Posts Tagged With: Communication

Why Do We Do What We Do?



Sometimes there’s a part of us deep inside that reacts and does things that we never meant or intended to do. I’m an over-thinker and analyzer, and there are many times I’ve had to question my behavior.  I used to look at the behavior itself and then judge because of the behavior, but I’m learning now to not just “see” what is being done, but try to understand the why behind it.  I believe with all my heart that our actions are not the true representative of the good or evil within us – but the WHY behind them.

Why do we smoke? Why do we cheat? Why do we lie? Why do we feel the need to rescue? Why do we care? Why do we sacrifice? Why do we hurt others? Why do we protect? Why do we risk our lives? Why do hide in fear?

The things we do reveal our true selves more than anything we say, feel, or think.  I’ve discovered on many occasions I am not always as I think or believe I am. Sometimes I am stronger and better. Sometimes I’m weaker and worse.  But, I can only see that truth when I question the ‘why’ behind my actions.

I’ve been cheated on, and of course the first question I want to know the answer to is ‘why’ and then immediately feel or think it’s some sort of deficiency on my part.  How could he do that or hurt me that way? Didn’t he love me enough? Was I not what he wanted? How could he want someone else when I gave him everything? Was I not pretty enough, smart enough, independent enough, or dependent enough? Am I too smart, too short, too fat, too demanding, too …anything?  See how the cycle goes?  But those are not the questions we should be asking.  It’s more about the ‘why’ behind his actions – what was going on inside him that he felt the need or want to go outside the relationship?  What need wasn’t being filled or met within the relationship? Where was the communication breakdown that didn’t address the problem?

We are all responsible for our own actions.  The man that cheated on me (no, this hasn’t been recently, just in my past) was the person responsible for checking himself and his motives before acting on his impulses.  The only responsibility I had in the situation is to make sure open communication was present to help identify the problems.  In that, I failed.  I let assumptions, fears, doubts, and suspicions guide me.  They may have been true, but that’s no excuse for not communicating before things got too far.  I’m not responsible for him or his actions – only my own.  But what I do know is that relationships are HARD.  They take TWO people who are willing to fight.  Sometimes one needs to fight harder than the other for a period of time if they’re going through something, but eventually both need to come back in balance and be there for each other, and keep those lines of communications open.

I have lost relationships due to pride, shutting down when the pain came, and judging my partner because of their actions and not trying to understand their motives. Understanding a motive doesn’t excuse a behavior, but it may help us understand how frail, complex, and weak we are as human beings.  “Judge not, lest we be judged.”  Before we act, let’s put ourselves in their situation and see if we can understand the problem, we might just find a solution. Cheating isn’t the sin – the betrayal of intimacy and trust and not communicating is the real sin.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dreams, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Relationships, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evil Video Games – Be Damned!

*Caution: This rant contains strong opinions. Weak-minded and close-minded individuals need not read any further. You’ve been warned

Video Games Evil

Just in the last few days I’ve read no more than a half dozen Facebook posts linking to articles talking about the evils of kids playing video games.  Yet, NONE of these articles reported any scientific facts to back up their claims, just a bunch of close-minded opinions from parents, geriatrics, naturists, and social opinionists.  (Yeah, I made those last two up, but so fucking what, I’m a writer and I make up shit with my imagination.)

Before you jump down my throat and to your biased opinions, I want to warn you not to take me wrong.  I’m NOT pro or anti video games, I’m just another one of those opinionists who has had the privilege to see things from both sides of the issue.

What exactly is the issue?  Is gaming evil? Is our youth being corrupted by the video game industry?  Are kids learning anti-social behaviors due to excessive amount of video gaming? Are we desensitizing our children to violence and corruption through video games? Is video gaming destroying marriages and dating lives?

My response: You’re the fucking parent.  PARENT your children.  You’re the spouse.  Be the best SPOUSE possible. Quit projecting excuses of shitty relationships onto inanimate objects and activities for YOUR failures… and communicate. Quit trying to make your kids into mini models of yourself and let them discover who they are.  Quit trying to force your spouse into an idealistic mold of what and who you think they should be, and let them be themselves.  Did you fall in love with a person, or the idea of a person you want? Want to raise your kids right – raise them to be inquisitive.  Raise them to be curious, adventurous, and exploratory.  Teach them to learn, and then stand back and LET them learn, their way.  Want to make a marriage work, then love the person for who THEY are and don’t be close-minded to the things that bring them joy.  Try out their stuff… and encourage them to try yours… and between the two of you – find some common ground. Most of all, communicate with one another.

