A New Partnership

I’m so excited to share some big news! I’ve officially partnered with the online publication Brainz Magazine as an Executive Contributor, and my first article is live! Empower Your Choice for Change this Year. 

Click here to read my first article on Brainz Magazine and experience the many places where change is possible for you.

What was most useful or valuable here for you in this blog post? Leave a comment below or send me your feedback to connect@wherethechangehappens.com.

Can I ask for your help? Where the Change Happens could reach other readers like you by reading a helpful review on Amazon. Click here to leave your review and help your community discover where they can begin to create meaningful change in their relationships today.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!

Check out a testimonial from one of my recent coaching clients:

“I did not know what to expect when a friend referred me to Jeremy. On our first call, I told him I was coming in with no knowledge of or experience with a coach. We then had a very open discussion which helped set expectations for our time working together. I appreciated having that conversation to learn about one another and make sure we were on the same page.

When I was going through coaching, I noticed myself thinking of our conversations and identifying patterns in my life that I had not recognized or paid attention to previously. Jeremy helped me make plans for how I could accomplish my short- and long-term goals and ways to implement the strategies discussed.

If you are debating whether you should start working with Jeremy, I would ask you to take a few minutes to think of where you were three months ago and if anything has improved in your life in that time. Where do you want to be in three months and what do you think will help you get there? I can honestly say I am further along than I ever thought I would be (personally and professionally) in such a short time frame. I know that shift is due to showing up every week, doing the work between calls, and the assistance Jeremy provided.”

-Jordan

Click here for my first podcast guest appearance on the 365 Brothers Podcast, titled, Your Very Own MVP.

Purchase your copy of Where the Change Happens by clicking here.

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Begin The Best Year in 2022

Utilizing writing exercises as tools for personal accountability can support the goal achievement process. For the last two years, I’ve used an activity, Last Week from My Perspective, as a tool to coach myself and manage projects and weekly priorities.

The impact from acting consistent with our declarations and following up with a form of accountability is a difference-maker I believe we all can benefit from. Sometimes, just having a structure to keep yourself accountable can be the missing link to staying motivated. 

This exercise has been a path forward past what holds me back, like triggers of my survival mechanisms, but even still, my progress wouldn’t be what it has been if it wasn’t for the four coaches I’ve worked with since 2017. When I arrived in Seattle in April of 2019, I started my experience with a written exercise, and three questions I believe are a great place to start the year in 2022 for creating the changes we want to see in ourselves and our communities. They are:

  • How do I feel about my life now and my future? (Answer on a blank sheet of paper)
  • What do I plan to do next?

When I asked myself, “What do I plan to do next in Seattle?” I wrote 31 actions on my list. It’s interesting to see how many I’ve completed and that many are still in progress.

  • Who am I going to be? 

When I asked myself, “Who am I going to be in Seattle?” there were 21 descriptions I wrote of who I wanted to be and the type of character I want to bring into a room.

Written exercises have been foundational to keeping me accountable and prioritizing doing something every day. I don’t want to let days go by where I’m left wondering what I did today. I’m the type that wants to be able to point to something and say this is what I can show for what I did with my time

As we begin year five of Where the Change Happens, I want to share three practices that I believe can support your best year in 2022.

Learn from This Year

I’ve written about this simple writing exercise before, and it involves some reflection of the last year. 

1.         List five things I’m proud of from 2021.

2.         List five things I learned in 2021.

Provide yourself with another opportunity to celebrate positive experiences this year with these reflections. Having the challenges we all are experiencing with shortages, inflation, variations of COVID-19, and continuing uncertainties, this exercise could highlight small wins we did experience in 2021 and may not have given a second thought. See if you can get to five.  

This year, some of the things I listed include that I’m proud I hired a writing coach and joined Accomplishment Coaching’s ICF Certified Coach-In-Training program, and leaned into my passion around ice hockey and the NHL’s Seattle Kraken. Some lessons I included describe how I can be when I protect myself and not approach everything as a problem.

Notice what comes up for you when you complete this exercise. Is there a sense of pride and accomplishment? Are you feeling like this last year was a struggle and that everything is a challenge for you? Consider this next exercise to prioritize action over this next year.

Commit to Action

What did you come here seeking to accomplish? Every week, I ask myself ten questions and dedicate time to complete the exercise I call, Last Week from My Perspective, to plan what needs to happen and when. 

