July 2017 Image Directory

Wrapping up the month of July, here’s a quick screen shot review of the month’s news. Let me know which ones you like the most. Thanks for your input, -David M Masters

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People Broken Promises What can I do if my partner does'nt support my mission?

My Partner Doesn’t Support My Mission

How to Get Along with People You Don’t Like How to Make a Contribution in Life How to Deal with a Liar
Romantic Manipulation Break Free from the Same Ol’ Same Ol’ An Affair of a Different Technology
Be True to Your Calling You’re Making a Difference Your Emotional Electric Fence
You Are the Center of the Universe I’m About to Explode! Purpose Message Passion Mission (PMPM)
Reach Out and Connect What is Passive Aggressive?

The Freedom Weapon

What You Do Today Defines You Loving at the Next Level Put a Little Meaning in Your Life
Angels You and Me How to be an Alpha Male What Does Over 200 Look Like?
In Loving Memory of Aaron E Fairbairn What Do You Mean Under 200? Look for the Bright Side
Couple Connection and Difficult Conversation Fear of Abandonment in Love Out of Control Fighting


Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Ever sit back in your easy chair and wonder, “Why bad things happen to good people?” You might know the best person, who lives a good life, gives in service to others, supports friends, family, strangers and the community with loving kindness, yet here they are; amidst a life crisis that no one should have to bear.

You might know this person so well, you might be sitting in his or her chair right now wondering why bad things happen to good people. You’re a good person. It’s not like you do anything wrong to other people. You’re a good and faithful servant. You’re growing and expanding every day, yet here you are face-to-face with the most incredible challenge; one you would not wish on your worst enemy.

As hard as it might be to fathom the idea when you’re amidst the storm of a life trial, there is a divine thread which connects all issues in life to lead us to our highest and best potential. You are blessed with opportunities to grow and change throughout your life, leading through various stages of metamorphosis as you continue on your life’s journey.

If you are WAY out of your comfort zone, feel severely challenged, overwhelmed, or find yourself sinking into a depressive state, chances are you’re facing a huge growth spurt on the other side of this time in your life. If you choose to embrace it.

You could, on the other hand, turn from it, not rise up to the challenge, and give in to the idea of accepting your lot in life as a mere mortal; a victim of life.

Or you can post up and ready yourself for battle, face the challenge head on, and emerge the victor, an inspiration for others who might be facing similar circumstances. The choice is yours, whether you accept the invitation to grow or to submit yourself to being victimized by life circumstances.

This is why it appears that bad things happen to good people. But if you can step back and look at bad things that have happened to good people, you see that some of the greatest, most inspirational stories have come from people who have overcome insurmountable odds, the worst imaginable things no person should ever have to bear. In this respect, there are no bad things, only challenges which are opportunities for growth (sometimes, enormous growth).

So, here you are. Possibly facing a circumstance that is impossible to imagine. You haven’t done anything to deserve this, yet here you are.

What will you do when faced with this challenge?

Sure, this would have taken out anyone else with a heart in a heartbeat. But what about the next person. Is it possible that your story, the story about how you faced, battled and defeated this dragon, going to save the life of someone else who may find themselves facing a similar dragon in the future?

Believe me, I know people who have done just that; they have looked fear, suffering, false accusations, physical and psychological trauma, and death, in the eye and definitively stated, “I will not let you take me out.”

Then, pick up their metaphoric sword and conduct the grueling hand-to-hand battle, emerging victorious, and lived to tell their story.

And I can tell you, people who have gone through such a transformative process are very different people than they once were. The person who comes out on the other side, even if they engaged in the battle and it may have appeared to us (the exterior witnesses) they lost the battle, the warrior is nonetheless transformed and has grown so much from the process.

Does that mean you have to fight every battle? No. You get to choose the battles you engage in, so pick your battles wisely, and in doing so, you can help to make the world a better place.

Stay in tune with yourself and document your progress, as you pave the way for others who may be following in your footsteps.

It’s no accident you’ve faced the challenges that you have encountered in your past. No matter how you came through that circumstance, you made it here, and your story beckons to be told to others who are treacherously approaching a challenge, like the one you had to endure.

