Lost in Time

My throat is tightening from this deep fear about writing these words. I’m going to face my fear of posting something too personal. I’m going to start sharing with you what’s happening in my head and in my life. I no longer have the excuse that I have no idea what to write about. I’m no longer going to focus on trying to generate thousands of views to my blog.

Life Maze Uncertainty Labyrinth

I’m overwhelmed and anxious with life because I haven’t been writing. My mind races faster than an out of control bullet train. I’m fighting back the negative thoughts that tell me that there is no place for me in this world. Writing is the only way for me to slow down and make sense of the chaos swirling around in my head. I’m at peace when I’m writing.

I have no idea where to start back up with my memoir. I’m afraid of not remembering enough details for my memoir. It scares me to death thinking that I’ll never finish it. I want to finish my memoir so my friend, Judie will get to read it in her lifetime. I already lost the chance for my grandfather to read my finished book.

I’m losing control of my life because it seems like time is moving faster than I can keep up. Everybody that I know is married or getting married and having kids. I’m not there yet and it scares me. I was born in the wrong decade. I don’t fit into this PC (Politically Correct) culture. Differences of opinion shouldn’t make you the enemy. I don’t agree that violence is justified against people that don’t agree with you. I believe in the America where freedom is not one sided. You don’t get to pick and choose what law abiding citizen gets to have rights. You don’t get to decide who has the right to free speech. And, you don’t get to decide that law abiding citizens shouldn’t have the right to keep and bear arms. When can we go back to intelligent conversations and debate without the hostility? I want to live in the America where the people respect their country and its Constitution. The document created to protect every Americans’ freedom. Our soldiers don’t fight and die for our freedom for America to become a communist regime.

I had a date a few days after my birthday or so I thought. I was chatting with a beautiful woman on the eHarmony dating site. I’ll call her Sara. The first response I received from her was that we should meet soon. That threw me for a loop because I’ve never had a woman be that direct with me before. It was exciting. I go through a lot of matches on dating sites before I get a response. The next morning, we agreed to meet that Sunday afternoon.

The day of the date, I drove my chair outside to the back patio where my friend was hanging out. “It looks like I have that date later today,” I said.

“Does she know you’re a quadriplegic,” he asked.

My heart dropped into my stomach.

After I talked with my friend, I texted Sara: “It’s cool that I’m in a wheelchair?”

“If you’re ok with being friends.” A second later she texted the word “‘Only.”

“I don’t think I would want to just be friends,” I replied.

“So maybe not then” she said.

My friend saved me from a lot of humiliation and drinking too much. Sara put me in the friends zone before she even met me. In all my birthday excitement, I neglected the number one rule as a cripple on the dating scene. Never assume the girl understands you’re in a wheelchair. I’m a quadriplegic in the sense that I can’t lift my arms or legs. I don’t have a spinal cord injury. I have muscular dystrophy. It means that my muscles are weaker than the average person. I can have children or take part in their creation. Being in a wheelchair is a major deal breaker for many people on the dating scene. I usually make sure the wheelchair won’t be an issue before I go on a date with a girl. I believed that I made it clear in my profile and pictures that I’m in a wheelchair.

I hate it when my disability disqualifies me as a potential romantic partner before they get to know me. It tears me up inside. My mind tries to convince me that my failures with dating equals my failure as a man. Love is torn away from me whenever I get close to finding it. I’m a hopeless romantic. I’ll search the ends of the earth until I find love. It takes time to find a strong, open minded woman to be open to dating a guy with a disability. I’m determined to find love within a committed relationship. Its not possible for me to ever give up.

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Approval mindset: How to Kick it in the Balls to Find Peace

Have you ever lived in a hell of your own creation? That is when you know that you have hit rock bottom. This was my teenage years to early twenties. I felt defeated, worthless and alone.

How do I find happiness and overcome this anxiety? I refuse to let my anxiety control me. I hate myself for being so shy and anxious. Isolation seems to be my only solace from the ache in my heart. 

I see a happy crowd around me. Maybe If I be like them, I can be happy too.

