He Who Smelt It, Dealt it?


Forgive me for grabbing your attention with a foul metaphor (smile). While you are likely familiar with the saying, thankfully I’m going in a different direction. Many times in life we can get so caught up in what other people are doing to us, how unfair they are and how insensitive they can be to our own needs and wants. Yet, it is easy to forget about our involvement in the equations. Your life, my life, is really about being the best version of ourselves. It’s about choosing our own thoughts and actions and taking full ownership of our lives because ultimately, he who smelt it probably dealt it!

Have you ever stopped to consider that you play a key role in every relationship you have, be it foul (there it is again) or fair? The one constant in every relationship you have is you. When you find yourself confronted with the same challenges or the same unwanted judgments or the same faulty conclusions about who you are, maybe it’s not because the people you deal with are all idiots (been there), but rather because of what you are giving off. Maybe, just maybe you are sending a consistent message, accurate or not, about yourself that isn’t really true. Perhaps you have been so accustomed to playing a specific role with others that you are loathe to let it go, even if you don’t enjoy the results thereof. Many of us become familiar with a certain performance we put on for others; one they faithfully enjoy and demand, that leads people to a false understanding about who we are. The world is not always a nice place and its inhabitants not always offering us the benefit of the doubt. It’s not easy to be authentic in our interactions and in so doing we set up circumstances and conditions we do not like. The first requirement in building lasting relationships is to be an authentic person.

In a relationship, it is incredibly easy to hone in and discern the faults of others. Whether it be mild annoyances or full on agitation, it is suprisingly effortless to figure out things about other people you do not like. But, sadly perhaps, it is very difficult to recognize the things we do that others may not like. That’s not to say we should mold and shape our character to meet the demands of others, but rather that we should become humble enough to admit we’ve also got some unpleasant bits. Maybe we aren’t as funny as we think? Maybe they should know we mean no harm, but after they have told us otherwise a hundred times, we should have perhaps gotten the message by now. There are, it seems, certain people that have the capacity to drive you nuts! They have found your buttons and joy exceedingly in pressing them. But, have you ever considered that maybe before they sent you a message, you already sent them one? Sometimes your tone of voice, your facial expressions, your approach, already communicated your thoughts about them being a moron and in like manner they have rightfully perhaps decided to assault you back. Naturally you are aghast at their behavior, yet cannot conceive you began the conflict yourself. In relationships it makes sense to pride yourself in being altruistic, but often, imperceptibly, we may be the one that needs to make a change.

In marriages or lasting relationships, couples often spend a lifetime wishing their partner would only listen to what they are telling them and change, yet refuse on the grounds of principle to change themselves. Or they dutifully carry a lifetime of assumed responses based upon “knowing their significant other” without really knowing them at all. How could they know them after deciding 20 years ago exactly who they are? Bitter, long since burned out couples, could not hear a good thing from their partner if it slapped them in their face! They have already concluded and in so doing have already closed the door to change. The other person can scarce bring up a topic without their spouse already knowing where they are heading requiring them to head it off at the pass. Bad realtionships are seldom not formed by the actions of the present but rather on the thousandfold actions of the past. No couple can honestly survive such closed-mindedness! The answer isn’t found in the other person, it is found in yourself! Someone has to stop the madness and it may as well be you. So, you find yourself divorced and finally living out your dreams, yet never considered that you might be treating your “new” person in all the ways your “old” person would have loved. You gave your new person a chance…

What you should you do when you find yourself in such a dilemma? Stop assigning responsibility for the relationship to the other person because the responsibility rests with you. You change you! You be the best you, you can be. You give the love first. You decide to be sweet, loving and kind. You decide to listen and really hear the messages with your heart. You’d be surprised what can change when you change. You may find out the person whose faults you have been faithfully cataloging for years has qualities you never before imagined. You might just discover true love, not based on endless expectations, but rather on your decision to love first. You may at last recognize the love you have been searching for a lifetime is right there waiting for you and has been all along. Take ownership of yourself first and in so doing stop making it always about them. Sure they will still have faults and failings and blind spots, but criticism never ever cured them, only love can.

