What is Absolute Shall Remain

Personal thoughts and Opinions:

I’ve thought about this for a while, and what the title states is true. What I mean is this; if indeed there is a God, and I believe personally there is, the laws, the rules that were laid down are unchangeable period. No matter how mankind tries to change them, influence them, or ignore them they are there and will remain long after mankind is gone. It doesn’t necessarily apply only to the infinite, but also to governments and the laws that those governments are supposed to honor, and everything in-between.

If we were to look at the Constitution of this country (USA), those to the left want to change it so that it reflects more of the way they think, the way they act, the way they want to rule. And right now since the left is controlling the government it is obvious the direction of the country. And they are completely ignoring the laws of the land (the Constitution). And they state it is this way; “Because the constitution is an obsolete document it doesn’t apply to us. If it were only a living document then we might actually follow it. Since it’s not why should we be bound by or to it?”

Of course they want it to become a living document since doing so allows them to interpret it in any fashion and any direction they want. To translate it and change it to more reflect how they see it. In other words make it over in their image because it is their right to make these changes, and who cares how it will affect the citizens, the laws, and what this nation should be, and why should I care what any other might think. Because, bottom line, it’s my way or the highway.

We see similar things in many of the religions of this world. The learned ones or leaders who supposedly speak from the knowledge, education, and understanding, apply the laws within their particular religion as they see fit. If it doesn’t happen to fit the situation – their situation, then the inconvenient truth is they change it so that it will fit their personal beliefs. Yet, if what God states and what is written is Absolute, how are they able to change what is written, and change it in such a way that the results lead to their personal interpretation, making it convenient for them to accomplish whatever is their agenda? In other words, by taking anything out of context they can make it say anything they want it and we see this happening much too much.

We are seeing people killed for supposedly doing things against what these sacred scripts state, while others who violate the very same laws or scripts are getting a free pass because what these others are doing happens to support those in charge and their agendas. Again if what is written is absolute, how can it apply to one and not another, allowing  man to change it anytime he pleases? In truth he can’t, but does that change the facts or the inconvenient truth that they are saying they have such a right, are more knowledgable, and are better than the One who created all of this? Of course nobody has this right, but this is what we are seeing throughout this world.

In the end it probably comes down to these two words – power and control.  The ones who are pursuing these two words are doing whatever they feel they must to gain what these two words represent. The inconvenient truth lies in the fact that too many will do whatever is necessary to be part of those two words. It doesn’t matter where they are in the hierarchy, it only matters that they find a way, including the compromise of all that is written, and/or what they personally believe to get to the point where it is their word, their demands, their views that all must bow down to.

Yet one of the axioms, which has been around for much longer than I’ve existed is, Total power, corrupts totally. No matter how it comes about, whether for good, or for personal gain the results are always the same. There are more examples of this in history, than there are examples of this type of rule, this type of leadership, producing benevolent results. You name it, kings, sultans, socialism, communism, and even to some extent democracy, because there are many within this system that find a way to manipulate it to their wants and needs, and all have been corrupted by the lure of power, the lure of control.

We find it existing in all religions of the world. Where the ones on top of the hierarchy find ways to influence the governments, or in many cases become the government, bringing total control over the people who are under them. Study any of the history about any of the major players and you will find greed, deceit, corruption, the grab for power, religious wars, and so much more. Of course all of this applies to all the governments in this world. After all we are corruptible, and given the chance – any chance at all and we will be corrupted.

In a sense you see this with the pecking order throughout the natural world, and even where much is shared, inside families. And if one really thinks about it, when the leadership is shared there is less chance of the law or axiom of total power doing its worst. We see it in the world of birds, in the wilds with animals where the fight to be the alpha male and female is a constant day-to-day struggle. So is it a surprise we see the same thing with us in the world of mankind? When the alpha position is being used properly all benefit. The real problem lies in the fact that the siren’s call, her lure of power and control is so strong that the ones who reach the pinnacle of leadership eventually believe they are better, know more, and overall, what is needed for all the people who lie beneath them to remain beneath them. Pride and ego go before the fall.

There is a reason for the wisdom of the world to have been written and to be followed. Most of these writings strive to balance us, to keep the corruption out. The problem lies in the fact that even at the beginning, whether the goals were as they should be, and the ones who have reached this point of leadership, have been reading and following this wisdom, eventually they reach a point where they feel that all of this history, all of what is written, all of the admonishments, are no longer valid, and as such none of this rubbish applies to them.

