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…

 

The Great Energy Drain…


Have you ever felt like you are lacking energy and have lost your enthusiasm for living? Do you often feel like life has become a drudgery and that there is nothing hardly to look forward to anymore? Has life just worn you down and you can’t seem to find the way back up? Are you simply tired of it all? These feelings are all part of the human journey and you don’t live many years without experiencing them in some form or fashion. The solution (and there is a solution) may surprise you!

The problem with problems is that they wouldn’t be a problem if we knew the answer. Behind every problem; behind every issue that assaults our minds is some hidden cause. The more hidden the cause, the greater the likelihood of the problem continuing. Our spiritual opponent, the ultimate energy drain, functions in secret. The greater his secrecy, the greater his success. What you don’t know will hurt you! Often people find themselves attempting to address their issues with activities that have absolutely nothing to do with the real cause. In this way, humans become pawns in a grand chess game, unknowingly making moves that lead to nothing but wasted time and wasted years. When we suffer lack in some capacity, it seems the solution would be to add something to the equation. If we lack energy, we seek after methods to increase our energy by getting more sleep, eating healthier, adding exercise or swearing off sugar and alcohol. And, while these options are based in physical science, they fail to consider the spiritual reality behind the problem. It isn’t that we are lacking the necessary energy, it is that we are allowing the existence of something that is stealing away our precious energy!

There are two great motivating principles in life – love and fear. Actions you take in love serve to increase your energy and multiply your enthusiasm for living. Actions you take based on fear, however subtly or cleverly disguised, ALWAYS lead to a depletion of your energy and produce its faithful companion – misery. Please read that sentence again! The root cause of your distinct lack of energy is FEAR! Remember the secret of his success is the secrecy of his moves (against you). If it was obvious to you, you would see it for what it is and seek a remedy. However, fear is often deeply veiled and hidden from view. Most people and I do mean most people, do not recognize the fear in their own lives. They don’t see it because they live in a world that runs and thrives on fear. Fear is the the great taskmaster making slaves of its subjects. The world, absent the light of God, is forever subject to slavery, literally ever afraid of a myriad of negative possibilities. And this, my friend, is the way people are living today on a steady and cruel diet of fear from sun-up to sundown; terrified of diseases, horrified at the prospect of getting infected, afraid of failing, scared of succeeding, worried about their children, frightened about the economy and on and on and on… The reason you lack enthusiasm for living is because fear has stopped you in your tracks! Fear impedes and hampers the natural process of life and reduces life to survival and acceptance of mediocre thinking and subsequent living.

Fear is always an illusion and the only real solution to the illusion is refusal concerning its existence. You cannot expect to live in perpetual acceptance of its existence by considering it and entertaining it and dwelling on it, then wonder why you feel the way you do. You are not excited about your future anymore because you have long been entertaining the lies about how your future is going to play out. You are letting your spiritual opponent define the narrative. Evil cannot see the future anymore than you can, but it can do a damn good job of convincing you about how it might turn out, which when considered and held on to long enough eventually shapes your reality. The solution to fear is first to recognize where it is working in your life, then to stop allowing it entree’ into your mind. Stop thinking it. Stop considering it. Stop giving it space. Look, everyone knows that there are a million things that could go wrong in life, but no one has ever been successful at stopping those things from happening by being afraid, worrying incessantly, or churning over their possibilities for hours, days, weeks and years.  No one! The only way to escape the clutches of fear is to starve it out.

Don’t waste another moment trying to figure out how to become comfortable with fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Perfect love casts out fear. God is love. Once you begin to rid yourself of the great energy drain called fear, you will find yourself increasing in energy and enthusiasm for living. When you are afraid you separate yourself from God; your only real source of help. Fear is sin. Fear seeks to deny the existence of God and seeks to enslave you to a counterfeit master. Finally see it for what it is – a lie. You’ll find that once you stop dutifully entertaining fear and instead hand over the care of your life to God, your peace will return; your enthusiasm and vitality will come back; the joy of living will find its way back to you again. This is very serious business folks and you have to do your part!

