Freedom In Marriage by Rick Santos Sr.

By Rick Santos Sr
Here's something I wrote a long time ago..... Hope you like it.....

Freedom In Marriage
For many, marriage is the beginning of somethings, and the end of many others. A couple thats "ready" for marriage should enter it with the sense of freedom.
It is commonly thought that "now you're tied". But it should be "now you're free". Free to be yourself, free to speak your mind, free to be quiet, free to show yourself, free to be naked, free from the anxiety of being alone behind the mask.
If we could only hold on to the feeling, " I can't get enough of you" and " what I do, I do with you in mind", and want it that way. Not that I should love, but that I do love.
And we all need time to ourselves, but it shouldn't be an escape.
If your love is a secure one, then time spent apart can be free from anxiety. As it should be. Missing him or her because you truely miss them. Not because your worried about what they're doing.
There should be freedom in marriage, but realistically, this freedom doesn't exsist in most marriages.
Insecurity is a spoiler of relationships. Especially if it exsists on both sides. It breeds so many troubles, eventually leading people to want to escape the person they once couldn't get enough of.
If a person is feeling so insecure that from the beginning they cant show their true self, they probably will doubt the feelings of love from their partner, who at this time probably only knows "the mask". Not the best foundation to start a future with someone on.... A strong enough wind can just blow it away. Or enough small breezes.
Most likely if your partner senses (and they do) that you dont trust them enough, that you can't be yourself with them, then most likely they will protectively end up doing the same and have reservations with you also. This seems to be our nature. Negative thoughts creep in..... "maybe if he/she really gets to know me, they might not except me any more". This is fear. And maybe they wont. But.... maybe they will.... embrace you.
The truth is, there can be freedom in marriage. But it takes communication, trust, honesty, understanding, compassion, and truth. All of which comes with MATURITY and being ready. Rare in this life of ours, but attainable.
Though more and more we work less and less on these things. And lets not forget the word patience.
If we refuse to put effort and time into these things, then what right do we have to complain about not recieving them. Especially if we excersise the opposite. You dont have to look too far to see that around you.
Selfishness slips in. Not self love, but a self abusing type of selfishness, tainted with an assortment of attitudes designed for protection, but usually a path to frustration.
With our guard up we may claim that we wont be controlled or "used" by the person who loves us, then place ourselves in a position to be used and abused and controlled by everything and everyone else. Usually ending up in a position we didnt bargain for.
Here's a couple of hypothetical statements: Im in love with you and would love spending my life with you. Though I need to be free to be myself.
The average person might see this as a contradiction. And in some cases it is. (most) Because in most cases people might feel their sacrificing much of their lives, sacrificing themselves to be with someone else. (you)
Perhaps some of the excitment is begining to fade, the sense of adventure dimming a bit with the onset of daily rituals. Maybe some problems begin to over shadow the good times a bit. Reality sets in, The escape begins.
To have freedom in marriage, Love MUST exsist.
I believe that marriage is something that happens between two people as the result of love, as opposed to something two people do because they think their in love.
In a marriage built on real love a couple should be able to live more freely as they choose, desiring whats best for each other naturally from the heart.
Saddly, for many this seems so unrealistic. Love so often ends up unbalanced, Opening the door to probable pain for someone.
So do we shrink back to our natural instinct to hide? Run for cover behind the mask?
I guess for us to have freedom in marriage it also takes Faith.
If we're seeking for real love and dont want to settle for less as we often do, then we also need the strength to walk away when it isnt right, so that we can find what is.....
Many relationships are good, but not right. The differance being, the good ones are good untill what ever was good about it fades and looses its attraction. And your "love" then becomes maybe 4th , 5th, or 6th ect.... on the list of whats important to you. Remember when they were # 1! Sometime we unfortunetly dont remember that.... cause maybe they never were.
The right relationship is simply worth so much and is so important that it is natural to put it first..... #1. To give it more attention than say, the car, the house, the bills, (the guy or woman down the street!). Together naturally taking care of lifes "stuff". Enjoying the good times, and suffering through the tough times together for the sake of each other. Caring for each other, to better one another.
Life is short. And finding real love in this world is saddly a rare thing. So many times we settle for less. And so many times it turns out that our lives would have been better off if we spent it alone. Often the one we settle for is what keeps us from being with the one thats right. The one we could be free with. The one with whom we better ourselves with.
Real love, not "true love".
"True love insinuates that there is "false love" or a "lesser love" which wouldn't be love at all.
There is a "Real Love or there isnt. Pure and simple. Love cares.........

Rick Santos Sr.
Originally written November, 1997

What Am I Feeling?

Accuracy in interpreting the emotions and behavior of others is very important. Studies have shown for years that humans are not automatic experts in interpreting what other people feel, or why they do what they do, or say what they say. Even experts are not infallible at this; a degree in psychology does not make one an expert in reading others. The gift of language is an absolutely essential tool regarding communication of emotions.

There are many people who misinterpret others on a regular basis, but have no idea that they're off base. Interpreting an expression of fear or anxiety as anger, arrogance, or judgment is actually not uncommon. Interpreting a highly intelligent person who is deep in thought as unintelligent or uncomprehending is quite common as well. Facial expressions of joy are often interpreted as ignorance or naivete. Expressions of polite civility, hospitality or friendship are often very much misinterpreted as romantic gestures, flirting, fake flattery, or snootiness. Arrogance is often misconstrued as confidence, capability, and leadership, while true confidence and humility are often misinterpreted as arrogance or haughtiness.

