Live Your Own Life…


living-your-own-life2In this country and perhaps other countries, people have been forced into a performance based existence. The message, all have been asked to conform to is a message that purports your value is based upon the things that you do. The higher your achievements, the more your success, the more superior person you must be. Professions are ranked whereby doctors and lawyers are notably above teachers and laborers. In this, people have been pressed to do better and be better leaving themselves perpetually disappointed and chronically discouraged often falling short of societal expectations. Folks even endeavor to add performance measures to their relationship with God and end up doing all sorts of things they really don’t want to do in the name of being good and acceptable before Him. Namely, the harder you work to be approved, the more of God’s favor you will enjoy in your life. And this, as can be found in all performance based systems of the world, leaves a man or a woman fractured and broken in terms of their value and ever in need of remedy and repair!  Thus knowing, we ought to have the manhood to make our own choices and in the end, live our own life. Are you living your own life?

Where did we ever get that idea that our persistent need to perform well was to be so closely aligned to the value we have as people on the earth? The value of a person has been assigned by God who views all of His creatures with the same love and acceptance. We need not prove ourselves to anyone. Neither should we allow ourselves to fall prey to people’s judgments and requirements for their approval. The things we choose to do in life; the direction we purpose to go; the decisions we make, the thousandfold decisions we must make, should always rest squarely with ourselves alone coming directly from our own volition and blessed free will. Trying to live your life in accordance with other people’s expectations leads only to a miserable life. Accordingly, every time you judge yourself, every time you lower your opinion of yourself, every time you reduce your value in comparison to another, you do yourself and the great God that made you a disservice. You are saying, in effect, that God somehow made in a mistake in the crafting of your own life, else left you without some advantage others freely enjoy. And in your confusion you task yourself with all manner of requirements you must fulfill in order to be acceptable both to men and to God, neither of which has been required of you. You will never please all the people and you never need to please the God who is already pleased with you. Live your own life.

Every man, every woman that is among us is absolutely unique and unmatched in terms of their individuality. Each has something to offer that they and only they can provide. Each person’s taste is wholly different, though similar in places, and every person’s pleasures and aversions are distinct. To try and live your life chasing other people’s desires or to perform in accordance with what another thinks is right for you is certain destruction of every chance at happiness. Happiness can only be obtained by choosing your own path and even then by first basing your value not on what you do but who you are. You need not further consume yourself with an endless list of duties required to be performed or any other activity that steals away your repose. People, maybe even you, drive themselves to exhaustion in order to check all the boxes and finish all the lists. You must strive to be the best mom, the best professional, the best wife and add to that the best looking, the most fit infinitum at all times in all ways. You have to be the most successful, have the biggest house, drive the best car while adorning yourself with the muscles of a twenty year old, a full head of hair and the ability to fix all that might be broken, knowing all that must be known. Perform, perform, perform, do, do, do… The things you might like, the areas of life that turn you on, the experiences you secretly wish for all must be sublimated under the mighty hand of accomplishment and success. In this, we don’t actually live our lives but live someone else’s life, hoping somewhere down the road the paths might cross. It’s time to live your own life…

Living your own life requires that you be honest with yourself. It suggests you take back what is yours instead of playing to the crowd, trying to please the crowd, seeking the approval of the crowd. The problem with performance is that it suggests you must perform at all times in all ways. You never quite have time to take off the mask, to get off the stage, to cease from performing and just be. You feel as if your quiet time must be filled with noise and your unproductive time (so called) be filled with productivity. The job requires forty or fifty hours per week and when the job is silent, the remaining time must be filled with to do lists and other work to be done. And while work is always noble and necessary, just how much of you want to do has always been up to you. Somewhere someone tricked us into believing that the majority of our efforts must be concentrated on the things we enjoy less leaving a small percentage of time for things we enjoy more. We chastise ourselves for sleeping in, for being ill, for not giving one hundred percent even when all we have left is maybe fifty percent. We measure and evaluate and scrutinize ourselves assigning negative motives for pursuit of things we like and dogged responsibility for the things we must simply endure. It is no wonder we remain exhausted and unenthused. We need to get off the treadmill and refuse to get back on it. The things we actually must do are far less than we may have assigned. In order to live our best life, we must live our own life. We have to protect and guard our free will and make choices not out of the fear of what we have to do in favor of things we want to do that we chose and that we support. God has made us free to choose without fear of retribution as error carries within it its own lessons. To live your own life is to choose for yourself!