Wrong. The anxiety and fear of social interactions intensifies.

I failed to fit in and it crushed my heart. “It’s true. You are a weak, coward and a loser. Why can’t you just get over it and be more social? I’d tell myself”

Female legs and a soccer ball

The Search for Truth Begins

“Struggle is our greatest compass to find lasting peace.”

I’m tired of living the lie of fitting in. This is a pursuit of happiness, not approval. There must be truth out there.

Find the culprit

The approval mindset is the culprit behind my heartache. The approval mindset is like using a band-aid to stop the bleeding of the heart. Happiness comes from within. You don’t gain it through the approval of others. It makes you feel worse about yourself. You lose the confidence in your abilities.

Let go

Letting go of the approval frees your mind and encourages you to search for truth. You find the answers to your struggles. It brings you peace and leads you to living a meaningful life. You will never be good enough by following the crowd. You don’t win a persons acceptance. You gain their respect by remaining true to who you are.

The Master of Deception

It’s greatest weapon of deception is temporary satisfaction. It temps you by giving you small bits of happiness for a while. Then, it rips it from your grasp until your soul is empty of meaning and your identity is non existent.

How to Defeat the Approval mindset

It took me many years to find my enemy and learn how to defeat it. I needed to find a way to relieve the intense anxiety to find contentment and live in peace. I found a battle plan to fight the sly tactics of the approval mindset.

Slay the Dragon of Perception

To find truth we must peel back the perception layer. This is our comfort zone. Our first set of emotions that we want to accept as truth. This is the place where popular opinion influences us the greatest. We must ask ourselves, “Is there truth to this?”

The approval mindset shuts down your creative and critical thinking. Your perceptions become your reality. Facts and history and history no longer matter. Beliefs and values are no longer cherished.

Strong, defined values

I have always had high expectations for myself but there was no room for failure. You cannot meet all the expectations of others. I ran from my values for too long. It was time to embrace them. You can run from your beliefs or you can embrace them. We must challenge our beliefs. It disrupts our comfort levels but It’s essential to our growth as human beings. I believed in temporary satisfaction. Fitting in allows our values to change. This brings you misery. That is why we must rely on you values to find contentment.

Love, honor, and integrity are the values that define who I am. Love is my driving force. I strive to bring people together. You cannot have love without honor and integrity. It is authentic love is what brings lasting happiness to our lives. It brings out the best in us without expectation. Authentic love forms the strongest, intimate connections. We must embrace our differences. We do this by sharing stories and learning from one another.

Challenge #1: List out your top five strongest beliefs. Challenge them in every way possible. Write down the positive and negative aspects of your beliefs. Why do you choose to believe what you believe? Do these beliefs support your strongest held values?

Facts

Pretend to be Sherlock Holmes. Don’t accept anything until you understand the facts. Ten minutes of research can enlighten you. Facts are not always wrapped and presented to you with a pretty little bow.

History

Absorbing the knowledge from history is the best way to uncover the lies people tells us. History is the ultimate lie detector test for the present day. History has a tendency to repeat itself. That is why we must have a firm understanding of history.

Questions

Question everything. Question your beliefs, emotions, actions, reasoning, and motivations. You do not need to be conspiracy theorist. When you burn of unanswered questions, than you are on the right track to finding truth.

Challenge #2: Read an article or book from someone you don’t agree with. This is an idea you never cared to look into. What questions come to your mind as you read it? What are the things that you disagree with the strongest? Why? Can you back up your reasoning through facts, history, and values?

What has been your experience been like battling the approval/fit in mindset? Share in the comments.

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The Catch of the Season

Over the three-day weekend, I caught a fish with one hell of a bite. I had to toss it back like a live grenade. eHarmony matched me with a cute young woman with a pretty smile.

She writes me:

“How you doing? Am Maria new here seeking for a man i can call my own not really sure if you re single? if you re single and seeking for serious relationship kindly drop your email, I dont use to this site if you re interested in me you can also email me here..(she left her email address here).”

