The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Category: Philosophy (Page 1 of 4)

Moving on and letting go

I am sure I have at least one other piece I have written along these lines, but I thought I would put one more up.  Mostly because talking about this kind of thing allows me a certain level of catharsis that I do not normally have.

It is easy to let go of things.  I mean, there may be an emotional attachment to a thing, like a comb. mirror or a book.  But that attachment is not reciprocated.  There is no returned need or want from that particular thing.

It cannot defend it’s perceived need for you since it is, as far as we know, not sentient or conscious in any way.  Other than any invented emotions that we might assign it through our human need to anthropomorphize things, it has no self awareness.

People, on the other hand, are different.  In many cases, we come to points in our lives where we sit back and have to think about some of the people in our lives and have to think about what role they play in who we are and where we are going.  Then we have to decide if, on our sea of life, they are anchors, sails or rudders.  I know that may sound like a strange analogy, but I heard it once and it applies well to the people in our lives.   Let me explain.

Sails –

On a sailing ship, the sails were the key to movement.  They were, and are still, crucial to the forward movement of the vessel.  They capture he energy of the wind and propel the vessel forward.  The more sails, within reason, the more force and propulsion the vessel has.

People in our lives that act as sails for us are people from whom we draw inspiration and drive.  People who, through their actions or will of personality, give us the drive to succeed.  People that have that unique ability to guide us without us knowing that we are being guided.  People that provide momentum in our lives to move forward, not letting us let ourselves down.

They are important because they are the educators, the mentors and the family that believe in us when we have problems believing in ourselves, and we all have those moments.

 

Rudders –

Rudders, like sails, can guide your vessel, but are not used for the forward propulsion of it.  They are there for the purpose of steering and pointing your ship in the direction that it needs to move.

If you know anything about sailing ships, you may be saying, “But sails can guide the ship too, they also provide steering!”   And that is true, they do.  But think about the people in your lives.  While there are many people you can probably think of that guide and propel you there are also those that are good at steering you in the right direction, but really not doing much beyond that.

This is not to criticize them, pushing you to succeed may not be what they are good at, but offering advice or showing you that you are heading down the wrong path may be something that they are good at, which makes those people no less important than the people that we see as the sails in our lives.

These are people that can act as the occasional voice of reason when we are about to make a bad decision or set out on an unsafe path.  Someone that might say, “Are you sure you want to invest everything you have in Pickle futures?”

 

Anchors –

Anchors are obvious.  They are the part of the ship that keeps it where it is, but while and anchor is import as a literal part of a ship, as a vessel.  For a person or people, whose nature needs them to keep moving emotionally, spiritually or socially, an anchor is rarely a good thing.

These anchors are the unfortunate people, and things, in our lives and many times the people that are the hardest to let go.  Often they are people we care about the most, like family or friends. People that, for one reason or another, keep pulling you back.

Unreliable people that make promises that they continuously break, that say they will be there for you, but then when you look for them, they are nowhere to be found.  People that show up when things are good, but disappear with things are rough.

Needy people, people that cannot crawl out of their own issues or darkness, who live for their own pain or failing.  These people are our anchors and will keep us from our own personal successes.

When you run into these people or identify them in your lives, you should address them, understand them and then, if they are unable to move on and allow you to weigh them in, you need to let them go.  Cast them off.

The nautical term for this is “Cut and Run”.  But if you do this, understand that the person may have their own personal woes or issues.  Do not abandon them, but make sure that you do not let their weight, weigh you down and prevent your momentum.

It is a hard thing to do, it can be emotionally wrenching.  Something about the idea of releasing them feels like abandoning them, and to some degree, it is.  But the choice is to hang on and let them pull you down, or let them go so that you can thrive and, in doing so, hope that they too will succeed.

But remember that, using the same analogy above, maybe you are THEIR Sail or Rudder… so do not turn from them completely.  Be there for them, when they are ready, they will let you know and then you can be there for them.

 

As always.  Thanks for reading.

 

Chasing that which we cannot have…

Why does it seem that we seem prone to look for what we know we can never have or that which has no chance of being ours?

