Gratitude is Rad[itude]!

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eickhart

To my loyal readers, hey, how’s it going?

I know I haven’t been here much this month (out with May, in with June) but that’s because I’ve been busy with life and work and everything in between. Thank you for still being here despite me not always BEing here, ya dig? One thing God has been working on my heart is a posture of thanksgiving and gratitude.
I admit, I am not always one to vocalize thanks to others and to God because I feel that it’s already known that I am thankful. It’s pretty wimpy on my end to come to that false conclusion, and God is performing a bit of open heart surgery on me.

I recognize that with responding out of gratitude with a thank you or similar phrase is that people seem to smile more, people seem to take it in and it sticks with them, people do in fact want to be thanked for what they’ve done (and rightly so)! There is very much a symbiotic relationship with giving thanks and receiving thanks, I too like being on the receiving end of a thank you as well. I don’t thrive off of thanks for what I do, but it does help me and even nurtures me in it’s own unique way.

So for y’all who have stuck it out, thanks once again! I leave you with funny Thank You gif…

~Nathanael~

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Praying with my eyes open; a return to finding a girlfriend

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Genesis 2:18 – The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Queen – Somebody to Love – “Oh Lord, Ooh somebody, ooh somebody, Can anybody find me somebody to love?”

    I find myself constantly in prayer and as of late I’ve realized I’ve stopped praying for a certain someone…a certain woman…in my life. I don’t know why I’ve stopped praying for a girlfriend in my life, I really don’t, and the pangs of singleness are flaring up again. It’s not that I am exposed to a lot of couples who are young (of age, or at heart) and in love, it’s just I realize that with all my passions and aspirations and desires are carried out alone. It’s not to say that I want a girl that will do exactly what I do, but rather I want to share my world with and I want to partake in her world as well.

I have learned…and have relearned multiple times…that communication is vital in a relationship, and not just mere “hey how’s it going, fine and you?” shallow-end-of-the-conversation-pool talk, but the mundane as well as the hard and difficult but real / authentic talks that need to be had. I realize that I have no problems with getting there with others, albeit sometimes I put more out there at a quicker rate than what people are accustomed to but here’s why.
In my first 22-23 years of living, I was a calculated and serial bullshitter! I presented myself in a way that I thought was socially acceptable, a nice and tidy outside might reflect a nice and tidy inside, right? Well, it wasn’t me, and yet I thought to myself constantly if anyone finds out who you really are and what you’ve been through, they’ll stop liking you and even worse, stop loving you. It wasn’t true, but when you hear something often enough or repeat something to yourself no matter how false it is it will be true to you.
So I spun this lie in my head until my world evolved…my comfort zone expanded…and I found out that even when I put myself out there, warts and all, people still liked me and loved me. I haven’t looked back ever since. And while some relationships among some individuals I entrusted my story with have gone belly up over the years, I don’t regret the brief friendships that were based on transparency and honesty to the other person, and so I continue to conduct my life in this way; not holding back, not bullshitting, being transparent, and being the best damn version of myself. I and like the rest of humanity is evolving. And so often we are the force[s] that move us forward or keep us *here* wherever *here* might be. Not saying that *here* is not a good place, but if you find that it is and you want to move forward, it’s time for you to move forward…and if you need it, you have permission to move forward.

***

With that being said, here’s my transparency; I have no freaking clue of how to jump back into dating / I don’t know what my “scene” is when it comes to dating. Real talk, apart from work, my social interactions either occur at bars or in church. I am prone to overanalyze and overthink things…everything…and so I weigh out what either place has to offer, the types of women, and I even check my prowess.
I am not an alpha male, I don’t ooze testosterone and type a-ness, I don’t reek of Brut and pheromones…I’m an assertive type b introspective ambivert who is better at active listening than talking, good at making out, loves God and craft beer, loves word-related games of all sorts, likes to workout but doesn’t regularly hit the gym, has Zach Galifianakis as a spirit animal, tie-dye and weird socks wearing, wish-I-could-wear-shorts-all-year-round kind of guy!

I know this FULL well about myself, and I love myself for it; I thank God for these traits and nuances about me on the daily, but I also realize that too often I am stuck in my head. The insecurities of being liked and being loved sometimes crash over me like a tidal wave; I am the beach and I am pounded by a seemingly unending barrage of doubt and helplessness at times.
It’s because of getting stuck in my head that I don’t venture one iota of courage when it comes to the opposite sex…and therein lies the basis of my singleness. I have dated before, hell I was also engaged as well, but it seems like with every passing day / week / month / year I grow a bit more frustrated. It’s why I am returning to praying with my eyes open, because it connects me with something deeper than myself. It’s not a shot in the dark or a hail Mary play, but as a means to be verbally transparent before God. God already knows me, but remember what I said about communication? Yep, same thing applies here.

So that’s where I am returning to. I may have walked away from this practice for a while, but I know I will get there. It might be cliche to say, but so be it, it’s equally about the destination inasmuch the journey. God bless this journey I am about to embark on, who knows where it will lead, but I am ready and I am willing to go where it leads.

~Nathanael~

Morning Meditation 5.23.15

A friend recently asked me the following; “If someone told you they feel like they are going through a challenge and in their own garden of Gethsemane, how would you interrupt that?”

After some mulling it over, I formulated this answer.

“I wouldn’t, I’d listen.

Everyone goes through their own hell, everyone has a cross to bear, most people partake in creating and doing something divine, and some reflect and exclaim “this is very good”.

So if someone is going through their own garden of Gethsemane, I’d chalk it up as being part of the human experience.
We all have personal highs and lows, and perhaps suffering is the common denominator of all humanity. so for someone to go through that kind of event, their own garden of Gethsemane, is both human as well as divine. because as you know, Christ lived with us and he also died for us. I don’t see it as substitutional atonement, she (God) never was, but so often we have gotten in the way and we still do.

If the person is using the language of the garden of Gethsemane, then what you take? The one who responds by force? the one who runs off? The one who falls asleep? Will you take captive an individual who is suffering and agonizing because he/she is cut off from the source of life and love…or will you betray with a kiss?

What you choose to do is up to you. I wish you well and the decision you will make.”

You see, we (humanity) hurt in different ways, it’s an experience we all share even if the type of hurt varies from person to person. Our words aren’t always necessary, and it’s sometimes our presence that can make someone better or even bitter.
So therefore be deliberate in what you do; because in some way, for better or worse, it’ll make all the difference in the world to that person.

~Nathanael~