Archive for January, 2012

Seems pretty obvious right?

I don’t just mean financial either. I also mean emotional debt too.

I am the first to admit that I am shocking with my own finances. I’m a “you can’t take it to the grave” kind of guy. Money burns through my pockets rather quickly. So this statement is important for me to take on board too!

Each time in my past I have managed to pay off debt a wonderful sensation of freedom washes over me. Then I dry off and get myself in debt again. This is where my lack of patience has let me down soooo many times. Definitely ‘a dog with a bone’ scenario. I have had some success at handling these types of situations, but I still find it difficult.

It’s strange too, as I HATE owing someone money. I flash back to the days I was studying. Yes  I still have a massive student loan, but I knew when I took it on board that I would eventually get a good job that would make it easier for me to pay off. Which it basically has. Basically.

Anyway, student loan aside I had family and friends reminding me to go for scholarships and grants for Maaori students. Which of course is a brilliant idea. But herein lay an extreme moral issue for me. Part of the criteria for these grants was you having to prove what you had been doing to support your local tribe/iwi. Since both my iwi are miles and miles away  from me (geographically) I hadn’t done much at all. So I felt guilty even applying for them. Plus I didn’t want to be morally obligated (in debt) to my iwi in the future. I figured if I wanted to help my iwi later on then I would make that decision and not have anyone else ‘force’ me to do it. Something I am very glad I stuck too.

Right now I am only financially in debt to the NZ government for my student loan. Along with my bank of course.

When we sign up for these loans we of course have to have a legitimate reason and we have to show that we are actually able to pay them back. We fill our a contract, sign it off and wait for the loan to be accepted. Always a nervous time. Especially if you are really, really wanting to purchase something AWESOME!! If you get declined, which I have been before, you have a huge sense of disappointment. For me I usually end up doing some retail therapy OR trying to find another avenue to get the finances I need to get whatever the heck it is I wanted so bad. Dog with a bone.

Now your probably waiting for the connection this has to my blog. It’s simple really. When we enter into any kind of relationship we form an ‘unwritten’ contract with that person. We don’t actually have a set figure or amount of cash that we want to loan from them. What we want from them is love/affection/company/sex or something along those lines. We sometimes look at these relationships as investments. We think about how much time and effort we wish to place into the relationship. i guess this is where the whole dating thing occurs. You meet, you make plans to go out, you spend money on each other; movies, dinner, etc. You have started making your investment. You both decide at some point that you want to continue this relationship and become an exclusive couple. This is where your invisible signatures are used to seal your contract. And thus begins the process of your emotional debt accumulation.

To some people this may seem a little simplistic or dramatic way to look at relationships, but I was influenced by a debt article I just read. NOBODY likes having debt. We can all nod our heads to that. What I want us to think about is the idea of emotional debt.

We do things for each other in a relationship and we usually expect to GET something back in return. Something as simple as a back rub can be seen as a debt. Picking the kids up from school. Dropping the forgotten wallet to your partners work. Cooking dinner and leaving it in the oven. Bringing flowers home “just cause”. All can be seen as emotional debt. I know that some people will read this and think “Heck no, I do this because I love them”, which is probably right. But don’t believe the hype people. Everyone and I mean everyone starts taking stock of this emotional currency. Eventually. Maybe not at first, but eventually. Then somewhere along the line the ledger seems to become unbalanced. Not always, but usually. Then resentment starts to build. One of you decides that the others emotional debt is getting a little out of hand. They need to be held accountable for this debt. How do you get them to pay this back?

You have all been a part of or seen/heard arguments like “why can’t you cook dinner?” or “it’s your turn to watch the kids!” or “you spend more time with that xbox than you do with me!”…You know the list goes on. It all becomes turn based. You, without knowing, start trying to balance this emotional debt ledger. If you are able to get the balance right you BOTH start to feel less resentment. The more you are able to invest into your relationship in a positive way the less debt you will accumulate. Seems pretty simple right? Well we all know it isn’t that simple. Nothing in relationships is simple.

