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Soreness

Sometimes it hurts right away, sometimes it takes time, but we know its coming.  Maybe its just an ache.  Maybe it truly hurts. And the duration is variable. 

So the pain has arrived.  It could be mental, physical, or spiritual. What do we do?

We greet it like an old friend. We live the pain when it feels like its all we have.  We wonder how it came to be – not what caused it – but how pain first started.  Pain is a way of telling you that if you continue doing what you are doing, there will be dire consequences.  So thank you pain. 

Eventually the pain subsides – from healing or death – and we are left with soreness.  Soreness is a reminder of change happening.  (Death is not treated casually here. It is serious but also not to be feared.) so you are sore – now what?

Get through it with every positive tool you have.  Friends, family, activity, kindness, and love. Do not deny the soreness its place. You must transition and soreness is how it happens. 

Realize where you are, why you are there, and if you like it.  If you like it then stay. If you do not like it then change it.  Embrace the pain, welcome soreness, and step into the light and love again.  

Be well. Live, laugh, and love. 

Those days

We wake up and it already feels wrong.  We try to excuse the feeling, ignore it, shunt it aside.  It sticks with us. 

So here is where things can change.  Do we let it become ‘one of those days’?  Or do we look for the good regardless?  Sometimes it is hard to find the good.  We all struggle with it.  The pain, the shame, the regret, the anger – they all play a part in making us worse off.  How can we fight that?  

Starting small is the best way.  Anyone still six feet above versus six feet below can find a reason.  Maybe its the color of your skin.  The smile that makes people laugh.  The love of your family.  Whatever it takes.  You are fighting a battle. Dont let the negative win.   

You deserve better. Your family deserves better.  All those around you and those you love deserve better.  Look around you and find something beautiful.  

Today is not just a day worth living but a day worth enjoying.  Smile.  You deserve it. 

Life Takes Time

We all make mistakes, some large, some not so large.  We can minimize them, downplay them, and deny them.  But they are always there.  Who we are is defined by how we handle mistakes. 

Do we ask for fogiveness?  Say we regret the mistake?  Say I am sorry?  What truly needs to happen is to change place mentally with the person you offended and find out what hurts the most. Then go and address these issues quickly and with sincerity.  If they forgive you great but if not then let it and them go.  

This is truly about letting it go and forgiving yourself.  Its easier to ask forgiveness than to forgive.  This is true in our external and internal interactions.  The internal is far harder.  We relive moments, see the pain we cause and know we must do better.  Some among us possess a grace that allows them to realize their humanity and move on.  Some of us never see the pain we cause and are oblivious.  Some know the pain they cause and enjoy inflicting it.  And then some know and see the pain they cause and want to make it better.  It is to the latter group that this message falls.  

First, realize your shortcomings.  Certain people,places, and things create negative situations for us. Avoid them all. Do whatever it takes.  Cause no harm but make the change to avoid having to bear the scars later.  Second, the mistake happens and you make it right with the other person.  Third, allow yourself the anger, the shame, the disappointment.   Then work on getting better.  Be especially nice to strangers and nicer to your friends.  Go out of your way for others.  Then go and he nice to yourself. You allow yourself forgiveness when you believe you deserve it.  And not before. 

That is all you can do.  Give yourself time to fix it.  Life takes time.  

When it hurts the most

We all experience pain of several types and there have been many explanations for the experience.  If you enjoy pain, are you a sadist or simply someone who accepts change as the only real constant in our lives?

Nothing in this world is constant (there are mathematical and science related constants that we will excuse from this discussion), so why do we fight it so much?  In our lives, many of us play from behind in that we constantly prepare for the tomorrow we expect and adapt to the tomorrow we receive.  We need to receive the day, adapt, and accept.  On most days, we can do this but what about on the bad days – when it hurts the most?

Do we retreat from our best, and become less in the face of the adversity?  Or do we step up and become more?  We need to become more.  Our world deserves better than what we give it daily.

How do we do this?  Here is a list that may help.

  1. Slow down – consider both your words and your actions.  What will be the logical outcome of the words and actions?  If it is positive, proceed, but if it is negative, take a new course.
  2. Change how you think – instead of disliking someone for something said or done, ask why are they acting this way?  Can you get a better idea of why they are acting this way, or think of a scenario that would make this their course of action?  This is very hard at first, but after awhile it becomes second nature.  Combined with slowing down, it will give you surprising results
  3. Stop expecting anyone to change – accept who they are, warts and all.  Use this as a foundation upon which your interactions will build.  This does not mean you need to build relationships with negative people, but simply that you understand where they are and can move forward.  Your actions are all you can control and they speak volumes about you, not about them.  You can love deeply flawed people.  That is a good thing, because we are all deeply flawed.

That is it.  Take your time, think about it, change how you interact, accept what you receive and move onward and upward to a better place for everyone.

What Will I Do?

Today dawn burns bright.  Today I always have choices.  They may seem small Today but what ripples do they send out?

