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.
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."
Monday, February 13, 2012
If what I'm about to share offends you, I apologize in advance. What I write, very often, is designed to make people think, the operative word being think. Mostly, I write to make me think. That being said...
We live in a serious world. No doubt we should. With economic collapse, unemployment, homelessness and a host of other maladies all around us it is very difficult to "put on a happy face." At times like this, people often turn to spirituality, particularly religion to help get them through. I am an avid reader of the Bible. Forget for a few moments, what my personal belief system is, I find the Bible to be a source of inspiration, encouragement and guidance in my life.
Saturday morning I was sitting in my office watching a video blog from a fellow Spark member. Between you and me, I watch this person's video blogs when I need a pick me up. They are unique, they are sincere, and most of all they make me grin from ear to ear. So as I watched the most recent chronicle of their life a thought crossed my mind: "Who was it that made Jesus laugh?" I have a hard time imagining, that he walked around with a solemn face twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. He loved little children. Little children loved him. Those of us who have spent a portion of our lives around young children know that children don't hang around grumpy people long. So I wondered, Saturday morning, which apostle was the one assigned to lift Jesus spirits when he had a bad day? Oh, I know, Son of God and all, but he shared our humanity. That meant when he delivered a particularly meaningful message and the crowd was lukewarm; he had to feel a bit disappointed. After it happened three or four days in a row, as the Bible details, he probably got a bit discouraged. I know he went off alone to pray a lot, but sometimes, did he go off alone just to relax, throw his head back and let loose with a huge belly laugh. I mean, don't you feel better sometimes when you laugh so hard the clouds part and some come shining through?
There is one thing about leaders and followers that's universal. All followers take their cue from the leader and in most cases adopt their attitude and demeanor. So, when Jesus was a little down, I am sure the apostles followed suit. Now, the Bible was designed to teach, to inspire and to encourage us to lead better lives. I can understand why there is no room for Jay Leno's patron saint. But, somewhere in there, one of those people had to have a very humorous look at life in order to get through the gray days. Someone, have to be able to say something, because Jesus to grin from ear to ear.
Who makes Jesus laugh? I believe you and I do. You don't have to profess Christianity to realize that Jesus message was one of hope, one of love, and one of inclusion for all people. Jesus welcomed everyone with open arms regardless of what they thought or believed. He didn't much care where they've been, he was just concerned where they were going. Whether you espouse his divinity or simply choose to look at him as an exemplary role model, you can't deny that the love and acceptance he provided his universal. When you and I choose to embrace that message, then you and I not only make Jesus smile and maybe laugh, but I'm quite sure whole lot of other people to. When you and I make the commitment to actively work on removing our prejudices and misconceptions we have about others ways of life, then I believe Jesus smiles.
Be blessed today.
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