Friday, June 26, 2009

I wish I was an asshole

I think the primary problem with the subject of this blog post isn't the content of it but rather the fact that this world forces people into that statement. Our world is going more and more downhill and it's been documented, planned, and pushed forward towards that than some people realize. Just sit back and think about it.... we're supposed to work together on everything and be a team.... its taught to us by people above us constantly..... almost every employer has those signs hanging somewhere or at least pushes that statement -- and statement is really the best way to describe it because how many of us actually know of employers that show that in their own day to day operations? It sounds really good to say that you support team work but it's really easier to work towards you own personal profits if you leave that part out.....

In my daily life I continue to be as helpful and kind as I can be and most of the time I get punished for it.... I'm still single but yet I'm told by lots of girls that I am so sweet and such a great person which is followed by them talking about their asshole boyfriend which she someday breaks up with and then finds another asshole boyfriend..... so why am I single? Well, it simply seems that a big reason is that I am NOT and asshole. Or how about trying to make things better for someone or something? I enjoy going the extra mile and helping people out but what happens if it steps on someone who just happens to like doing things the way it's always been done no matter how inefficient it is or how many people are put in danger or many other various reasons? Well it's obvious -- I get punished for it. Perhaps the saddest part about all of this is that if I were, in fact, the asshole then it wouldn't hurt nearly as bad as it does.......

..... it's hard to hurt if you can't feel anything :(

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

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.

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

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What I want

There have been a lot of things going on with multiple friendships and with organizations, jobs, and churches that all seem to fall back to a similar theme. They are things that desperately need to be taken control of.

The anxiety issues that I have been having are continuing on but I think it's kind of narrowing down as to what the cause of the majority of the issues are. Its a hard thing to try to understand your purpose but when it seems that your purpose is the opposite of what you are prepared and equipped to be it just makes it a lot harder. Once of the biggest things that I have realized is that I try too hard to be the person that someone wants me to be. This is true for pretty much every human on earth but I think it goes a little over the edge with me because it seems that my compassion for helping people motivates me to be there for someone and to help them with things they need beyond my abilities. In doing this I lose sight of the things that I want and need and I completely lose focus of myself until these anxiety spells start hitting. Sometimes it is very hard for me to remember what it is that *I* need and the things that *I* desire.

Unfortunately with the life that I generally end up living I constantly feel that the things I need and want are asking way too much and I silence myself when I should speak up. It's very hard caring for people in the state they are when they don't have the capacity to care for you back but that is part of compassion. The problem is that when you end up in a situation where its not just that they aren't able to care but its that they don't even desire to respect you. This situation occurs in my life over and over and over again. Why? Simply because I don't stand up for who *I* am and what *I* need.

What do I need?

I need to be loved for who I am and respected for who I am. I am not the perfect person and I'm, quite possibly, one of the worst... but I am me and I try my best. I fail... I fail a lot.

I can't always drop my entire life to help someone but it is going to kill me when I can't. I need to be able to feel appreciated even when I can't do what it is that is asked of me.

I need encouragement.... Lots of it. I try my best to encourage everyone else and I'm often left feeling that I really am not making an impact and that I shouldn't even bother anymore. Most of the time I think I end up talking into the wind... There is no confirmation that I was at least heard.

I need to be told when I am doing something right and/or helpful and not only told when I'm screwing something up. I will certainly screw things up and I do want to be told when I do but if all I'm ever told is when I'm doing something wrong then all I know is that I'm fighting a losing battle and should move on to somewhere that I can actually be making a difference.

I need to be a part of what I am working on. If I really can't be a part of the people or the project then I don't believe that there is anything that I can do that is going to be effective.

I need to be trusted. If I am not trusted then I am not going to feel a part of whats going on and I know for a fact that I am not going to be able to help.

I need cooperation. I can't do anything on my own and even if I could it wouldn't be worth it. If I am fighting for something or working towards something but no one else wants to be part of it then it's a futile effort.

Most of all -- I need people to remember that I am human and that there is a good chance that the things I am dealing with elsewhere are probably much larger than what you know -- in fact, I can pretty much assure you of that because I try, often too hard, to hide what is going on with me for the sake of the person I'm trying to be there for or the project I am working on. Even if I do manage to help in some minor way it does not mean that I am superhuman.