Sometimes, a writing tool can provide the framework to support our development to take consistent action and notice where to make changes or adjustments to our habits and routines. Over time, consistent action becomes massive action. After two years and over 110 weeks of completing this exercise, I believe this tool can support your journey. You can read more on this exercise and my N.E.T. Action Plan for Productivity in Where the Change Happens, but for now, I want to utilize a few questions to jump-start your action in 2022. 

After reviewing all of my completed exercises, beginning in October 2019, these three questions supported how I approached what actions I was taking or avoiding. 

Question 6-Action step that must be taken this week. (Write in day planner)

I’ve recently completed my Goals List for next year and realized that I, like many people, have many projects going on simultaneously. Project? Preparation? Write it down and make it a priority to take action this day, and at this time, if necessary, to be that specific.

Question 7- What underlying fear, hesitation, or lack of motivation do I feel about taking action?

The following question is space to state how avoidance or procrastination feels. Some weeks I wrote of my fears:

“In general, looking stupid or unintelligent. Failing and feeling humiliated by my performance. Being rejected for not being good enough. Lack of confidence in my ability.”

“Doing what is uncomfortable. I will hear all rejection and feel like a failure wasting time.”

“Fear of failure to help a coaching client. Fear of doing the actual work of coaching and practicing the new knowledge and skill.”

“Rejection or actually having the work to do.”

Question 8- Are there any exercises I can do to encourage moving through this obstacle?

Acknowledging what is holding me back and triggering comfort and survival mechanisms is a vulnerable benefit when I create space to brainstorm what I can do to encourage action in spite of fear.

Begin designing your path to the change you want to experience. Some of my helpful actions include:

“Be present in each moment and not focus on thinking about unknowns I can’t control or plan for. Show up at 100% and be myself. Be the man people want to spend their time around.”

“How long do I want to sit around and feel good? How much time will I dedicate to my growth and progress? Is the process unbearably uncomfortable? Can I be uncomfortable?”

“What can I do to prepare and practice? What is out of my control? Stop worrying about that which I can do nothing about. Do what I can do.”

“Be open and willing to try, then put myself in the best position to have an enjoyable experience wherever I am.”

“Journal about what I want to get out of ______ and what I want to give.”

“Research what I don’t know and what makes me nervous and or anxious. Educate myself on options and move forward.”

“Lean into having what you want in your life, especially if you enjoy the process and feel energized by doing it. Being afraid to have what you want is the old context. Having what you want is possible and there’s nothing to be afraid of. Look at your results. Take one more step.”

Below is a PDF copy of the exercise. If you’re looking for personal accountability support, try this exercise and see what you can create in your life moving forward. Print and follow the entire exercise today!

The Call to Coaching

In 2022 I will continue training with Accomplishment Coaching in their twelve-month Coach-In-Training program and continue working on my second writing project. I want to share my gratitude that you continue to show up and engage with me where change is possible. I am committed to connecting with and supporting people because life is not easy for any of us, and we’re all doing the best we can and doing the best that we know.

This next year is going to be incredible. Where would you like to see yourself next December? On January 1st gyms will be full of people and New Year’s resolutions. Returning are declarations and well-intentioned mantras that traditionally fall off after a few weeks when life and sore muscles begin to get in the way again. How often do you find yourself affected by this scenario? How often do you keep your goals and continue your forward progress and sustain your motivation throughout the year?

I introduce to you Where the Change Happens Coaching. Your opportunity to deepen your learning and progress with sustainable motivation throughout the year. Join the Captain’s Class and experience how you can be the change for what is possible in your life in 2022. Create your new normal and begin making progress forward today.

Take a moment to imagine the next three months, six months, or year of your life and what you are moving toward or working on. Can you see yourself creating the change you want to see in your life in that timeframe? Where the Change Happens Coaching is available to support your journey now. Click here, and let’s schedule your complimentary coaching session to experience Where the Change Happens Coaching and experience this transformation for yourself. 

Be well and happy new year. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Here’s a testimonial from one of my recent clients.

“A major shift I noticed for myself was boundary setting. This really has resulted in me prioritizing how my time is spent and allowed me to see maximum results in the areas I most value, which is family time and community involvement focused on our teenaged population. 

I went into the time with Jeremy with no expectations as I was uncertain to what a life coach’s role would actually be.  What I found it to be was a very friendly experience, but unlike just discussing my goals with a friend, a coach held me more accountable and asked me to explore things on a deeper level.”

-Chrystal

What was most useful or valuable here for you in this blog post? Leave a comment below or send me your feedback to connect@wherethechangehappens.com.

