Humans Ain’t Static!


Stuck-ImageHuman beings are not static, meaning not fixed nor unable to change. Yet, how many people live that way? You can literally be anyone you want to be, without limit or holdback. You are not defined by anything you have done or have not yet done. You always have the capacity to change. The very hallmark of living things is their ability to change. Yet, that is not how things usually play out. We tend to get stuck in these narratives about who we are, most commonly generated from within. We are fed this negative concept of ourselves, typically based upon our weaknesses or past foibles, and then act as if that notion of our existence must be our destiny and something from which we are powerless to change. We accept various monikers and cannot quite seem to extricate ourselves from them. We have to be the “funny” one and then are loathe to disappoint our audience. How silly it is to consider that some characteristic of ourselves could possibly encompass the totality of who we are. Or worse, that some negative aspect of ourself would become the key component in understanding who we are. As humans, we are absolutely free to change anything and everything we want to change, no matter the opposition. You are not stuck, my friend, because human beings ain’t static!

If you have lived long enough, you know how hard it can be to redefine yourself. People like to assemble you neatly into tidy little categories and keep you there so you can be understood and properly handled. It becomes a source of distress when you begin to act in ways that are not congruent with your predetermined definition. I can recall a friend once saying, in the midst of a cleverly supplied string of my admittedly funny comments, that he could not picture me being a manager in an organization, as if I lived for the joke or could not exist without it. Once my wife suggested I stop posting comments on Facebook about excellent red wine because pretty soon, all I became was the guy who drinks wine. Do you see where I’m going with this? People don’t define who you are, you do. When you allow other people to define who you are, you will be stuck with some limited version of yourself seen simply from one narrow angle. Growing up you may not have been very good “at school” but that doesn’t mean you lack intelligence or a willingness to learn new things. Maybe you weren’t good at sports, but here’s a secret, no one is at first! It may have escaped your conscious attention, but the world seeks to define you every single day. There are literally a million angles capturing your attention in a day; helping you to define yourself against some fictitious standard. You are probably not as fit as a fitness model because your full time job isn’t fitness model! Yet, there you are perusing the pictures and comparing yourself woefully, wishing you were something that you are not. That doesn’t mean you can’t be that, but the larger question is do you want to be that? When it comes to your life, it is your opinion of yourself that matters most. Why continue to define yourself as something you do not like when you are the one doing the defining?

By now, in my writings, it probably comes across as a broken record, but the culprit in this dilemma is the thoughts you are thinking about yourself. When you make mistakes, as you necessarily must, it is one thing to err but another thing altogether to allow those errors to define who you are. You are not the sum total of your behaviors, as a modern philosopher surmised, but instead a growing, living, thinking organism with unlimited capacity for change. We all have these parts of our lives that privately plague us, whether admitted or not, yet those places are not the total of who we are, nor can they ever be. Problems, weaknesses, troubles remain only because we refuse to let them go. We carry them around with us like a badge of honor (or dishonor) and are far too quick to assign them as a part of who we are. For some folks, the thought of past mistakes, though they perhaps be many, come to represent the totality of that person and render their precious lives perpetually defeated in the process. Change is certainly not simple, but can only become a reality with a conscious decision to change; held onto and perpetuated daily. If you find yourself hating who you have become, you have unknowingly allowed negative thoughts to permeate your being. You have allowed someone or something to define the narrative of who you are. I can assure you that whatever evil you may have done was not done alone. No person does wrong or evil on their own, but instead has been deceived in some manner. Forgive yourself as God forgave you the first time you asked Him to and let it go. Be the person you want to be, one that you love and think of yourself in that light. You don’t get a child to change by harping on their bad behaviors, but by highlighting their good behaviors instead. Change the way you think of yourself and you will have taken the first steps towards real change. Keep thinking properly and your change will absolutely follow.

Many folks spend their whole lives waiting on some favorable circumstance to magically change the way they think of themselves. In futility, they await some stroke of good fortune to rewrite a story only they alone can write. It’s not the outward trappings of success that define who you are, but rather those powerful changes you have made from within; deep inside your heart. You remain stuck in life for just about as much time as you want to remain stuck. Once you at last tire from the constant pain and decide ‘no more!’ – your wish is granted though not by a genie, but from a decision that you decided to make. Your life, my life, is a series of decisions we are making throughout our days. Be careful, very careful about what you decide. Be careful concerning who you think you are!

