Self Talk…

Human beings, unlike any other creature, contain this wonderful capacity to say things to themselves. It’s called self-talk. Inside, where no one else can hear, you can engage in your own internal dialogue whereby you say things to yourself, about yourself, concerning yourself. We all do it. The question is, what sort of things are you saying to yourself? How are you treating yourself? Are you being kind and patient with yourself or do you scold yourself for your shortcomings? Do you allow yourself the privilege to be human or are you harsh and overly critical with yourself? It’s time for some real honesty about the relationship you have been having with yourself! How is your self talk?

As you move about in the world, chances are you treat people the way you have been treating yourself. If you find yourself being critical of everyone and everything, it is a sure fire indicator that you have been levying that same criticism against yourself. If you have been angry and full of frustration towards others, you must be angry and frustrated with yourself. All of those emotions and negative feelings got their start somewhere. Their origin can be found within. Similarly, you cannot really love other people until you love yourself. You cannot freely forgive other people without first extending that forgiveness inward. Your behaviors and actions towards others are always a direct reflection of what is going inside you. As crazy as it may sound, you are literally in a relationship with yourself. You aren’t just you acting, absent anything going on inside of you. And, like any relationship, it is either maintained or damaged by how you communicate; by what you say. What is it that you are saying?

There is absolutely nothing positive that can come out of berating and chastising yourself. It just doesn’t work. Who do you know that got any better as a result of being severely castigated and rebuked? Sure, we all need correction at times, but hurling insults towards yourself and outlining, in order, all that is wrong with yourself is a recipe for failure. If you chew yourself up and spit yourself out, who is left behind to pick up the pieces? If you insist on opposing your own self, who is left over to fight for you? In the final analysis it is aberrant behavior and it comes forth from evil. Every single animal in the animal kingdom knows to fight for itself and protect itself. Animals do not work against their own best interests, but people do. But, when people do it, it is unnatural. Something, somewhere has gotten to you. Something has been working to turn you against yourself. Once you finally figure that one out, you have a chance to change it. Here is a welcome newsflash – every wrong thing you have ever done; every mistake you have ever made; every hurt you have ever caused; every dum dum thing you ever got caught up in, happened because of evil influences outside of yourself. If there was no such thing as evil, those influences would not exist and absent their influences, you would always make a better choice. Don’t you see it? All of that self torture you have been inflicting upon yourself is wrong on an epic scale. It is not noble or humble or pious, it is evil working within you to defeat you! If God be for you, who can be against you?

You must, in the absolute honesty of your soul, stop doing that to yourself. Stop opposing yourself. Stop speaking and doling out cruelty towards your own self. It is enough to stand against the endless accusations and judgments of the world without cooperating by endorsing and supporting it. I think you wouldn’t dare say the things you say to yourself, to other people. Yet, inside it is just another thought, spoken without any real consideration. Well, consider it! See it for what it really is. Look, if you had a friend whom you loved, what would you say to them? When, in the honesty of their own soul, they shared the negative things they thought about themselves, wouldn’t you challenge them? Wouldn’t you encourage them and point out all their good parts? Wouldn’t you extend your heart to them and offer how much you loved them? Wouldn’t you? Well, what about you and your own heart? Couldn’t you, at least, do that for yourself? Couldn’t you remind yourself that you are a work in progress; a human being with flaws and weaknesses? Couldn’t you give yourself a pass at times? Couldn’t you chalk it up to learning and give yourself a fresh, new start? Of course you could and you most assuredly should? You’ve got enough to stand against and oppose day by day, to try and accomplish it divided against your own self. Can’t you be a little better towards yourself?

One of the greatest defeats a human being will ever suffer is what happens when a person allows themselves to be talked into actively opposing their own best interests, to live in perpetual and active opposition against themselves. Every time you put yourself down; every time you speak harshness to yourself; every time you chastise and berate yourself, you are simply cooperating with your own personal adversary in severely limiting and hurting yourself. You have to learn how to be kind to yourself. You have to be patient with yourself. You have to get off your own back and encourage yourself towards a more worthy endeavor. None of us like it when we blow it, when we fail to measure up, when we fall short of the person we know in our hearts that we really ought to be. None of us. But, if you are honest, you know the only way to do better is to be better and we accomplish that by choosing carefully what we say to ourselves. God is on your side, even when you aren’t! Change what you have been saying to yourself and let God clean up the rest. How has your self talk been going lately? I hope it is full of love…

Just some good thoughts…


How to Get Back Your Tender Heart…

The number one reason people feel unhappy and unfulfilled in their lives is due to hardness of heart. Hardness of heart is subtle in that when your heart has gotten hard you are no longer aware of it, much like a callous on your hand. You can no longer discern you are getting poked! Today we focus on what you can do to get back your tender heart. I say back because your heart started out very tender, like the heart of a child, but the world and circumstances, disappointments and failures, as well as error believed then practiced rendered your heart hard and lacking feeling. It left you desensitized and numb to the true realities of life; those realities God wants you to experience. So, how can you get back your tender heart?

