Why Am I Struggling?

There are times in your life in which you just don’t feel right. And if you are like most humans it drives you nuts. It encompasses you. It engulfs you. You find yourself drowning in it. In response to it you do what you’ve been taught to do. You analyze it and you analyze it and you analyze it some more. You think about it all day and you can’t find an answer of peace though you’ve searched your mind from pillar to post. The more you seek the solution the worse you feel. Instead you discover more bad feelings and more logical causes for your dilemma. You just cannot seem to get there no matter how hard you try. Yet, you dutifully persist, confused and dismayed tunneling further and further underground. The deeper you go the darker it gets and you find no relief. Eventually you have to ask yourself in your futility, “Am I doing something wrong? Is there something else I do not know? Is there a solution to my private nightmare?” The good news is yes my friend, you are doing something wrong.

Life in its basic essence is spiritual. There are spiritual causes for the things that plague you. However, spiritual problems cannot be discerned by your five senses reasoning. Accordingly, you are NEVER going to find your answers by searching the senses realm, though you search diligently night and day forever. Instead all you will find is heartache and loss. All you will discover is more darkness; more obscurity; more things that serve to cloud your mind and render you helpless, hopeless, lost… Darkness works most effectively by garnering your consideration. It presents an inscrutable form of bait designed to appeal to your human reasoning. And evil knows it can easily defeat your human reasoning. Oh yes, it is evil! It is at work in the world to steal, to kill and to destroy and it does so by capturing your attention. And, like every worthwhile bait, behind it is a hook from which you will find it hard to escape.

You are struggling because you are being led down the path of unhappiness. It’s a well worn path because of the millions that have tread it down. And depending upon how long each person traversed on that path, the more misery they have encountered in their life. But, it does not have to be this way. There is a way out but the way out is not what you thought at all. The way out seems to stand in absolute defiance to what we have been taught to do. It is very, very difficult to turn that thinking machine off. It is even harder to resist the temptation to track it like a hound and follow it wherever it may lead. But, resist it you must. Temptation, though always veiled and hard to discern, works by finding a way to get your attention and later keep your attention. You escape by your lack of attention. You break free by deciding to change your focus. You make up your mind to look at something else!

The problem you face today is an insatiable drive to get you to focus on yourself. Everywhere and in every way you are being driven back to yourself, your feelings, your thoughts. “Take time for yourself!” “Focus on yourself!” Self, self, self! “You are most important!” “You are number one!” You, you, you! Obviously your needs are important and of course you want to be happy, but your happiness is most fulfilled when your focus isn’t yourself! I’ll say it again. Your happiness is most fulfilled when your focus isn’t on yourself! It’s a trick. It’s a trap. It is a delusion on a grand scale. It is a lie. It seems right and sounds good, but it is still a damnable lie. When your focus is yourself, all you will find is yourself with all of your faults, failings and imperfections. You have to learn to look at something else.

Have you ever noticed how you can be feeling super crappy about yourself or your problems, imagined or real, and then something demands your focus and takes you away from yourself for a bit? Suddenly you don’t feel so bad or your problems aren’t that big anymore. Your issues didn’t get any smaller, but your focus changed enabling you to see things for what they really are instead of what you imagined them to be in your obsessive focus on yourself. Few things feel as good as a full day of work where you actually focused on the work instead of yourself. Or, maybe the grandkids came over and you focused on blessing them for a while! Wow, suddenly things don’t seem as bad as you thought. These little delights serve as valuable clues. You weren’t designed to focus on yourself, save yourself, or fix yourself. You were made to function best when your focus was on others, expecting God to take care of you! Self-focus is a struggle from which you can easily escape. 

Stop, cease, quit looking inside of yourself to find something good. End the endless stewing and churning and burning. Make up your mind to get out of your own mind and live a little. Stop being so damn cerebral! Cease from living in a world where you are encased with an obsessive focus on yourself. Quit it and for God’s sake let it go! Let it go! You haven’t yet been successful in solving you, have you? Well, you aren’t going to, so I will save you a little (or a lot) of time! Instead move that lovely mind of yours towards something else besides you. Help someone. Build someone up. Do something nice for someone! However or whatever you do, move your focus away from yourself because self-focus sucks and leads you down a miserable path! Outward focus, helpful focus, anything but me focus, leads you to something beautiful and worthwhile. It leads you to life and all the wonder and beauty it entails. 