This is more than a rhetorical question, but something that I have been thinking about for some time, especially the last year or so.  Which may also be part of the reason that I have been remiss in my duties as your host with this site.

This last year has been filled with major trials in my life.  Betrayals, hurts, heartbreaks and heartaches.  Some of the problems I have been dealing with are still not gone and may plague me for years to come, but the fact that I have made it through the last year without major complications stands as a testament to my being a little stronger than I thought I was.

There is a lot I wish I could undo about the last eighteen months.  So many things that I wish that I had had a little more hindsight on and practiced a little more wisdom on.  Things that, looking at them now, should have been so obvious to me at the time, however I failed to see the potential for problems because I was not looking at them from a point of logic, just of emotional gratification.

I was chasing something that was unattainable or unreachable… uncatchable, you might say.  I was chasing a part of my youth that I had let go and was trying desperately to live it out anew by surrounding myself with younger people with whom I thought I had created friendships.

I would like to think that I am not alone in these things… that somewhere out there there are others that have been as foolhardy as I was, fellow fools that let their emotional attachments to others and to a time that they missed out on, lead them down a path that would, might and could very possibly create more problems than they had realized.

I would like to say that I have learned my lessons, that I am going out of this last period of time wiser and smarter… but who knows?  Do we ever truly learn our lessons?

One might never know…

Holding on to the happiness

One of the hardest things for me to deal with in life is that so much in life is transitory.  It like often misunderstood or misinterpreted First Nobel Truth says, “Life is Suffering.”  Some people read this and assume that it means that we are supposed to feel pain, sorrow and suffering in order to live.   But it really means that we have to understand and accept that as part of our lives we will experience pain, loss, suffering and other things which will cause us to hurt.

This is especially true of people and occasions.  We have become a people that live from moment to moment, looking for the beauty of the moment and not of the entire picture that is presented to us.   We go to a party, have a great time, then feel sad when it is over and spend our time trying to find ways to relive the fun of that moment in our time.  While we are doing this we are missing out on all the other moments and experienced that fill the gaps between.

In the end, we find ourselves at the end of our lives with nothing but regrets and lost moments, while the rest of the world has kept moving around us, kept growing, kept living.  We find that others have created new stories and experiences, while the others are left to wallow in the mire of the past.  Even if the experiences that they are reliving were fun or inspirational, they are still in the past and the events static, immovable in time.   They are wonderful for reference, but to dwell on them is a waste of life and energy.

So what can we do or what should we do?

This IS the question, isn’t it?  On one hand we want those memories to be a part of our lives and to occasionally walk down memory lane to revisit them, but it is another thing entirely to live there.   So we need to remember that those memories are part of what made us who we are.   The bad and the good, each is a catalyst that is instrumental in guiding our lives through this turbulent stream of time that is life.

We hold onto the memories that make us happy and keep that for the days when you need them, but do not try to remake them or relive them.  You will almost always be disappointed by what you find when you try, because you may no longer be the same person you were at that time.   So often we find that we never are, time and experiences change us, reassign priorities, correct some of the wrongs in our lives and make us different people.   Rarely are we the same people now that we were ten or twenty years prior.

So we take those memories and hold onto them… make them part of who we are and move on.  Every tear, every smile, laugh, hurt, loss… they all are part of the larger equation that makes up who we are and, inevitably, where we are going.

Thank you for your readership.

Aging and looking back

As I approach the big “Five-Oh”, I find that I am more reticent to talk to others about my experiences and the things I have learned along this path that is life.

Thankfully, some of the people that I have around me that are younger than I either appear to be somewhat interested in what I have to say to them, or are very good about feigning interest and putting up with me, so as to prevent, or hope to prevent, me from doing like others do when then reach my age and started repeating the same stories.

But in talking about the past, I find it easier to deal with some of the things I feel are coming up in my future.  I also find myself realizing all the mistakes I have made in the past and how, one way or another, they seem to have had an affect on my person now and who I have become.