If you strip away all of the trimmings; get beyond all external appearances; get down to the very heart of things, all of us are the same. And although people are as varied and unique as the stars in the sky in multitude, we all want the same things. We all need love and acceptance; to belong and to feel needed. We have similar fears and dreads as well as similar aspirations for good health and prosperity. We all seek to get our needs met and the needs of those we love. Keeping this in mind is a good starting point for maintaining a tender heart. No matter how someone appears to be, whether abrasive and apparently heartless, aggressive and inflammatory, behind the facade is a scared, helpless person. At any given moment in time, all you may be exposed to is a version of that person, completely dependent upon where that person is coming from at any given time. Fear, which is error (also called sin or literally a stepping aside), is the number one hardener of your heart. Fear attempts to puff you up with a foolish disregard for things or people in an effort to protect you. Fear stops you from displaying the kindness and tenderness that is inherent inside. Fear of rejection or fear of not fitting in with the group leads you to all sorts of things that aren’t really you at all. Getting rid of fear with all of its associated lies is the first place to go to get back your tender heart. There was a time when you weren’t afraid of everything, that is until someone or some people taught you otherwise. Fear is a lie and like every lie believed, hardens your heart. Get rid of your fear…

Error in its most basic essence is the polar opposite of truth. The only sure way to discern truth from error is to know and understand God’s heart for His people, which can be found in His Word. Error, though almost always appealing, carries within it the seeds of error that damage and corrupt the vessel. Something can look good and feel good; be completely accepted by society, but if it’s basic essence is based on error it will only serve to hurt you. It will degrade and blunt your sharpness leading to more error and more heartache. All of us succumb to error in one capacity or another, but what matters most is what is in our hearts. Your heart will always respond favorably to goodness, to kindness, to love. And accordingly, your heart will always respond negatively to evil; to those being mean-spirited, to hatred. Thus your responsibility is to make love your basic response. As a great man once said, “Love sees more but is willing to see less.” Love covers a multitude of sins, because love comes from your heart. You want your heart to be more tender? Give people love! Bathe them in it. Love anyway… Practice kindness with absolutely no fear of a lack of repayment. Be tender in your approach and don’t reserve that tenderness solely for your children or grandchildren. If you think that through a little, the reason we can be tender with a child is because we have no fear of our love being rejected. Well, here’s a newsflash, no matter how that adult responded or how they behaved in the moment, they appreciated your expression of love at least as much as that child did. Trust me on that one. You want a tender heart, give out love to everyone. Once you know something is error, get rid of it. Love is at the basis of every good thing, so get rid of error and live love…

So let’s be honest with each other now. The reason your heart has gotten hard is because you have been damaged. You’re not weak or too sensitive, as many would purport, but rather, living in the world today, chances are you have been assaulted many times by an enemy you can neither see nor discern. You have been assailed often unfairly by a system setup to hurt you and break you down. Your adversary seeks only to steal from you and as such he steals away your happiness, your tenderheartedness, your true feelings of love and compassion and he does so because he hates God and all that is associated with God. God isn’t your problem ever, but his opponent is. Thus what you need most is God’s healing. You need Him to right the ship. You need God to make your crooked places straight. You need God to heal your broken heart. God is able to restore your heart and teach you how to feel again. You need God’s unconditional love. You need to know in His sight you are worthy and worth something, not because of what you do, but because of what He did for you. God and God alone can restore your heart and make life worth living again. God can open the eyes of your heart to the greater realities of life and make your path clear and obvious. Then, filled with His love and goodness, you can reach out and help all those other poor souls suffering and navigating a miserable existence. You want your tender heart back, get God’s healing for your life…

A tender heart is the best kind of heart. Get yours back my friends…

Just some good thoughts…

Have Things Gotten Bitter Between You? (Relationships with Sugar Added)

Relationships are often complicated because people are complicated. When a longterm relationship begins to dissolve, it’s not usually due to a big mistakes made or some epic past failure, but rather in response to a multitude of minor slights adding, multiplying and blending into one large, bitter whole! Relationships fail due to words not said, important things not remembered, genuine care and concern not demonstrated. It breaks up and splinters first in the mind, then in the heart from too many missed opportunities to communicate love. And despite all of its associated complexity, can be repaired quickly by adding a little sugar.