Whether your relationship is a marriage or dating or people you work with or your family members, the success of them all is first dependent upon you and the hidden messages you are transmitting to them. Seek to change the only thing you can change – you! Becausee two people are involved it may not always work out no matter what you do. But, at least you will have done your honest best. Remember, usually, he who smelt it probably dealt it!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Win the Moment… Win the Day!


Did you know that by the time you are full of anxiety and fear; when you feel like something is wrong and you can’t seem to get it straight; when you feel out of sorts and disconnected, confused, bamboozled, lost, defeated, chances are you have been losing the day, day after day! It happens to all of us at times. We get distracted by the world and all of the things that assault and perplex our minds. We get overly focused on our future and perpetually dragged back to our past. We have failed to live in the moment and win the moment. We have failed to win the day.

Your mind was designed to function within a 24 hour period. The great processor, your brain, was built to handle all of the demands of the day. It was never intended that you would tax your brain cells to decipher and figure out a future you could not possibly discern, nor waste its resources on a past you can neither change nor modify nor improve. Instead, you function best devoting your full attention to the moment at hand. The moment at hand is always something you can handle. Otherwise, you quickly find yourself losing track of the moments, rapidly forging ahead when you needed to slow down. It is in the moment that negative thoughts hit your awareness and it is in the moment that you must handle the challenges with which you are presented. Anxiety, for example, is simply misplaced fears that whittle and carve their way into your thinking. Once misplaced, they surface as feelings of fear that you can no longer put your finger on, much less address! Confusion and feeling lost don’t happen today, but during a hundred yesterdays you failed to recognize appropriately. Feeling out of sorts and disconnected doesn’t just fall upon you suddenly, but develops slowly, imperceptibly over time with one misconnection following another. The reason you cannot get something straight is because by the time you are experiencing the dilemma, its cause has long since hidden itself. You cannot track backwards and solve your issues. You solve your issues by winning the day.

The source of your troubles works in secret. The less you know about your opponent, the better success your opponent enjoys. Every thought stone you leave unturned turns again to rend you. Your opposition works by distraction; by overloading your awareness with worries over the future and regrets about your past. Your enemy convinces you to let things go you should not let go and instead focus on things that do not really matter. Your opposer cooks up a gigantic spaghetti bowl of confusing and distracting thoughts which when completed leaves you wading through the noodles, in vain searching for solutions you are long past obtaining. They count on your lack of attention and sneak in again and again until they render you defeated. You will never find them in the collective, but only in the singular. Alone they can be overcome, but fortified in your awareness they gain strength. The intensity of the contest demands your full awareness; your full attention. And your full attention is found only in the moment in which you find yourself. You need to win the moment.

You learn to win the day by learning to win the moment. What negativity or threat just hit your mind? What prediction of doom or future danger just took a swipe at you? What accusation about who you are; the motives you have; who you really are as a person, just took aim at your heart? When you live, as best you can, in the moment, you are much more likely to see what just happened to you. And, in seeing and hearing, there is something you can do about it. Like any good fight, you have to learn to fight back. Just as you would not tolerate (for long) someone punching you repeatedly, in the contest you have to fight back. Sure you don’t feel like it, but it doesn’t matter as long as you are getting hit. Yes, you can lament and wish it wasn’t this way, but it is this way at least as long as there is evil in the world. So you fight, in that very moment. You confront the wrong thoughts. You challenge them. You take a stand against them. In fact (or better in truth), you fight back until it they shut up. You are in a spiritual fight so you don’t try to fight with your human logic or by being rational. You fight by countering the negatives with the positives of God’s Word. Don’t try to be so smart! What does God’s Word say that counters the evil consideration? Say that! If your opponent threatens your health (i.e. Corona Virus), you counter by proclaiming God’s promise to keep you healthy or forever heal you when you need it. Somewhere in that Good Book, God says often fear not; be anxious for nothing; you are not wrong and He will make all of your paths straight. He says you are always connected; have the answers you need; have been found when you were lost; are not confused and definitely have not been defeated as He always causes you to win! It’s all in there folks and is the perfect answer to every challenge you will ever be confronted with!