Can I ask for your help? Where the Change Happens could reach other readers like you by reading a helpful review on Amazon. Click here to leave your review and help your community discover where they can begin to create meaningful change in their relationships today.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!

Click here for my first podcast guest appearance on the 365 Brothers Podcast, titled, Your Very Own MVP.

Purchase your copy of Where the Change Happens by clicking here.

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The Opportunity of a Lifetime

It feels like I’m reconnecting with myself. There is something in my heart that I want to understand and contribute to. Beginning the work on my next writing project in early July, I felt my process would benefit from the experience of working with a writing coach, seeking outside help, and putting in some skin in the game financially. I also wanted to have some accountability so the process wouldn’t drag on, as sometimes a goal for the future can. Working with my writing coach led to the opportunity to enroll in the Coach-In-Training program with Accomplishment Coaching and the chance to live what was once a dream. 

Moving to Florida in 2017, I had a few conversations with people that I wanted to be a coach. I spoke with the director of hockey at a local rink. I met with Buck Martinez of the Student ACES leadership development program for high school students in Palm Beach Gardens a few times. Eventually, I realized that I didn’t know want I wanted to coach or how I wanted to contribute. 

Reading books and listening to podcasts became my continuing education grounds. Starting a blog became where I would become a writer to share my journey toward what’s possible—reviewing experiences that happened in the past, to understand why I and others act the way we do. I’m still fascinated by how context and paradigms shape why we do what we do, with the intent to engage with relationships personally and professionally, not being easily offended but more open to communication and providing context and understanding. Couldn’t that deepen relationships and bring us a little bit closer together than where we were when we started?

Areas I began to focus on when starting Where the Change Happens included:

  • Living a life of significance
  • Being seen and heard
  • Experiencing love after divorce
  • Showing empathy and compassion
  • Providing context in communication
  • Focusing on the future possibility vs. reliving the past 
  • Thriving vs. Surviving 
  • The growth vs. fixed mindset. 

I’m no longer focusing on the stories of my past and whether I liked them or not or agreed with them. After seeing my first book, Where the Change Happens, purchased in multiple countries, my dream is evolving and not about me anymore. The vision is expanding. Curious minds continue to discover the N.E.T. Action Plan for Productivity, utilized to realize purpose and meaning in my life after divorce, and I feel I have something to contribute. I’m inspired to show up in a new capacity for my community, locally and globally.

What I Was Afraid to Pursue Found Me

Recently reading The Last Word on Power, I came across something called– The Universal Human Paradigm. It describes something we all tend to do as humans, believing that “There is a way that things should be. And when things are that way, things are right.” When they’re not that way, there’s something wrong with either me observing, other people involved or with the environment, everywhere. There’s always something wrong if it’s not done the “right way.”

Notice just being with what is. I noticed that I often vent about accepting where I am. And I assert that no one wants to be without or wants to feel like choices only result in a loss, or want to accept feeling unheard, unimportant, or like they’re unworthy. I am sharing with everyone that I want to be part of the journey and your process, moving from being where you don’t feel that you are progressing in your journey, living from your true nature, or accomplishing an impossible goal. 

What transformational change would you like to see in your life?

This opportunity is for people who, in the last year or two alone, because of the pandemic, have realized that there is something that they want to do that they haven’t been doing. Because of a current state of mind or circumstance, my question to your story is, do you feel like something is keeping you from achieving or accomplishing what’s important to you? I want to be part of creating space with you to realize the vision of the future that you see—the version of yourself you want to see in your present. I would love to speak with you about that possibility to create your life.

The Call to Action 

What’s the point? Having support and asking what we want to do about the journey of life. We’re taking action to step out of our comfort zones and into the possibility of a future that we know deep inside we want to be part of or course-correcting aspects of a relationship. There is a community of people who want to support you on that journey. We’re called life coaches.

I’m finding it fascinating to study ontological coaching and our ways of being. It’s encouraging me to address how I show up from the victim mentality, telling stories about what was done to me, blaming outside individuals, and how I’m trying to control my environment to avoid responsibility and accountability. I don’t want excuses. I want results from intentional action.

I feel nervous thinking about being responsible for what works and what doesn’t and that it’s up to me to ask what’s missing and engage in acts of dealing with what is and creating a plan of action to move forward. Having support from coaches and classmates is a breath of fresh air to shift my context around my journey and what I’m taking a stand for with my life.

Shifting focus from being a victim to being “at cause” or responsible for interpretations and the results my decisions produce has inspired a breakthrough for my life to experience in the future.

