You Have to Do You…

In a world that values conformity, you owe it to yourself to be an individual. Much of the struggle you face centers around this nagging compulsion to fit in and be, as much as is possible, just like everyone else. People have become afraid of their own thoughts and their own ideas. We doubt ourselves and close ourselves off to opportunities. We dismiss our good ideas as foolish and inconsequential. We know we have something powerful and impacting to offer the world, but instead of offering it, we try to find ways to squeeze it into so called accepted norms and approved practices. We live forever bound under the thumbs of other people’s expectations for us. You lament over your lack of personal fulfillment, yet very little of what you do is based on what you really want to do. In this, people spend a lifetime working jobs they do not like, following activities they do not enjoy and opting for things promising the most safety and socially endorsed stamp of approval. In this we fail to live; to really live life in its full effulgence and infinite variety. In this we ultimately fail ourselves. You have to do you!

If you think about it, we have all been schooled to not make waves and align ourselves with the status quo. It is often clear to us that the world has lost its collective mind, yet we painfully endeavor to assimilate its concepts into our own being, accepting and promoting what the world says to promote. We never dare ask ourselves what we think or worse have the confidence to trust in our own assertions. Even common sense conclusions are discarded in favor of a little research into what it is we actually ought to think. The world has desensitized us towards the things that truly matter and instead replaced those things with an unfathomable load of things that do not matter. We live (or exist) blown from pillar to post, minds crammed full of nothingness and pointlessness. On those rare occasions when we seize upon the boldness to say what we actually like or insist on something we want for our lives, then suddenly we become the crazy ones. Playing a role as someone else exhausting. Pretending to be someone we are not is damn hard work. Living our lives according to someone else’s dictates and rules is misery; pure misery. If you want to be happy, you have to do you.

So what does it mean to do you? It means to stop living as an imposter and start living as your own authentic self. What do you like to do? What turns you on? What makes your heart beat a little faster? Those things are the things you must do. You don’t have to live amongst the never ending judgments of the world. Honestly, you don’t even need one person’s approval. Sadly, this is man’s day of judgment and that judgment runs roughshod over people’s hearts, especially those daring to pursue their own uniqueness and individuality. We are besieged with judgment concerning every choice we make. Yet what is our life if we are no longer free to make our own choices? We don’t buy the house or the car we like, we buy the house or the car we ought to like, the one that communicates our status or success. That’s not to say that we can’t have nice things, but rather what is behind the choices we are making. Would I make that same purchase in a world with no other people? That’s the acid test. We get on that wheel of things and it is damn hard to get off of it. We devote ourselves to making money at all costs, but don’t devote ourselves to using the money for things that benefit us and other people. We don’t take the time we need to enjoy ourselves or our families, but instead grind toward some future day when we can finally do everything we ever wanted to do, but perhaps no longer have the energy to pursue it. Having the courage to do you means being willing to do your life exactly how you want to do it. It means taking the vacation now. It means writing your book now. It means pursuing your great business idea now. It means taking the time again to invest in your important relationships and stop letting everything else come ahead of them in importance. None of the cool stuff you were able to purchase is going to matter when the end of your life draws near, only the people you have been privileged to love and receive love from. Doing you means doing those things that matter the most to you and stop doing the stuff that doesn’t matter. Honor your own heart. Honor the people you love. Honor the things you hold most dear. You have to do you.

The risk involved with being bold enough to do you is nothing compared to the risk you face of living a life not lived well, well as defined by you and you alone. You are smart enough to recognize the things that bring you pain and cease from doing those things. You are wise enough to discern your own unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. You know in your heart when something isn’t good for you no matter how many people might say otherwise. Trust that. Honor that. Believe that. It seems people think that God is always behind the things you don’t want to do trying to force you to do them. I believe that God is behind the things that turn you on; those things meant for you and you only. Where do you think those exquisite dreams came from? Could it be the thing that most excites your heart to do is exactly what it is God wants you to do? Every man has value. Every woman has something unique to offer to the world. We all have a part in this thing together and every thing we do in accordance with our hearts, will be that which is best supplied by us. In the end, you have to do you. Won’t you do it to help us all?

Just some good thoughts…


I Don’t Know…

imagesThe three most feared words (or four if you don’t like contractions) in the human vocabulary. God forbid we should ever have to utter these words as doing so would certainly yield a cataclysmic result. It seems to be the last thing ever a man or a woman wants to admit. Yet, in all fairness and in all honesty, how much do we really understand about a life encompassing an infinite variety of variables? In our ignorance and our unwillingness to admit it, we typically assign false, made up causes or accept the first answer that appears in our Google search. We crave certainty, but live in a world chock full of uncertainty. We want answers, solutions, resolution and we want it now! Is it really so terrible, so alarming not to know the answer? I would submit that often we don’t even know the question. But even then, not knowing what we clearly do not know, may provide us with a starting point in our quest. Worse, not knowing and concluding that we do know, serves to immediately terminate our quest and stymies us from advancing any further. Is it really so bad to admit to ourselves that maybe we do not know? Is it a realistic expectation to know the answer to everything that comes our way? Would life get better immediately by our admission? Shoot, I don’t know. Or do I?

