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The Starting Point: Self Acceptance and Forgivness

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

There are certain irrefutable truths in life. You may be eight or eighty; it does not matter. We all share a unique formula for success. It is what moves us forward and at the same time holds us back. It is what puts a large grin on our face and at the same time; it causes us to lay awake at night tossing and turning.

The first constant of a successful life is this: Beyond any other truth, you deserve to be successful.

However, here is the rub: Deep down inside there is a voice that reminds us of all the mistakes we have made in our lives. They are the reasons to remain exactly where we are and stir our little pot of misery. We feel we do not have the education, or we are the wrong gender. We perceive ourselves as being too old, or too young. We question our intelligence, or our ability to communicate effectively. We have a built-in excuse for everything. We tell ourselves we do not deserve happiness, health, or success. I cannot make an investment in myself unless I believe that investment is going to reap a great return. Each morning when I get up and I fight the same battle and make the same mistakes and each night as my head hits the pillow I end up with the same results. Eventually, I give up. After all, it is our lot in life. "Pity, party of one your table is now available."

The answer is simple and at the same time the most excruciating experience, we will have. It is learning to forgive ourselves for whatever crazy notion we have of why we do not deserve a successful life. If you are like me, you felt your heart drop the first time you realized that. That kind of self-interaction will take a lifetime. It may mean dealing with issues we have long since forgotten. Along the way that self-doubt, and that lack of self-forgiveness will be replaced by the notion that you deserve to be successful. As the pain and suffering subside they are replaced by warmth, self-appreciation and a true feeling that you deserve to live a rich and full life.

Last Thursday evening I lie in bed 200 miles from home trying to get to sleep. While I have traveled extensively for the past 10 years I can never quite get used to someone else's bed. I lie there thinking, waiting for the fatigue that allows me to sleep. I noticed that my jaws clenched. I noticed that I was "uptight." And I wondered why. Back in the old days, Kenny Rogers wrote and sang a song called "Tell It All Brother." There is a line from the song that has been etched in my mind. "And in the dungeons of your mind, who do you have chained to the walls." I began to think of all the people I put an emotional shackle and chained to a wall that would not allow them to be forgiven. Somewhere inside of me, though, a voice pointed me to myself, hanging on that same wall. The ability to forgive other people comes much easier than the ability to forgive ourselves. Most of us sincerely believe that no one on the face of the earth and in the history of mankind has ever done or ever said the terrible things we have.

If I can't forgive myself how can I ever believe I deserve to be successful. I am not suggesting that we simply forget. I'm suggesting that the past is over and the only way it remains in the present is when you and I allow it to do so. I'm not suggesting we deny what we've done I am simply asking "Isn't it time, we made peace with our past.
That journey will take a lifetime. With each moment, we have the opportunity of forgiving ourselves while we begin to discover our potential.
Our success is not solely dependent on internal activity that makes us feel better. We can only feel deserving of our success when we have some clear goals in front of us. As the sewage of our alleged sin drifts away, we must replace it with something strong and challenging. As we look upon our world, it is inevitable that we choose some goals to reinforce the belief that we deserve to accomplish anything and everything.

Be blessed today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/6/2012 3:00PM

    Your words must be channeled from the source of all great writings. Your way with words and feelings and wisdom stop me in my tracks. Forgiveness of myself is most definately what holds me down, and I know it, and the knowing does not help me forgive. I will be reading and re-reading this blog and asking for grace. Again, I thank you.

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    Thank you for writing this. I struggle with this issue so but I know I'm not in it alone.

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NASFKAB 2/29/2012 5:24AM

  irrefutable truth great blog as usual

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BLONDIE410 2/29/2012 12:10AM

    Really needed to hear that tonight,thank you. emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 2/28/2012 5:57PM

    Thankyou so much John for this blog....
i have someone who needs to hear this....

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    This is something that I don't struggle with. I don't hold grudges against myself and love myself warts and all. I've made mistakes and the only regrets I have is that a few times I hurt others. We are human not perfect. We have to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness goes both ways.

