yourself in a perfect world.... in that imagination, take away everything that you know about pain. All of a sudden, you're "dream world" changes because it's no longer a feeling of euphoria because you simply do not know what the other end of the spectrum is. Imagine the color spectrum.... we mix red, green, and blue to create all of the colors that we know. Now take away blue as a base color and we're suddenly left with an entirely different world. We lose a complete side of the spectrum. The concept of ying and yang is quite true. You can not have evil withot good and you can not have good without evil. While evil may exist, we don't realize it as evil because there is nothing to compare it to -- and vice versa. We constantly hear from people who our upset with a God that would allow satan to fall and take the world with him and create so much pain for us but could it be that allowing pain to be added to this world actually has made it more enjoyable for us?

I watched a documentary a while ago about the mind of a killer. The explanation was simply that people who commit crimes suffer from LOW stimulation of the mind. If the mind isn't used or isn't able to be used then it "makes it's self known" so to speak. Basically, it's out of boredom that the human mind would commit a crime -- it adds excitement to something that is boring.... quite interesting that one of the first signs of ADD/ADHD is a child being a bully at school.

I was told today at work by someone that if we fixed everything now, what would we have to complain about. Usually that is something that is said jokingly but he meant it seriously.... and he explained how he had been in situations that they fixed everything rapidly and the next time he went back, they were complaining about stupid little things -- things that didnt make the slightest bit of a difference. He really couldnt be more on the money. The human mind simply can not deal with something that is perfect because being perfect is outside of our human/wordly logic. Perhaps this is another reason why so many people have trouble believing in God -- because there just can not be anyone that is perfect -- at least in our logic.

I've been told I'm living in a dream world and in so many ways, it's true. The thing is, it's not ALL my dream world. If it was, things would be different and, quite likely, a lot more boring. The important thing is that I have parts of my life that are my dream world because it really is what drives me. Watching dreams come true is a miracle unfolding right in front of you.... having dreams drives those and makes you a better person. If you believe that when you "grow up" you need to quit living make believe then you have lost all hope of being truly happy and acomplished. Maybe you'll end up with a lot of money but when you die, that's all you'll be. You wont be remembered for very long -- and you certainly won't have changed anything. On the other hand, if you fight for your passion then you truly will make a difference.... driving this might just be that you face more hardships but those hardships will then make the other end of the spectrum that much more enjoyable which, in turn, makes you a happier person.

I've worked for many companies and I've watched them turn from a business that was passionate about what they did into a company that was now nothing more than making more money -- and almost all of those businesses have lost money. I've seen Disney Resorts lose sight of the Disney characters and all of a sudden go into lots of turmoil and lose lots of profits. I've seen Pizza Hut lose sight of customer service and quality pizza in exchange for cutting labor costs and using cheaper products. I saw Wal-Mart lose sight of Sam Walton's vision and eventually turn into one of America's most hated companies. I can only imagine that Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and the two brothers that started Pizza Hut in Wichita are rolling in their graves. Actually, I think everyone that died 50 years ago are doing the same thing just wanting to yell up at the generation that controls this nation, and especially corporate america, and tell everyone that we've just got it all wrong. The way to make money is to be passionate about what you do. It's about stimulating your brain and thinking about how you can make it better instead of thinking how it logically would fit into our business world.

I've been told that I live in a dream world and now my response is "what is wrong with that?" I dreamed of owning a house some day.... the incredible thing is that I pursued something that just didnt seem possible and as it sits right now, I'm going to end up with an awesome house AND 1.8 acres of land. I could have never dreamed that.... not in a million years.... at least not before I was 30. I talked myself out of this four times already and finally I just realized that I needed to jump and live my dream whether I thought I could financially do it or not -- and by living my dream, it amazingly seems that I am going to end up with a lot more money in the end. Psychology has told us that belief in Santa Claus and The Easter Bunny and other imaginary stories and characters make our children better able to handle things in this world. Lots of research has said that when we force our kids to grow up too fast they struggle a lot more. I think the unfinished research would show that if we totally "grow up" even in our adult lives, we are just as likely to struggle -- no matter how successful the world believes that we are.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Right now I can't help but feel worthless and like a failure. I was really excited about things in my life.... it looked really good that I was going to have a house next month... a place that I could call mine and that I could do with what I wanted to... and most importantly, have all the animals that I wanted.

