Hurt Hearts Hurt Humans… Healed Hearts Heal Humans!


broken_heart_8220916All us good folk living our lives the best we can have one thing in common. We’re all carrying around some bullshit we need to get rid of! We have all been hurt. We have all been mistreated. We have all made mistakes; lots and lots of them (multiplied by our current age). We were brought up by parents who made mistakes. They were raised by people who made mistakes. Our teachers taught us things that weren’t true. Employers may have used us. Others abused us. And, while we may not be psychopaths, we are all damaged goods in some capacity. We are imperfect creatures in an imperfect world living among other imperfect creatures. And sadly, knowing the futility and insanity of our own thoughts at times, we insist on demanding from others that which we don’t even get from ourselves. Hurt hearts can only hurt other people.

If you will really think it through, none of us want to do things that are wrong or hurtful. None of us. But our pain, our unresolved issues really aren’t centered on others, they are centered on ourselves. Our frailties, our weaknesses, our issues pave the way for the foolish things we do. We say horrible things to people not with intent to hurt them, but to salve our own wounds. We gash and tear and bash other people because we are gashed and torn and bashed ourselves. Couples fight, inflicting verbal wounds on one another’s hearts in a misguided attempt to protect their own hearts. Wounded hearts wound other’s hearts.

Oh how compassionate we would become if we ever got past our own bullshit long enough to see and feel the other person. But, we cannot see past the bleeding wounds of our own souls. A compassionate heart is one that is completely and thoroughly in touch with its own absurdity and as such is willing to easily look past the absurdity in another. A person with a compassionate heart forgives freely because they remember how and for what God has forgiven them. People often compliment me personally on how non-judgmental I am, never considering the heavy judgments I cast on myself. A compassionate heart helps people heal.

In order for people to actually get past their baggage and their bondage and their bullshit, they have to be made whole. But, they can’t be made whole without God. All the counseling and positive thinking and affirmations in the world can’t repair the breach because the real source of the breach is always spiritual; a spiritual enemy, ever veiled from view, yet ultimately behind both the suffering we experience and the suffering we inflict. All healing is first spiritual as all pain is first spiritual.

There but for the grace and mostly mercy of God, go I. We are all the same. We all have hopes and aspirations and dreams. We all endure fears and pain and suffering. We all need love, compassion and understanding. We’ve all hurt and damaged and messed others up. We’re in this boat together and though it appears others are awful and we are saints, wrong is still wrong is still wrong. The damage caused by the jaded heart is the same as the hurt caused by the gentle heart. Our life’s work is not to exhaust ourselves in improving ourselves but rather to expend ourselves getting to know and understand the One that heals us.

How does God heal our hearts? If anyone has the right and authority to judge us, it would certainly be Him. But, as One not subjected to the deception of evil, He heals not by pointing out our absurdities and faults; not by seeking to punish our foolishness and frailty, but by knowing who we really are and remaining faithful to treat us in that light. He sees behind the smoke screens and facades and clearly discerns what got us; why it got us; and how the heck He can get us out of it. With Him we can only succeed and without Him we can only fail. Life is too big; too tricky; too perilous to figure out this thing on our own. God heals hearts and healed hearts help others heal.

Once God heals our situations spiritually and trust me, He does, it’s still up to us to put it on in our minds. And though our earthly minds will never reach His perfection, we can still get so repaired of a lifetime of bullshit that we can actually heal. We can become so blessed, so forgiven and encouraged that we become a source of valuable help to others. We have no difficulty looking past the so-called egregious errors of other people because we finally understand why. And once you know why, you never have trouble with the things people have done. Sure some things are worse than others, but underneath it all lies a human just like you. Healed people forgive others.

Simple logic tells you that a broken machine doesn’t work like it should. When it finally blows up and breaks stuff, you get why it damaged things and instead of blaming and accusing and assaulting it, you seek to get it repaired. Humans are no different. We may have free-will and minds and thoughts and decision-making ability, but when we break down we tear stuff up. The solution is therefore to help it (them) get repaired. A child, guilt ridden for the wrong he did doesn’t need a lecture, he needs forgiveness and an approving, unconditional loving response. That’s what God gives you. That’s what you give to others. A healed heart sets people free!

We find ourselves all lined up in the same boat on a similar journey. Don’t allow the wrongs you have suffered to make you a cause in the suffering of others. Instead accept and love yourself for all the foolishness that you are and be grateful for your perfect God that saves you and saves us all! Healed hearts love the unlovable until they become lovable too.