Perhaps at the very heighth of performance behavior is the behaviors people have falsely associated with God and morality and whatever it is you want to call the things that plague our souls begging to be completed by the power of our own hands. They act as if God maintains a giant ledger anxious to collect owed money and funds in arrears. They seek improvement where improvement is not possible and reject God’s grace for the life they must perform now. They work the works of hypocrisy assuming God is unaware of the behavior absent their hearts. They say words they don’t want to say, do things they do not want to do, perform works they would rather not perform all in the name of pleasing God; God who is already pleased with them. The harder they work and strive and say no and deny and hold back and refuse, the more they fail never considering that their behavior exposes the lack of value they feel in their hearts. They work to be approved never considering the futility of the task. They dishonor God not by doing unworthy works but by thinking they can outwork grace; God’s unearned and unmerited divine favor in their lives. And most sadly of all, they think their value before God is based on their behavior in this life, behaviors that can somehow be shaped into holiness before Him. They ignore the sacrifice of their Savior and count his finished work unfinished and needing further revisions. It would be better for them to choose nothing at all than to work with hearts that are not in it; doing works they neither endorse or enjoy. Living your own life is not to live at cross purposes with God, but to live honestly and authentically, being true to yourself and true to those with whom you might encounter. It’s about loving God first and loving yourself also. It’s about knowing your value and not allowing it to be dwindled away on things that do no matter; things that do not count. Live your own life with God. He meets you where you are!

It is certainly not easy to break the chains of bondage and fear based requirements, but it can be done and do it you must. Your happiness depends upon it. The world with its endless checklists and comparisons will exhaust you. You will never measure up in the world’s eyes no matter how hard you work. Instead you must decide to remain true to yourself and stop breaking and folding yourself for others. Your ideas, your thoughts are not always wrong and the direction you secretly dream of is the direction you must go. Your value before God is estimable and it is your job to act like it. Stop performing. Get off the treadmill. Give yourself a break and just be the person you want to be. It doesn’t need to be any harder than that! Live your own life, my friends.

Just some good thoughts…

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Stop Being Such A Little B**ch


Depositphotos_4682824_l-2015Forgive my title, but something has happened to us as a people; as a nation. Whether it be the media, politics, cancel culture, the Internet, too much access to too much information, or whatever, something has moved in and caused us to be afraid of literally everything. There was once a time, it seems, when people made choices about their lives and decided exactly how they were going to live. There was a time when good folks were strong and resolute concerning how they wanted to be; what they were going to do. Then mass fear took hold and instead of seeking to be the individual God made them to be, people opted instead to take their place in line and, God forbid, not do anything that someone else might not approve of in some capacity. Yet ironically, being politically correct and refusing to be politically correct are two sides of the same coin. One side condemns all people for not having tolerance for all things, while the other side hurts everyone by having no tolerance for anything. And behind it all is a bunch of unbridled fear, terrified someone is going to take something from them or make them into something they don’t want to be or do things they don’t want to do, while at the same time having things taken from them, being made into something they don’t want to be and doing things they don’t want to do, driven by the fear of what might be unless they organize and stand against it. People are afraid of the virus and afraid of the vaccine. They don’t believe the government, the doctors, the science or the results. People are actually dying standing for some supposed, eroded freedom rather than doing whatever it takes to survive. When did we as a nation become so damn terrified of everything? Indeed, we need stop being a nation of little b**ches!

Fear is much more complicated and has many more faces than we have actually considered. As with anything the adversary of mankind has manufactured, there are a multitude of hard to discern layers and levels. You can be fully engaged in a fight for what you think is right while at the same time fighting an illusion leading you down a false path. You can stand adamantly against your fear of something bad that might happen and simultaneously act out of fear in your stance. Fear is the only explanation for how a political belief can supersede your common sense logic, make wrong into right and call the light darkness and the darkness light. Of course we Americans are sensitive when it comes to our personal freedoms, it is the highlight of what we represent. Yet there is a vast amount of difference between matters concerning our personal liberty and matters founded in fear, distrust and blind attitudes and opinions based upon that fear. Somewhere, somehow, someone got to you and that someone’s name is fear.