My dear friends, being a human being guarantees you the constant possibility of change. None of us have been destined or predetermined to be a certain way, no matter how long we may have been that way. Change yourself by changing the way you think about yourself. Think in terms of being the best version of yourself and no matter what setback you may face, you will move closer to that ideal. You define the narrative instead of relying on others to do it for you. Let your foolishness and absurdity go as we all wrestle with that same ghoul! Start each day with a fresh, clean slate and for goodness sakes, stop being so hard on yourself. Your life can be anything you want it to be and you can be whomever you desire! Accepting yourself as stuck or defeated is always a lie. Always! Humans ain’t static, not as long as they are alive.

Just some good thoughts…

Life on Restriction…


unnamedLong live the days when you didn’t have to live your life on restriction. Nowadays, it seems, everyone else knows better how you should live your life than you do. Someone is always lurking, willing to inform of you of the perils of your choices, the risks of your ideas and the consequences of your behaviors. Limit this, don’t try that, watch out, be careful, not too many now, be safe and on and on it goes. And while this is not an ode to throwing caution to the wind, it is about being determined to make your own choices in life, not based on fear-filled group think, but getting out of life what you want from it. At the end of the day and at the end of every day, it is your life you are living. You are completely unique despite all of your similarities and what makes your heart beat accelerate belongs to you and to you alone. It’s high time to get off restriction!

Some days I muse that the difference between being a fanciful youth and being a mature adult is measured most by the amount of shit of which you are afraid. Sure the world is filled with sad situations whereby a person has been completely overcome by some negative aspect of life and lives a miserable existence as a result. But, that appears to be far, far from the norm. On the other side of the conundrum is a vast collection of people living an overly cautious and wary existence. This old world and the despot behind its systems has done a fine job of overloading our minds with information and the pitfalls associated with it to the point of paralyzing people and stealing away their freedoms. You can have wine, but you can’t have too much wine. But, if you do have wine it should be red wine, but only one or two glasses depending upon your size. You can get around the rule (said in jest) by distributing to yourself a very healthy pour. Yet, the fact that you are working around a rule is very telling. The more the rule controls you, the more wine you want to drink. Of course, I say this as a devoted red wine imbiber, but you can apply this logic to any situation. Americans bristle against any attempt at gun control for fear the Government will take away their guns, never entertaining the thought of achieving a happy medium. Being a democrat (in theory) is somehow classified as being a liberal which is somehow classified as being the antichrist. As if life consists of two extremes and you must place yourself firmly on one side or the other. Behind it all sits that secret imposter fear, quietly directing behaviors from behind the scenes. Gone, it appears, are the days of healthy discussions and attempts at understanding in favor of firm stands based on hate, more deeply rooted in fear. Cops tend to shoot black people more than white people based on fear of black people. Not sure how black skin makes a person tougher as there are plenty of white folks from Philly that would gladly pulverize you given the chance, but I digress. My point, lest it should be lost in an endless political debate, is that fear always limits, always impedes, always restricts your life in some capacity.

In America, we value freedom perhaps more than any other thing. And while you can always make a case that our liberties are being eroded, as you would expect when your life’s direction is handed over to a government, the erosion of our liberties is founded more in what might happen than in what actually happens. There’s plenty of good people in America who are still willing to stand up for what is right on both sides of the aisle. However, the media craftily constructs a narrative that says otherwise even to the point that a group would storm the capitol in an attempt to protect those freedoms. Consider for a moment the logic in play that would consider it sound reason to storm the capitol with a relatively small group or armed citizens in a confused frenzy aimed at protecting our freedoms as citizens or the person promising to protect those freedoms. The issue, not discussed and even less reasoned out, is that fear has taken ahold of people to the point they no longer trust their own judgments or their own observations about what is actually going on and instead look for sound bites and internet snippets that further corroborate their already confused beliefs. Instead of being appalled at how African Americans are being disproportionately gunned down by police, the battle cry remains, “Obey the law!” – as if it was that simple. Today, while driving to work, I saw large black SUV with an even larger flag planted on the back that said in bold letters, “Fuck Biden” and in smaller print, “and fuck everyone that voted for him!” IMG_1740Yes this is America, but why? What aim could possibly be accomplished behind such an act? Behind that truck owner, behind the “I have a gun with me” rounded ball cap and wrap around sharpshooter sunglasses was a man living in fear; a man living on restriction. More and more the good old USA is being subverted into extremism, extremism based unsoundly on fear.

