Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “relationship”

“Who Are You?”

Not to get all Freudian or something, but i constantly continue to meet  people who are struggling to understand themselves better. So I am bringing it up again.


It seems that people may not be able to personally define who they are perhaps. They have a lot of friends, family and lovers (past and present), around them who are more than willing to tell them how they define them.

But the reality is:  if you could not ask the people around you…how would you define yourself?

Easy to put on different costumes and personalities to show to others, through different phases of a relationship with someone, different pieces of the “real you”  may not be immediately exposed.

Asking the question “Who do you believe you are?” without parroting back what others say you are is hard to do and seems to require inner inspection. Are you the same person inside as you appear to others?  So easy at first to say “yes”- but the last person you should lie to is yourself and it is easy to do ( at least I can say that personally in a truthful way).

So go ahead…ask yourself who you are. Be honest. Are you a singer, a lover of horses, a follower of sports? Labels.

Are you someone who thrives on interaction, or just likes interaction to validate who you are… letting that define the real you.

Deeper, who are you spiritually? Sure there are labels: a scientist, a teacher, a lover, a friend. That’s easy to do… just add it to your Facebook profile already… but who are you when the world and others don’t label you.

Worse yet, once you think you know who you are– try comparing that to how others see you.

Some of my closest friends have lost marriages, significant family relationships and friendships because they realized that they were  trying to become someone they weren’t ever going to be, or worse yet were trying desperately to fit into something someone else wanted them to be.  We always evolve from the foundation of who we are- but before you can really grow- you need to know what that foundation consists of.

I sound like a bunch of songs from the Who (queue “Who Are You” or “The Real Me“) or like the dozens of philosophers from my college classes.  Seems like we are always in need of introspection.

My advice to my kids:

In this busy world – with constant input coming from so many different places- with almost instant feedback [more than any other time before in history], we need to be sure our first definition of ourselves is ours.

Conditions and Compromise

Unconditional Love

It’s interesting how often these days interaction with someone can always come to “certain conditions”. Doing favors or helping someone with something can end up as a negotiation of sorts. Sort of the payback for things that are done.

The idea of “unconditional” love and friendship is still alive I think, It is definitely a spiritual center we all need to achieve. It makes our lives less complicated in a way.  It is the grace of God. Yet it seems like there are days where things only happen under certain terms.

There are a lot of conditions in life. Sort of like: “I can help you with your problem, but IF I do you need to help me with mine.” Negotiation isn’t always bad, but it will struggle to lead to longer term relationships

Conditional love is the hardest one to cope with.  Like trying to earn someone’s love and attention, it comes with a price. It has a manipulating qualifier to it. I will love you, if only you would be more attentive to my needs. I will love you if only you make enough time for me to do what I want to do.

It goes on and on : I will love you if you  a) lose weight b) gain status, c) dress a certain way, d) be friends with the people I am friends with, e) NOT be friends with the people you are friends with. f) like the colour “blue” – or hundreds upon hundreds of other conditions.

There is something about compromise in a relationship (which is healthy) that can spill over into conditions. When it does there may not be an immediate way to recognize it. But it exists. And over time it can lead to resentment, to disillusion that ends in someone being very hurt.

So I always give my kids that advice, Be sure to “be yourself” and be aware of the difference between compromises in a relationship and conditions.


FaceTo me it seems like friends can be an extension of your life.

It is good to have a mirror of reflection in your life, to compare things with each other. Take time to stop and make things be real in some way. Not that friends have to see everything 100% the same. That would actually be very bland over time. Being friends allows us to validate what emotions are, what seems right and wrong in the world, to laugh and perhaps cry with each other.

Friends can help share your pain, and sometimes cause it- but the are of value in our lives. They are part of the memories of the past and the present, they can be the reason that you greater cherish the future.

Sometimes its hard to find them, often there may be some people in your life that are truly not really interested in being your friend. But when your do find them, or they find you… it can be unique and special.

Thanks to all the friends then.They are walking with you, making those tracks in the dust that will eventually blow away on the spin of the Earth. What they can help you do is make more permanent mark on the lives you touch ahead.

Not the Facebook kind of friends, not the casual people who come and go in your life, but those friends that you know have made your life a better one. To those friends who will be there when you need them if they can, to the friends that make your life more rich. I know it sounds sappy or like something out of a movie or a beer commercial,  it is one of those things that can sound like that I suppose.

What is it about friends you have in your life? What makes them special to you? 

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