I snagged a bottom feeder catfish. They aren’t the smartest fish in the sea. Yes, I know your name is Maria and yes, I know you’re looking for a man. This is an online dating site, that’s the idea!

Catfish by annamariademari
CC Image by mariannaphotography

This is the point where red flags should be flashing before your eyes. Instead, I sent her an email.

Her reply:

“Thanks so much for getting back to me the reason why i am online stuff is because i was hurt and i got heart broken when my ex-finance left me just a week to our wedding which i never expected that while i was there thinking that i had found the right man not knowing he never loved me and that’s why am trying this on-line dating..”

I began to have flashbacks from past catfish experiences. I’ve caught about five or six catfish on eHarmony.

For the most part, online dating has been a pleasant experience for me.

Once in awhile, a catfish will get through the system. Your experiences may vary. Many people have met their spouses through eHarmony and other online dating sites.

The women I’ve met in person and dated from eHarmony haven’t been crazy people. They’ve looked exactly like their pictures they post.

Verifying somebody’s identity online is difficult. You must be careful whom you trust. If you look for the signs and use common sense, online dating can be a good experience. The ease of scamming a person on the Internet is irresistible to a catfish.

The Catfish Pattern 

Unnatural communication. You can tell they use canned responses and their communication is weird. The writing sounds like a ridiculous advertisement. No legitimate woman looking for a relationship or a date writes, “How you doing? Am Maria new here seeking for a man i can call my own not really sure if you re single?”

Move too fast. Catfish will want to communicate with you via email a.s.a.p.

“…if you re interested in me you can also email me here…”

Some women have legitimate reasons to communicate with you outside of the site. They might want to cancel their membership. Be suspicions of matches that give you their email in their first message to you.

Gain sympathy. They make up stories to make you feel sorry for them. They’ll tell you that they’re recovering from a bad breakup or an abusive relationship. They caught their boyfriend cheating on them and are having trouble trusting guys again. Are you that truth worthy guy that will save them?

“Thanks so much for getting back to me the reason why i am online stuff is because i was hurt and i got heart broken when my ex-finance left me just a week to our wedding which i never expected that while i was there thinking that i had found the right man not knowing he never loved me and that’s why am trying this on-line dating..”

Quantity over quality. Catfish will send you a lot of fluffy nonsense in their first email. They will write paragraphs of words that go on for an eternity. It doesn’t sound like you’re having a real conversation.

“I kinda am looking for a funny, loyal, smart, and attractive man. he doesn’t have to be a handsome or rich but that will make me happy either just has to be some kinda spark there.anyway i just wanna let you know that I’m seeking a serious long term relationship and more. Someone special to capture my heart and knows how to handle it with care, one who will cherish me and be willing to share life’s greatest joys and sorrows.”

Horrible English. Their English writing skills are atrocious. A kindergartner would have better spelling and grammar than a catfish. The run on sentences will make your head spin.

“some times people select there love with age as for me i dont believe in age in a relationship all that l want a man that will make me happy so much and make me feel so good and that will be faithful in all things that he told me that will be truthful to me I am actually educated…I kinda been single not long ago. I really haven’t met any men that I really liked I guess.”

Soul mate. Catfish play to your emotions of belonging and connection. They give you the impression that you might be their knight in shining armor and soul mate.

“…I’m looking for for a partner for life..are you the one?? Appearance is not important but more importantly: Are you a loving guy,,,??? I am a person that use to be very shy..A good listener, smart and funny! I’d give the same to the ONE !! Who knows – may be you are my twin-soul? Someone who’s willing to spoil, pamper and love me unconditionally, whom is kind, sincere, honest, passionate, loyal, sense of humor, loving and wants a lifetime of passion., so only serious inquiries will be accepted.I’m looking for a soul-mate…a best friend for life!”

Money. Catfish will start asking for money after a few email correspondences. They need a plane ticket to get home, money for groceries or an important project. They need extra money to help take care of their relative. If they ask you for money, run!

Have you ever tried online dating websites? If not, would you ever try it if you were single? Do you have any interesting online dating experiences? 

Share in the comments. 

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