It is at this point that the restrictions in the texts, or the Constitution become problems. After all, it means they cannot accomplish what they’ve set out to do, and so it is time for a change, time to make these documents living, “So any or all of them can reflect my point of view, my agenda. Because, I can see so much more, so much better than all, and because of this I will conveniently ignore what I want, and apply it the way I feel is in the best interest of, well, me.”

And when these leaders reach this point it is the world that suffers, with death and destruction, pain, torture, loss of life, and so many other unspeakable acts. Yet, when all is said and done, and in the end, it is still true, no matter what has been done, or the attempts to place such documents as being unimportant, a waste of time, an irritant, a restriction, they will always be Absolute and shall remain long after the time of the corrupted leaders who will be forgotten at some point in time, and be long buried in their graves.

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January has bit the dust, and the first month of the new year is ending. It is the time of the gathering of documents, a time leading to what is known here in this country as tax season. It forces us to look back on 2014 and in a sense financially shows us whether it’s been a good year or not so good. I can only hope that is was a good one, and this year will be a better one. Have a great week and see you back here on Saturday. God Bless! (fdbrant.com)




Thoughts About Gaming Mods

Okay, this again is my personal views on the subject, and for those who do not game, this refers to people putting together maps, changes, to the equipment, storylines, or alternate views, directions,  and so many other additions and/or corrections to an actual retail game. It means one, with a kit from the game company, can go in and change things around a bit, maybe making the game more to one’s personal liking. This also has a tendency to extend the life of such games, since there is so much more available from the gaming and modding communities to allow one to continue to play a favorite game.

Part of what this does is allow one to see how much work goes into the original game, the storyline, the script, and the alternate paths one can travel. Of course most modern games are linear, meaning they start at point “A”, and somewhere towards the end, end at point “B”. While the goal is to give the illusion of choice and direction, it usually isn’t there. And when it’s done right such restrictions aren’t noticed, but when wrong, can destroy a game right out of the gate, or box. Then you have sandbox games that really have no storyline per say, but give you an open unexplored world in which to explore, discover, and build into whatever you like or imagine (within the constraints of the game world, of course). And in a sense in-between these are the RPG’s which have some sandbox elements because the world is open, but at the same time has a major storyline, with many, many, many, side quests existing out in the gameworld. Generally these 2, sandbox, and RPG, don’t include kits, but this is more of a game company decision, as some do and some don’t.

With the modding kits, these game companies provide, it allows the everyday gamer, who is enthusiastic and wanting to try their hand at creating something, a method to do just that. Lately I’ve been playing some mods created for the old Fallout 3 game which is a hybrid of a RPG, and FPS, and has a huge modding community. (To see what I’m speaking about, here’s a link to a website that specializes in these mods. http://www.nexusmods.com/fallout3/?)

For those who haven’t played this game (Fallout 3) or know anything about it, this is a Post-apocalyptic story dealing with the area in and around Washington DC approximately 200 years after the fictional event. It’s an alternate futuristic view and a different direction than true history. For example atomic power is used, or was used (before the war), including the automobiles that everybody owned. These autos appear to be closer in appearance and design to the cars that came out in the late 50’s and early 60’s. There were underground vaults built to house part of the population in case of an attack, which eventually came from China, destroying much of the world, leaving DC in ruins, and the world bathed in radioactivity. Your character emerges from the vault into this devastation, and find a surviving human element that has set up a primitive society. Your initial quest is to find your father who had left the vault years before. And from there you learn about this broken world, how to survive, and solve the large puzzle that is before you.

There’s the good and bad in all of this. First, even with the provided kits, modding isn’t easy or simple. It takes time to learn, and time to apply what you learned before anything can come of it. Again some of these fan created mods are simply environmental changes, bug fixes, and maybe a better balancing (Referring to the use of force within a gameworld and the balance of weapons and such so one is not so overpowering that there isn’t anything that can counter. Balancing a gameworld is one of the critical steps in making a game right.), maybe fixes that removes stuttering, crashes to the desktop, or any number of other problems that makes an unplayable game playable. And it can change the rating of a game from “anybody can play”, to “adult only”, if this is a direction one is looking or wanting to go.