Learn to slow down a little and live in the moment. Take on the obvious challenges of the moment. Deal with what is standing right in front of you. Recognize what is traveling through your mind in the moment and decide whether it can stay or it can go. Take it on in the moment! And, as you win the moment, you decide to win the next moment and the next and the next. Pretty soon, you find yourself able to win the day! Tomorrow is tomorrow and yesterday is yesterday. No matter what happened or where you may have fallen short, win the next moment. Soon, you enter the realm of the kick-ass human that God always intended for you to be.

Don’t you want to win the day? I know I do!

Just some good thoughts…

Spread a Little Sunshine…


The Corona Virus pandemic has certainly done a fine job of screwing with everyone’s minds in various proportions. Some folks have taken to buying one hundred toilet paper rolls guaranteeing unlimited wiping for the foreseeable future. Others have seen fit to hoard bread and soup and even the spices. Salt anyone? Oddly, bottled water has reached an epic peak as preparation for Armegeddon marches on! Some geographic locales have locked the populace down entirely for fear of an increased spread. Whatever the reactions, ranging from mild annoyance over lost conveniences to abject terror, ye old virus has done a dandy on the minds of Americans. So, what the hell can you do about it?

First, it is important to put things in their proper perspective. Things like this have been happening in the world almost since time began. There have been world wars and rumors of wars. There have been plagues and other health vexations for centuries. There have been catastrophes of unparalleled proportions. The threat of nuclear annihilation only just recently fell out of fashion. In short, there is always something going wrong, somewhere, to some people. It is all a million variations of the same threat, namely fear. Fear has no logical endpoint, because as soon as one fear is overcome, another pops up to take its place. Fear doubles down on bad circumstances and invites more and more disaster. Fear seeks to convince you there is nothing you can do about a situation; severely limits your options and boldly asserts that God is dead! But, God is not dead my friends and He is inifintely bigger than any dreadful thing that rises up against you. Fear is a liar from the father of lies. Remaining in fear you cannot hope to win. Fear is negative outcomes accepted and believed before they come to pass. Fear is truly your only enemy!

In the midst of trying circumstances, you really have only one responsibility. Stop being afraid. Fear not! Fear will have you engaged in all kinds of crazy shit! (toilet paper anyone? – pun intended) Decisions made in fear are not decisions at all, but rather forced behaviors you neither chose or agreed to. Fear is a bully taking advantage of your mind and your human tendency towards futility. I mean, how much control do you really think you have over world events? What could you possibly do in your little reasoning machine to effect any change over what is going on? You cannot wish away negative circumstances, but you can sure as hell refuse to participate any longer. Do you really think that you or a scientist or the medical profession can have any serious, lasting impact over things that are based in the spiritual realm? The only thing that defeats spiritual negativity is spiritual positivity! In other words, instead of furthering the spread of negativity and fear, you must learn how to spread a little sunshine instead. Literally, shed some light on the subject. Be part of the solution. Wake up, stand up and get out there expecting something good to happen. You may not change the world, but you can change how things are going to work out for you. You are the only thing you can control. Instead of falling in line with the other sheep heading towards the cliff, turn around. Go the other way. Decide, “not me boy” and get out there and live.