Many humans also tend to assign emotions to certain "types" of other people. So a small woman and a large man who are expressing the exact same emotion for the same exact reason will be interpreted by this person completely differently. One may be said to be angry, and the other may be said to be frightened or frustrated, with no reality or logic-checking by the observer. 

Many of us even interpret our own emotions incorrectly; this is well known in psychological studies, especially regarding people who were raised to bury or hide their emotions. They may only recognize a few emotions, and label all of their other emotions incorrectly. "Anger", "sadness", "fear" and "worry" are often the only emotions they will name, and they will call other emotions by these names as well. This can cause difficulty for the person when trying to communicate in relationships or resolve personal issues.

We can help repair this issue effectively using language; matching names for emotions with our own feelings, and talking to others about theirs as well. It is perfectly healthy to ask a friend or family member what they are feeling. The more discussion there is on the topic, like any other topic, the more we will understand it and interpret more accurately.


Difference Between Emotions And Behavior

There is a difference between behavior and emotion. Those who have a clear understanding of this are much better able to make decisions and govern their actions.
When I feel angry, if I believe that my emotions and behavior are the same thing, I may act aggressively toward someone, and believe that it was my anger "making me" do it. In reality, I could have chosen to do any number of things that ...were completely different than what I did. I could have even chosen to do nothing at all.

A person in a large pick-up turns in front of me, nearly causing an accident. My emotions include anger at him, and fear because I was nearly in an accident; I could have been hurt or killed. My emotions are valid, of course, and natural, and normal. And then I feel more anger because he did something so ignorantly that could have easily resulted in my being seriously injured, and anyone else in the car, and anyone else on the road. Then I feel yet more anger because he speeds off after he does it like a spoiled brat. Also, this is the third pick-up truck in a week who has cut me off or nearly hit me. So I have a large volume of anger within me. What do I do?
I CHOOSE what to do. Will I yell and give him a gesture? Will I follow him and pull him out of the truck when he stops? Will I stop and sit there in the middle of the road so everyone else has to jack their brakes up and go around me, nearly causing another wreck myself? Will I follow him calmly and discreetly only in order to get his license plate, and then report him to the police? Will I pull over somewhere and let my anger dissipate, and just relax until I feel better, and can go about the rest of my day?
Obviously the last two choices are really the only ones that are rational, logical, and productive. All the others are me making my emotions and ego the rulers of my behavior, and not taking responsibility for myself.

So I follow this pick-up truck driver to get the license plate, right to the hospital, where she parks in front and runs around to the passenger side to carry her child who has apparently broken her leg. Now what do I feel? If I had known why she did what she did (because she wasn't thinking due to overwhelming fear and stress), I still would have felt fear and anger, but not so much anger. Since I didn't know, I assumed, and my imagination built a story that wasn't true. We do that all the time. The fact that she pulled in front of me didn't change. She did pull in front of me, and almost caused an accident. But knowing that she did it from a place of panic over her daughter, and not arrogance, changed MY perception. So the facts of the event did not change, but understanding the real reasons BEHIND the event changed MY feelings about it, and about her. That means my original feelings of anger upon anger were not even based in reality or facts. The FEAR was based on the REAL EVENT, but the anger was based on my assumptions.

If I had made the choice to pull her over, or followed her and screamed obscenities, or made gestures or threats, I would be choosing to act aggressively toward a mother who is trying to get her child to the hospital.

How would I seriously justify my behavior then? Does the whole 'game' change because her reasons for pulling in front of me were for a different reason than I thought?

My behavior, my actions, and my words are still MY CHOICE, no matter the reasons for HER actions. Mine and mine alone. I alone dictate how I treat others, and how I act, speak, and behave. If I treat someone disrespectfully, it's not because they "deserve" disrespect, it's because I CHOSE to treat them that way. If I treat someone with adulation, it's not because they "deserve" to be fawned over by me, it's because I CHOSE to threat them that way. How I act toward others is ALL ME, all the time, except in matters of actual defense against harm; and even then, we can choose how to act. How I behave is ALL ME, whatever I'm doing. If I'm changing my behavior in order to accommodate my emotions, I'm responsible for that, too. 

Like if I didn't want to go to a show that I had committed to because of social anxiety; I am still responsible for all of my actions and behavior. I don't get a "free pass" for standing my friend up; my friend is not obligated or required to just be super-understanding of why I made plans with her and then just didn't show up. Importantly, being stood up may have caused her real pain and sadness. I should have tried to go, and if I absolutely couldn't, I should have called so she could adjust her plans, and then I also should have tried to make it up to her. Either way, I must accept that she might not want to make more plans with me in the future, as she is responsible to and for herself as well.

(Literally ONLY the technically insane are not responsible for their behavior, and therefore should not be walking free in society without constant supervision.)


Share Schoolhouse Rock With Young People!

Remember growing up with Schoolhouse Rock? It helped us learn in a very positive way about things kids really essential subjects. Ever wonder why such an obviously brilliant learning tool was taken off regular programming? Well, kids and young adults who got ripped off don't need to be deprived, we can just let them hear it by playing those shorts regularly so they can love them like we did, and get a deeper understanding of Freedom, Liberty, and Justice, History, Government, English Language, and an appreciation for positive, lighthearted music and the joy it brings! These things we took for granted!