Paying off this debt is more important than ANY financial debt. Bankruptcy is an option not many people like to take OR have even considered when being in major debt. I would equate this to Divorce. Which begs the question, why is it easier for people to divorce? Why can people throw away a relationship with someone easier than they can wipe out their own personal debts? I think there is more of a social stigma placed on Bankruptcy than there is on divorce. Because it happens so often in today’s society it has become accepted. Which I feel makes a farce of the concept of marriage too. For me, even though I have never been married, you only get married once. It is for the rest of your life. It should be for the rest of your life. But now, people get married at the drop of a hat. Why? Cause they know they can get out of it that easily too. If they aren’t emotionally invested as much as the other person the ramifications (emotionally and financially) won’t impact them as much.

I digress. What’s my point in all this? Well it really goes back to my post title. Always pay your debts. Regardless of them being financial or emotional once they are paid off your life will flow as it should flow. Money comes and goes, trust me I know, but how much are you willing to invest to keep the one you love? How much are you really willing to lose in the end?

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

The word “integrity” stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of “wholeness” deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others “have integrity” to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.

Oh Wikipedia you are a wonderful site.

This word has been thrown around between friends and I recently. We discussed people in our lives who are full of integrity. What I had failed to do was actually confirm my OWN definition of the word. The definition above is perfect. The highlighted/underlined words ring true; Consistency, honesty, truthfulness, accuracy, hypocrisy, character. As mentioned in previous blogs, in my past I have drifted from being a person of integrity to a hypocrite. Saying one thing and doing the complete opposite. Inconsistent. I remember vividly all the times when I was consistent at keeping my integrity my life was good, very, very good. Everything went well and I was really happy. Then along came complacency. I found that when people become complacent they forget to take care of things. Some people would say they become too comfortable. For me though that word has connotations of positivity, warmth and love. Hence complacent.

Being complacent you seem to feel that everything is OK. Not great. Not awesome. Not perfect. Just OK. When you are comfortable I believe you are happy, content, you feel safe with your partner and who you are as a person. You have this innate feeling that nothing could be better than where you are right now. Well that’s what I believe. The danger of course with complacency is the lack of trying. You don’t bother trying to make things better or even to maintain your relationship, because in all honesty, you have given up. You don’t really care what happens. This is what I feel happened with A and I. I remember telling AB every time he asked how things were and I would say…OK. It had been OK for a very long time. I’m sure A felt the same way too.

So how does one become consistent at their actions, values, principles, expectations and outcomes? How can you make things such as values and principles tangible enough to be measured? If I say that I am an honest person then surely I must be truthful about everything in my life? As we all know, there are times in your life where telling the honest truth can get you a slap or punch in the face! Everyone has their own ‘moral compass’. Created usually from your up-bringing, parents, family and friends. Some people, and I’ve met plenty, don’t even have a compass. And could actually care less about values and principles. Growing up I had always used the Bibles values and principles to help guide me between right and wrong. I also had a ‘Disney’ up-bringing too. Evil wizards and witches, knights in shining armor and all that. I would like to think that I had/have a very solid moral compass. That, obviously, sometimes didn’t work very well!

You have to make a solid commitment to become a person of integrity. You can’t just drift in and out when you feel like it. You must be consistent in your actions. My public persona would sometimes, and I reiterate, sometimes belie my private persona. There is the inconsistency. What I have been trying to do in recent times is to join these two together and dump the negative actions. My ta moko (Maaori Tattoo) has helped immensely in this transitional phase of my life. I do believe that in doing so I will become a ‘whole’ new person. Not too far away from the person I already am either. Just a person with stronger integrity whom I would like to think will be a positive influence on my daughters, whanau and friends. Again long journey but made easier with everyone’s support.

I’ve broken one of my criteria!! I have missed out on posting a blog every week by 10mins! I had seriously thought I had put one in on Monday at the beginning of the week…so I’m gutted. I HATE making promises I can’t keep. This is an important part of my own journey. I didn’t want to back down or compromise any of my criteria. SO, how do I make up for it? Well I have decided that I no longer have to blog at least once a week…I now MUST blog at least TWICE a week for the rest of my 21 months or so.

Anyway. I have found out today why I had been feeling all these emotions washing over me again, as strong as they had been less than 2 months ago. A is back in the country. EC mentioned it today while we were playing touch. He wasn’t sure if he should’ve told me. I told him I’d wish he hadn’t. I said it wasn’t his fault about telling me but I really didn’t want to know what was happening in A’s life. I have been trying to focus on my own life and less about her. That gutted feeling came back hard. I asked him how he knew, he said “do you really want to know?”…Nope. EC is a great friend and has been there since this all began.