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TRISTAROSE 2/28/2012 4:11PM

    Something to think about .... but very hard for me to forgive and forget!


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LADILADIDA 2/28/2012 3:57PM

    Dude, I really dig you. Seriously, I get you. I love your writing and what you have to say. It is indeed a lifetime journey because in every moment we are in a new place coming from a new perspective (even if it feels the same). Much love...

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TIME4AFITME 2/28/2012 12:42PM

    Thank you for this blog I so needed to read this today. You gave me lots to think about

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REALLY_ROBIN 2/28/2012 12:23PM

  Thank you, John, for writing this blog. I think this may be the thing I'm struggling with, which I had not identified. Thank you! Blessings to you as well! Robin

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KKINNEA 2/28/2012 11:53AM

    Indeed, I'll have to think about this.

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SPARKENISTA 2/28/2012 11:45AM


You are so right about this being a universal issue. I have struggled with it many long years--and I still do. However, I find that Louise Hay and her philosophy have helped me a lot.
One of her affirmations sticks with me and I use it as my mantra, particularly when I am very stressed: "I deserve love, joy and all good things." She's very big into "deserving".

You really have a knack for hitting the nail on the head.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMTFF376 2/28/2012 11:20AM


I read your blog and while sitting here contemplating it, I thought... 200 miles away? I wonder if he's in WV?? :)

Would love to see you again!

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GIRANIMAL 2/28/2012 11:02AM

    Hmmmmm, you've really got me thinking this morning, oh wise friend, about how a fair amount of unresolved guilt and what I assume is an average dose of self-doubt probably really are holding me back. As is the idea that it's foolish to make any investments in myself if I can't guarantee a solid return on it. Now THAT is foolish! Of course development and growth for their own sake are worth it! Perhaps now that I can embrace that, the pesky money part will come. emoticon
And the courage and confidence. Let's not pretend those aren't even more important than the pragmatic funds.

Comment edited on: 2/28/2012 11:04:13 AM

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PGNBRI 2/28/2012 10:52AM

    Wow. I have so much love for you and this post right now!! Thank you for saying just what I needed to hear today.

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And I Pause To Thank Each of You!!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/9/2012 3:47PM

    I know you sure had/have my vote a motivator of the day/month/year.

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MANILUS 3/3/2012 10:04PM

    Congratulations on your recognition by fellow Sparkers, your positiveness and persistence is the reason!!! You make some very good points, the company you keep has a big effect on you and taking compliments is not always easy! 2 things I have struggled with in this life. All the best John, hope the week is filled with energized workouts and delicious, portioned Nutrtition!!!!!!!

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BLONDIE410 2/29/2012 12:20AM

    Just ran across your blogs, as they say there are no coincidences,congratulations, you have such wonderful insight and you come across so well. Thank you so much.. emoticon

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LYNMEINDERS 2/28/2012 5:53PM

    Total belated congratulations...
You are a great more than deserve the award.....

and some wisdome in your video as well...

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LADILADIDA 2/28/2012 3:47PM

    Belated congratulations! I have to get caught up on your video blogs - I can't watch them where I primarily do my "sparking". Congrats - you deserve it everyday!

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LABRYANT 2/28/2012 2:52PM

    John said, "It's all about feeling GOOD!"
Well said! Love it!
emoticon on MOTD!!!!

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NASFKAB 2/28/2012 2:38AM


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DEE797 2/27/2012 4:59PM

    Oh John, I missed it too. You so deserve being named Spark Motivator of the Day! CONGRATS! Wishing you success on your journey!

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GEEMAWEST 2/27/2012 2:59PM

    Darn, I missed it too. You definitely deserve it! Seems to me that you have been bestowed this honor once before, haven't you? If not, you should have been several times over. I check for your blogs everyday because you always motivate me, even when you are struggling, because I know we're in this together.

Your the BEST!! emoticon

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SPARKENISTA 2/27/2012 12:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon


I am so sorry to have missed your victory yesterday! I don't recall getting an email about it.


In fact, I was thinking about you because I am facing some challenges and I needed a pep talk--but I thought I should just soldier up and move ahead on my own.

