You are not your f#cking khakis. In fact, you’re not anything in that closet.

TooMuchClothes

As I prepare to move, I’m taking an inventory of my stuff, and I’ve spent some time in front of my closet. It’s my self-imposed purging time. Will these slacks make the cut and come with me? I hold it in my hand for a minute, then lay it down, undecided. Then I stare at a shirt, and put it in the trash pile. A minute later, I pick it up, thinking again. Life is ticking me by, and I’m deciding on what I’m going to carry around with me, so I can spend more of my mornings debating which pants are really going to make my day.

My wardrobe has been my armor. It pumps my spirits. My identity was in that microfiber shirt. Those fashionably marked up jeans. The hipster button-down. The time I spent on what I would wear may be much less than most people, but it was more than is necessary for someone who wants to just live his life.

An actor has a wardrobe. Are we actors?

Actors follow the script and have left nothing to chance.

No, we are not actors.

With a strong enough identity, your wardrobe becomes secondary to your personality

It’s time I start being more comfortable in my own skin. They say the clothes make the man. I say how you wear something makes it or breaks it. Who you are will overwhelm everything, because people may be attracted to appearances, but a dynamic and engaging personality will almost always win in the end.

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Boston marathon bombing continues the violence since 9-11

Iraq soldier hurt

Yesterday I had one of the best runs in my life. I fell into a good pace and finished strong, while in Boston, some of the runners finished in a smokey nightmare. As I listened to the reports of the bomb blasts, my imagination began to fill in the picture, perhaps making it worse than seeing the effects themselves. I gave a sad shiver and thought “Why did someone do this? Why, why, why?”

Since 9-11, violence has been in the news. We’ve gotten regular doses of it, but most of us only through pictures and video and second-hand accounts. We’ve seen violence without experiencing it. A virtual experience that affects us at some superficial level. Invading Afghanistan, bombings in Europe, invasion of Iraq, mass shootings. I’ve gotten used to it, although I’ve not forgotten.

Is the media still showing pictures of our over 50,000 wounded soldiers? The over 1500 soldiers being carried into vehicles having their limbs blown off or hanging on until they are amputated? Did they ever?

I don’t know.

I stopped my daily following of the news a while ago. Maybe that’s why when I hear about violence, I don’t focus on the event, but I see it as a continuation of the violence of 9-11. Part of a War on Terror, where terror has become not so terrible, because time heals all wounds and distance makes it surreal. So we’ve settled into a comfortable place, where we can nod our heads and allow our soldiers and administrators to set camp in other countries, plant an airbase, send our drones to fly into neighborhoods and fire off rounds. The War that allows us to ignore the over 100,000 Iraqi civilians who were killed and continue to be killed. Civilians who ran out into a smokey streets, maybe like the runners and onlookers in Boston did, confused, scared, punctured with glass, or choking, or maybe lying on the ground, not feeling one of their legs. The War on Terror has became a theme that has too easily turned into a way of life allowing us to accept the news about men, women, and children who were accidentally caught in the crossfire, and forget about the soldiers with the tough task to protect them as they fight.

This acclimation devalues their plight and their sacrifice.

We are certainly good-intentioned, and probably empathetic to you about that father of your’s that we accidentally killed. But we had no choice, you see? We’re so scared that we need to keep fighting this War on Terror, or maybe we’re so accepting that we don’t really care. It’s nothing personal, son.

But that son is going to take it personally.

Violence creates more violence.

Boston should help us see that this violence is strong and meaningful and damaging, wherever it is happening, whoever is doing it. All violence comes at a cost. And in this environment of violence, call it the War, call it whatever, there is no enemy that is going to come forward and surrender. There is no winner until one side completely crushes the spirit of the other…until one side approaches such a reputation for committing violence that no one wants to even try to face them.

She told me, “Love is a feeling. It’s not about anything else.”

co-dependent hug

Our relationship had been broken almost from the start. A tentative dance between two people with two left feet. The final break was years later, and it was the first time after a break-up that I didn’t rush to fill that void that was left. I felt neither happy or sad. I felt..nothing. Maybe that was what was meant by “being at peace.”

Anyway, her and I. We still talked.

So I sat and listened when she said, “Love is a feeling. It’s not about anything else.”

I shook my head. “Love needs an object. You love something or someone because of some value you get from it or him or her. You need to define love in that context.”

I thought about that some more, and realized that there was something significant in what she said. Love is a feeling. And feelings originate within you. They are created by you. And the saying how you can’t control love has a little truth in it, too. Love is when you value someone more than yourself, which is an irrational state. It’s totally emotional, illogical. But when that love ceases to come from you, and your control over love is given over to the object or person, this is where it can slide into a coup, where you become helpless to the situation or the other person.

There is a fine line between seeking love from another, and finding someone to give your love to.

Relationships can be two people who are seeking validation and value from each other and their trade results in a balanced relationship. However, I don’t know if they love each other..maybe they like the attention the other is giving to them. The latter is not love.

So she was right. Love starts with you. Who you choose and the time and effort you’re willing to spend on them. You control that decision. No one else.