Broke

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Broke: (v) past tense of break

“If it ain’t broke…”

Almost everyone in America, down to the youngest lad or lass, could probably finish that idiom.Dictionary B

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

It’s one of those statements which was hatched decades ago–probably by a lazy husband arguing with his wife over a repair that seemed unnecessary because there were no dangling wires, frayed cords or very much chipped paint.

Truth is, we fix things all the time that aren’t “broke.”

We take precautions when we see wear and tear.

We provide general maintenance on vehicles and appliances.

And if we see a little spot on our clothing that’s beginning to pull a seam or two, we retrieve the needle and thread so as not to be caught in the middle of a social situation with an unsightly rip.

But this particular axiom about “broken and fixing” has permeated our thinking so much that we leave many things undone that could sure use some tender, loving care.

We know what’s involved in carrying on a relationship between a man and a woman, but because no one complains, we ignore kindness and consideration in favor of seeking our own will or avoiding feeling silly.

We know to say “thank you,” but we’d rather insist we already did.

We know to say “I’m sorry,” but are convinced that people would feel awkward if we offered such a trivial piece of consideration.

We certainly are aware that “I love you” makes the world go around, but are equally willing to stop the globe to keep from uttering it.

Long before something is broken, it’s damaged–and if we’re able to catch it in its weakened state, it doesn’t need to break.

If we worked on teaching about marriage and saving relationships, we wouldn’t have such a god-awful custody system in this country, dividing children up with the “sword of visitation.”

If we understood that decisions will always be greeted with unexpected results, we would never choose up teams, wearing red and blue jerseys and thinking that the coloration empowers us.

Some people would say America’s “broke.”

I would say there’s some surface scratches and dents.

But if we don’t tend to it and take care of the little blemishes, in no time at all, we could end up not being what we’re cracked up to be.

 

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Bribe

Bribe: inducement offeredj-r-practix-with-border-2

Tit for tat:

  • If you will do this, I will do that.
  • If you give me this, I’ll give you that.
  • If you believe in me, I’ll believe in you.
  • If you kiss me, I’ll kiss you back.

We are constantly bribing each other. We withhold blessing, generosity and affection as hostage while we negotiate our deal.

We need to be self-motivated. We should do things because we want to, not because we have to or we’re trying to get something off of someone else.

Truth is, if I love myself, I can do a helluva lot of good things. In order to love myself, I need to believe I have enough resources through my talent and faith to sustain success. That way I don’t have to negotiate bribes to acquire my sense of worth.

Dictionary BDoing things of our own volition is the secret to contentment.

Otherwise, you and I will continue to bribe each other, only satisfied when we feel we get the better end of the deal.

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Bicker

Bicker: (v) to argue about petty and trivial matters.

Dictionary B

Perhaps one of the greatest misconceptions of our time is the idea that we, as human beings, are actually able to agree to disagree.

We’ve all heard it.

Some impasse will be reached between two individuals and one of them will suggest they cease the discussion, admitting that resolution is impossible, and pretend to accept the opinion of the other person as viable.

We don’t do that.

We might set out to portray ourselves as open-minded citizens, able to tolerate variance of opinion without any retribution, but actually, we eventually fall back on bickering with those who disagree with us, while still, amazingly, insisting that there is no real problem.

  • We pick.
  • We fuss.
  • We cast aspersion on the character of another.
  • We raise our eyebrows when they walk out of the room to connote how crazy they truly seem to be.
  • We giggle to ourselves.

We are dishonest. We pretend the situation is calm, but actually, it’s a fomenting sea.

It is why husbands and wives are well-known for taking cheap shots at each other–bickering–even in the presence of others, under the guise that this is “just what married people do.”

Actually, it is what humans do when they have unresolved conflict they have swept under the rug … leaving a bumpy pathway for future walking.

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Bewilder

Bewilder: (v) to cause someone to become perplexed and confused.

Dictionary B

Every situation has to come to a head or we won’t find the brain.

One of my most shocking realizations was that the Hollywood endings I saw in the movies, where everybody reconciles with one another and there’s a sense of joy and peace, was just pure hogwash.

Feuds, grudges, hurt feelings and misrepresentations continue to exist and even thrive until we confront them and risk the possibility that we might make the situation even worse.

It is bewildering.