The problem with us humans is that we tend to hold on to the negatives and easily forget the positives. How many people still rehearse the cruel words spoken to them by their partner during a big fight from five years ago? How easy it is to compile a list of a spouse’s failings, then read those failings into future scenarios that soon become present? How many of you have simply made up your mind about who your significant other is and as such offer zero possibilities for a new way in a new day? Your boyfriend, your girlfriend has little chance to demonstrate proper behavior while being chained by you to the mistakes of their past.

Understanding relationships is understanding how each of us grow and evolve. People can and do change even after they may have shown you who they are. The point being that who they are isn’t always defined by who they were. Priorities change. Desires change. Happiness and contentment are based on varying stages of life. Change is good unless it is met with a refusal to see the person through a different lens. Maybe your ex-husband is so happy with his new wife because he finally was afforded the opportunity to be someone else. Maybe you needed to get away from your ex-husband so you could be someone else. Wherever you are or whatever you may be facing, you must have some capability to modify your thinking; to get out of your rut; to reframe your expectations.

I think if you are honest, you have to recognize that relationships require commitment on both parts. I’m not referring to your decision to commit yourself to the relationship, but rather your decision to commit yourself to stop drawing negative conclusions. You have to change your own mind, your own beliefs, your own long-held preconceived notions. You have to cease from being mired in perpetual negative expectations. No matter your justifications, your righteous rights, your standing up for yourself and your other stories you’ve made up to justify your shitty approach, you have to flip the script. You have to realign your “self-defense” mentality to one of alignment and loving mutual respect. You cannot make someone else be something else, but you can damn sure make yourself be something or someone else.

In order for a relationship to thrive there has to be some element of love involved and love is best characterized by sweetness. To think that sweetness is somehow weak or pitiful or acknowledging inferiority is to be deluded in regard to the essence of human relationships. Now I recognize that people have hurt you and maybe done and said all manner of terrible things to you, but that doesn’t negate your ability to be kind; to be tender; to be sweet. The alternative is simply to keep living and reliving the same nightmare over and over and over again. Your escape isn’t in finding the perfect guy or the ideal woman, but rather in relocating your heart; the one you had before the damage occurred. The real you wants to give love and receive love no matter how far down you got knocked. It seems risky but in reality there is no risk because love never fails!

Real love; true love; abiding love requires a new beginning, a fresh start. Just as you forgive yourself for your own absurdities and foolishness, you have to be willing to offer your love interest the same privileges. You have to learn to make your evaluations and draw your conclusions based on today in the moment called now. Today is always a new day and carries with it unlimited new beginnings. Sure stuff is going to happen that drags you back to yesterday, but in like fashion you pull your own self back to today. You treat your partner like someone you love in spite of yourself. Just as a soft answer turns away wrath, a soft approach can remedy a whole world of failings. If your love is always based on proper behaviors and the right words you are setting yourself up for a misery that cannot be overcome.

Decide right now to be that warm, loving person you know you really are already. Stop with your defensive approach, your self preservation, ever hedging just in case.  End your failure planning and plan to succeed. In spite of what is going on and what you are experiencing, be sweet; so lovingly, genuinely sweet. In doing so you will find that sweetness and kindness are irresistible and almost impossible to slight. You will find yourself on the high road, unshaken and unaltered in your thinking. You will find yourself living love and giving love from which there is never any need to retreat. You will be loving people how God loves you, unconditionally and without a change of heart.

No matter how bitter or jaundiced you may have become towards him or her, know that there is something you can do. Don’t go to the counselor with an expectation of confirmation for the things you have seen for years, but instead with an open heart regarding what you can do with you to effect a change. Maybe, just maybe it’s you! And if it’s not you, you still have the solemn responsibility to guard and nurture your own heart which is never accomplished in anger, fighting and bitterness of soul! Oh my friends choose sweetness! Add some sugar and see how much better it all tastes!