Life is a blessing to be lived to the full. We all get tripped up, we all get assaulted, we all go off track for a time. We are in a contest with an opponent that plays for keeps. We owe it to God and we owe it to ourselves to consider that there might be a better way to live. Make up your mind that enough is enough and that you aren’t going to stumble and bumble through another day. God wants you to understand spiritual realties and He is more than willing to turn on the light and help you see. Have you been a victim of the great energy drain? Why not tap into the source of life Himself?! God is love and God is life…

Just some good thoughts…

Escaping the Agitation…


We live in a crazy world, in a crazy time. If you are remotely in touch with your feelings you know that agitation is running amuck. Facebook has succeeded in getting you heated. The news is deeply under your skin. The President continues to tweet and you continue to read it. People you thought you knew are not the people you thought you knew at all. The masses, at least the American masses, have become so polarized and entrenched that they are conveying messages they don’t really believe, agreeing with arguments they don’t really support in defense of a team of which they aren’t really a part. Madness. Agitation. Confusion. You know you don’t like it; how you feel; the battle lines you are drawing. There has to be a way out of it. There must be a solution. Surely there is an answer! Well, there is, but it is going to take a little humility on your part. You are going to have to set that massive human ego aside and do something different. Can you escape the agitation? You better believe it!

Agitation at its core is the absolute opposite of peace. In a war, you cannot expect any modicum of peace while you are still engaged in the fight. In life, conflicts will always appear; will always challenge your thinking; will ever be right around the corner quietly awaiting your arrival. And once you arrive, it’s on like the break of dawn. Some things in life are worth fighting for, but sadly many things are not. They key is found in being able to discern the difference. Perhaps the most worthless fight in life is earnestly trying to make someone do something or agree with something or support something they do not support. When you are fighting for justice, there is no value in trying to convince those of injustices done when their aim is not justice. You are not going to educate someone out of racism. And although racism is born of ignorance, you cannot teach a student who is not yet ready to learn. Instead, you have to let that sleeping dog lie. Align yourselves with the people who do what is right and give not another second to those who do not. You cannot change evil. You can’t work hard to convince evil. Evil will continue to be evil and good will continue to be good. Work with those on the side of good. Otherwise, you will continue to find yourself in a fight you cannot win. You will continue to experience agitation and nothing will change as a result of it. The only loser will be you. Walk away from the evil and cleave to the good.

You cannot get peace from agitation anymore than you can get potatoes from onions. If you keep planting onions you are going to keep getting onions. Expecting your onions to turn into potatoes when they are onions is absurd. If you really want potatoes, the only logical course of action is to plant potatoes. Likewise, if you want peace you have to plant peaceful thoughts. Spending your days rehearsing and sharing the wrongs done to you will only lead to more wrongs done to you. How could they not? Every wrong thought repeated is a wrong result received. Maybe you went through some really shitty things. Well, God bless you. But listen, the way out of those things is to move in a different direction. Remaining in the crap, rehearsing the crap, lamenting the crap, complaining about the crap simply serves to keep you in the crap! Step out of the shit hole! Wipe the remains off your shoes and move ahead. Really move ahead. Let it go! Learn what you can learn, make some promises to yourself and move ahead. You cannot expect to dutifully remain in the agitation and hope for some peace. The peace isn’t found in the agitation. Your peace is always there for you, but you have to cooperate with it and center your focus on thoughts that bring you peace. Step away from the agitation and move towards the peace.

You can literally, unless you are on acid, only think one thought at a time. So, what are you thinking about? Are you cussing out your boss? Are you still fighting with your wife saying all the things you wished you would have said in the moment? Are you dwelling on everything you don’t have? Are you rehearsing all the things you don’t like about your life? If so, you are wasting your time! Worse, you are working against yourself to bring more and more trouble towards yourself. If you are honest, you are just fighting with your own thoughts. Crazy huh? Fighting against your own thoughts, when they are your thoughts… Change your thoughts. Stop thinking about the stuff that makes you nutty and puts you on overdrive! Stop letting Facebook and stupid memes and lying conclusions, run your life. Quit letting the media tell you how to think. Stop agreeing with senseless, idiots promoting opinions they neither originated nor understand. Just quit it! You are on a treadmill from which you have the freedom to step off. Don’t fret. Don’t fume! Don’t swear yourself to revenge. Step off! Get on track with something good and kind and useful instead.

