Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Had No Way Of Knowing This...

I met a man on the Subway today. He looked at me with a terrible scowl and snidely said, "What are you looking at, faggot?!"

He said this to me because I made eye contact with him and it made him feel uncomfortable. He looked at my 2 earrings and thought that he could call me a faggot in order to make me feel shame about my sexuality. He said these things because his father beat him as a child and he grew up not trusting anyone in his life, and had his heart continually broken in a loveless abusive family. He only knew misery and felt that everyone was out to get him.

But of course, I had no way of knowing this.

I have a woman in my office that is such a bitch. She bosses everyone around and is such a control freak. She has no soul, and nobody likes her. She is constantly called the C word, and everyone I know thinks that she should not be able to have kids in order to rid the world of another monster running around.

She is this way because her father wanted a son, and had 3 girls. She was the middle child, and in order to get her father's attention and love, she had to be a tom-boy and live her life like a man. She learned to dominate people and take by force, because her father lived his life like that. She grew up not being listened to, and therefore never learned to listen to people. But deep down, even though she would never tell anyone this, she really is just a little girl who wants to be listened to and loved by her Daddy. -And not even her husband would know this about her.

But of course, I had no way of knowing this.

I met a man who had a massive ability to find love for people. He realised that people are the way they are because of a set of events in their life that has dictated how they operate in those circumstances. He saw that they simply needed more love, and the ability to understand them and be vulnerable with them. In sharing, and refraining from judging, he was able to allow these people into his world, and they loved him. He simply allowed these people the space to be themselves, and allow them to see something bigger than their own insecurities. I admired this man because he too was a victim of an abusive family life and was beaten by his father.

But someone showed this man the love and space that he needed to clear his life of the garbage that was impeding him from his own greatness. And then he became a way of being, that allowed for this love to be shown to others, until it was given to me when I was at the lowest point, and thought that I would never truly be happy in this life. Until someone shared this with me, this wasn't possible...

But of course, I had no way of knowing this.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do You Know How You Like To Be Loved?

Let me ask you a question that you might not have ever been asked before.

How is it that you feel loved by the people in your life, and how is it that you need it to look like, in order for you to feel loved?

I think that this is an amazing question, and it was brought on by a conversation that I was having with a friend the other day.

Let me give you a better example or illustration as to what I mean.

Everyone drinks their coffee to their own preference. (if you don't like coffee, you can substitute tea, eggs, or something that everyone enjoys their own way in the manner in which it's prepared) If I brought a person coffee, and it was black and they liked it with cream and sugar, it wouldn't be the way they like it. Of course, it would still be bringing somebody coffee, which is a wonderful thought, yet it wouldn't be the way they like to enjoy drinking coffee. Get it?

So let's go back to Love. Love is the greatest gift of all, as we all know. However when you love someone, and you demonstrate your love for them the way YOU see love as occurring to you, and not how THEY see love in their eyes, you have the exact same situation as the coffee example. Then feelings and expectations are not met, and that's when you see a really challenging struggle start.

However, what if I were to ask you a simple question like, "How do you like to take your coffee?" If I remembered properly, I would always bring it to you the way that you like it. And what do I care how you take it? -You're the one drinking it, and if it tastes good to you, then that's all that is important, right?

Then why don't we do this with how we want to be loved? And why isn't this talked about?

We call Love the most powerful thing in the universe, and yet we are afraid of asking some really, really basic questions around it because we have a story about how we might appear for it.

That way, there really is no communication breakdown, let downs, or expectations that didn't get met that aren't addressed. Like I said, if somebody brought you coffee and it wasn't the way you liked to drink it, you would tell them, so that they wouldn't repeat the same thing, right? So my question is, if we do this with something as simple as a cup of coffee, then why do we ignore the most powerful thing in the universe in the same way?

Now, I could leave that question out there in cyber space and leave you with no real answer to a powerful question, but I won't. If we want to really find out why we don't tell the people in our lives who matter the most to us, HOW we like or need to be loved, it has to come from a place of authentic vulnerability in that context. Usually, this is the real reason why we don't tell people this, because in many ways we haven't been taught to talk about things like this. If it's as simple as a cup of coffee then we can do it, yet when it involves real feelings, it's "needy", or that's how the story goes in my case as to why I didn't do it.

