Just Be Honest…


Almost ten years ago, I wrote a series of blogs about being honest with yourself. Both then and now, when thinking about what it means to be honest with yourself, there still seems to be some confusion about what that really means. By the time we reach adulthood, we generally have a strong concept concerning being honest towards others and the importance of doing so. Yet, that honesty must always be tempered with love and compassion for the other people involved. It’s not honest to hurt people’s feelings or do and say things that may be “technically” honest yet leave people the less off as a result of it. There is no love in that. Many things are said and done under the guise of being honest that do nothing more than reduce another person’s value and worth. Similarly, being honest with yourself must also carry with it the necessary ingredient of love, or it too becomes no longer beneficial. To be honest with yourself means having love for yourself and a sincere desire to get to the bottom of a thing. When it comes to solving the problems and obstacles that plague mankind, you must first be willing to be honest with yourself. Just be honest…

Children are the best example of people being honest with themselves. When they are sad they say so. If they have unmet needs they do not take on the adult trait of rationalizing their unmet need, but instead communicate that need immediately and refuse to stop bringing it up until the need is met. It is not until many years later that they learn to stymie their needs or sublimate their needs or ignore their needs. And while you can make a good argument for not being childish in terms of getting your needs met, you cannot devise a good argument for acquiescing to unmet needs. Yet, that is how the whole worlds lives, slowly dying the painful death of unmet needs and unfulfilled lives. Everyone or almost everyone is suffering, sick, afflicted and tormented. The question is why? What happened to us all that convinced us that suffering is a necessary part of life and therefore something to be quietly accepted. Perhaps it is the apparent futility of it all or maybe years of trying with no tangible results. Whatever it is and whoever it is, it calls aloud for remedy. 

At my ripe age, I’m smart enough or maybe experienced enough to understand the types of things that befall us. I too have had my share (whatever that means) of suffering and difficulty. Just on the surface alone, it becomes blatantly obvious that perhaps suffering is not so much based on someone predetermining my rightful “share” as the unlearned preach, but instead how much I have learned and accepted that I will have to take! Putting up with suffering and defeat or worse expecting it, is categorically wrong. It is error practiced. It is not being honest with yourself. All of us fail and fall short at times. All of us do bad things. All of us got caught up in insane stuff. It isn’t your humanity or shortcomings that are defeating you as much it is your erroneous views about how life works. Some people suffer beyond all proportion to their weaknesses. Getting honest with yourself isn’t about engaging in more mind numbing thoughts of condemnation and self judgment. Again, there is no love in that. How many times must you beat yourself for your mistakes or then, how much must you pay? Being honest with yourself means getting down to the heart of the matter and in many cases just being willing to admit you do not know. How liberating and refreshing it is to finally say, “I do not know,” when in your heart you know you haven’t known all along. There needs be no ego when it comes to getting your needs met. You will go to the doctor if the pain gets strong enough. Being honest means going to get the help you need. Having unmet needs is not a sign of weakness, it is sign that you need to do something you have not done yet. Being honest with yourself with love is the precursor to all deliverance and healing. Just be honest. 

Relationships fail when people, for whatever reason, stop being honest with each other or perhaps from having never been honest with each other. People would rather break up or divorce before having the courage to say just exactly what the hell is going on. Relationships built on pretending to be a certain way to win the favor of another cannot prevail. God help the man or woman who feels they cannot say what needs to be said. That’s not a relationship, that’s a pretense. Oh it may look good to other people, but it damn sure won’t feel good. Now you are not being honest with two people and one of them is you. Of course, you can save up all your anger and bring it all out in one hurtful shouting session, but that’s not love either. There’s a way to say what you need to say and also fight fair. If your partner genuinely does not care about what you have to say, you will have to do your own math on that one. Get honest with yourself. Say what you are feeling and why. Your feelings are your feelings and right or wrong they belong to you. Not saying them or constantly revising them for the other person is not honest either. You do your partner no favors by not speaking up. Being honest with yourself may feel unpleasant at times, but it feels a lot better than the lies! Get some counseling. Talk to a trusted friend. Get something but live no longer in the lie.