I declare that we are the community where the change you want to see is the experience. That’s the breakthrough moment—a community where the change we wish to see becomes our experience. Becoming the man that can be the face of that community will be a breakthrough experience for me.

If you’re interested in getting to know more or even know yourself a bit more, or a lot more, or whatever it is, reach out at connect@wherethechangehappens.com and schedule your free 20-minute session about what is possible in your life. I look forward to hearing from you and being with you to become the change you want to see.

Being willing to engage in conversations about how we feel and understanding that people might be afraid, offended, or upset by what we say is an opportunity is to connect in discussion and dialogue.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” -Howard Thurman

Be well.

What was most useful or valuable here for you in this blog post?

Leave a comment below or send your feedback to connect@wherethechangehappens.com.

Can I ask for your help? Where the Change Happens could reach other readers like you by reading a helpful review on Amazon. Click here to leave your review and help your community discover where they can begin to create meaningful change in their relationships today.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!

Click here for my first podcast guest appearance on the 365 Brothers Podcast, titled, Your Very Own MVP.

Purchase your copy of Where the Change Happens by clicking here.

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Becoming Codependent No More

It’s not just how we communicate our love but how we respond in our relationships. Our choices to act in response to negative behaviors have often been attributed to the fault of our partners and feelings that they need our help or rescue. 

After recently experiencing a break-up, I have spent some time re-engaging with my network, and multiple encouraging voices recommended reading the book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. This book would be the tipping point in making sense of my most recent experience, and I now recognized a blind spot.

My journey, however, began with an episode of the ManTalks Podcast with Connor Beaton. His guest was Terri Cole, and they were discussing boundaries and her new book, Boundary Boss. My ex made a comment about me not having healthy boundaries when we were in the defensiveness and self-justifications stage of our behavior after a long-awaited trip back home and her introduction to the family.

COVID dating could’ve been a challenge last year, but online dating sites, Facetime, and UberEATS changed what was possible when getting to know someone. After years of researching aspects of relationships and attending events to address fears and insecurity, navigating a changing landscape of what we could do and where we could go was simply part of the journey. Camping trips to Baker Lake replaced air travel. The living room was the dance floor, and conversations about what we liked to do in “normal” times, like attend live concerts or sporting events, were all we could do to reveal what our typical actions were like to the other. 

Discussing a study I’d come across of 36 Questions to Bring You Closer Together, and reading Devotions for Dating Couples, was a promising start. We found our routine to develop a new normal in which we could discuss our values, recognize our differences, and develop healthy communication in our relationship. Still, I knew nothing about codependency. 

What is codependency? In Codependent No More, Melody says, “the heart of the definition and recovery lies not in theother person-no matter how much we believe it does. It lies in ourselves, in the ways we have let other people’s behavior affect us and in the ways we try to affect them.”

Terri Cole defined it as “overly invested in the feeling states, the decisions, the circumstances, and the outcomes of the people in your life, to the detriment of your internal peace, maybe your financial well-being, maybe your physical well-being.”

Processing the change in my relationship status, I continued to journal and practice meditation and read books like Thinking, Fast and Slow and There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and started training for a half marathon, which eventually was canceled because of the Delta variant of COVID-19. I have had many conversations with my trusted circle and am to a point where I feel like it’s time to change my focus and move on. Some action has to come from these conversations because I keep coming back to points of codependency.

Suppose you’re not clear or familiar with something like codependency. How could you be aware of negative codependent behaviors and the commonly believed good intentions behind them that may negatively impact relationships?

Being dependable is a good thing in relationships, but like all things, there is a balance. How much do you give to your partner, and how much do your wants and needs remain a priority?

After finishing Codependent No More, I can already feel that this will be a relationship game-changer. Like, Awaken the Giant WithinThe Laws of Human NatureMindsetFlowMessengersYou Are the Placebo, and Thinking, Fast and Slow. This feels like an immediate significant resource to share. 

What I didn’t know or recognize

When I realized that I’d demonstrated some aspects of behaviors I was learning about, it wasn’t about my ex anymore. I had demonstrated codependent behaviors too. Outside of The Five Love Languages, when it comes to developing relationships or dealing with negative habits and experiences, I hadn’t read much on other areas of relationships that could use some development.

This experience has been a struggle to admit that I felt insecure. I’d questioned my confidence when we were together, and behaviors I thought were dependable were enabling. To process my codependent behavior and understand my contribution to that behavior in my relationships, I begin by journaling,

What am I dealing with? 