I really don’t want to see her before I go. I can honestly say that I would be able to be friendly and civil if I did happen to bump into her. But my heart would take a pounding. It’s taking a pounding right now. I’m trying to get the thought of her spending the past 2 months in OZ hanging out with her new man/partner/BF. Jumping from our 4 year relationship to him. I think I know all the reasons why she did it and I believe I can understand them too. But, at the end of the day it still really hurts. Those of you following my blog religiously will probably be thinking that I deserve what has happened. Your most likely right. I do. You know how hard it has been for me too in this situation.

Well, there is not much I can do about things anyway. She knows how much I care for her, well I believe she does. Unless of course she looks at my breakup emails and thinks that everything I said was just crap. While she has had the comfort of another man to pull her through sad times…or maybe more happy times for her, I have had the love and support of my whanau and friends. Which has been amazing. But as most of you in a relationship know the love you have with your partner is very different. This is most likely why I feel so much hurt and pain.

With A being back now, it has made my departure even more important. I don’t want her to know that I am even leaving. I don’t want her to think that me leaving is an attempt to try and make her feel guilty or bad, etc. There is absolutely no worries about her changing my mind if that ever happened, which I doubt. I am FULLY committed to leaving NZ. Finding out that A was back wasn’t the only shock/surprise I got today either. My nephew facetimed me this evening. He wanted to show me their car…my brother and nephew had been in a car accident! They had been driving home along a very, very windy motorway with a huge trailer that my brother had built. The wind had caught their trailer and made it jack-knifed forcing the car into the safety barrier. fortunately they were fine, but the car had some major dents and scratches on it…I said to EC, If something had of happened to my brother and nephew, I wouldn’t know what the heck to do!!..Then later this evening I got a text from a great friend CB. She spoke about ‘sometimes being courageous is changing plans you have already made’…I said she had obviously been speaking to EAC, DC’s wife!

I look back on today and see three ‘messages/signs’ from God. I figure I can interpret them in two ways: 1) God is trying to say – Hey, you have these really important things in your life (yes even A) that are still here in NZ. Why would you leave them? OR 2) Are you truly committed , honest and truthfully committed to changing who you are by changing what you do and where you are?…I am going with both. I can see that when I am overseas I will be far away from A, my whanau and my friends, basically everything that I love in my life right now. But I can also see this as a test. I could easily back out right now. I know this will undo EVERYTHING I have spent the last 3 months working on. I am not perfect and I am definitely not finished healing. If I was I definitely wouldn’t care were the heck A was and I wouldn’t be writing this blog.

I have a gut feeling that I will be leaving at the end of this week. A very strong gut feeling. My gut hasn’t been wrong so far.

All I ask is that those people following keep reading and please feel open enough to comment. It really helps me with my process and validation is a wonderful feeling!!

The title says everything really. It has felt a lot longer to me.

As part of my criteria I promised to make sure I blogged at least once a week, even if things were going well. They are going OK. I have always said previously in this blog that I know ‘time’ will help heal. Which of course it has. Still been getting those heart pains recently.Could be still after shocks from the last email I got. Even thought it didn’t really say much. Well it’s more than could be really, is definitely from that email! Fortunately I’m able to cope with it better than I was a few weeks back.

So where too now? Keep trying to change my negative behavior patterns. Had this discussion with MB and AB during the week. Explaining to them, briefly, about whats going on etc. They’ve been overseas for the past two years and just got back in the country. It was their wedding that I met NC, the young lady who was, as far as I can see, the catalyst to all this. Not her fault at all. She was just the final straw for A. Well that’s what I believe anyway.

AB asked me if I still felt the same about A. Asked if she came back right now and said she had made a mistake would I take her back? I said nope, I’ve started a journey now. Neither of us would’ve changed, though I know I have changed a lot recently, she would have not idea what I am doing or going through. Well that’s what I believe anyway.

It’s lovely to see MB and AM so happily married and in love. Makes me jealous. In a nice way though, not in a; “Man you guys make me wanna throw up!” way. It just reminds me of what I want in my next relationship. Just to be happy. For me and my partner to be happy. I guess that’s one place I’m heading too now with me and A. I have finally started to think about her decision and how positive it is for me, and her. Her finding someone else, in a very short space of time, was only made possible through my actions. I thought about it today, for a change, and decided that her love for me was so strong that the only way for her to ‘handle’ leaving me was to have someone else to leave too…Possibly. Maybe. She would’ve had to realized the pain, guilt, sadness she would go through. Maybe.