There is no one better suited for your complete, total, full heartfelt honesty than God, our Heavenly Father. God will never use your honesty or vulnerability against you. He already knows where you slip up and fall short. But, more importantly, he also knows why you slip up and fall short. He knows your every thought. He sees the things you cannot see and thus has great, great compassion for you. He has the solution for EVERY effed up thing that ever happened to you! He hears your prayers and He looks on your heart. You don’t suffer because you are a screw-up, you suffer because you do not know. Your responsibility is simply to be completely honest with Him. Lay it all out there, the good, the bad and the ugly. You ain’t the first person to have your issues and you won’t be the last one! Don’t let your ego get in the way of your answers. God is all-knowing which means He knows exactly what you need. Similarly, He isn’t going to require you to be someone you are not because that is also not honest. Who wants artificial love and rote behaviors? You can trust Him. Just get committed to being honest about what is going on first with Him and then with others who may be involved. Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to getting your needs met and living successfully. It’s not too late no matter what has gone on before. Just be honest…

Just some good thoughts…

 

How to Get What You Want…


Have you ever taken the time to figure out what it is you want most out of your life? The question, so simple yet loaded, isn’t really as complicated as you might imagine. I often muse that it’s not that we don’t know what we want, but rather that we don’t want to admit what it is. We sort of go with the flow and head down the paths that seem easiest to navigate. In this, we don’t really choose, but instead grab at the first option, always consoling ourselves with the notion that we can figure it out later. Yet, many, many years later we find ourselves on the same old path, just further down the road a bit. It’s as if actively choosing a destination leaves us vulnerable to the possibility that it might not happen. So, instead of actively pursuing our dreams and all the risk associated with it potentially not coming to pass, we settle for something less. We work jobs we don’t enjoy in career paths that seemed the most logical in terms of being sensible, yet miles perhaps from the those things that make our hearts sing. Inside, deep inside you know what you want most and you can realize those things in your life if you will simply be honest about what turns you on and have courage enough to go and get it.

Most people, sadly, live their lives in accordance with other people’s dreams, never really giving themselves permission to go down paths unique to them. Instead they choose approved paths; accepted paths; well-worn paths where the masses travel. They’re afraid to make their own paths for fear of failure or disappointment and in so doing fall in line with societal expectations, safe choices, and generally rubber stamped options that help someone else realize their own dreams. They give their life and energy and effort to working in exchange for money; money that is always not quite enough to allow them to forgo the burden of having to continue doing the same. They do so because the lion’s share of the profit is reserved for those taking the lion’s share of the risk and in their aversion to the risk (fear), the cycle persists. In America and maybe other first world countries, it seems we have all bought into the idea that the vast majority of our life is to be spent in activities we do not enjoy for those rare intervals of respite and freedom to do what we want. And logically, in our leftover time, we don’t have the wherewithal to do anything else. Our best effort, our prime time has already been promised to another. We find ourselves caught in a trap that we cannot find a way from which to escape. We fault the wealthy for their wellspring of free time, yet wish we had the same. We dream of houses and vacations and fun and freedom, but never quite believe that we can have them. Instead we settle for our lot in life, which really isn’t our lot, but instead a well designed scheme to keep us in place, in line and unfulfilled.

We think it is money or the lack thereof that keeps us bound never entertaining the fact that we ourselves are our own limitation. The man;  the system; the wheel of things isn’t what keeps us from achieving or realizing our dreams, we are. Somewhere, somehow, we have been coerced into believing what it is we can and cannot have. We set limits where there are no limits. We dismiss our innermost treasures as fanciful and get right back to the business of slaving away for the things we do not hold dear. We act as if our lives were predisposed to move in one direction; with one set of options and an already established final outcome, as if God has destined us to do so. We are half talked out of any new endeavor before we have even taken the first few steps. When doors open for us, we are afraid to walk through them or waste away the opportunity researching the pitfalls of moving in the new direction. We don’t get what we want because we don’t believe we can get what we want. Even when we have good ideas or begin to touch upon those things whereby we can have the most impact and be the most fulfilled, we move so slowly and with such fearful caution that we seldom have enough time left to get the job done. It isn’t that we do not know how to get what we want, it’s that we don’t believe we can actually get what we want. Instead of doing, we spend time all day thinking and dreaming, wishing and hoping. Someday we can have it, but not today.

