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

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Living in the wrong era

As a kid we could walk to my grandmother's house and just walk right in even if she wasn't home. We didn't have a key - she just never locked her door. There wasn't a need and this was especially true to the people that grew up in their generation.

I keep feeling like God created me many years before I was born and just forgot to actually send me to earth. He finally remembered in 1980 but I was already at least 2 generations too late.

My life is just the same thing over and over again. It happens where I work, where I go to church, who I'm friends with, and even who I date. When someone needs help I put my all in to it. I always have the impression that whoever I'm helping will, in turn, appreciate what I am doing and will do the same if needed. While this was the way life was (and still should be) years ago, it isn't the case now. The result is I'm continually punished because I focus on caring about people but when I'm hurting not only is there no one there to help me, the people that I have been helping expect me to just keep going because they've grown accustom to whatever it is I'm doing.

So at a job, ill get the "this is business and that is personal" comment. The problem is that in order to be so passionate at work, I rely on all the good in my life but when there is a time of trial I end up going back down to average; average in the same standards that an employer will look for in a replacement. But because I put my all into something for a average pay doesn't mean I get a raise but it just means that the standards I get headed on go up. And these standards won't carry over to the next person they hire. No, they just apply to me without me getting any additional benefits. Naturally things go sour in the eyes of the employer and they generally end up disapointed in me. I end up back at square one. With people in my personal life, they just tag me as a horrible person and ignore anything that I did that was good for them. These are the things that turn me into a failure in everyone else's lives and, eventually, my own.

This is my life but its also an example of how society is in a downward spiral. The problem is that no one wants to stand against it because, well, you end up here writing this blog. For me, I don't know how else to live but I don't know if I'd want to anyway. Its just going to continue to be my life and all I can do is pray that I will someday find a girl who has this same problem. Of course I'm not holding my breath because they've all been with numerous guys in the past and have no desire to take a chance on me. Their solution to the problem is to change nothing but if they happen to find a guy that cares they just take what they can until it requires something of them. Once that time comes then the relationship with that vendor.... Oh, I mean person.... is over. We all hate corporate America but we live our lives with the thriving corporation as our bible. So what with that ancient book that was named "Bible" - we have new and greater things in our lives now.

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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

Monday, July 09, 2007

So things are better this morning.... thats the good news. This weekend really kicked my butt even tho there were exciting things that happened and I guess I was just so worn out last night that I over-reacted to some things. While there were things that incredibly hurt me, my interpretation of those things was incorrectly estimated.

It's a new day and a new week.... and I got a new car. Life is just about moving on, I suppose, and making the best of the situation we're in.

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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

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.Isaiah 40:31

Sometimes God tells us stuff and does stuff that we wouldnt expect. Usually when we are losing our hope, the reminder that there is hope comes in the strangest for.

The strange form tonight was seeing the movie "Evan Almighty" .... Ashley and I went to see it and let me first off say that it is BY far my new favorite movie. I have never laughed so hard in my life..... Despite all the humor, I left the theater crying..... Don't worry -- the chances of you crying about the movie are pretty slim... it really was an excellent movie and everyone should go see it.

The thing is, I have been really questioning my purpose and my worth. A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a friend and he gave me some really solid Biblical advice but at the same time, he really questioned my ability to do something.... something that I was already questioning myself about but something that I really shouldn't have been questioning. While I really appreciated him for caring about me, I left the conversation somewhat hurt. Later that added to a lot of other things that had me really questioning my purpose and whether I really am doing the right thing in certain situations.

--- SPOILER WARNING : Movie ending revealed ---
The basic story line of Evan Almighty is the story of Noah. God commands Evan to build an Ark in -- none other than NoVA. He continually fights it and later is convinced that he just needs to do it. The entire world ridicules him and fellow congressmen get a court order to destroy the ark. Amongst all of this ridicule, Evan expects to see the world destroyed. Kind of reminds me of Jonah. The thing is, God wasn't going to flood the world again.... He promised that by the rainbow. So Evan is standing on his ark telling everyone they need to get in and they dont believe him.... suddenly it starts storming... people get concerned but when the storm ends just 30 seconds later, the laugh at Evan and his family even harder. When the neighboring dam breaks and people are running into his ark, it's a different story.

