There is That Day

We all have them. The day where the previous night was rough and the following day is simply a continuation. Personal, professional, physical and spiritual its all horrid. You cannot focus and you wonder why you got out of bed.

But you did. And you are out there trying to do your best. You are trying to be kind despite what the world passes to you.

Some call it grace, some courage, some poise or presence. But it exists to some extent in all of us.

Realize what you had the courage to do today. Give yourself credit for what you have done. Get stronger today. Be kind today. If tomorrow never arrives, today will have been a good day.

Persistence

There are gaps in time where things are not possible.  Life intervenes.  We fight the fires that are directly in front of us.  Sometimes it takes time to regroup.  But do yourself this favor on Black Friday – do not ever stop for anyone or anything.  Keep your eye on what is at your core and never settle.  You will start living a life of purpose, of love, of real meaning.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday celebrate the worst of humanity.  Conspicuous consumption on a level that is far beyond anything we need.

We are conditioned to believe its never enough.  Every commercial, every program push an agenda.  Think for yourself starting today.  What is true?  What is right?  What do I really need?  Who do I really need/who demonstrates that they want me?  Not some picture of you, but the real you – warts and all.

Be kind to yourself starting today – live in the real world, as yourself, take only what you need, share what you can, give away all the rest, think of our earth every day, and never, ever stop.

Be well, Live, Laugh, and Love Like Tomorrow is a Long Way Away

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.