This is your time, this is your moment, take charge, inspire or help someone else.

Your experience might save someone’s life.

Broken Promises

Ever wonder what to do when someone doesn’t keep their word? And what if this person is in a regular habit of making promises he or she does not keep?

Do you take it personally, and feel like this is a personal attack on you when someone says they will do something, then doesn’t do it?

Do you put your faith in someone, because they’ve given you their word, then feel slighted when they do not perform, and offer up excuses, that “something came up,” and they were unable to keep their promise?

In terms of promise keepers, there are only two kinds; those who do, and those who don’t.

If you’re not a promise keeper, then it would be reasonable to have lower expectations when it comes to someone’s keeping their promises, but if you’re a promise keeper and you’ve made considerable sacrifices throughout your life to keep your word and have a high degree of integrity, then you’re likely to have higher expectations from others.

The most important thing to remember is that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go ‘round. The world is full of both promise keepers and promise breakers, and sometimes even promise keepers can break promises, due to unforeseen circumstances, or acts of God.

If you’re a promise keeper, you can easily align yourself with Don Miguel Ruiz’s primary tenet of the “Four Agreements” which is to

Be impeccable with your word

This holds the bar very high, for yourself. You strive to be impeccable with your word and go to great lengths to do so. It communicates to others in our social circle, and the world that surrounds us, that you are dependable and trustworthy when you are impeccable with your word.

While you have opted to be the integrous, dependable and honorable promise keeper, you cannot impose the importance of this concept on anyone else. Of course, you could opt to take a self-righteous and judgmental stand and eject all the promise breakers from your life; but where is the joy in that?

Although, you can manage the sacred space around you, and keep promise-breakers at arm’s length, in tolerance, accept them for who they are. They are not broken, sick, or have malicious intentions to hurt your feelings. They are only being who they are. Their inability to keep their word is not good, it’s not bad, it just is the way they are. So, treat them accordingly.

Don’t place them in positions to make agreements or promises they are unlikely to adhere to. If you want someone to be an active participant who is supportive, dependable, integrous and has the ability to keep their world, do not even think of inviting this person to participate at that level. They are not hooked up that way, and you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment, and probably building a stockpile of resentment against this person. Don’t do it. Instead, accept this person for who they are, and love them and all their idiosyncrasies. People like that bring color to your life. Love them, bless them, and let them be who they are.

And when someone hurts your feeling because they broke a promise, think about Don Miguel Ruiz’s second tenet,

Don’t take it personally

Their inability to keep their word has nothing to do with you. They are not seeking out to destroy you, harm you, hurt your feelings, or make you look bad. They are just being who they are, just as you are being who you are.

You must allow people to be who they are, to accept them as different and unbroken.

Although, you do not have to set yourself up for disappointment. If you want someone dependable, trustworthy, reliable, (someone who has the ability to keep their word) then look elsewhere.

You cannot expect a cat to be a dog. If you want a dog, find yourself a dog. Do not expect a cat to act like a dog. A cat is a cat, and a dog is a dog.

Love the cat for being a cat, and love the dog for being a dog, but be smart about it. You should treat each of them, the cat and the dog like they should be treated based on who they are.

Should I forgive them for not keeping their word?

If they are not the kind of person to keep their word, then there is nothing to forgive. You cannot forgive someone who is only being who they are (especially if you knew in advance that they were not a promise keeper). You knew better.

If a promise keeper, someone you know who is impeccable with their word, has not followed through, then by all means, forgiveness is in order, for none of us are perfect, and you might even be able to recall a time when you made a promise that you were unable to keep due to circumstances outside your control.

So, yes, forgiveness should be the first order of business when you know you’re dealing with someone who is otherwise impeccable with their word.

If a promise keeper is in the habit of not keeping their promises, you may want to re-evaluate who this person really is. You might be dealing with a cat, who wants you to think of him or her like a dog.

Be aware this happens when someone is trying to please you, know you want a dog and desires to be a dog for you, even though they are a cat. Where is the harm in that? Just let them know there’s nothing wrong with being a cat, and readjust to treat them like a cat.

In most cases when a cat is masquerading as a dog, the intent is not nefarious, unless you’re dealing with a psychopath or sociopath.