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

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I've failed (at life)

Really, I think this whole blog could just be summed up by the title. I've failed. People struggle with their areas but I think ultimately I just fail at life.

Financially, yea... I'm gone. I can't do it.... I try to pretend that I can but I just simply can't. I suck at managing money... I try to change it but I just end up failing again. The way I figure it right now I'm about $1k short for my bills the first half of March and that is assuming that my two clients pay their bills in that timeframe (which one is notorious for taking an extremely long time to pay). Misjudged taxes for 2007 so I need $2500 for the IRS by April 15th.... now let's add in medical.... yea, this is where my life really goes to hell.

I have exactly 2 doses of Zoloft left and my doctors office is refusing to give me any more refills until I have an appointment. So I have an appointment for Tuesday, however, I'm going to have to cancel that. Quite simply because I can not afford the $120 for the office visit (none of this is included to what I just said above). Add to that that when if I were to get those prescriptions on Tuesday the cost would be about $100 to fill them. I can't afford this.... not even close. Right now I'm not deciding between paying my mortgage or getting my medicine but preparing to not be able to do both. Starting this evening I am going to taper off of my meds in anticipation of not having them after a few days. This is going to add even more hell because Zoloft has really bad withdrawl and I have an extremely hard time focusing and getting stuff done without Adderall.

Third issue.... I'm all alone. I don't feel that there is anyone around me that cares enough to help.... hell, I don't have anyone that even calls me just to say hi. I know I'm a shy person and I'm mostly responsible for this.... and that became even more so evident tonight when I stopped at Sheetz. I did some twittering about this girl that works at that Sheetz that, to me, is absolutely the most adorable girl I've ever seen. It really was a joke but also sincereity to it because I am extremely shy. Tonight she was there again and, well, I really felt butterflies.... which sounds pathetic, I know.... but I drove away really feeling weird.... really feeling like I was supposed to do something but was just too damn shy. This is me tho.... I can never take the first move unless someone is evidently in need and I can help them in some way. It's a really odd feeling.... I will help anyone I possibly can but if I have nothing to offer someone I am the shyest person in the world -- and I'm literally to the point of hating myself for it.

I'm really scared. Being scared actually isn't something I feel too often. I usually (at least within the last couple of years) have the attitude that things will be ok and I will be taken care of in some way, shape or form.... But right now, I'm sinking.... and I'm sinking fast. It was 3 years ago that I started on Adderall and my life started to improve..... now it looks like that will be going away. One could think that maybe this is just how God is going to get me away from a crutch, I suppose.... I certainly hope that to be the case but if you really want to know what I'm scared about, go back and read the first two years of this blog.... I was a disaster.... ironically I was a disaster both financially and emotionally.... which is exactly the direction this is headed in.

Now one thing that I do have to say.... there are plenty of opportunities here to blame other people for my problems. I can blame the economy and the Bush administration for a lot of it.... I could blame the people around me that have given up on me or failed to recognize the fact that I am actually a human being. The truth is, this is my fault. The responsibility for all of this is ultimately on me and I am the one that failed.... Maybe there are things that could have happened differently that would have made this situation better but life is about being able to adapt to the hard things that are thrown at you and that is where I most ultimately have failed.

I don't know what to expect.... I have a feeling this is going to be a really rough week and I will probably end up being physically sick between the withdrawl from Zoloft and the stress..... I do have some extra Adderall so I'm going to try to keep that medicine in full swing until I get off of the Zoloft. I hope that 7 days from now I have a positive blog to write and I have an amazing story to tell -- but my fear is that I won't.

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Do I even exist anymore?

I really don't know whats been going on with me recently but something just isn't right. One of the biggest oddities that is occuring right now is I constantly feel dehydrated. It doesnt matter how much water I drink I still have that dry mouth feeling, the sucking impulse, and eventually the dehydration headache. I know, I know.... go see a doctor, right? Well, I am.... but here is the problem. The doctor won't refill my prescriptions without a checkup so I have to go and pay $120 to say hi. Tell him about the dehydration? Sure, I could.... but I'm more affraid of that because that will result in him wanting to do tests.... tests that I just simply can not afford. The $120 office visit is going to kill me as it is..... I can't afford for there to be something wrong with me so the only thing I can do is pretend that nothing is.

