image11Every problem you’ve ever had has a root cause. The root cause is the number one contributor to the effects you are experiencing. Yet, so often the negative things we are trying to escape come from a cause we have yet to discover. We don’t find the true cause because it’s hidden from view and for that reason continues to control our lives. So we need to become serious about locating the cause to live the happy life we have imagined.

Your heart, the innermost part of your mind, is where your beliefs reside. Your beliefs, positive or negative, produce the circumstances and effects in your life. This is why God’s Word says, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it come the issues of your life!” Your issues are your results. And if you’re like most people, you’ve got issues (smile)! Your heart, contrary to public opinion, is simply made up of your most predominant thoughts. Change your thoughts, change your heart, change your life. Can you see the futility involved with waiting for circumstance to change before you change your thoughts? You are producing an effect internally then waiting for an external event to change it.

Your heart, in addition to being the innermost part of your mind, is very sensitive. It can be damaged quite easily. When it gets damaged, the human reaction is to build a wall around it. You build a wall because you are trying to protect yourself. You have pain and you want the pain to stop. I get it. But, ironically, building a wall around it produces just the opposite effect to what you are seeking. That sensitivity is where true life is found. A sensitive heart is not a weak thing, it is a great treasure. A sensitive heart is able to feel even the most minute change and is thus able to accurately discern truth from error. A sensitive heart is God’s domain and where His abounding love can be found.

When you get caught up in error and wrong it has a deleterious effect on your heart. The most grand illusion ever played on mankind is the secret, surreptitious effect that wrong has on your heart. The adversary knows this very well and as such seeks to get you and I over into left field where the hidden damage can occur! Sometimes things that feel good can end up not feeling so good, if you know what I mean. Error, at its base, hardens your heart. You don’t feel it like you don’t know a thief has robbed you until it is too late. And to add insult to injury, in your hardened state you have less and less opportunity to recognize that something has gone wrong. You can tell that your heart has been hardened by how you feel about life. You’ll have less happiness, less fulfillment in the joy of living. Things won’t seem to matter anymore and your existence will become increasingly cloudy. How many people do you know that live this way? Maybe you have been living this way! You just cannot seem to find any love, any joy anymore. That is the tell-tale sign of a hardened heart. You didn’t start that way and you sure as hell don’t have to stay that way!

Fear is perhaps the number one source of error that causes your heart to become callous. Fear is painful and as such again, you want your pain to go away. So, you opt for numb over pain much like taking a percocet. In your numb haze you don’t feel any pain, but you don’t feel anything else either. And a life minus feelings is not a life. Hurt people tend to hurt other people and so the cycle continues. We need to get back to a sensitive heart, like the one we had when we were children. No wonder Jesus taught to believe with the heart of a child!

In order to successfully get back to a sensitive heart, you’re going to need God’s help. God looks on your heart and knows your heart. God sees what you and I cannot see! God knows exactly what ‘loony tunes’ thoughts you have been entertaining and how to repair the damage. There are things that God exhorts us not to do, not because He seeks to control our lives, but because He understands the negative effects on our hearts and lives. In love, He tells us to get rid of anger; to eliminate fear; to not allow bitterness to take root in our lives. He instructs us to be kind, loving and tender-hearted. Kindness, love and tenderheartedness start first in our thought lives before they are played out in our reality. So, in order to find your healing, you need to open your heart. Open your heart to God in complete, unabashed honesty. I can assure you that God isn’t freaked out by the insane things you’ve done because He sees through your sin and error for what it really is; a heart that’s been misguided and damaged and hurt. He will help you and heal you, with the only requirement being a willingness on your part. Open your heart!

You know deep down in your heart that you want to share your love and goodness with other people. You long to show them the real you without reservation or fear. You know there is a way you want to live and have been aching to live that way for many years. So make the decision to live that way! Get rid of your fear of rejection and ridicule and let your true heart out. Be sensitive and warm. Be honest with yourself and with others. Love in your words and in your deeds. Love even the unloveable knowing that the unloveable are only so because their hearts have been hardened. Be a beacon of light in a dark world full of many, many broken hearts.

The root cause of your misery is your hardened heart. Make the decision to have a tender heart for from it proceeds all of the issues of your life. A tender heart can only issue in happiness for which the whole world seeks ardently. You want your life to change? Soften your heart and see for yourself if this life is not worth the living!

