Love Them Where They’re At

This weekend, I treated myself to what has recently become a rare occurrence.

I went to church.

Instead of going to “my” church, I challenged myself – and my daughter – to try a new church. A new denomination. A new message. A new feel.

See, as a Catholic, it has proven difficult over the years to find a congregation and a mass that I can actually learn something from. Whether is was the disruption of crying children, or the struggle to understand the sermon presented by a priest who’s second language is English, it seemed like more often than not, over the years, I left church dissatisfied and still hungering for more.

Over the years, I have filled that void with bible study – a practice somewhat frowned upon by the Catholic church – both group and online, and volunteering.

But I still hunger, and I still thirst.

My daughter and I landed in a congregations close to us called the Austin Christian Fellowship. From the start, I expected smiles and warmth, little pomp and circumstance, no Eucharist, and much music. I hoped that in there would be a lesson or a sermon of some sort.

I was not disappointed, on any level, beginning with the music, and then the free Bibles.

The sermon – is that what it is called in a Christian fellowship congregation? – was centered on the Gospel of Mark. Chapter 12 to be exact.

“Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied: “This is the first: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! Therefore you shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, will all your mind, and with all you strength.’

This is the second, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31

As I listened to the sermon, I couldn’t stop myself from focusing on the Second Commandment. Jesus didn’t say that you shall love your neighbor. He said,  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Wow – illumination.

A rush of memories welled up and overtook me.

  • Memories of the people in my life who I couldn’t understand and turned away from, questioning and blaming myself every step of the way. Sometimes I sauntered back to them on their terms, sacrificing a part of me; sometimes I didn’t.
  • More memories of those who had turned away from me, claiming that I was not what I said I was or that it was them, not me. Still blamed myself, but I have learned to give people space when they ask for it.
  • Memories of raising my children, especially during the rocky times when they didn’t understand my endless love for them, nor me their transitioning, growing, and deepening love for me.

family-love-quote

Jesus said it. No reason to think about it. We can only love each other as much as we love ourselves. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others. If you don’t love yourself at certain levels, you can’t love others at those levels. If you have grown up with discord, mistrust, and anger, and you haven’t reconciled those and don’t love who you are, you can’t love others and will only impart those same dysfunctional qualities.

For those of us who have achieved higher levels of love, embrace your ability to engage in love at those higher levels. But, when you engage with those who may be at a different level, love them at their level and don’t expect them to come to your level. They can’t, at least not now. Chances are very good that they are loving you the only way they know how. Make that good enough.

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

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Twitter as a Resource for Research

Social-MediaWhen Twitter came on the social media scene in early 2006, I was skeptical. I think there were many skeptics; I couldn’t be the only one. As I remember, I struggled with the fact that there were so many sites like it, all doing the same thing using the same base format with a different user interface.

For me, it represented a colossal waste of my time, with no verified rate of return at a point in my life when I didn’t have much time to waste.

I chose not to become a member. I focused my effort on Facebook as a personal social site, and LinkedIn as a professional social site. I have had much success with both; and, overall, there is not much overlap between my contacts on each. I keep them mostly separate.

Recently, I attended a trade conference here in Austin called ProductCamp (@PCAustin; productcampaustin.org). I will let you get more information from the site; but, in short it is a conference that is produced in several locations around the country. The topic is product management and marketing and the content is centered on the goal of educating and networking in product management and marketing. If you have a chance to attend one, you will not be disappointed (and it’s free!).

One of the presenters at the conference was Marc Miller of Career Pivot (@CareerPivot). The title of Marc’s presentation was “Why a Social Job Search?”. He presented suggestions and advice on trending job search strategy from the perspective of recruiters and other hiring professionals. Part of that strategy involved pointers on how to maintain a presence on LinkedIn and how to use SEO to increase your chances of landing in a recruiters search results. Great stuff!

The most interesting part for me was his suggestion to add Twitter to the list of social media to use. Better yet, how to use results from LinkedIn searches to connect with companies and recruiters on Twitter, and how to maintain and strengthen those connections.

From there, I was sold. I am not looking for a job; but, what he said made so much sense. I could see many advantages to his approach.new_bird_534

As I was mulling it over and reviewing the notes from Marc’s presentation, thinking about how to apply his strategy to my situation, I started dating a guy who was in marketing and a big social media user. Talk about a God thing!

I hear you, God.

I am not dating that guy anymore, but I now have an active Twitter account that I am working on growing.

Shortly after I activated my Twitter account, I had the need to research an idea that a few friends of mine and I had during a beach party on Labor Day weekend. I did what I usually do and went immediately to Google. It was slow-going and not producing exactly the information I was looking for.