There is probably a good chance that all of that links in to the other stuff.... but some of it is also the fact that I feel like I don't exist. Aside from the fact that I feel emotionally (and sometimes even physically) numb, it seems that anything I say just doesnt get heard. It started on Twitter when I noticed that none of my friends that usually reply to me were doing so.... but Twitter has been having issues so I write it off as that. Then it goes to emails not being responded to.... then text messages..... then phone calls...... anymore, I can't figure out if every communications device I own is broke or if people just simply don't care anymore. Even in the people that did pay some attention to me recently it seems that the majority of all of that was just when they needed something.

Overall? I just feel drained. I'm not overwhelmed or anything.... I don't feel stressed out.... I just don't feel like me. I'm functioning incredibly well doing the consulting work that I've been doing so at least its not something my clients have to worry about..... but when I step outside of the "work zone" I just don't know who I am..... and more importantly, I don't know if who I am even matters anymore since there isn't anyone to share that with. I don't know if you'd call any of this depression because it doesnt really have the footprint that depression has.... but at the same time I can't say that I'm happy.

So I guess there is an awaited "bob update" for anyone who actually still cares enough to read my blog. Sorry it wasn't happy.... but at least it isnt the deep depression driven blog posts of 2003 and 2004..... I'm sure things will turn around.... I'm sure that God has His hand on me..... I just am really hoping that there is some breakthrough soon.

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

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"I hate my life! I wish I was a [insert favorite animal here]"

How many times do you hear someone say that? Actually, how many times have *I* said that? As humans, we deal with so much crap that we don't want to deal with and I believe the truth is that God never intended it to be this way. There is a very important key to the story of Adam and Eve and that involves the name of the tree.

When God gave Adam and Eve the Garden of Eden, there was one tree that was called "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" and they were told that they were forbidden to eat from the tree. Later, Eve was tempted and mankind fell. People interpret all of the pain we experience now as a result of the sin but I don't think that is entirely true. Oh, the sin does not help, but I believe the tree really was what God called it. If you ate from the tree you gained knowledge of good and evil.

So what is one of the largest differences between humans and animals? Animals run off of pure instinct. Animals have very large emotions at times but everything they do is the result of an instinct. They don't have moral reasoning. When you're training a dog, the dog does not respond to negative reinforcement because you hurt their feelings but rather that they associate the bad thing they did with the bad result. The more I learn about birds, the more I learn this concept. My quaker says a lot of different words and she says them in very humorous times in many cases.... but those words are not said out of reasoning but rather out of a situation. It's an association of the word and some kind of external stimuli that prompts that word to be said. Again, there is no reasoning and no thought of "hey, it would be really funny if I said this"....

If we combine these two concepts then we can understand why people say they would rather be an animal. We're being punished for our sinful nature out of the natural result of the sin. If a child touches a hot stove, they are naturally punished by being burned. The nature of eating of the fruit of that tree was that we now have this knowledge and moral reasoning that we were not initially intended to have. As a result, we have to deal with a lot more than just acting upon instinct. So if animals still act only upon instinct, it's only natural that we would want to be one of those animals that doesn't have to worry about moral reasoning. They don't have to wonder what the "correct" response is and how it might affect other people's feelings. As humans, we don't want this responsibility. The truly sad part about this is that we take on even more than we have to. We take it to the extreme and we transfer this into a model of weighing what other people think of us before we act.

Last night I was hanging out with a 1 year old and I was curbing fussiness by acting like a complete and total idiot in a very congested neighborhood. The happiness of that child was much more important to me than what other people (strangers) thought of me. Last night I was able to simply act without thinking of what anyone else thought of me. I erased that line that everyone so often prevents them from allowing them to do something that their nature and their instinct would have had them do. They miss out..... the same way I miss out all the times that I allow that line to stop me. I was rewarded last night by something that I couldn't have even began to expect. Out of nowhere I received one of the greatest hugs of my life. It may sound small but in this situation, it meant more to me than anyone can even begin to imagine. Nothing I did was working towards that hug -- but that is what made it so awesome.