The only way you can get what you want in life is to believe that you can. As long as you don’t believe that you can, it is not going to happen for you. It’s not first about putting the time in, paying your dues, being patient or anything else anyone has told you that eliminates the necessity of believing for yourself. Belief, real belief always has corresponding actions associated with it. Belief is not waiting for the future, belief takes action now. Belief does not wait for all of the circumstances to line up, belief challenges and thereby changes the circumstances. Belief is not dependent upon the right degree or winning the lottery or any contrary thing that says you cannot have or cannot do for any reason, but believes and does anyway. Belief, positive expectant belief is the forerunner to all success in every category of life. You will go as far as your believing takes you and you will not go as far as your believing takes you. And, no-one decides what it is you can believe except you. No-one…

It is never too late to realize your dreams in life. It is never impossible to get the things you want; the things you hold most dear. Quit waiting and wondering about it. Stop stewing and brooding and being so damn fearful about things not working out. Those thoughts haven’t gotten you anywhere good yet anyway, have they? Life, this frightfully short life, isn’t about wandering around wishing and praying for those things that would make your life complete. The life you want to live is available for you to live once you finally stop standing around and decide to do something about. Do something now. Think about it. Pray about it. Set some positive expectations, make some plans and begin to pursue it. You aren’t getting any younger. Go and get it. You already know how. Believe, then for God’s sake, act!

Just some good thoughts…

Good Vibes…


Palm-TreesMuch research has been done concerning the energy levels that all of us are producing. Some folks even go as far to say that our energy levels meet before we actually meet. New Agers call it vibrations and posit that higher level vibrations or frequencies attract other high energy frequencies. Higher level vibrations encompass things like love, positivity, abundance, kindness and gratitude, while lower level frequencies consist of things like fear, worry, anxiety, poverty and lack. Whatever you want to call it, however you want to frame it, there is such a thing as good vibes and good vibes appear to lead us to good things. The questions then become, are you living with good vibes or bad vibes? Are the vibes you express automatic or is there something you can do with your mind to encourage or if needed, discourage them? And finally, are the vibes you find yourself living within a product of your circumstances or are they something you are putting out in every situation that you encounter? 

Whenever we travel to southern California to visit our children, I always feel as if the vibe in that sun soaked environment is more relaxed and conducive to good times. The people we encounter seem more comfortable with themselves and the conversation with strangers is almost always pleasant and warm. Conversely, some folks find the California vibe distasteful, filled with liberal thought and people lacking the capacity to understand real world issues. Yet despite that rather narrow view and even more compelling to me, those folks with lots of resources, as evidenced by their beach zip codes, appear so calm inside and willing to engage with others as if they found a secret to living and are content to share that kindness and goodness they enjoy with other people. It was just the strangest thing. So, I have to ask myself, is there some magic in the land of sunshine or is it the vibe I’m sending out in anticipation of a good time? I’m guessing it is the latter! 

As I flash back on that brief, long-weekend jaunt, there was something different I was doing with my mind. I purposefully determined myself not to think about pending issues at work or rehearse difficulties I might encounter. I refused to worry about anything going on. In fact, I decided I would be flexible and wherever possible, just go with the flow. On our first full day, my plans got rearranged by circumstances, but instead of allowing it to mess up my adventure and remain pissed about it, I changed my mind and changed my plans, consoling myself with the idea that I was going to have fun no matter what we did or when. I purposefully greeted people with kindness and warmth and was hopeful I could positively impact someone’s day simply by treating them well. I didn’t complain or bitch about anything. I dwelled on all that was sublime about being with my family and refused negatives no matter the form they showed themselves in. The more blessed and happy I chose to be, the better things felt and the better the end results. And, as I dwelt in good vibes nirvana, it dawned on me that perhaps I should pursue every day in this manner. 

If you really give it some thought, what is it that takes away our happiness or our positive expectations; our good vibes? Most of the time it is circumstances, not so much what is going on around us, but more so our thoughts and beliefs concerning those events. People are both happy and miserable under the same warming sunlight. Whether we would like to admit it or not, we choose fear, we choose worry, we choose negativity and complaining. We hold our own selves back waiting and waiting for it to appear that good things are lining up for us. It never enters our conscious thought that good things and good times are waiting for us to get on the same frequency from whence they originate. We fail to hold up our part of the bargain, but instead beg God to turn things around for us, despite our own sour thoughts and negative disposition. We but half live our lives, afraid to embrace pure positivity should we become disappointed in our expectations, all the while remaining half negative and half positive just in case. In this we are deceived and are coerced into cooperating with the very things that seek to hold us back. The choice to be happy and to remain happy is always ours and ours alone. We don’t really need it to look like things are going well before we decide to act as if things are going well. We just need to change our energy. We need to improve our vibe. We need to be it before we see it!

