Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ideas on friendship and relationships

Did you know that when I approach a new person, a stranger to myself, that I approach them exactly the same exact way.  I plan on developing a life long friendship with that person.  When I extend my hand in friendship to you, it is not something that I do lightly.  When I tell you that you are my friend you are till the end.  I would say that 85 percent of the friends in my life I have known more than 10 years, or darn close too it.

I have been guided by the philosophy that my grandfather told me almost 30 years ago.  He told me "Bryan a person doesn't leave their mark on this world by how much material possessions they accumulate or how much wealth they have, or houses or anything like that.  A man leaves his mark on the world by how many lives he has touched and how many people remember him after he is gone. " I don't take my friendships lightly, if extend my hand to you I mean it to be a bond that is going to last forever.

I feel that there are always room for more friendships in this life.  I don't think one person is supposed to handle everything that life has on their own. They need an extended family, a support network and friends that all pull together when things go wrong.  People that you can depend on, trust with your life and know that they value you just as much.  I have been so very blessed since I moved back to Florida in March of 2012.  I was introduced by Donna Wood (my original case manager here) to Jeff Allen and his partner Jim Geary and was told about PCHAAP and the Daytona Speakers Bureau (Now the Positive Champions Speakers Bureau) through Jeff and Jim I met Omar Mayes and Mary Benefield, Jack Garcia and Robert Moyer.  These people helped me transition from my old life in Atlanta to the slower more moderate pace of Daytona. 

I am so very happy that each and everyone of them has come into my life, and though over the past 2 years my life and health has been a constant roller coaster ride. They have stuck with me and encouraged me to get back on my feet and healthy.  I don't think that I would have stayed in Daytona if it wasn't for this wonderful group of people that have been in my life since the 2nd week I was here.  Over the years we have all been through our own ups and downs but we have remained close through everything that has come at all of us.  Now, more and more people are coming into my life from exposure to this dynamic group and all I can say is that I am so excited and happy that I am still here and participating once again.

But do you know what friendship means too me?  These are the folks I turn too when I am sad, hurt, sick and down. They are my friends whether I am healthy or ill.  They stay in touch with me and make me feel like I am a part of their group and family.  They have become my extended family. I saw a picture tonight and it said "Blood means we are related, Loyalty means we are family".  What an honest and universal truth that is.

So you know more about me now than you did before, but here is some interesting tidbits of information that I would like to share with you.  I am not the kind of person that is going to be super clingy, I am a person who is always there just at the edge of sight that you can call or holler at.  I am going to come to your aid and defense whenever I am needed no matter what.  I am also the one that tries to put myself in the other persons shoes and think about what they are going through and I explain it to everyone else around me in terms that they can understand.  Understand that there is a significant difference in explaining things in terms that people can understand and talking down to people.

I learned along time ago that it necessarily isn't what you say but the manner in which is spoken that is the cause of strife in life.  You have to be very careful how you put thing out there. Remember that anything put into the universe by you comes back ten fold whether good or bad it comes back at you trust me on this.

I have also learned that no matter how much you want someone to change, or how much help you offer others that you see in need, that they are not going to change unless they really want too. The old adage "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink" holds true with individuals as well.  You can put yourself out there and try and help those around you, but unless they have reached a point in their own life that they want to change they aren't going too no matter what you do.  A person has to reach rock bottom before they turn their lives around. It hurts to watch someone you love spiral downward and crash, but sometimes you have to give tough love and let them make their own decisions.  Keep in mind that it is their life not yours.  They have to live and learn their own way.

You don't owe anyone any explanation for what you are feeling and what your decisions are.  See, you must be concerned with yourself first and foremost then what others think or feel about you.  It is your time, your life, and you have to do for you because no one else will do for you.  Hold your head high and move forward you owe no one an explanation, you have your own mind and are blessed with intelligence to make your own decisions.  Do not let others make you feel guilty for what you have decided is best for you and your life, because it is you who has to live with your decision no one else.  

I am also a person who loves hard and gives 100 percent of myself in a relationship and I have certain expectations from the person that I am dating.  I am hurting and hunting for someone to love me as much as I love them.  I would love to find a person who can and wants to spend the rest of their life with me building a future together.  I believe that a relationship is something that should not be entered into lightly, I believe that it takes a combination of love, trust, faith and honesty for a relationship to work.  I think that it is a mutual partnership that helps each party of the relationship to build on and move towards the next level.

In a nut shell you are agreeing that no matter what the circumstances are, the situations you find yourselves in, and no matter who or what comes into or through your lives you do not let them interfere with the two of you.  It takes a total change in mindset, for a relationship to work.  You are now making decisions and choices for two. You have to consider your partners feelings, thoughts, expectations before you make any choice.  You have to think of we before  you think of I. If you can't do that then you shouldn't be in a relationship anyway, because you are not going to remain faithful to the commitment that you have made to each other.