Similarly, people today have become so afraid to trust their own judgments and make their own calls. Instead of trusting what they know to be true, they have opted instead for group think whereby the group decides what is right. Yet, that is not how God made them to be. People are generally successful when they go the way of their own choosing, not in rebellion, but in being the sole authority of what is right for them; for their lives. The wrong way and the wrong choices sooner or later show themselves in failure, as they necessarily must. Much failure experienced; much unhappiness; much lack of contentment is found in going ways that someone else decided for you either directly or indirectly via the mass of public opinion. After all is said and done, you must win the battle inside your own head and you alone must learn what is right; what works, what leads you in the right direction. And, you alone must overcome fear and all of its disguises whenever and wherever it shows up. You have to stop being such a little b**ch!

As a great man once said, fear is our only enemy. It is fear that is thwarting you at very turn. It is fear that has made you terrified about losing your job, your money, your livelihood. It is fear that has you following all the rules, whether they make sense to you or not. It is fear that steals away the joy of your day as you contemplate what you can possibly lose and how. Sometimes I think we need to break a few rules. Sometimes we need to challenge the assertions made by others concerning what we need to do to be okay. Sometimes we need to turn back to our own hearts and release it from the chains of what it reportedly must do and instead let it decide what we want to do. If you’re not careful this old world and the fear built into it will reduce your life into a shadow of what it once was. You (and me) are too damn afraid of what might happen. “If you aren’t careful this might happen!” “Watch out because if you go too far you could be headed for trouble!” What happened to trusting in your own heart to know what is too far or being able to accurately discern the trouble if it is coming or if it is not? You see, that is how people and ideologies and governments control you. Instead of landing squarely on what is, the argument is always based on what could be. You don’t think that you have the wherewithal to know what is happening in your life? Or do you need someone else to make that decision for you? I submit to you that all conjecture concerning what might be and not on what is, will always be based on fear in some capacity. Sometimes you need to travel down a few wrong paths to know what sucks. It seems better that you went down the road and learned than if you stayed home timid and afraid, to prove it to yourself.

This is certainly not a criticism of people and the affect that fear has on people’s lives. Instead it is an exhortation to stop being so damn afraid and get out there and live. Stop being such a little b**ch! Stop letting the world and people and even those closest to you, make all of your choices for you. What do you like? What do you want? What turns you on? Do those things. Do something new! Get up and off the fear couch and live. If something bad happens, so be it. If you get a bad result, that’s one thing you now know for sure. You cannot really discover and live and experience if you allow fear to define all of your parameters. You may actually find something new that you never knew before. You may find yourself experiencing a freedom you have not tasted yet. In the final analysis, God freed us from the bondage of fear in what He did for us in His son. He made us free so that we could live and love and experience and learn! Get out there and experience life! All of it! Quit being such a little b**ch! I love you…

Just some good thoughts…

Humans Ain’t Static!


Stuck-ImageHuman beings are not static, meaning not fixed nor unable to change. Yet, how many people live that way? You can literally be anyone you want to be, without limit or holdback. You are not defined by anything you have done or have not yet done. You always have the capacity to change. The very hallmark of living things is their ability to change. Yet, that is not how things usually play out. We tend to get stuck in these narratives about who we are, most commonly generated from within. We are fed this negative concept of ourselves, typically based upon our weaknesses or past foibles, and then act as if that notion of our existence must be our destiny and something from which we are powerless to change. We accept various monikers and cannot quite seem to extricate ourselves from them. We have to be the “funny” one and then are loathe to disappoint our audience. How silly it is to consider that some characteristic of ourselves could possibly encompass the totality of who we are. Or worse, that some negative aspect of ourself would become the key component in understanding who we are. As humans, we are absolutely free to change anything and everything we want to change, no matter the opposition. You are not stuck, my friend, because human beings ain’t static!