After you have engaged in the proper amount of reflection concerning this, while all the while staving off thoughts that suggest it isn’t you but rather the circumstances that surround you, test the theory with a personal decision to put your quest for good vibes into action. Choose right now to be happy and stop dwelling on the things that are endeavoring to bring you down. Stop being so negative about everything. Quit rehearsing defeats that may have occurred and lay aside those nagging fears hell bent on predicting your future. Nothing can accurately predict your future as well as you. Lay aside those incessant complaints about people, your job or your circumstances. For God’s sake let it go. No man living ever improved his circumstances by bitching about them. Act as if today is the best day of your life. Look for the good in things, where good exists, and leave all of that monumental fear of loss with God, the only One with power enough to prevent it from happening. Change your thoughts for real. Oh yes, you are going to be challenged. For sure, circumstances will pop up to remind you of something negative. Things will appear to spell some pending disaster or impossible potentially life threatening health issue. That is the contest you (and I) find ourselves in.  Almost as quickly as you work to make positive changes, negative challenges will appear not as reality but instead an ‘imagined’ reality to drive you back into your former lifestyle of defeat. You won’t know until you try and if you never try, you won’t know! What have you got to lose? Put those good vibes into the crucible of your experience and see for yourself. Good, good, good vibrations lead to good, good, good results and they are not limited to the golden coastline of California…

Just some good thoughts.

 

The Dating Game…


the dating gameI know what you are thinking. How is a guy who has been married for almost 38 years going to give you some advice on dating? Great question. So, instead of thinking of this as advice, refer to it rather as the inner musings of a guy who likes to write and to think and to question things as they exist and consider their veracity. I mean, are you sure you have this dating thing figured out? Can dating be figured out? Are you carrying around unrealistic expectations for that perfect someone, whom I imagine if they exist, have lots of competition for their interest? Or are you just a guy trying to get a girl to love him and the converse, of course.  If you find yourself playing the dating game, are you winning? Is dating even a game you want to win? It’s time to further investigate the dating game together.

When I think back to those early years when I was involved in the universal game of girl chasing, I wasn’t old enough or mature enough or maybe even smart enough to have really thought any of it through, at least not to any great extent. I didn’t have a list of things I wanted in a woman. I hadn’t considered whether or not the person I was looking for had common interests with me. I didn’t entertain a bunch of physical must haves other than wanting to be with someone that I thought was attractive; attractive in the sense of attracting me. And sadly, or maybe happily, that was about it. As a poor college student, I didn’t really have enough dough to plan extravagant dates that would impress my would be future companion. Instead, I found myself looking for someone that seemed like they might be looking for me. Chalk it up to naivety or youth or probably both, but that was about the extent of it. Now, as I reflect back, so many years later, I think I was blessed with not knowing enough or maybe not doubting enough to complicate the whole process. Dating shouldn’t be so damn complicated, should it? At the end of the day, I like you and you like me seems to encompass most important questions.

I believe the problem with dating today is all of the complexity people have added to it. The world and social media and reality shows have succeeded in portraying an image of romantic relationships that are not based in reality. There are so many expectations both obvious and implied that serve only to severely limit the options for the would be ‘dater’ or ‘datee.’ Dating, if your end game is marriage or a lifelong partner, is not trying to find the perfect compliment to yourself, but rather the person who seems to offer the most potential to be that person. People, like anything that has free agency and unlimited capacity for change, are always to be observed in light of their potential. When I got married, long before the internet was invented, my wife married me for my pure potential. I didn’t have it together by any stretch. I didn’t have any money. I chose fun above all responsibility, a trait that persists to this day, though to a much lesser degree. I didn’t have a 5 year plan or 10 year plan or honestly any plans at all. I was a science project in pure potential. Yet somehow, incredulously, she saw something in me that was good and fought for it until something good appeared. Do you see what I’m trying to say? Here we are some 37+ years later, still loving each other; still committed to one another. Early on we made some decisions, trusted God and went for it. That’s not to say we didn’t have any struggles or obstacles, on the contrary. We had lots of things to navigate and still do at times, but the bet we made is still paying off in each new season of life. We are not done growing yet and throughout it all we are growing together.