Why the animals? Besides the fact that I love animals, they are about the only companions that I ever have.... I guess a lot of the same idea of what I explained in a post months ago (

I'm really down right now. I wish that there were people that would take an interest in me or that would be there to help me... I love being there to help people -- and I probably always will be.... and while it shouldn't matter, sometimes I really feel gypped because I don't believe that there is anyone that is there for me... but recently, I guess I'm realizing why.... I really don't feel like I have anything to offer anyone.... I just feel helpless and most of the time I just feel like I'm annoying people.... It adds to it when someone says "I can't do this or that because of _____" and then shortly after I see the same scenario play out with them and someone else where _____ doesn't matter.... To me, that is nothing more than proof that there is something wrong with ME and that every reason why someone doesn't want to deal with something or do something is only because I'm not worth that struggle -- but many others are. I truly believe that there are a lot of people that are worth waiting for and worth fighting for but as time goes by, I start to believe stronger and stronger that *I* am not one of those people -- there is nothing that makes me worth fighting for. I can help people with their computers and I can help people with aquariums but those are things that can easily be filled by lots of other people... if I'm gone, there is nothing lost because there is someone else that will fill that gap... I don't have anything that people would miss so that means that the flaws that I mean there is no point in even bothering. True, everyone else has flaws too but the difference is that they have something that would be missed if they were gone... but since I have nothing that would be missed, then the flaws can't be overlooked.

Anyway, it's been a rough night for me.... I just want to sleep but for some reason I feel like there are some tears to occur before that. *sigh*

Labels: , ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 28, 2007

One thing that I really wish people understood about depressed people is that they don't understand. Even if they really do understand, in the eyes of the person that is depressed, they dont. Whats worse is people always try to convince the depressed person that it really isnt that bad.... doing this only adds to the point that they don't understand..... because if they did, they wouldnt be trying to make them understand that its not that bad..... all that happens is you frustrate the depressed person and they think even lower of themselves because everyone else thinks its stupid to be upset over whatever it is that is upsetting them.

What happened to just being friends? Asking the person to go do something to cheer them up? Getting their mind off of whatever is bugging them. "Being there" for someone doesnt usually mean fixing their problems.... it means hanging out with them and having fun with them -- and most importantly -- believing that they are really worth something even if they have some problems.

Labels: ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Today was definately a Linkin Park kinda day... and then they wouldnt let me listen to linkin park after close tonight at work.... oh well, im getting my fix now.
I'm so fed up with everything.... I just want some things to be different... mom just told me that I have to be at my grandmother's house in the morning to help clean it.... this is ... ahh, im gonna try not to swear. I have to work 2-close tommorow and I like to go out to lunch with Jim and Jason and.... dangit... I need a vacation... I cant wait till december for our ski trip... away from everything.... away from mom and dad, away from the tiff crap... just away from everything....
Ahh yes, the tiff stuff.... tonight when I got home from work I had an IM from her that said "please tell me what that was all about" ... I dont know what to say to her... I'm fed up with the situation... Im tired of things starting to look positive and then falling back to the way they were. I'm really starting to think my friends are right and I'm being played... I dont want to believe that but maybe I just need to realize it and move on. Jim has been trying to convince me to go to this "Equally Yoked" place which is for Christian singles... maybe thats what I need to do.

Labels: , , , ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Monday, September 29, 2003

169, 178, 151 -- those were my games tonight. Our team won 2 of the 7 points. Im satisfied with my bowling but as a team we had a really rough night. The lanes were really dry.
Today was an interesting day.... things between me and Tiff are interesting. Im really tired of this entire situation. I love Tiff to death and everything but I just cant be in this position anymore. She says that she wants to be with me... but I see no evidence of that... She believes that I'm her soulmate but she doesnt believe that that means that shes meant to be with me. As for me, I dont know what to think... a month ago I would have swore to you that Tiff was my soulmate but now I just dont know what to think... and then to top it all off after she tells me something she gets all paranoid and now im affraid that she's just not going to tell me stuff anymore. She wants to talk face to face but that just cant be right now.... if we dont talk online, we dont talk at all. She said that she has the feeling that she is replacable in my life... I dont know what to think... no she's not... but then again, where is that going to be in a few weeks. The truth is that if I meet someone else and we really hit it off, maybe that new person will be my soulmate and that then means that Tiff is not. If Tiff is not my soulmate, is she replacable? Well, I guess ultimately yes. I dont want it to be that way... and I dont know if she truly understands that but I just cant be in this "stringing-me-on" position. Whether that is her intention or not, thats whats happening. She says she's praying really hard.... I guess what I need to do is start agressively looking for another girl.... if Tiff and I are meant to be, God will answer her before I find someone.... and if God does answer her and she ignores it, well then, its her own fault... I think God has answered her but she's just waiting for something to magically happen to make this easy on her.... and it just might not happen. We're reading about moses now in our devotions... God promised the israelites freedom from egypt but it got harder and they had to work more before they were set free.... thats where we're at. I think God has answered but its going to take effort before its complete... and unfortunately it's out of my hands.... Tiff is the one who has to stand up and make it happen.... if she doesnt do it, then Im sure God will bless me with someone else. I just have to focus on God right now... I need to get my life in order... God will give me someone... whether it's Tiff or not. I dont have to worry.
Well, I have to get up early tommorow to go into the doctors to get blood work done (yea!)... I hate needles... but anyway, I'm going to bed. Please pray for me... I could really use it right now.