The remedy, it seems, is for people to stop blindly following and thinking on the surface in favor of thinking for themselves. Surely you have enough good judgment to think for yourself. What has happened to you that you cannot make even the smallest decisions without having to have the support and backing of everyone you know? What, you no longer know when you are overindulging or going out of control? What or who made you incapable of governing yourself? You don’t need an infomercial to tell you to stop smoking, that smoker’s hack in the morning accomplishes that. You can only shirk your responsibilities for so long before that grim reaper called responsibility rears up and demands you make a change. Why not trust that instead? It’s your life and it doesn’t take much before you start to recognize it is going off course. Yet, that is not the way of this day and time. People rely far too much on what other people think. They have lost the ability to trust in themselves; in their own judgments and fail to even consider that they may have been subverted. No, we don’t have all the answers as people, but God does and it seems reasonable to believe He might be working in us to not be deceived. And if we are deceived we learn and from that we grow. The danger isn’t in making mistakes; the danger is in thinking we are right when we are dead wrong and in being unwilling to even consider an alternative.

It is high time we stopped being so afraid! Yes information is good, knowledge is good, wisdom is good. But, all bets are off when we let fear enter into the picture. Chances are the reason you are not happy is not because America or the world is going to hell, but rather because the fear of it going to hell has gotten to you. Your God-given right to free will means you always have the right to choose, unless you forfeit that right! Make decisions according to who you are, not according to who everyone else says you should be! Like what you like and don’t like what you don’t like. You cannot be true to yourself playing every day in someone else’s arena. Play yourself as yourself in the lead role of your own life. You cannot keep living as someone else and live the life you desire. Unlike when you were a kid and restriction ended when your parents got sick of looking at your mopey face, you get off restriction as an adult when you decide to do so. Most of what you have been so afraid of hasn’t happened yet has it? Maybe that is a clue to let that crap go. Life without fear is the only real life and you owe it to yourself to get there. You are not on restriction if you choose not to be…

Just some good thoughts…

Your Thoughts to Energy Ratio


2d illustration Human Male Muscle BodyThoughts, like anything living and real, have energy behind them. They carry within them an inherent vigor and vitality or a pervasive lethargy and drag. One philosopher put it this way, positive thoughts and emotions emit a higher frequency while negative thoughts and emotions produce a lower and slower frequency. One manner of thinking adds liveliness and the capacity to do while the other thought form adds weariness and stagnation. People nowadays are so tired and worn out yet never equate their energy levels with their own thoughts, but instead blame lack of sleep and an inferior diet. While the former may be contributing factors, the true culprit may be more easily found in the thoughts we are choosing to think. The question then begs, what is your thought to energy ratio? 

If you find yourself struggling with a lack of energy or perpetually medicating yourself in order to get your work done or just to make it through the day, you have to ask yourself what it is you have been thinking about. The time you spend worrying about some future thing, be it what it may, not only is futile in terms of changing the outcome of the thing you are afraid of, but actually works against your best interests by using up your energy store thereby eliminating your energy to do something, the real remedy to your worries. Only action cures fear. Worry and fear serve only to steal away that precious energy. Surely you have noticed these effects in your own life. At one moment you are happily plugging along and in the next moment you feel exhausted and weary. What happened to you? Chances are you started considering some negative possibility and with it lost something along the way. You can trace this negative effect in every aspect of your life. All negative thinking, be it worries and fears or critical self judgment or rehearsing the mistakes from your past or anxiety about the future, leads quickly and easily to a lack of energy to do. Stress, the silent killer, functions along these same lines. Stress, an epidemic in the USA, is just another name for fear; fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of some negative outcome. These are in fact the reasons you feel so tired, indeed so worn out. 