Immediately I recognized myself being in the position of Noah and of Evan. I know that what I have done and the way I'm handling things is the way God is guiding me to -- or at least my heart is in the right place. I'm also reminded of Abraham and how he was supposed to sacrifice his son to the Lord. Why would God ask Abraham to do something that is clearly against the law and against the commandments God had set? Well, God knew it wasnt going to be follow through because He sent an angel to stop Abraham. God just wanted to test Abraham's faith -- and he passed. But can you imagine his family and friends? They'd be calling the cops... I know I would.

The last week or so I have really felt like I didn't have any meaning in my life... that the things I was doing really didnt mean anything at all. How were my actions going to affect the rest of the world? God reminded me of the chain reaction.... The chain of love.... just like the country song goes.... Little tiny things happen that change the entire course of the world. Maybe you buy flowers for someone that cheers them up and they end up going to hang out instead of staying at home and then have a conversation with someone that later goes on to find the cure for cancer.... Because someone bought flowers, cancer is cured years later. These things happen... they really do. The Acts of Random Kindness that we do create amazing ripple effects -- and we may not even know the full extent of them.

I left Evan Almighty crying because God had reminded me that no matter how small what I'm doing is and no matter how wrong everyone else thinks it is, I am following my heart and I am serving people who need to be served. In those tears, Ashley looks at her watch and goes "oh crap! I forgot the metro quits running ad midnight" .... no worries, I just take her in to DC and drop her off at her apartment. On my way home I make my typical stop at the Sheetz in Harmarket and when I pull in there are at least 8 or 9 cop cars in the lot with lights going, etc.... I go in to get my sweet tea and I half jokingly asked the clerk what you have to do to get the attention of that many cops.... her response is "a double stabbing" .... I was blown away.... just a little bit before I stopped at Sheetz, two people were stabbed in the parking lot. If I didnt have to take Ashley in to DC, would I have been the one to be stabbed? Even if I wasn't the one to be stabbed, how would I have been able to live after witnessing something like that. Maybe its still a little far fetch but the truth is that may well have been the case.

No matter how small we think what we are doing is or how meaningless we feel, we may be creating the ripple effect that really does save the world -- whether we know it or not. God reminded me of this and really did renew my strength by something as simple as a movie.

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

Monday, June 11, 2007

There really are times when someone can impact your life in ways that you never dreamed possible. One thing I am learning as time goes on is that the people you least expect to be the ones to impact you are usually the ones that make the greater impact.... and actually, it's usually in ways that you never imagined or thought to be possible.

I guess in my psycho-analyzing mind, I'm realizing that the failure of relationships may just be the fact that they are designated as relationships. All of us limit ourselves in ways that each one can't realize. There is something that we allow to control us... and often, there are things that we believe will always control us. This isn't the way God intended it tho.... Actually, God gives us all our own free will so that we can make our own choices. This is the way that we were designed and when we allow anything to control us, we are held to expectations of whatever it is that controls us. The person or object that controls us will vary between person to person. Some are addicted to drugs, some pornography, some alcohol.... some let a parent or an ex or a friend control them.... others allow situations to control them. Each one of these controlling factors carries some sort of an expectation.... drugs have the expectation that you will give your body more drugs.... pornography has the expectation that you will spend hours at your computer throwing time away.... when you get into another person controlling someone, the expectations that are possible are and endless list. The point is, while so many of these things can be great at first, it eventually comes to a point where the expectations are greater than you wanted and all of a sudden you are trapped and the relationship with that person, addiction, or thing suddenly isn't all that great.... disaster ensues.

If you think of the social scenario of "dating", it doesnt take long before you see where expectations come into the picture. In one look at the other person, expectations (and assumptions) are made instantly.... sadly, it's often all based on physical attraction. Before even your first words are said, each person has at least one expectation.... from there on out, that game seems to be convincing yourself that those expectations were wrong.... You're already behind the gate because your not starting at 0 ... you're actually starting at a negative because your not going into the scenario trying to learn who someone really is but your going into a scenario where you have to first realize that they are not who you thought they were.... if you make it past that point, then you can begin learning who someone is.... but I think most relationships die before this point. The second that we form a "relationship" (meant in the romantic sense), we essentially doom that friendship from flourishing. Oh, it's true.... many people go on to get married..... but don't you think that may explain why the divorce rate is so high?