If you have lived long enough, you know how hard it can be to redefine yourself. People like to assemble you neatly into tidy little categories and keep you there so you can be understood and properly handled. It becomes a source of distress when you begin to act in ways that are not congruent with your predetermined definition. I can recall a friend once saying, in the midst of a cleverly supplied string of my admittedly funny comments, that he could not picture me being a manager in an organization, as if I lived for the joke or could not exist without it. Once my wife suggested I stop posting comments on Facebook about excellent red wine because pretty soon, all I became was the guy who drinks wine. Do you see where I’m going with this? People don’t define who you are, you do. When you allow other people to define who you are, you will be stuck with some limited version of yourself seen simply from one narrow angle. Growing up you may not have been very good “at school” but that doesn’t mean you lack intelligence or a willingness to learn new things. Maybe you weren’t good at sports, but here’s a secret, no one is at first! It may have escaped your conscious attention, but the world seeks to define you every single day. There are literally a million angles capturing your attention in a day; helping you to define yourself against some fictitious standard. You are probably not as fit as a fitness model because your full time job isn’t fitness model! Yet, there you are perusing the pictures and comparing yourself woefully, wishing you were something that you are not. That doesn’t mean you can’t be that, but the larger question is do you want to be that? When it comes to your life, it is your opinion of yourself that matters most. Why continue to define yourself as something you do not like when you are the one doing the defining?

By now, in my writings, it probably comes across as a broken record, but the culprit in this dilemma is the thoughts you are thinking about yourself. When you make mistakes, as you necessarily must, it is one thing to err but another thing altogether to allow those errors to define who you are. You are not the sum total of your behaviors, as a modern philosopher surmised, but instead a growing, living, thinking organism with unlimited capacity for change. We all have these parts of our lives that privately plague us, whether admitted or not, yet those places are not the total of who we are, nor can they ever be. Problems, weaknesses, troubles remain only because we refuse to let them go. We carry them around with us like a badge of honor (or dishonor) and are far too quick to assign them as a part of who we are. For some folks, the thought of past mistakes, though they perhaps be many, come to represent the totality of that person and render their precious lives perpetually defeated in the process. Change is certainly not simple, but can only become a reality with a conscious decision to change; held onto and perpetuated daily. If you find yourself hating who you have become, you have unknowingly allowed negative thoughts to permeate your being. You have allowed someone or something to define the narrative of who you are. I can assure you that whatever evil you may have done was not done alone. No person does wrong or evil on their own, but instead has been deceived in some manner. Forgive yourself as God forgave you the first time you asked Him to and let it go. Be the person you want to be, one that you love and think of yourself in that light. You don’t get a child to change by harping on their bad behaviors, but by highlighting their good behaviors instead. Change the way you think of yourself and you will have taken the first steps towards real change. Keep thinking properly and your change will absolutely follow.

Many folks spend their whole lives waiting on some favorable circumstance to magically change the way they think of themselves. In futility, they await some stroke of good fortune to rewrite a story only they alone can write. It’s not the outward trappings of success that define who you are, but rather those powerful changes you have made from within; deep inside your heart. You remain stuck in life for just about as much time as you want to remain stuck. Once you at last tire from the constant pain and decide ‘no more!’ – your wish is granted though not by a genie, but from a decision that you decided to make. Your life, my life, is a series of decisions we are making throughout our days. Be careful, very careful about what you decide. Be careful concerning who you think you are!

My dear friends, being a human being guarantees you the constant possibility of change. None of us have been destined or predetermined to be a certain way, no matter how long we may have been that way. Change yourself by changing the way you think about yourself. Think in terms of being the best version of yourself and no matter what setback you may face, you will move closer to that ideal. You define the narrative instead of relying on others to do it for you. Let your foolishness and absurdity go as we all wrestle with that same ghoul! Start each day with a fresh, clean slate and for goodness sakes, stop being so hard on yourself. Your life can be anything you want it to be and you can be whomever you desire! Accepting yourself as stuck or defeated is always a lie. Always! Humans ain’t static, not as long as they are alive.

Just some good thoughts…

Get Back in the Game…


There was a time when you were incredibly enthusiastic about life. You had your dreams for the future and felt that your possibilities were absolutely endless. You woke each day excited about your future and what you might contribute to the world. Maybe your enthusiasm continues to this day. But for many, sadly, this is no longer the case. Many folks have resigned themselves to the sidelines, not dead yet, but not in the play. What happens to us that so artfully talks us out of our dreams? Who convinces us to give up on the things we so desperately want for our lives? How can we, no matter our years, get back in the game? 