My Partner Doesn’t Support My Mission

What if my partner doesn’t support my mission?

What if you and your spouse, mate, or partner are not on the same page?

You’re going on about your business, kicking ass, taking names, fulfilling your life’s purpose, pursuing your ministry, and making the world a better place… but your partner couldn’t be less enthused. He or she may come along reluctantly, but it’s just not as satisfying as your fantasy or vision of going forward with power hand in hand with your partner by your side.

What can I do if my partner does'nt support my mission?
What can I do if my partner doesn’t support my mission?

As romantic as it might be, and as hard as you might pray for this kind of oneness and support, it’s just not going to happen, and it’s not up to you to try to make this dream come true. You have to accept and love your partner just as he or she is.

If there’s anything that I’ve learned over the course of my life, it’s that you can’t change someone. If you are able to “make a deal” with your partner, and they comply by “acting” or playing along with your expectations, unfortunately, every time they compromise on your behalf, they rack up huge reserves of hidden resentment. When the resentment builds and reaches critical mass, beware; the effects will be horrendous. So, don’t entertain the idea that your partner will change for you. Just let go of that false expectation.

You may be tempted to, and many potential world-changers do, let go of the dream of living a better life, your best life and making the world a better place, simply because you love your partner and can’t possibly think of pursuing such a grand commission without him or her.

This situation is quite basic to deal with from a religious perspective because no matter what stands between you and your highest and best work is simply identified as the devil seeking to thwart your potential to perform great works, have an impact, or make a huge difference in the world for good.

If you lack the religious programming to wrap your head around the devil always trying to preempt and derail your potential progress, then you have to find some other way to not let your partner dissuade your attention to serving the greater good.

Another temptation might be to bail on your partner and holding on to the false expectation of there being greener grass on the other side of the fence.

I can tell you, after years of relationship coaching hundreds of people, the grass is greener approach rarely if ever, works. Why? Because two people will always different, and while these differences may not be apparent at the outset, once the new relationship is in full swing, the differences become more crystal clear; then what?

While all this relationship conflict is the sustaining drama leading to nearly unlimited financial support of all couple’s counselors, spiritual advisers, and coaches, there is a better way.

Taking the high road in the scenario where your partner is not fully on board or embracing your answering your call to fulfill your life’s mission is to go forward in faith and enthusiasm, believing that all things will work out for the best.

While people do change, and I have seen the potential world-changer go forward in an enormously passionate manner, and at some point, the partner’s inner flame is ignited and they join together in a brilliant blaze of glory in a synergistic harmonious display of their like-minded power, achieving their highest and best, with more impact than either of them would have ever had going it alone. But, this is extremely rare.

The more practical approach is to simply keep making daily progress in making the changes necessary and taking the appropriate steps and actions to accomplish your mission, living a better life, your best life, and making the world a better place.

There is no need to compromise or risk the sacredness of your relationship. Often when people are together in a romantic relationship, they do have different vocations, ideals, perspective, affiliations, and personal pursuits; and they find effective ways to accommodate and support their separate endeavors. Realistically, this is the best you can hope for.

Going forward and pursuing your dream may be enough to spark the flame within your mate to do the same, but know, if this happens, your partner’s purpose, message, passion, and mission, may be completely different than yours, which pretty much leaves you with the same situation than igniting your partner’s inner flame.

The most important thing?

Stay true to your calling, and do the things that get you closer to where you want to be, love your partner and do not be disappointed if he or she is not on board, or you’re not finding yourself on the same page.

Celebrate your differences, and don’t expect him or her to change.

Retain the love; encourage your partner to find his or her way, support him of her in everything he/she does, and you will find yourself the recipient of their support of your efforts and endeavors.

How to Get Along with People You Don’t Like

Invariably there will be times when you find someone in your inner circle who you just can’t seem to get on the same page with, you’re not crazy about, and just about everything they say or do just rubs you the wrong way. You might find yourself trying to figure out how to get along with people you don’t like.