I’m afraid to offend with __.

I don’t want ___.

I have a boundary ___.

Gary Chapman wrote in The Five Love Languages that “our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of a reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving.”

There is a process to progressing a relationship, and my deal breaker came down to timing and that process. Interestingly, something I read in Codependent No More was how “a second, more common denominator seemed to be unwritten, silent rules that usually develop in the immediate family and set the pace for relationships,” in the chapter defining codependency. A “common thread runs through all stories of codependency. It involves our responses and reactions to people around us.” How have I demonstrated this, and where have I experienced this became questions I wanted to answer.

On the website of Medical News Today, it says, “It is important to know the difference between depending on another person — which can be a positive and desirable trait — and codependency, which is harmful.” 

Some of the examples they share of codependent behaviors describe both dependable and codependent behaviors. For example, “Two people rely on each other for support and love. Both find value in the relationship.” That is good. 

What’s not good? When “a person who relies upon a codependent does not learn how to have an equal, two-sided relationship and often comes to rely upon another person’s sacrifices and neediness.”

Going Forward to a Healthier Relationship

I record parts of podcasts using the Voice Memos app on my iPhone as a “note-taking” process and revisit helpful content and practical recommendations that would be beneficial to review from time to time. Relistening to the ManTalks Podcast a few times, it started to make more sense, paired with reading about codependency. Terri Cole points out in describing codependency, “The major driving factor is that it’s a covert or overt bid for control. Because we don’t want you making that terrible mistake. Because we know you’re better than that. Because we don’t want you going back with that stupid girlfriend or stupid boyfriend because they were terrible for you. Because we know you could be doing more with your life. Because we know that you’d be better for you if you were healthy, so you need to lose 20 pounds. It’s the fear.” From there, I began my next step forward. 

At times, it may feel frightening, the uncertainty that follows when you become vulnerable and start doing this type of work. But in the words of Albert E.N. Gray, and one of my favorite speeches, The Common Denominator of Success, “it is easier to adjust ourselves to the hardships of a poor living than it is to adjust ourselves to the hardships of making a better one. If you doubt me, just think of all the things you are willing to go without in order to avoid doing the things you don’t like to do.”

I don’t need someone to blame. I realize I would give my opinion unsolicited, telling my ex what she could or should do at work when she was promoted into a management position. I recognized “a need” for the communication and management skills I’d been reading about. Wrong. I don’t know what she needed to experience in her journey.

I can benefit from learning to recognize behaviors that can introduce the Karpman Drama Triangle and say more of, “‘ Sounds like you’re having a problem. What do you need from me?'” Better yet, “‘I’m sorry you’re having that problem.’ Then, let it go. We don’t have to fix it.”

Another I also found helpful to re-read were the words of Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., in her book Mindset, which says, “the belief that partners have the potential for change should not be confused with the belief that the partner will change. The partner has to want to change, commit to change, and take concrete actions toward change.”

It’s time for forgiveness and letting people move on to be who they are. We can alleviate some of the burdens we tend to carry, and I’m learning that life is too short to carry unnecessary weight. We are responsible for ourselves.

What are you asking me to do?

Codependency doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. Working together is the best way for humans to survive and thrive in society. I believe learning about codependency is doing work to develop a healthier relationship with our partners and ourselves. I’m enjoying learning about these behaviors I don’t know about and realize I’m not alone in the struggle of being human. The difficulties I’m experiencing, someone else has experienced to some degree, and someone else will share some similarities. But after one book and a few online searches, where do I go from here?

The website of Mental Health America. A resource rich nonprofit, “commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal.”

”Because co-dependency is usually rooted in a person’s childhood, treatment often involves exploration into early childhood issues and their relationship to current destructive behavior patterns. Treatment includes education, experiential groups, and individual and group therapy through which co-dependents rediscover themselves and identify self-defeating behavior patterns. Treatment also focuses on helping patients getting in touch with feelings that have been buried during childhood and on reconstructing family dynamics. The goal is to allow them to experience their full range of feelings again.” Mental Health America website

There’s fear, painful history, and emotional baggage that we carry and leave unaddressed, and I’m curious about how that impacts our behavior and motivation. It will benefit me to be mindful of what I learned from Melody and a handout she references in Codependent No More about moving on; “releasing, or detaching from, a person or problem in love. We mentally, emotionally, and sometimes physically disengage ourselves from unhealthy (and frequently painful) entanglement with another person’s life and responsibilities, and from problems we cannot solve.”