Everything you ever wanted in your life, you can have, if you can believe for it. Life and circumstance aren’t responsible for the limitation. God isn’t behind it, no matter how many Facebook memes claim otherwise. It isn’t your background, your education or your upbringing. It’s you, my friend. The limitation, if there is one, is you. It sounds simplistic, but it’s true. In the final analysis, at the core, at the very root is you and what you believe in your heart. The reason you don’t get the things you want is because you don’t believe you can have them. Your friend, who is ten years younger than you and makes three times more than you, does so because he believes he can. He isn’t highly favored or lucky, nor was he born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In his heart he believed he could and in so believing did. You can achieve the dreams you have for your life, many of which God put in your heart, if you can believe you can. But, believing is a process and sometimes that process takes time. The devil cannot stymie your dreams or take them from you, absent your cooperation. You cooperate by adhering to and believing all the evidence to the contrary. In short, you get talked out of it. Achieving your dreams will never appear to be easy, but will come with obstacles and challenges you must surmount. Neither the obstacles, nor the challenges can stop you from receiving, unless you give up on what it is you want. You are not in the game because you gave up on yourself.

In the game of life, no one puts you on the sideline except yourself. The coach didn’t bench you. God didn’t bench you. You benched you! You gave up. You surrendered. You decided along the way that you were not worth (or worthy) of the things you want. Oh you weren’t functioning in a vacuum.  Your ideas, your beliefs, your expectations were influenced. That influence, call it what you may, succeeded in getting you to believe and accept something that isn’t true. It chipped away at you, day by day, week by week, year by year, until it convinced you to settle for something far less than God’s best. Maybe it spent considerable time outlining how your previous bad behavior disqualified you from receiving something good from God today. Perhaps it persuaded you that your efforts were futile and that you didn’t make any impact worth pursuing. Possibly it just distracted you and got you caught up in activities that wasted your time and didn’t lead to anything. Whatever happened, however it happened, if you are sitting on the sidelines and not in the game, it happened. There’s no point in lamenting how it happened to you. The solution is simply to get back in the game!

You get back in the game by remembering again the things that are most important to you. What is it or was it that made your heart race? What do you well that is easy for you to do that could benefit others in some capacity, that you foolishly stopped pursuing? Where and in what is your impact obvious? Start there… Maybe those things aren’t clear enough for you yet. Instead, what parts of life do you no longer participate in? Life, if left unchecked and unguarded, has a funny way of reducing things down to the bare minimums. Over the years, a thousand interests turn into a hundred interests, then to ten interests, ending in no interests. Who took away your interests? What gave you a reason to give up on your interests and convinced you that you had seen and done it all? Who stole away your uniqueness and individuality? What persuaded you into believing that you had nothing left to offer; are now too old, or that it is too late for you? It’s bad enough that we all have to die one day, but worse that we can die before we are actually dead. 

Your life, my life, is frightfully short. Frightfully short! You owe it to yourself and to God to live your life to the fullest. Get outside your own head. Quit stewing and brewing over whatever has gone on thus far and check yourself back into the game. Challenge those age old assumptions you have been making about yourself and your situation. Challenge those limitations that say you can’t. Get up off the ground, dust yourself off and check back into the game! The same way you unknowingly checked out, the same way you can check yourself back in again. Try something new. Make a new friend. Pick up a new hobby. It’s not really about your age or your energy level. It’s about not giving up on yourself and believing to see where your life still has the capacity to make a lasting impact on someone else. Every single day of your precious life holds the promise of something wonderful. But, it’s not going to knock on your door and find you. You have to find it, though it was never really hidden from you to begin with. Have you been living on the sidelines hoping, wishing something would change so that you could live again? That something is you and it always was you. Get back in the game! We all need you…