First understanding that just as it takes a lot of ingredients to create a culinary delight it takes a lot of different kind of people to make the world go ’round. It is likely, while someone might appear to not be easy to get along with, keep in mind that we, like all those varying ingredients, have different flavors. While you might think that someone’s flavor doesn’t agree with you, someone else may also be thinking your flavor doesn’t agree with you (and they can’t stand you).

But when the Great Chef of life combines us all together, ooh la la, we can create the most tasty dish, and you might be surprised that someone you couldn’t think of blending well together, might work fabulously together in the right circumstance. Who knows when you might run into someone and protest, “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!” as they retort, “You got peanut butter in my chocolate!”

In general, we can simply avoid the people we’d rather not hang out with, but sometimes you just can’t and you’ve got to find a way to make it work. Keep in mind that it may be a good idea to see things through new eyes. While we all like being surrounded by likeminded people, it’s nice to hear from someone with a totally different perspective.

Remember that there are generally no good people or bad people, just different people all doing the best they can with what they have. Even so, there will be people with whom you are so diametrically opposed that you consider them toxic. There are ways to deal with a toxic person, but you can certainly work through a project with them, if you have to for the greater good (like at work, or on some other project). Just keep your emotions in check and keep your focus on the prize, the result of you making the best of working with this person to benefit or serve some higher purpose. Don’t let him or her get to you or push your buttons. And if they spout out something that gets you riled up, just smile an nod. There’s no need to get into a knock-down-drag-out confrontation while you are trying to do something good. Just let it go.

If you feel like a line has been crossed, don’t take offense to it or take it personally. Agree to disagree and keep moving, smile, and keep moving in a positive direction. Rather than protest, you might take a gentler approach by saying something like, “I never thought of it, like that. Let me think about it for a while, mull it over, and get back to you on it later.” (You might be surprised to find that there might be value, or even a hidden treasure, in considering something from a different perspective, which may trigger a personal growth spurt.)

If you feel your emotions rising and are thinking about engaging in a full-on heated debate, stop. Take a brief moment to pause and re-center yourself. There’s no need for you to lower yourself to his or her level to do battle. Take the high road and ‘ere on the side of tolerance, and acceptance, that we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. You never know, if you’d lived the same life as that person, you might feel the same way. You might even find some heart space for empathy or understanding how it must be to feel that way about something.

If they continue to rub you the wrong way, you could calmly state your opinion and request that they refrain from bringing up a topic which you are quire sensitive about. No need to challenge their point of view, or assert yours. Avoid triggering a conflicting interaction or thought battle.

Dealing with a person you don’t get along with doesn’t need to drag you down or be a roadblock. Not to worry. You can get through this for the benefit of the big picture.

You got this.

How to Make a Contribution in Life

You want to make a contribution, have an impact on society, or change the world. When people are looking at their lives, looking for a sense of purpose and meaning, often this train of thought leads to thinking there must be something more, a way to leave a mark on this planet for good, before your time is through.

Some people start thinking about their impact early in age, while it doesn’t occur to others until later in life after they’ve realized that it’s turned out that their life didn’t have the meaning they thought it might, or turn out the way they had planned.

I work with people who are the movers and shakers, they are out there in the whirlwind of life striving to make a difference, every once and a while, I meet someone who is at this nexus where cognizance kicks in, revealing the façade of life, and this person decides to change their life, make a contribution, possibly even leave a legacy for future generations.

If you have come to this place in life, it can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming as you try to sort out the details of your life.

Keep in mind that many people arrive at this point in their life but few are able to change enough to separate themselves from the pack enough to have the opportunity to successfully have an impact or make a contribution to the world.

So, what must you do to be different enough to make a difference?

You must know, or discover, what you came to this planet to do. I believe everyone comes here with a unique purpose, message, passion and mission for your life. Of course, you can deny any of this has any validity and still make an impact, but you will find it’s a much easier going of it, if you allow yourself to begin to think outside the box.

Having this sense of meaning helps to keep you focused, keeps you on track and helps to keep you from being distracted from doing what you must do to accomplish that which you desire to do. It’s not easy to stay on the path to get you where you want to be, what with all the distractions of life clamoring for your attention. Simply being able to quickly review interruptions, and have the ability to quickly brush them away because they are not in alignment with your mission is an invaluable tool to possess.