Feel again the goodness for it is literally all around you…

Just some good thoughts…

 


bc26eadfb2bd120634d391866cf270fbHey you, you got a problem? Yeah man, I got a few problems and I’m not sure how to solve them! Maybe not the response you’d expect when the aforementioned question is usually posed in a moment of bravado. But, if you’re honest, you know you’ve got a few and they are dragging you down! By definition a problem becomes a problem because you don’t know how to solve it. Sure, you’ve given it a lot of thought. Yes, you’ve tried to overcome it but you are just stuck and you know it. So, let me shed some light on how to solve your problems because you need to solve them!

Let me start by saying I’m just like you. Yeah I love God and yes I’m connected to the Source of all goodness. But, like you I get caught up in my own issues. Some I’ve had for years. Some I invent to ruin a day. Some just go beyond my ability to figure them out. Some days I’m living in a peaceful nirvana and other days I’m wandering in the desert. It’s just how life is and to think otherwise is just foolish. We all have our very own personal antagonist whose job it is to drive us “nucking futs!” None of us enjoy it and all of us wish it would just stop. But sadly, it won’t stop until we learn to overcome it! God never promised life would be annoyance free. He promised that we would always have “the answer” we needed to overcome the challenge. Now there’s a day coming when those challenges will be forever gone, but that day aint today!

Our annoyances and problems come in many forms. Some are temporal like my foot hurts and I wanted to run today. Others are more long-standing and are going to require some humility on our part to overcome. Imagine that something is hurting in your body (like my foot). While the pain is going on, you can be assured the pain issue is going to be in the forefront of your thinking. That’s why you have the pain. You are being skillfully alerted to an issue that needs to be remedied. But, what about your more longstanding dramas? The ones that make you ponder, why do I always do…such and such, when I already know I hate it? The famous Apostle Paul said it best. To paraphrase he (actually God) said, “The things I know I should do, I don’t do and the things I hate, those I constantly do!” What a conundrum, huh?

You probably aren’t aware of it but all of us believer types have something called an old man nature. He’s best characterized by one prevailing attitude, namely, “You can’t tell me shit!” LOL forgive me. Said in more polite terms, “I think I already know the answers!” The great difference between the know it all you and the happy-go-lucky 8-year-old (my grandson Braylon) is that he knows he doesn’t already know and wants to learn and you already know and are thus closed off to learning. Everyone’s problem, everywhere, can be summed up in that simple statement. There is a solution to EVERY dilemma you have ever found yourself in, but you have to become humble with the heart of a child to get your answer!  Yes, you need to read that again! I’m not sure how we got so damn smart, but trust me, we aren’t very smart at all.

God, the originator of life, knows the solution to every stupid thing that ever dragged you down. He knows why your foot hurts; why your heart hurts and why you aren’t happy. He sees through all of the malarkey and disguises. He also suffers while His precious children suffer, trudging down the same roads with the same predictable outcomes. But, in order to rescue you from yourself, He needs some cooperation on your part. He needs you to humble yourself. Not humble in the religious sense whereby you whip yourself into supposed submission. Humble in the true sense where you finally admit you do not know! Those little admissions go a long way in getting to you to the mountain tops!

The starting point in overcoming your problems is to get to the light! Not get to the answer, but get to the light. Turn a light on so you can finally see something. What does God say about your situation? What does God’s Word say about how you have been thinking? Life is spiritual and often the source of your problem is something you’ve never even considered. You just don’t see the connection. So, you have to shut the old guy up and think something different. Now don’t you get all puffy and tell me you have to exercise more discipline! Are 8 year old’s disciplined? The solution isn’t more crap you have to do to somehow measure up to God’s solutions. The solution is in opening your weary heart to something bigger and smarter than yourself! Your answer will be found in your humility.

Moses was the most meek guy on the planet and God spoke to him face to face like a man speaks to his friend. Trust me, that is something that you want! God cares about every aspect of your life. From insomnia to foot pain to heartfelt fulfillment, He cares and has your answer. Your job isn’t to find a way to limp along. Your job is to get to the solution so you can be whole in every aspect of your being. In that abiding wholeness you will have found God and there’s nothing better than that!

Do you find yourself overwhelmed lately? Is life starting to get you down? Are you struggling to muster up a smile on your face? Well, something has gone wrong folks and you need to find the answers. Don’t numb yourself with too many drinks or the television or whatever else gives you a reprieve from thinking. Instead humble yourself like the heart of a child. Admit you don’t know and that you are struggling. You may be adept at lying to other people, but don’t lie to yourself (or worse, to God). Complain to the management people because the ultimate Manager knows the solutions!