It has been my experience that God can turn anything around if enough people can get behind that notion. I’m quite sure God is very familiar with what is going on right now. I’m also sure He loves your loved ones at least as much as you do. If you got sick, I’m quite sure He could heal you. Nothing that ever happens comes as a surprise to God. He has foreknowledge which means He already knows. And because He knows, He also has a solution for you. Your job is not to try and wrangle with fear, but instead trust God and find the solution. The alternative is almost certain defeat. God is infinitely bigger than anything you will ever come up against! Trusting God means making a decision to stop being afraid. Then, in response to that, let that shit go Elsa! (Peloton reference) Walk away from it. Let it go! Don’t worry yourself over it for another second. If there is nothing God can do when faced with a world pandemic, He certainly wouldn’t be much of a God, would He? Well, there is something He can do, but you have to learn to trust Him and let Him do it! Start spreading a little sunshine…

This too will pass. One day you will look back on this time and wonder how you let it get you so shook up. But, you will have wasted a lot of time in churning and stressing over something you had no control over. If you think about; I mean really consider it, nothing you have ever feared was ever within your realm of control. At some point, hopefully, you decided to let it go. Trusting God is always about letting it go. Just as you have enjoyed a beautiful day basking in the sunshine, put that sunshine on in your mind today. Inject some light into your thinking. Stop reasoning with potential catastrophes and walk in the light. Walk in the sunshine feeling the warmth of the One that invented sunshine. There’s a reason sunny days make you feel so happy. It is God, don’t you see it? It is God enlightening and uplifting your life. Sure, we may have some hardships to endure, but just as there are rains and storms in life, the sun always comes back out. It has to…

I, like you, am not sure what lies ahead. I have also considered economic collapse, sickness and mass misery in the days ahead. But, I haven’t considered it for very long! I decided I am going to continue spreading the sunshine, no matter how dark it gets, because my life isn’t based on what things look like, but rather on the promises of God. You too, my friend, can spread the sunshine. Help somebody else out and get your mind off yourself. Bless people, love people and remember God is bigger, much, much bigger… There will always be a way out for us. Believe that and spread a little sunshine instead…

Just some good thoughts…

Change Directions…


All of us get stuck sometimes in life. We are such creatures of habit and those habits develop so deeply that sometimes they are difficult to change. At times, you might feel like you’re sick of yourself; tired of struggling with the same issues, month after month, year after year. Maybe you’re in a relationship that is heading nowhere fast. Perhaps you’re weary of your job and your co-workers or the hierarchy and the politics. You can feel mired down in circumstances, smiling when you aren’t happy and playing a role in a production you do not enjoy. Maybe you wish you were something that you are not and the distance between the two is widening. No matter what has happened in the past, what is going on today, or your unhopeful prospects for the future, don’t fret my friends, you can always change directions…

No person living hasn’t experienced this in some form or fashion. In happens to us all. You get a few years under your belt and things dry up a bit. What was once gloriously hopeful and full of possibility can be eroded away through life and experience, especially negative experiences. You get sort of grooved into certain paths and it becomes hard to extricate yourself from the trail. It hasn’t occurred because there is something fundamentally wrong with you. Despite the multitude of your private, negative self talks, you are not the primary cause. There are forces at work in the world whose sole purpose is to beat you down. They convince you to do the things you hate and prevent you from doing the things you love. They skillfully drag you down the same rotten roads where you end up at the same rotten place! They promise you liberty then enslave you. They use you against you. You are living in a spiritual world heavily influenced by things you cannot discern. Instead of settling into the mediocrity and the misery; instead of becoming angry with God; instead of giving up and giving in, you need to simply change directions…

Not understanding what is going on spiritually in life is your number one problem. You need to understand. You need spiritual understanding so you can finally see what has been happening to you. It’s no coincidence that the whole world suffers from this as the whole world is being subjected to it. It’s certainly not God’s fault and it is definitely not God’s will. God, the God of life, is the answer to all of your questions. He is the satisfaction to your frustration. He is the fruitfulness to your futility. He is the forward progress to your feeling stuck. He is the way out, indeed the only way out. He is not chastising you. He is not judging you. He has not sentenced you to a crappy life. He is the polar opposite of all the pain and suffering, in ignorance, you have endured. But, we haven’t always learned that just yet. We are on a journey and we have to learn it for ourselves. We have to be, at last, willing to learn. Our lack of progress, lack of results, lack of fulfillment is always the first clue that we are chasing the wrong things and heading in the wrong direction. But don’t let the apparent complexity of error cause you to faint. Truth is clear and simple and in the end it requires that you simply change directions…

