The Walls we build, the Moats We’ve filled…


Defensiveness.  Significant enough of bomb in our lives that John Gottman, relationship guru, labels this communication/relational style as “one of the four horsemen of the (relational) apocalypse.”  It leaves both those engaging in this mechanism and those on the receiving end feeling de-valued and at more than an arms distance from those we care about.  It’s definitely a “good bad habit” to break.

Defensiveness is most often born of a sense of self dislike, self-distrust, and/or self uncertainty.  If we can’t see the positives in ourselves, then how the hell can others?  Yet, the sense (true or not) that we are being rejected or negatively judges by others is painful and scary.  So, we put on the armor and fight.  We fight by denying we make mistakes. We are unbending that we are justified in our “attack mode” because others might (or have) attack us.  We build high walls around our flaws and “imperfections”.  Sometimes, a barrier is a good thing…a necessary thing.  Like it or not, there are people who will hurt us in life.  But isn’t a better remedy to being hurt to let those who can in-in?  Instead, defensiveness keeps everyone out.  And it’s lonely.  And it’s self-fulfilling.

And it doesn’t have to be.

Part 2: “Recipe for defensiveness” coming in next post!




Mental Wealth


Nope, not a ‘typo’. There is so much in our current culture that focuses on physical, monetary wealth. It’s the type of wealth we are most familiar with. Money, bank accounts, cars, clothes, homes are all seen as markers to success. And, if the end-and only-goal is ‘things’…well, I guess “they who die with the most toys, wins”. Wins what, I’m still not sure. But in they end they are only tangible ‘things’. Their value is a derivative of our perspective. ‘Things’ don’t make you happy because, if you aren’t happy, nothing can make you so.

Then, what’s possibly a key to finding your happiness?


I love the home in which I live. it’s a little piece of peace on this planet, for both of us. Many a time we have fielded comments such as “Must be a lot of work”, “Aren’t you afraid of the lake flooding” (been there, done that), “You’re so isolated out here”, and “There’s nothing close to here. Must be annoying to have to drive so far”. And, as it stands, these are all correct statements-to one degree or another. However, what counts is the perspective. If these were viewed as negatives or ‘downers’ in my eyes, the shine would be off the jewel right quick.

Here’s my take on it.

It is a lot of work. Not always fun but always rewarding. Dirty hands, sore muscles, problem solving, and sometimes being dead tired is often a welcome experience. Because it’s fruitful

Flooding lake? Yep. Gone there and bought the t-shirt. And proud of it. We weathered the storm (literally) in 2011 with innovation, determination, teamwork, and some good, gritty muscle. Proved we were tough…tougher than we thought.

Nothing close to here? AKA-solitude.

A lot of stuff is far, including work. It’s not a burden. It’s a bonus. Game planning time for the drive in/decompression time on the drive home. Also, see above AKA.

Gratitude. That’s what gets you to a place where the moment is rich.