I can look back now in my life and see that if I would've taken the care and time to actually ask and listen to HOW a person sees love, then I could've actually given them exactly what they wanted. Instead, I saw love only as how I could GIVE it to them. In many cases, I brought love to the table the way I saw it, yet not the way that worked for them. And love given that way isn't a 2 way street, is it? We all know that love has to be a 2 way street in our lives, yet we don't want to play it unless it's what we want.

When I don't want to give love the way someone else wants it, I feel resentful and I make them wrong for it. Of course, this is totally part of the way of being that I show up as in that moment, and you can usually just tell that I don't want to be in that moment. I feel emotions and conflicts about why I feel them in that moment, yet it doesn't really register as to why because I wasn't taught that as a kid. All I know in that moment is that I am resigned to being in an unworkable situation for me, and I am at a loss of power in fighting it.

But the thing is, the way someone needs to be loved was always my story about how needy THEY were, and not the reason why I saw it that way. I found that I made many women in my relationships pay for the relationship previous to that in the same way I saw that they wanted to be loved. I had so much resentment because of it, that I wasn't able to give it. Then I found out that it was actually my past, not theirs, that stopped me from loving them the way they wanted to be loved. What a powerful lesson that was...

When you can love someone the way that they want to be loved, and in turn they can love you the way that you want to be loved, and you can create what that is, it really is a totally different space to stand inside of.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Man in the Arena Speech

When I was at Elvis Presley's Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, I was in awe.

Here I was, walking in the home of the King of Rock and Roll. I was conceivably standing where he once stood, where he entertained his guests and friends, and really looking into his life.

Whenever you can see some body's home, you can get a really good idea of what is important to them, and how they live their life. Amidst the Jungle Room, The Record Room, and all the other rooms inside Graceland, the one thing that caught my eye was in the Games Room.

It was unlike any other object in Graceland, and I stopped and noticed it because it looked out of place. I then began to read it, and wonder why Elvis had this, or if it was added after his death.

The thing I saw hanging on the wall in the Games Room was a speech from Theodore Roosevelt that I had never seen or heard of, and it goes like this:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

I recognized brilliance in this right away, and I took a picture of it so that I could remember it. (This was back in 1999, when you actually went and got film developed, and there wasn't a "Google" option to look something up)

I came back from Graceland and put that picture in a frame as a reminder to always be in action. I wanted to be that man in the arena that Roosevelt spoke of, and not be a spectator in the game of life. -And I had wild successes because of it. I had so many successes, that I had developed a very poor relationship with failure. And as I know now, it's not the successes that make you great, it's the failures that you've overcome that make you truly great.

When all you've known is success, failure can be paralyzing. -And it was to me. It took my ass down a very long and hard journey, where I got some really good one-on-one time with it.

And now, 13 years later when I read that same quote I find it amazing that although the words haven't changed in the 100+ years since it was written, the context has changed in how I see it again, this time with a different view.

I now see that quote as being that this man in the arena IS GOING TO FAIL over and over again. Yet, his relationship to failure is not the same as the "cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat" The man in the ring has developed a stronger relationship with failing than the others who are simply just watching him. In time, this relationship with failure will get stronger, and failing will mean less and less to him. Yet to the people in the stands watching him, their lives will still be dictated by fear, and how they will look if they fail.


I would rather fail miserably (and I have...) and get off my ass, than sit and watch and know that at the end of my life that I sat idly by, and had no contribution of significance.

So what will be your contribution? And what are you prepared to do to train yourself so that you will be that person in the arena? Because you WILL fail. (Many times I might add.)

The only difference is what you are committed to achieving in a life that you can be proud of ,and to really love.

Then, you can achieve anything...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Searching For My New Male BFF 2014

It is Spring!!

Stanley Cup Playoffs, and my beloved Philadelphia Flyers are looking good!!

God, how I have waited all year for Spring to arrive. I could watch about 40 hours a week of hockey in every week until June. It could literally be a full-time job.

Therefore, I need help and this year, I am going to ask for it.

I am currently looking for a MALE sports fan to be my new BFF. You will need the following to apply:

1) NHL, College Football, NFL and MLB experience as a fan. I follow the Flyers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Dallas Cowboys/Washington Redskins (fucked, I know...) and New York Yankees, so if you follow any of my rivals, this might not work out well for you... This means you, you eff'ing Michigan Wolverines fans!!