Still once the game has been played to the conclusion, the DLC’s (downloadable content) have been added and played, it is time to see what those modders have done, creating their own worlds, their own quests, and their own endings. It gives one a chance to see the variety of ideas and directions that go well beyond the original story. And many of these modders put their heart and soul into their work, plus a lot of their spare time to create their masterpieces. Most of the time it is an individual who does this, but other times friends or other modders come together, and put their time and effort into the mod. This gives you both the good and the bad. Most can come off a bit amateurish. And what I’m referring to here is not necessarily the world or map they’ve created, but the script, and in some cases, where they’ve tried, the voice acting, which can be a bit weak.

Yet, when it is done right it can be difficult to tell the difference between the actual retail game, and a community created mod. Again, as I stated above what is added isn’t necessarily a new quest, or a new area to explore, but could be something as simple as adding a companion to assist you. Even here you can run into the good and bad, and only by trying a number of these companion mods can you find the ones who seem to be fully fleshed out. An example of one of these companions would be Willow for the expansion game Fallout New Vegas. A game in the fallout universe but obviously in the area in and around Las Vegas. Willow is one of the most popular companion mods and when you use this mod you understand immediately. This companion mod has a depth rarely seen in such characters.

Still in all of this, one must start somewhere, and when I’m within this mod I’m presently playing, I keep hoping to see where it could go, to see it fulfill its potential. Maybe because I’m older, or maybe because I am a writer, I see things, directions promised, making me expect or anticipate more, only to be disappointed. Even with the rather large mod that I’m presently playing, it makes me wonder how the storyline could be so weak. It’s not that these modders didn’t try, because it’s obvious they did, and they put a lot of hard work, effort and love into it. Still, for me, the storyline ends up wanting on so many levels. From the actions the NPC’s (Non Playable Characters) are presenting, to the environment created, to the dialogue presented, which comes out simply as; us against them – a black and white view, that in the end left me with more questions as to why, than showing any closure or methods of working through the presented issues or problems. Plus the actions conflicted with the dialogue, not portraying an accurate picture of the game world, or the situation you, as the player, find yourself in.

No, I’m not going to reveal which mod this is because this would single them out and be totally unfair. I’m sure they are proud of their product, and in truth they have a right to be. But I suspect this shows why certain game companies remain successful. Because they have the resources, the understanding, and experience to know what makes a game work, and also the understanding that there could be a large following out there, and because of this provide the tools necessary to allow the community to make mods for their games. And I suspect they watch these modding sites and communities to find new talent which they might tap in the future.

Still, for me, this particular mod, again not for the map, because I love exploring these maps, these fictional worlds, became a disappointment. The storyline in the end was too simplistic, too black and white, there truly were no twists and turns, and a very linear direction that was predictable from the beginning. And part of why we read, play games, watch movies, or other entertainment is to read, watch or play into the surprises, those twists that were completely unexpected, but hinted. To watch a complicated storyline become clear and see the conclusion with the actors, be it that book, the big screen, or your gaming system. For these stories, and dialogues to be more in the direction of life, not that we will ever do things like Bruce Willis in his action movies, but those twists, those turns, those surprises is what we wait for because we do face this is our own lives.

In conclusion I will say overall it is enjoyable to add and play these mods, to give a little more life to an old favorite game. One I may have played through at least a half-dozen times, trying out the alternate paths, attempting to find those hidden areas, small surprises, and hidden gems I may have missed during my earlier explorations, or playing a different character where I can choose such. Eventually they do become old, and I move on to try my hand at another. And maybe, at times I look back nostalgically and think of going back, to play such one more time, revisiting it like an old friend I haven’t seen in years, and maybe look over those mods, hoping to find some of the depth, to explore other parts of the game world, and watch as they give the game a chance to feel new again.

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I continue to write another short story which will be presented here in the near future. I suspect that it will begin to show up here in February. I’m approximately 2000 words from the conclusion of the first draft – the easy part. Then comes the editing and revising before it’s ready for prime time. As the sub-title of this blog states, you can never be sure what the subject of the post will be unless the post is part of a series. Have a great week, and may you be here next Saturday for the next one. God Bless! (fdbrant.com)

Published in: on January 24, 2015 at 7:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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What is it that you remember? Here I am referring to events, things you’ve witnessed, minor or major, or something you may have observed that, in the end, has remained with you throughout your life, and may have influenced you and your life. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be something that you personally witnessed or were a part of. It could easily have been something you’ve read that was written in such a way that it caused you to pause, to think, to contemplate what was presented, and wonder if maybe this was based on something the author may have witnessed or experienced. Yet, because of how it affected you, has remained with you and maybe left its mark, its impression, since that time. Those images of the past, when in the present and the situation is right, comes to the forefront of your mind, taking you back, and maybe to that very moment in time, in the past, and realizing it did indeed leave an impression.