Then I had a brief flash of inspiration: Twitter.

Within an hour, I had accumulated a list of roughly 15 websites and roughly 20 Twitter sites that had viable information to use as a base for developing the idea that my friends and I had. Not to mention that through that exercise I grew my Twitter presence.

In hindsight, I am sorry that it took me so long to realize the value of Twitter. But, I am happy to be a member of the community now and look forward to the advantages it will provide to both my personal and professional digital presence, not to mention the leverage it will provide in my frequent researching forays. Google, look out, you have a strong competitor!

Here are some resources I used in creating this post, as well as in researching my idea:

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Tales From the Dating Scene: The Ex in The Closet

Hi there. My name is Rachel. I’m here to confess that I am the ex who will mess things up for you.

My boyfriend, his name is Mark, and I broke up about 2 months ago. I guess that makes him my ex, not my boyfriend. My bad.

It was mutual, our breakup. But I didn’t really know that until we broke up. We’ve been together since February. We met on a dating site and hit it off right away. The conversations, we both like doing the same things, and the sex. Man. Yep, is was good.

But I noticed that there were things that were bugging me about him. The biggest problem for me is that I wasn’t sure that he would ever be successful enough, you know, make enough money to take care of me. I don’t have a great job, and sometimes the hours aren’t enough to cover me for the week. At this stage in my life, I just don’t want to be worrying about that.

When we broke up, Mark told me the things that had been bothering him about me. I was shocked but since I was over him already, it didn’t really matter. So, we parted on friendly terms and we didn’t contact each other after that.

I started dating again but the guys I was meeting were all so average, and boring.

One night, I was on the dating site and I saw Mark’s profile. After that, I couldn’t stop thinking about him.

And then, one evening, I saw a tweet he made while on a date. I thought to myself: wow, that used to be me. I remembered all the good times we had, the laughs, the inside jokes. He was about to do all of that with another woman.

So, I began texting him. Not alot, and nothing serious. Just stuff that I knew would get him to respond.

And…he did. Lol…wonder what the new chick will think when she finds out that he still loves me. He can’t possibly love her. He knows me. We have – history.

relationships-Couples-love-missyou-breakups-Quotes

If you are that woman, like the one my friend Mark is dating, you are in for a bit of a bumpy ride.

Rachel – and all women like Rachel – has not moved on like she promised she could and would do. Or, at least she did what she promised, but only while there was no competition. Basically, she remained in Mark’s room but moved into his closet – seemingly out of the spotlight enough for him not to pay attention to her, masked, shadowed, and out of reach – when she should have walked out of his room, out of his house, and around the corner. Out of sight.

Once Mark began getting serious about you, Rachel’s promise was not so important to her any more. She probably had feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Perhaps she was still dealing with wondering if she had done or said something different while she and Mark were together, maybe he wouldn’t have turned away. Either way, Rachel truly believes that she still holds the power over Mark to make him change his mind, regardless of how good or better you are for Mark at this stage.

Most women strongly believe that they can change people’s minds and actions. However, if Rachel truly loves Mark, she would want to do what is in “his” best interest, not what is her perception of his best interest. It’s all in the perspective.

As the woman that Mark is dating, you owe it to both of you to openly discuss the issue. Find out where his head really is at with Rachel and allow him the freedom to decide. He has to decide; he cannot have both of you. When he makes that decision, hold him to it. Believe me, from someone who has been on both sides of this, you will be free and clear to move on, either with “Mark”, or just on to what is next.

holdingon-breakups-love-life-QuotesIf you are Mark, you need to know that Rachel will not go away on her own…at least not at this point. She needs a firm decision from you about where you stand and what you expect. Otherwise, she will keep believing that she has the power to convince you. And maybe she would be right. But you owe it to yourself, and to the new woman in your life, to take a step in one direction or another, instead of straddling both. Unless a woman like Rachel is self-aware enough to do what is in your best interest (most women are not at that level), she will continue to insert herself as much as you allow her to.

Finally, if you are Rachel, look inside and try to understand yourself, and your motives. Are you pursuing this because you really want Mark back? Why? Have the courage to ask the tough questions of yourself and the persistence to get to the answers. Or are you just jealous of the other woman, and your motive is to make both his life, and her life, miserable because you think you can?

Relationships are tough; they are more difficult in the beginning, when platforms and understandings are being defined. We owe it to ourselves, whether we are Rachel or Mark or the new woman, to respect each other where we are at. Only with that respect can we move to what is waiting for each of us.

© 2010-2015 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.