Maybe you aren’t 21 years old anymore. Maybe you figured out many things you didn’t know when you were so young. Maybe you already have a career and increased expectations for yourself and for your future. That’s wonderful for sure, but don’t let that trick you into adding complexity where no complexity exists. The conundrum of choosing the wrong person and subsequent unhappiness exists for every potential relationship. But, by the same token, sublime happiness and fulfillment are also a possibility. There’s just no guarantee as the variable will always be yourself and that other person. You don’t need someone who is perfect in every way as the measure isn’t where you start, but where you end up. If you are going to pick someone, pick them based on their commitment to you and their willingness to fight through the challenges of life with you. No matter how much like a fairytale your beginning is, the honeymoon will eventually end and you will find yourself with this person who has annoying traits similar to your own annoying traits. You are going to see them both at their best and at their worst. No matter who you choose and how much you vet them out, they are going to be a person, a human being, with all that goes along with that. Relationships aren’t about finding the perfect match, but finding the person willing to adjust and adapt and change themselves, by their own free will,  to better enable a perfect match because they love you.

As I travel back in time, I can honestly say that in the early days, I did not give one iota of thought regarding whether or not my parents or my siblings would like the person I chose. I wasn’t marrying for them, I was marrying for myself. Oh sure, she was super pretty (smile) and still is, but I always figured that the person I loved, they would love also for my sake, if for nothing else. Once, when we were feuding, my mom said she didn’t think my wife was the one for me. Once, (or twice) her mom said the same. Yet, it wasn’t their choice to make, it was ours. Save yourself some difficulty by trusting your own heart, not someone else’s. When it comes to relationships, there will always be something you don’t like. Don’t let that influence your ultimate decision. Doing so adds pressure and presumes something that isn’t a real indicator of anything of substance. I think sometimes people treat dating like a job interview where you try to get a sense of the person’s character, but all you really get is a sense of how well they have learned to present themselves to get something they want. Most job interviews are over minutes after they begin as your energy greets their energy and decisions are made. Dating is like that. It isn’t really how polished they are or whether you can relate to everything they say. It’s more the uncomplicated, I like you, do you like me?

My advice or musings if you prefer, is to get yourself out there and meet people. Have fun, have experiences, go and do the things you like to do. The person you are looking for is looking for you as well. You are trying to find them and they are trying to find you. The reason you haven’t met yet or maybe met and haven’t recognized it yet, is because one of you or both of you are assigning too much analysis to the process. You are overthinking it. You are seeking to apply your rational thought to matters of the heart. You are afraid of it not working out for you which is delaying it from working out for you. I know it seems like a lot is at stake, but really what is at stake is your happiness in the moments called now. And above all, share your love and goodness with people. Love the people you encounter in a day. Open your heart to them when it’s right and extend your kindness to whomever you meet. Be the best version of yourself, not with worldly standards and expectations, but with the love you have inside that you are willing to share with other people. Nothing is as attractive to people as love is and the more you are willing to share it, the more you will receive it in turn. Don’t thwart love with too many expectations, but instead love without condition and see who amazingly shows up. My wife obviously took a chance on me, bless her heart. Why don’t you take a chance as well? You don’t win the dating game, instead you find love to share with someone else. There is nothing sweeter than that… Nothing.

Just some good thoughts…

The End Game


prayingWhen I first began writing, “Just Some Good Thoughts” my aim was only to provide a vehicle by which good thoughts of all kinds could be shared with people in order to uplift their spirits. But, the more I wrote, the more I recognized that I wasn’t just offering something nice to think about, but instead something true and reliable and sure from which any reader might recognize those areas of their lives that were not so good and thus seek something new, something different, something outside the established framework from which most people find themselves trapped. People unknowingly and often knowingly have accepted a life that is mediocre, defeated and sad. They wrestle with the same demons year after year, deflated and weary, privately begging for something better; something closer to the life they envisioned as a child when life was still pregnant with possibilities and hope for a bright future. Yet life and time and difficulty besieged them all perpetually and consistently until they finally gave in to the wheel of things, persuaded that the life they were experiencing was real life and that nothing better existed for them. It is for those poor souls I write and will continue to write, not as a chastisement but rather a remedy, indeed the solution to all that ever ailed them. To that end, life is so, so much more!