In the recent past I wrote the short story, “And it Came to Pass”, presenting the world of the homeless. Obviously not all, since each have their own story as to why they are where they are. Again any who follow this blog know that I’m in my mid 60’s, so I’ve seen my share of life. Yet, where did this story come from, and imagery that is there? Part of what a writer does is take a situation and in his or her mind’s eye see a story there that can be written. The story could be for entertainment, to present an idea, or reveal something that is being overlooked and needs attention, or for something as simple as teaching a lesson. Yet, for that story to come forth there has to have been an impression, an image within the mind, somewhere along the line, strong enough to evoke images, strong enough to evoke the desire to write what the writer sees .

I guess I can go back to when I was 17 to see a moment in time, an impression that may have had the influence to create the Christmas story for 2014. I was starting out in life and working in a cafe in the small community I grew up in. Once I turned 18 I had plans to become a wildland fire fighter, which I did. So this was my first job after graduating from high school, allowing me to earn a little money. I simply was the dishwasher, and helped around the cafe where needed – a minimum wage job that earned me a whopping $1.10 an hour. (Not that being a wildland firefighter earned me much more than this. After my first raise I earned a whopping $1.89 per hour.)

A slight deviation here: I guess like most writers some of my characters are based on real people or composites of different individuals I’ve known over the years. Still, as I’ve stated, most of the time the characters are the result of the world and environment they exist, and as far as I know they are not based on any living person. For example, the owner of the cafe in the book, The Woman in the Snow, is probably a composite of 2 different cafe owners in that small town I grew up in. While Kal and Jura from the book I’ve just released, “A Taste of History Past”, are creations from their world and based on no one that I’m aware of.

Back to that time in my life at the age of 17. One day a bum entered the cafe. There was a counter there like you see in some of the older cafes. He was dirty, in clothes that did not fit, and ordered coffee, which at the time cost ten cents a cup. (This was before the time of free refills.) It was obvious he was down on his luck, as the saying goes, and he had one of those metal band-aid cans where he kept his wealth – a few coins he found. It was his treasure, and probably with the clothes on his back, the only thing he owned. Eventually the owner ran him out of the cafe, and that was the last I ever saw of him. A moment frozen in time.

So, is this where Faron came from? In truth, I cannot say. But I can say that even to this day, and whether the images I see are accurate, or have been clouded and changed with time, I still see him sitting there at the counter drinking his coffee, and hoping someone would buy him a meal, or the owner would show some charity and provide one. Where he went, who he was, for me is an unknown. And I suspect that he has passed away a very long time ago.

In the end, and again I cannot say if it is true or not, the impressions he left behind has stayed with me all these years. And those years and the incident took place almost 50 years in the past, yet from my perspective it seems that it may have been so. The results being that the impressions and influences he placed upon me that day led to a fictional story, a fictional character, and maybe this unknown individual, a derelict of society, unknowingly has reached out over time to touch me, as a writer, and you as the reader as you see the images created in your mind. (for those who may not have read this short story and are interested, here is the link: https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/and-it-came-to-pass/)

Many times it isn’t until years later, when something similar happens to you, whether it’s up close and personal, or seeing it from a distance, you realize how this first incident has left its influences, its impressions upon you. You know, when you look at this word “impression”, we can see it used in so many ways. The footprints left in the mud and sand, the writing, or handprints pressed into wet concrete, the blocks with images pressed into clay or other substances, or images, words, scenes, sounds, and so much more that can be impressed into our very beings, our very souls. In all cases these impressions remain until the very substances they were pressed into change or disappear. And we can say the same thing about you and I, as those influences, those impressions leave their mark upon the person who is you and I. As to what is happening around us is seen, acted within, and felt, all becoming the tapestry that is you and me.

