North shore Kauai November 2014.
My relationships have always lasted a long time, but have all ended for one reason or another.  Once again I am single and I am trying to put together what I have learned so far in my life about relationships.  Specifically, how you go about them and how you do not.

There are just some ways you do not do things my grandfather would have scolded.  We are in an age of trail blazing though.  Everyone wants to break the mold of how things have been done for centuries and find new ways.  We are an experimental culture that is constantly seeking a better way than our parents.

When I was young I dug myself
into a lot more holes.
There was a method to the ways of old.  Especially when it comes to dating. There are benchmarks that have to be met in order to qualify the relationship.  If you move too quickly you will put your heart in jeopardy and that feeling of falling in love will turn upside down in pain in an instant.

Only one solution exist to protect our heart, that one solution used throughout all stages of a relationship is boundaries. When we need space that is a boundary. When we feel upset and hurt we have allowed someone to cross a boundary with our hearts. Boundaries should not be used as fences to keep others out, but rather triggers that you can move past once your heart is ready.

Somebody will not hurt you if they are sleeping with someone else unless you have developed a relationship with them that would have sex as a possible interest.  If you are sleeping with that person then it is cheating.  It is because you allowed them into your heart and now you are hurt. You failed to set a boundary when you saw signs.

Cheating is not the cause of any breakup but a symptom of a bad relationship.  When someone invest their heart into you they cannot share this intimacy with another. If that person does not have that interest in you in the first place you must wonder why they are with you.  You may not be in the role in this persons relationship that you want to be.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Rumi

Boundaries

Hawk soars over boundaries. Diamond Mine Hike 2015

Kissing

Once you have engaged in kissing you are already sexually interested in the person.  Some people can have sex without kissing, but never do people kiss without considering sex.

This is a boundary.  Once you have kissed someone you have established a connection of chemistry. Whether you want to go farther is already determined at this point.  This is a trigger, or boundary.

Sex

The trigger tells you to consider the next step.  If you get to this point and have sex then emotionally you have reached another very important boundary.  Sex often happens before trust, but without trust sex cannot last very long.

This trigger makes you consider this very thing.  Unless you have already determined that you have no interest in the relationship other than sex you will most likely start evaluating a future with this person.  Time is the only way to build trust.  Sex is a trust boundary.
Slow shutter speed driving through Los Angeles at night. 

Relationship

Your relationship is building every moment you are in each others lives.  As long as you know each other you will hear about what is going on in their lives. Building this relationship requires communication.  If the communication comes easy as it does in a good relationship you will carry on with each other for hours. You will be interested in their lives and want to be there for them.

Falling in Love

This is a whole different animal.  Not everyone is easy to love.  Building history with someone can build into a long relationship realizing they are in love without falling into it. Falling in love refers to the magnitude of the initial attraction. The clank of two magnets connecting. 
“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”
~ Joan Crawford
Very strong chemistry can take control of your life.  In the ecstasy of falling in love you will most likely not have a chance but to move forward fast.
When love is not madness, it is not love.
~ Spanish Proverb
Like any building that is constructed in haste you will not have a foundation. Arranged marriages work through this same turmoil over time.  Suddenly you are with someone you must trust whether you believe they are worthy of it. Control becomes an issue and some of these relationships will last a lifetime, love is built but they may or may not fall in love.
Relationship path brainstorm.
If you ever want to sleep well at night, don't marry a young beautiful woman.
~ American Indian Saying

Commitment

Sun over the Arizona Desert 2010. 
If you move in with a girlfriend without a commitment you will be poisoning your relationship.
Especially if you move in quickly. You will suddenly wonder if you can trust this person.  You will probably not know how they act around their friends.  At this point you are too late to resolve any jealous feelings without causing a fight.

Say you move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend and throw a party.  Sometime during the night you see them kiss an ex.  Everybody goes home and when you discuss the situation you have no room to run.  Your boundaries are all crossed. Having jealous feelings at this point is going to hurt the other person as well as you. Since hurt people hurt people you will most likely be sleeping in bed mad with the other for not being sympathetic for your feelings, or you them.

Doubts

It is not what you do in life, but how you do it and why.  When you first enter into a relationship you must be able to make a commitment.  If you or the other person is married either on paper or physically living with someone the relationship can never get a full commitment.

If you suspect a man do not employ him, if you employ him do not suspect him.
~ Chinese Proverb
Same goes for relationships of any sort.  Never doubt going into a relationship.

We only regard those unions as real examples of love and real marriages in which a fixed and unalterable decision has been taken. If men and women contemplate an escape, they do not collect all their powers for the task. In none of the serious and important task of life do we arrange such a "getaway". We cannot love and be limited.
~ Alfred Adler

New and improved 2015

I revisited the light show that hides my TV cables after getting tired of looking at pipe insulation all the time in the center.  I made many updates.