Today I Will:

1. Live fully in the moments that present themselves

2. Extend kindness regardless of the response

3.  Defend myself from the ugliness outside and take steps to minimize the ugly in our lives

4.  Work hard at what we do.  Your purpose, your relationships, your goals

5.  Never stop – our time is limited.  Our possibilities are not.  

6.  Make wrongs right.  We all make mistakes. 

7.  Smile.  6 feet above > 6 feet under

8.  Love.  There are people, places and things who love you. Love them back.  You are number 1 on this list. 

9.  Accept.  Let the past blow into eternity.  Take today and start building new tomorrows. 

Today.  Not tomorrow – Today. 

We Keep Fighting and Losing

So each day, each night we fight our demons.  They come in waves at times, but never truly leave.  We try to combat them in various ways – we reduce our potential exposure to those temptations, we reset our activities, we change friends, become more thoughtful, start meditating, start an exercise program, take up a healthy hobby, end relationships, maybe even move.  We deal with everything but the root cause.

In the past I have never spoken in the first person, but this is different.  In some important personal recent events, I was forced to face my own weakness in the past.  Yes, I contemplated suicide.  I was alone, without those I valued most, my family were distant at best and hostile at worst.  I had to find a way to support those I had sworn to protect, make myself stronger, and re-focus my mind, body, and spirit.  I was fighting every day and night and losing.  I hid all of these thoughts from everyone.  I have never admitted this to anyone before.  I never told my counselor, my best friend.  I was ashamed of my weakness.

I started with re-framing my major relationships.  I did this for those who needed me the most.  I was not strong enough to fight for myself, so I fought for them.  I refused to be told how to behave/what to think/why to do things.  I worked hard to build on the positive relationships – the ones that had survived.  I pushed back on my family and made them realize I was valid and valuable.  I fought back in small ways and refused to back down.  As someone who hated confrontation, this was very hard for me.  It was my only path to freedom.  Eventually I became strong enough to push back against the worst offenders in my life.  It was ugly for awhile, but I was committed to making a real and lasting change.

I viewed my suicidal thoughts as a weakness that needed a cure and embraced the discipline needed to change it.  Eventually I looked at my suicidal thoughts as the weakest way out of my situation.  I have been given many gifts and for me to persist and resist to the last is what my duty is to those who love me.  They deserve no less.

So every day I fight my demons.  They never fight fair – and what is fair?  Prepare yourself with the love of those who really care.  Be generous and kind with your abilities.  Focus outside and protect those that need you and there is someone, something that will miss you, that needs your help and protection.  My demons come when I am weak.  They know how to take away my focus, take away my strength.  Here is the real secret – they need my permission, my weakness, my lack of focus to take this from me and by extension, those I love.  Do I still lose?  Hell yes.  Will I ever stop fighting?  Hell no.

Be well.  Live, Laugh, and Love.

Defining Courage

There comes a time, some sooner, some later, when we have to stand for something or someone.  These can be defining moments or more simple ones, but their importance is not always apparent immediately.  We may have been fighting this battle internally for months or years in silence and all of a sudden it comes out.  A common reaction to a person who has always cooperated, always been selfless, always worked to find a way, but now is standing firm, is shock.  To those who always took advantage of this situation anger, frustration, and fear creep in.  The aggressor wants to keep the status quo, maintain control, have it their way.  The mental games that are then played by the aggressor can either stop, continue, or escalate.  For someone who is not used to standing up, speaking up, and not backing down, this requires a change in mindset and transition from passion to discipline.

This show of courage must be sustained every day.  This is not simply about a passion, but about a lifestyle.   As the receiver of these negative emotions instills this discipline, there will be hard times.  This is not an easy path to follow.  But if the discipline is allowed to survive then the redefinition of the relationship and all relationships can happen over time.  The rewards are phenomenal.  The pain can also be phenomenal.  But unless the pain is endured and lasting change made, the original and damaging relationship will continue.

Some of the outcomes of these interactions include loss of friendships and a sense of loss of control.  Friendships that do not endure this change were generally not positive friendships.  They were based upon the same negative principles as the main negative relationship.  Make new friends that love and respect you as you are, not as they wish you to be.  Loss of control is simply due a change in the perception of reality.  What was really there was hidden from the negatively impacted person, who chose not to see these things.  Now all of the ugly of the past is in plain sight.  How could you have not seen this?  Why was I so stupid?  How could I let myself be treated this way?

These painful questions are easy to answer but hard to accept.  You chose not to see it.  You were clouded by emotions – love, fear, lust.  You were afraid and unsure that if you stood up that no one would love you.  No one would accept you.  These are the emotions that kept you bound as a prisoner of your own misguided thoughts.

So you have made the choice to stand up and not back down.  You have endured the pain and loneliness.  You bear the scars.  You are also free.  Finally and truly free.  You define who you are and can become.  Find someone who will lift you up, not push you down.  Someone who wants the best for you, because they love you, not because they want what you can provide for them.  Stand.

Live, Laugh, and Love.  Be well.