No change can occur in life unless it is preceded by a decision. It doesn’t first require discipline and force of will as you have already long proven to yourself. You don’t need a sudden stroke of luck or a miraculous circumstance to turn your life around. You need to simply decide. “You have to become sick and tired of being sick and tired.” (Thank you Fannie) You have to finally consider, “Why sit we here until we die?” (Thanks Bible) In other words, you have to make up your dang mind! Stop waiting for the circumstances to change before you decide. Stop waiting for full understanding before you decide. Stop waiting for retirement, for your kids to grow up, until you find your person, (Thanks Grey’s Anatomy), until you’ve earned your first million, until you feel better and on and on and on. Change is only and always preceded by a decision. Then, the strength of your efforts match the strength of your decision. Strong, resolute decisions naturally supply the energy to carry them out. Weak “hope so” or “I’ll try” or “I’ll give it a shot” decisions will not be accompanied by any determination of will and will naturally fail. You’re not stuck because there is no way out, you are stuck because you have not yet decided! Once you take the time to make the decision, you can simply change directions…

You will encounter tremendous opposition, of course. The same hidden forces that trapped you are going to fight like hell to keep you trapped! They are going to offer you counterfeit, alternate directions that sound so good and hopeful, but still end in misery and defeat. In truth there is only one direction that leads only to victory and God is more than willing to show it to you. “This is the way, walk ye in it…” Changing course is not about becoming super religious and swearing off booze and cigarettes, sex and anything else that feels good (smile). That route, often followed, and worse believed, is yet another alternate route that reduces God down to how good is man’s behavior or how little he uses cuss words. How silly and insulting to God who invented mankind. Religion does nothing but salve the ego of man convincing him that he can affect spiritual realities with human efforts. Changing directions happens first in your mind. You have to stop thinking and considering and entertaining the same old garbage that tied you up in the first place. You have to do something different. You have to learn to think differently. You have to simply change directions…

Don’t fret my friends, you can always change directions…

Just some good thoughts…

Living in a Dark House…


Being a lover of light, I’ve never understood how people could tolerate living in a dark house. They have all the blinds shut and the curtains drawn to keep out the light. Over in the corner is some old, dim lamp with a sad, 40 watt bulb throwing out yellow shadows. There’s usually a bookshelf or two chock full of old books, covered with thick dust from years of neglect. There appears to be some type of carpet, but you can’t really tell what color it is. It seems to lead down dreary hallways to even darker bedrooms. And, the people inside? They’ve got that look on their faces that says nothing goes on in here and it hasn’t for a long time, and they seem okay with it. They have grown fondly attached to their darkness, however dim and blasé, because it is familiar and feels safe. Are you living in that old, dark house?

Nature itself teaches you that the light feels good. There’s nothing like a beautiful, sunny day to lift your spirits. People are happy in the sunshine and warmth and travel many miles to seek it out. But, when the weather is gloomy, people don’t feel so good and sort of hang on until the sun comes back out from behind the clouds. Sunlight even has a positive effect on your body. It’s as if all of creation is beckoning you towards the light. In the light you can see clearly. Colors are more vivid and details are overwhelmingly apparent. In the mornings and evenings, the shifting sun highlights the terrain and casts pleasant shadows on all of the other beautiful things. Without the light we could not live. Without the light, you do not live.

Although you may dispute it, you live your life from within the frameworks of your own mind. Your mind is your house. You have the freedom to decorate it as you see fit. You may fill it with bright, inviting artwork or pictures depicting misery and pain. You can adorn the walls with pleasant, serene colors or with dark, gloomy shades. You can open all the doors and windows to freely admit the light or you can close the blinds and draw the curtains not allowing any light inside. Whatever you choose and however you do it, it is always your house and the choices of decoration and lighting always remain with you. Many people in ignorance, not willful, allow their homes to be decorated for them. Instead of choosing the adornments, they allow something else to choose for them. Once the negative and uninspiring images get inside, they permit them to stick around instead of immediately shooing them back outside. Through disappointments and false representations, they allow their windows to be closed and their doors to be shut. Little by little, their homes gets darker and darker, drearier and drearier. Soon they become accustomed to the dreariness and expect it as just a necessary part of life. The darkness becomes familiar and safe, though it is slowly killing the owner inside.