There are a lot of trade offs to the fact that we now face moral judgement. We experience ups and downs. While it may be true that things would be less painful if Adam and Eve had never sinned, it also would mean that we wouldn't experience a lot of the amazing happiness that we now can. For one example, animals don't even enjoy sex -- oh, but we do! Because of our struggles, we gain great rewards and one of the reasons those rewards are so strong is simply because we had to work for them and we understand the opposite. We understand the pain and as a result, we can enjoy the happiness even more.

While there is a very evident sign of emotions inside many animals, it is not the same as what we, as humans, experience. The emotions that animals experience are based out of instinct. This doesn't mean that your dog or my birds don't want us around them or that they are not happy to see us but their base emotion is not what we know as love. While my birds are happy to see me and sad to see me leave, their instincts are greater. Bacardi has bit me quite a few times and it wasn't because he was out to attack me or because he wanted to hurt me but rather because he felt threatened for one reason or another. Animals are not able to have a self-less love for anyone else. It is only humans that are able to intentionally lay down their lives for a friend....

.... and it is that reason that selflessness and erasing the lines of "the way it is" is so important to our happiness. When we make a sacrifice for someone else we are rewarded by knowing that we have done something that most of the universe is incapable of. It's what makes us, as humans, unique... and that is what we search for most: Uniqueness.

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

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I'm on that emotional roller coaster that I get on oh so often.... Don't even really know how to feel. I got a car today which is really awesome.... it was a crazy scenario tho... the car I wanted to by (A Chevy Tracker) was $400 too cheap.... yes, I was told by Capital One that I could not buy it because it was too cheap. I ended up finding a Suzuki Grand Vitara at CarMax in Dulles and even tho it's a V6, I think it's turning out to be the best option anyway.

I really don't have much of an idea of what is going on in my life tho.... I mean, it just seems like history repeats it's self over and over again and I end up hurting people when it's the last thing I want to do. I really feel like I'm not really a huge benefit to anyone and I feel like I just inconvience people when I have my own problems. I had a scare this week on July 4th.... there were some concerns about internal bleeding and I spent a good 4 hours in the ER. Adding to that is that July 4th is one of my favorite holidays and I ended up going to bed well before fireworks. Maybe a lot of my emotional confusion is tied to what ever is happening physiologically -- which they still don't know the answer to. It's really hard when you're worried about something and there is no one there to support you.... and it's hard to realize that when you want nothing more than to be there for someone all you end up doing is causing damage.

I guess the biggest thing I feel right now is guilt.... Whether I should or shouldn't, I feel guilty because I want a friend that is beside me and that I mean something to. I'm constantly reminded that I'm not worthy of it and I end up feeling guilty because I want what I don't deserve. It hurts me when I hurt someone.... and I just can't seem to fix whatever it is that is wrong with me.

There still are some very exciting things happening in my life and I am excited about those.... but at the same time, I'm scared to death emotionally because, well, what's the point of it all? If whatever I do is not helping someone then there is no point and if I have no point then what is the purpose of my life?

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(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.

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

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Im not feeling all that great today.... both physically and emotionally. There are a few things going through my mind.

One of the first things is trying, again, to figure out where my balance is. Over and over again I get screwed because Im entirely too nice. I will give and give until I have nothing left and then those that I give to are nowhere around when I need help with something. I need to learn to say no but my fear in that is that I end up compromising who I really am because I am really proud of who I am.

The second thing that is really getting to me is how easy it is for people to let go of me. Its exceptionally hard because I really constantly feel like I'm not worth anything to anyone. I do, often, feel that if I died there would be no one that would miss me. So many people have actually made me feel like I was worth something and all of a sudden they just completely dissappeared.... Tiff, Kim, Ashley, etc, etc.... those are just the most recent ones.... Just dissappeared.... not even a message to see how I am..... Usually when people like that do come back it's not even a "hey, how are you?" but rather a "hey, could you (fill in the blank)?".....