In any case, congrats on being recognized by the powers that be on SparkPeople. No one deserves this honor more than you. I consider myself very lucky to be "hanging' with someone of your caliber.

Best of luck yesterday, today and tomorrow!! Sorry to have missed the big day!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GIRANIMAL 2/27/2012 11:28AM

    Oh no! I missed that you earned the Spark Motivator award, but of course you've always been a great motivator for me, and I thank you (silently or otherwise) for it every day. emoticon

Sorry to hear your plans went all awry, but I'm glad you're going to use the week wisely -- on YOURSELF! I hope all is well with your parents.

Much love,

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SNOWANGELDIVA 2/27/2012 10:23AM

    I'm SO glad you felt blessed with words of affirmation. Keep them close!
Have an awesome week, John!
I'm off to start my day too (well 2nd cup of Java THEN my day...first things first)

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A to Z Random Facts (Probably a whole boat load of TMI!!!)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A. Age: 58

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning up after the dogs in the back yard

D. Dogs: Two - Rocky - A lab mix age 10 and Mallory a Bischon mix age 5

E. Essential start to your day: ESPN followed by CNN (I have my priorities you know!!!)

F. Favorite color: Blue --- All shades and hues.

G. Gold or Silver: silver

H. Height: 5'9"

I. Instruments you play: Drums

J. Job title: Certified Life Coach in the area of Career and Personal Growth and Development

K. Kids: 6 Four boys and two girls

L. Live: Owensboro KY, USA

M. Mother's name: Delphine

N. Nicknames: Captain and Eddie (When we were first married Joan called me Edward A Bear, which was Winnie The Poohs real name and it evolved into Eddie.)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Once in 1989

P. Pet peeves: Servers in resturant who refer to me as "sweetie" "honey" or "sugar" and have never even met m before

Q. Quote from a movie: "Come on in boys, the waters fine!!!" from O Brother Where Art Thou

R. Right- or left-handed: Left

S. Siblings: Two sisters and a brother

T. Tattoos & Piercings: None - Unfortunatley none

U. Underwear: Dont leave home without them

V. Vegetable(s) you hate: Love em all
W. What makes you run late: Other People. I am painfully early for everything

X. X-Rays you've had: Teeth, chest and back

Y. Yummy food that you make: Cheesecake

Z. Zoo animal: Monkeys

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/6/2012 11:25AM

    I have such a big smile on my face reading some of your comments. I have not seen this one before, did you make it up? I liked how the questions began with the letters of the alphabet and actually might use this one myself, never copied and answered any of the other ones I've seen on here.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 2/27/2012 10:21AM


Only crazy people have lots of kids...hee hee... emoticon

T. If I could just pick one, I'd be fine....

This was fun!

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NASFKAB 2/27/2012 4:23AM

  great to know more about you

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LYNMEINDERS 2/27/2012 3:49AM

    Awesome....really enjoyed learning more about you..

And you have a Bichon....I know it is a cross but what with?????
I had a bichon...she was beautiful...

Comment edited on: 2/27/2012 3:50:24 AM

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GEEMAWEST 2/26/2012 10:38PM

    You play the drums!?! Why don't you give us a sample on one of your video blogs?

You, Barb and me have a couple of things in common.

1. Other people make us late.
2. We don't leave home without 'em.

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DAD2GETFIT 2/26/2012 8:26PM


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TRAVELGRRL 2/26/2012 1:47PM

    These are always fun! Why "unfortunately" to no piercings or tattoos? It's never too late!


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CARTOONB 2/26/2012 12:12PM

    Cool! I like these lists. And...glad to see you don't leave home without them!

Comment edited on: 2/26/2012 12:13:20 PM

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ELYMWX 2/26/2012 11:44AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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ANATASHIKI 2/26/2012 11:22AM

    it's not TMI , it's fun . thanks for sharing! blue and silver here too emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 2/26/2012 11:05AM

    I was surprised at how much we had in common. LOL. yep on CNN, blue, silver, drums, underwear, xrays, and being early. LOL.