Improvements that needed to be made.

  • Prevent black stuff from growing in tubes.
  • Make center look better than pipe insulation. 
  • Change the light show program

So here are some of the changes I made.  


  • Added a little clorine to the water to prevent mold or algae from growing. (6 months successful.)
  • Reassembled project using a wooden dowel for the center
  • Glued lights to wooden dowel with hot-glue gun
  • Re-sealed lights to tubes with water in them ( I haven't determined the best way yet, I used silicone the first time and mostly hot-glue the second.  They both held water tight, but this is the most challenging part.)
  • Wrapped entire project in twine
  • Flipped project so that lights are running away from the TV rather than into it. 
Following the path of least resistance
 is what makes men and rivers crooked.
Every now and then you hear something that make sense to you. There is a sweetness of truth to the message, and it sticks in your head for awhile. Some things are worth meditating on. Every now and then I find a quote that sticks with me, sometimes they give me comfort, or make me think. This page is where I keep many of my favorite quotes organized by concept.

Guilt

“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”
~ Voltaire
Guilt is not a productive feeling.  It is a manifestation of a lack of discipline pertaining to ones expectations of themselves. Guilt can be planted simply by suggesting that someone feel bad for something.  Guilt is used to manipulate. Inspiration to lead. 
"Jesus died to forgive our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?"
~Jules Feiffer
One example of how guilt can manipulate.  You are told that God gave up his only begotten son because you were bad and disappointed him. Now if you want to please God you must atone for your sins.

Wisdom

Enlightenment is knowing oneself, wisdom is knowing other people. 
"A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study. "  ~ Chinese Proverb
Wisdom sprouts from all cultures and people.  Everyone who interacts with anyone gains wisdom.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
~Confucius
Wisdom also pertains to knowing things, and goes hand in hand with knowledge.
“Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.“   ~ Doug Larson

Sin

Sin is a violation of love for something. You cannot be in sin without first loving something and then betraying it. In order to be sin there must be a possibility of guilt. After all you must be guilty to sin. 

Definition from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

1sin

noun \ˈsin\

Definition of SIN

1
a :  an offense against religious or moral law
b :  an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible <it's a sin to waste food>
c :  an often serious shortcoming :  fault
2
a :  transgression of the law of God
b :  a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God
“When you are guilty, it is not your sins you hate but yourself.”
~ Anthony de Mello, One Minute Wisdom
“Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive.
It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. ”
~ Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare

Perception

Perception refers to the view through someone eyes. Perception can be distorted, and based on illusion. Everyone lives in their own perception and no one can fully understand it but them.

“The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe other people.“  ~ German Proverb
Our perception is based on.
  • Our Experiences.
  • Our Values.
  • Our Egos.
  • Our Direction.
  • Circumstance.

Hate

You are not punished for your anger, but by your anger.
~Buddha

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy. You cannot hate someone without first having the notion of loving them. Hate is love twisted.  It is an emotional perception that can take control of ones life if not dealt with.
“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.”
~Buddha
Hate (third-person singular simple present hates, present participle hating, simple past and past participle hated)
1. (transitive) To dislike intensely or greatly.
“I hate men who take advantage of women.”
2. (transitive, slang) To dislike intensely due to envy.
“Don't be hating my weave, girl, y'all bitches just jealous!”

From wiktionary.org
Look inside, if you find no anger, you will find no enemies either. ~Buddha

War and Peace

No one loves peace more than a soldier, he found it necessary to die for it.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
~Buddha
“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”
~Buddha
"You cannot win a War on Terrorism.
     It’s like having a war on jealousy."
~David Cross
“It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. “
~Buddha

Selfishness

Too much and too little is not good.
(On himself) "My best quality is that I`m a big hearted person. I`m resilient, too. My worst quality is selfishness, although everyone is guilty of that to an extent. Everyone should be, I think -- you need to respect yourself."
~ Matthew McConaughey
Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Religion

Beware of a man of only one book
English Proverb
Everyone has a God.  Whether they admit it or not, whether it is an object, idea, story, book, deity, or their own denial in which they themselves would be their God.  The thing that rules their life is their God even if it is just simply their own conscious.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
~Buddha

Ego

See also: Egoism (disambiguation)
"Ego" is a Latin and Greek (ἑγώ) word meaning "I", often used in English to mean the "self", "identity" or other related concepts.
From Wikipedia
”It is the nature of the ego to take, and the nature of the spirit to share.”
~ Proverb
“The foundation of the Buddha’s teachings lies in compassion, and the reason for practicing
the teachings is to wipe out the persistence of ego, the number-one enemy of compassion.”
~ Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
“The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy, generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet everyone takes the happy person for granted. No one is careful of his feelings or tries to keep his spirits high. He seems self-sufficient; he becomes a cushion for others. And because happiness seems unforced, that person usually gets no credit.”
― Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My  Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

Love

What is love?
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God IS love."
1 John 4:8
(New International Version)
Love is definitely at the root of our emotion.  Because we love we also feel hurt, jealousy, fear, joy, and alive.  Love gets us out of bed in the morning and brushes our teeth.