You’re going to need to change. The kind of person you need to be is likely different from the person you are now. You will have different thought processes in order that will help to keep you from settling back into complacency or accepting your previous life of mediocrity.

As your perspective begins to shift and change, it helps to inspire and empower you to lead with heartfelt inspiration and integrity to be the difference you want to see in the world. You will get used to change, and continually do so, as you proceed down this path leading to your contribution.

You are going to need to reach out and connect with others who can assist in accomplishing your mission. If you’ve seen secluded or a lone wolf, it will mean getting out and allowing other people to play with you in your mission. You have to realize that you can’t do it alone (well, you could, but that’s the hard way) and you can help enrich the lives of others who are looking for meaning in their lives as you let them shine with their own natural talents, skills, abilities, and gifts. Allowing others to help is hugely beneficial and can be an effective way to get your message out, so, by all means, set aside your pride long enough to let people help you.

It will be helpful if you can adopt a forward-thinking or visionary point of view. To be able to use your imagination to see where you want to be, to create stops along the way, where you can pull over, check the gauges, review or revise your map and keep going will help enormously. Having a clear idea about where you’re going and where you want to go is an important key in getting you from here to there. Sure, it can be revised at any time, because things change as you gain more clarity about where you’re going as you progress on your journey.

Learn to let it go. If you want to see your dream come to fruition, you must release it as you invite others to participate with you. I’ve seen too many people with a great idea, afraid to tell others about it in fear that someone might steal it. It’s better to enthusiastically release it to the universe than to keep it locked up in a safe deposit box.

If you really want to make a difference, you will not only benefit from playing well with others but recognizing and celebrating their efforts, as well as the efforts of others also trying to make a contribution to society or the world, is a skill which can be learned. A little gratitude can go a long way. Note, this is in contrast to those who lead with an iron fist.

Keep your positive point of view and remember the Golden Rule; to treat others like you would want them to treat you. This will go a long way toward successfully completing your mission.

As you go along, you will notice your notoriety begin to build. You will notice that people are taking notice, listening to what you have to say, and you are growing, not only as a person but as an influencer.

Don’t allow yourself to be reduced to, or defined by, a single sound bite. Stay clear and positive, don’t allow nay sayers or others to draw you down to their level. Take the high road and be wary of haters and others who might like to try and thwart your plans along the way. Don’t let them get you riled up when they get in the way or try to confront you. Keep a cool, calm, demeanor and keep forging ahead, in love and light, for a better world.

How to Deal with a Liar

How to deal with a liar? The truth is, if you can handle it, behavioral scientists report that during a 10-minute conversation people will lie two to three times, and if we are people, these statistics are true for you and me, too.

That’s a hard pill to swallow because we don’t like to be lied to, and we don’t like to be thought of as a liar, so we try to cover it up with withholding otherwise negative information (which is the unspoken lie of a weak-kneed chicken-hearted person, or people-pleaser). I know, “But I was trying to be nice,” but it’s still a lie.

And if you’re sensitive or aware enough to know when someone is lying to you, guess what? You’re wrong 47 percent of the time, so the joke’s on you.

Think law enforcement, CIA and lie detector professionals fare any better? Well, they do. They’re only wrong 40 percent of the time. Even with all the technology and behavioral science we can muster, only a seven percent increase in actual detection of a lie.

Even so, when you catch someone in a lie, it seems like such a betrayal or breach of trust how could anyone not take it personally?

So, what do you do when you catch someone in a lie?

Well, there are a couple of ways to approach the fact that someone has lied to you (assuming you know the facts, and that there is no other option than you’ve actually witnessed a bold-faced lie first hand).

Your first option is not to do anything, understanding that people lie all the time, and this person felt the inclination or need to lie based on any number of life circumstances and situations, and who knows? If you’d lived the same life and been faced with the same options at that particular point in time of your life, you may have responded the same way. Who knows? It could happen.

On the other hand, you could just laugh it off and make a joke of it, like it’s really no big deal. In this scenario, you might laughingly hint to what they might have said as being inaccurate or an exaggeration, without having to put the person on the spot. This gives them the un-threatened time and space to review what they’ve said and maybe consider approaching a more accurate story after they’ve had a chance to work it out for themselves.