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We Are All Deserving of Success But Do We ReallyBelieve It?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I live my life by three major principles: I deserve to be successful, I am worth all the effort I put into myself, and I am who I hang around with. I will have to admit, for the most part, these three principals have served me fairly well.

Yesterday, however, a little voice inside my head said the following: "if you don't take advantage of the opportunity before you today, someone else will!" Talk about a kick in the head! There was really no warm fuzzy there. That small voice, call it my inner guide, call it the Holy Spirit, call it what you will, it certainly wasn't a warm and soft caress. Moreover it was a challenge for action.

Come closer, since were all friends here, I need to whisper this. Sometimes those challenges scare me half to death. Do you ever hear a little voice inside your head? Maybe the voice says something like "You are not worthy." As I pondered that exhortation I began to realize that in many ways I don't believe the first principle I espouse: I deserve to be successful. Oh, don't get me wrong, I deserve to have a nice house, a decent car, a meal in my belly and all that other neat stuff but when it comes down to it that fear, that fear of being successful , well, what keeps me from being successful? There are so many things I want to do in so many things I want to share. What holds me back? I can answer that really easy, it's me.

I lost a significant amount of weight, participated in some athletic activities I never dreamed I'd be able to accomplish and quite frankly the responsibility involved with that success scared me back in to being obese. Last week I received a phone call from a marketing group in Florida. They offered me an opportunity to participate in a video marketing endeavor that is going to be very similar to the Home Shopping Network but only for business services and products. As I shared my vision with the person on the phone they began talking to me about marketing DVDs and CDs all containing my infinite wisdom, LOL. In the beginning, right after I hung up the phone, I was really excited. Imagine me, plastered all over the world. Imagine me, reaching all kinds of people with new and unique ideas. After a few hours I wasn't excited anymore, I was scared. I looked in the mirror and that little voice, you know the one, the one that incriminates us all the time seemed to shout "You're old, you're fat, and oh by the way you're not real handsome." Cut to the scene of me having a minor anxiety attack. When all was said and done, the decision was made for me. BI didn't have the financial resource to participate in this endeavor. It would have cost a significant amount of money for me to get involved and while the payback look good to be quite honest with you I just don't have the money right now. Between me and you, part of me breathed a huge sigh of relief. It was one of those "reasonable excuses," no one could argue with.

Later today I'll go to church. Someone will smear ashes on my hand and suggests I spend the next 40 days examining, pruning and removing all the dead branches on my tree. For those of us who are Christian it is the season of Lent. It commemorates the 40 days that Jesus went off alone to prepare himself for his mission in life. I, for one, have never understood how as a society we have contorted that experience into 40 days of self-denial and self-deprecation. Again, between me and you, I wish I had 40 days to go off somewhere and set a plan for my immediate future. Since I can't, here's what I can do. I can take that time and examine, explore, and come to terms with the part of me that doesn't seem to want to accept the fact that he has so much to offer, so much to give and really and sincerely deserves to be successful.

It is cold comfort, at times, to realize I'm not alone in this feeling. There are so many of us who begin each day hoping and praying nothing goes wrong to upset our fragile applecart. Is there good news? We come back every day. There might be a tear in our eye or a catch in our throat. We might feel ashamed and uncomfortable that we haven't reached any of our goals in a while but somewhere, somehow we keep digging deep and we keep coming back. Yup, I had failed more times than I care to think but I feel pretty blessed to of had this revelation and even more so to realize it is a key to my future. Be blessed today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 4/6/2012 11:20AM

    I've heard of those three major principles you live by, but never really explored them. I'm really sorry that opportunity could not have would have been perfect for it. People born with amazing good looks many times have not developed their mind and spirit because they never had to in order to get by.

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CLOVER2 2/25/2012 3:01PM

    I am being a bit selfish here, but your opportunity could be our loss. The time I spend here getting to "visit" with you and your wisdom is something I have grown to cherish. You are successful, admired and appreciated in ways I don't know if you completely know.