Just some good, healing thoughts…

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Clearing the Inversion Air…From Your Relationships!


inversionLiving in Utah, we are often subjected to inversions. The inversions occur because we live in a valley and all of the pollutants get trapped in the air making it difficult to breathe. There’s not enough air flow, absent a storm, to remove the gunk from the atmosphere resulting in a serious health risk! So how does this apply to your relationships? Before we proceed, read the above again…

For a relationship to be healthy, you have to be able to talk; talk about anything. And generally, it’s best to talk about the offending situation the moment it blips across your radar screen. You know exactly when that remark or that attitude or that look sent you a message that didn’t agree with your mental harmony system. You know, right? So why would you put that message on the back burner or worse fear the repercussions of bringing it up? In fact, with people you care about and especially those you love, you owe it to yourself and them to always bring it up. Often young married couples, for fear of offending or worse, losing the object of their affections, choose silence, only to discover later that the initial offending issue not only comes back, it comes back with hair on! Bring it up. If it leads to a big argument, so what. It’s better to have the mother of all arguments than to pretend you are okay when you are not okay. It’s better to have the war and come to an agreement than to avoid the war and live amidst the constant skirmishes. Peace often comes after the war, right?

Like an inversion, allowing pollutants to stay in your mental air risks the health of your relationship. Maybe you need a quick storm or two. Maybe. People often seem to think that harmony in a relationship comes from letting things go. Oh sure, there’s nothing wrong with compromise, as compromise helps maintain a relationship, but letting things go is always bad news. Being married for many years now, I can tell you with complete confidence that every issue you bury under the guise of keeping harmony is going to come back with a vengeance and unreasonably all together in one moment of time. That one fight on that one bad day will turn into a floodgate of unresolved issues seeing the opportunity to finally get out of your heart. And like a pressure boiler that takes on more pressure than it can handle, it’s gonna blow boy and blow at catastrophic levels. So take my advice and speak up often.

None of us want to hear the things we have done wrong or hear extolled to us our faults and our failings. None of us look forward to that conversation ever. But always hidden within that conversation, if we have ears to hear, is some gem of truth that speaks to our hearts. In the middle of all that anger and yelling and accusation sits a little minuscule, almost unnoticed piece of truth that alerts our battered heart of some wrong done; some sensitivity walked over; some selfishness we have engaged in. And when we see it; when we finally see it and feel remorse over the thing we have done, healing takes place; a healing that transcends many, many infractions. That my friends, is the point of the discussion, the fight, the argument, or whatever. In a sense you are kicking up the winds that will eventually blow that inversion out of your way so you once again see clearly. How many relationships have come to an end because we didn’t love enough to say what needed to be said? How many breakups could have been avoided if we had the honesty to say what really was.

Now to those of you who have already loved and lost, I offer the following. There’s a bible verse that tells husbands to love their wives and be not bitter again them. Bitterness comes unannounced from a multitude of unresolved hurts be they ever so slight. Bitterness is born of the small many, not of the large few. But once bitterness takes root, it takes on a life of its own and permanently blinds a heart that once could see and feel and experience. In it’s bitter state it is now poisoned and goes on poisoning everything it comes into contact with until it ruins the person completely. Don’t let that be you. Stop rehearsing the past hurts, the wrongs done to you, the pain. Stop carrying around in your memory those unbearable weights. Instead allow yourself to start again; to start over. Resolve in your heart that you will never allow that to happen to you again. If you can still speak those words you have buried for so long, speak them, though the hearer be long past listening or understanding. If not, speak them to God alone and be now done with it, forever… You are worth that.

Inversion air is hard to breathe and puts your health at risk. Poison cannot exist where there is fresh, clean air. Clear the air between yourself and the people who you care about. Speak up about the things you hold most dear. Forgive where forgiveness is needed and be the person you always wanted to be. You can. You should. You owe it to yourself.

Ah what is that I’m feeling? The feeling that comes from finally breathing a breath of clean, pure, fresh air… And it feels so good!

