June 29, 2015

the hard work —it's an inside job

The Hard Work is found on the path to forgiveness.

The Hard Work is in the resolve of anger.

The Hard Work is in maintaining a loving relationship with yourself even when society whispers lies of unworthiness. 

The Hard Work is being devoted to hearing the silent inner-workings of your heart and soul while everyone else is shouting out thoughts, opinions and criticisms around you.

The Hard Work is focusing on the truth that lives within you, while the world is insisting your primary focus be set on what is happening outside yourself.

The Hard Work is asking yourself the difficult questions—the ones that will give you the answers you need, knowing they may not necessarily be the answers you want.

The Hard Work is taking that faith-filled step aside so that you can finally get out of your own way.

The Hard Work is the decision to move on with it while fear is weighing on your shoulders.

The Hard Work is in recognizing the difference between letting go of what isn’t working and self-sabotaging avoidance.

The Hard Work is in the willingness to distinguish the difference between the distractions, and the actual hard work—the excuses and the reasons—the detachment and the non-attachment.

That's The Hard Work —the worthy, bare-knuckled, calloused palms, sweaty, messy hard work...and it will facilitate all else. It will serve you.  

June 24, 2015

strength — are we perpetuating the wrong message?

We all know how to survive.
Surviving is primal.
Survival can get ugly though. 

Like many, I have felt victimized—and as the story goes, I have fallen because of it. It was then that I decided that living as a victim was one of the worst places I could reside.

So I got back up, threw my nose up in the air and I called it my strength. I charged forward armored in anger and resentment. Wounded and ravenous, I set out on the warpath of self-preservation.

I closed myself off. Trusting no one, I became inflexible and built mile high walls that looked a lot like deception, manipulation and intimidation. 

I beat others down and fought damn hard to nail them to the wall just so I would know where they were when my back was turned. 

Somewhere in my hectic villainous schedule, I found ample time to numb-out at every chance I got.  It was during this time that I visited the dimmest corners of my mind and then subsequently made choices from those corners. Needless to say, dimlit corners hold nothing but dimwit decisions. It would seem that I was making it a point to slow dance with my demons. I was suddenly becoming the victimizerI knew it, but I couldn’t stop. I felt I had nowhere else to go other than victimhood and I desperately did not want to be there. 

Please, anywhere but there...

Eventually, it was the heaviness of my choices on my conscience that knocked me back down—and so I fell again. This time I stayed down. I called it my weakness.

Totally bare, I curled up and shivered as I lay in the unforgiving frigidity of rock bottom. 

Shameful and guilty, I proceeded to lash myself until it felt as though the remnants of my heart’s goodness had bled out. 

My personal value was being stripped away as the shame and guilt from what I had done ran through my veins.  

Self-damnation brought me to the very darkest corner of my mindthe mindset I now respectfully and a little fearfully refer to as Hell between Ears

This is the darkside venue that no one knows exists within them until it pulls you in for an impromptu visit.  

It was there where I rubbed elbows with my own darkness and entertained thoughts I never fathomed experiencing in this lifetime. 

I have, on this journey, asphyxiated on lies in an attempt to drown my secrets. I have housed my fears and fed my faults. At other times, I have flown on the wings of self-righteousness and self-medicated on my narrow judgments of others. These are not the markings of human weakness, nor are they the tellers of human strength. 

These are simply the deepest footprints of someone struggling to survive in the wilderness that we call our human experience. 

We spend so much time being romanced by the grandiose nature of getting back up. 

Is it really strength though?

Sometimes the aftermath of getting back up doesn't come from a place of inner strength. Likewise, we quickly avoid showcasing the times in our life where we stayed down. 

Is it really weakness?

Sometimes the aftermath of staying down is not the results of inner weakness.

Maybe strength hasn't a thing to do with getting back up and maybe weakness hasn't a thing to do with staying down.

What if the ups and downs are simply a response to an inner knowing? A gut feeling which either pulls you up by the suspenders, or holds you down at the shoulders both of which are for your greater good in the grand scheme of things. 

I have learned so much as I ran around swinging my fists at unsuspecting by-passers who got in my waybut it was not until I was willing to stay down for a while that I was able to really see any of it. At the same time, I have learned so much while I hid away under the covers of my shame, but I was blind to it all until I was willing to get back up. 

It seems to me that both the ups and downs play vital roles in the support of the other. 

Is inhalation more respectable or beneficial than exhalation? 

Perhaps strength by definition is in our willingness to walk back into an emotional war-zone after the dust settles in order to try and see things from a different perspective. Maybe it’s in the hunt for our lessons where our strength is developed. It doesn't take much strength to get back up much like taking cover, very often, it's basic survival.

It would seem to me that being able to let go of what tears and weighs you down is what requires indomitable strength.

Perhaps strength lives in the willingness to take an honest look around at the mess and see it for what it really is? 

What if strength is the ability to haul the lessons and messages out of the debris of your misfortunes and mistakes without lugging the debris around with you?

What if strength is having the courage to clean up any messes you've made as best you can?

Maybe, just maybe, real strength is the ability to fall down without berating yourself while you're lying there—or to get back up without using vengeance as a driving force?

What if strength is being able to come out of anything as a whole person, no matter what? 

The ability to believe you are still a worthy whole person. No. Matter. What.


That’s a big one.

Maybe that’s strength.

June 21, 2015

the great father—happy father's day!

Father’s Day—a day to celebrate piggyback ride givers and boo-boo kissers, the kings without crowns and heroes without capes. 

We're celebrating the very determinant of a little girl's perception of men...and the barometer that she will one day use to decide how she is to be treated by them. 

We celebrate the map that will guide a little boy into manhood, and the toolbox of wisdom that will help get him there. 

We celebrate the great fathers—the men who understand that love and gentleness is the foundation upon which not only their strength is built, but the strength of their children. 

For all the great fathers —you have my deepest respect and admiration. 

June 17, 2015

excavate your unwavering truths —random ramblings along the way.

There are innate and unwavering truths rooted in each of us— 

truths we've long since tucked away for safe keeping. Or at least I think that's what we've done with it—and it's all because, once upon a time, we didn't yet know how to step up and live without feeling as though our truths were either being killed off, or killing us off—both mercilessly.

There was a time in your life where safety was far more seductive than any virginal truth could ever be. 'Twas better to be safe than it was to be you. 

Our truth coaxes us to take another look, only after it’s been marred in blood, and sweat, and tears, and dirt, and dust, and criticism—after it’s been kicked around and tortured; tried and tested; berated and underrated; mocked and misunderstood—after it has weathered the pains and become raw, yet, for some unknown reason has still unfathomably remained steadfast, unchanged and ever present no matter how deep it's been buried.

It is in the moments that we get fed-up enough, become ballsy and bear down to dig it all up; striping adversity off in layers, pulling out the lies that have grown intertwined with it, one by painful,one it's in those moments where we go on and clean it up that we get to see just how enduring our truth has really been this whole time— and what it shows us, is nothing more than a reflection— a reflection of how enduring we have been this whole time and that's what makes us, us... our truth. Perhaps it's time to dig  up and let breathe, the person we were born to be.