Hey you, you got a problem? Well, yes actually I do, but God has got my solution?

Just some good thoughts…

 


Romans-12-2-Renew-Your-Mind“RENEW YOUR MIND, BOY!” That’s what I used to yell at my boys when they were growing up, during those times when their head’s were in outer space. In hindsight, what I really meant was that they needed to change their minds. I usually said it (or yelled it) when they had allowed their thoughts to become negative with the goal of getting their minds back into a positive space. Of course screaming a phrase at them in anger was highly contradictory, but my intentions were good! (smile)

So the question is, what does it mean to renew your mind and why should anyone do it? Well, in case you haven’t noticed, the world is a negative place. Bad stuff not only happens to good people, it happens to all people. But, what you may not realize is that conforming to the negativity only serves to encourage the process. People get all caught up in the negativity and eventually become trapped in a cycle that can only produce more misery and bad feelings. They think they feel angry and frustrated and depressed because of the circumstances and events that surround them and completely miss the connection between where their head is at and what is happening to them. They are caught in a trap of their own making and the only solution is to change their thoughts. (Do I have to yell it?)

Look, we have all had to deal with stupid shit at times. (Cuss word supplied for emphasis!) People don’t behave the way we think they should behave. Maybe your frustrated with your boss or your brother. Perhaps it’s your present circumstances or difficulties. It could be your lack of resources or opportunities. But no matter what it is, the only thing in this life that you can control is you! Oh you can live under the illusion that you can control other people, but you can’t! All you are going to end up with is a bunch of frustration and bitterness! And, do you really think you can impact your present negative circumstances by staying negative? Oh you are just keeping it real? The only “real” part of it is your personal adversary working you over to keep you stuck in the land of difficulty! You don’t have enough money or education to get what you want out of life? The problem isn’t the money or your lack of education. The problem is your negative head-space, closing your eyes to the opportunities that are all around you!

People spend their whole lives bitching and complaining, quarreling and fighting. What a colossal waste of your time and your life! Who do you know that ever bitched themselves into a good situation? In fact, whose behavior actually changed because someone was constantly complaining about it? No-one’s, not never! Staying frustrated, upset and agitated simply strengthens the enemy’s hold on your life. You only beat that old bird when you stop playing his game; fighting his fight! There is a better way…

When something bad or negative happens to you, you have to immediately seek your way out of it. That doesn’t mean you ignore the negative event. Instead you acknowledge the negative event, but refuse to stay there mesmerized by what just happened. Most people not only suffer a negative event, but also rehearse the story a thousand times to their friends and family. “You won’t believe what he said to me!” “Man, let me tell you what happened to me at work today!” All of that rehearsing and story telling is just paying ongoing homage to the one behind your problems! You’re never going to get out of the darkness that way. Instead you just become inculcated in the drama.

The simple solution for when you find yourself in the darkness (and all negativity and difficulty is darkness) is to turn on the light! Glorifying the darkness and reiterating the darkness and planning some darkness as revenge, is just fighting darkness with darkness, hoping some light will show up. Remember, you can only control you and your reactions. So, you have to “renew your mind, boy” and change your thinking to the light.

The light consists of love and forgiveness, kindness and compassion. Love stops keeping score of the wrongs done and decides to love anyway. Love stands above all of the pointless drama because love sees through the confusion. In the broad light of day, you can see exactly what is going on. In the darkness, you’ll be pricked repeatedly by an opponent you cannot discern. Turn on the light!

In life, you are going to have to overcome some difficulties. You will be persecuted and irritated and annoyed. You will be challenged on what you believe and at times wrongfully injured. But, you still have an opportunity to win, that is if you learn to fight properly with the light. The only thing that defeats the adversary; your personal adversary, is the light of God’s Word. The sooner you get your mind lined up with it, the more quickly your personal dramas end and you can get back to pursuing your blessed life. Or you can sit there puffed up, just keeping it real, stewing in your own personal “doo-doo” a lifetime! The choice is yours. The choice has always been yours!