The world we live in today has unparalleled access to our hearts. In the old days, you just read about this garbage in the paper. In the old, old days someone had to tell you these things in person. You never had access to the heinous opinions of other people because they would never tell them to you in person. But today, everyone has a voice; everyone has an opinion, everyone has something to say but most of it is just bullshit, rehearsed, repeated, undigested bullshit. And there you are reading it and allowing it to transform who you are! It has been said the greatest thing the devil ever did was to convince the world he didn’t exist. I would say the greatest thing he ever did was to invent social media, damaging souls and spreading division by the millions.

Unplug, check out, do whatever it is you have to do to stop feeding on what’s wrong with the world. It’s not choosing to be uninformed, it’s choosing to be informed by things that are actually true. Brothers and sisters, let it go! Walk away. Don’t look back! Don’t let agitations and tumult cut your life short. God’s peace is there for you if you want it but in order to receive it you have to let something go… Escape the agitation!

Just some good thoughts…

 

You vs. You…


After enduring another disastrous morning on the golf course, a good friend remarked something that really struck me! He said, “You are only competing against yourself.” How profound… Golf, seemingly more than any other sport, is a mental game and you win or lose right between your ears. Life is like that. The one you are really competing against is your own self. I know that life is spiritual and there is something behind what we see, but in its basic essence the most important struggle to win happens right inside your own mind. Will you win the battle of you versus you?

Inside all of us, a gigantic dichotomy plays out. We are literally two different entities living inside one body. One nature wants to seek out the good while the other nature seeks out the bad. It’s the old adage of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. And while that is not literally true, that scene plays out in a million variations. On the one hand we want to enjoy the best things in life and on the other hand we habitually settle for far less. One side of us knows the value of working hard while the other side seeks a quick fix. One part of us acts out of love and the other part acts out of fear. Almost instinctively we know the man or the woman we ought to be, but we cannot seem to get there no matter how hard we try. We know what we should do to be successful, but we fall short of it. Instead of using words that are uplifting and encouraging, we blurt out hurtful words and wound the hearts of others. We find ourselves in a perpetual conundrum. When the opportunity to do good presents itself, we don’t do it. But the things we hate, we do all the time. In the battle of you versus you, you have to fight. But, you are not fighting the world, you are fighting your own self based on the influences of the world. As human beings, it is our most important fight.

The reason we struggle to gain superiority over our own selves is because doing so requires that we learn to control ourselves. Self mastery requires control. How quickly we lose ground when victory is assured because we give in on some principle. We don’t see things through to their logical conclusion. We live inside bodies we no longer like, but are loathe to exercise the control necessary to set them right again. We fall for the false illusions of pleasure, offering us something they cannot give, then hate ourselves for doing so. We want to find the quick route, the shortcut, the workaround. We ignore the cautions because they don’t apply to us, only to suffer the consequences down the road. We have the hardest time in the world learning that the wrong choice leads to the wrong result in every case, though it may not be readily apparent. We so desperately want to be happy but don’t do the things that make for happiness. We want to have our cake and eat it too. We seek to blend the good and the evil and make them companions, hoping we can find a way to play in both leagues. The answer to our plight is only found in control, self control.

Learning to control yourself is a difficult task. Yet the failure to do so accounts for most of the misery that is in the world. Every failure that ever thwarted man has its roots in some failure concerning self control. Fear is a failure to properly control your thinking concerning some circumstance. Obesity is a failure to control what you eat. Alcoholism is a failure to control how much liquor you imbibe. Every character flaw, every weakness, every obnoxious habit comes about from a failure to control some aspect of your thinking and thus your life. Nothing is evil of itself. Things become evil in excess or overuse. Every aspect of life is to be enjoyed and it’s our job to recognize when our enjoyments are taking control of us. Anything that seeks to control you must be rigorously avoided at all costs. Once evil gets its foot in the door, it won’t be long before it moves in bringing more and more hurt and loss. Yet, your mind being the only thing you can actually control holds the key to every situation you find yourself confronted with.