The simple solution to this complicated dilemma is to turn the light back on. Turn the light on so that you are able to see what has been going on. The trouble with darkness is that once it gains entree it is difficult to extricate yourself from it. Darkness begets more darkness. Darkness is never overcome by exploring and investigating the darkness, it is strengthened. Darkness may only be overcome by light. The light exposes the darkness for what it really is…a lie. Darkness paints a picture of life that is not true. Darkness convinces and persuades you to close your own windows and lock your own doors. It threatens and intimidates with the aim of getting you to retreat inside in the darkness and to remain inside without coming to the light. Scores of people miserably dwell in a dark house of their own choosing, completely unaware of the remedy, found only in the light. It is not that the people no longer want the light. The darkness has discouraged them. The darkness has defeated them. The only way out is to return to the light. The light is always there patiently waiting for people to open their blinds and their curtains and let the light back in. Many a frightful terror is easily dissolved in the light of day.

The light; the true light is found in God’s Word. It is the only light capable of defeating the darkness. You are not going to turn the lights on in your home with your human wisdom or your human logic. It’s your human logic that has been defeated. Your human brain is no match for your spiritual opponent. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. His Word is light. It is the answer to every question. The more you seek it, the more light you gain access to and the more your path is brightened. Things that have escaped you for years suddenly become apparent. You begin to see things for what they really are and in seeing can make real changes. Soon the role you have been playing in your own defeat enters your awareness and you can finally stop cooperating with evil, leading to your own downfall. Only the light can deliver you from that darkness and if you want it, it is there for you.

Decide today to stop living in that old, tired, dark house. Step out into the sunshine where life is good. Open the windows and doors of your soul and let that light inside. Let it shine inside of you and reveal every dark crevice and thereby set you free. You don’t have to spend another night in futility as the day is at hand! You don’t need a dim lamp to light your path, you have something brighter than the sun.  Choose the light. Look for the light. Desire the light. Your days of living in a dark house are over. Choose the light!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Divided You Fall…


When it comes to your life, you’re it! You are the only you, you have to work with. You can only be you and never another you. You are incredibly unique, unrivaled in your ability to be you. And, while you are busy being you, you only have one chance, one shot at your life. You only have one grand, relatively short opportunity to be the best, most blessed, happy version of you, you can possibly be. Given this all encompassing, unchanging reality, how could be ever be persuaded to be against you? How could you ever let anything come between you and you? How could you have come to accept an internal existence where you are your own worst enemy? Indeed, divided you fall…

It probably should have dawned on us a long time ago that something takes place between our ears day by day, not working for us, but actually working against us. We were all born with this inner critic who refuses to give us a break. It is relentless in its conviction to talk us out of who God made us to be and to make us into something else; something weak and defeated instead. According to this perilous maleficent, you are usually wrong, don’t measure up, deserve bad outcomes and will likely never get the things that are most important to you. It works to derail you and push or pull you off course. It is your old nature and it arrived shortly after the fall of mankind. It resides in your blood stream as an unintended corruption and is passed down from person to person, to everyone born into this world. And as such, it is the negative counter to every positive. It is indecision and self-doubt. It is error and it must be overcome. It is always a lie.

As a thinking being, don’t you find it strange that the voice inside your own head is so often negative? As soon as you gain some ground and begin to develop some confidence, the voice speaks up and reminds you that you are actually fraudulent and that it is only a matter of time before you are found out. You learn something new and helpful; you receive some flash of insight and then that dark specter goes to work persuading you against your own best interests. It seeks to make you afraid and threatens you repeatedly with some awful doom waiting just around the corner. Even the good you enjoy is portrayed as short lived with an end date looming on the horizon. And sadly, the whole world is subject to its work, seen in the faces of defeated people, worn out, miserable and without hope. Its primary work is done in your thought life and without recognizing and changing those thoughts you are destined for failure. It was never God’s will for you to live this way as His will was characterized by paradise. However, it arrived as a result of man’s free will choice and continues or is overcome in light of those important choices.