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LYNMEINDERS 2/25/2012 2:41AM

    It is really amazing how fear stops us from reaching our full potential and success....
i do the same thing....miss opportunities

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WORKINGSTIFF 2/24/2012 3:30PM

    Maybe Lent is not about self-denial or self deprecation, but actually about discomfort. In whatever way we choose, what we do during Lent should take us out of our comfort zone and have us look at something from a different perspective.

Doing for others can be uncomfortable. Denying ourselves something can be uncomfortable too. It can be denying ourselves chocolate or making the bed every day, or saying something nice to a's about stepping out of that usual box we inhabit.

Jesus went through much discomfort during his 40 days in the desert. We know through our current lifestyle that choosing discomfort is not something any of us run to, but...

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SPARKLISE 2/24/2012 10:18AM

    You are so honest.
Thank you for sharing.
emoticon emoticon

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MARCYNA 2/23/2012 6:44AM

    Lent is for our renewal. I got a cross in ashes on my forehead as I went to church yesterday..The priest said it's.not for humbling but for rebirth!!!
Keep on believing and you'll see miracles!!!!

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NASFKAB 2/23/2012 1:46AM

  great blog as usual

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HDHAWK 2/22/2012 6:16PM

    What a sad thing that the company didn't have the money to hire you. We are blessed to know you John, regardless of how you view yourself. One day, you'll realize what we're telling you is true. (I know, I don't take my own good advice either, but this is about you, not me). emoticon

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    Don't give up on your dreams. Keep pursuing them. Some day you will actually practice what you preach and believe it as well.

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SPARKENISTA 2/22/2012 3:37PM

Do I have to say it? All things work out for the best. I know nothing about this endeavor, but if you have to pay to play, I would discount the offer completely. I don't want to use the word "scam" but those "deals" proliferate today. Apparently, it is at the very least a gamble. I applaud you for forgoing this "opportunity". You can trust that something better will come along.

If they want you for your skills, excellence, wisdom, etc, then they should not also want money.

One thing that we overweight people do is to use our weight as an excuse to avoid things in life. I read a book called "Overcoming Overeating" by two social workers. Among other things, it is their contention that whenever a challenge or an unpleasant thought comes up we (and I do mean "we") attempt to avoid the point by digressing to the unattractive aspects of ourselves. They would also say, of course, that we avoid difficult topics by changing the channel in our head and pointing the arrow toward "food".

It goes without saying that you deserve to be successful. There is no argument there.

As far as the Lent thing, I am Jewish but I would think that deprivation is not the point, but rather reflection and self-examination--for 40 days--much like Yom Kippur is not about the fasting as much as it is about the repentance and reflection about the year that has ended and updated goals for the year to come.

Good luck going forward. Better things are yet to come--shortly.

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MYRNACARRIER 2/22/2012 1:11PM

    Boy, do I love hanging around you.
So much wisdom.
Keep pruning and coming to terms with that part of you.
I want to do the same.
Hanging around you (and others on this site) I have a much better chance at that.
Thank you,

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GETFIT2LIVE 2/22/2012 12:26PM


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GIRANIMAL 2/22/2012 12:22PM

    We really are our own worst critics and biggest fear-mongerers. When all is said and done, I am quite sure the biggest reason I am afraid to take a leap with any of my job-change ideas is that I am afraid they (I) will fail. Just like I convinced myself for a long time that I "couldn't" lose weight because I was afraid to try and fail miserably. It's scary the things our brains can do to us, how we can immobilize ourselves!

Comment edited on: 2/22/2012 12:22:58 PM

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KKINNEA 2/22/2012 12:08PM


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LADILADIDA 2/22/2012 12:02PM

    I love your blogs. Honest and full of life truths we all share. Thank you.

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When I Am Feeling Sorry For Myself

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I was cleaning up some files on my computer a few minutes ago and found this file. Someone sent it to me in an email awhile back. I read it twice and realized how da*% petty and self involved I can be at times simply because life doesnt follow MY script!!!

I thought I'd share with you.

"If you woke up this morning
with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the
million who won't survive the week.

If you have never experienced
the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or
the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 20 million people
around the world.

If you attend a religious meeting
without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost
three billion people in the world.