As someone vitally concerned for people’s happiness, which admittedly began as a quest for my own personal happiness, I find it a shame how far below par good hearted people have been forced to live. The world, with all of its advancements and progress offers no real help. All of the lightning fast technology and clever inventions and scientific research promising to answer the question, “why” still leave the heart answerless, afraid and unfulfilled. Bad things happen to good people and evil men appear to prosper and succeed. Life just doesn’t make sense. For every person there are at least a thousand opinions broadcasted and shared as truth leaving man confused and bewildered. Every answer given is not a real answer but a fabrication, a red herring, something from which an unthinking person might find temporary solitude. But, is it really solitude? If even one part breaks down, then aren’t all parts broken down? Is it possible that truth has holes in it or that perfection is also fraught with imperfection? If something is true then it must always be true in every circumstance and under every condition. All of the rest is error, error compounded upon error, lies upon lies, treachery on top of treachery. It is no wonder that people have given up on goodness and the possibility of a fulfilling and happy life. The life they live is not happy at least not with any lasting permanence. Instead it is fleeting and temporary and founded upon whether or not the sun is shining today or that circumstances have at last lined up to some good end. In this, I submit to you, dear reader, that the life you have imagined does exist, though it be deeply veiled from the mind of the casual observer. The real essence of life isn’t found on the surface, but exists deeper down where the gold and treasures are to be found. 

You certainly don’t need me to clarify this for you, as you have been living your own experience of life. You have been heretofore wading through the muck and mire on your own. Inside, in your private heart, you know that something is missing. You know life cannot consist of merely making the most money and gathering for yourself the most toys before you die. You know precisely where you struggle, but you don’t know exactly why. You know when and where you are unfulfilled. You know how your heart aches for unconditional love and a world where love and kindness hold first place. And on those rare occasions when you have dared to let that warming and consoling love out, the world has punished you for it. Quickly you have been forced back in line with the masses to a life of meager expectations and poor results. You count yourself happy because at least you don’t live the life of such and such. That is not to say that life is without struggles, as it must be for a time, but rather that every struggle may be won and every obstacle surmounted once you find the source, the real source of life. The trouble, which seems far too light a description, is that you are seeking life without engaging the Author of life. You don’t seek the Author because you are inherently evil, but instead because someone or something has deftly hidden Him from your view. The same thing that secretly fills your life with misery and impossible dilemmas is the same one that has deceived you. In his craftiness, he has convinced you of a lie, a thousand lies, whereby all he engenders is falsely attributed to God. The very notion of God causes your skin to bristle as you contemplate the painful, boring existence that supposedly encompasses life with Him. Instead of learning of Him, as Adam did, you hide yourself in the garden from the only One that could ever give you help. This is man’s only real dilemma, whether to reach upward or continue to seek within. Oh my friends, God exists and He is only good always.

The journey you are on is similar to the journey all of us are on. We all have been blessed with one very short and rapidly passing life. We have only one shot at this thing. There will be no great by and by until there is first a great here and now. This is our one life. This is our only opportunity to learn what we need to learn and ultimately win. No matter your present age, there is no plausible, rational reason for you to remain a fraction of your true self. It is not just how life is no matter how many times that has been drummed into your head. There exist real, solid, substantial, concrete solutions to your problems. I’m not talking about religious. pious platitudes whereby the exclaimers still suffer the same fate; the same defeats. I’m not promising answers and help merely as a psychological pacifier that assuages your mind for a moment, until the next hardships arrive. I’m talking real answers, real help, real and enduring solutions. I’m speaking of vast intelligence, unlimited power and ability all founded upon the basis of love. And, He exists for you…

My thoughts for you, my just some good thoughts are that you find the life you have been missing. That one day it dawns on you that you do not have to keep living the way you have been living. That you don’t have to go along with the status quo and relegate yourself to a meaningless existence. That the good life you dream of is a present tense reality and not the stuff of fiction and feel good novels. That you experience the fullness and blessedness from which life was created to be in every facet and phase of your existence. And, finally, that you find the God that made you, though He be not far from any one of us. You owe it to yourself to live your best life. You owe it to the people you love to be a vibrant, lively proponent of life. You owe it to all of those sad, poor souls you can help after you have found the way. That folks is the ultimate end game; a life that is not only wonderful now, but one that will last forever. This is your promised end game of which all humanity privately seeks. This it it…

Just some good thoughts…

The Revolution


If people live in a difficult environment long enough they eventually band together and demand a revolution. Revolutions happen when the people become so wearied with a certain unfair order of things that they can no longer abide by its rules. It tends to occur in constructs that oppress people; systems that don’t have the same concerns for all individuals and seek rather to promote only the good of the few. And for all that a revolution promises to all the citizens, it typically begins with a handful of committed souls. Is it time for a revolution in your life?