The only way for you to win in the great competition of life is to learn how to think properly; to think things that are actually true. God does not work to tear you down in order to build you up. God does not engender doubts and fears. God does not threaten you. God does not assault your mind with an endless stream of negativity in order to humble you. God is always for you. He heals you and teaches you and helps you. He wants you to understand what the heck is going on. What you have been experiencing is not natural. It’s not just how life is. It is an aberration and its consequence is felt within your own experience of life. God seeks to make you whole. God wants to fill in your rough spots and make your way smooth. God is for you and never against you! Knowing this truth, your job is to be for yourself.

Remember, you are the only you, you have got. As such, you have to take care of yourself; be kind to yourself; be patient with yourself. You have to stop thinking or speaking cruelty to yourself. Stop berating yourself and give yourself a break. You are a human being and you came into this world attached to an old man nature you are not going to be finally rid of until God gives you a new body and a new mind. Until that blessed future day, you have got to learn to defeat your internal opponent. It’s not just you opposing you. How could that be? You are your only you. If you aren’t even for yourself, how can anyone else be for you? And, why would you be against your very own self? Can you see the logic involved here? How could you look in the mirror and not like the person staring back at you? Who could have gotten you to the place where you don’t even like your own self, your own flesh? Who convinced you that you are so worthless, so stupid, so incapable? Who talked you into the fact that you don’t deserve anything good; that life won’t work out for you; that you are somehow destined to lose? Absent this wicked taskmaster, you would be free to think the best of yourself; to expect great things; to succeed in your every endeavor, to be and do everything you ever wanted in this life and God would be blessed with you for so doing. It doesn’t matter how long this has been going on (and we are all subject to it), what matters is what are you going to do about it!

Life is hard enough (thanks to this same opponent) and you don’t have to cooperate with it for another moment. Give yourself a break. Forgive yourself and learn to love yourself again. I think if we could see all the spiritual influence behind our wrong choices and mistakes, we would be a lot more compassionate with ourselves than we are. But, God sees it and made a way for you and me to win. Our job is simply to begin thinking how He says to think. The next time your old man nature maligns you or seeks to make you less than you really are, confront it; challenge it; take it on! You cannot be all divided against yourself and expect to win at life. You have to be for yourself, not because you have a big ego or are somehow selfish, but because you are the only you, you have got!

One life. One opportunity. One chance to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. Don’t spend another moment as a cooperator in ignorance, but choose instead to vote for your own happiness and blessings. God would have it no other way!

Just some good thoughts…

 

Change Your Script and Fix Your Relationship…


Your successful relationships with other people form the basis of one of the most needful, necessary elements in your life. Your happiness, your personal feelings of fulfillment, your peace, your love, your joy, all rely heavily on your ability to successfully navigate your relationships. So, what can you do when your relationship lacks some of its original luster? Is there a way to escape the mundane and rekindle the once present emotional availability? Can you somehow steer the ship off the rocks and back into the deep water? Is there even anything you can do about it? Is it really all about your partner, or is it maybe about you?

Any couple who have been together for many years can tell you that things change over time. Goals change. Priorities change. People grow. People regress. The hopes and dreams you held in such high regard in high school are barely recognizable in middle age. Your body ages and things you once took for granted don’t come as easy as they used to do. You’re generally smarter and a little more assured about how things work. And, like anyone that has done the same thing for a number of years, you develop habits; many, many habits. Habits are built for efficiency. But, not all habits are good for you. Habits tend to be morally neutral. In other words, you can engage in certain habits for a lifetime and never feel they need any revision because of how long you’ve been holding on to them. Relationship habits can make for heaven on earth or make life a living hell. But, at the end of the day, they are your habits!

