You Are Not a Victim!


2018_12_01_59766_1543625917._largeWhen you get right down to it, all of us have had negative things happen in our lives. We have all been deceived at one time or another. We have all been taken advantage of in some capacity whether it be by the people who we love and trust or even outsiders like our bosses or other people with whom we interact. It is not necessarily an uncommon part of our human existence. And none of us liked  it, even remotely. Yet for all we may have experienced, suffered through or endured, it still does not determine who we are nor define our future lives. Whatever may have happened, holds no power over us nor does it have the ability to impact the days ahead, that is unless we allow it. In this, we are not victims. You are not a victim! 

In order for the victim mentality to begin directing our steps, we have to falsely assume that we are powerless to effect change in our situation. And, while someone may be physically stronger than we are; may hold a position of influence and authority over us; may be well skilled in manipulation and using our emotions against us, that still does not make us a victim in the scenario or force us to continue being victimized and minimized. Each of us has value and worth and none of us has less value and worth than anyone else. Your feelings matter as much as the other person’s feelings matter. Your right to be treated with dignity and respect is equal to the other person’s right to be treated with dignity and respect. To be a victim, you have to conclude that your life holds a lesser position than the oppressor. High ranking people with titles and great authority, while potentially having more influence over others lives than you do, still are not above you in the human sense. Rankings and societal strata come via people, not from God. You are not a victim unless you have decided thus. And even if a circumstance victimized you, you do not have to remain a victim. 

The way that you can tell if you are playing the victim is by the things you say and don’t do. Constantly complaining about your boss at work, while doing nothing to remedy the situation, is playing the victim. If you think about it, all complaining about situations is really an acknowledgment or agreement on your part that there is nothing you can do to make a change. Yet, there is always something you can do. Instead of complaining to everyone else, complain to the source instead. If you find yourself in a situation that pains you, frustrates you, chews you up inside, and that situation persists, you owe it to yourself to make a change. Maybe you are making a lot of money and fear you won’t have the same opportunity elsewhere. Not only is that not true (as evidenced by your ability to do it in the first place), but it also serves to lower your value as a person. No amount of money or comforts or power is worth the compromise of your own soul. Your life is more than that. Your value is higher than that. The victim mentality runs rampant today. It runs unchecked because people have learned to blame everyone and everything rather than take ownership of their own lives. Maybe you were not properly nurtured as a child. Well, you are an adult now and can get your needs met elsewhere. Whatever your oppression, whatever cruelty you faced, whatever horrendous thing that may have halted you in life, does not need to subject you any further. Negative situations seem to last just about as long as we allow them to last. When we are done, they are done. The circumstances change as we finally decide our value exceeds the misery of the situation and take the first steps to engender change. .

In life, we are always accountable for our own lives. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it is true. Now that does not mean that our circumstances are always positive or that we are not challenged, tried and tested. Nor does it mean that we are the source of all that happens to us. There are literally a million variables involved. But, in the end, it is our life and we are responsible to do our best to overcome and to prevail. It’s not the amount of challenges we face or the opposition. It is what we are willing to accept for our lives and in that which we have determined within worth persisting. If you value yourself highly, your tolerance for mistreatment is very low. If you value yourself as lowly, your tolerance for mistreatment and abuse will be too high. The circumstances of your past, the terrible humans you encountered, those in authority that failed to protect you do not determine your self worth, you do. All those things had in common was the collective ability to convince you of something that was never true. No person arrives at low self esteem on their own. 

You are not a victim! There is always something you can do, the greatest of which is to get God involved. Those same wicked despots working behind the scenes to torture you and defeat you will persist absent a greater power, a greater source from which you can gain support. God never made a victim, nor was it ever His will that anyone should be one. People become victims when they are overpowered by forces unseen and virtually unknown. People become victims by not having a clear understanding of the truth. (God said My people are destroyed from a lack of knowledge.) Once you get God involved, you find that the evil things that have been governing your life quickly fade away by God’s love, presence and power. At last you can see your tormentor clearly and as such make the required changes that lead to freedom. But before any of that can take place, you have to take full ownership of your own life, both the good and the bad. You must become willing to put away the blame and the complaining and learn instead to take the necessary steps to turn situations around. You can do it my friend. You must do it. You are not a victim!