Escaping the negativity is not only necessary in this life, it is your right! God has not left you without recourse. But, if you’re going to overcome, you have to do it God’s way. Getting supremely pissed off and swearing and cursing and fighting may make you feel better for the moment, but like all hidden poisons, is just going to make you sick in the end. Love knows a far better way and in the end you get a peaceful, blessed life…

RENEW YOUR MIND, BOY! It is the only way…

Just some good thoughts…


Evolution+Love1How absurd it is to think that man is on the earth as the last stop on the evolutionary chain! Do you really believe that you are simply an offshoot from a gorilla, with less hair and the ability to process? With all of our intellectual ability, sometimes we aint so smart! Not only do you have the ability to think, but more importantly you have the profound capacity to feel. Dogs are affectionate, but you get the privilege to love. Love is the greatest thing in the world and without it life would screech to a halt. So, I ask you, where’s the love, man?

Love isn’t something that happens to you, love is something that you choose to do. It always amuses me when people act as if love just happens to your heart, because, you know, the heart knows… Your heart is you, you silly rabbit. When the conditions are all lined up, you choose to do it. So, what should you do when the conditions don’t line up? You should love anyway. I don’t have to tell you how wonderful  life becomes when love is involved, right? Well, imagine choosing that experience at all times.

I can remember sitting through a class called, Power for Abundant Living. PFAL, the initials of the class, gained a permanent place in the form of a tattoo on my left forearm. That’s how life-changing the class was for me. Above everything else, the class taught me about God’s love and incredibly for maybe the first time, I learned to love myself. Even more incredulously, I learned that I had to love myself before I could love other people. But, here’s where it gets tricky. Loving other people wasn’t something that just happened to me because I felt a certain way. Love was something I had to choose to do, just like I chose to do with myself. And because I was so filled with God’s love (which is synonymous with being filled with His Word), I did it like it was my job! I chose to be kind, tender-hearted and forgiving. I chose to build people up rather than tear them down! I was on the high road baby and everything started working out.

As the years rolled on however, I sort of forgot the most important part of my former success. Oh I still knew God’s Word, but I forgot the love part. God’s Word without the love part is still true, but became hollow and empty in terms of my personal happiness. I had become religious. I did all of the behaviors minus the love. And when I reflect back on those empty years, I realize that instead of choosing to love, I was waiting to feel the love. And I waited for a long time… While you are waiting to feel the love (something the whole world participates in), life becomes all about you. Love is never all about you. God so loved that He gave, right? Well, I think God knows a thing or two about love. God is love.

You can choose to love at any moment in life. What does love look like? Easy, just think of someone you know who loves you. Well, what do they do with you? Do that! Love is interested in the object of its affection. Love notices and responds to what it sees. Love seeks the other’s happiness and not its own, but always receives its own because you receive back what you give out. The more you choose to love, the more love you will receive. When you are choosing love, you are living where God lives. And within that wonderful, tender haven, you never have to fret and worry about getting your needs met because your needs start getting met before you even have to ask. Love is life on steroids.

So many, many people are wandering the earth desperately seeking that elusive love when it is already in their heart waiting for the opportunity to come out. I don’t care what your background is or how difficult your life has become, love is there waiting for you to choose.  Choose love. But, and you can trust me on this one, do not wait for the feeling unless you have a lot of years to burn. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision; a decision that produces a wonderful feeling. How crazy is it that the thing you seek so ardently, you already have. It’s not the absence of love that has been screwing your life up, it’s the absence of giving what you already have that’s been doing it to you!

If you want love (and who doesn’t?), you have to give it. Build, build, build. Bless, bless, bless. Stop being afraid and open your heart. We’ve all suffered while experiencing life to some extent because of the darkness that has prevailed at times. We’ve all gotten hardened and calloused. We’ve all been jaded, sadly increasing with age. But that wall you’ve constructed around your heart isn’t protecting you at all. Instead it’s preventing you from the experience called life that God intended for you. Yes it’s scary. Yes, people will still run roughshod on it, but open your heart anyway. The rewards of love not only heal every hurt, but they offer the promise of a fantastic life; true power for abundant living!

Don’t you dare wait for tomorrow to try it out. Do it right now! Give it to the person you see in this very moment. Shower it on your wife or your husband. It doesn’t matter if they don’t deserve it. You deserve it. Damn it man; doggone it woman, you deserve it! Pour it on your children and your grandchildren. Lavish it on your friends. Heap it on your co-workers. Overflow it on your boss. Love, love, love like your life and happiness depends upon it because it really does.