Positive thinking, by contrast, produces an opposite effect. Positive thinking does not mean you try to turn bad things into good things. Positive thinking isn’t a pollyanna approach to life whereby you refuse to acknowledge challenges and trials. Positive thinking simply refuses to allow fear to define the narrative. We are always confronted with a choice in terms of what we are going to consider given a certain scenario, but positivity suggests we don’t have to consider the potential negative outcome. It is the consideration of evil that allows it entree into our lives and we greatly limit that entree by what we decide we will think about. Once evil, that which is always back of all worry and fear, is entertained, it steals away our valuable life source and enthusiasm for living. It closes our minds off to opportunities and possibilities and instead falsely predicts our hurt and loss. Being positive is often more about what we don’t do than it is about what we do, do. Positive thinking expects good things to happen and actively seeks out those good things. Positive thinking doesn’t dismiss good things as anomalies and as such doesn’t resort back to negative expectations. Man, what a job the enemy of God’s people has done on the collective group think of society. Negativity is running the place. Wrong thinking and thus wrong belief are the reason good things aren’t happening, not the wheels of fate or God or any similar superstition based more on guessing than sound reason. If you find yourself just sort of trudging along, it’s not because that’s how life is, but instead because of where you have allowed your thinking to go. You must learn how to think positively and continue to think positively to turn this thing around. Your energy for living, your enthusiasm, that pep in your step will all return once you stop the energy drain that goes on day by day by your refusal to give negatives anymore space. Your thoughts equal your energy ratio. 

If you think about it, the reason people struggle so much is because they are trying to do this thing alone. They have access to all the data, Google and a whole world of other people offering good sound advice about how life works. Yet, for all their good intentions, the world and its so called solutions are not going to get the job done. God never intended that people would have to figure out life on their own. Instead, God planned that people would learn how to rely on Him like a child relies on its parents. Children rarely worry and when they do it’s usually because a parent is failing to do their job. God never fails to do His job. The reason you can choose to keep your thoughts in a good place is because you can hand over all of the unknowns to God. Woe unto the man or woman carrying around all of the unknowns alone! You have gotten worn out by life by your reliance on self over reliance on God. The reason the fearful consideration has so much power of you is because you are trying to take it on alone. Your opponent, my friend, is much too wily and powerful for you to take him on alone. Absent God, you are no match for your enemy. He uses tactics that have worked on human beings for thousands of years and continue to work. With God you are assured success. His Word tells you how to think and what to believe and what not to believe. There is no need for guesswork or a Google search. He is the source of life and energy and enthusiasm for living. You want your life and energy back? Do you want to get off the treadmill of endless defeats and the subsequent exhaustion that follows? Do you want your energy to thought ratio raised to never before experienced levels? Then, get God involved with your life. 

It’s no criticism to you that you have been suffering in silence all these years. You have been worn out by “life” so called and have suffered the same deceptions and lies we have all experienced in one form or another. We compete with a common opponent. We are all subject to his bullshit at times and we have all suffered loss. How you used to live and what you used to do are not the matter here. What matters here is that you begin to recognize that there is another option available to you. That option does not guarantee you won’t still get defeated at times or find yourself trudging along aimlessly with the rest of the deceived world. What the other blessed option offers you is a relationship with the one true God who knows all, sees all and is powerful over all. No-one can answer your heart questions like God can and He withholds no good thing from His children. He will show you exactly where your enthusiasm has gone, why and how to get it back. He will show you what life can be with all of the blessings that go along with it. You have nothing to lose and literally everything to gain. 

You want to improve your thought to energy ratio? Get God involved…

Just some good thoughts… 

Do Something New…


71OuYxzZ2lL._AC_SY606_It seems the older people get, the more settled they become in terms of routines and well established habits. Whatever that mechanism is that God put into our brains to save resources, sort of takes over as we age, seeking apparently to place any original thought into predetermined categories leaving little room to process and enjoy new experiences. Although less required activity makes sense for those approaching and living out their golden years, perhaps less mental stimulation doesn’t make as much sense. People’s mind don’t age, their bodies do, that is unless they have slowed to a crawl in the healthy pursuit of learning something new. Do something new…