In order to have a successful relationship, you have to embrace the reality that people change. Your spouse is not the same person they were when you married them. Chances are they have grown, evolved and need different things to be happy. You also have changed, grown and evolved. Your needs are now different as well. To hold your partner in some sort of time-lock is categorically insane. To continue to think and rehearse that same old, tired, irritating version of them is also insane and entirely unfair to them. To perpetually strengthen and maintain in your mind all the things they have not done that they should have done or the things you didn’t like about them when you first met or the person you wish they were when you were first building your negative pictures of them, is to drag about a weight of epic proportions! In life, every day is a new day. Every moment is a new moment, unique and one that has not existed before. Your partner is also afforded the opportunity of a new day, a new moment. You have to be able to give them the same chance at doing better that you give yourself. You have to accept the reality that they, like you, can change. You see, things start going south not because of your relationship reality, but instead because of your rehearsed, mental reality! Things become worse and worse because your thinking has become worse and worse. You couldn’t see the things you so desperately want if they slapped you in the face, because you are stuck, trapped in rehearsed negative feelings and memories from the past days! In order for things to get better you have to get better.

Many, many people like to play the victim in their relationships. Poor old, unfulfilled me. “I just need someone to love me.” “I just need someone to accept me for me.” If only they were nice to me, then I would be nice. If they ever took time to offer me love and affection, then I would offer them love and affection back. But, they never do that for me and they’re not going to, so poor, poor me living my life in misery. The problem with this mentality is that you are playing a role in a drama that you are writing. You are acting in a play as the main character that you and you alone have assigned as the victim. And, as the victim it feels good to dredge up all the wrongs done to you and to fantasize about how good life could really be. But, would it really be good for you? How could it be? In order for your role to ever change, you have to change the script. You have to write a new story. Look, if you found a new relationship you would likely change the script and start thinking and acting like the person you wanted to be, which in turn would probably return to you the feelings you wanted to feel as well. Well, your solution is that you can do that now in your present relationship. Change your script. Edit your character. Stop rehearsing and ruminating and harboring and cleaving to every single thing you haven’t liked for the past twenty years and start fresh. Give your partner a chance to be someone else as well. I can assure you that they have some tremendous qualities waiting to be shared with you in your life once you finally give them the opportunity to do so. Don’t remain stuck in yesterday, live today.

One of life’s strangest dichotomies is found in relationships with other people. When you change towards them, they change towards you. You have to give love to get love. You have to show kindness to receive kindness. Waiting for the other person to change is a perilous waiting game. You might be waiting for a long time. Maybe you don’t feel fully accepted for who you are because you are spending so much time rejecting who they are. Maybe, just maybe you don’t feel like they like you because your behavior says you don’t like them! You cannot make other people do anything and you know that. The one person you can control and change is you. Are you doing for that person you are so upset with, what you would like to be done for yourself? Are you willing to let them be something other than the negative picture you have made them to be? You can become so accustomed to your habitual way of thinking that you don’t even recognize it anymore. Change your mind. Change your script. Change your bad habits of negative thinking and negative expectations.

Relationships take work to be successful, but it’s not the kind work you need a vacation from. The work is in learning to think properly. The effort is in refusing to harbor and maintain negative stories, likely only partially based in reality. Your energy is used to build and bless and help and warm which is always reciprocated when done from your heart. You can recover any relationship that has gone astray if you want to, but most of the work to be done will involve yourself first. That’s not to say that every relationship is worth preserving or repairing, as some relationships need to dissolve. In those scenarios there will be no doubt. But, it’s still worth your time to work on yourself to avoid it the next time.

It certainly takes two to tango, but the only dance moves you can improve are your own. Life is short and your chances at happiness sometimes fleeting, but a loving, warm, mutually committed relationship is worth every ounce of your effort! Decide to live love, it’s irresistible… Decide to forgive, it’s refreshing. Decide to make every day a brand new day, it’s life changing…

Just some good thoughts…