Just some good thoughts…


The Yoke’s on You…

slavery-tmFear is the silent epidemic that thwarts all hopes and dreams. Fear is the great hold-back and reason you procrastinate. Fear is the imposing wall between you and everything you ever wanted. Fear rules the entire world and few escape its grasp. Fear is your worst and most pervasive enemy. Fear is a yoke of slavery and the yoke is on you!

Nothing in life retards your progress like fear does. Fear stops you dead in your tracks. Fear will make you turn back when you need to move ahead. It works to silence the voice that is truly yours and ever seeks to make you into someone you are not. And although all these things are probably very obvious, folks just march on frustrated and working hard, pretending and faking; trying and trying; hoping and wishing, with little or no results.

You would think that the hardest thing in the world was actually getting what you want given the amount of energy you have spent trying to arrive. Now, I don’t mean getting some needs met here and there. I’m talking about being and doing everything you ever wanted to do. I’m referring to that “more than abundant” life God promised His children. I’m getting at the A+ life! That dream life, however it looks to you, is waiting around for you; not to figure everything out but to get rid of the obstacle, the blocker, the real effin’ problem…fear! Funny (peculiar) everyone denies its existence and everyone lives under its yoke. Again the yoke is on you!

It’s time to get honest folks. It’s high time to recognize the real issue. It’s not the economy, racism; where you live; your upbringing, the police; your education level, climate change, the terrorists, politics, money or lack thereof; your IQ, EQ or Ps and Qs, it’s you! Just let that sink in for a minute… Everything you really, really want but don’t have is because of your fear.  Obliterate the anxiety ridden doubt. Cast off the heavy burden, worry. Kill off every semblance of fear and you will find every good thing you desire. You’ll find it because it is already there, well hidden by the obscuring, deadening clouds of fear.

If you really want to live the A+ life and find the contentment and fulfillment you know deep down you desperately need, invest yourself in eliminating fear. Nothing good can come from bad no matter the disguise. Bad begets bad and fear is bad. If your motive is fear, for anything you do, the result can only be more fear. If you work hard out of fear, you won’t succeed. If you give to others based on fear, you won’t enjoy a harvest. Fear is an illusion. Fear is an expectation of defeat. Fear, through deception, brings negative results into your life. Fear is always about you. And, the only lasting solution to fear is love.

Love is the light that illuminates your path. Love isn’t blind, it’s just willing to see less. Love nurtures and encourages and builds. Love is never discouraged or impatient or frustrated. Love heals and revitalizes. Love warms and softens. Love removes every yoke. Love knows that what it seeks always comes to pass and there’s no power on earth greater than it. Love never fails. God is love.

The only possible way you can finally escape from the yoke of fear is by making the decision to love. So simple, yet so profoundly difficult. Real love isn’t all about you, it’s all about everyone else. Love doesn’t have time to sulk and brood and feel sorry for itself. Love doesn’t take what it already has for granted. Love doesn’t judge and criticize and condemn. Love seeks to relieve the suffering in others. Love wants to lend a helping hand. Love gives and gives and gives expecting nothing in return. Love speaks lavish words of kindness. Love forgives everything and everyone, knowing the true source of the wrong done. Love is tender-hearted and not afraid of revealing itself, for there is nothing wrong in itself. Love is the only enduring answer.

When you head out into the world tomorrow, instead of bracing yourself to be bold and brave and courageous; taking on fear wherever it shows up, do something different instead. Stop making it about you and make it about someone else. Quit pursuing your life’s dreams and help make someone else’s dream a reality. Love those people around you that you take for granted everyday. Love those people all around you. Just love them. Speak words of kindness and encouragement. Let your real heart out without fear of someone hurting it. Give your goodness to those folks at work. Have compassion on them and forgive them. Look deeply into their eyes and honestly seek their good. Heal them, help them, love them. Perfect love casts out fear.

The funny (peculiar) thing about love is that when you do it with all of your heart, all that you ever wanted for yourself comes to you without effort and striving and trying so hard. The door will open without you knocking. The opportunity will arise from the place you least expected. Your place, your purpose will find you because you finally found it, by deciding to love. So “funny” that getting everything you ever wanted was never based on pursuing everything you ever wanted, but rather by changing your focus to someone else.

The yoke’s on them, so why not help remove it?