I dont know.... I feel like a random idiot who just wanders around and makes no impact on anyone.... at least not positive.... *sigh*

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

Monday, January 29, 2007

"Pain makes us make bad decissions. Fear of pain is almost as big of motivator."
-- Dr. House (House: "Euphoria" Part 2)

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

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I can not imagine the sacrifice that Jesus made for us...... Even stepping back from people that mean the world to you completely rips me apart.... I would do anything for people that I call friends.... even for those who don't reciprocate it....

But taking that feeling.... of the entire world turning their backs on you......

..... I just can't understand.

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

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Yesterday I posted lyrics to a song by Kids in the Way. The song is a song I always liked but yesterday when I heard it on Sirius 67, it really stood out.... just didnt know why.

I've learned something over the last month.... and I think maybe this adds to the focus of something God is teaching me: why bad things happen to good people. I've definately progressed to a point in my life over the last few years that I am happy that I have experienced all of the pain that I have and that, given the opportunity, I would not go back and change anything -- because this is who I am now because of what happened them. I went through a good couple of months where I experienced very little emotional pain.... and I look back and I realize that most of my blog posts have not been extremely insightful. Why do bad things happen to good people? Well, maybe it's because its the bad things that make them good people? Maybe it's because the good people are the only ones who have the ability to take a bad situation and use it to minister to someone else.... and maybe it's because good people want to help people and in the long run, they are happy that the bad things happen because of the good they bring later. If you think about it, isn't this what Jesus did for all of us? If you want to talk about a bad thing, He died on the cross for our sins. He even asked the Father to "let this cup pass Him by" because he didnt want to experience the pain. In the end, Jesus had the Joy of knowing that He saved the world. If Jesus was given the chance, He wouldn't go back and change it. And if we are created in His image, well, doesnt that mean that we have the same capability?

Last night was a pretty confusing night... and it was after a very hectic day at work. Once I got home, I basically went straight to bed and really wasn't feeling all that well emotionally.... this morning I woke up and still had this nagging of trying to figure out what had happened. I watched some videos on the net and ended up just laying down on my bed for a bit watching Lisa walk around and explore the bed.... I had closed my eyes for a short time and I started thinking about a lot of different things.... well, more so aspects of the things that were confusing me. The things that confuse me were not specific actions on my part or on someone else's part but they were the motivations behind those actions. As I sat thinking about this, I remembered the song I posted yesterday.... the it hit me: Everything we do seems to almost always create a piece of fiction. We really are making fiction of our lives.

Think about it.... everything we do is a certain amount of smoke and mirrors. If you go for a job interview, you may not lie but you sure stretch the truth or you present the truth in a way that it sounds really good. If you're selling something, you try to find the best way to make that product look as good as it is. We use this psychology all the time and in some cases, it is a good thing. The problem is that I think over the years, we have all developed this sense of the need to make things what they are not.... It happens when you're selling a product and you build it up too much and the customer buys it and it's not at all what they expected. I'm not a sales person but I do sell stuff at work.... and I make it a point not to try the most expensive thing to a person unless it truly is something that would benefit them... why? Quite simply, I want that person to be happy with their purchase and when they are happy with it, it will bring them back to me to purchase something else when they need it because my recommendation worked well for them. Worst case scenario here is I make something out to be what its not, a customer buys it and eventually brings it back and doesnt visit my store again..... but, what happens when this same process gets applied to an emotional situation? What if we don't like who we are and we try to hide it from someone because we think that in no way they could like us for who we are? What about the girls on myspace in their underwear? Society jokes about myspace having this epidemic.... but is anyone bothering to think what is going on? It's not about control -- its about these girls feeling like they have nothing so they need to make themselves something they are not. If you take a picture in your underwear, you'll get attention from guys -- but the attention is being brought to a product that isn't anything more than marketing. You build a profile on any social networking site and you make keywords like sex and drinking... or whatever you think that is going to attract someone to you..... but what about the keywords that aren't often used? Sadly, they don't get enough hits.... the difference is, the marketing matches the product and when the "customer" finds that product, then they will be happy with their "purchase".