In my lifetime I have done some truly inspirational things.  Most of these did not seem that way at the time and rarely were they anything that had any benefit to me, but the fact that I did them at all helped others and impacted others lives.  Likewise I know that I have done many despicable things.  Some of these were done in ignorance and others as acts of malice with the sole intent of harming another person or people.

But both the good and the bad made me who I am now

, and as such I wonder if any of those things were changed… would I still be the same person I am today?

Am I a good person?  People tell me I am, mostly people that I love and I assume love me.  I do not look at myself and say, “Sam, you are a good person.”  That has never been the type of person that I am.

I will leave it for those that come after me to decide if I was a good person or not.   I think that it shows a level of conceit for a person to profess themselves to be good.  I think that the true measure of how good you are is based on the hearts and lives you have touched.  The memories we leave behind are the ultimate proof of how good we are in life.

Thanks for your readership.

 

Dealing with hatred…

How do you deal with hatred?

I have an issue in my life where, for the past few months my hatred for what a person has done to me has consumed me.  I cannot say that I hate the person, I am certain that in their mind their actions were, in some juvenile way, appropriate.

The sad part, in my book, is that this experience has set me back several years in personal development.  It is not easy for me to open up and make friends, it never has been.  I have always been too critical of people, always expecting them to screw me in some way, shape or form.  I know this is a protective measure that has, over the years, become a neurosis and a personality flaw, it is has protected me.  In a manner of thinking, there is now a little voice in my head saying, “See… we told you so…”

But hatred…  that is an emotion I do not like to feel and it drains me… grates on my being…  pulls me down.  Hatred, for me, has always been a trigger for depression.  When I feel it, it consumes me so that I end up not practicing my routines that keep me from feeling down and out.  I have never really been GOOD about handling hatred.

My first response is to lash out at people, if possible the person that triggered it.  That not being an option here and actually not being a logical or smart way to handle it, the next option would be to talk it out with the person in question… that, too, is not an option given the circumstances.

So what do you do when there is not outlet, no solace, no way to clear the air?  (No… seriously, it’s a real question… not rhetoric.)

I know that we all hate from time to time.  We all have things which we are exposed to that cause us pain, frustration, hatred, disappointment, etc…  Things that make us want to lash out, to cry, to scream, to want just go sit in a dark room for a few years.

So… tell me your stories… or examples and if you have something that you would like to share that you think is a magic bullet for such things, do share.

 

Letting go…

“Forgive Punish Signpost Means Forgiveness Or Punishment” by Stuart Miles @ FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

“Forgive Punish Signpost Means Forgiveness Or Punishment” by Stuart Miles @ FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Why do we hang onto things emotionally?  It would be nice to say that I am the only one that does this, so think that somehow I am the strange one and am the exception, not the rule.  But I know I am not.

There is so much baggage that we carry with us through our life.  Most of it is small things, like the embarrassing moments that we experience that causes us to feel stupid, or the times we lose our temper at the wrong time and make a spectacle of ourselves.

Understanding that we cannot go back through time and take it back, understanding that there is nothing we can do about it once it has been done, we should be able to take the lesson learned from whatever happened and move on, eventually accepting what what we did was dumb, embarrassing, painful, libalous, etc…

So I would like to ask, in this short piece, what do you do to get over it?

If you are one of those, like me, that does not get over it, or not easily anyway, how do you deal with the mental baggage that you collect through your life?

Thanks for reading.

Why do we fall in love?

 

Love is a strange thing.   It is wondrous, joyful and one of the most beautiful feelings you can have.   It can motivate you, drive you to levels you may not be able to acheive on your own and it can push a person to live a better life than the would have otherwise.

But love can hurt.  Like when the time comes for your child to leave the house, or when someone you love has to leave, either by design or by chance.  Or when a loved one passes on and leaves us behind to try to fill in the empty void that was the place that once held their presence.

One might think that it is easier to not love at all when you think of the pain that comes from the loss of a love.  That the emptiness in your heart and life are just not worth the effort of having someone there to begin with.  You might also think that maybe love is some cruel joke that life plays on us, to give us that beautiful feeling that lifts your heart and makes you feel like you can do or be anything, but then it can be so easily dashed away…  leaving you so hurt and vulnerable.