Just some good thoughts…

Dead Battery? Jump Start Your Life!

iphone-battery-dead-2Nowadays it’s all about having enough energy. There are energy drinks, energy shots and 5 Hour Energy available at all of your neighborhood 7 -Elevens! The promise of giving you more energy is a billion dollar business. So that naturally begs the question, why are we all so dang tired? I mean really? What happens throughout a day that is sucking all of the life out of us? As you might have guessed, I have a theory…

Imagine that on the inside of your body, instead of a heart, you have a large battery. That battery gets automatically charged for the start of every day; fully green end to end. It doesn’t matter how much sleep you got; if the sun is out or not, it’s just charged up and ready to go. Add to that, it has enough energy to do everything you need to accomplish today, no matter how arduous. Throughout the day it uses energy according to whatever apps you have operating in the system of your mind, some in the forefront, some in the background. When the battery is green you feel alive and up to any challenges. You’ve got ideas, solutions, insights and vigor. When the battery starts to turn yellow you feel depleted and even the smallest things annoy you. You’ve got no patience; no ideas; no energy to think a situation through. Finally, when the battery flashes red you are completely out of gas. You reach for an energy drink or choose perhaps to go to bed early. “Man, eff this day!”

The apps that you play on your system are your thoughts. Some of those thoughts apply to your immediate situation while others are just sort of back there using up valuable power. When the thoughts you entertain are good, useful, purposeful and positive, your battery life glows green. But, when your thoughts are negative, fearful, anxious, angry, critical and frustrated, your battery level quickly depletes and beckons you to buy that 5 Hour Energy drink.

Sadly, many people fail to make the connection between the thoughts they are thinking and their energy level. Rotten thoughts eat away like a corrosive chews on your battery cables. Fearful thoughts will crash your system by 10:00 a.m. Uncontrolled thoughts, which almost always end up as negative thoughts, in this crazy world we live in, suck your energy right out of you. Dale Carnegie used to say that hard work never made a man tired. What makes a man tired is the thoughts he is entertaining while he works.

Have you ever watched an episode of The Duggers?  Sure they are corny as hell; have unusual hairdos and won’t even wear shorts for a 5K! But, haven’t you felt the slightest bit intrigued about how they interact with the world? They are just so darn pleasant and positive, and if you get past how much they don’t seem to fit in our world, you have to admit there is somewhat of an appeal to them. They’re just happy and lighthearted, expecting the best no matter what they are facing. Why else would so many people watch a country family with way too many kids living in Arkansas?  LOL

Seriously though, those Duggers are on to something! They’ve learned, thanks to their beliefs, that there is certain way that people were designed to act, which is ever preceded by their thoughts. Thinking good of people and doing good to people is how God intended for people to behave and behaving in that way guarantees a battery glowing green no matter what is going on. (Duh…God also made your battery!) On the converse, spitting out criticism; judging and hating everybody, which is also always preceded by thoughts, saps vitality like an embalmer sucks the blood out of dead bodies. And, dead minds don’t just show up via active evil, they also come about by entertaining thoughts of fear and worry and dread. Hey, let’s be honest okay? No-one wants a terminal disease; a tragic car accident; a complete loss of financial resources; something bad to happen to their child etc., etc. But all that fear you are incubating and nourishing day by day does nothing to make those things not happen; in fact, if you can bear it, actually encourage those things to happen! And along the way, in ignorance, we are dragging around our almost dead batteries (minds) looking for the next quick fix or outlet to plug into.

So, here’s a reality check! When you find yourself dragging around from thing to thing, despondent, depressed and looking for 7 Elevens, stop looking without and instead look within, not for the answers, but for your thoughts. What apps are playing in the foreground and in the background? Get out your app killer and change your mind. How you interact with the world does matter! That harmless game of pointing out what is wrong with everyone else is not a game, it’s an energy killer. Those angry words you shouted at the guy on the freeway who foolishly didn’t know the whole highway belonged to you and dared to drive slower than your appointed acceptable speed, didn’t injure him, they injured you! Those hurt feelings and lack of forgiveness you have been carrying around for 25 years about things that no longer exist, except in your memory, aren’t necessary. They are a background app sucking up all of your life juice!

Am I advocating a strict religious life where everything you do or think might be a sin? Of course not! (blahhhh!) I’m advocating love and kindness and forgiveness to yourself first and then onto everyone else. Actively looking for ways to bless people and make them happy is equal to carrying around a perpetual battery charger. And when your battery is glowing green, life takes on an effortless flow that you will never be disappointed with.

We all get tired folks, but there’s a big difference between tired and worn out… Stop at 7 Eleven if you must, but make sure you are really good to that person serving you!  That will do far more for you than any 5 Hour Energy drink!

Just some fully charged, good thoughts…