Just some good thoughts…

Unpack Your Bags…


When you return home from a vacation, you know one of the first things you need to do is unpack. Oh you can leave the bags sitting there with plans to fish out the toiletries in the morning, but you won’t be very comfortable until you supply the effort necessary to unpack. Leaving your stuff in the suitcases leads to feeling unsettled and becomes exacerbated with every passing day. The dirty clothes start to smell and you become aware of things you are missing, at least for a little while. Your mind, your thoughts about things, your conclusions formed also need to be unpacked at times in order to get back to happy living. You have to take some time to unpack.

Have you ever taken the time to contemplate how many things enter into your thinking in a day? One solitary thought leads to another thought and before you know it you are starting to form some conclusions about certain situations. Some thoughts seem centered upon your inadequacies while others pick at your capabilities or areas where you struggle. Mistakes you may have made are somehow compounded and joined with other mistakes leading to unsavory opinions of yourself and your motives. Before you know it, outside of your awareness, you have unknowingly arrived at a destination concerning yourself that is neither true nor substantiated. And, similar to the lazy traveler, you have to give yourself time to unpack it all and get back to what is right.

Failure to take the time you need to digest life’s experiences and your thoughts concerning the same lead to packing around baggage you likely need to unload. Unbeknownst to you perhaps are hundreds if not thousands of microscopic bits of unguarded and unwatched thoughts littering their debris on your mind and heart. That which you fail to control seeks to control you. At first blush, you clearly recognize the errant thought and its effect upon your tranquil state. But, those thoughts not dealt with and confronted lead to more thoughts stacking and adding and conglomerating until at last you find yourself distressed. Many, if not all, of our agitations in life come from these deftly planted ideas and notions that have been left to themselves to blossom and to grow. They grow and multiply because they have been ignored or glossed over and never challenged for the lies they actually represent. When you find yourself troubled, as you necessarily must, your task isn’t to simply move on and let it go, but rather to give yourself time to unpack it all until you get back to the equanimity that is your birthright.

Human beings as a whole have failed to take seriously the importance of right thought and as such get blown about with every wind of doctrine, afraid of this new threat, terrified of some unknown possibility, batted around to thing to thing to thing. In the helter-skelter of confused and disparate thinking, anxious, divided and distressed, they run and stagger and halt and keel never actually taking the time required to sort out the mess and settle upon some real conclusion. It never dawned on them the importance of taking back control of their organ for thinking by allotting the necessary time to unpack it all and get it straight. They must needs pull out the stinky garments one by one until all are gone, the threat dismissed, the situation resolved, the peace returned. Unpacking is required for all that would seek to live in peace.

In order to unpack you must first recognize that which you have packed. You thought the thoughts and you entertained the possibilities. No matter what may be going around you, you are the one thinking the thoughts. It is your mind and it is the one thing you have complete control over. Oh, you may not be the author of every wild beast that flashes across your awareness, but you are the gatekeeper who determines if it is allowed to remain. The competition for your happiness, for your peace of mind, for your overall well being, takes place within the confines of your own mind. We are all assaulted, we are all attacked, we are all subject to seemingly endless accusations and annoyances, but we don’t have to lose the fight. We lose not because we have been harangued but because we supplied no effort to fight back. We fight back by taking the time we need to get things straight. It is not a matter of how much time it takes, but instead have we taken the time we need. Enough time is defined as the rest returning to your soul. Unpacking leads to the promised rest.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of prayer is the opportunity to unpack all of our nonsense and foolishness with Someone far greater than us in terms of insight, understanding and ability. As such, we lay it all out there with great honesty of soul. We tell of our hurts and our troubles, our pains and our dysfunctions. We elucidate our vexations and sources of discomfort with an expectation of answers of peace that help our souls return to the reverie we need so dearly. We talk things over. We get things straight. We sort it out. We clean it up. We start fresh. We get back up. We resolve ourselves to win next time. We learn what we can learn and are that much better off in the next fight. We don’t pretend something is what it is not, but instead we say exactly what it is believing it does not have to remain that way! We lay it all at the feet of our Master and in so doing relieve ourselves of a whole world of burdens and pain.

Do you find yourself troubled about many things? Do you feel confused and divided inside, knocked about from pillar to post? Are you suffocating in the effects of wrong thought and wrong believing? Do you find yourself underwater and barely able to breathe? Start today by making the time to unpack your baggage and get to the clean, fresh air where you can breathe in new life with all of its limitless possibilities… They’re your bags, after all. Unpack them!

