Beefcake

Beefcake: (n) an attractive man with well-developed muscles.Dictionary B

On those rare occasions when I find myself naked, I always avert my eyes from looking in the mirror.

Matter of fact, I’m a little reluctant to share that thought, because there are individuals who would consider my decision to not view my body as a negative or a sign of insecurity.

Honestly, I just find it smart.

There are only two things that can happen when you look in the mirror: some form of disgust, or an intruding pride.

In both cases, there is little benefit.

If I think I’m ugly, confirming that by my reflection is not helpful to the self-confidence required for me to survive a normal day.

Then again, if I peer into the mirror and believe myself to be beautiful–a beefcake–then an obnoxious pride will make me ill-suited to interact with those who may not completely agree with my assessment.

I also have known many women over the years, and will tell you that they are the most gentle, forgiving and open-minded beings on Earth concerning the physical weaknesses of the men who have come into their space. I suppose there are ladies who want to peer at men’s bodies with a lascivious leer, but women often close their eyes, allowing their imaginations to fill in the blanks to stimulate adequate lust for a great sexual encounter.

I am not a beefcake.

I am not willing to do what is necessary to become a beefcake.

So I am looking for friends and women … who have a sweet tooth for a cream puff.

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Armada

dictionary with letter A

Armada: (n) a fleet of warships.

Certainly when I see the word “armada,” my mind immediately pops off to think of the Spanish one.

The Spanish Armada was dubbed the greatest naval force that ever existed on Planet Earth. Because of that it was deemed invincible.

Matter of fact, the English, the French and even the pirates would avoid interfacing with this formidable fleet out of fear of being decimated by the sheer, brute force of its power.

But the Spanish Armada learned a valuable lesson, which is transferable into our times. Once you develop a reputation, you have two choices:

1. You can continue to work on getting better, using only your own standards as the criteria for excellence rather than comparing yourself to the surrounding, meager competition; or

2. You can continue to promote and advertise your status as supreme, hoping there will be no challenges to your claims,continuing to be all-powerful via publicity.

Can you guess which one is popular in the human race?

So while the Spanish Armada promoted itself, striking fear in the hearts of lesser navigators, the English, under the command of Sir Francis Drake, decided to improve its own boats–and eventually defeated them.

It’s not just that pride goes before a fall–it’s more that pride is the stumbling block that trips us up in our inadequacy, producing the tumble.

 

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Agile

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter AAgile: (adj.) able to move quickly and easily

One of my largest portions of pride has always been a belief, contention and even, I suppose, reality that I “move really well for a big man.”

Whenever I ran across folks who questioned my size or my blubber, I always reminded them that I swam four times a week and even played tennis.

I was glad to be agile.

Actually, I worked hard at it. I have always been very fat, but also active. Honestly, my busy lifestyle and exercise didn’t do much to counteract my metabolism and overeating.

Time marches on. The obesity has remained and unfortunately, the agility has gradually vanished.

I have worn my knees out carrying around too much weight.

They were very brave for many years and now they are suing me for irreconcilable differences and requesting custody of my movement.

How do I feel about it? Because please understand–what we feel about things is very important. You may be able to achieve mind over matter but you will never achieve mind over emotions. When the brain and the feelings have a war, the mind is never able to overcome the onslaught of the attack brought on by the invasion of mercenary misgivings.

This is why I must deal with my feelings with regard to my agility. Four different sensations:

Embarrassed because I have gotten myself into this situation, where I am no longer agile.

Surprised that I am still around, doing a little kicking and screaming, considering how I have mistreated my joints and muscles.

Determined to do my best to generate greater possibilities.

And hopeful that with a combination of God’s grace and my effort, I can gain back some agility points.

The key lies in what order I allow these emotions to surface every day in my life. If they land in this order: (1) embarrassed, (2) surprised, (3) determined and (4) hopeful, it’s going to be a lousy day. But if I am able to get (1) surprised, (2) determined, (3) hopeful and (4)embarrassed in that order, I normally can see progress.