Just some good thoughts…

The Simple Joy of Living Today…


living-in-the-present   Think back to the last time you were on vacation.  Whether it was lounging on a sandy beach or taking in the gorgeous views during a mountain hike or languishing in your hotel room in a beautiful city or the smell of bacon frying in the morning while camping by the side of the lake; what makes your vacation time so much better than the rest of your time?  You may argue that it is so sublime because you don’t have to go to work.  But many folks exert as much energy playing as they do at work and sometimes more energy.  You may conclude that it is the change of environment; the sand, the trail, the room, the water etc.  Certainly there are many factors involved with vacations that cause us to feel joyful, but there is one common theme that is the subject of today’s blog.  On a vacation intended for relaxation we shift our focus from the past and the future to the wonderful present.  We purposefully don’t think about the bills that “will” be due or the work we need to finish later or what the boss said to us in anger last week.  No, we make some loose plans and then get busying enjoying the wonder and beauty that is today.  It is as if we free ourselves from all the illusory burdens of time and focus ourselves on “right now!”  And since right now is all we can experience, we decide to thoroughly enjoy it.

There is a way to live your life that escapes the thinking of the masses.  There’s a way to make the most of your experiences.  There is a simplicity to life that is so simple we have missed it all our lives.  The culture of our world is ever seeking ways for us to move faster, get more done, accomplish more and maximize our time.  We laud multi-tasking and efficiency and “to get err done…”  Just do it and do it and do it again is the mindset of today.  And for all of our inventions and efficiencies and time savers, where has it gotten us?  Are we happier?  Are we joyful?  Do we feel blessed and content?  I would say no.  Yet it’s not the speed at which we move that bogs us down.  It’s where we have learned to put the focus of our minds.  Humans are designed to live in one time period and one time period only – right now!  The only time we have available to us is this present moment.  Yet how much time do we spend focused on the present moment?  While we are at work today we focus on getting home.  During the week we focus on the upcoming weekend.  During the work year we  focus on the coming vacation.  While we are at school we are thinking about being done with school.  While cleaning the house we are thinking about how great it will be to sit down and relax after the house is clean.  But the real joy of living is found in 100% commitment to the present moment.  It is persisting in a state of experiencing and enjoying right now.  If the duties of right now call for some house cleaning, so be it.  If it’s time to go to work, go to work and be 100% involved in your work while you are there.  Don’t spend one idle moment wishing you were off work as that shift of focus will make your work a misery.  What is the best way to experience school?  Don’t mentally leave the classroom before you physically leave the classroom.  In fact, don’t mentally leave any moment you are still in, as departing from the present moment takes the enjoyment out of it.

Interestingly, the vast majority of our concerns and our anxieties and our fears are found where?  In the future!  Unless a large tiger is currently gnawing on your calf muscle, you probably don’t have anything to be afraid of right at this moment, correct?  So do this moment and refuse to do the future moments.  Can’t you see how huge and life changing this is?  Uh huh, but what about the future?  Am I supposed to just let everything go now and make no plans for the future?  Well of course not, silly!  Make the most grand and glorious plans that you can, then do today, today!  Maybe in your future you see yourself as an author?  Then take some time to write today (smile)…

And what about the past?  How do we handle all of those times we zigged when we should have zagged?  Or that one big thing?  Well, the past is ummm past…  We can’t go back to those moments, can we?  Shoot we can’t even go back to fifteen minutes ago when we were eating those three donuts, to not eat them, right?  LOL  In reality, the past no longer exists.  It’s gone man!  Over.. In the books!  Thus imagine the sheer FUTILITY (yelling now) of spending any of your present moments regretting your past moments.  Sure, encourage your sweet memories; your times of love and success and appreciation, remember the people you cherished, but do it while you are wholeheartedly choosing to live today.

I realize the simplicity of this is almost too much to take.  But if you have ever believed anything I have ever said, believe this; living 100% in the present moments will cause your “joy” and “appreciation” levels to go off the chart!  And while you are seriously giving this a try, take a look at your children or your grandchildren.  Notice the joy they experience by living in the moment?  Oh they don’t have to pay bills?  LOL  Maybe not, but neither do you at this present moment!  (You are reading, right?)

So how can you thoroughly enjoy the simplicity of living life today?  Get your vacation mind-set working for you!  Decide to be fully alive and observant and mindful of these very moments you find yourself in.  Don’t go back in time and don’t go too far ahead in time.  Do, be, live, love and enjoy today, as tomorrow will have it’s own issues for you to deal with “tomorrow…”

Mmmm is that the smell of bacon by the campfire?  No, it’s the smell of many minds that just came back to life!