The way that life was designed to be and the way life actually is are often miles apart. People, human beings have been sold a bill of goods and then, overpaid. Absent any information to the contrary, people collectively and perhaps experientially have formed an entire world of conclusions about how things work and have given themselves over to cooperate with the wheel of things, the system; how life reportedly functions. They accept inner turmoil and agitation as natural and even to be expected given all the concerns that accompany adulthood. People are chock full of anxiety on every front. We can’t relax, can’t sleep, can barely function outside mind dulling medications and the like. We’re afraid of disease and disaster and threats of every kind. We’re pessimistic and negative to the point where any good thing is to be closely questioned and carefully examined for its veracity. Happiness, true happiness is always fleeting and short lived. And, no-one seems to ask the question – why? Why is my life so difficult and unpredictable and downright scary? Why is it so hard to get the things I need and want? Why is there such a struggle all the time and even more, what is the reason for my struggles? Maybe it’s time for a revolution!

When things go wrong at work and the company is losing money, people invest their entire souls into figuring out the solution. If your car breaks down, you somehow work out how to get it fixed or replaced. If you have health concerns you go to the doctor. If your child is struggling, you spend untold resources to remedy the situation. If you are unhappy with your abode, you make moves to make it better or even purchase a new home that makes you feel more content. Yet, when it comes to your life, your every day existence, your one precious shot at this thing, you determine in your heart that you have to take it; that you have to find a way to survive. You settle for how things supposedly are and accept it as reality. But, are you sure it is reality or is just your reality? Are you really confident that you know what is going on or are you just guessing? Most people, sadly, are just guessing. They have this vague notion of what life is, usually passed down from their parents or teachers and they resign themselves to that form of life. After all, it’s just the way life is! But, is it? Is life supposed to be hard and then you die. Was it intended in the grand design of things that you as a human just needed to eat shit everyday and be happy or grateful, as some often quote, that you woke up? Everything living wakes up, but that doesn’t mean everything is really living. Maybe when it comes to your thoughts, it’s time for a revolution.

The Designer of this thing we call life certainly didn’t intend for life to be miserable with people barely averting this disaster for the next disaster. It wasn’t part of the plan for people to be pawns at the hands of wicked despot deceiving them at every turn. Man was not intended to live out his days with doubts and fears increasing, terrified of everything and powerless against it. But, this old world has certainly done an excellent job of promoting that existence. People, most people are simply, completely unaware of any viable alternative. They cringe at the thought of life lived with God having been convinced of the impossibility of such an existence. They imagine this frightfully awful life filled with rules for what you can and cannot do. They are convinced they will have to give up everything when all they really have to give up is the fear and the lack and the defeat. People don’t know because they don’t want to know. They are too afraid to even investigate another option, all the while living full of despair and disappointment. God never intended that your life should suck. God never willed upon you your defeats and your losses; your difficulties or your troubles. God’s will has always been the polar opposite for you. It’s high time for a revolution!

There is an alternative. There is a better way to live and in that way there is unparalleled freedom. Just because you haven’t experienced it yet does not mean it doesn’t exist. Haven’t you been wrong enough in your life to be able to accept that possibility? Haven’t you suffered enough in your own, private heart? Aren’t you weary by now of going it your own way? The life that God is offering you is almost unbelievable. Yet it is truth. God is not judging you or angry with you for your so called sinful ways! God loves you and wants you to know the score. God desires to heal you and help you and rescue you. God wants you to live your life in peace and enjoy your days on earth. God wants to answer your every question. God is love and earnestly desires that you experience His love. Yet, He has to wait for you. He will not overstep your freedom of will. He will not force Himself upon you. But know this, He heard every prayer you ever prayed. He knows what is wrong and knows how to fix it. He already knows you and exactly what you need. Won’t you let Him help you?

Do you need a revolution in your heart? Well, get committed and start today to find the answers you need for your life. It’s your one and only life on earth and you aren’t getting any younger. Start the revolution today. God is listening…

Just some good thoughts…

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…