I've been told so many times that I shouldn't go looking for love and that I should just let it find me.... maybe the answer to a relationship isn't love but finding someone that you can share your life with. Oh, love is an important part -- but we're supposed to be loving everyone. And sure, there is love in a marriage ... there has to be. But maybe the problem is that we are so focused on loving and being loved and at the same time we're focusing on finding someone that is completely unlike anyone else inside of that love.

I guess the point is this.... even if I'm waiting for love (romantic) to find me, I can not be expecting it because any expectation at all can truly taint the awesomeness of what is possible. Instead, maybe it is best to look for the love that we should love everyone with and find someone that makes sense for us and someone we can trust and they can trust us.... Before Adam and Eve ate of the fruit they had no knowledge of good and evil and they were taken care of..... things were as they were and they had no shame..... I guess maybe if we completely close the idea of what romantic love is and isn't, it really will find us -- maybe long before we even realize it found us.... and that, quite possibly, is the scenario that would result in the best marriage ever -- a marriage with no expectations of what the other person should or shouldnt be but only expectation of commitment (ie. being faithful to that person and not cheating, etc).

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(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*

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

Sunday, March 18, 2007

"Yea, we can be friends but its on my terms -- only when it fits my life"

No one has ever actually said that to me in words but it seems like more than half the people I meet say it to me in actions. It goes against what the term "friend" even means. You can't be a friend to someone without letting them know whats going on with you and without genuinely being concerned about whats going on with them. You can't ask a question of how someone is doing and then ignore the fact that you asked it when you find out things aren't going well with them. Additionally, if you really truly are a friend, you'll do what's needed to talk to them -- even if it's not your normal means of communication.

Someone once gave me a sign that explained what a forever friend was..... just like that was a single piece of paper, being called a friend is nothing more than words unless it's backed by actions.

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

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"Love cannot endure indifference. It needs to be wanted. Like a lamp, it needs to be fed out of the oil of another's heart, or its flame burns low." - Henry Ward Beecher

Tonight we were watching House and Lisa was hanging out on the back of the couch where she likes to be so she can look at everything going on.... tonight she did something that really made me smile.... after being on the back of the couch for a while she crawled down to sit on my shoulder.... which wasn't an easy task for her but she really wanted to be on my shoulder. Not only was it really cool that she wanted to be on my shoulder but that it was something she wanted bad enough to actually work for.

Recently I have really been thinking about a lot of things.... ok, well, I am always thinking about things... but specifically I have been thinking about relationships. Relationships aren't easy and I believe they are designed that way because if everything was easy, we'd have no way of showing what we truly desire. If the slightest bump comes along in a relationship and someone just gives up, then it wasn't a relationship that they truly desired.... If a relationship really is worth something to you, then the hardest struggle that comes along can not keep you from fighting for what you truly desire..... If someone is worth enough to you, then you do all you can to be with that person. You do this because they are something that you truly want.

Love can not be just a breeze because if it is, then there really is no point to it. You can't love someone without truly wanting to be with them or talk to them or at least do something to help them... there is always a want or a desire before love can be born... if you have love without a want or a desire, then it's most likely just a passing thing. You want someone because they have something to offer.... and in the most amazing relationships they have something that only you want.... something that sometimes can't even be explained.

Recently my struggle has been with what it is that I have to offer someone. I love my job for a reason -- because I have knowledge of fish to offer to people. I talk to people every day about what is the best tank set up and what is best for their fish.... And people tell me they come back to our store because they can tell there is a passion behind what I tell them.... and they are right because I do have a real passion for fish. I also have a passion for seeing new technology implemented for people who are really helping others.... and I guess that's why one of the most important things I do is something I do for free -- volunteer at New Life. It's a passion of mine because I know that I am helping people that are really out there ministering to people that are hurting.