Labels: , ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Its now after 5am... yes, im still up but going to bed very shortly.

I dont know what state im in right now. I dont know how I feel... I dont know whats best for me. I find myself trapped in addictions and unable to free myself from anything. I cling to the only thing that I cant have. I have been backsliding. I should be above the circumstances im in, but im not. I havent learned from my previous problems and again, I repeat. I often sit back and wonder when this cycle will be broken and then I start to wonder if it ever will. Stuck in this carnal body hoping that some day soon I will leave and meet my Maker. I give God all the glory for my life. I am happy that I have my life and wouldnt wish my life away. Despite this, I still wish that things were different. In a perfect world I would be serving God and displaying His image everywhere I went. In a perfect world I would have that special girl beside me. Not only would she love me and respect me but I would also respect her; and we would be happy. This, however, is not a perfect world. And I guess that we wouldnt have God's grace if this was. Right now I dont serve God all that I could or should. Right now, that perfect girl is not only not mine but she is in another country. Tonight I was explaining my story to someone and she asked me if someone else came along if I would really want to give up Tiffany. My answer in short was yes. My answer in detail after thinking of it becomes much more complicated. Do I want to give up Tiffany? No. But I often feel as though I am forced (or at least going to be forced) to give her up. I have a constant fear that that day is coming. I used to believe so blindly that Tiffany would one day be mine and everything would be perfect. For such a long time I saw evidence of that... and I guess I still do see evidence. But after such a long time you start to question things. I guess this is my way of dealing with the uncertainty. I have, before, really believed that someone was for me -- and I was wrong. I see now that it was a good thing I was wrong in those instances. Someday though, I'm going to be right. I hope that this time I'm right; but I have to prepare myself for the shock that im not. At any time one of two things could happen. Tiffany could break it off with Jim and commit herself to me or Jim and Tiff could set a date for marriage and the relationship between Tiff and I ends. I have to prepare myself for either of those two. I guess I fear the later for two reasons. The obvious: I dont get to cherrish Tiffany as my bride but the other, well, I lose a good friend. Granted, in so many situations I am still extemely good friends with my ex girlfriends... even ones who severely hurt me. I just dont know if I could continue the relationship between me and tiff without the possibility of marriage. The reason? She is too perfect for me.

Labels: , ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Monday, September 15, 2003

No new strong bad email today.... just a teen girl squad update. But its ok because my strong bad t shirt came in today. I got called into work today but only worked a 3 1/2 hour shift.... nothing too bad. Depressing day though because Tiff is leaving... well, by now she's already on her way to liverpool. I dont know whats been going on with me. Tiff says shes gonna miss me so much while she is gone... I know im gonna miss her a ton but I just question just how much she is gonna miss me. I mean, she does have Jim and everything... isnt she going to miss him more than me? Im still just second best. I love her to death... and I know that she loves me.... but to what extent. She knows that we're perfect for each other.... I sometimes wish I could just see into her mind... then I would know whether I should keep things the way they are or just totally move on. I'm still open to other girls.... they just arent coming my way. There is so much uncertainty and I guess that is what bugs me. If things were... well, if there was a commitment. Gosh dangit.... my life is one step away from being perfect.... but it just isnt happening. And how wrong am I for even being in Tiff's life.... I mean, she's engaged.... and apparently that means more to her than I do so why AM I hanging around? Something still tells me I need to hold on.... I guess thats where my heart is.... I'll just keep hoping. What God works out is what happens. I just hope that Tiff knows that at any moment someone else could walk into my life and then things would drastically change between me and her. I mean, if secretly she does totally want to be with me but she just doesnt want to act on it now.... well, it could just be all screwed up.... right now she could have me at any moment.... but it might not be like that in the future..... she has the danger of losing me all together.... it could happen tonight. Well I'm gonna go eat and then head out to bowling.

Labels: ,

(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

(C)2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License
BibleBoy's Blog by Bob K Mertz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.