Human beings, as you already know, are strange, irrational creatures at times. We are loathe to admit that we do not know something. When good things happen to us, instead of searching out the matter, we assign causes, often false causes that appear the most readily available to explain the occurrence. We scan the surface for the information most obviously apparent to us and resist looking any deeper. We love the good things but don’t necessarily love to know the reason why the good is happening. Similarly and more commonly, when bad things happen to us or appear to be happening to us, we look to assign causes, most often false causes that provide the fastest and most apparent reason for the trouble. In this human creativity is almost unparalleled. Add to that a penchant for assuming all things revolve around us and must come as a result proceeding directly from us, assign blame that appears most closely related to what we are and are not doing. If someone teaches us things we must do in order to please God, when we do not engage in those requirements, we naturally assume the problems that are confronting us must have originated there. When our health is threatened or our bodies are not functioning as they should, we search within for any potential violations of good health according to the established experts and seek modifications therein. When our struggles involve a lack of resources or our needs are not being met, we look within to determine the cause, ending generally in some dire need to do something better, work harder, give more to those not so fortunate etc. But, what if we are wrong? What if the things we think we know are not the cause at all?

Obviously, God equipped man with a brain with the intention that he would use it. There is nothing wrong with problem solving, in fact there is everything right with it. But, when that problem solving process is illogical, irrational or plagued with false assumptions, there is nothing right in it. The reason people suffer with the exact same problems year after year is because they have not yet discovered the cause. They apply the exact same rules, the identical thinking, the same erroneous logic that got them into trouble in the first place. The persistence of the problem alone should have alerted them. Yet, being loathe to admit not knowing, they trudge along, stolen year after stolen year, suffering, plagued, oppressed, defeated. Instead of striving on and on in futility and despair, they would be better served to admit it. They do not know what is going on! There are important elements to their situation of which they are wholly unaware. There are variables craftily hidden from their view. There is a vitally important part of life that isn’t found on the surface or discovered with a quick Google search. The first step in discovery is a simple admission that you do not know. How could you know? Your parents could only teach you what they knew and as wonderful as they might have been, there was a limit also to what they knew. One reason you struggle in areas they also struggled with is because they taught you or demonstrated for you, the same erroneous views they held. There’s no shame in that, God bless them. The shame enters in when you know inside you do not know and still refuse to admit you do not know., a sin of which I have certainly been guilty. Thus the remedy is what it has always been, to humble yourself to that one great reality, namely that you do not know! If you suffer from anxiety, there is a reason. If you struggle with good health, there is a reason. If you cannot seem to prosper, there is a reason. Whatever ails you, whatever troubles you, whatever has gone astray in your life, behind it there is a reason and it likely has nothing to do with what you think! Admit you do not know and start a new journey.

When at last you become willing to admit you do not know, you open the door to know. God, who is all-knowing, always knows and He is more than willing to help you know. He requires nothing from you except a willingness on your part to seek Him out. He doesn’t need your arduous works and false sacrifices in order to help you, He needs your humble heart. He doesn’t delight in rituals or mantras or repetitious prayers, He delights in your heart to know Him and in knowing Him you will know what you need to do to prevail. There are answers to every problem you have ever had. There are solutions to which you have not yet even considered. But, you will never find them as long as you persist in insisting you know when you do not know! What is happening to you is common to all human beings in varying forms and intensities. There is nothing new under the sun. But, the solution is and always has been Him. It is okay not to know the answer, in fact it is often the most honest response. Don’t allow fear and difficulty to keep you bound in prison walls. Don’t allow ego and worldly logic to keep you from getting what you need. There is life waiting for you to live it, real life full of blessings, joy, love and peace.

If you know, you know. If you don’t know, admit it!

Just some good thoughts…

The Ultimate Rap Battle

artworks-000283353062-uhjnbx-t500x500Did you know that there is a battle going on every day inside your head? Your mind is the arena and your thoughts determine both your success and your failure. If you have learned not to pay much attention to your thoughts, you’ll find yourself troubled, anxious and not at rest. You won’t know why it is occurring but you will feel the effects thereof. Conversely, if you take on the challenge and learn to control your thoughts, blessedness will follow like the sunset after a lovely day. The battle goes on every single day and continues to happen whether you or I like it or not. Will you learn how to win the ultimate rap battle inside or will you continue to be blown around from pillar to post, up one day and down the next? The decision rests squarely with you…

