Let It Flow

Turn and face the change.

All of us are an influence. We all leave footprints. Every environment we enter into becomes altered by our mere existence. This can never change. The only thing we can change is whether the influence we have is positive or negative.

Those like me with a behavioral diagnosis can be particularly vulnerable to outside influences. Bullies at school for some reason get a say in how much self-esteem we have. Manipulative people who make us happy end up controlling our behavior. Even wholesome things can become obsessions if we fail to recognize their influence on us.

I try to not be controlling. When I was younger I was frustrated with the way people treated me. I’d try to fix the problem any way I could. It started with just trying to talk to people. When things began to look hopeless it lead to using guilt and eventually fists. A need to fix my problems became a problem.

I realize now there is a flow to life. Every person has their way of doing things. It would be nice if more good things would flow in the direction I want, but I won’t force them to. I respect the flow. If I try to fight the current I could potentially get caught in it and the waves would eventually crash over me.

The relationships I have now consist of people who naturally gravitate toward me. I didn’t have to win them over. They see me for who I am and they like what they see. I don’t try to control them and they give me the same courtesy. That respect ends up creating more positive change than anything else.

Anyone who seeks to influence me with negativity is going to be disappointed. Manipulations, peer pressure, and threats are going to wash past me. I’ll meet their force with calm resistance. The only one who will have say in how I conduct my life is going to be me. No behavioral diagnosis is going to give anyone permission to tell me what to do. My mind remains immovable.

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What I Want

This is for those who ever wished upon a star.

Telling people what you want should be easy, right? Simply think about what you are lacking, put it into words in your mind, and then verbally describe your desires. Simple. Logical. Straightforward. So why is it hard for people to do?

Wants are more personal than needs. Needs are determined by what we prioritize at any given moment. We meet our needs because we try to be responsible over life’s important matters. A want comes from an inclination to be satisfied. The desire to be whole.

Is it possible to want what we already possess? Probably not with as much intensity. I am a man of deep desire and passion. I try to balance my life with discipline so as not to be carried away in my appetites. While some desire material things or the acknowledgement of others, I seek a more elusive prize. I don’t even know how to begin describing it to you.

Not often do people ask me what I want. Why would they? Everyone is so focused on meeting needs they forget that people have wants. Our society is designed to meet people’s needs. Something breaks; go to a shop to get it fixed. Someone gets sick; get them to a doctor. What happens when there are no pressing needs anymore? What do we focus on then?

No system is in place to give people what they want. That is something each of us has to strive for on our own. I’m not talking about happiness. Happiness is about feeling good and comes from trusting that things will work out. What I am talking about with want is more profound.

Ever wanted something for another? Wanting someone to live. Wanting someone to heal. To be safe. To be free. Truly, this is love. To meet the needs of others. To make them a priority.

People rarely say out loud what they truly want. It hurts to ask for what you ache for. I do my best to heal hearts. The pain I recognize in people breaks my heart. I wish they could tell me what they want so I don’t have to guess. We can’t expect to get what we long for if we don’t know how to ask for it.

To pursue what we want with patience shows maturity. Life isn’t about immediately satisfying our desires. Our wants will never cease. Life is about finding peace. If I can help one person to live, then that is enough for me. It’s enough.

Being Perfect

People ask me how I am. I tell them I’m perfect. They laugh.

I hear people say nobody is perfect. This creates a lot of misconception. Perfection is defined as being without flaw. I would agree that every person has flaws, but I refuse to think the word perfect cannot be applied to people in a meaningful way.

First off, people say nobody is perfect as an excuse. I suppose they think failure is acceptable as long as they feel no one can do better. Saying nobody is perfect allows them to lower expectations making their inadequacies seem not so big. I think this is a shame because we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to others for a sense of worth.

What I find particularly irksome is when people try to use the line “nobody is perfect” as an argument against me. People assume I’m looking for perfection simply because I desire some quality in my life. I don’t understand why people get upset when I keep my standards. They’ll accuse me of being arrogant just for wanting to improve myself and my situation.

The word perfection is not something that comes up in my vocabulary. The only time I hear it is when listening to others. Everyone has their own messed up idea for what counts as perfect. A word is meaningless if it does not create understanding. I feel people should not say to others they can’t be perfect. It is like saying that improvement is meaningless.

Our behavior can be perfected. It is as real as change. I’ve seen people who were untrustworthy turn into people who are as good as their word and better. I’ve known people who were introverted to eventually become people who are outgoing. Actions, thoughts, and feelings can be perfected to the point where you don’t have to worry about them.

Tell people they can improve. You don’t have to constantly remind them to be realistic in their expectations. They can do that themselves. The greatest accomplishments in human history were due to men and women who did more than what other people expected of them. We will never improve the quality of our lives if we fail to recognize our own capacity to improve ourselves.

Learning How to Trust

Trusting people is risky. Trust me on that.

Years ago I posted an article about the different types of dumb in the world. There was another kind of dumb I could have mentioned, but I felt it deserved its own post. This article comes after years of thought and contemplation.

Being gullible is another form of dumb. I didn’t include it in my previous list because there are so many factors that go into gullibility. Determining the balance between trusting the information in front of us and questioning everything around us is not an easy thing to judge.

First off, consider your feelings. I’m a very calm person who likes to think things through before taking action. When new information is presented to me the calm is gone and replaced with uncertainty. A judgement needs to be made. Is this new information positive or negative? I consider the evidence, make a decision, and go back to being calm. The ultimate conclusion we are looking for is whether or not the new information makes sense. We want to be in a state where everything feels right. No uncertainty to bother us.