Why is it that we succumb to something that can leave us so vulnerable, so weak, so open to attack?  How is it natural for something that cannot be seen, touched or tasted, at least in the purely literal sense, to lay us open like a knife plunged into our stomachs?  Why is it that when we feel the heartache of a love lost, we still take a chance and do it again and again?

But with all the broken hearts I have had in my life… with all the pain and burden I have felt as the result of love over my many years, I would not change a thing.  I would not wish any those emotions away or to have never been.

Even with the pain, with the sorrow, the gut-wrenching agony of the loss, the love was something beautiful that will always be a part of me and will always give me some pleasure in its memory.  When I do think back on those loves, I will enjoy the memory and, to a lesser extent, will relish the pain that is there too.

So…  here’s to love and the ones we offer it to, for the better or the worse.  May we never forget how to love and never be afraid to open our hearts to others, even if there is a chance of it happening again.

“Tis better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all”     -AL Tennyson

I Hate You!!!

These have to be the worst words and the worst phrase that one can use against another.

I have been called names before, several times, and not always in jest. But none of them hurt like when a person tells you that they hate you. Likewise, I can think of no worse thing to say to someone than that you hate them.

As we can see in our world today, hate can be a filthy, dangerous and anti-productive feeling. Really, even in times of war, hate accomplishes absolutely nothing. There is no good that can come from you telling someone this, or them saying it to you.

Many years ago, when I was very young, I recall a teacher telling me something that stay with me to this day. I had yelled at another student and told him that I hated him, but she took me aside and explained how hurtful those words could be. Granted, this was in fourth grade, and most children just do not comprehend the power of words at that age, but her comments stayed with me, regardless.

It would not be until several years later, when I used those very words for the sole purpose of hurting someone that I learned their true power. I had told my mother, at the ripe old age of 14, that I hated her. Then later that evening, I saw the effect that this had on her.

After that time, I never said that to her or anyone else again. You will not hear me say that I hate someone anymore. Yes, I still do use the word “hate”, but these days it is in relation to more innocuous things. I hate the arthritis that is making my knee hurt, I hate my allergies, I hate these oppressive taxes, etc… These are all things that I know will not be emotionally affected by my hatred of them.

To these things, you can express your hatred all you want, with no repercussions. There are no feelings to hurt, no egos to bruise. The most that will happen and this is if you REALLY hate that inanimate object you are cursing, is that you will tire and run out of breath.

Too often people hate one another for something like their religion, or skin color, or sexual orientation, or many other things that I could list. But who does that hatred help? What does telling them that you hate them accomplish except maybe causing them pain?

All this being said does not mean that there are not people out there that deserve to be hated. There are many, many truly “hate-worthy” people on this planet. But then the question comes up, is it really worth your time and effort to express the energy to hate them? Are they really worth that much of your attention? More importantly, do they CARE if you hate them?

More often than not, the answer to these questions will be no, and by doing so you are actually giving them more attention than they deserve or need.

There is already too much hate in the world. Try to do like I was taught. The next time you see a person and feel compelled to say you hate them, even if it is only to yourself and under your breath, replace “Hate” with “dislike”.

The voice of my father…

In the wake of learning that I am now a father, there has been a lot going through my mind these days. While many of these thoughts are the usual “New Father” things, there are many that are either introspective or retrospective. I have started thinking about MY childhood and how I was raised and the people that influenced my life the most.

It was during this process that I made a startling and sad discovery. I can no longer remember what my father’s voice sounds like.

It is not like we talked all the time. We, more or less, would have about one phone call a month and there were the occasional visits. We were not close, by any stretch of the imagination. There always seemed to be this wall of misunderstanding and inability to identify with one one another between us. So our conversations were relatively generic.

But there was always something calming about his voice. Even thought I never spoke to him about my problems or issues in life, there was something about the way he spoke to me that made things feel better.