You are not an intellectual gorilla that manscapes, you are a wonderful human being with a heart. Open it! You are the top of the food chain not because you evolved over millions of years but because you have a heart of love from a God of love. Choose love! Give love! Open your heart…

Just some good “love” thoughts…

 

 


qa_boredIt’s time for some interesting self-reflection. Are you ready for it? If you answered yes to the question, even secretly, then you are in the right place. If you answered no, that’s cool, but you are reading this for a reason and, it might not be what you think…

I’d guess that most people equate boredom with a lack of activity. You know like, you’ve got nothing to do, so you’re bored. Yet, have you ever been on a beach vacation? Beach vacays are full of nothing to do; serious lounging and maybe a choice, generally smuggled in, beverage. (Why in the hell are beaches and pools alcohol prohibited when 90% of the attendees smuggle it in? – I digress)

Before I wax philosophical on you, I decided to look up “bored” in the dictionary. Yes, it certainly includes a lack of activity or tedious events, but it has a component that deserves further inspection. It closely ties in with feelings of fatigue, weariness and a lack of enthusiasm. Who knew, right? (Well, you knew…)

There’s an interesting phenomenon that’s taking place in your mind, day by day. The phenomenon is called thinking. You are always thinking about stuff, even when you’re meditating because then you are thinking about meditating (smile). Your mind is engaged in almost non-stop chatter, from you to you! No, it’s not the Universal “I AM” communicating with you, that’s called revelation and the topic of another blog. It’s you telling you stuff about what is going on with you right now. Often it’s you instructing you on how you oughta be and chastising you for not being who you said you should be. Weird huh? Frequently it’s you warning you about some potentially pending danger coming your way, usually referred to as worrying. That’s not to mention the incessant analysis and evaluation that besieges you, because, well, you know, you, the adult, knows stuff! There’s the critical you, thinking critical thoughts about others who are not you and even though they are not you and you don’t really know them, you know they are not you and therefore cannot be okay. You, you, you and damn it, it’s exhausting to say the least! Now, go back to that definition…

Some would argue that you feel bored because you’re lacking enthusiasm for life. I would say that you feel bored because you are just plain ol’ worn out. You’ve entertained so much stupid stuff by the end of the day that you’ve got nothing left. Your energy bank is on “E.” Dale Carnegie used to say that hard work doesn’t wear a man out, but fear and worry are what fatigues him. In these frenetic times of media overload and wrestling with well planned and distracting issues (i.e. which bathroom people should use or political absurdities or Caitlyn) our minds are taking a hit. Everywhere you look and everything you read is pregnant with loaded messages, causing that chatter machine to take off. It’s all run, run, run, get it done, work harder, be rich by age 30, get the house, the car, the model, write a book, run. Educate your kids, pay for private school, get them in dance and sports and gymnastics and soccer. Make them the best, the fastest, the strongest, the most socially acceptable. Go, go, go, win, win, win, be the best, excel, dominate! And, while you chase it all, take your blood pressure meds, your anxiety meds, get your fiber, your vitamins, eat less red meat and for God’s sake wear your helmet!  Then, sadly, at the end of the day, fatigue, weariness and exhaustion! Who told you that is life? The messages did via your own thoughts!

Can you imagine how you might feel if you had some battery acid for breakfast, kerosene for lunch and Limeaway for dinner? I’m guessing you would be thinking you needed to eat better. Yet, when it comes to your thoughts and what you are feeding your mind, it goes unnoticed. Takeaway: You have to start noticing!

Boredom might be the polar opposite of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is chock full of energy and excitement. It’s not something based solely on the external environment, but more based on what you choose to think. I’m not talking about that overworked phrase, “be positive” which people usually associate with foolishness such as saying your leg isn’t broken when it is. Enthusiasm’s word origin is “en-theos” and naturally God is involved. But taking it a step further, I’m talking about choosing to think and consider what God says is true versus the deluge of messages you get throughout a day. Whoever said you couldn’t get what you want and need in life? You did, albeit influenced, but alas, still you telling you. Who told you there was no point in __________? You did. Who convinced you that your life was so bad? You did. Who persists in chastising you and criticizing you and shaming you? You do, that’s who. All of the aforementioned stand in absolute contradiction to God’s Word. Did you know that?

The problem with feeling bored about life is that by the time it happens, it has already happened. You got worked over and over and over and your fruit got stale. If you weed-whack the bark of that fruit tree long enough, it’s going to stop putting out! You can tell if this is you if you stopped putting out (doing stuff you dirty minds-smile). When did you give up on the pursuit of your personal happiness? How did your definition of the good life become an electronic illusion you saw in HD?