Again I close as I have opened this piece, asking you this question; what influences, what impressions have stayed with you and maybe even changed your life, or your direction? For you I cannot answer, yet somewhere down the roads of time, a stranger touched a boy, leaving images in his mind that eventually took on a life of its own to become a short story, which has reached out and touched many others, leaving more impressions reaching far beyond those humble beginnings so many years in the past.

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We are well into January and the year 2015. If you are one prone to new year resolutions, how’s it going? Maybe instead you should sit down and set some realistic goals with markers along the way, so once you reach these markers you will know you’re progressing towards those goals and your personal success. Have a great week and be here next Saturday for the next post. God Bless! (fdbrant.com)

Published in: on January 17, 2015 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Relationship 101 Part 2

Personal Opinion and Thoughts:

Now that we’ve looked at the relationship triangle (And if you haven’t read part 1 of this series, I suggest you go back to last week’s post and read it first. This can be found in the sidebar under January 2015.), it is important to realize that too many marriages are failing, and failing within the first 5 years. (Again everything that I’m stating is from my personal  observations, what I’ve read on the subject, and thoughts. I’m not a scientist or a researcher, so there is nothing that I have that can either prove or disprove what I am stating here.) It makes one wonder why they – the couple – would enter into this, for lack of a better word, contract, only to fail early on. So were their expectations too high? Did they do something wrong within that time period (The obvious answer would be yes, but that’s not necessarily the truth or the answer.)? Is there something we can attribute these failures to, and if so, is there a way to turn this around? Or were they lazy, or selfish, or were there other problems or unexpected situations or developments that led to the breakup?

All good questions, and ones that many are trying to answer all of the time. And if these breakups were just isolated incidents then we probably could chalk it up to statistics. But, unfortunately this isn’t the case, and there’s actually been a term associated to the phenomena. These marriages are called, of all things, Starter Marriages. Once one has thought about the first set of questions then we can begin to add all sorts of others to the mix as we reach further out to see if we are dealing with outside influences that could be the culprit. Is it popular culture, or Hollywood with their views of relationships, is it what is viewed over the whole entertainment industry – music, word, TV, theatres including stage and film, or maybe what is discussed around the old water cooler during breaks? Could it be influences from their personal lives? Truthfully, all and any of these could and can have negative influences. Yet, if the relationship is strong, and both partners are committed to maintaining the strength it would seem that the marriage should remain and be strong. Yet, we see the failures, the ruins, and the devastation that is left behind, including the children who are living in broken homes. (And who knows what damage this does to all who are involved in these breakups.)

Personally, I feel that it is what transpires before the commitment to marry that is the real culprit. And if we want to be honest the reason for these failures later on in the relationship is us and how we approach dating the opposite sex, how we are built, and how it influences the outcome, leading to marriage when it shouldn’t, and the resulting failures when it does. If we go back to the beginnings, so to speak, the couple had no say in who they were to marry. Most were arranged marriages and because of this there was no way out. The families wouldn’t allow it, nor would the religions of the day. The idea of romantic love was a foreign concept. Was it a good way? Probably not, but it was the only way for centuries. (Of course, in some cultures the idea of a single male and only one female, is a foreign concept even today.)

Eventually, as the modern world changed, the idea of marrying for love, which slowly became the way of things in the Western culture and world, became the predominant reason to marry. Even here, early on, divorce was a rare thing. And whether the marriage was good, or bad, or abusive, it was nearly impossible to leave. But as time moved into the middle and late 20th century it became easier to leave what was considered a bad marriage or relationship, with Reno, Nevada leading the way, where it became known as the divorce capital of the world. It wasn’t long after this the laws were eased in the rest of this country, leading to the high divorce rate we are seeing.

Dating changed with the way Hollywood presented relationships, as well as the world of Rock and Roll. The idea of jumping into bed with the opposite sex after a single date became the norm, and the idea of celibacy until after one married ended with it being swept under the covers and completely forgotten. Now it appears, many times, that the marriage proposal is, “You’re going to have a what!?” Even with the modern birth control that is available, none of it will always prevent pregnancy or is 100% safe. And with all such drugs that try to help or fool the body, there are side effects, and trade offs. These contraceptives allow we humans to engage in procreation with the resulting pleasure, reducing the chance of adding to the population of the world. This has resulted in the increase in cervical cancers, STD’s, and unwanted pregnancies.