But you ask what the struggle is? Simply -- what do I have to offer anyone in a relationship? People can tell me all they want that I'm attractive or that I'm an awesome person to be around but when that ends with those words and there is no desire then what's it really worth? The craziest thing is that the only times that I feel attractive are when people are trying to put me down. Just a little bit ago I posted the comments to a fark post where people really did a lot of putting me down... the truth is that those comments only made me stronger and feel better about myself..... It's a hard thing to explain but it is true.... but I still am left with the question of what do I actually have to offer someone in either a romantic relationship or even just in a friendship? The truth is that I may never really believe that I do have something to offer until someone makes the journey and really fights to be with me. If I'm worth taking risks for I don't want to just hear that I'm worth taking risks for -- I want someone to take those risks.

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

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ok, rant time....

One thing that always has irritated me was the people that talk to me only when they need something.... never a "hey, how are you doing" without a "hey, I have a question for you" ... but until the last month I didnt realize that they were not the worst.... the worst is when you try to disguise the fact that you are only talking to me because you need something.....

It happens like this.... start talking to me and saying hi.... then ask if I mind you asking a question about _____ and I say "sure" because it seems like you're actually interested in talking to me.... I answer your question.... and then one (or maybe two) times after that you talk to me..... and then ride off into the sunset to never be heard from again.

It's really irritating the amount of people that take advantage of me.... employers and friends alike.... I've even been told by people that they hate me because I'm an extremely nice person.... None of this means that I'm going to change.... I am who I am no matter who takes advantage of the situation.... and I like who I am.... it just upsets me that very few people in this world have genuine concern for anyone other than themselves.

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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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

random thought I typed while talking to a friend:

sometimes I think I know what someone is thinking and then they do something that counteracts that but I sometimes think it may be because I really do know what they are thinking and they just don't want me to know that I know what they are thinking

sometimes I wonder if what I'm thinking is right and they counteract it because THEY don't want it to be true.... kind of like they are building their own reality


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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

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.

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

Saturday, January 27, 2007

One thing the people that have come into my life have shown me is that, contrary to what I believed, I do have something to offer.... the problem is that it's not enough which is what those same people have taught me by drifting away.


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

Friday, January 26, 2007

"I want to be friends with you and I don't know why"

When a friend of yours tells you that, how are you supposed to take it? This week seems to have gotten worse as it went on.... the primary reason is most likely that I am physically feeling more and more sick. Being sick is something I'm somewhat used to but the thing that's really bugging me is being alone and being sick.... and I guess the fact that I'm alone is causing me to panic a little more than I should.

I'm hoping for a better weekend than I had week.... but for now I need to get myself to bed and hopefully this physical pain will go away.

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

Saturday, January 20, 2007

12 hours of sleep is a great feeling.... The crazy dream I had is another story....

So this is a weird one.... not reading anything into it, but just writing it down because it's, well, odd.... So the dream was basically that Tiff was being attacked by someone and just some really weird things were going on and it seemed like a repeat of things that were going.... literally I knew what was going to happen next because I lived the situation one or two times before. I remember trying to do everything that I could to stop the inevitable from happening and at one point, I knew the time and day that Tiff was going to be killed. At this time, we were dating.... and I remember my parents screaming and yelling at me for trying to find a way to visit Tiff because they said I'd have plenty of time but they didnt realize that I knew she was going to die in a few hours. I ended up not making it in time but by time I got there, it was after the time..... but she was still alive.... didnt really know why but it apparently had something to do with something I was trying to do to protect her. When I saw her I really wanted to spend time with her but she didnt have any time, she said. I tried to figure out a time to visit her again and there was an excuse for everything.... eventually I had found out in my persistent questioning that she was dating 2 other people.... and lie upon lie came out of what she had lied to me about.... I drove away extremely upset and having no care whether I ever saw her again or not.... and being upset that I even bothered trying to help her.