You could take the Columbo approach, another non-threatening tactic, pretending that you’ve had a memory lapse, or appear to be confused because you’ve been juggling a lot of information that has become overwhelming and confusing. With this approach, you can query the person at leisure, by playing dumb, while continuing to ask questions to clarify your confusion, you’re likely to end up with a more accurate picture after some continued communication exchange.

Then, of course, there is the more direct option, which is to challenge their lie face-to-face, eye-to-eye. While this is the most direct approach, this is by far the most difficult and there is little or no margin for error. You must have your facts in order, in such a way so as not to be challenged yourself, or you could be labelled as a liar. In this direct fashion of facing off with the liar, it might be best done in private, or with others who may have been affected by the lie. Either way, be direct, keep control of your emotions, deal with the facts, and let the chips fall where they may.

Report the lie, if you feel the need to, to the proper authorities, manager(s), employers, agency, or victim, but if you do, keep it unemotional and stick only to the facts. Don’t use conjecture, accuse or try to speculate why this person feels as though they had to lie about anything. And if you are motivated by fear, anger or revenge, do not report it – at least not now – wait until you can make a report with complete control of your faculties. Often, after you’ve given yourself time to cool down, you might think that it wasn’t as much of a crisis as it felt like at the time, and you’ve avoided someone’s thinking that you’re over-reactive.

Above all, make note that you’re dealing with someone who has the propensity to lie. Try to cover your back by documenting all communication with this person. Try to communicate by verifiable methods such as email or texting. If this person is a highly advanced liar, they will not commit their words to writing. No problem, pay very close attention to what they say, noting the day(s), time(s), place(s) and player(s), then summarize their statement to him or her in a text or email just to confirm that you understood them correctly.

Break Free from the Same Ol’ Same Ol’

Ever felt the need to break free from the same ol’ same ol’ routine? You know what I mean, you’re getting a bit cabin-feverish about life, the day in/day out of everything, everyday sort of seamlessly flows into the next, in succession, just this side of drudgery, and it comes to mind that it might be time to break out of the same old routine.

Reducing your life to nothing but a routine can get you feeling down like there is little satisfaction to be garnered from living your life. Society might be content with the idea that you’re living a complacent and somewhat robotic lifestyle in a pseudo-zombie state (making you easier to manage) you could possibly find yourself headed toward depression.

Life being what it is, we all have some routines which may be unavoidable, like going to a place to work for eight hours a day or having to shuttle your children to and from school and associated activities. On the other side, there is a bit of comfort associated with having a structure that gives us a sense of security and helps to make sure we get the things done that we need to do without too much effort because we know what to expect each day.

But then, there’s the same ol’ same ol’ feeling that there must be more to life, because how can you feel any life if it’s just an endless drone?

There must be more to this life

… and there is.

Here are some ideas that can help you turn the corner and break out of the same ol’ same ol’ and start living a better life.

Since you are aware of your routine, challenge it by doing something different or out of the ordinary to break up the monotony. Take the scenic route, take a coffee break, walk through the park, read a chapter of a book, or do something that made you feel exhilarated before you settled into the routine of your life.

Think about trying something new, going to the gym, trying yoga, or take and art class or think about experimenting with different hobbies.

Mix up meal times, have breakfast for dinner, experiment with green smoothies in your blender, try exotic recipes or something new in the kitchen,

Expose yourself to new people. When you’re stuck in a routine, you only have access to the same ol’ people day in/day out, which is nice, but you can mix it up by finding new places to be which might include attending a class, joining a group, or changing up your regular stops by shopping across town, or trying new vendors.

Try to find opportunities to break up your routine by walking or riding a bike while you’re doing what you need to get done, or just for recreation and fitness enhancement. Maybe it’s time for seeing if there is a sporting activity that may interest you, either to watch or participate in yourself.

Make adjustments and changes around the house to change things up, (or the office) rearrange the furniture, kitchen, or decorate.

Find ways you can streamline your workspaces, or make improvements in your routine(s) so that you can pick up a little extra time to do something else. You’d be surprised how saving a few minutes here, a few minutes there might yield an hour or more per day of free time for you.