When you are young, the world is a kaleidoscope of multifarious, almost limitless possibilities to learn and subsequently grow. The infinity variety of the world is exhaustless in its capacity to enliven and thrill your heart. As you age, that same world of opportunities remains the same, but you don’t. The call of the familiar begins to sound louder than the beckon of new experience. Habits once developed for efficiency now become resistant to change; any change that upsets the status quo of required daily routines. God help you if you don’t have dinner at exactly 5:00 pm or miss a television show or don’t have your coffee at 7:00 am sharp. You cannot participate in any activity that takes place on the weekday evening and all extracurricular happenings must be confined to the weekend and then earlier on Sunday lest you risk staying up late. Whatever happened to that kid who gladly sacrificed sleep in order to do something fun? What deftly and subtly stole away the excitement of life in exchange for dutiful pursuits of the exact same thing day in and day out? It isn’t their age that makes a person old, but instead it’s those damnable habits and rigidity that sets in as a result of them. You’ve only become rigid and fixed in your mindset because you stopped the movement of your mind, the movement that takes place when you do something or learn something new.

The origin of this dilemma dates all the way back to the beginnings of mankind when aging was first introduced. (Yes, there was a time when people, both of them, didn’t age.) Today we find ourselves left with a body that does age and eventually will die if the Lord tarries. However, too many people have already died while still being alive. They’ve resigned themselves to a life of mental and physical inactivity. People have chronic knee pain because sitting all day doesn’t require much of the knees. There’s nothing left around that makes the heart beat faster, both physically and more important emotionally. It seems that no-one willfully resigns themselves to this fate, but instead sort of falls into it like when someone falls asleep. They have fallen asleep at the switch, which isn’t reserved for those in the middle of their lives. They have been lulled into complacency and in so doing have ceased caring about or pursuing the best things in life, to be replaced by a host of pointless endeavors ever leading nowhere and to nothingness. Sure your shot at being a professional athlete may have passed you by, but that doesn’t mean you cannot apply the same drive and commitment to something else. Woe unto the man or woman that has nothing left to care about. The perceived energy to do a thing is usually far more than the thing actually requires. When we cut ourselves off to new learning and adventure, we cut ourselves off from life. None have succeeded in exhausting new experiences, but many have exhausted themselves with old thoughts. There’s a reason grandpa keeps telling you the same stories. It’s because grandpa has no new stories to tell. (Bless his heart!)

If you’re not careful this old life will get away from you. Before you know it, your life will have been reduced to a handful of things going on every day while you seek in earnest to pass the time. The fact that you would seek to pass the time is a clarion call to your heart that you need to add some new stuff into your agenda and this advice is not just reserved for the elderly. There’s certainly nothing wrong with comforts or for that matter familiar routines, but there is everything wrong with a resignation towards life as long as God exists and, oh my friends, God exists! The variety and splendor of the creation alone signifies that God is anything but boring and is well able to help you recover that spring in your step. We all find ourselves confronted at times with futility, questioning the point of it all, but that is a part of every man’s experience if he lives long enough. But, if you are honest, you will usually find that you have been a cooperator in your own ignorance by failing to keep paying attention to your own thoughts and behaviors and how they play out in your life. What a great day it is when you finally begin again to question your assumptions and look afresh at life with humble and inquiring eyes! What an absolute joy it is to the soul of a person to discover something new, though it be known to others a million times over.

Maybe lately you have found yourself lacking in some of the enthusiasm and joy for living that you once had. Maybe life has become pretty routine for you without the promise of anything new. Whatever has happened or whatever has led you to where you are, take solace in the reality that new life is always available for those who seek it; for those who aren’t afraid to learn and to do something new. It remains your one shot at this thing folks. Please, do something new…

Just Be Honest…


Almost ten years ago, I wrote a series of blogs about being honest with yourself. Both then and now, when thinking about what it means to be honest with yourself, there still seems to be some confusion about what that really means. By the time we reach adulthood, we generally have a strong concept concerning being honest towards others and the importance of doing so. Yet, that honesty must always be tempered with love and compassion for the other people involved. It’s not honest to hurt people’s feelings or do and say things that may be “technically” honest yet leave people the less off as a result of it. There is no love in that. Many things are said and done under the guise of being honest that do nothing more than reduce another person’s value and worth. Similarly, being honest with yourself must also carry with it the necessary ingredient of love, or it too becomes no longer beneficial. To be honest with yourself means having love for yourself and a sincere desire to get to the bottom of a thing. When it comes to solving the problems and obstacles that plague mankind, you must first be willing to be honest with yourself. Just be honest…

