What Do You Do With Fear?

Thought this was a really good perspective on fear.


“You have two options:


Forget Everything And Run


Or


Face Everything And Rise”


It the old fight or flight!


– Running may be good when you can avoid a devastating fight and get yourself and your loved one to safety.


– But sometimes you don’t have that option and you have to “fight the good fight” and overcome the devils you face. 


Everyone is afraid of something(s) and/or somebodies. 


If someone isn’t afraid then they are brain dead!


Strengthen yourselves, ready yourselves, and pray. 


What do you fear and how will you face it? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Why People End Up On The Sh*t List

Shit List.jpeg

This was a funny sign…the old “sh*t list!”


When people do cr*p to you and they do it maliciously and with intent, and as repeat offenders enjoying their evil ways hurting others. 


Invariably, they can end up on the sh*t list. 


However, I’ve never actually seen such a list until this. 


You have your:


– Offender

– Violation

– Was it a friend, stranger, lover, family, other?

– When did it occur?

– Severity level


It even has a line for your “plan of attack”–whether you confront, ignore, stew, avenge, talk sh*t, or other. 


And finally whether the terrible offender is still on or off the list. 


While not every offense is a mortal blow and we need to have compassion for people and try to love everyone…sometimes, people can behave so badly and don’t stop no matter how much you try and beg and offer to help them that they just force themselves onto the bad boys/girls list. 


We don’t want to have ill feelings to anyone–we are all G-d’s creatures–but what do you do when people go so far astray or have problems so big that they hurt others so bad and so often.


Surely, we need to have understanding and compassion first for people and try to do everything to help them and bring peace to the world, but when your dealing with the true worst of what people have to offer and they lack basic human self-control and decency, perhaps that’s why victims revert as a last resort to their sh*t list. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Flying Sneaks

Flying Sneaks.jpeg

We can all fly.


Not necessarily through the air.


But through life and ultimately in death, we can fight and take flight and soar. 


It is our attitude and determination to overcome the hardest of hardships that we face. 


We feel the pain for the situations where we fell, failed, and lost control over outcomes. 


People who told us what they thought we are and where we can go…our ego busted, our shame written all over us, our regret and fear over what we did or should’ve done differently.


We can’t go back.


We can only go forward.


We can learn, and we can grow.


We can compartmentalize the problems and hurt. 


We can pick up the pieces wiser than before and more determined to succeed.


Wings are not just for angels, but also for sneakers and for souls. 


I want to fly all around the world, and more so into the heavens to see my Heavenly father and be reunited for eternity with my family and loved ones.


Fly free and wide.


Fly high and unobstructed by poverty, illness, abuse, and loneliness. 


Fly and soar beyond anything we could ever have imagined. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Conflicts That Challenge Us

Woman

My wife told me something good today (first time ever, haha).  


There are three types of conflicts:


1) Between Man and Himself — these are our internal conflicts or demons (fears, anxieties, guilt, compulsions, and evil impulses) that we must conquer. 


2) Between Man and Man — these are conflicts we have with others and we must resolve them with either empathy, compromise, giving, and forgiveness or at the other end of the spectrum with fight or flight.


3) Between Man and His Environment — these are conflicts that are man-made or natural in our surroundings and may involve scarcity, harsh or destructive conditions, and obstacles to overcome with scientific and engineering problem-solving. 


I would add a 4th type of conflict:


4) Between Man and G-d — these are conflicts we have in trying to understand why we are here, what G-d wants from us, and “why bad things happen,” and involve our relationship and reconciliation with and service to our maker. 


Basically, these four conflicts are more than enough to keep us busy day-in and -out for our entire lifetime, and either we resolve them and go to the afterworld, or perhaps we have to come back to do some more work on resolving them again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Silence Or Violence

Communication.JPeG

So when it comes to “Crucial Conversations,” they unfortunately frequently end in silence or violence.