The good news is that you can learn to control yourself. But, in order to do so, you have to learn how to control your thinking. The temptation to do wrong, which comes as easily as weeds growing in the garden, is resisted not with so much discipline, but more by refusal to think in certain directions. You cannot tinker with the wrong ideas, but rather immediately reject them. You have to think about what you are thinking about. If you feel miserable, chances are you are thinking thoughts that lead to misery. You cannot get a good life from bad thoughts. You cannot win a race by looking back. You cannot win the next moment fixated on the previous moments. You cannot learn and grow and change by adhering to the same thoughts which you have been cleaving to in the past.  You cannot win if you think you cannot win. You, my friend, have to stop saying the things to yourself that defeat you. You have to get off your own back. You have to dwell on your good and not your evil. We all have some combination of good and evil going on inside us, but we win in proportion to how much we can minimize the evil and emphasize the good. (God has already graciously covered the evil).

This is a lesson that you have to learn for yourself. Try it out. Begin controlling some aspect of your life you feel has gotten away from you and see how good you feel about yourself. See how quickly your joy and enthusiasm for living come back. Self control is not something to be avoided in order to live a fun life, it is the very essence of a truly fun and enjoyable life.

Even your golf game will improve if you can get ahold of yourself in the midst of going astray. If it works for golf, it will certainly work for you…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

What I Know for Sure… (Birthday Blog)


As I reflect on another trip around the sun, there are, in the words of Oprah, some things I know for sure. For one, life is short. One day you are 30, then suddenly you’re 50 and before you know it, you’re 80. You live the day and the days keep on moving forward. Days turn into months, months turn into years and years become a lifetime. Early on you’re figuring out children and finances, struggling to find your place in the world. Then, your kids are grown and you are no longer so focused on your money or your place. Now you are someone’s grandpa and the grey haired manager at work. You’ve got more money and more time and you find yourself contented with less. Words like retirement start popping up and although you aren’t as old as your dad was at the same age, you have to give it some thought. Curiously, you find yourself considering your legacy; what you would want your children or other people thinking about when they remembered you. Did you ever answer the question of who you were?

With the passing of time comes wisdom. You’ve lived long enough and screwed it up often enough to finally consider your ways. Yet, you recognize all that time you spent judging yourself was wasted time. You see things for what they are and understand that life always has choices and though you chose wrong a thousand times, you can always choose right. And, it dawns on you that you also chose right a thousand times and maybe didn’t recognize it at all. Instead of measuring and evaluating yourself by your mistakes, you can put those mistakes in perspective and see how little a part they played in the grand scheme of your life. Once you finally stop judging yourself, you find you stop judging other people as well. You understand that they, like you, are also learning and developing and you are viewing them at only one place along their journey.

Instead of seeing life as a whole, you see it in all of its parts. There are good parts and bad parts, exciting parts and boring parts. There are times of rejoicing and there are times of sorrow. You succeed and you fail. You fall down and you get back up. You get your ass kicked for a time, then you kick some ass yourself. You long to live your life in perpetual comfort, but learn that much of life is uncomfortable, at least for a little while. You wish for life without challenges, but acknowledge that the challenges help you grow. You know you have an opponent in life and obstacles, but you figure out how to make sure the enemy isn’t you. Simple things become the best things. Complexity belongs to error. You can finally admit you have some weak spots and in so knowing can finally build yourself up. It also dawns on you that you have some gloriously strong parts and you can figure out how to tap into them as often as possible. Don’t discount the value of being able to make someone smile or lift them up and out of their misery. You see the power of your words and how you wield them, and thus use them to bring light and not darkness. You can appreciate the pain you have endured, not for having it, but for how it forced you to find the way out of it.

Life is full of change and nothing stays the same, except for God. No matter how low you have descended, or how far down the rabbit hole you may have ventured, He will give you the same love when you return. One thing is faithful and it is Him. He loves you when you do not love yourself. He provides help when you aren’t asking for help. He is the one great constant in life. He doesn’t change His nature. He does not do people harm. He is the polar opposite of the world’s portrayal of Him. He is not following you around pointing out your moral deficiencies. He is not judging you. You experience those things at the hands of His opponent, who is ever portraying himself as something he is not. God doesn’t make you feel bad ever. He makes you feel good. He is the goodness you have always dreamed of and He always will be. My life today would not be the life it is without Him. The times He has answered me, rescued me and picked me up out of life’s gutters, I cannot count. The insights, the inklings, the tips and clues are without number. He loved me into loving myself and did it again and again and again. One thing I know for sure is that God is only good always…

Life, this life always has the promise of good things. Pretty soon you find yourself more clear on how to access those good things. You discern your own cooperation with the madness and stop cooperating. You at last see the part you play and make better plays. Sure, you still fumble at times, but you don’t let your head stay there. You stay clear on all of your touchdowns and let the missteps go. In short, you love yourself and continue to love yourself, bulges, sore knees and all. You become adamant not to be against yourself any longer. You know God loves you and you walk out with that love. And, you get busy healing and helping and lifting and loving. You see humanity surging with pain and grief, disappointment and loss, and you get in there and offer them something different; something wonderful instead. This, my friends, is a life well lived.

