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…

It Is What It Is…


As a burgeoning human being, you have this wonderful capacity not only to experience your life as it is, but also to imagine what your life might become in the future. Being marvelously unique, your awareness comes from within with all of the associations and connections you can muster based almost exclusively from your own perspective. Things that are labeled good or bad to you, may represent an entirely different meaning to someone else. For this reason, it can be difficult at times to perceive things as they really are absent your own internal persuasions. Thus, in order to make any meaningful changes, it necessitates you first see things clearly and accurately minus all of the meanings you are likely assigning to those things. Truly, when it comes to improving, repairing, healing or restoring any good thing, you first have to see it and accept it for what it is. It is what it is…

Calling a thing a thing, as a famous lady once remarked, is at the foundation of problem solving any situation you may find yourself in. Said another way, you cannot fix what you refuse to acknowledge. Ignoring problems, glossing over bad situations, refusing to accept that something is not right, only leads towards difficulties and unpleasant times persisting. If we are honest, we already know when circumstances have gone south on us. We know when a good thing has lost its goodness. Deep down our hearts already know when there’s a disturbance; a misconnect; impediments and obstacles. The reason we fail to act on the obvious is because we desperately cleave to another narrative; one where things are still okay even though we know they are not okay. A narrative that assures us nothing has changed but instead has simply become familiar. And, onward we trudge, inching ahead, hoping something or someone will make it all right. Our failure is in being afraid to see things as they already are. It is what it is.

It does not require a PhD or some other form of higher learning to recognize that nothing in life is static. Everything is ever in a continual state of flux. Living things are either growing or they are dying, but they are not remaining the same. Change isn’t something to be afraid of as everything changes in one capacity or another. They key in successfully navigating the change is found in our willingness to observe what actually is and then seek to make improvements or repairs or whatever the situation calls for at the time. People change sometimes for the good, sometimes for the not so good. Circumstances change. Conditions change. You cannot apply the logic of ten years ago to the scenarios of today. Neither can you compare yourself of today to yourself of the past as the variables of today, though eerily similar, are not the same. Time and chance have happened to them all. For this reason, the only plausible way to endeavor is by addressing your life experiences now in the thousand eyed present, not in the single eyed view of the past. It doesn’t matter what you did before, what matters is what you do now. It doesn’t matter what used to work, it matters what works now. It doesn’t matter who you used to be, it matters who you are today. Your problem is what it is today and the only time to solve it is today. It is what it is…

If you would like God to heal your broken arm, you must first acknowledge that your arm is broken. If you want God to heal your broken heart, you have to admit to yourself that your heart is broken. It’s not so much that over time things break, but rather that you are honest enough to accept what is, not what used to be. It is not being positive or renewing your mind to lie to yourself about your reality. Renewing your mind, like being positive, is about applying God’s solutions to the things that plague you, those things that have become broken over time. How foolish it is to apply some cheery resolve to a problem rather than to see it and say it and determine within yourself to work it out. Insisting that you already know what to do or what you cannot do based on some tired, former assessment of a situation that has already changed a hundred times, leads only to a futile resolve to stay stuck, mired in some vague notion formed in the past. It is what it is…

Solving relationship problems, solving financial problems, solving achievement problems, solving health problems, indeed solving spiritual problems requires that you finally allow yourself to see it for what it is. It doesn’t matter if it is your fault or someone else’s fault, the world’s fault or the devil’s fault. What matters most is that you stop being afraid to admit something has gone wrong and then taking the steps to make it right. Why carry with you all of your former excuses and justifications, your rationales and myriad former failed attempts? Why insist on cleaving to a bad strategy that didn’t work before and isn’t working now? Why? Why not, while fully accepting and acknowledging the problem, try to see the situation through fresh eyes, with clarity, focused not on continuing to be right or begrudgingly absolving yourself of any responsibility and choose not rather to locate the remedy, no matter the cost. Sometimes the solutions are right there in front of you, patiently waiting for you to release what was in favor of what is. It is what it is…

At the end of the day, we all want to be happy, to be fulfilled, to be blessed. We all want deepening and enduring love. We all want to succeed and to prosper and to live life to the absolute full. This life is far too short to continue tripping over our own selves and our own stubborn refusal to see things for what they really are. With God’s help we can solve anything, heal anything or recover anything that has become broken or damaged over time.