When the “stakes are moderate to high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong” that’s when communication really seems to break down, rather than achieve their goals of working things out. 


Like when our lives are in danger and we have the adrenalin rush reactions to fight or flight, similarly with potentially “dangerous” communications, people become aggressive and abusive or shutdown and withdraw. 


When your afraid of a negative outcome, either you start hammering others with your ideas and opinions or you exit the conversation and seek safety. 


Either way, at this point, there’s no real common ground, negotiation, compromise, or win-win to be easily had…in this pressure cooker poor excuse of a dialogue, it can basically become a tragic win-lose situation.


Perhaps, that’s why there are mediators and neutral third parties that are often brought in to make people feel (relatively) safe again, help them be understood and to understand, and to find a negotiated peace or settlement. 


And what happens when even this doesn’t work and communication and diplomacy fails?


Well that’s when people and countries bring out the big guns and they essentially go to war to win what they hoped to achieve with dialogue. 


Now words are no longer the only choice, but all options are on the table, and that’s when benign words can quickly turn into more drastic or deadly deeds (aka the children reframe of “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me.”


And there is always the thermonuclear option–people supported it with Japan in WWII and they say they would support it with a Tehran that violates the very generous nuclear deal they received.


Words are a prelude to a possible peace or an unwanted war. 


They can be the last chance to work things out the way we hope for.


And if words alone can’t resolve the issue, then blood and treasure is spent and spilt to resolve the otherwise unresolvable. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Kid’s Games, For Survival Mostly

Action Figure

Some nights, I dream of fighting and others of running for my very life.  

This last night, I woke up from the dream, and thought how these instincts of fight or flight are so pervasive in our lives, and even in our sleep. 

But more than that, we are literally from the youngest age, programmed for survival (of the fittest). 

Ok, here’s a simple hypothesis about kid’s play:  

Kid’s play is not just play, but rather the preparation through acting out of these basic human survival instincts.

At it’s core, kids games mimic the fundamental human tendencies of fight or flight. 

Think for a second of some of the most popular games that kids play…the ones that mostly have been around forever, and kids from the youngest of ages gravitate too.

Tag — Running after from someone else running after you. 

Hide and Go Seek — Running to hide from someone looking to find you.

Play Fighting — Fighting an opponent to see who is stronger and can overcome the other. 

Action Figures — Often superheroes and villians that once again, fight each other.

Dress Up — Girls often dress as the beautiful princesses to be admired by boys who are in turn dressed as (macho) heroes that seek to protect them. 

Video Games — The most popular ones, first-person shooter (fighting) and racing (running away, faster than anyone else, and over the finish line or into the safety zone). 

Whether we are playing games, sleeping and dreaming, or going about our daily life activities, make no mistake, we are in survival mode. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Go Quick And Far

Africa
I love this African proverb that I heard recently:

 

“If you want to go quickly, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”

 

When we’re alone, we are traveling “light”–we don’t have to worry about or help another person…we can go quickly.

 

However, when we go together with another, we have a companion and support, and can endure more and go much farther.

 

In life, going it alone…is more of a “flight” response. When you have to run, you get away as quickly as you can.

 

In the movie Last of the Mohicans the fleeing male character yells to the woman, “Stay Alive! No matter how long it takes, I will find you.”  They disperse, each one moving as speedily as possible to survive.

 

Similarly, when we have to “fight,” there is power in numbers. We are always stronger and more capable as a team.

 

Already from The Three Musketeers, we acknowledge the familiar refrain of, “All for one, and one for all.”

 

Similarly, when a military force advances it does so in strength with coordination and in unison, but when it is under severe attack and is retreating, often it does so chaotically, running with “every man for himself” trying to save as many as possible.

 

Overall, while we need the strength of unity and the speed of an agile runner, in the end we have to have faith, hope, and perseverance to survive.

 

Ernest Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards some are strong at the broken places.” 😉

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)