I’m not done yet of course and have a lot left to learn and to do. No regrets at all… Looking forward to another trip around the sun and more time to love and to bless.

Life is good.

Just some good thoughts…

What Do You Think?


It’s interesting during these times of increased uncertainty and fear that there would also be an increase in depression. Depression by its very nature refers to the act of lowering something or pressing something down. You don’t start with despondency, you arrive there. If you have ever been depressed, you know how terrible it is robbing your life of all enthusiasm and energy. And despite where you end up, chemical imbalance acknowledged, much of what happened to you happened because of what you were thinking. What do you think?

All thoughts are not equal. Some thoughts bring life and joy and peace. While other thoughts work to shatter your entire nervous system. What you think does matter! Certain trains of thought, if persisted in, will bring about great detriment to your life. Entertaining thoughts of fear and worry work to steal away your life force. They literally suck the life right out of you. If you continue in them and do not thwart them, they will bring you down into the great valleys of life. And, once you find yourself down there, it is damn hard to find your way back! Fear thoughts make you sick. Fear thoughts fill your mind and body with anxiety. Fear thoughts are the ultimate destruction and they have no logical end point. Fear thoughts are always a lie threatening some future day. And since you cannot live in the future, they will continue to work you over until you fold! Fear thoughts are not overcome with logic and more and more understanding. While it is true that ignorance leads to fear, at the end of the day, fear thoughts must be starved out. Each day spent in fear is a day lost. What you think and what you refuse to think does matter. It matters more than almost anything you can do in this life. 

That thought would have such a powerful and lasting effect in people’s lives, yet remain so misunderstood is one of the great mysteries of life. Your life, my life, literally hinges upon the thoughts we allow and encourage and those we refuse and reject. Your thoughts are one of the few things you can control in this life. And, aside from some rather vague generalities concerning being positive, we have been largely uninstructed in this regard. It is a common belief that people live their lives while thinking along the way, rather than what people think actually forms the basis of their lives. Good thoughts, right thoughts, true thoughts bring abounding peace to their possessor. Right thought introduces energy into your existence. Proper thinking leads to warm and sunny circumstances. Good thoughts open your heart to the goodness that is in the world and allows you to see it. True thoughts bring clarity and genuine understanding, shining a bright light on all that is false and harmful. Thoughts of guilt and condemnation, while appearing noble, actually rob your life of all vigor and grace. Hateful, judgmental thoughts bring harshness and cruelty to yourself first then to all others you come into contact with. While thoughts of love and kindness serve to soften and warm, bringing healing and every good possible. All of the various and unlimited, possible outcomes are wrapped up in the thoughts you entertain most frequently. 

The time to focus on and correct your thinking is today. You are only responsible for the thoughts you think right now. What are you thinking about? What thoughts race across your mind? What thoughts seem to settle in the background like dark specters, offering all the reasons why you cannot be happy or why you cannot finally relax? We all want to be happy, but we don’t all think the thoughts that are happy. Instead we sort of let our minds run like a motorboat, then act surprised when we end up at destinations we neither chose nor encouraged. We seem to wish that life would just work out no matter what we thought. We think failure, fear failure, expect failure, then get pissed off that we failed. How could we not? If you live your life being deathly afraid of some negative variable, get ready to face that variable! God didn’t do it to you, you did it to you! You have a solemn responsibility to control your thinking. You decide what you are going to think about or at minimum what you are going to keep thinking about. When you find yourself struck by some sudden negative element in your thinking or for that matter in your life, you have a decision to make. What are you going to think about? Are you going to cooperate with evil by spending your days contemplating some awful variable or are you going to think something else? They’re your thoughts! They have always been your thoughts…