So the craziest part of this dream is because its a lot of the way I feel... I mean, I don't know that I've done anything to help Tiff in the time that I have know her but in a general way, this is the way I feel alot -- not specifically related to Tiff, however. I mean, it seems that I try so hard to help people and all I get in return is... well, lies - if anything at all. And, no, it is not neccesary to get something in return for helping someone... I don't believe that a single bit... the hard part is when you feel like there is no one there to support you -- which is a way that I often feel. And maybe that's why my parents in the dream were not supporting me in trying to see Tiff... it wasn't because they didn't care but more that they didnt understand that I knew something that they did not.... I needed to make a crazy decission because of the information that I had.... now, granted, my parents have always been greatly supportive of me but when it comes to friends and extended family, well, there is a lack of a support because of a lack of understanding. The worst part of the dream was the last part -- not caring if I ever saw Tiff agian.... which is sometimes how I end up feeling.... if someone hurts me really bad, I don't just give up but I seem to sometimes lose all care for that person.... giving up isn't a bad thing, rather good..... but the not caring part isn't a good thing.... I think that my heart continues to become cauloused no matter how hard I try to prevent it. It's like going into caverns and you see the tunnels and stuff and the top of the tunnels in many caverns need to be touched or eventually, they tunnels will start growing closed from the water moving the soil lower and lower.... and I guess that's the way it is with the heart .... if no one touches your heart it starts growing closed.... sure, maybe it makes the whole heart stronger but it closes the ability to let anyone see the true beauty of who you are. We need people to touch our hearts and be there for us -- if we don't have that, our hearts just naturally close.

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

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Life was amazing....
The baltimore aquarium..... amazing
Meeting new friends..... yup, amazing

Having friends that care about who you are..... priceless

Ok, so it was sounding like a mastercard commerical so I had to do the priceless thing.... but seriously.... sometimes we get so discouraged and its like God has these people that are lined up just waiting for us to meet them and when the time comes that you need a friend more than you ever had, thats when He introduces you.... sometimes those ways are odd.... but that's not what is important.

I learned a lot about me today.... I saw a lot of fish.... and I did it all with a great friend.

God is good!

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

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well, I think 12 hours of sleep did me well. Its been a long week physiologically.... I have been on an emotional roller coaster and Ive also been physically not well at times.... I think the physical is creating the emotional, tbh.

This blog post is going to highlight some cool things that I havent really blogged about this week.

First of all, Apple announced the iPhone on Tuesday and in the tech world it's the equivalent of porn - just less evil :) It should be shipping in June from Cingular and it appears to be the best smart phone to date. In Apple's history they don't just make something to fit in - they make it great, new, and innovative and everyone else follows them. It's expected to have a $499 price tag which is actually a lot cheaper than I was thinking. Not sure if it's something Ill be getting or not. If I go with it, im sure I could recoupe most of the cost by selling my Nokia 9300 on ebay. My big question is whether SSH and VNC are going to be in it's capabilities..... We have a good 6 months to watch and see tho :)

And my little girl, Lisa.... yesterday was the first time she was outside. When I first took her out, she did some flying off my shoulder but of course she can't fly very far so it wasnt a problem. After a few mins I think she realized her surroundings and climbed up on my shoulder and hung out real close to my face..... While it was good for her, I think it scared her a bit too. The cutest thing with her this week was her rapping.... I have been playing the Super Mario Bros theme song for her alot hoping that she will learn it but this week I was listening to ETW which is an old school Christian hip-hop group..... all of a sudden, Lisa started immitating the beat and it was the cutest thing in the world....

Well, I am at the metro station in Vienna waiting for my friend who should be here soon. We're headed to church and then up to Baltimore Harbor to go to the Baltimore Aquarium.... should be a fun day...... and hopefully this will be a better week.... I do have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday which has been a long time coming. Should be an interesting week if nothing else.

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

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I want to write something here but I just dont think words are capable. Sometimes you think something is going to amazing and, while it is extremely amazing, its not at all amazing in the way you had expected.

God does amazing things in our lives but what He does often remains a mystery for a long while -- but so many times this only makes things even more amazing.

There is something that I didnt realize until tonight.... I really just never realized how much pain my heart has been carrying. The saying goes "if you dont use it, you'll lose it" and I think this applies to all of our hearts. What I mean is the ability to feel emotions. If people dont take interest in your heart, it will become hard.... The harder it becomes, the more effort required to break it. Sure, you could say that breaking a heart means pain..... exactly! You will never be able to fully love or be loved until your heart has those rocks removed. So when the first person that comes along that is actually commited to helping, you better expect some painful times. You havent felt certain emotions in a while so you may not understand what is happening.... but you'll start learning all you knew before.

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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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