Doug Mayfield - What We Don't Talk About

 

You & Your Relationships

It was 1990. I was sixteen and a junior in high school when I experienced the first tipping point in my life. It had everything to do with the high price and value of relationships.

 

I played basketball for Castle Hills First Baptist and was coached by a man named John Valenzuela. While my belief system at the time was compiled of positive things my parents taught me, it was also filled with a lot of false beliefs. Coach Val, whom I love dearly and will be forever grateful to, did not just bring out the best in me as a player, but he also challenged me to be better in life.

 

Today I recognize that he was trying to teach me and many other young men that our identity is not and should not be about what other men or people think about us. Our identity should not be who we are in our job or what title we have. Our identity should not be in how "phat" our bank account is or how pretty a woman we date or are married to or are in a relationship with. It had to be in something much greater than man, because at the end of the day we can't rely on anyone to bring us happiness here on earth.

 

We are human and will constantly fall short in relationships, no matter how hard we try or how intelligent we are. It is not realistic to rely on others you love in a relationship. Business associates, friends, and intimates are all going to disappoint—some more than others.

 

Relationships, in my experience, shape you in many ways. If you truly think about it, your relationships determine your course, as if you were a ship at sea and your relationships were the captain steering the boat.

 

We must take responsibility for our own happiness in relationships. Taking personal responsibility means not blaming others for our unhappiness. Our happiness depends way more on our faith (belief system) and our attitude than it does on objective, external circumstances.

 

I have to laugh at myself because the relationship that means the most to me today is that with my beautiful wife Amy. We just celebrated eighteen years of marriage on June 14th of this year. That we are still married is a miracle only by the grace of God.

 

Amy’s willingness to find and rely on the good in me along with the great moments versus mentally dwelling and drowning in the pain, lies, and disappointments she has experienced in the years with me has been extremely valuable. However, I believe her tipping point was to believe in something greater than her own abilities to convince or change me. In our house, that something greater is God.

 

We understand this is a tough topic for many out there. We truly get that and are still learning and growing in our faith. We are becoming better parents and spouses as well as better individuals so that we may have something of value to give back to others.

 

We as men must be truth seekers and peace makers, not close minded and peace keepers. Ironically, I do not believe we can be of value to others unless we have a purpose and a philosophy as to why we get out of bed every day. For men like me who have a spouse or a spouse and children, that's where it all begins. One of the greatest, if not the greatest, relationship we have is gifted to those of us who are to fortunate enough to have children. We have a responsibility to foster and build a dynamic relationship with a child as we are paving the way for our future.

 

If you men sit there and think it's not as simple as I make it sound, you’re darn right. It is not easy, but what’s the alternative if we don't? Review some credible statistics at:

http://fallenfathers.blogspot.com/2007/03/children-without-fathers-statistics.html.

 

Now if this doesn't wake us up as men who have children in the house, then we are in big trouble as a country. Truth be told, we already are, so we must take action and become better, my fellow men and fathers of San Antonio.

 

It's not about us when we are engaged in a relationship. That's what so many miss, and it's what I missed with my wife for many years. I always told myself the lie: “She’s just too hard on me; she should know how much I love her and appreciate her.” But men, that’s not good enough.

 

Relationships take work, which means we have to pause each day and spend time and thoughtful energy to develop the trust of those we love. Then we need to find ways every moment we can to love on those relationships, to look them in the eye and tell them how much they mean to us. Be honest; don't be afraid to just say, “I love you, and I can do better because you deserve a better me.”

 

Remember what we were taught as kids: there is no I in team. A relationship is a two-person team with goals and a vision for where they are going and what that team is going to accomplish. We cannot leave our relationships to chance and luck and hope it works, my fellow man.

 

My purpose each day I wake up now is my amazing wife and the three precious gems the good Lord blessed me with—Andrew, Will and Grace.  It's also my belief that if I wake up each day with an attitude of gratitude then I have a great chance of getting out of my own way and making a contribution to my wife, family, business partners, friends, and the stranger I meet for the first time. And, of course, without my faith to navigate my boat each day I live, none of this is possible.

 

John C. Maxwell said it best:

 

“I believe there are two ingredients necessary to make every day a masterpiece: decisions and discipline.  …

 

Good decisions – Daily Discipline = A Plan without a Payoff

 

Daily Discipline – Good Decisions = Regimentation without Reward

 

Good Decisions + Daily Discipline = A Masterpiece of Potential.”

 

 

 

-Doug Mayfield

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