It is never too late to turn your life around. You change your trajectory by changing your thinking. You don’t have to control and manage every thought, just your next thought. You decide. If you are feeling depressed, lacking energy and vitality, chances are you have been thinking about the wrong stuff, a lot! If you feel miserable and defeated, you are not thinking soundly. Your emotions follow your thoughts and not the other way around. If you feel agitated and distressed, fearful and anxious, ask yourself what you have been feeding your mind. What are you thinking? Believe it or not, you are responsible for the things you put into your mind. Oh sure, sometimes weird stuff pops in, but you don’t have to let it stay. I’m not talking about drowning yourself in positivity, despite whatever is going on. I’m talking about stop drowning yourself in negativity. Stop encouraging those thoughts. Stop feeding them. Stop giving them space in your mind. You aren’t just being human, you are squandering your resources. Every happy person you have ever met has had the same mental challenges you are having, they just refused to let them win! What do you think? 

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…

Connecting the Dots…


Life in its basic essence is spiritual. It originated from a spiritual source (God) who embodies love in every capacity possible. The creation is infused with order and laws that do not change. There are principles that cannot be altered. When the proper chain of reasoning is applied, you cannot fail. But, in order to be successful, you have to connect the dots.

The main reason that people suffer is from not knowing nor understanding the truth. In not knowing, they fall prey to a wicked despot working through the systems of the world to bring heartache and loss. He succeeds by introducing error, which when believed and practiced brings defeat. Though immensely intricate and well thought out, it can be summarized simply as those things that contradict the truth. Fear, which rules the world, is always error. Though it be justified and rationalized and even accepted as part of the human condition, it is man’s basic enemy which must be defeated. In the proportion that men overcome fear, they enjoy health, prosperity and success. In those areas where fear is permitted to remain, they suffer loss. Fear is the primary weapon the adversary uses to control and enslave people. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it is fear. In order to connect the dots, you have to recognize those areas where fear prevails and defeat it.

Fear feeds on and works according to principle; an unchanging principle that God set up for mankind; namely that those things a man believes in his heart will come to pass in his life. When operated positively, a man can overcome any challenge, achieve any result and see the impossible come into reality in his existence. However, believing also has a dark, negative side called fear. Fear is wrong believing. Fear is believing in reverse. Fear is becoming persuaded of some negative, potential outcome and holding onto that imaginary outcome until it too comes to pass in your life. The enemy parasitically leeches off this basic principle to bring evil and pain upon all people. The reason it has worked so successfully is because of man’s ignorance of the truth. Worse, many people aren’t even cognizant that they are afraid as fear has many, many disguises. It shows up as procrastination, as anger, as settling for less than the best, as a loss of enthusiasm and energy. It produces stilted actions, shame and all manner of ingenuine behaviors and hypocritical stage acting. It is life that has stopped moving forward, frozen in place and unable to move freely. It is the antithesis of love and as such is only overcome by love. Properly connecting the dots means to choose love.

Of all of the principles a man can employ in his life, love is the most powerful. God is love. Love activates believing; positive believing which yields phenomenal results. The actions you take in love cannot fail. Love is the great overcomer, able to heal and deliver and rescue from any situation you find yourself in. Love, when properly applied from your heart, melts fear away exposing it for the illusion it always was. Love isn’t just warm feelings but more so warm actions directed towards other people and yourself. Love is a decision made not from repayment but as a free-will offering expecting nothing in return. Love is the truth exemplified in actions. God so loved that He gave! We so love that we give. All men need God’s love and until they receive it are unable to fully love themselves. God loves us into loving ourselves. He looks past our foibles and our failings. He loves us unconditionally without any merit on our part to earn it. He forgives the unforgivable and sets us free from guilt and condemnation. He gave us His son, the perfect for the imperfect, forever liberating mankind from a cruel and hateful opponent. In this life you triumph as you connect the dots that God is love, the source and the originator of it.

Connecting the dots in your life means opening your heart to the truth. It means applying God’s system of logic rather than the world’s dog eat dog logic. It is refusing the endless pursuit of number one in favor of the pursuit of helping meet the needs of number two and three and four. It is shifting your focus away from yourself, your unmet needs, your problems, your difficulties and frustrations and turning them over to someone else; namely God. It is choosing to give instead of always trying to get and then receiving because of it. It is the polar opposite of how the world propounds things work! It is unselfish because it isn’t terrified its own needs won’t be met. It places its trust in the hands of another instead of always trying to figure out everything for itself. Connecting the dots means doing things God’s way, with God’s heart of love and concern for all people.