Today…

Never Used…But Learning to Aim!


imagesCA4034UC  I find it disturbing when I read comments from members of various religious groups advising people to allow the Holy Spirit to use them; or ask God to use them to fulfill His purposes in life.  Call me crazy, but the prospect of someone or something using me is downright scary!  Submitting to God, I get; being willing and humble to learn, I get; asking God to work mightily in me, I get; asking God to teach me, I totally get… but God using me to fulfill His purposes, I don’t get!  One of the most awesome and wonderful things I love about God is that He never, ever violates our freedom of will.  Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, God is my co-pilot?”  Well, God isn’t going to fly your plane, I can assure you.  You have to fly your plane with God’s help.  God’s part is to keep you from crashing in whatever form that may take while helping you to master the skills involved.  We don’t ever turn over our free will to anyone else and God won’t take it over, so you do the math.  That, my friends, is a perilous path.  It is similar to when people say things like, “God took away my desire to drink or to smoke or to sin, etc.”  We should only wish it was that easy.  Instead, God works inside of us to understand the things that may have been hurting us and in that understanding we can make the necessary decisions to change the things that we need to change.  So, the first lesson here is that we can’t confuse our job with God’s job.  Life gets difficult when I’m trying to do His part or if I’m expecting Him to do my part…

I have often wondered why everyone wouldn’t seek God’s help, seeing He is so kind and helpful.  And then I think maybe it is because people view a relationship with God in terms of sin.  Sort of like, I don’t want to hear about all the things I do wrong; no thanks!  Lesson number 2 – a relationship with God has nothing to do with sin.  Oh I know you’ve heard all the preachers preaching about sin and hell and punishment etc.  But at the end of the day, that’s just religion seeking to control people by making them afraid.  God certainly doesn’t seek your worship and love because you are scared to death of Him.  And, being all-knowing seems to indicate that maybe He knows all about the humans he formed and made!  Ya know?  The word “sin” comes from a word that means, “to miss the mark.”  Now think about this for second…you either hit the mark or you miss the mark, right?  The difference between really, really, really missing the mark and simply missing the mark is non-existent.  There aren’t levels of missing the mark because a miss is a miss.  But alas, people like to assign levels and back under the thumb go the sheep!  The process of identifying that you may have missed the mark isn’t to condemn you or judge you or defeat you, it’s to help you learn to hit the mark so you can frikken win!  (haha I said frikken)  God wants His people to win; to overcome; to prosper; to get healed; to live in victory!  There are certain choices that we make that turn out well and there are some choices that cause us pain.  God doesn’t need to beat you up for ignorantly choosing the painful route, you already suffered the pain, right?  Instead, like a good Papa, he simply consoles you and promises to make it alright again.  If my young child jumps off the roof and breaks his leg, a lecture about the height of roofs is totally unnecessary, aint it?  But some guidance on how to have fun without the pain – priceless!

We need God’s help and guidance (and a whole bunch of love) to successfully navigate life.  So, lesson number 3 is to seek God’s help!  Ask God to show you why you keep getting defeated and then be willing to see the stuff He is showing you.  Now, I should add that He isn’t going to teach you a lesson you need by freaking you out!  That is not a lesson.  He is going to teach you in ways that you can understand and that you can handle, much the same way you would teach your child a lesson appropriate for their age and maturity level.  And while I’m thinking about children, if your child asked you to teach them about something or asked you how something worked, how long would you make them wait to learn the lesson?  My guess is that you would begin teaching right when they asked you.   God, who already loves you, will begin the moment you ask.  It’s not that He isn’t listening to your request, but more that we are not paying attention to the lesson; or don’t believe that this lesson has any value; or presume that the lesson at hand has absolutely nothing to do with the request we made.  And there as plain as day, right in front of us, is the beginning phases of the deliverance we seek.  Not too heavy; not overwhelming, but here a little and there a little until the message is crystal clear.

In the great archery contest of life, God wants you to hit the bulls-eye every time you shoot.  He won’t operate the bow for you, nor will he change the direction of your arrows, but if you are willing, He will work in you to get to the prize over and over and over again.  He isn’t keeping track of when you missed the mark, no matter how badly you may have missed it, but instead will lovingly reach out to you to take another shot.  And when you sincerely ask for His help in the contest, if you pay attention, you will get much more than you ever imagined!  Life is good folks…with God’s help!