Children are the best example of people being honest with themselves. When they are sad they say so. If they have unmet needs they do not take on the adult trait of rationalizing their unmet need, but instead communicate that need immediately and refuse to stop bringing it up until the need is met. It is not until many years later that they learn to stymie their needs or sublimate their needs or ignore their needs. And while you can make a good argument for not being childish in terms of getting your needs met, you cannot devise a good argument for acquiescing to unmet needs. Yet, that is how the whole worlds lives, slowly dying the painful death of unmet needs and unfulfilled lives. Everyone or almost everyone is suffering, sick, afflicted and tormented. The question is why? What happened to us all that convinced us that suffering is a necessary part of life and therefore something to be quietly accepted. Perhaps it is the apparent futility of it all or maybe years of trying with no tangible results. Whatever it is and whoever it is, it calls aloud for remedy. 

At my ripe age, I’m smart enough or maybe experienced enough to understand the types of things that befall us. I too have had my share (whatever that means) of suffering and difficulty. Just on the surface alone, it becomes blatantly obvious that perhaps suffering is not so much based on someone predetermining my rightful “share” as the unlearned preach, but instead how much I have learned and accepted that I will have to take! Putting up with suffering and defeat or worse expecting it, is categorically wrong. It is error practiced. It is not being honest with yourself. All of us fail and fall short at times. All of us do bad things. All of us got caught up in insane stuff. It isn’t your humanity or shortcomings that are defeating you as much it is your erroneous views about how life works. Some people suffer beyond all proportion to their weaknesses. Getting honest with yourself isn’t about engaging in more mind numbing thoughts of condemnation and self judgment. Again, there is no love in that. How many times must you beat yourself for your mistakes or then, how much must you pay? Being honest with yourself means getting down to the heart of the matter and in many cases just being willing to admit you do not know. How liberating and refreshing it is to finally say, “I do not know,” when in your heart you know you haven’t known all along. There needs be no ego when it comes to getting your needs met. You will go to the doctor if the pain gets strong enough. Being honest means going to get the help you need. Having unmet needs is not a sign of weakness, it is sign that you need to do something you have not done yet. Being honest with yourself with love is the precursor to all deliverance and healing. Just be honest. 

Relationships fail when people, for whatever reason, stop being honest with each other or perhaps from having never been honest with each other. People would rather break up or divorce before having the courage to say just exactly what the hell is going on. Relationships built on pretending to be a certain way to win the favor of another cannot prevail. God help the man or woman who feels they cannot say what needs to be said. That’s not a relationship, that’s a pretense. Oh it may look good to other people, but it damn sure won’t feel good. Now you are not being honest with two people and one of them is you. Of course, you can save up all your anger and bring it all out in one hurtful shouting session, but that’s not love either. There’s a way to say what you need to say and also fight fair. If your partner genuinely does not care about what you have to say, you will have to do your own math on that one. Get honest with yourself. Say what you are feeling and why. Your feelings are your feelings and right or wrong they belong to you. Not saying them or constantly revising them for the other person is not honest either. You do your partner no favors by not speaking up. Being honest with yourself may feel unpleasant at times, but it feels a lot better than the lies! Get some counseling. Talk to a trusted friend. Get something but live no longer in the lie.

There is no one better suited for your complete, total, full heartfelt honesty than God, our Heavenly Father. God will never use your honesty or vulnerability against you. He already knows where you slip up and fall short. But, more importantly, he also knows why you slip up and fall short. He knows your every thought. He sees the things you cannot see and thus has great, great compassion for you. He has the solution for EVERY effed up thing that ever happened to you! He hears your prayers and He looks on your heart. You don’t suffer because you are a screw-up, you suffer because you do not know. Your responsibility is simply to be completely honest with Him. Lay it all out there, the good, the bad and the ugly. You ain’t the first person to have your issues and you won’t be the last one! Don’t let your ego get in the way of your answers. God is all-knowing which means He knows exactly what you need. Similarly, He isn’t going to require you to be someone you are not because that is also not honest. Who wants artificial love and rote behaviors? You can trust Him. Just get committed to being honest about what is going on first with Him and then with others who may be involved. Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to getting your needs met and living successfully. It’s not too late no matter what has gone on before. Just be honest…

Just some good thoughts…