Love gives life meaning.  Without love there would be no drive, no reason, no fuel to do anything.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu
Power is often confused with love.  Throughout all the relationships we have in our life we will all experience this truth.  Anytime we are jealous, envious, or otherwise we are emotionally hurt it is because we have an ill-defined sense of love in one or more of our relationships.  Jealousy and Envy are both feelings that creep upon one in a selfish state.  When we believe we deserve anything, or feel a sense of fairness we are somehow justifying in our mind that things ought to be better for some divine reason.

The one who loves the least controls the one who loves the most. The one who loves the most will always compromise where control will not.

Jealousy

Jealousy would be far less torturous if we understood that love is a passion entirely unrelated to our merits.  ~Paul Eldridge
“Jealousy is that pain which a man feels from the apprehension that he is not equally beloved by the person whom he entirely loves”
 Joseph Addison
Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value.  Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you.  There is only one alternative - self-value.  If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.  You will always think it's a mistake or luck.  Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within.  Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences.  Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security.  Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.  ~Jennifer James
“Plain women are always jealous of their husbands. Beautiful women never are. They are always so occupied with being jealous of other women's husbands.”
 ~ Oscar Wilde
And oft, my jealousy shapes faults that are not.
~ William Shakespeare
Jealousy, that dragon which slays love under the pretense of keeping it alive.  ~Havelock Ellis, On Life and Sex: Essays of Love and Virtue, 1937

Fear 

Theodore Roosevelt once said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Fear is mostly useless and a waste of our life's energy.  Fear de-abilitates, restricts, and oppresses us when we need to react the most.  To enter a fight with fear in your heart is most always a recipe for catastrophe.

But fear is an indicator at times.  Fear can let us know when to act and give us the motivation to overcome obstacles that are detrimental to us.

Fears can creep out of the most hidden places, and should not be confused with worry.  Worry is an ongoing tension more usually than not related to something that will never happen. We fear the inevitable, or at least it is perceived that way.
“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works
"Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and all good things will be yours. " ~ Swedish proverb
“We fear the thing we want the most.”
 ~ Dr. Robert Anthony
Think about that one for a min.
“Jealousy is nothing more than a fear of abandonment”

Truth

“If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?“ ~ Dogen Zenji
Truth is a morsel of enlightenment that assures us that things ought to be a certain way.  Truth cannot be sought by science alone, as science tries to explain it.  Sometimes the truth escapes even our most closely guarded experiments. Truth has a connection with all humor. Truth is also very intuitive, it can be discovered and sometimes not explained.

For those that seek truth, it is a gem.  It gives understanding where there is none, and shines light on what is secret.  We do not always welcome the truth though.  This is when we can be heard saying
"Ignorance is bliss"
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.
C. S. Lewis
There is truth in everything around us.  The apparent laws which we do not understand completely rule our lives.  We walk because of gravity, yet we cannot fully understand this principle either. In order to use gravity we do not need to understand it.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
~Buddha
“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true. “
~Buddha
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
~ Marcus Aurelius
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. ~ Buddha
Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.
~ George Washington
Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.
~ Albert Einstein
Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.
~ Swami Vivekananda

Deserve

This refers to entitlement. Go back and read Ego again.  If you are still reading this and think you are entitled to anything in this world you are set up for heartache. So unless you think the world is "fair" then you ought to remove this from your vocabulary.

Good deeds bring good good Karma, but that is a spiritual interaction between people that brings blessings.

Anger

"When it is impossible for anger to arise within you, you find no outside enemies anywhere.
An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside."
~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche
"To be angry is to let others' mistakes punish yourself.
To forgive others is to be good to yourself."
~ Master ChengYen
“The angry people are those people who are most afraid”
~ Dr. Robert Anthony
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ~ Mark Twain
“The best fighter is never angry.” ~Lao Tzu
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”
~Mark Twain
Life is NOT a journey to the grave

with the intention of arriving safely

in a pretty and well-preserved body,

but rather to skid in broadside,

thoroughly used up, totally worn out,

and loudly proclaiming -- ’WOW, what a ride!!! 
Any coward can sit in his home and criticize a pilot for flying into a mountain in a fog.
But I would rather, by far, die on a mountainside than in bed.
What kind of man would live where there is no daring?
And is life so dear that we should blame men for dying in adventure.
Is there a better way to die?
Charles Lindbergh, Jr.
Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.
~ Sholom Aleichem
When it is impossible for anger to arise within you, you find no outside enemies anywhere.
An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside.
~ Lama Zopa Rinpoche