I’ve started think that she may have thought I would’ve been fine. I had always been the emotionally strong one. The one who put up a brick wall when it came to emotions. Except for anger. Not many people in the world have seen me truly angry. She, sadly was one of them. I am thankful that the last memory, I hope she took with her, was of my tears of sadness and regret over what had happened. I do wish that she could’ve told me ALL the reasons why this happened. My gut tells me everything I have posted in this blog is right on the money. But it would still be nice to know. My love for her is still very strong. The love of my daughters has now become ‘real’ again. When this first started nothing seemed to break through that sadness. Nothing.

I’ve gotta make sure to keep blogging. I just hate feeling so needy. Not use to asking for help. I’m usually the one helping others. Gotta change that too. It’s a journey.

These two words have come to the fore during the week.

I had a vivid dream last Friday. It was a little strange though. I was teaching in a school (I know that’ weird already!) and all the other teachers were ones that I have taught with over the past few years. Except they were all 30 years younger. So for this to make some sense you should also know that all these teachers were/are currently in their 60’s. Anyway, they are all-wise heads of the teaching profession too. Been at the game for a very longtime. In my dream they all looked very, very young and they were all very tall, which isn’t that strange as most of them are tall in real life. But in my dream they were VERY tall. I thought to myself that this dream must have something to do with whats happening in my life so I made sure that I paid attention.

The second part of my dream or scene was weird too. I was teaching in a class and a student decided to flash me her breasts. As you know this happens all the time in secondary schools! Part of me was like “whoa, a free show”, the other part of me was like “WTF”. WTF won and I woke up. I tried, as you do, to go back to sleep to see if the dream would finish off or at least continue. It didn’t.

There where two words that kept resonating in my mind during and after this dream; Prophetic and 27th of January. I’ve been trying to apply possibilities to these words over the past week. At first I thought the word Prophetic was a word my mind made up. I understood the core of the word, ref to prophecy, but wasn’t absolutely sure this word existed. After a quick google search I was corrected. The date seems a little TOO obvious to those following my blog. Could this be a leaving date for me? EAC and I had a good chat about these two words and the dream itself. She added her insight about the dream. Maybe the other teachers were a representation of were I wanted to be, an old wise head, and the ‘other’ part was a reflection of one side of me that I am struggling to get rid of. Made sense.

Straight after the dream I also had the urge to email A. For whatever reason I wanted to continue the ‘Al Turtle’ contacting system (sure I mentioned this a few posts ago). Basically you want to slow down the leaving process of your ex by keeping very limited contact with them and showing them, via email that you are trying to make positive changes, while still keeping things vague at the same time…I know sounds complicated, but it’s not. Anyway, I sent a short email to her outlining how I wanted to thank her for the decision she made. That it had forced me to step back and see the person I had become. And saying how I knew I needed to change ,supported by positive people. Something along those lines. She replied the same day. Which actually surprised me. It was a very short thank you reply and very business like. It reignited the painful feelings I had slowly been getting over. Reminded me of how hurt I still am and how much I still miss her at the same time. Tough situation to be in. Fortunately I have a plethora of support people around me. I talked to EAC about this too. She had some positive words to share.

This has been another obstacle that has tested my Patience and my Faith. I have always prided myself on my patience. Water off a ducks back and all that jazz! My faith is SOLID as can be too. EAC also helped me remember about other situations in my life were prayer and God have come into my life and helped me get through some very tough times. I’d forgotten them. When things are going well in your life you forget the hard times quickly. I have realized this during the past few months. It’s almost been 3 months now since we BU.

I am constantly being questioned by people about when I am leaving overseas. Politely questioned. I have lost count of how many times I have had to repeat my story. Definition of patience; Keeping calm after continuous questioning. I had this conversation with my mum last night.

People too quickly need someone to blame for what is going wrong in their lives. When in reality there are really only two things you can blame (If blame is what you want to do) God and You. I’d prefer the word responsible instead of blame. If you have true and utter faith then you have to realize that God has chosen to take you down a certain path. That path is not always paved with gold either. How will you learn anything if your pathway is unblocked and paved with continual happiness (gold)? There have to be cracks, so you can seal them up. There have to be broken cobblestones, so you can replace them. There have to be slippery patches, so you will remember where not to tread or what shoes you need to wear for your next journey to Te Awa.