Just some good thoughts…

Inside Out…


Did you know that the outer conditions of your life are an exact reflection of what goes on inside your head? What you are on the inside that no-one else can see forms the basis for the circumstances you encounter most frequently. Your life is lived from the inside out. You cannot be successful in the outside world without first being successful in your mind and you cannot fail in the outside world without first failing in your mind! Your mind; your heart is the starting point and from it the issues of your life pour forth! Life is truly lived inside out…

Most people think that life happens to them and that they are powerless to change it. They feed their minds with negatives all day and night. They speak negatives, read negatives, harbor negatives, look for negatives, expect negatives and spread negatives. They rehearse situations in which they are always being done wrong in some capacity. When opportunity presents itself they discount it immediately. They are suspicious and wary ever waiting for the axe to fall, the apparent good to prove itself untrue, the catch that’s lurking just out of view. They become convinced their scenario is going to turn out badly and when it does (as it necessarily must) they say, “See there? I told you so!” They never consider the important role they play in the outcome but instead attribute it to luck or fate or worse as being somehow a part of God’s will. Thus, and forgive my bluntness, if your life sucks, it’s because you suck, at least as far as your thinking is concerned! You cannot keep planting weeds and wonder when your flowers are going to show up! You cannot continue to dwell in darkness while searching for the light. You cannot think one way then expect to live another way. Your life is lived from the inside out…

Your life, be it wonderful or miserable, follows the patterns you have established. Where you see yourself is where you live. If you don’t expect much, you don’t get much. If you think you must struggle, struggle you will. If you believe that life is something you must endeavor to survive, survival will be the height of your achievements. If you believe you will always be poor, (for whatever reason you have manufactured) you will always be poor. If you fear sickness, dwell on sickness, think incessantly about sickness, you will most assuredly be sick. Conversely, if you expect good things to happen for you, good things will happen for you. If you believe you will prosper, you will prosper. If you are convinced that every obstacle you face can be overcome, you will find a way to overcome no matter how much the circumstances may appear to disagree. Assigning your fate to God or to life or to the world without taking any responsibility for your thinking is not taking responsibility for your own life. We all know instinctively that life works like this but discount it when it comes to what we think. If you are going to catch fish, you have to use the right bait. If you are going to hunt elk, you have to go to where the elk live. If you are going to make a lot of money, you have to go to work. You cannot fish with the wrong bait then get mad at God because you aren’t catching any fish. You cannot hunt for elk where elk do not live then curse the heavens for your bad fortune. You cannot refuse to work or offer your employer your absolute minimum effort, then blame the world for your poverty. Likewise, you cannot possibly expect to have a good life while all the time convincing yourself (through negative considerations) that your life will turn out badly. Your life is lived inside out…

What you think matters. Where you go in your mind in life’s situations matters. The things you feed your mind everyday matter. The outcomes you rehearse for yourself over and over and over matter. What you say about yourself and your life matters. And ultimately, what you believe in the depths of your heart matters. If you want a different outcome, you have to think in a different way. Wherever you are today, your thinking has led you there. Life is not unfair. Circumstances are unfair. Certain challenges you may face are unfair. People can be unfair, but life is not unfair. God has given you a way to overcome whatever you are up against, but it all starts with your thinking. Pay attention to your thinking.  Control your thinking.  Change your thinking. Stop allowing the world to dictate what you think about the most. Stop allowing circumstances to determine what it is you will believe. Put an end to any influence that leads your thinking away from God’s best for your life. Your life is lived from the inside out…

Your life is a direct reflection of your own expectations. Change your expectations. You change them! Quit dwelling on “what is” and dwell on what you want. See yourself successful. Expect things to work out. When you find yourself challenged, (and you surely will) look for the solution. With God there is always a solution. Separate yourself from the thoughtless herd ever plunging headlong into the abyss. Step out of line. Stop going with the flow, the majority, the world! Form your own opinions. The reason you think the way you think is because that is how you have been taught to think. You have been led astray. You’re a victim in a vicious cycle in which you are doing the spinning. Spin the damn thing in the opposite direction! You have already suffered enough hurt, enough disappointment, enough lack to know something isn’t right! It isn’t life, it is you. It isn’t God, it is you. It isn’t just the way life is, it’s the way you think (believe) life is. Sooner or later you have to realize life is lived inside out. MAKE YOUR INSIDE RIGHT!