It bewilders me that we think living a passive-aggresive existence, where we create universal niceties to say to one another’s faces while simultaneously dredging up old manure from the sewer of our past to share in private moments, is actually an acceptable lifestyle.

To bewilder is to stymie human thinking with something that generates fear or confusion.

We cannot continue to think that the wounded parts of our being can heal without treatment.

I have several “relationships” in my life which are no more than uneasy truces.

  • They are evil.
  • They are dark.
  • They are sinister.
  • And they are dangerous.

They bewilder me because I passively agree to ignore the obvious aggression.

Will I continue to be so foolish?

If I’m not, I risk coming across as cantankerous and confrontational.

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Better Half

Better half: (n) a person’s wife, husband, or partner.

Dictionary B

I am willing to giggle at silly things until they become dangerously stupid or prejudiced.

I have gone to a comedy club and heard a black comedian joke about his heritage and community and laughed along with him, realizing that if the jokes were told by someone with a more pale complexion, they would be radically bigoted.

But I have grown weary of the ignorance being promoted in our society by the little quips thrown out by men and women, seemingly attempting to praise the other, while obviously lamenting a hidden dilemma.

Things like:

  • “Women are smarter than men.”
  • Or “I do what she says.”
  • Or “I’ll have to check with my wife.”
  • Or the notorious aside: “This is my better half.”

Actually, men and women are so ill-suited in their naturally confused culture of gender bias, that they should be quarantined from one another.

Because the true better half of both men and women is the soul.

The heart and the mind are in great conflict: the heart feels, the brain pumps out training.

When that happens, you have the climate for war.

It is in the soul that we find the arbiter.

It is the soul that says, “We have more in common than difference.”

The soul tells us, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.”

The soul gently nudges us to realize that “in the Kingdom of God, there is neither male nor female.”

My wife is not my better half.

But we have a chance of getting along with each other when we allow our souls to enlighten us … and alleviate the half-witted skirmish between our hearts and our brains.

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Bellow

Bellow: (v) to emit a deep loud roar, typically in pain or anger.

Dictionary B

I do not really want to hear what you have to say about how you hear what I have to say.

That’s the truth.

All my ways seem right to me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t do them because then I would have to admit I was wrong. That also can be very painful.

But somewhere along this journey we call life, we have to realize that we are not alone and our opinions not only fail to be superior, but in many cases, are insignificant.

I may have a conversation with my children, my friends or my partners in business and feel that I have a completely rational tone, filled with reasonable proposals. Yet if I asked them what they are hearing, they will explain that they feel intimidated, criticized and even might perceive my approach to be “bellowing.”

In response to their accusations, I bellow, “I am not bellowing!”

I’m not so sure what ultimate maturity is supposed to look like. I’m not positive that I understand all aspects of human relationships, or even could write a decent pamphlet on the subject.

But I know this:

If another human being tells me that they hear me bellowing at them, attacking them or expressing displeasure in their direction, the only way to ever maintain that friendship is to listen to what they are proposing … and at least consider that the volume coming back my way is much less than what they’re hearing.

 

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Away

Away: (adv) at a distance from a particular place, person, or thing.

Life is all about getting ahead of the problem.dictionary with letter A

It really is. Even when people inform me that they were in an accident or were surprised by a dilemma, as I sit and listen to them talk, I realize there were several signposts along the way, telling them of pending difficulty.

Is it our sense of optimism or our laziness that keeps us from heeding the calls which forewarn of misfortune? Because after all–or maybe during all–it’s about discovering when to be close and when to be away.

And when it comes to the status of away, it is much better to go away than it is to be told to stay away.

You will get warnings when it seems that your involvement is no longer beneficial, and if you can quietly bow out and move on to the next possibility, you will never have to feel the embarrassment of banishment.

But the reason we fight is because we don’t know when to go away and we wait for someone else to tell us to stay away.

This has speckled my existence with annoying bouts of insecurity, because I experienced rejection instead of merely stepping into the shadows, on to the next possibility around the corner.

How can we know when it’s time to be away?

  1. We are no longer edifying the situation.
  2. We are taken for granted
  3. People have to be free–and in this case, that means free of us

There’s a tremendous blessing in finding yourself away from circumstances which have left you stagnant. It can be uncomfortable; it can be sad.

But in the long run, it is the pruning of our tree that allows us to grow new branches.

 

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