I play video games, and guess what?  I enjoy it.  Believe me, it takes skill, timing, talent, patience, determination, and dedication to become proficient with many, many, many of these games.  There’s a whole gaming world out there, filled with like-minded people.  Now with online gaming, chat sessions, fire-teams, and MMPG, new social skills are being developed.

As with ANYTHING, there’s always down sides, bad points, and abuse by players and non-players alike.  Do you know what’s more destructive in a parent/child relationship – a parent yelling at kid, putting him down, putting down the thing he loves to do, the thing  he’s excelling at, the thing perhaps his peers appreciate and applaud him for – simply because the parent doesn’t understand and they don’t take the time to find out.  Because it’s different than them, their experience, or their understanding – they tear it down and look for everything negative.  That’s abuse.  That’s bad parenting.  That’s despicable.

I watched a video of parents crying because their kids were more excited about playing video games or using their tablets than going outside and building a fort.  Instead of blaming themselves that they didn’t understand their kids, didn’t know what their children were doing, surprised their kids liked something different than them, perhaps they should have taken them outside and built a fucking fort with them.  I guarantee the next time that kid got into a chat with his friends, he would have been excited about telling them all about building a fort with their parents, and who knows… they may have just inspired a handful of OTHER kids to bug their parents to go outside and build fucking forts too. Instead, video games got blamed for their bad parenting.  I wonder how many parents would actually take the time to go outside and build a fort with their kids?  Perhaps THAT’s the answer to why some kids spend so much time on video games.

I heard a couple arguing not long ago while I was in a chat session with a fireteam during a raid.  The girlfriend was in the background whining and complaining about how her boyfriend spent too much time on his video game, more time with his gaming friends than her, and that he obviously didn’t love her as much.  That was an example of manipulation at its finest. This was also the same guy that often talked to us in our group, telling us of all the fun, adventurous things he and his girlfriend did all the time together, how much he loved her, how much he was trying out all the stuff she liked to do – some he liked, some he didn’t like.  But his gaming time was getting less and less and less.  He was a fantastic and gifted player and had dreams of playing on a MLG team, but he received no support from his family, from his friends, and now from his girlfriend.  None of these ass-wipes were willing to play with him, or allow him the time to perfect his skills so he could chase his dream.  In their minds, gaming wasn’t an acceptable option.  Perhaps had he been a musician, writer, artist, dancer, singer, or actor he’d get the support he needed to follow his passion.  Oh, wait… most of those don’t get much support either – because it’s not practical to follow an art.  He’s fucked.

I don’t know why it has to be one or the other, gaming or nature, art or hobby, right or wrong.  Video games are not evil.  Playing video games is not evil.  NOT communicating with your kids or your partner – that is what is evil and THAT is all up to each of us as an individual.

I’d love to have a relationship with a gamer, a writer, a musician, an artist, a hiker, a naturist, an adventurer, etc. I’d love to be with someone passionate about something, not some lame-assed fucker blaming everyone else for their failures, or someone who always takes the safe, practical route because it’s what’s expected.  I’ve known too many of those.  And… if you are one of these artists (gamers especially), perhaps the smart thing would be to choose relationships with other artists, or at least open-minded people who will  understand and support your passion.  If you choose a lame, close-minded traditionalist, then you can’t bitch when they bitch at you for not being just like them, or when they don’t understand you. Keep it real.

Anyway, since I saw all these blamers putting out their articles, I thought I’d put out one of my own. Bottom line: Stop blaming video games for your shitty relationship habits.

Till next time,

~KV Kvothe

*Image from:

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Every Man is a Creature of the Age – Voltaire


Being a writer, having a degree in Marketing, and just naturally being a study of human nature, I completely agree with Voltaire about how every man is a creature of the age in which he lives.  The way people communicate with each other is heavily successful when there are commonalities between them.  While we may speak different languages, live in different cultures, observe different rituals, serve different gods, as long as we find common ground there is an opportunity for interchange, to learn from one another.  What amazes me is the fact that this opportunity is often lost between us because the participants involved do not have their minds open to learn, only mimic, therefore translation is lost, and we get stuck in a social cycle. We become products of our time, representatives of the loudest voices.  To me, it’s like the world contracts the zombie disease – where no one thinks for themselves and everyone moves, acts, and responds like everyone else.  While we may look different, we are the same.