As in all things, there are trade offs to any of this and one of these trade offs has to do with what this pleasurable act can do to us, other than the obvious. It has been shown that the pheromones, which are produced during the act, pulls us closer to our partner, and making us want to be around them, to remain close, and, of course repeat that act. (Part of the reason for this lies in the fact that nature wants this to continue so there will be a continuation of the species,) If we were to refer back to that triangle one of the sides is communication. And if this and the other side of the triangle – trust – hasn’t been created, then jumping into bed with that date is nothing more than a small part of the third side of the triangle – intimacy, or lust for lack of a better word. And as I stated, if any side of this triangle is broken or hasn’t been created, then it collapses. (And 2 sides are already missing or broken so the outcome is already known.)

In this case the triangle is never built and so there can be no true relationship. It’s all about the sex, the closeness it produces, and many times the unexpected children from the result. The couple goes into marriage with nothing built that will support the relationship, and once the day-to-day grind becomes overwhelming, and the sex gets old, there’s nothing to hold the relationship together – nothing at all. This type of relationship is two-dimensional, with no depth, and has nothing to sustain it. So it ends. Leaving too many women having to raise children on their own, and leading these same women into less than ideal lifestyles because of the burden of raising a child without the necessary finances and support. And the sad fact is there are too many men who do not take the responsibility for that child they helped create. They run and do it all over again. It is probably one of the many reasons that overall women consider men irresponsible, and immature. And it’s one of the factors that place these same women in poverty, with little chance of changing their condition. And with the lack of a father figure in the child’s life there is a greater chance of seeing the same happening in their lives once they have grown. Let’s be honest for a moment, if there isn’t both parents in a child’s life they have no way to learn, from observation most of the time, what a healthy relationship is or could be. And if the door to the home becomes a revolving door where, one after another, dates come in and leave, then their belief is, “this is the way it is and should be”, perpetuating the lifestyle in their own lives once they enter the adult world.

So how would I see the development of a relationship? First off – and I know it’s hard to separate the physical from the rest, after all we are physical creatures – we have to leave the sex out of the relationship. Leave it out until the other two sides of the relationship triangle are well-developed, and well established. Because, simply stated, when the sex starts the communication stops. And if it wasn’t there in the first place, it surely won’t be there after the physical starts. If you haven’t built the relationship, used the building blocks that are there, before you spend that first time in bed together, then the odds are you never will.

You end up building your whole relationship on what each can give each other in bed, and with the resulting pheromones doing their job, you believe that your relationship is strong, so strong in fact that the two of you can become a married couple and be happy. Well, good luck on that one. In a marriage you learn things about the other person that you probably wished you never knew. There’s a lot of stress, misunderstanding, and strife that exists behind those closed doors. And it is this way because we are different. Not only because one is male, and the other female, but because we come from different backgrounds, different ways of viewing the world, and many times different cultures.

Marriage, and the relationship within, is a world of compromise where egos are to be left at the door. It can be a place of incredible strength, love, and protection, or it can be just the opposite – a battleground that could be more vicious than a heavyweight fight, or cage fighting, which seems so popular now. And when you add children to the mix, the stress levels increase, as well as the need for time together, which is taken away because of those children. And I will say this only once: There isn’t and will never be a place within a relationship where physical and mental abuse is right or should be tolerated. If it is there run, and run away as fast and as far as you can and never return. This is anything but healthy.

So, develop those skills, develop the foundation in your relationship. And if, in the end, it doesn’t work because the two of you weren’t right for each other, then it can be ended before marriage, before children are in the picture. And by doing it this way eventually the right one will be there and the growing relationship, and the resulting marriage should remain for a life time. But there is one admonishment that must be stated here and it is this: For the relationship to last a lifetime one cannot become lazy and just let the days pass. A relationship requires work, compromise, and change. Each willing to compromise and work with the other to keep the relationship healthy and growing. You’ve heard said by many couples, “We thought the love we had at the beginning was great, but compared to where it is now, these so many years later, makes that beginning love seem more like puppy love, and the depth that it now is so much greater than we ever thought it could be.” Truthfully, isn’t this what we are all looking for in the end – a partner and friend to share our life journey with us.