This process happens constantly in our lives. I received a letter in the mail recently saying I could get money from a court case if I just send them my social security number. Something doesn’t feel right about that. If the story doesn’t check out, then we either find out if there is more to the story or we walk away from the situation. When I was a journalist working in Idaho I would enter into government buildings or companies and simply tell them I’m a reporter and they would let me right in. My story made sense to them and they didn’t question it.

My worry is that people too often trust the information presented to them without testing it out for themselves. Not every source of new information is reliable. Many people seek to control the narrative by being persuasive and appealing. Skilled speakers can pacify a crowd of people tricking them into a false sense of calm. When calm we can mistakenly feel that everything must be alright because we feel good about everything. A healthy bit of doubt keeps us from being fooled by smooth talkers.

On the other hand, we have to trust someone eventually. We can’t just question all information presented to us. My image of how the world operates is based on all the reading I’ve done. I trust that the writers did a god job of telling the truth. If not, my knowledge is based on a false sense of reality. I don’t have time to see the world with my own eyes. I have to rely on other people’s eyes if I want to see it all.

My hope is that people will have trustworthy friends and family members to turn to. It’s frustrating when you don’t know how to feel about what you see around you. Good judgement allows us to find the bright side to our circumstances even when things don’t go our way. I choose to have an attitude of hope. If there are people I can trust, I will find them.

 

Our World

The world belongs to those who make it what it is.

Not all of us are ambitious. Instead of changing the world most of us are happy just to find an equilibrium with it. We take the opportunities given to us and try to not cause too much trouble to the system in place.

I’ve spent much of my life going with the program. I do what I am expected to do. Go to school, get a job, and give back to society. One thing I have learned from experience is that the program doesn’t care about me as an individual. I’m just another face in the crowd. A random number on someone else’s list.

The world is not interested in me being a great man. It is perfectly fine with no one being great. I have to pursue greatness on my own terms. The world can’t offer me the best opportunities because it doesn’t know how to recognize my unique potential.

Potential is unlocked by trying. Even if I had the best ideas in the world it doesn’t add up to much if they remain stuck in my head. Potential that is untapped has no value. Ideas need to be shared to have value. Words need to be spoken. Time needs to be spent.

Other people are trying at the same time as I am. Opportunities are not infinite so I find myself competing with others to get my ideas and words out in front. I’ve had to interrupt people, challenge existing ideas, and speak without being asked to. No one is going to ask me to change the program. It is a work I take upon myself.

Great men become so because they do more than what is expected of them. History remembers those who made a difference and not those who refused to contribute. The world gave me the opportunity to live. I want to make the world better by living well in it.

Stupid Cupid

It is said all is fair in love and war. That doesn’t sound fair.

Dating and romantic relationships comprise a specific part of a person’s social life. For someone like me who is diagnosed with a behavioral disorder it is difficult enough to make friends with people let alone convince them to want to date me. I can’t speak for others, but I’m sure many people share my frustrations with the whole dating game.

As I’ve said before, having great social skills does not make people like you. Social skills just help you to not look like a fool in public. What makes people like you is your unique personality. Someone out there is looking for a person a lot like you. Dating brings people together with compatible personalities and potentially creates healthy relationships. I’m all for it. So why can’t I have one?

Inexperience

I come from a family that doesn’t express their feelings very well. If personal feelings are had in the Meldrum family, those feelings are quietly sealed away only to be allowed out during set times in a safe, risk-free environment. This background made it difficult to learn how to show or receive affection. Even feeling desired provides a challenge.

My own personal experiences of getting close to people are very few. The instances where I became openly affectionate with another lasted only a couple weeks each time. In all cases, I wasn’t the one who initiated the relationship but rather ended up in circumstances that lead to affection. I was just there at the right place and time. All I did was make it easy for people to kiss me.

I’m a little more mature now, but I still make rookie mistakes. People have gotten hurt because I didn’t know what I was doing. I wish I had a better way of learning besides trial and error.

Ineptitude

What is clear to many is confusing to me. People talk as if there are simple and intuitive rules to dating. All I see is a flawed system.

For one thing, my priorities are different from a lot of people. I want to meet people. I’m desperate for real human connection. Other people seem to prioritize finding romance. I’ve had experiences where people were hoping I was going to make some kind of move while I was just happy to have what I thought was a friend. When they eventually decide there is no romance to be had they would drop me to look for another person. In all cases, I didn’t realize this was happening until long after the fact.

So much I don’t see. Other people can look at a situation within a context of romance while I remain oblivious. Many women I know had crushes on me, but I didn’t know it at the time. I bet there are many more I am still oblivious to.

Love Conquers All

None of what I have experienced in the past has discouraged me from moving forward. I want to be in a close, personal relationship with a woman who genuinely loves me. I know that the woman I will one day marry is out there somewhere. She’s probably looking for me. I may not be talented in dating, but I am skilled in expressing love. Whoever chooses me to take their hand in love, I will not fail them.

All That Ends Well

I saw a movie the other day.

All movies have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is all about setting up the story, introducing the important elements, and establishing the tone. The middle is where you have all the twists, the setbacks, and the close calls. Finally, the ending answers all the hanging questions, cures the conflict, and brings everything home.

The movie I saw made me think about the times when we are introduced to new people. Most of the time I meet people who are in the middle of their story. They are already going through conflict, struggles, and uncertainty. From their point of view I am seen as either a new asset or another setback. I’m just a supporting character in their story.

My reaction to the world is much different from other people. I feel like I am always at the beginning of a story. Everyone I meet is new to me even if I have known them for a while. I’m always curious about how things may turn out. It makes it so I don’t pass judgement on anyone because I feel like there is way more to the story.

It would be nice to meet someone who sees me as the end to their story. Like I am the resolution they were looking for. The answer to all their questions. The happily ever after.