But there are always those few who break away from the pact, who learn to think, think to learn, and forge a new path of enlightenment and can clearly communicate.  They are free thinkers, who as Voltaire continues, “…and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.”  These are the bridge builders, the ambassadors, and the dreamers.  They often flow against the social norms, are discontented with popular culture, not as rebels, complainers and naysayers, but as visionaries.

Which are you? Are you a mimic of this age or a visionary who has risen above the ideas?

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Instructional, Musing, Quotes, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Believe in Pink

A flower I picked while walking through the beautiful city of Lacey, Washington

A flower I picked while walking through the beautiful city of Lacey, Washington

I’m good at a lot of things and have achieved many accomplishments in my life.  I’m proud of each one.  Just this weekend I reached a huge milestone in my weight loss and fitness regime, exceeding my 50lb goal.  I’ve lost four dress sizes in just six short months.  I’m more energetic, mobile, and happier with myself and my body.  Much of my successes, like this recent weight loss, often become a reality through hard struggles and a lot of perseverance.  The confidence I have to tackle major obstacles in this and other areas is astounding.  Yet before you go and think I have everything together, there is one area of my life I’m very weak …building, maintaining and keeping relationships.

There are a lot of hurting people in this world.  I know I’m not the only one who has gone through something hard or tragic, or face difficulty with issues of trust.  Because we all have individual experiences, personal traumas, and unique circumstances, there is often a lot of miscommunication.  While I’m a great debater, operate in an excellent and professional manner in business dealings, I misunderstand and struggle when it comes to clear communication in relationships.  I know why – I operate out of fear instead of confidence.  But knowing something and having the strength to change it in my life are two different things.

I’ve recently been told I’m pessimistic and hold my friends to impossible standards.  I’ve had very close friends tell me they fear making mistakes and therefore losing my support and friendship.  I’ve had other friends tell me I’m judgmental and tolerate nothing less than perfection.

This hurt to hear.  For days I’ve thought of almost nothing else. I literally curled in a ball all day yesterday thinking back over my recent relationships and hate some of the choices and actions I’ve taken. I don’t agree with this assessment, but knowing how I fail at communication in the area of relationships, I can see how my friends have come to these conclusions.  It really breaks my heart to hear these things, because in MY mind and heart, I have only hope, love and positive inspiration toward them all.  I love them greatly.  I admire them so much.  I draw strength from them. They inspire me, push me, make me feel loved and appreciated.  I thought I did the same for them.

In my mind, I push for excellence, not to hold them to impossible standards, but to see them step into the possible and reach their dreams.  I don’t judge their choices when I disagree with them, but only desire to warn them against things I fear will hurt them, that have hurt me.  I don’t expect them to be perfect and never make mistakes; we all fall.  But, I do expect them to never give up.  I tend to focus on areas that pose the most potential damage and danger, so I can see now how that would make me seem pessimistic.  But, I have such great hope and optimistic expectations.

But, there is one area I suppose makes me a hypocrite – when someone hurts me, I run away from that relationship.  That’s my way of protecting me.  I couldn’t walk away from the pain when I was a child, so I learned to run as an adult. I don’t run from these relationships because THEY have let me down, but most often because I feel I have let them down, failed them, and failed to protect me.  I suppose from the outside, it looks like I don’t care and can easily turn away from those I claimed to care about most, when it’s the opposite.  I run because it hurts too much and care about them deeply.

But how do I effectively communicate that truth?  My actions can tell a different story, appear to have a different motive and continue to cause fear and confusion.  I want my friends to trust me as much as I want to trust them.  Just as I’m working on my health, to adjust bad eating habits, introduce healthy dietary and physical habits into my life, I’m also working on bad emotional habits.  I just hope I don’t lose all my friends before I learn how to effectively communicate how much I love them.

I agree with all of Audrey’s assessments above.  I too believe in pink, laughing is the best calorie burner, in kissing, in being strong, happiness is beautiful, tomorrow is another day full of hope and I too believe in miracles… the miracle of good friends.   I’m sorry to all my friends who I’ve ever made to feel they’ve let me down or couldn’t live up to my standards, and especially to those from whom I’ve walked away.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray


Categories: Inspirational, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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