RED FLAG DOWN –
My discipline is my joy & pain, both
I have to attribute my level of discipline to the Marine Corps.. it was October/years ago, at age 17 when I left Brooklyn New York’s Fort Hamilton for Parris Island.
You take a plane and you take a bus and it is the wee hours of the morning when you enter that island.
I remember hearing stories about the swamps that you see on that long road and how people have lost their lives trying to escape. And now that I’m older I suppose that such stories were more so about keeping the most frightened individuals from being paranoid and jumping the gun before those Drill Instructors had an opportunity to groom you.
But I got off that bus at one or 2 or 3 in the morning just like the others and I endured the yelling, and the screening and the hurricane of orders and instructions and directives that kept us (The fresh meat) in check and in line for what was about to happen in our lives.
So many details of my experience in the Marine Corps is shared in the book I wrote called Bumrush, however the biggest blessing that I took away from the military was not an honorable Discharge; it was my earnest amount of learned/acquired discipline.
Family I am jaded with discipline. Discipline is my plus and my minus. Discipline will have me waiting patiently on one hand, and on the other it will have me marching forward like a juggernaut with reckless abandon until I achieve the goal before me. Discipline will have me shut you down if you say you gonna do something/make a commitment, and you don’t. Another +plus is where my discipline will not permit me to fall for the okey-doke, or the smoke and mirrors, or the bullshit. You call them deal-breakers, those things that keep you from the things that you don’t want in your life. My level of discipline gives me insight so that I could smell and sense and feel those things that I don’t want around me and which I don’t need in my life. Sometimes I make the call quick and wont give you a chance to adjust. Bad, right? No SAFE!
Discipline can help me keep my hands out of the cookie jar when I know that I don’t have time for cookies, or that those cookies (in any excessive way) are not good for me.
Discipline keeps me from obsessing, but it also keeps me obsessing (if you understand me) where I will stay focused and interested and determined to achieve a certain goal.
Discipline keeps me in that gym on a daily basis. Discipline keeps me writing daily to the point that I have written dozens of books and hundreds of essays and countless perspectives that you all read from time to time.
This discipline however, also serves as an albatross and rarely permits for human error. Thats a sad part of this value, that I will not stand for the so-called businessman who makes a promise to me and cannot keep it; can’t keep an a or a commitment. Can’t even make a phone call to change the time or date; just effing reckless when it comes to time management and someone else’s time and schedule. When I encounter a person like that and those red flags show themselves, I shut that nigga down. Because I know that those are indicators of what he would do in larger circumstances or with me already mixed up and be involved in his hot mess. So, it’s like Mya Angelou says “when someone tells you about themselves, believe them!”
Same thing with love interests! A partner’s digression or her lack of faith, or her faulty decision-making can send me into a frenzy and I shut it down. Okay so I’m jaded. And I suppose I am at fault where it relates to the 80/20 rule.
Because just as you women have to decide to deal with and except the 20% (the negatives) in a man in order to receive and realize his 80%? I too have got to realize that women are not 100%.
I too have got to take a pass in some instances so that I can receive the wealth of a woman. That 80%. Sure, there are certain things that I just will not stand for.
If we’re MARRIED FOR 14 YEARS??? Supposedly faithful and raising kids, and I leave for work at six in the morning and return to the house because I forgot something some 15 minutes later, and there is a stranger in my house… That would be a deal-breaker. If you are in your 30s, and you do not know how to show up for a date smelling fresh and clean as opposed to having just played a game of basketball, that is a dealbreaker. In my mind, you had over 30 years to learn proper hygiene. And if you don’t know it at this point I doubt it gets any better moving forward. if the wife of a so called friend shows me phone bills with weeks of phone calls that you had with her husband/morning after morning/for hours at a time, something is amiss and I have got to see that as a deal-breaker. Finally, if we are working on a relationship and we are yoked in so many ways, but you cannot manage to stay in touch on a daily basis or even on an every other day basis, something is amiss. We are not on the same page. And no, there is no commitment in the air.
Yes, it is easy for me to spotlight and pinpoint and bring attention to the negatives that I see, but I cannot ignore the fact that the number of you who I have loved have had some tremendous values that attracted me and which embraced me and that I sincerely loved.
I look at couples who argue and love one another, and argue and fight and argue and leave one another and return and love again, and I see confusion. I see loss and pain and lack of growth in those situations. And I just don’t have time for that whole alleged “work in progress.”
i’m not saying I need perfect, but I am saying that I need consistence and I need purpose and, yes, I need to maintain the discipline. Discipline protects me and it comforts me, it secures and insures my well-being. If only I can identify, love and support a soulmate who can embrace, be comfortable inside of discipline, without a whole lot of “training” required, i’d be winning. #relentless