Archive for December, 2015

Facebook leads to marriage for couple whose love never died

by David McElroy

Reunited couple

When James got a Facebook message from Wendy in 2013, he didn’t know what to think. More than 20 years after a nasty high school breakup, he was afraid she was still angry with him.

James and Wendy were high school sweethearts in Forest Lake, Minn., a small town about half an hour north of Minneapolis. They fell in love and seemed to have a strong relationship. Then Wendy got pregnant but lost the baby.

While she was in the hospital, a friend told her lies about James — that he was cheating on her and that he had told people she had had a coat-hanger abortion. By the time she got out, the angry young teen wanted nothing to do with James. She wouldn’t listen to his denials.

They graduated from high school together in 1991 and then went their separate ways. They both married other people. James spent years in the military. Wendy had three daughters and ended up in Alabama. By 2013, though, each was alone. That’s when Wendy sent James that Facebook message.

Wendy told him that she would be in Minnesota for a visit and she wanted to see him while she was there. James said he didn’t know what she might want — “Maybe she still wanted to tell me off,” he said — and he turned her down without much of an explanation.

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Missing someone creates incredibly intense physical sensations in heart

by David McElroy

Lonely night walker

It starts out as a vague discomfort. Your brain knows something is wrong in your body and there’s an immediate running monologue in your head.

What’s wrong? I can’t tell what’s wrong.

Maybe your heart beats a little faster. There’s a gnawing in your chest. There’s discomfort in your gut. It’s almost as though there’s something inside you with an urgent voice of its own.

What’s going on? Someone tell me what’s going on.

But you have no answer for the voice. You’re confused. You don’t know what you need. You don’t know what’s wrong. You just feel a growing sense of dread and panic. The sensations in your body are growing more urgent.

What do I need? Am I hungry? I must be hungry. I need something. What do I need?

The feeling of missing someone can create incredibly intense physical sensations in your heart and in your gut. The discomfort usually starts in the gut, but sometimes it starts higher — in the chest around the heart. It all works together, but you’re not even sure what’s going on. You end up guessing.

This is about her, isn’t it? Why am I thinking about her? Was I thinking about her or something else?

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Kind words can make big difference for stressed parents at Christmas

by David McElroy

Stressed mother

As I pulled into a parking place at Walmart Monday evening, I could hear crying and screaming. A woman and her two children were at the van next to me. The youngest child was crying at the top of her lungs. The other child was yelling. The mom was screaming back.

I immediately didn’t like her.

“Get in the car and stop screaming,” she screamed at one child. “No, you’re not getting that. Just get in there and shut up, both of you.”

I sat in my car for a moment, silently judging her for being out of control and screaming at her kids.

As I got out of the car and looked over at the woman, I saw someone who looked exhausted, angry and stressed. She didn’t seem like a bad person. She just seemed like someone who was overwhelmed and snapped at her children because she had reached the end of her rope.

There’s a part of me that has a whole bundle of pre-made judgments for someone in such a situation. Her children are out of control because she hasn’t taught them how to behave. She should know better than to yell at them like that. She should act like the adult. She should be in control.

The list goes on and on.

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Yes, Trump is scary and crazy, but fear the immoral system, not him

by David McElroy

Trump pointing

I’m terrified of what Donald Trump might do as president, but I’m even more terrified of the system that has the power to set him — or anyone else — up as a ruler over me.

As Trump makes statements that are increasingly insane and scary, I see people all over social media posting those words and pointing out how scary they are. Their outrage makes it clear that they’re saying to Trump supporters, “See? Don’t you get it? The man is crazy. Quit supporting him!”

I’m starting to realize that a lot of people can’t accept that a substantial portion of the voting public — a vast majority, I’d argue — are delusional in very serious ways. They believe that if Trump supporters just understand how monstrous his beliefs are — and how insane he is — his support would evaporate.

They’re wrong.

Trump is exactly what a huge percentage of people in this country want. Think about that for a moment.

Millions and millions of people want a “strong man” who will promise to fix all their problems. They want someone who will “stand up” to other governments, threatening those nations, bullying them and bombing other people who don’t bend to his will. They want someone who will protect them from foreigners who scare them. They want someone who will pander to their darkest, ugliest prejudices — because they are too ignorant to know how evil their beliefs are.

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Start over here

When this site launched in 2011, it was intended as a way to find others who were sick of partisan politics and wanted to connect with like-minded people who were ready to go beyond politics and find ways of escaping. It has shifted focus in ways that reflect my own shifting thinking. I’m less interested in politics and more interested in looking at the things that make life worth living, such as love, creation, self-understanding and connecting with others. Every article I have posted since 2011 is still in my archives, but everything I write is a reflection of my current thinking. Sometimes I’m wrong — and that’s fine with me — and I don’t always end up agreeing with what I wrote five years ago. For now, you can still read what I wrote about the site’s purpose in 2011, but I should rewrite this. Read more.

Contact David

David likes email, but can’t reply to every message. I get a surprisingly large number of requests for relationship advice — seriously — but I rarely have the time to respond. (Sorry.) Besides, with my own romantic track record, maybe my advice isn’t worth taking. I’d like to find a wife one of these days, so maybe I should add an “application.”

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