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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Angela Deserves Better Than Me

It's no secret that I love my wife. She's beautiful in every conceivable way, but more than that she complements me perfectly. We are of one mind and one heart. We have the same pet peeves and the same things that make us happy. The longer I live the rarer I realize these things are.

Angela deserves better than me. No, I'm not trying to put myself down here; quite the opposite. Me acknowledging this fact is why I will not stop becoming better every day.  We have all heard the breakup line "it's not you it's me" well there is no way it's going to be Angela and I refuse for it to be me. To reference Ingrid Michaelson, she takes me the way i am. I feel this is as romantic as it is an integral part of a healthy relationship. I am no coward and I will do anything to avoid my wife waking up one day and realizing she settled.

I don't have to have my guard up with Angela. I never have to say "you have to take my feelings into consideration" we both just do this organically. I feel so comfortable with her but I also realize that taking her for granted would be the worst mistake of my life. I will not back down from progressing myself to a standard  I can be proud of providing the love of my life.
When I look at Angela I see the same woman that I chased after, the same woman I knew I needed for the rest of my life, and the same woman that pushes me to be more every day. This is the reason we have great jobs, own our own home in an expensive neighborhood, and have great friends that we love. I just wanted to write another blog post to thank my wife for being the anchor in my life. If I could go back in time and choose anyone on this planet to be with, you still would be number one on my list. There is no one else that can do what you do. You are uniquely perfect for me. I love you more than words. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Brainwashed And Controlled

I pose this question: why is it much easier to hear "stay on the right path or you may fall" then it is to hear "you have fallen off the path please get back on"? Most of what you see online is helping victims of abuse recognize and avoid abuse. But everyone should read and reflect because  you could unknowingly be the abuser. Some may not realize they're being the aggressor because unfairly life is often happier for those that use and abuse others.

When you hear the term "brainwashed" you may associate it with being in some sci-fi movie about aliens or at the very least being overly dramatic. But it happens every day to people like you and me.  People need a purpose, they want to feel special, but most of all we want to feel in control. Angela and I are no different. However control is the biggest lie this world has. Things are often not as they seem. A man in a business suit seemingly presentable and harmless can be much more dangerous than a poorly dressed man you may have walked out of your way to avoid.
For example: people that have been in cults their whole lives often look at other people in cults and think  "Wow, I would never be that stupid." Meanwhile those members in the other cult are looking back thinking the same thing about them. The fact is it's not about being stupid.  If you have ever seen the movie Speed with good ol' Keanu, their tactical unit uses the phrase "Crazy not stupid." That phrase has always stuck with me because the most intelligent and/or charismatic people often come up with the best lies. On the flip side, that lie can sound so good that the most humble and sincere people will often not only go along with it, but seemingly prove that lie as truth to more unsuspecting people. After all, everyone falls for pathos.
Another one of my favorite quotes is "I was starting to believe the reason it matters to care passionately about something, is that it whittles the world down to a more manageable size." -Susan Orlean from Magnolia. Controlling people will tell you that you can get confused and miserable easily and you need to stick to the "right path". Conveniently their path is always the "right" one. Ironically it's only after I stopped limiting myself with fear of losing my way that I truly found it. The truth I've now found is passion can fuel the ever expanding limitless understanding of this beautiful world. 
A main problem is controlling people are often times being controlled themselves. The best way to sell a lie is to believe it yourself. Ideas can be a cancer and you may very well be the one perpetuating it, I know now that I subconsciously have. If you start to notice peoples cute small requests start becoming bigger, or if you start feeling nagged or feel abuse each time you try to decline a request, chances are, you’re playing helplessly into the hands of manipulation. Unfortunately the longer you are in it the more it becomes "natural" like a frog in a pot of water that is slowly heating to a boil.

Have you ever heard "you can do whatever you want BUT you have to accept the consequences? This is true but the problem is most of the time when someone says this that person has decided what deserves consequences.

Hopefully at this point you are asking "Well then how can I be myself and not fall into these traps?  After all if I'm being brainwashed obviously common sense isn't working for me." Reading this is a good start. The best way to not be controlled is to educate yourself on the tools people use to control you. Common sense only becomes common when things you learn become second nature. Look up things like gaslighting, shifting sands, making unfair demands, or ways people could be making you feel guilty.
Bottom line is bad things can sound good. No one wants so believe they can be brainwashed. It's scary to think possibly something or everything you have built your life around could be lies. But there are such things as Stockholm syndrome, Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, indoctrination, and other things that happen all the time to people smarter than you or me. So whether its family, friends, or an organization, please stay vigilant in this fight. And be especially cautious of people that would say "where will you go? What will you do?" you are not trapped!