Thursday, October 23, 2008

fight or flight

a friend of mine was shopping in a department store recently. she was waiting to be helped, standing behind a mother with her young children. the department store employee watched this customer as she struggled with trying to keep her youngsters in line, placing her selections on the counter, kids being loud, fussy, sick of shopping – picture it? making small talk and trying to set the shopper at ease, the clerk asked the woman the ages of her children, and was she married. yes, she was married.

“how long have you been married?” the clerk asked her.

“ten years”, the woman responded.

the clerk stopped and looked at the customer with wonder.

“TEN YEARS? wow!” (apparently a ten year track record was beyond the scope of this gal’s experience or observation). “that’s amazing. ten years? how do you do it? i mean, what’s your secret? what words of advice would you offer in order to have a successful marriage?”

the customer stopped for a moment and caught the young girl’s gaze. for a few long seconds she just stared at her – as if the answer was too obvious to deserve a response. realizing the girl’s honest need to know, she answered simply –

“you STAY.”

psychologists have identified the fight or flight syndrome. it’s the way our body deals with the day-to-day stresses we face. most of us major on either one side or the other.

here's one of my little secrets: i’m the “flight-er”. when things get rough – everything in me wants to bail. which is kinda weird because i have a healthy, fulfilling relationship with my husband. most of the time, i not only love him, i actually like him. yet I STILL have to resist the urge of flight when under pressure. seriously – there are moments under stress when it crosses my mind “i’m outta here” - “i SO don’t need this”.

our culture has honed the flight syndrome very well. society, the media, has bombarded us - if something doesn’t work out – pursue your dreams elsewhere. everywhere we look we are force-fed that we’re number one. don’t put up with what you don’t have to. do what feels good (if that’s true then I’m sunk – working through conflict SO doesn’t feel good). the message is that running away from trouble will somehow make it go away. blah blah blah blah blah.

try this instead. STAY. see what inconceivably wonderful benefits come from working through things together. stick with each other. get help if you need it. talk. encourage each other. tell him (or her) again that you love him.

this picture kinda reminds me of the STAY. these are my two youngest grandsons. both are in that “me” stage of toddlerhood. in spite of the fact that they both believe they are the center of the universe, somehow, miraculously, they managed to stay on the piano bench together. the result was a freeze frame of sweetness. in their own way, they made some beautiful music together.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

time to speak up

we have so many freedoms living in the u.s. of a. we’re not perfect as a nation – but if you who have done any travelling outside the country, you know that there are a lot of benefits to living in “the land of the free”.

part of keeping our freedom, has to do with using it. ok, ok – not trying to get too preachy here – but here it comes: have you registered to vote? if you are registered – do you exercise the right to vote by actually voting?

on november 4, we have an opportunity to choose to use our vote to make decisions about our political representatives as well as to voice our opinions about a number of other issues.

one issue here in california is of particular importance - and that is proposition 8. if you have been watching the news, you know that the california supreme court recently chose to legalize marriage between people of the same gender.

that issue has once again been placed on the ballot (ballot measure proposition 8), and we have the chance, no, the responsibility, to cast our vote on that matter. this may sound all very clich̩ Рbut until and unless the right is taken away, we do still have the right to vote according to our beliefs and opinions.

at the most foundational level, we, at married for keeps, believe that marriage was originally designed as the union between a man and a woman. going all the way back to the book of genesis in the Bible, where the story begins – God created adam, and then because adam was alone (and that was not a good thing), God created eve – and the two of them were literally designed to live together as man and wife.

we’re not going to fully get into it here, perhaps another blog, but we live in a world where absolutes are unpopular, and those who adhere to them are considered intolerant. we have a number of friends who live a same-sex lifestyle, and we love each one of them dearly. yet there are a multitude of evidences that the union between people of the same sex just wasn’t a part of the original blueprint.

we believe the preservation of the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman is key to the preservation of the american home, and the nation. how californians cast their votes regarding proposition 8 will determine the future of american society.

on saturday, november 1st, at qualcomm stadium in san diego, there is a gathering for the purpose of fasting and praying regarding this key issue. consider this your invitation to join. there is no cost to register, but registration is mandatory. go to The Call for more information and to register.

one last reminder: october 20th is the last day to register to vote in the november 4th election. if you haven’t yet registered, please do so now.