Just some good thoughts…

 

How Did I End Up Here?


bus-lane2_636250051617305266Have you ever, in a sudden flash of insight, wondered how in the hell did I end up here? All of us had our youthful fantasies where we were playing professional baseball or were the star actor in a hit movie. However choppy or obscure, all of us entertained some vague notions of how life would be for us in the future. Then, the future got here and it wasn’t exactly what we expected. For many folks it turned into a nightmare from which they are now seeking an escape. How did it happen? How did we end up here?

The short answer is, you were the one driving the bus! The longer answer is a little more tricky. The life that you are living today is a composite sketch you first outlined and then refined through days, months and years of thinking certain thoughts. Yes, my friend, you were driving the bus. Oh, I know it didn’t seem like you were always driving the bus. If anything it seemed like you were sometimes navigating the bus through difficult and confusing circumstances. Many days perhaps you were anxiously driving the bus with a death grip on the wheel, fearful of how things were going to turn out. At other times, for a myriad of reasons, you let someone else drive your bus trusting them to get you to a good destination. For years maybe you were not even aware that you are supposed to drive your own bus and just hoped with the rest of the world that God would somehow drive your bus for you if you were good to people and weren’t too much of a dick or something… But no matter the reasons, even the compelling good reasons, you are responsible to drive your own bus and choose your own destinations!

I believe that we all, on occasions, find ourselves scratching our heads at how we turned out to be exactly like our fathers or suffer from the same issues as our mothers, though we swore we never would. We didn’t realize that the same crap that got to them would eventually get to us as well. In our youthful wisdom, we didn’t see it coming, just like they didn’t see it coming. In reality it wasn’t our propensity to fall for the same mistakes that defeated us or even inherited weaknesses in the gene pool that got us. What got us; what defeated us; what we failed to see was “it,” manipulating behind the scenes and causing us to drive our buses in the wrong damn direction! All that precious time we spent focusing on things we didn’t want, left us driving on a road we didn’t choose, leading to a destination we do not like. You want to know how you got here? This is how you got here! The sooner you decide to take your keys back the better.

Aside from the incessant and persistent manipulation and every other force that drives us away from our best lives, there is another far more subtle power at work, also based on fear but far less obvious. This perennial  flat tire to our happiness is the overworked and overused, insane, dishonest, “I have to please everyone else” mentality that seems noble but in reality is a cruelty afflicting both who you are and who you could ever hope to be! This slippery wrench in the works convinces you to make choices that aren’t really your choices in favor of playing it safe or protecting your family or whatever other bullshit you have been confessing to yourself to rationalize bad decisions and miserable circumstances. Your age, your income, your bad knees, your upbringing, your momma, your spouse all have nothing to do with your capacity; even your necessity to change your thoughts and slowly but surely change your life. You are no more stuck than the energy it takes to say so. None of us are ever truly mired in life’s circumstances, no matter how they present themselves. What we become stuck in is a wrong belief playing itself out over a thousand iterations. Change the flat tire!

How your life has played out thus far is a product of your own making and once you are finally able to own that, you can climb confidently back into the driver’s seat and chart a new course; one that you sought after on purpose. Refusing to own your part in this grand drama leaves you as the victim, pitifully wasting away your one short go-round, waiting for someone or something to change your scenario; change your course for you. No matter how bad things may have gotten for you, you still know what you enjoy, right? You still know what good looks and feels like, right? It may surprise you to know that God Himself, with all of His limitless power and ability, can only take you as far as you are willing to go. His job isn’t to drive you to your future destination. He made you the bus driver. Instead He can only encourage you through crazy blog-writers who have the audacity to repeat what His Word says, hopefully in ways that you can understand!

You think countless thoughts within the space of a day. Why not take a breath and find out what some of those thoughts are and then challenge them if they don’t fit the image of what you want for your life. Just because you thought a thought doesn’t make it true. Good bus drivers have to wrestle all of those unruly thoughts into submission and in doing so take over the wheel of their own ride.

However you got here to this moment in time only proves your history thus far. Your future is something you are planning for today by the thoughts you entertain the most. Recognize how big of a deal those little thoughts really are and work with the system people!

By the way, I’m glad you got here… 😉

Just some good thoughts.