If you have food in your refrigerator,
clothes on your back,a roof over
your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank,
in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish someplace, you are among
the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

If your parents are still married and alive,
you are very rare, especially in the United States.

If you hold up your head with a smile
on your face and are truly thankful,
you are blessed because the majority can,
but most do not.

If you can read this message,
you are more blessed than over
two billion people in the world
that cannot read anything at all."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKENISTA 2/26/2012 9:53AM


This is an incredibly powerful blog. Thank you for this.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 2/24/2012 10:28PM

    Thanks John. I really needed to read this again.

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LINDABENEDICT 2/23/2012 9:34PM

    Great blog ! Glad you posted it !

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WORKINGSTIFF 2/22/2012 9:11AM

    We must be related, because I have the same thing on a piece of paper that I just found while cleaning on Sunday.

When we look at the big picture, the world view, we are so blessed. We live so far beyond how most people in the world have to live, but we can't see it.

We have so much, but want to complain all the time.

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ZURDTA- 2/22/2012 9:09AM

    Now that is lovely and thought provoking. Thanks.

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ANDREWS_MOM 2/22/2012 7:57AM

    Thanks for posting just a great reminder. It's so easy to dwell on what we don't have, can't do, want, etc and so easy to forgot about how great each and every one of us has it when compared to how others actually have it.

Hope you're having a good morning!

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NASFKAB 2/22/2012 3:06AM

  Thanks great as usual

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CARTOONB 2/21/2012 9:14PM

    I've been feeling sorry for myself. Thanks.

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DOLLBABE56 2/21/2012 7:44PM

    John, I liked this so much that I copied it and sent it out myself. Thanks for sharing.

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EMMAANDBRODY 2/21/2012 6:31PM

Just what i needed today. Thanks for sharing.

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HDHAWK 2/21/2012 6:05PM

    Thank you for sharing!

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    It really does put things in perspective.

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LYNMEINDERS 2/21/2012 5:37PM attitude needs a good check

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SILLYHP1953 2/21/2012 5:18PM

    Nothing like a good attitude adjustment!

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QUIKSYLVER 2/21/2012 5:16PM

    Yep! Truly, truly blessed.

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ASRMOM 2/21/2012 5:02PM


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1HAPPYSUSAN 2/21/2012 5:00PM

    Wow, John! Talk about a reality check, my friend! God bless you for sharing this today. It's so easy to forget just how good our lives are in comparison to the majority of the world.

Wow. Just Wow. This is going on my bulletin board so that I can read it every single day. If I feel a pity party coming on, I'll pass on the whine and read your post. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Serenity and blessings to you!

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NEEDTOLOSE100LB 2/21/2012 4:55PM

    Gee, knock me off my whining stool...thank you for the reminder that no matter how hard we may feel we have it, there are always many more, much worse off. It is all in the perspective.


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SPEEDY143 2/21/2012 4:36PM

    Amen to that emoticon

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TRULYVISIBLE 2/21/2012 4:30PM

  This was wonderful and sad and joyful all at the same time. Thanks for posting this. A good reminder for me personally when I am feeling down in the dumps.

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46SHADOW 2/21/2012 4:16PM


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GETFIT2LIVE 2/21/2012 3:51PM

    So, so true--it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it?

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KKINNEA 2/21/2012 3:36PM


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MUSTANG_SALLY2 2/21/2012 3:35PM

    Thanks for the reminder.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 2/21/2012 3:32PM


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GIRANIMAL 2/21/2012 3:30PM

    Oooooh, good one, John. Thank you!

B and I often discuss how bad it's NOT because we are well fed, housed and clothed, and of course because we have each other. And even though I wake nearly every day feeling fatigued and in pain, that is still more good health than ill, because I am still breathing. And the rest -- yikes, we can be petty, indeed!

As my otherwise curmudgeonly uncle says, "Every day I'm above ground is a good one!"


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NEELIXNKES 2/21/2012 3:30PM

    emoticon emoticon I needed this today. emoticon

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BESCATS 2/21/2012 3:27PM

    That's awesome, thank you for sharing. emoticon emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 2/21/2012 3:22PM

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