Just some good thoughts…

2021 – It’s a New Year


2020 was a tough year by all reasonable accounts. The Covid pandemic lead to a lot of suffering for people and in some cases even death. Businesses struggled, some to never return. All manner of entertainment was curtailed, eating out became a luxury limited to certain restaurants appropriately spaced. The sports we all love to watch were shut down then brought back carefully with restrictions and little to no audience in attendance, played in bubbles and stadiums with cardboard cutouts. Work was conducted from home where possible and we all became adept at video meetings (You’re on mute!) Travel changed, shopping changed, and life changed as folks struggled to comply with mandates yet still participate in being a human. Yet, for all the damage done to people’s lives during this past year, the most sinister of all was the sense of hopelessness, fatigue and generalized anxiety about how this was all going to turn out. The promised vaccine became our only hope as every sniffle and every cough warned us that we may have somehow gotten infected. Will 2021 offer more of the same or is there something, anything we can do?

Ever since the beginning of time, mankind has been subjected to evil in its multifarious forms and disguises. Pandemics, like plagues are not new. People being afflicted with sickness and dying prematurely are not new. Add to that catastrophes, unthinkable accidents, so called, storms and floods and hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes and basically anything you can think of that succeeds in capturing and enslaving the minds of man. The reason man becomes enslaved by fear is because he has no avenue for safety, no answer of peace in the face of trouble, no help from anything outside of himself, or so he concludes. In the pandemic of 2020 the number one product for sale is fear. See it for yourself. If you wear a mask, a story comes along of a person who got it while wearing a mask. If you got past it somewhat, a story comes along about people with lasting symptoms that never go away. If you made it through with little or no symptoms, a story comes along of someone who got it again, this time only worse. Now, reportedly the vaccine is only partially effective and of course there’s no guarantee a new strain won’t get you as well! At some point it has to dawn on you that this shit has no logical end point that you can see, or so it appears.

Why do I recount all these things you are well aware of already? Because at some point you have got to get honest and recognize that you alone are virtually powerless against a carefully hidden spiritual opponent when you try to take him on with science, and human will-power, your sense knowledge reasoning and all of the smart ideas presented before you for your careful consideration. That’s not to say that you don’t do your best and follow recommendations etc., but at some point you have to break out of that fear hole and go visit your elderly parents! At some place you have to realize, without being foolish and cavalier, that the fear and worry become your problem. In some way, that only you can define, you have to finally admit that this life with all of its potential pitfalls and dangers is too large to tackle on your own. God bless you for trying, but it’s bigger than you and it’s bigger than me. The enemy of mankind has had thousands of years to hone his craft and he is damn good at it. How many people, do you imagine, are sitting at home right now, no longer living and experiencing life, scared to death to move, touch anything or go outside? Maybe you are one of those people. Don’t despair my brothers and my sisters, there is something you can do about it.

Since the beginning of time and eons before that, God has been well skilled in delivering, healing and rescuing His people. God knows how to solve every problem you have ever had because He sees what is behind your problem; the real cause. God has foreknowledge, which means He knows what is going to happen ahead of time; which also means He heard your prayer you just prayed, long, long ago and did something for you to prepare what you needed. God is all powerful and backs down to no-one or no thing! And, since time began, He has been endeavoring to get that message to you; a message of love. He has, through a variety of different means, including the exquisite, perfectly ordered natural world, been seeking to get your attention. The perfection of the creation alone points to something vast and incredibly intelligent. Add to that all the little clues that come your way when you need them including so called happenstance and coincidences. Not even to mention the perfection of His Word, the Bible, that all seem to know about, but few seek to really understand. Yet man, arrogantly and incredulously still endeavors to take life on, on his own. He reads and studies and researches solutions every where but the one place where the solutions exist. Again, God bless you if you are determined to go it alone. God bless you if you think you can, by your sincere efforts, crack the code and figure it out. But, as a humble human who knows his limitations, I’m here to say you aren’t going to figure it out, absent help from God.

Do you want to make 2021 something awesome and enjoyable and blessed? Get God involved in your life. I mean really involved not just adding rituals or agreeing to go to church. Reach out from your heart and get some help, the help you so desperately need. I don’t know about you, but I need something more than a mask and the hope of a vaccine to help me sleep at night. God will hear your prayers and He has been waiting for you to ask! He loves you more than you can comprehend and is more than willing to help you. Once you start on your own quest for answers, you will see that you no longer need to live in fear, and that God is living and real and intimately involved in your life, if you want Him to be. There’s no problem or malady that He cannot resolve for you; none. Then, collectively we can believe for this scourge to finally be resolved and get back to living how we want to live.