Just remember to try to do something different, trying to think or do something new every day.

You will be surprised how making a few changes here and there throughout your day can add the spice back in life and awaken your mind to new possibilities that are just around the bend.

There is a better life waiting for you, and it’s about time you started seizing the day.

Carpe diem.

An Affair of a Different Technology

When trust is lost in a relationship, how are you to recover from the broken sacred bond between two people?

In my work with couples, I have seen breaches of trust, that may not look like much on the surface but left to itself, like droplets of water over time, can erode and naturally cut a canal between a couple’s otherwise potentially healthy terrain.

One such subject of erosion is tied to emerging technology which is greatly impacting our lives and may be causing our real relationships to erode as we seek more temporal relationships found via social networking and cell phone communication.

There is an addition to this emerging media which allows people to bond with other people without the risk of a face-to-face component, reducing the fear of rejection or failure that is ever looming over a live interaction between two people. The technology buffer helps to protect us, and give us a false sense of safety, as we carry on online or via cell or another device.

You see the erosion in a coupled relationship begin (albeit barely noticeable at the outset) when one of the parties begins to spend more time communicating and engaging with their virtual friends or mates, than their real-life partner.

When examined, it all seems so innocent, as it’s just a bit of sending funny pictures or videos, just exchanging jokes for a little laugh, nothing really harmful in itself, while some of them may well be members of the opposite sex, and may also be a threat to the current partner, or not.

When approached or challenged about your virtual relationships, if you protest and justify your actions with,

“It’s not like I’m having sex, or anything…”

then there’s a pretty good chance you’ve already compromised your current relationship, and if you continue, it will only get worse.

Why do you think your partner queried you about your virtual relationships?

Could it be that he or she feels that your virtual relationships are a threat to the sacred bond which holds a committed couple together? Why do you think he or she might feel that way?

And why are you so defensive about defending your right to carry on with your virtual relationships?

I will tell you why, because in that moment, when you defend your virtual friends, you further compromise the relationship, by indirectly stating,

“My virtual friends mean more to me than our relationship.”

I know it sounds crazy, but think back to the early stages when you were developing the relationship that you’re in now; what kind of things did you talk about with your prospective mate?

When you move this intimate communication component to relationships outside of your current one, the effects are equivalent to having an affair. While the affair may not possess a sexual component yet, and may never go there, the emotional breach has already taken place and can be even harder to recover from than a sexual transgression.

So, when you’re reaching out to your virtual friends with conversations about your problems, or the latest happenings, observations, concerns and struggles going on in your life, this is robbing your real-life relationship of the glue which bonds the two of you together. As it continues to deteriorate, and you reach further and further outside your relationship for comfort or connection, the relationship deteriorates and falls apart.

I’m not saying all casual relationships turn into a wild, sexual affair, only that in a relationship between two intimately connected individuals, the connection is broken when you turn your attention about the intimate (not necessarily sexual) details of your life away from your partner and toward someone else.

Think about this; when you get wind of a good joke, catch a meme that tickles your funny bone, hear a good bit of gossip, or catch a breaking news headline, who do you first report it to? Virtual friends, or coworkers? If so, you’re giving away your relationship adhesive. Even if you feign the attempt to share it with your partner after work, you’ve told and retold it enough that it has lost its impact or flavor, it once had when it was fresh.

Do you enjoy a little harmless flirtation with members of the opposite sex at work, online, or via text?

Have you ever shared intimate details about your life, or your relationship, with someone of the opposite sex, in person or via other communication devices?

If you have, the adhesive is continuing to erode. If this energy was turned toward your partner, you know it would bring you closer together, but now you’ve basically turned your back on (or at least your attention away from) your mate, and putting this energy in the hands of someone else.

Even if nothing transpires physically between you and this other person, you have compromised your bond and transferred the bonding agent to someone else.

I have been helping couples for years, and even though current technology makes this sharing of sacred energy even easier, believe me, there are plenty of other ways to give your energy away, and it’s been going on for as long as there has been coupling, its nothing new.

The only way to keep it from destroying your relationship is to stop doing it.