Regardless. Patience and Faith are my catchphrase words for this week maybe even longer. Maybe others can use these words too.

Well getting close to 3 months on now, things have definitely gotten better for me emotionally.

BUT, for what ever reason those strong feelings of hurt, pain, loss and sadness have returned. I remember talking to someone (can’t remember now) about how in these situations the roller coaster of emotions is cylindrical. This is very true. I’d felt good about where I had progressed to. Then these feelings started creeping back in. That really strong urge of wanting to see her and talk to her, etc, etc, etc. I know I haven’t fully let go of A, and to tell the truth I don’t think I ever well. But it’s about developing the ability to ‘cope’ with these feelings. I am definitely better than I was less than 6 weeks ago, that’s for sure.

Maybe these feelings have returned because I was meant to be in the UAE now? Don’t know. I have decided that God in his infinite wisdom wants me to hangout in NZ for a little while longer. I obviously have some unfinished business here. It would be great if I could get a post stick note giving me a clue to that business! I have thought that maybe it is the conversation that I am yet to have with my father about our ‘relationship’. A few weeks back I was all ready guns blazing to talk to my dad. But now I seem to have gone back to my usual procrastinatic ways (yes I made that word up, I think?). Another part of me has thought that maybe I am meant to contact A and say another goodbye? I have decided against that. As I have said before she has plenty of time and space to decided if she wanted to send me an email or make any other kind of contact too. So I feel like I’m in a state of limbo at the moment. Maybe this is contributing to my emotional state right now? Possibly.

Finding someone else has been on my mind too (yes again!). It didn’t really help. If I found someone to spend time with now, what would that achieve? Yes, It would make me feel better and help me forget about A. Then, when it was time for me to go I’d feel like I just used that person. Not cool, and definitely not part of me becoming a better person. That’s one thing that keeps coming back too. How badly I treated A over the past year or so.

I was fortunate enough to spend New Years with DC, EAC, AB and CB. Four amazing individuals who have helped me immensely through my struggles. My traditional journey to “the wood’ had to change because of my impending departure date. My other whanau the K family were sorely missed during new years!! and so were the long nights with SU. Goodtimes. So back to the alternative new years celebrations. DC, EAC, AB and CB and two of their lovely friends spent the new years evening playing Apples to Apples. What a fun game, but games are always more fun when you are winning! Anyway, DC and EAC have a tradition of sharing their new years thanks, resolutions and requests. Awesome tradition. We all went around the table and shared these with each other. We all have a spiritual/religious background so some had connections to our own faith in God. A theme of thanks was our friends and whanau. Of course. What I focussed on was a beautiful image that CB had created for ‘the boys’. It was a a face of a lion with the word “Courageous” underneath it. CB said this was a word that had come to her and something she wanted to share with us. Beautiful. This was a powerful word. It felt relevant to me. I said it meant “not being afraid or having the ‘fear’ to do something”…well something along those lines. Fear often prevents us from doing things that we know will be beneficial to our health and well-being. We become too comfortable in our lives. We think that we can’t do any better or that the life we have is the life we are meant to have. We are scared to change. Courageous means  a lot more to me now. If I didn’t have courage I would give up on going to the UAE.I’d get another job and carry on being the person that was. Never working out my personal issues of the past and never developing, growing into the person that I am meant to be. I don’t know who that person will be. I do know that that person will be better than the person I am now!

We ended our session just before the midnight toll of Jan 1st 2012 with individual prayers. I thought  CB was doing a group closure. So when it came to me I just said amen…I think the guys thought I was being too shy or funny…I wasn’t. I just thought we’d finished! So, here’s my closure prayer for 2011; “Lord, thank you for all my whanau and friends. Thank you for all their support recently and over the past year. Thank you for giving me the time I had with A and helping understand my failings in that relationship and my relationship with others. Thank you for strengthening my faith in you and myself. Thank you for all the blessing you have given me in 2011, even when I didn’t appreciate them. Thank you for blessing me with the two most beautiful daughters in the world. I am grateful for everything in 2011, good and bad. I really hope that you will continue to bless me and watch over my whanau and friends in 2012…AMEN”.