Choose life, choose others, choose to struggle no more!

Just some good thoughts…





Yeah, But What if You’re Wrong?

I’m not sure why it is that human beings have an absolute repulsion concerning the possibility of being wrong about something. Somewhere, somehow we have been schooled to believe that we must always be right, no matter the cost. What makes it more incredulous is the amount of years a person lives in an average life-span and within that relatively brief encounter feel in some way that they have mastered the game of living. It’s as if we’ve connected being right with our self-image and the potential of being wrong admits to a flaw in our character. With that I submit we are likely more wrong than we are right and being able to accept that introduces us to a whole new world of infinite possibilities.

What a person believes about their life is the life they end up living, right or wrong, limited or unlimited. A person’s life is literally the sum total of their prevailing beliefs. As you believe, so you live. If you expect much you live much. If you expect little or meager or survival, you live small, minimally or just barely. The grand irony being what you personally choose to believe is how you end up living. Assigning your life results to decisions made by a higher power or anything outside of yourself is a recipe for disaster. Maybe you are wrong…

Your beliefs and your life are the chicken and the egg conundrum. You think as the egg that your life simply plays out and that you must somehow finds ways to adapt to your ever similar circumstances and conditions. Yet, you fail to recognize that you are in fact the chicken and preceded the eggs. The circumstances you encounter with regularity are simply the natural outworking of the beliefs in which you are persisting. This is a system that cannot fail. Instead of spending your existence in futility fighting against causes you are engendering, you need to acknowledge the possibility that you may have some wrong beliefs. Your wrong beliefs aren’t difficult to spot. They appear infinitely multiplied in those areas where you struggle. If you feel that God is angry with you because of some persistent failing, then it is easy for you to also believe that your suffering is a direct result of your wrong doings. In essence, you have been talked into a wrong belief with a predictable result, suffering.

It therefore appears logical that instead of enduring life in the same blind alleys, you should perhaps entertain the notion that maybe you’ve got it wrong. The beauty of children is found in their open hearts. They know that they don’t know and in so knowing learn, grow and evolve, that is until the world gets to them and begins dictating the limits of their potential or what they can and cannot have. By the time they reach adulthood they have already been programmed for unhappiness by well meaning parents, teachers and adults. And sadly, the older they get, the more fixed they become in their belief system. But, that was not God’s intention for man. God already knows how people think and as such offered them learning outside their own abilities and reasonings with the intent that man would remain humble in his heart like a child and continue to grow and evolve. You don’t need to exhaust yourself in figuring out life, but rather expend your efforts in humility.

The question to ask yourself is what do you believe about life? How do you think life really works? Why are some people wildly successful and others abject failures? What do you think about God? Do you know who God is or are your beliefs based upon a hodgepodge of things people have told you or worse, well meaning ministers and preachers? Is it true that by always doing the right thing your life will work out well or do you know many sincere Christians struggling to meek out an existence? Conversely, how many rotten people do you know living the good life or so it appears? You see, something is wrong in those equations and in not knowing you are powerless to make any meaningful changes.

If I could sum life up, as ostentatious as that idea is, I would sum it up by saying that what you believe is the master key to living. God’s promises both vast and abundant can only be realized by believing. Living a healthy life free of diseases and maladies is more dependent upon what you believe than it is upon how much you exercise or how much red meat you don’t eat. Your finances and prosperity and resources have little to do with how good you are but more to do with what you can believe and expect for yourself. For some a $100,000 salary is a windfall, but for others an insult! No category of your life is exempt from this principle! You don’t so much need to learn how to be successful as you need to learn how to believe to be successful. You must learn how to change your beliefs!

Life with all its manifold beauty and wonder as well as its nightmares and miseries comes to you and is experienced by you in direct accordance with your beliefs. You are not powerless or without remedy. What you lack is understanding. Where you’ve missed the mark is in not knowing what and how to believe. Once you learn to believe and in many cases no longer believe, life opens up to you in a fantastic way. Instead of blaming circumstances and God and your upbringing, you now begin to take responsibility for your own life. You learn to see and recognize where your beliefs should be challenged and in challenging find new, better, true beliefs. In the end or hopefully much sooner, you will find God the author of this blessed existence, the answer to your heartfelt prayers, your only real source of life and blessing and enduring freedom from all that ever ailed you!

You might be wrong about life, but what if you are right?

Just some good thoughts…