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And there you have it, my personal views on relationships, the foundation from which strong relationships are based, and how it all should work. Whether it is an accurate view is unimportant. If this has gotten you to think about your personal relationships and see where they can be strengthened, then this 2-part post or series has done its job. Have a great week and I hope to see you here next Saturday – God Bless! (fdbrant.com)

Published in: on January 10, 2015 at 6:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Relationship 101 Part 1

Personal Opinion and Thoughts:

I asked my wife if she had a suggestion for a post subject and she suggested that I write about relationships. In a way this brought a smile to me since I have always been a wallflower, an introvert, and one that has had very few relationships over the years that I’ve been here. Basically I’m a loner who has had no problem being that way. So it would appear that I would or should be the last person to write on this subject. To break briefly, I need to state that what is written below is based on the idea that there is at least a beginning relationship, where the two are interested in moving deeper, with the hope this fledgling relationship will blossom into something more. This is stated with the caveat that if lust is the only reason the two of you are together, then nothing written here will apply.

A little history here might be helpful. At one time (when I was still in my late teens, and maybe early twenties) I figured that I would purchase a house and find a spouse somewhere in my mid to late twenties, and go the way of most. But, alas, this was not to be the case at all. In fact by my mid-twenties I had no prospects, had rarely dated, and when I did, never more than once, and hadn’t earned enough, with my employment, to purchase a house. So from this information, again it would seem that I’m the last one to write on this subject.

When I was 32 I met my future wife and we began dating. At that time if you looked back you could have counted the times I had dated on one hand and still had fingers left. Leading up to this time I began to read about relationships and about the opposite sex. A couple of the books that come to mind is: Women, a Book for Men, and to confirm that the information would be as accurate as such a book could be, I read the other: Men, a Book for Women. When reading the one about men, I found, overall that it was pretty accurate, so I could assume (never a good thing to assume) that the other had to be close. It helped me understand much that I hadn’t a clue about before (as well as other books I read).

During the time of our early dating I learned that she had no personal self-confidence. I wondered why, and what was going on, and was it something from her past that had left her in this condition? As time went on I learned that she was an abused woman who had been abandoned by her abusing husband leaving her with 2 daughters from that marriage. This abuse was both physical and mental, and as she said to me, “If I wanted a slave I could have left things as they were.”

So, in a sense I became her psychologist as we talked the hours away, and slowly worked through her problems and issues to find the real person underneath. It was the first time I had ever encountered this situation and learned a lot, from our talks, leading me to understand much about it (spousal abuse). In the end she and I married and as she said, “She married her psychologist.” However or how much of this is true I don’t know, but we’ve had a strong relationship for 32 years now.

Anyway, as time moved on it got me to thinking about relationships and the fact that as we grow up we get our ideas from the main relationship that is around us, which is our parents. Most parents do not sit down and discuss what makes a relationship work or not work, and I suspect that in reality most don’t know. Either the relationship works, or it doesn’t is just about as far as it goes. I also know that knowledge is power. And what I mean by this is this: Until we have either the experience or knowledge about something it is easy to not understand what is happening around us. Leaving us unable to predict the obvious, and leaving us wondering what transpired when whatever it was we were trying to accomplish failed. And we find once we have the needed knowledge (or experience) we then can look back and see those obvious errors and mistakes.

So with this in mind I began to think about relationships and how they work. The problem with this is all relationships are complicated. There’s a lot that has to be factored in and understood. But, I thought, somewhere at the beginning of this there has to be something simple, something that is the foundation of all relationships, some point where it all builds from. And if any part of this foundation is broken, then whether it is immediate or happens later, the failure could be traced back to the breaking of this foundation. After all, a building will not remain standing once the foundation is compromised.

As I continued to think about it I considered the fire triangle as my example. The fire triangle consists of three sides (duh), each side labeled with fuel, oxygen, and heat. (Enough heat to cause ignition.) Break any side of this triangle and you no longer have fire. So could there be something similar that applies to relationships? Something that if broken would cause the relationship to collapse like the fire triangle? It was a good question, and when one watches a fire burn out of control it doesn’t appear that something so simple as that fire triangle is its foundation and that by breaking (or removing) one side would extinguish the same fire. Yet, when a fire is extinguished it is exactly what is happening. Remove the fuel and you have no fire, remove the air (oxygen) and you have no fire, remove the heat and you have no fire – just that simple.

I began to wonder if I could create a triangle that would be the foundation of relationships, and if any one side (like in the fire triangle) is removed would it be enough to lead to the failure of a relationship? Good question, and being the observer that I am I began to watch and think about this. There were things I continued to hear over and over again, and eventually I could see where these attributes were important, critically important to the health and longevity of a relationship, and leading me to the creation of my relationship triangle. This is what I consider the foundation of any and all relationships dealing with a male and female in marriage.

