Category Archives: Relationship

Who we are.

Published / by Tim / 3 Comments on Who we are.

What defines you?

Is it your job? Your family? Your career? Your degrees? Your bank account? Your network?

I used to think it was these things that define me. I imagined that when people looked at me, they saw these other things.

I  no longer think that is true. I believe that the people who see me at all, see me for who I am in relationship to them. Husband. Father. Friend. Boss. These are all titles but underlying each title is a relationship.

I don’t actually think anyone cares about my degrees, or my network or any of those things that I once thought defined who I was in the world. It seems people care that I know them and that I can be trusted with who the are. I think if I were to violate that trust, it would also work to define me.

I believe that we best known by how we treat people not by what we have or have accomplished.

Who we are is defined by how we can be trusted. Everything we think, say and do with each other stems from trust. Influence comes from trust. Responsibility comes from trust. Relationships grow with trust.

We are creatures that thrive in environments of trust but do we act that way?

Who we are is defined by our willingness to trust and to be trustworthy.

This week I’ll be looking at trust in a few posts. Stay tuned.

Stellar Connections

Published / by Tim

My dad was born in May, 1942 and died in January, 2007. He died relatively young and I have been thinking about him quite a bit the last few weeks. Who really knows why? I figured I’d take a moment and share something I wrote in his honor and in an attempt to describe how and why I am interested in stars constellations and other points of light…

I look forward to clear spring evenings. It is on these lovely evenings that I often go out a look up into the night sky. I have a deep-seated attraction for all things stellar. I never wanted to be an astronaut, but looking through a telescope makes me feel happy. The universe is amazing in its expansiveness, but it’s also lovely.

I think my father, despite his shortcomings, saw this interest within me before anyone else did. I have a few vivid memories of dad, and most of them involve being outside on a clear night and looking up. I think that is one thing I could attribute to my dad… he encouraged me to look up. He modeled being a dreamer and as such, encouraged me to have my “head in the clouds”. I think I have done a good job of that. I dream even when I am awake.

It often amazes me that the universe provides us with direction, location and the security of being able to determine where we are at any given moment. No tools, no apps, no gizmos… just eyes and a clear sky. the universe contains all the information we need to know exactly where we are at any time based on the position of the stars. I also think of stars like windows to another place. Rigel is my father’s star.

Rigel is the bright star that is on the heel of the Orion constellation. It is a very bright star. It is blueish white and is one of the first stars that can be seen in the constellation on a bright night. I attributed it to my dad in order that when I am looking up I always have something reminding me of him in the night sky.

I’ve learned just a bit about stars and constellations. I am no astronomer. My motivation has been to create a metaphysical connection to the people I love, over distances and through time. The thing about stars is, they don’t fade. They are constant and predictable. They are unlike any other object in the universe. They are beautiful. They are where my heart goes when I feel lonely, because in the stars I can feel a connection to the ones I love, no matter where I might be.

My dad liked the stars. I remember that about him. On a cold night on the roof of the hospital… he’d point out bright points… just for the love of light.

Fear and Loathing?

Published / by Tim / 2 Comments on Fear and Loathing?

Sometimes I just want to jump off this merry-go-round. Through a series of events I found myself plunged into a funk. The whole idea of “living in the moment” is great, but I found out that it’s very difficult as well.

So, I’m a bible reader. If you’re interested, In Matthew 14, there’s a well-known bit where Jesus has been off praying and the disciples are out in a boat. Jesus gets done and goes walking out to the boat. The boys see him. Peter says, Hey! if that’s you, tell me to meet you out there! Jesus does. Peter jumps out of the boat and goes walking to Jesus. Peter then sees that what he is doing is pretty danged amazing and it’s getting windy. Peter starts to sink. He started thinking of what MIGHT happen, and forgot what WAS happening, he was walking on water!

NoFearI kind of relate to Peter. Peter was a big, tough guy. Peter was also fearful. Peter could live in the moment, but he also could get lost in his fear and really blow it. He messed up a lot. This week, I blew it, despite having some really good moments. Yes, It’s not that uncommon for me to mess up either.

i don’t really want to go into details, other than to say I let fear boggle me and mess things up. So the lesson I learned, when you have fear, feel it, recognize it, cast it aside and do the bold thing.

The bold thing might be giving someone a kind word. It might be giving someone a hug. It might be standing up for the innocent. It might be telling someone you love them. It could be walking away from an argument. It could be any number of things. I do know, if you choose the bold option, if you choose to live in the moment without fear, there is a lot more reward and a lot less headache and heartache.

Take courage. Be bold. Live in the moment.

Keep moving forward…

Published / by Tim / 1 Comment on Keep moving forward…

Welcome back.

This week I have been struggling with what to write in this space. My drafts have been clunky and blah and I have not found much inspiration in them. It’s been work to get words on the page. I guess sometimes you get what you get.

Applying a critical eye or falling asleep... Who knows?

I believe that when the writing gets hard it’s pretty important to keep at it. I’ve often taken breaks from writing when the going gets tough. One or two days turns into a week, turns into a month. I find that I must set aside 30 minutes (an arbitrary amount of time I chose) to write every day or I get lazy and sidetracked from making any forward progress.

As I write this, I’ve realized that this idea relates to almost everything I do. Writing, exercise, relationships, yard work, all requires a stick-to-it mentality and a time commitment on a regular basis or the quality of the outcome suffers. I’m certain that daily practice in the things that matter is a key to success.

I sometimes find myself sinking into, what a great friend called, a “jaded worldview”. It’s the debilitating view that everything is pointless, meaningless, and generally icky. It’s a dark and negative outlook that reeks with dark notes of vapid sarcasm. When I have a jaded worldview it limits my desire to practice the things I know help me move forward. To combat the jaded worldview I decided to adopt the practice of the “Disciplines of Heart” I read about on Michael Hyatt’s blog. If you are interested in “self-improvement”, Michael has a vast collection of good ideas.

The “Disciplines of Heart”: Reflection, Rest, Recreation and Relationships make sense to me because much of what I am doing to maintain sanity in life falls nicely under these categories. The disciplines simply help me focus on doing a few things really well. 

This blog is an output for the Reflection discipline. In my week of writing and contemplating the world, what comes out here is a reflection of sorts. The blog is also a form of Recreation.  The act of writing and noodling with words is fun. I believe it also plays a part in the Relationship discipline, in that, it’s a way to connect with you and learn together (although I think face to face relationships are the focus).

In the spirit of learning together, I thought I’d share the things I’m currently reading and listening to for my own self-improvement. This week I’m reading, Children and Other Wild Animals: Notes on badgers, otters, sons, hawks, daughters, dogs, bears, air, bobcats, fishers, mascots, Charles Darwin, newts, … tigers and various other zoological matters by Brian Doyle. I continue to listen to Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. I’ve cut back on the number of books I have going at any given time in the hope of actually finishing books. It’s an effort to move from being a starter to also being a finisher. From time to time I may do a mid-week post reviewing these books, or albums or whatever catches my attention. 

I’m hoping your week is full of adventure. Leave a response to tell me what you do to combat the “jaded worldview”.

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