Mental Health America suggests “the first step in changing unhealthy behavior is to understand it.” That journey will vary for me than it will for you reading this. Since each experience is different, what we need won’t exactly be the same. Writing this has been part of my process to understand. If you can, take a minute to reach out to a member of your network you have a healthy relationship with or do an online search for a resource or podcast that you can privately engage with and begin your journey to understand any aspect of a relationship you struggle with. Sometimes, it’s not just timing.

P.S. I recorded this video for my virtual family reunion this year and wanted to share it with you. Be well.

What was most useful or valuable here for you in this blog post? Leave a comment below or send me your feedback to connect@wherethechangehappens.com.

Can I ask for your help? Where the Change Happens could reach other readers like you by reading a helpful review on Amazon. Click here to leave your review and help your community discover where they can begin to create meaningful change in their relationships today.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!

Click here for my first podcast guest appearance on the 365 Brothers Podcast, titled, Your Very Own MVP.

Purchase your copy of Where the Change Happens by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Rebuilding Life after Divorce

In the last four years, I’ve written a few times to help process emotions and evaluate relationships. Currently, eight chapters into the book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, I’ve been thinking about relationships again and where my journey began four years ago when I was in Florida. In the context of making quick, intuitive decisions or taking a long-term, deliberative approach, how long is long enough to evaluate getting married again after divorce? What areas need to be addressed to heal and move on? If you’re looking for someone willing to do the work, what work are you looking for that means something to you? What can we do that demonstrates the phrase, I’m the person you want to be with? The answer is different for everyone. 

I want to make more deliberative decisions than those intuitive, reactive, instinctual decisions about moving forward in a relationship before it’s time to take that step. Before becoming comfortable taking that step or rushing the process, I chose to experience many days when I felt depressed and lonely.

Feel When it Began

In April 2018, I journaled,

I have that song “Can You Stand the Rain” by New Edition stuck in my head all day today. There’s something peaceful in the group’s harmony that conveys the sincerity of the primary question in this song. You can feel that love and emotion, I think. That love and tenderness is something I’m desperately missing in my life at this moment. Thirty-five years old, single, and living alone with a dog was not in my life description while I was a kid listening to R&B music like this in the ’90s. This fascination with love and romance through music or movies has always been there. I’ve always longed for someone to love with such vulnerability. Are you willing to stand with me through the storms of life? At my best and my worst? That’s quite a commitment that, as a 20 something, I never put deep thought into. 

Now in my late 30’s, it’s all I think about—the fantasy of a lifelong commitment that I’ve yet to find. I still want that. I’m still that kid inside, just more experienced. And possibly lonely for companionship. I don’t want to fall in love here, but I do want that feeling, like wrapping you in a warm blanket– a secure, loving experience in my life. And I feel like that song represents how I want to think about a girl right now. Justin Timberlake has a song called, “The Hard Stuff,” and it’s about the want for depth in the relationship past where it all just comes easy. It’s about knowing your weakness and the reality that relationships are very hard. But Justin wants that. And in my opinion, there’s just something special about being at that point where you know what would light up your partner’s day or light a fire in the bedroom at night. That level of trust is missing in my life. At this point, I know no one in this area on anything close to that level. I think it’s just a little loneliness that has me drawn to these songs. That and they sound just beautiful.

In the Moment Now

Did I accomplish what I set out to by being single for three years? I know what my intuitive feeling is for the answer. Taking time to look at results and where we’ve progressed to, compared to what we set out to years ago, can provide insight into following through on being who we set out to become. Am I listening to myself? If not, is that part of why my current state is what it is? What work am I not accepting to be part of now?

I was in Florida and not dating anyone for a reason. Days would come and go where I would feel lonely, and one day, I was listening to music, and tears that were ready to fall needed that one moment of vulnerability to start a stream.

This journey continues forward, and I hope that we can continue developing our communication styles and our ability to be vulnerable and truthful and have healthy conversations. By sharing this, I want to show how the journey can begin again. Where we’re moving to and who we are becoming is soon to be seen with time.

Be well.

What was most useful or valuable here for you in this blog post? Leave a comment below or send me your feedback to connect@wherethechangehappens.com.

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If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post or find a useful idea, please share it with your friends and family. Your referral is greatly appreciated. I look forward to discovering where the change happens with you. You can also check out the Resources page for a full list of books I’ve read that I believe will inspire the change you would like to see in your journey. Be well and happy reading!

Click here for my first podcast guest appearance on the 365 Brothers Podcast, titled, Your Very Own MVP.

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