When I think back to those conversations that we had, both the ones that really meant something and the ones that seemed pointless, I no longer hear his voice. In my mind’s process of playing back those conversations, I hear only my voice for both parts. I see his face, the face of when he was younger and healthy, not that of the man lying in the hospital, dying of cancer. I can remember the smell of his Aqua Velva aftershave and even the smell of cigarettes on his breath that were all just parts of who he was, but when I see him speak, it is in my voice. A process of the mind to fill in gaps with something you know.

It feels as though I have lost something. A crucial memory or artifact of my life, a key to my past and who I am. Unfortunately there are no ways to get this lost memory back. I have no recordings of my father speaking, there was no video tapes of him since that technology just was not available when he was still alive.

I spoke to someone else about this, and they told me that maybe it was my mind’s way of preparing me to be a father. Letting me know that it was time to say farewell to the overwhelming memories of loss of my father and begin the road of fatherhood myself.

If that is true, and if there is an afterlife, then I hope that somewhere my father is still watching me and is proud of what I have become and how I will help raise this child with my wife.

Earning Trust

Some times you have those defining moments where something suddenly makes sense.  This can be something as complex as looking at an equation for years and not knowing how to complete it and then, one day and out of the blue, you look at it and it makes perfect sense.  Or something as simple as the arrangements of the magnets on the refrigerator door and you realize you really do not like them or any of the places that they advertise.

Today, it was one of those mundane things that suddenly came into clarity for me.  Yet the topic is important and should not be considered so mundane.

I was thinking about why it is so hard for me to trust people.  Even many of the people that are around me on a regular basis, I sometimes find hard to bring myself to trust 100%.

So… I am sitting here looking at some documentation that I am working on.  Then, as my mind sometimes does when I am working with things that let me go on “Autopilot”, and I start thinking of the company that I work for… my “Day Job”.  I thought about the work they have me do and how much trust they put in me to accomplish what I do.  Suddenly it dawns on me…

I thought about what I could use as an example of trust and how it is earned, and the thought came to me that this is something like learning to swim in a lake.

While it is not unheard of for a person to just dive into a lake that they are not familiar with, it is sometimes wise to test the waters first.  Wade in a little bit, feel the water, the temperature, look for any sharp rocks then swim out a little.  Keeping an eye on the shore at all times.  All the time being aware of potential threats both in the water and on the shore.

People and developing trust in them, is not much different.  You will not go up to a person that you are not familiar with and trust them with the keys to your house or car.  If you do not KNOW the person, either as at least an acquaintance, you will probably never trust them that far.  But if you are familiar with them, you might start small.

You would trust them with little things, keeping important matters confidential or to work with you on delicate matters without sharing the information with others that do not need to know what is going on.  This is the part where you start testing the waters.  Seeing if the swim is worth it.

As time goes on, you might entrust this person with more information or details that you do not want shared, yet you might want to share with SOMEONE.  In spite of what some may tell you, I feel that it is human nature to want to trust and share your life with others.  But through experience and the process of being let down, there are many out there that build up walls and do not want to let others into their lives to trust.

I am one of those people.  I find it very hard to trust others, even the littlest amount.  So I shut people out except for those that I already know and trust.  As you might understand, this firewall that I have put up makes finding new friends hard.  I might even say impossible.  I have been burned a few times through my life, but I think that maybe I went too far with how I lock people out of my life.  This is something that I think needs to change a little.

So I will promise to myself, that with this new… or at least new to ME… Revelation, that I will start training myself to allow a certain amount of trust to more people.  I will begin teaching myself to test those waters and find people that I can trust, with whom I can share, that are outside my present circle of friends.  Over time, those that I meet and let into my inner circle will help me to learn to not be so critical of others.

I do not expect this to be a quick transition.  When you spend so many of your years of life learning to find reasons not to let people into your life for fear of getting burned, it is no easy task to unlearn this.  I expect to be at odds with myself for some time as I retrain my thinking to be more open with others.  To not listing to a person and automatically assume that they are lying without having any past knowledge of the person.

This is going to be an interesting journey for me.  I will have to steer my course with caution and watch out for hazards.

Do you have a trust or relationship story you would like to share with me?  Advice from your own experiences? Please do.

 

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