It really is sad that the best way to describe the process of relationships in this day and age is to compare it to a marketing scheme... but that is exactly what it is. We try to become something we are not. The really hard part is when you run across someone that is completely open and honest -- all of a sudden, you can not trust them because, well, they aren't like everyone else.... it doesnt seem like they have any bells and whistles so I guess we also think that if they are doing any kind of marketing, the real product is pretty pitiful.... then this entire process takes the open and honest person and makes them feel like they are absolutely nothing.

I think all of this is a huge reason why psychology is becoming such a huge domain in the medical fields.... we have created so much fiction and created a world that requires us to write fiction of our lives that we now need to create a way to break through the fiction and figure out what the truth is. That's the whole process of psychology.... you say words and a professional figures out how to break those words down and filter out the fiction and find out what your true inside is feeling. So many people have become so good at hiding what is really going on that they don't even realize it themselves. And I think we all know at least someone who creates so many lies that he or she believes them themselves. All we are doing is creating a snowball effect that makes the next generation need more and more fiction in order to survive.

On Sunday Tim used an example in his sermon of his wife taking up violin just because it got her out of class for a day a week. She didnt enjoy doing violin but she still kept going because she got out of class. She started building this image of who she wasnt based on something she wanted to accomplish (getting out of class). When the concert came, she was clueless. Thankfully, she was in a group of people so no one could single her out... but what if she would have been? What if we are emotionally hurt in a way and we want to avoid it.... often times we create something that becomes a part of us but yet really isn't us. Over the years, this new part of us becomes a visible part of us and we become known for something that doesn't even match who we are -- and next thing you know, we are at war with ourselves because, quite honestly, we don't know who WE are anymore. We continue to create this world that is dependent on fiction and it's filtering into our relationships.... we're creating people that we're not and we're acting like we're happy when we're not.... maybe this is why sex is becoming such a huge part of society... It's such an easy way to cover up a problem -- but the problem never goes away...... and I think people start having sex and all of a sudden they realize that they've had sex with a lot of people and the create a fictional spin on top of the fictional spin which makes them happy with the fact that they are happy with the thing they created to make them look happy..... We're in a world now where no one wants to commit to anything and that includes marriage, girlfriends/boyfriends, friendships, and even family. We're affraid to commit to a relationship because a commitment to a relationship (and I'm not even saying just a girlfriend/boyfriend relationship) means that the other person will start finding out who you really are over time and we're afraid of that.... We can't let people see who we are or how we are feeling because maybe they won't like us anymore... or maybe we don't even know what they are going to find that we, ourselves, don't even know. So now we create an enviornment of "open relationships" so that we won't let one person be able to focus in on who we really are because we're, instead, letting lots of people know very little about us. We become the jack of all trades but master of none -- except we're dealing with other people's lives instead of just fixing parts of a computer or building parts of a house.

Out of all this fiction and pain that we are creating, we've lost the ability to learn from our mistakes because our fiction is becoming reality to one part of us while we hide that part of us that is who we really are. When you take any kind of psychological test or online surveys that determine you are one way and you're shocked because you think you're another way -- well, maybe you need to look at what that test says and do some searching because maybe you've created a front to who you really are and eventually you forgot who you really were.

And the worst thing is.... the people who are trying so hard to be open and honest end up with no one to be open and honest to.

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

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sometimes I have a love-hate relationship with who I am. Overall, I am happy about who I am, who I have become, and who I am becomming... but sometimes the things that I am happy about end up creating a lot of pain for me. Mainly I care so much about people that I worry about them when there is really no reason to worry at all... at least thats what my mind tells me.... I'm happy that I'm such an emotional person, but it's so easy for me to be hurt that sometimes I wish I wasn't.

This morning I have had a lot of different things on my mind, as well as a lot of different people. I really don't know what to think about a lot of things.

This is about the third post I've started drafting this morning.... I just don't know how to put into words whats going on in my brain.... and, for me, that is a horrible feeling. I'm not sure that this post even captures how I am feeling, but I'm going to just post it anyway -- simply because if I don't I will continue typing up nonsense words until I do post something.

The thought for the morning: blah

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

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