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Is it really love if it has to be acknowledged?

I love to do things for people, spend time with people, encourage people, and generally just be with people. Those people are usually called my friends. But sometimes something in me tries to tout this idea that if these people don’t want to reciprocate my desire for their time and relationship, then maybe we’re not the friends I think we are.

Why in the world would I think that? Why would I want to poison my own mind against the relationships I hold so dear? Maybe we truly are the friends I think we are; maybe we’re much better than I give us credit for. That’s the sickness of perfection — it pretends that if people don’t react the same I would react, then I haven’t done enough. You know that saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” I bet the person who coined that phrase understood the trap of trying to tinker with people to get an expected result.

Maybe you’re emotionally balanced and mentally adjusted. You would never think of expecting the people in your life to give and receive love in the same way that you do. Or maybe you’re a little like me; you know good and well that you’re friends are different from you, and love them for it. But occasionally you wish that they would respond when and how you’d like them to, just so you know you’re both on the same page.

To those of you who get where I’m coming from, no worries; we’re all human. And those of you who boost a relationship viewpoint that is more grounded in reality, kudos. Please pray for the rest of us.

So today is October 31. It’s Halloween. It’s a day filled with costumes, candy… and fear. Commercialized fear of course — society has made an entertainment industry out of our fight-or-flight response. It seems like we’ve conditioned ourselves to be so used to fear that many times we don’t even recognize it in our lives anymore. For instance, I’ve noticed that sometimes my fear disguises itself as organization and planning. Both good qualities, but not when I’m just using them to avoid something new or uncomfortable.

What about you? Is there an activity you use to hide from the scary stuff in life? Do you have a society-accepted disguise for your fear? What does your fear look like? Let me know in the Comments section below.

I’m starting a new book in the next few days: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I’m being told that this is a great book for anyone who wants to create things in life, whether it’s art, music, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, crafts, etc. The big topic in this book apparantly is on fighting The Resistance that blocks you from creating.

I think The Resistance affects more than just creativity; I think it affects life in general. Which, if you think about the fact that we were created as naturally creative people, makes perfect sense. And at the moment I stuggle with pushing past that in every area of life, not just the “creative” ones.

So I’m about to read about Steven Pressfield’s solution to the thing that stops us from branching out creatively, but first I’m curious what you might already be doing to branch out yourselves. What are you already doing to get past The Resistance? Shout it out in the comments below.

Here’s a Dreamer question for you this Monday morning: if you had one whole day — a solid twenty-four hours — to do whatever you wanted, what would you choose to do with it? Throw out your dreams and fanciful ideas in the comments below.

A few weeks ago, just prior to an especially busy time in my life, I talked about focus and how hard and exhausting it is to keep.

I learned a little something about focus then. For better or for worse, focus comes like everything we want in life: through diet and exercise.

I’ve found that I really do feel better and more able to focus when I eat the right food at the right time. It’s a simple thing, I know. But the thing about being focused is that when you can’t focus, you miss the simple stuff — and vice versa.

Another thing I’ve noticed about my attention span — and maybe yours as well — is that it gets longer only when it’s stretched. Exercises are designed to build strength and endurance, and that’s what I need, even when it doesn’t feel good.

Diet and exercise — in other words, discipline — are not something that just magically happen the way I want focus (or weight loss, for that matter) to just materialize in my life. These are long-term health changes, and health fads have only a temporary effect. But if I want the results, then I have to put in the effort. Of course, if you’ve found an easier way, I’m all ears for that too. 😉

What other thoughts do you have on focus?

I wrote this poem earlier this year. The title comes from a faerie book I was reading at the time, for a cloaking spell they sometimes used. The theme of the poem, however, is very real. It is a theme that seems to recur with me and around me on a regular basis. I don’t pretend to have all the answers; in fact, I don’t really have any good answers for this that don’t sound trite or cliched. I’d love to hear insight you might have on this scenario — or even experiences you’ve had that seem to relate. Please share in the comments below.

Don’t Look Here
Looking desperately for attention —
Does anybody even see me?
Anyone at all?

Standing here
screaming his name, her name, your name,
all to no avail,
Watching the ebb and flow
of lives, of loves, of friendships and more,
Desirous to take part, be a part
In the grand scheme of things,
But no one seems to notice me.

Acting out, acting in,
waiting patiently, or not at all —
makes no difference for me.
The result is still the same —

Is this a teaching point?
Or a cosmic joke?
Or some great gag at my expense?
I would know if I could get an answer,
But answer means someone’s listening,
Or can even hear me at all.

Can I blame the world
for shutting me out
if the world is simply incapable
of pulling me in?
Then whose fault is it —
yours? No? Mine? Please tell me.
I would gladly give up
This invisible forcefield
If only I knew how.

It seems instinctive now —
as if I have no choice
but to stand here and scream,
and you have no choice
but to turn away
ignorance from me.