As the site subheading says, thezombieshuffle.com is a place for me to figure out for myself what life and love is all about to me, and hopefully to share my thoughts with others while I go down a road of self-discovery.
If you read through some of the entries, you’ll find that there are a number of concepts or themes that will surface time and again. Over time as this site has grown, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep things organized, so this page is my attempt at a “beginners guide” to thezombiesuffle.com.
Think of this page as a bit of a bridge between my high level “about” page and the “quick links” page (that I struggle to keep up to date).
I started writing when I was trying to figure out “me”, and understand what I’m really looking for in life and love. In the process of transferring ideas from my head to the virtual paper of the computer world, I came to a number of conclusions about myself:
I believe my life is not my own. In many ways it is, but at the same time my choices and my actions affect others. Due to this, it’s important I at least take those others into consideration when I make decisions.
I believe no one should ever want/expect “perfection” in their lives. Yes, we should always want to improve and we should strive to continually grow. However perfection is an (unhealthy) illusion, because it doesn’t matter what you have – you can always have more. Due to this, it’s important to take time and understand yourself, and understand what “enough” means to you.
Unfortunately understanding yourself is not always an easy task. Because to do that you have to do some serious introspection, and sometimes when we critically and honestly look in the mirror we find we don’t really like what we see. That can be very painful, and can lead us to deflect responsibility away from ourselves and instead blame things on others. But at the end of the day, if we want to improve ourselves we need to first accept ourselves for where we are today. We need to take responsibility, and be accountable for our own choices and our own lives. Only then can we improve.
And we CAN always improve. Almost all of our behaviors and coping mechanism are learned. Due to this, we can always unlearn them, and learn better, healthier ones. This sort of self-growth is something we should always strive for.
I believe in the power of positive thinking. I’m not suggesting anyone can just “wish” something to happen, because life doesn’t work that way. But positive thinking IS important, because you need to believe in something in order to put in effort. Believing in something may not mean you will succeed, but it will give you the best chance. A negative mindset makes you unable to facilitate positive change in your life, because when you don’t believe you can change, you have already failed.
I believe happiness is overrated. People talk about happiness all the time as if it’s some holy grail in life. Things like “I just wanted to be happy” or “everyone deserves to be happy” becomes an excuse/rationalization for some really crappy behavior. I think people are actually pretty confused about what happiness is, and many people chase pleasure and things that make them “feel good”, thinking that’s happiness. Instead of happiness, I believe we should focus on contentment. And that requires us to slow down, appreciate what we already have, and try to focus on what actually matters and gives us meaning.
I believe people are naturally wired to seek connection with another person, and we are the best version of ourselves when we can find someone to share and build a life with. I believe when we find a healthy connection it ceases to be about us. Ideally we are able to connect with someone on multiple levels – emotional, physical, intellectual and even spiritual. When we are able to do this we find that we as individuals are still important, but together we become part of something greater.
I believe there is no “meant to be”. Rather, life provides us with opportunities and it’s up to us to decide what to do with them. People may come into our lives, but our actions and behaviors play a significant role in who stays in our lives.
Those are some of the fundamental beliefs that make me who I am, and shape my writing, my thinking and almost everything I do.
Most of my writing is about relationships, and you will find a few central themes that run through my writing.
On paper, relationships seem like they should be easy. If you follow a few basic rules, it seems like everything should just fall into place.
Unfortunately divorce rates, affairs, and relationships where people are “together” but effectively living separate lives seem to show that they are a lot harder than they seem.
Falling in love is the easy part.
Staying in love over the long term is much harder.
Although each couple is different, when you look at relationship “issues” there seem to be a number of common problems that damage relationships.
One of the big ones is expectations. Some people believe love should never have expectations, and should always be “unconditional”. I disagree. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say expectations (for both your partner and yourself) are one of the keys to a happy and fulfilling relationship. Expectations are really about needs/wants, and we all have them. It’s important to differentiate expectations from entitlement though, and understand that just because you expect something in a relationship is doesn’t mean you are entitled to it.
When expectations are unrealistic, it can lead to a situation where the relationship will never be able to measure up. When this happens people may question – is this all there is?
Another common problem in relationships is poor communication. At some level we all know how important communication is, but poor coping skills can cause us to get defensive and/or misinterpret things our partners are saying. It can also be very easy to minimize or downplay what our partner is saying simply because it doesn’t match our own beliefs.
This can break down the sense of safety and trust in a relationship. When that breaks down, people will often build walls to protect themselves from being hurt. Doing this may mean your partner can’t hurt you anymore, but it will also limit the connection you are able to have.
Over time, this can cause a couple to feel like they have “fallen out of love”, or lost the spark that they once had together. Once relationships get to this point, it can be very hard to turn things around. As people feel less emotionally safe with their partner, trust breaks down and people start to hold in their hurts while resentment builds. Negative energy about the relationship can pick up momentum and start a slow downward spiral.
Ideally we don’t get to that point. When it happens though, to turn things around both people need to truly want the relationship. Then people need to be willing to put their egos aside and let go of any hurt.
Ignoring relationship “problems” and trying to focus on the good of relationships for the moment, I will say that it doesn’t matter what sort of state your relationship is in – it can ALWAYS improve.
Falling for someone may be largely a hormonal and chemical response, but that alone won’t sustain a relationship for long.
At the end of the day, love is a choice. Love is also a skill, and if we work at it we can become better at loving each other each and every day.
In addition to choosing the other person, you need to be willing to be vulnerable and let the other person in.
Here’s a truth about relationships:
You will get hurt sometimes, and that’s alright. What matters is how you deal with it, and how you move forward together.
To stay together, you need to be able make each other a priority even when life gets busy. You need to be willing to accept influence from each other, and grow both individually and as a couple.
Plan together, set goals together, and support each other.
People talk about wanting to find someone to grow old with, and to be with “forever”. Forever doesn’t just happen though. If you want forever, you need to actively choose each other and actively love each other. You need to nurture your love for your partner through your thoughts and actions.
Those actions allow you to build forever into your relationship, each and every day.