Yes, to be agile in my body demands that I first be agile in my emotions.

I’m on it.

Adler, Alfred

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Adler, Alfred (1870 – 1937): Austrian psychologist and psychiatrist who disagreed with Freud’s idea that mental illness was caused by sexual conflicts in infancy, arguing that society and culture are significant factors. Adler introduced the concept of the inferiority complex.

Adler just wasn’t sexy.

You see, that’s the problem with humanity. It’s not that I’m a prude and object to sexualizing. Anything as vastly accepted, recognized and universally shared as sex is undoubtedly has across-the-board appeal.

But if you mention Sigmund Freud in front of the psychiatric community thinking that you are being wise and inventive, you might need to be prepared to be ridiculed for your lack of information. Making everything in life about sex is like insisting that pornography is a rite of passage for discovering how to interact with members of the opposite gender.

Adler had two major problems: he took away the sexiness AND he inserted the need to question ourselves on whether we felt inferior.

That last one’s a killer. That’s why people aren’t making movies about Adler, but every once in a while Freud gets stuck in because he gave us license to explore our strangeness and foibles by blaming our mother and father for a lack of warmth which caused us to become perverted.

That’s the difference. Freud gave us somebody to blame. Adler made people take personal responsibility for their own actions, their own culture, their own environment and their own feelings of insecurity.

Honestly, which one would YOU choose?

But somewhere along the line, in order for a society to grow out of being stuck in adolescence, people have to admit that they might just be their own worst problem. Yes, maybe our parents were not very good. After all the position comes with neither a manual nor any natural inclinations, contrary to popular opinion.

What we do at age thirty-five needs to cease to have anything to do with what happened to us at age four. Otherwise, we pass on the impression that everyone in the world is really sick, waiting for a diagnosis to come along and rationalize erratic behavior.

Adler may have had a whole lot more on the ball because he asked people to trace ALL the factors of their lives, and also to consider that taking a back seat to others is a personal decision rather than a permanent position.

Freud, on the other hand, made everything about erogenous zones and how we feel deprived, which caused us to act out as little children.

So we have to STOP being “children in the marketplace”–grow up, forgive the failures of our families, and start allowing ourselves to inhabit a persona which is ours alone and not at the mercy of the indiscretions of others.

Yes, if our society does not grow out of its “teenager phase, ” we will continue to throw tantrums, lie and never get our homework done.

And when the homework is not done, the national need will never be met.

Access Road

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Access road: (n) a road giving access to a place or to another road.

About ten years ago I purchased a home perched on top of a hill.

It was very beautiful–but quite difficult to climb when it was time to settle in for the night. It was more suited for a mountain goat than an out-of-shape Pillsbury dough-boy such as myself.

So almost immediately I noticed that there was a space between the tree and the bushes in the front yard where my car could fit through, propelling me up the grade to the front door of the house, where I could walk in like a normal person. Understand–there was no actual driveway there, and I’m sure when the next-door-neighbors saw that I was driving across the front lawn to acquire entrance to my home, and were a bit perplexed, if not amused.

But I didn’t care.  I required access so I made a road.

As I travel, I often find an exit on the freeway preceded by a series of tire tracks, where someone has discovered that it was unnecessary to go all the way to the exit, because a quicker journey could be made across the median to the awaiting highway. They had created their own access road.

We have access roads for everything. In a sense, we even have access roads in life for the truth. If we can find a better exit from our dilemma other a total revelation of the facts, we will certainly hasten to escape the main drag and scurry off to safety.

So I’m not quite sure what access roads possess in the way of righteousness. They are more or less short cuts that human beings take to get from one place to another, often with little regard for maps and signs.

To try to eliminate them totally, or legislate them out of existence, would prove to be unfruitful.

Yet to believe that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line that I create may be the definition of pride and presumption.