You cannot begin to learn how to control your thoughts until you first become willing to pay attention to your thoughts. Thoughts encompass so much more than you may have imagined. Ultimately, those things you run through your mind and continue to run through your mind form the basis of who you are, what you will believe and how you will behave in life’s situations. They are the precursor to both the good and the bad things that happen in your life. Your thoughts are that important! Yet, you may have noticed how infrequently anyone has even discussed this with you, let alone suggested why you should learn how to control your thoughts. For most folks, thoughts are a part of being a human being, but have no impact beyond that in relation to their lives. They feel sad and unhappy, unfulfilled and restless, afraid and powerless, yet fail to connect those feelings with the thoughts they knowingly or unknowingly entertain. In our current age, people are literally besieged with perpetual anxiety about everything and everyone, yet cannot discern the endless stream of negativity they listen to and then cleave onto in their minds. They run the dreadful possibilities and concerns of life through their minds over and over and over again, then balk at feelings of anxiety and unrest. They have failed to connect the dots between the thoughts they are considering and the feelings they are experiencing. In this they are losing the battle in their minds. They pray to God for help and guidance, yet refuse to change their thoughts. In ignorance, they allow evil access to their minds and reap the results thereof.

Thoughts produce feelings and long held thoughts turn into beliefs. Beliefs have a profound impact in producing a blessed life and a miserable life, with every varying shade in between. When you let your mind go or just run wild, the result isn’t neutral, it is negative. It is not functioning within a vacuum without influences from outside sources. The adversary of mankind works tirelessly to get you involved in erroneous or wrong lines of thought. He assaults your mind through any means accessible in order to bring you to a predictable end result and he has been honing his craft for thousands of years. Doubts turn into worries and worries turn into fears. Fear, when allowed regular access, brings man to ruin. There is a reason “fear not” is the number one admonition in the Bible. Fear, like all wrong thought, must be rigorously excluded. You eradicate it by your abject refusal of it. No-one has ever overcome fear by continuing to grapple with it in their mind. The wrestling involved is the object of the game; deftly designed ahead of time to defeat you. All erroneous thoughts must be defeated in this manner. Whether you be plagued with guilt or unworthiness or condemnation, you won’t get past it by rehearsing it in your mind. The object of the contest is to get you to rehearse it. Then, if you really want to bring people down to a life of defeat, get them so trained and so accustomed to think negatively that they continue the process on their own from the depths of their own hearts. That is how you lose in the ultimate rap battle.

In order to win at the game of life, you have to first win in your thoughts. You have to learn what and how to think. You have to be able to pay attention to what you are saying to yourself and when necessary, change it. You have to begin detecting those subtle jabs being launched in your direction and consciously change them; the sooner the better. The thoughts that run through your mind concerning your inadequacies, your shortcomings, your past mistakes and blunders, do not originate with God, no matter what some nice fellow may have told you. Even human parents know that you cannot make a child do better by constantly pointing out what is wrong with him or her. Doing so only serves to break the child. Instead successful parents know they have to look past the rough spots and build upon the strong parts in order to help the child succeed. You can be assured those critical, nasty thoughts have not come to you from God! They come from an opponent that is hell bent on breaking you. They originate with the accuser of mankind. Once you understand what thoughts come from God and what thoughts come from your opponent, you can do a better job at deciding what you will and will not think about.

Controlling your thoughts is no harder than thinking a thought. It is not a question of your mental prowess or discipline of will. It rests simply with your own personal decisions about what you will accept and what you will reject. It is certainly not represented by some type of mysterious dream state where you walk around all day thinking about rainbows and unicorns, afraid of any negative that may come up. Instead, it is a willingness to take on any mental negatives that may come up and being willing to fight them until they depart! At some point, like your daddy taught you, you have to fight back! You have to challenge wrong thoughts, critical thoughts, long held wrong beliefs (where do you think those beliefs started?). You have to say to yourself, that is not who I am! You have to stop thinking of yourself as less than others, not deserving of good things, fraudulent or whatever other garbage the enemy throws at you! Those limiting wrong beliefs concerning yourself have been stealing away your life for years and years. Something doesn’t become true because you thought it a thousand times. It only becomes true when you believe it.

Won’t you join me in learning how to win that rap battle in your mind? Your life will get better and better in direct proportion to how serious you become about controlling your thoughts. Oh, you are going to fail and lose track and need to be reminded often, but once you get it, you get it, if you know what I mean? Begin by simply paying attention to what you are telling yourself or what conclusions you are drawing about your life. When you feel agitated and distressed, which is ALWAYS a sign that error is afoot, think about what you have been thinking about. What are you holding onto inside? What fears are you consciously entertaining or grappling with? What guilt or error awareness is claiming the top spot in your thinking? What criticisms are you not refuting? You are not evil, your opponent is!

I hope you win that great rap battle in your own mind and while you are winning, help someone else.

Just some good thoughts…