Michigan Fans need not apply...

2) Preferably you will be a 40 Short men's jacket, between 5"7-5"8 so that we can interchange wardrobes and clothing. Anything more than a 34" waist need not apply. Also, I have a short inseam, so high waisted people just won't work.

3) Fitness is important, but I would rather be the better looking person if we are a "couple" so if you are fat, you must have a great, witty personality for me to forgo the wardrobe clause. Besides, I'm very shallow about shit like that, and I don't have a problem admitting it.

4) You must have passion!! If you are an engineer with no people skills, I will eat you up. If you are a gear head, please put your first passion of cars away and let's concentrate on Sports at least til June. Let's keep our eye on the big picture please. There will be road trips, so please clear your schedule of work, family, kids and other less important things in your life for good times ;)

5) I am a giver. I like to please. Example.

"I'm getting up to go get a beer, you look like you need a new one, can I get you a fresh beer?"


"I just put on a new rack of ribs because I know that they are your favourite; they should be ready in about 15 mins."


"I know how much you love busty waitresses, so I gave your number to that chick you were asking about last night. She said that she thought you were cute, and she wanted to go out with you. -I took care of it."

All of these statements are made without eye contact, because we don't need to be gay about it. It's just what we do...

6) If you can't throw something valuable when your team loses, I don't want to know you.

7) Pillow talk about how your hockey pool is not going so well is understood, and is valued. We can talk about it all night if need be. I want you to feel validated before going to sleep.

8) There are no jealousy issues amongst us men. If I admire another man's physique and say shit like, "He must work out", it has NO bearing that you think I am throwing a line like you "look fat in those pants" in your direction. -I don't need to tell you to get your ass to the gym on Monday to work off what you ate on the couch on Sunday watching Football.

9) High 5's and team hugs after a huge win is NOT considered gay, and it is actually encouraged as being passionate about the sport. If I hug or high 5 other guys, it doesn't mean I love you any less. This is understood, but needs to be repeated after point #8.

10) After the season is over, we give each other the "good game" hug (big hug with a couple taps on the back that are overly exaggerated in front of others so that nobody mistakenly thinks that we are overly affectionate with each other in a non-heterosexual way) and then we go our separate ways until the following Spring season. If the season was a good one, you might be allowed to throw out a line such as "I love you man," and not get punched in the face for it. Please don't ruin a bad season, and make it worse by throwing this line out..."Oh well, there's always next year." Have a brain please...

If these criteria match your warped sense of being, and you want to apply to be my new BFF, please drop me a line.

And Please, for the love of GOD, if you have a vagina, you need not apply. I don't care HOW cool you think you are, this position is not for you.

For those serious applicants, please send references to speed the process up. Playoff hockey is about to start, and like everything else, I have left this to the last minute. Unless you are Toronto Maple Leafs fan, and you are already ready for golf season.... LMAO!!

Oh, and previous candidates from the Fall who applied need not apply again. to tell you the truth, I was really disappointed in the talent factor, because everyone knows that I'm a helluva guy. Get on this train, it's going DOWNTOWN!! WOO-WOO!!

Good luck!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Great Small Moments in Life...

I have found that the small moments in life really accentuate the big ones.

Sure, the big moments in life really are great when they go your way. However, the small greater moments are like little treasures of low hanging fruit that really enable you to get to those big moments that pay off. Actually, I feel that it is actually the smaller moments that fuel you to succeed to the bigger moments.

Take for example this weekend. I was surrounded by my friends that I play hockey with in our Friday night hockey league for the past 13 years. The weather was amazing every day and our cottage sat on a lake where the reflection was so amazing that you didn't know if up was down, or down was up. -That was during the day. At sunset it was breathtaking, and during the night, the full moon came out and it was truly amazing. So amazing in fact that every picture I took didn't do it justice so I just simply gave up trying to capture it on camera, and tried to etch it into my eyes and remember it forever.

That is one small moment.

There are literally dozens of those moments that when I am in them, I really become present to how amazing life really is. Sure, life isn't perfect, or sometimes even great. But in moments such as these, they become very manageable. When life becomes manageable, it becomes worth living.

So the key for me is just to make life manageable, and really take in the beauty of the smaller moments in life that really separate you from being miserable and concentrating on all the wrong stuff.

Recognize the beauty in your life, in ANY form, and you will love the life you live.