Get some help man. Get some assistance lady. You aint big enough to try and do this thing alone! God bless you, you just aren’t! But, God is…

I love you…

 

The Great Human Experience…


wall-700x465The experience of life and indeed, human beings is a fascinating study at best. Trying to understand how one can travel from lost and confused to focused with clarity often within the same twenty-four hour period is a conundrum reserved for a mastermind. We, the people, are literally all over the place. We ride one day on the high places of the earth and the next day subdued in the misty flats. In the quiet of the morning, our thoughts are gentle and expectant only to turn harried and pressed by the end of the day. And all of this can only be defined as the great human experience.

Sometimes when you are a writer and you know you have something to say, you find yourself intoxicated with the notion of communicating some idea, some ideal way to think and be that will enable your brothers and sisters to live only on the high road in the space of clarity and with undisturbed peacefulness. Yet the words, however earnest, elude you because that isn’t the way of life. It’s just not that simple. Soon you begin to realize that life isn’t found exclusively in the victory, the challenge overcome, but in the learning that accompanied it; the thoughts and considerations that finally brought you there. To fantasize that you could arrive without the challenges isn’t life, but a false expectation that you might get something for nothing and somehow gain the prize absent the exertion! Such is not life at all… Such seeks to  cheat the great human experience.

If ever you may finally get to the place where you accept how life is, your trophy, your purse, your joy and your fulfillment arrive in concert with your decision to learn how to compete. Once you discover the competition taking place and learn how to see it as such, you begin to zoom in on the details. It’s the subtleties, the little things that shape and round out your existence, not the big moments and flashy circumstances. Your body, your mind with its five senses registering and if you have believed, your spirit, all work in concert to play out and reveal a grand drama in which you are the lead actor. Every registering sensation, feeling or insight begging for a decision, a conclusion, a judgment. How you vote determines how your life proceeds; how your year goes; how your day plays out! When you feel subdued and defeated, wandering in the low places, you’ve likely failed to register the appropriate scintilla and cast your ballot amiss. When you’re enjoying the ride on the high road; when you are the head and not the tail, you have discerned properly and made the right choices. You’ve challenged the lie, the error and seen through the false threats and with perfect equanimity rose above the challenges of the day. Such is the great human experience.

People often imagine how their lives might have turned out if they made some different choices early on. They pine for what might have been had they lived in another locale or chose a different partner or discovered their passion; their gift earlier. But, that’s not how life works and constitutes a futile reminiscence. You chose what you chose when you chose it because for you, in that moment of time, it was the right choice. Now that you’ve grown and progressed does not negate your earlier choices, but rather demands that you adapt and change to match your present condition. The capability you enjoy today was not your capability of ten years ago. You are where you are that you may continue to learn and continue to grow. To think that growth and learning are reserved for the young serves only to cut you off from the sweetness of life. It seems many elders have acquiesced to a limited view of life, no longer seeking to delineate their experience, but voting based on what they already know. Yet life and circumstances have changed as you would expect within the great human experience.

Have you ever considered that the challenges you face exist not because God has placed them in your path, but rather because there is some aspect of your experience, your previous learning that needs modification and as such is exploited by a hidden enemy fully aware of that deficiency? Instead of whining against the circumstances; ever begging for a changed existence, your duty, your obligation, your absolute requirement is to discover how to overcome! Each piece of darkness that prevails does so by some ignorance of the truth concerning it. Every affliction, every anguish, every burden, every discouraging aspect of your present life exists only until you finally uncover the truth concerning it and change your vote accordingly. Your belief of the truth; your full persuasion concerning that which is right; your unalterable determination, is the only course to victory in the great human experience.

Life in all of its varieties and manifestations has been programmed by its Source to prevail. You can learn to live above the distractions, the heartaches, the troubles of life as you consciously decide to learn what the experience; what the circumstance contains for you. Instead of frustration leading to fear, start paying attention to recurring dramas, to issues resembling other issues, to chronic problems and then believe God to show you the solutions, indeed the way out! If you were smart enough to have done it on your own, you would have done so already. You are only as stuck as your dogged pride has determined you to be. Believe to see. Accept that you do not know already. Admit to your need for assistance. No-one wins at life on their own. If you do this, you will, like the blind man who God gave back his sight, at last see and in seeing, change…

This is the only way to master the great human experience…

Just some good thoughts…