The solution to boredom is simple, but not quick or easy. You have to take charge of you, namely by making your mind your friend and then making it think what you want it to think. This isn’t delusion. Delusion is spending time thinking how gross Caitlyn is going to look naked in that magazine! (LOL) Instead, this is called controlling your thinking. You can do it if you really want to and indeed you must, if you want to be enthusiastic and happy and blessed. God is never going to take away your boredom, but if you cooperate with Him, He will show you exactly where your thinking went (and goes)south. He will help you learn what is really true, remind you of it and love you back into loving yourself again…

Life is way too precious and way to short to live it bored out of your gourd! Grab and tame that unwieldy beast called your mind and see how quickly that dreaded boredom and lack of energy become a thing of the past! Oh and unplug for a minute, for God’s sake, to catch your breath.

Just some good, good thoughts…

 


13087680_10209327672770705_3701642277193729662_nWell, I completed another trip around the sun and came out relatively unscathed. Along the way, as always, I learned a few things about this game of life. I guess I shouldn’t say “game” as the outcomes can sometimes be disastrous. Maybe I’ll say “contest” because to win you have to compete and be serious about it. However, you can’t get too serious and really that’s what this blog is all about…

If I’ve learned anything this past year it’s that life is all about balance. Finding that balance is the sweet spot you’ve been pursuing. The balance I’m talking about isn’t an equality of events like equal time working and equal time playing. It’s more like seeking to get better while appreciating how far you have come. It’s control but not with too tight a grip. It’s following the rules, questioning the rules and sometimes not following the rules. It has ups and downs; times for striving and times for letting things be. It’s a sweet, delicate balance that you can and should figure out. Figure it out!

Whenever and wherever you are engaged in an activity that falls into the “too much” category, there will always be something behind it. Whether it be pleasurable or fear based, too much of anything always has something behind it that you may not be aware of, yet. Too much work with all of its promised financial reward takes a toll on things of far greater value. Too much fun, too much liquor, too many women (or men) all have a penalty and some pain. Defining what is too much is where the fun (and the contest) begins. It’s not complicated and you already know the answer, but maybe you’ve been avoiding it for some time now. Don’t avoid it!

I learned that if you’ll take the time to ask the questions, you’ll usually get the answer. Our job is never to know all the answers, but rather to take the time to ask the questions. Never fall for the catch-all, cop-out that life is a mystery or life is unfair. Life becomes very clear when you ask the right questions, to the right Source. Life is not so much unfair as unknown and again your job is learn, then know. How much time have you and I wasted wallowing around in the bog, perplexed and confused, killing ourselves trying to figure things out? And usually, if we’re honest, we didn’t find our solutions from endless worry, but generally a short time after we finally let it go. Let stuff go!

Relationships comprise a large, if not the largest, part of our existence. We spend so much effort determining how the other person should be and only a quarter of that time figuring out how we should be. If we’re single we search for the perfect mate yet dismiss our own imperfection. We look for and focus on flaws, shortcomings and differences, never considering that our differences are necessary, and that our flaws and shortcomings require another’s assistance. My insatiable desire for fun is mitigated by my wife’s sense of responsibility and her persistent accountability is offset by my pressure to break out of the norm. It’s balance that endures not the high peaks of total agreement and desire. It’s the friction that smooths the path, where two hearts learn to work together. As my good friend Mark Wallace once said, “Marriage isn’t two lives molding into one life, it’s two separate lives working together as one.”  You’re not supposed to be the other person and they’re not supposed to be you. Remember that and you’ll find the elixir to all of your relationships. Just do you!

I’ve learned how to be good and how not to be so “good.” Good is such a subjective term and is loaded with hidden requirements. It’s not being “bad” to eat chocolate cake, no matter how much you weigh. Nor is it good to exercise until your knees ache. It’s not bad to sleep in nor is it always good to get up early. It’s a balance. Trying to be good to please God is a plan destined to fail. How good can your good be? Does your being good exact such a toll on you that you end up hating yourself and other people? Do your requirements for being good exhaust you? Have you become so good that no-one can stand being around you? Remember when your Mom told you to be a good boy? Did it help you or did it teach you to be deceptive? You see, this whole being “good” thing is like cancer that eats away at you until you die. It’s far more productive to recognize that you’re not always good and just accept it for what it is. A diet doesn’t work because you always do it right, it works when you consistently get yourself back on track. Quit abusing yourself and get back on track!