I’m sure that there are other ideas out there, but when I reveal this I want you to really think about it. And yes, like I stated at the beginning of this post, relationships are complicated. And part of the reason is because of the difference in the sexes, but it can also be attributed to the different environments that we all grew up in, the nature of emotions, the inexact nature of language, and even the way each and every one of us think. All of this and so much more factor into what becomes a strong and lifelong relationship.

When I reveal this, I’ll explain my reasoning behind this. And again, understand that this is the foundation, the place where everything inside of the relationship builds from, and when broken ends from, and like that fire triangle when together remains strong, but when broken will disappear and end. The three sides are: TRUST, COMMUNICATION, and INTIMACY. Break any side of this triangle and eventually the relationship ends – and it’s just that simple.

The first two almost immediately explains themselves, but it is easy to misinterpret that last one thinking only of the physical side. But you must remember that there’s so much more to intimacy than just sex. And again when you think about it, all three work in tandem to make that relationship remain alive and strong. Again, break any side of this triangle and the relationship will probably end. It may not be at that very moment when it happens, but unless changes are made it is over.

TRUST: This is probably the most critical of the three, and the most difficult to recover if broken. Again this side applies to everything inside a relationship, and I mean everything. It’s part of that comfort level that we feel, part of feeling safe, part of our belief in our partner, all of this is based on trust. And if broken, probably the most difficult to get back or recover.

COMMUNICATION: Ah yes, stop talking and listening (especially listening), and you’re done. This is something that must be done every day, and continued throughout your relationship. Become lazy, become one who doesn’t listen, or willing to discuss things, work out the issues and problems, then you’ve given up and as a result you no longer have a relationship. What you have are two people who have become strangers who happen to be in the same house, acting at being a couple, acting as if they are in a strong relationship, and that’s all. This must always be a two-way discussion with understanding on both sides, otherwise you are just going through the motions and this is as good as not communicating at all. (To be honest most of us have seen this type of relationship where it is only words passing between the couple and it ‘s obvious there’s no meaning to those words at all.)

INTIMACY: That knowing look across the room, that time spent on the couch close to each other and enjoying the moment, that time being physical, and yes especially that time afterwards where you talk or should be talking. All of this and so much more is the intimacy I’m speaking about here. It’s part of that comfort level, part of that anticipation because you know each other so well. It’s part of those times where you complete each other’s thoughts and sentences, all these things are a result of those years of intimacy of the closeness only a strong and healthy relationship can create. It affects the couple on all levels; spiritual, mental, and physical. (And if you don’t have it then maybe it’s time to go back and find out why.)

Understand that through the years each one of the three sides will hold different importance, different strengths, but break any of them, any of the three sides at all, and your relationship is in trouble. And in all cases recovering those broken sides can be almost impossible, and if recovered then broken a second time will most likely end the relationship. With no chance at all for understanding and forgiveness, it’s really over, and it is probably time to move on. (Remember this; if one moves on there is a greater chance of repeating the same mistakes in a second relationship, with it ending in failure also. We seem to follow what we’ve done in the past without analyzing the reasons for our past failures.)

It’s easy to dismiss this triangle as too easy. Since any of us who are either in a relationship, have left one, or is anticipating one, believe there has to be more to it. And yes there is. Yet when one views that newly completed building, the highrise, skyscraper, or home, one doesn’t necessarily consider the foundation as the most important part of the building. It is probably the most simple part yet, if done wrong what is built upon it will fail before its time. And as in the fire triangle and now this relationship triangle so much more can come of it, and at the same time simply breaking one of the sides ends it.

For those who are in a relationship at this moment, where does the health of it sit? Is your relationship triangle strong, or has one of the sides been fractured? And if so, are you willing to fix it? It is something only you and the other in the relationship can answer.

* * *

Next week we move on to part 2, and a continuation of this discussion on relationships. Remember all of us are guilty of failing to recognize failures within our personal relationships. We all have our own personal blinders, and because of this and our personal history we can miss the obvious. Have a great week, and may you return next week for the final post, for now, on relationships. God Bless! (fdbrant)


Published in: on January 3, 2015 at 8:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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