And if the mere thought of giving up this innocuous relationship seems offensive to you, that in itself is proof that it is not as benign a relationship as you might think. Not to mention that a key component of grooming someone is to develop a deep, non-threatening emotional attachment over time (which is a whole different subject altogether, but does rear its ugly head in circumstances when the attention of one of the individuals in a relationship allows their attention to stray).

“But,” you say (they all do), “There’s nothing going on here, this person is meaningless to me and it is not damaging my relationship.” Okay, if that’s true, then just stop it.

Stopping this type of emotional affair and returning your attention to your partner, could be the most important thing you could do to save your relationship from its being reduced to little more than ash.

Be True to Your Calling

Here’s the deal: You’ve come to this planet with a calling. You have a unique purpose, a mission in life featuring your own message that can only be delivered with your unique style and perspective.

Knowing this, you may have done enough work to even have defined your individual purpose, message, passion, and mission (PMPM) and know who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing if you were achieving your highest and best.

Then there is life. Life is full of distractions which can keep you from achieving your highest and best.

This will apply to any calling you have that could make a difference in our world. Why? Because there are people, principalities, and powers that do not want to see the world change, and your potential contribution could cause conflict, or slow their roll, even if your PMPM only affected a single life for the better, that one moment could change everything in a heartbeat.

This is why you see yourself bombarded with nearly unlimited opportunities to do anything besides what could put you one step closer toward your sense of purpose and meaning which harkens to you for release.

Let’s face it, we live in an “if it feels good do it” kind of world, and you are attacked in the media and face-to-face by people you know as well as perfect strangers who will stop at nothing to provide you with thousands of exposures to potential opportunities that could distract and/or prevented you from advancing toward your calling.

In terms of being of service to others, there needs to be some hard work, dedication, and commitment to your calling, to serve the greater good. It may mean setting aside your own personal desires, those things that make you feel so good, to be able to serve in a greater capacity. Yes, it may take sacrifice, but it is this one point that separates those who talk about what they wish they could do, and those who are actively involved in making a difference. A little selflessness on the behalf of others, or the big picture, goes a long way. St. Paul writes, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” in Philippians 2:3.

Your calling must have a higher priority that selfish acts which make you feel good, or even service to others in ways which might prevent you from pursuing your goals to achieve your highest and best. No one person can anything, so remain focused on your mission, and when other situations and circumstances come up, rather than letting these things distract you (as worthy as they might be) step aside and defer to someone else whose mission it might be. You might have to put aside selfish pursuits to be true to your calling.

Tapping into your heart is almost a necessity in achieving your highest and best. Unlike your brain and emotions, which only seek to protect you and your ego from potential fear-based emotions or perceived potential pain, your heart will always be congruent with your calling.

It’s no surprise if you can’t know how to tap into your heart, which is the most powerful energy source, connection to all life and beyond because it is no secret that we’re not taught to listen to it or even validate its power. For if you could, you might realize that our heart is the most powerful tool or weapon on the planet, possibly in the universe, and we all have one. Take some time and find ways to focus on and connect to it, and develop your sense of knowingness exponentially.

How to tap into it, and learn how to hear or feel what your heart is trying to tell you can be complex because it can be a very different process for different people. So, find your own way, experiment and see what works for you.

Stop protesting or being distracted by focusing on things outside of your control. While you may hear about or witness atrocities, find someone else who’s ministry it is to deal with that particular issue and defer to them; you may even be able to offer support, but don’t allow yourself to be taken off your path in doing so.

Watch your tongue as well as your thoughts, if you are saying or thinking negative things about something that is negative, you only add negative energy to it. By protesting, making a stand, or fighting against a certain thing, you actually promote it. Instead, focus on the solution, find someone who is doing the work and support them in the performance of their ministry, without falling victim to the negative whirlpool.

Whatever you do, whether in terms of supporting your own calling, or supporting others in theirs, avoid negative reporting. When you say something negative, especially in this day and age, when everything we do, say, and possibly think, is being recorded and can be used against you later. Having access to negative sound bites can be your undoing, so avoid going there if at all possible. To quote St, Paul again, “Do everything without complaining and arguing so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people,” (Philippians 2:14-16) so, take the high road.