It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to stay that way…

Just some good thoughts…

Life Moves in One Direction Only…


“Life moves in one direction only – and each day we are faced with an actual set of circumstances, not with what might have been, not with what we might have done, but with what is, and with where we are now- and from this point we must proceed; not from where we were, not from where we wish we were – but from where we are…” ~ Richard L. Evans

I came across this quote today and found myself immediately filled with inspiration regarding its great reality. Your life, my life is always an ever present ‘now.’ There is no such thing as what might have been because what might have been hasn’t happened yet. Similarly, what we might have done is equally deceptive in that we have not yet done it yet. Instead in full ownership and without excuse, with full accountability, our life is what it is today. We are where we are today and where we are is the only place from which we can move forward. We cannot move from where we were nor can we move from where we wish we were. Life only moves in one direction and it can only move forward and progress when we accept what is for what it is and resolve ourselves to change the things we need to change.

As human beings, there will always be things in our lives we know we need to change. Some things will come easy for us and fade away like fog when the sun comes out. Other things will not come out without a great and arduous struggle, sometimes demanding years to overcome. But, make no mistake, nothing can ever change for the better until we come to full terms with what is. Our flaws, our foibles, our errors call aloud for resolution and we are loathe to admit them for what they are. We excuse them, we justify them, we explain them away, secretly hoping we can someday gain a magical grasp on them and be that much better for it. But, at the end of the day, they are our problems and no matter how they gained control over us, they call aloud for remedy.

It’s not easy to admit our issues as like a disagreeable friend they have become a part of us. However unwelcome, they are a part of who we are today. But, they are not our friends and the effects of their influence over us only leads to suffering and misery. They are our great hold-back and hinderance. They stymie our joy and blessings. They lead us down paths we never sought to traverse. They are bumps in the otherwise smooth road. They are ditches and well-worn ruts sent to defeat us. And we will never master them, though master them we must, until we allow ourselves to see them for what they really are – lies… There are enjoyments and pleasures in life to bless us, but when overdone and not controlled, bring pain instead. But, you cannot control what you refuse to acknowledge. Nothing good starts as excess, but in excess becomes nothing good. What you fail to control eventually controls you. What you choose to ignore gradually gains ascendancy like a rock in your shoe ignored over many miles. The lesson required you to make a change the first time it hurt you.

There’s a great freedom in accepting your life for what it is both the good and the bad. No man is all good and no woman is all bad. We are all shades and mixtures of both with everything in-between. We may possess great strength and great weakness. We are all subject to like passions. We all feel and perceive deeply at times and other times are numb and without perception. We are both sensitive and have callouses over parts of our hearts. We have all been harmed at one time or another and we are all in need of healing. But, in order to be healed we have to once again recognize where we are hurting. We have to acknowledge what is…without judgment and self chastisement. No man goes astray on his own without first being led. No-one in their right mind would purposefully choose suffering and pain. But, we do suffer at times and need someone to deliver us. We need love, not a lecture. We need forgiveness and often first from ourselves. We need God!

In short, we need to be honest with ourselves and honest with God. Our  relationship with God is not politics whereby we seek to present all of our actions in a favorable light. Instead it is a relationship based on trust. It is a willingness for us to see ourselves right we are no matter how dirty, confused or deceived we have become. It is having the humility to admit we have gone astray and an earnest desire for God to help us get back on track. He is not here to judge us or condemn us for where we have ended up, but instead like a loving Father welcomes us back into His arms with solutions we haven’t been able to fathom before. Discipline doesn’t get the job done, love does! We need Him to love us back into loving ourselves again, not because we have only done right, but because He only does right and He is love.

You’re not going to travel very far in life before you find yourself totally screwed up over something. No matter what it is, that is not the end of the road. Be grateful it finally got clear enough for you to see it. You can’t sink so low but that underneath you aren’t the loving arms of God. Acknowledge it. Admit it! It is what it is, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Life truly moves in one direction only and the only way you can move ahead is for you to accept where you are at this very moment and move up from there. Get back up! God loves you and so do I…

Just some good thoughts…