Traveling around the sun for another year taught me many lessons. But, by far the greatest lesson is in learning to find the balance. Life is all about responsibility and having fun; discipline and letting loose; adhering to the rules and willfully breaking them. It centers on relationships that involve people very different from yourself. Life is a process, a journey and requires that you continue to grow despite the adverse conditions. It’s about figuring out how to love and accept yourself for your good and your bad, no matter how good or bad you are.

I’m looking forward to another rotation around the sun and learning to figure out this thing called ‘getting older…’

Just some good thoughts…

 


door-closed-w-little-boy1There are so many people living today who aren’t really living anymore. Sure, they wake up in the morning just like we do. They shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and go to work. When you see them at work they look just like everyone else. They pause at lunchtime for a sandwich and nothing seems amiss. After work they make their commute home and once at home they change clothes, eat a little dinner and hit the couch for a night of mindless television. It’s just a typical day in the midst of a typical life. Nothing is particularly wrong but nothing is particularly right either. The fire on the inside still burns, but hasn’t been ablaze for years. The lights are on, someone is home, but there’s precious few reasons to open the door. Something went wrong, but not anything you could put your finger on. Slowly, imperceptibly something closed all of the doors and now it seems there’s no way out.

Here’s a thought. When was the last time you woke up excited for the day and what it might bring? Can you remember when you last had solid objectives; not vague, ill-defined goals, but a real plan for your future? How about when you last felt the energy of your convictions and looked forward to making a difference in the world? If those things have become strangers in your house, you’ve been stolen from and I bet you don’t even know it. No-one knows it because if they did they would be on the look-out. The trouble never just shows up one day, it happens over time; lots of time and finally reveals itself in lost hopes and broken dreams.

I’d be the first to promote living in the moment and not wasting time in the past or the future, but have you ever thought how both rob the life you live right now? Despite your lingering bad feelings, the past is already passed, but fear of the future stops your movement today. Fear pulls down the shades one window at a time until the whole house is dark. Once it gets dark enough, it starts locking all the doors. Your options narrow, your energy slows, your pace grinds to a standstill. Your interests dwindle, your motivation wanes, your desire fades. You wonder what’s the matter with you. You can’t pinpoint the cause because it happened long ago. All you know is that you don’t feel like doing anything but settling in for a long dull ride.

Fear is at the root and eliminating it is your only option. You have to figure out what you are so afraid of. It shows itself in a million disguises but it only has one purpose; to stop you and your life in its tracks. Life is fluid and full of movement and activity and change and growth! You can spy fear out when you become settled and stationary, static and the same, day after day after day. You’ve stopped progressing and instead of staying the same, you are digressing, albeit very slowly. The things you used to do when your future was free no longer make sense because your future is no longer free. It’s like traveling down the freeway of life and noticing way up in the distance that the road is closed. There’s just no point in driving then. Have you stopped driving?

So, I ask you again. What are you so afraid of? Is it that you won’t be successful? Is it not having enough money? Is it not making a difference in the world? Is it mediocrity? Is it some looming disease or sickness that will cut your life short? Is it being found out as a charlatan? Is it in not reaching your dreams? Is it too late for you? Is it the loss of a good job or maybe not getting a good job? Are you not smart enough, strong enough, liked enough? Are you too fat, too thin, not pretty enough? Are you too old, too young, too inexperienced? You see, all those stupid things are fear; fear talking you into to being something less than what you really are; less than you know you can be! And every one of those fears takes you away from the things you really want. At best they serve simply to stifle your movement, guaranteeing you won’t actually get anywhere. To get anything in life you have to move towards it. I’ll say it again! To get anything you want in life you have to move towards it! Fear has got you on the couch…

It’s time for you to start living again! It’s time for you to wake excited for the day because the day is filled with unlimited possibilities if you’re looking for them. It’s time to make real plans, extravagant plans to be someone incredible, not just successful. It’s time to stop making excuses and procrastinating and get out there and make something happen. It’s time to give the TV a break for a minute and make productive use of your time. It’s time to look your fear in the eye and do something about it! You didn’t start life with that fear and you don’t have to live with it now!

Once you figure out how to get rid of your fear, you’ll see all of your doors opening again; swinging wide open with latent possibility!

Just some good thoughts…

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