In these tumultious times we find ourselves in today, don’t fret and get anxious or worry how things are going to turn out. Learn to connect the dots spiritually and see for yourself that God is love and that in Him is no darkness at all. In so doing, not only will you enjoy the life that now is, but also the life that will never end. Connect the dots!

Just some good thoughts…

All I Want for Christmas is Love…


Christmas and the holidays in general bring back fond memories of times gone past; times filled with love and happiness and joy. It reminds us of the warm times we spent with our families; times when the people we ran into had a little more love, a little more kindness in their hearts. And yet for others, the holidays sometimes trigger sad feelings of loss and memories of loved ones who are no longer around. Or, they remind us of a better time; a time when things were simple and our lives were going the way we wanted them to go before we grew up and had to face a world that wasn’t always on our side. Whether our memories are pleasant or painful, what we all really want for Christmas is love…

We can all remember those precious times when we were young when we excitedly anticipated the big day when the mythical Santa came to visit and brought us the things that made us happy. Those days were all about ourselves and we didn’t take time to consider that someone was behind the scenes diligently attending to our happiness. We were completely unaware of the sacrifices someone was making to buy us the thing they really couldn’t afford or how many stores they searched to locate the last remaining big hit, popular thing that every child had to have. And why did they go to all of the trouble? They did it simply to bless us. They did it for the smile on our faces. They did it out of pure, unconditional love…

Flash forward thirty years and now we find ourselves the ones responsible for manufacturing the joy. Now, we are the ones expending the effort, carefully planning for the big day, worrying that maybe we missed something or that maybe someone didn’t get enough. And although we love a nice gift like anyone else, our real joy was found in the giving. Our true expression of love; indeed any expression of love always involves giving. And so we gave out of the love in our hearts and revelled in the joy that followed. Nothing brings a parent or a grandparent as much happiness as the happiness on the faces of those little ones. And in giving we found out what Christmas was all about. We learned that it is more blessed to give than to receive. And all that we gave, we gave out of love.

But, as we grew older with a few years under our belts and we no longer had to get up at 5:00 in the morning, we began to see a greater lesson. When our family starts to show up at our house with their parcels and merriment, excitedly bustling around, talking more loudly than usual with laughter abounding, we look at their smiling faces and we finally get it. These precious people, young and old, are what we really want. We treasure being around the people whom we love so dearly. We want to capture the moments forever. It’s the people, can’t you see it? It’s the love we share expressed in mutual smiles and warmth in our hearts. It’s the touch on someone’s shoulder or the clasp of a hand. It’s the laughter and goodness that follows our close associations. It’s the hugs and the tenderness of families and friends that is expressed in mutual affection. It’s your love and their love and shared love! It’s the love…

If you find yourself unhappy at this time of year, or just don’t seem able to capture the Christmas spirit, remember Christmas is just a day like any other day. It’s not magical or blessed, it’s just one day among many other days. The magic comes when you decide to stop making it about yourself; what you have and don’t have; what you’ve lost and where things went bad, but instead make it about someone else. We all feel that pang at times of simpler days long gone, but don’t let that discourage you. Living in this world, we all have access to other people, whether it be our family or our friends or that lonely lady who lives close by. So, you gather yourself up, set yourself aside for a minute, wipe the tears from your eyes and go love someone else. It’s not so important what you give, but that you give even if all you have to offer is some warmth and good intention from the heart. I think you’ll find that what everyone really wants for Christmas is love, love, love. Give love!

With the big day looming on the horizon, remember to give love. Whether you spent a fortune on someone special or made all your gifts yourself, what the people will fondly remember is your love. Our great God is a God of love and as such made His love the priority of our hearts; of all people’s hearts. Decide to love someone this Christmas. Decide to go out of your way to express that kindness and love. Get along with the difficult ones and give the sour ones a heartfelt pass. Love someone else with all that you are and see for yourself how wonderful love is. God is love. All I want for Christmas is 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…