Love is just a minor part of the relationship equation. There is so much work involved and it constantly needs to be tended and watered, nurtured and taken care of.  So if you are of the fainthearted sort you may want to avoid them as long as you can.  Because when you are thinking for two it is much more difficult than thinking for one person.  See when you are in a relationship you owe your partner an explanation for everything you do.  They deserve that respect and consideration.

See my last relationship wasn't based on trust, loyalty and love.  I gave love and a hundred percent of myself, but it wasn't returned.  Every chance my ex got to talk and speak to other guys he did.  He would often mislead me into going on trips to Atlanta because he had been flirting with someone either on Facebook or Adam4Adam.  Every single time we would go to Atlanta, I would come back to Florida and have to spend 3 or more days in the hospital.  We were constantly battling the past and addictions and couldn't move forward together, because it wasn't what he really wanted.

I tried to build a home and a new life in Florida, and all he longed for was to go back to his old life in Atlanta.  But even going back to Atlanta he found that he couldn't bring back that old life no matter how hard he tried.  I believe that he has finally battled and defeated the demon that was holding him in check here.  He no longer has a need for the drug that kept us fighting and in trouble.  He has moved on and is in a new relationship and I am glad that he is doing well for himself.  But I can tell that he isn't where he wants to be mentally. He still feels he needs to get out there and get his own place and stuff again.  I don't think he can actually do that when he is struggling in a relationship.

I have found a happy place in the middle for myself. I am out on my own and surrounded by a loving network of friends that are close by and I can reach out and pick up the phone and call them.  I have my own little one bedroom place close to the causeway that will take me over to beach side and I am enjoying a certain sense of freedom and independence.  I have even started talking to someone that I had met on one of mine and my ex's adventures to Atlanta.  As a matter of fact I am planning on going down to South Florida to see him and celebrate his birthday with him.  I am wanting to take my time and explore and learn everything I can about this person.  He caught my imagination, my mind and has intrigued my soul.  He likes the fact that I am an intellectual and he supports my passion for writing and feels that I am extremely gifted when it comes to putting thoughts on paper.  I believe that this is a person who is close enough in age to me that we have lot's of things in common and can come together and build a strong relationship based on mutual trust, understanding and respect, with a healthy dose of attraction and love thrown into the mix.

So do you think you know me pretty well now?  We have just scratched the surface of my beliefs and desires.  But if you take the time to explore my blog from the beginning to now, I think you will have a better understanding of who I am and what I am looking for in life.  You will learn the cold hard facts of the addictions I have faced and overcome.  You will also learn about my fears, desires, random thoughts and the journey that I am on.  

I am not sure if a person can ever truly know another person.  You can begin to understand them a little better, you can see their motivations, but I don't think you can ever really truly know what is going on in their head or what they are thinking.  In my past I have been blindsided by hidden agendas and half-truths that it makes it hard for me to 100 percent trust anyone.  But I am not letting my past color my future, and I will not let that same past interfere with my happiness and my ability to get to know this new person that has come into my life.

 See for right now everything is about me and him and it might eventually become a WE thing, but I am going to have to wait and see.  I do know that I care about him and that I have made him 2 promises that I know will be very easy for me to keep.  The first promise is that I will never lie to him, he will always know my heart and mind before anyone else does, and the second is that no matter how busy I am in my life I will never be too busy for him.  See I know that if I want him to take a central role in my life that I am going to have to be completely open, and honest with him and myself.  I can't rationalize, generalize or kid myself into thinking something that isn't the whole truth.

 I also have to be flexible, open to change and be non judgmental.  I have caught myself attempting to compare previous relationships to the one that I am currently in, and I have learned that no two people are the same, therefore the relationship are as varied as the people that are in them.  No two relationships can be compared because if you start doing that you have condemned it from the moment that you start, because no one can live up to someone that is in your past.

I hope that you take away from this rambling on about friendships and relationships that they all start out the same. You must be a friend with someone and build a measure of trust before you can explore a relationship side with them.  Please keep in mind that if you really want your relationship to stand the test of time, you have to be open, honest, trustworthy, and committed. You have to be flexible to change and emotionally involved, you have to kill off the I and substitute We into it.  For a relationship cannot withstand only the I's and forget to consider the We.  We is the important unit of measure here.

Don't fool yourself into believing that love is the only thing it takes to make a relationship work, because Love is not a cure-all.  It does have it limitations and cannot change another person into what you think they should be.  You have to have total acceptance of each other if you are going to work.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you!

Uncle B