Are You a Runner or a Diver


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“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions,
do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time”.
– Saint Francis de Sales

Sometimes the struggle is not struggles at all, sometimes it is the calm and gentle words of truth. Sometimes it doesn’t even take words, it’s in a feeling, it’s in our emotions, our body language. Sometimes the struggles we face in life just require us to do nothing but observe the world around is falling apart and rebuilding. Not all lesions we encounter in life are something we take part in.

“Do not attempt to conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance”. – Lao Tzu

Remember your parents saying “if Johnny jumped off a bridge would you”? well I don’t know mom, depends why. (I was a sarcastic child) Was Jonny running from something or was he diving into the water below!

Life works the same way, we can run or we can dive and both have consequences. Just today I thought about a few situations I have faced in life, hard situations and how I could have handled them better, I tend to be a runner, maybe its time I start diving into what I run from

“A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else”.
– George Savile 

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What is the Measure of a Man


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Tonight I realized something about how I have lived for the last 20 years.

I see myself as more sensitive than most men, not into sports, not partying, fighting or seeking my “man cave” to run from the women in my life.

I enjoy relationships, I want a relationship with people. I want others to see that I’m genuine, honest, selfless and caring. In the eyes of the world those traits are seen as not being “manly”.

Here it is, I have been questioned many times throughout my life about my sexuality. How do you think that makes a man feel? I already have a preconceived idea of what a man is and for a very long time I thought I feel short of that.

In my life have 2 daughters, my girlfriend also has 2 daughters, most of my family is made up of females. I was raised by a single mother, I had more friends that were girls all my life and honestly just understand more about woman than men. I have always struggled with fitting in with men and the testosterone filled male groups such as football, Basketball and pretty much any sport.

I found myself alone a lot growing up, and it wasn’t because I didn’t have any friends, I had tons of people that called me friend. But did they even know me?

Do they know that I get lost in my music, that I crave the beauty of the world and I love art. Do they know that I have pain from my past that haunts my dreams so I don’t sleep much? Do they know all I want is to be accepted as I am?

Yes some have, a very few select people in my life know my deepest wounds, my passions and my desires for life.

It is 12:00 am Easter morning 2016.
This is the day Jesus rose from the dead to take his place next to the father.
Until this year I felt I had a purpose every second of every day, to protect my daughters, my home and to support a family. Tonight I am alone, and I feel at peace inside with this.

This is my right of passage as a man,  I find it amazingly fitting that this is what my heart it telling me tonight. God had a plan for my life, I didn’t fail him, I simply took another road. He didn’t say “well he messed up” and move on leaving me.

Tonight I see I have been a man for a very long time and I am thankful for grace and blessings in my life tonight. I have many wonderful people in my life I just forget to look around sometimes.

To all my loved ones, friends and people that are not family but just as close. I love you all and thank you for understanding me.

We all have something special inside, something truly unique that we have been given to share, when you find it you will know.

Tonight I found that I am an un-perfect man created in the image of a perfect God. I am thankful for everything I have and everything that I had, everything that will be and everything that has been.

It’s not about what I think, what you think or if I measure up. It’s not about religion, money or power. It’s about loving others and blessing with the gifts we have been given.

Choices, Choices..


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Whenever you think “this is too hard” the task will become difficult, dread it, and it becomes terrifying.

If and when you choose to move past fear life becomes much lighter, even enjoyable. Most fear is created in our minds, fear of failure, fear of embarrassment or the fear of looking bad in others eyes.

Fears in my life have come from the lack of understanding or found in the time between hearing and knowing an event in life. I recently had a biopsy done on a spot on my face; my mind is telling me to fear the results. At this moment in life this could be my “fear of the between”.
The time from the day I heard “that needs to be removed” to 13 days from now until I get the results whether it’s benign or not.
 
I could live in fear, every day waking up and thinking “could it be Cancer” and allowing this fear to steal my joy or I could continue on with my day and say “there’s no sense in fearing what I can’t change” and living as today is just another day I had the opportunity to live.

I’m Still Here


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Looking back today on Facebook I quickly came to a conclusion; today, this day, March 13th has been a bad day for years. Is it coincidence or is it a glimpse into the window of my life.

On this day, I came close to death and had emergency surgery followed by a long recovery.
I met up with a friend in another state that would one day be closer to my family than I would like to admit and I still feel lucky to be here.  I’m no longer consumed with anger or bitterness, life is nothing we can control.

As I sit here and think of how many ups and downs I have experienced and how crazy life is I’m flooded with one calming truth, I’m still here!

I could have died in the hospital during my surgery or been impacted by thousands of other life changing events, however I’m still here.

I have so much to be thankful for, many good and bad years with the mother of my children, as we raising them to the best of our abilities and I will never forget that.

Now I have a new season of life in front of me.
I have two beautiful daughters that love me, a family that cares for me far beyond words and I have a woman by my side that accepts me as I am. She has a love for her girls and mine far greater than I could have asked for and knowing that I do not have to be ashamed of what I have done in my life is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

The fears I hade before meeting this beautiful soul consumed every breath, every dream and debilitated my thoughts. It’s not that she is with me all the time in person, but that I can feel her when I’m not with her. I love this woman and I see more now than ever, love has nothing to do with feelings, it has nothing to do with convenience or comfort. It’s mutual respect and standing on your own feet with another, when I need to lean yes she is there, but my leaning is on my faith not another trying to walk their life out.

I can sit here tonight, in the dark alone with my daughters sleeping in the other room and smile because I’m still here.

I’m not broken, I’m not defective, undesirable or tarnished, tainted or stained, I’m not a lost cause or just second best. I’m everything God intended me to be and life continues to amaze me.

For the ones I lost along the path of life, I wish the best for you, I hope that you can flourish in life. Life is too short to fall because of unmet expectations, hate, blame, guilt or bitterness, let it all go.

We are where we should be, and I will never forget the good times. We are all on this road together for as long as we need to be.

I have found happiness, I have found love and most importantly, I’m still here to experience it all.

Six Words Can Change Your Life


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I just read an article and had to share with my Real Life subscribers. Twenty, six word sentences that can change your life. Some of them hit me harder than others. I love to see how much power our words can have.

The best example is (I Love You)

Take a little time today to remember those who may not be here and be thankful for those who are.

1) The smallest coffins are the heaviest
2) Siri, delete mom from my contacts
3) Strangers, friends, best friends, lovers, strangers
4) Goodbye Mission Control, thanks for trying
5) Voyager still transmitting, but earth didn’t
6) One bullet is a lifetime supply
7) Mom taught me how to shave
8) Introducing myself to mother again today
9) I just saw my reflection blink
10) I met my soulmate, she didn’t
11) An only Son, a folded flag
12) Passengers, this isn’t your captain speaking
13) Just married! Read the shattered windshield
14) Brought roses home, keys didn’t fit
15) Jumped, then I changed my mind
16) He hit Send, then a tree
17) Never seen chalk outlines so small
18) Dad left; a flag came back
19 What’s your return policy on rings
20) It’s our 15th, table for one
Credit to: The Writer’s Circle

I Knew I Would Fail, So I Did


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Project what you want in life and it is yours already, if you believe you will fail then you have already failed.

“An expert is someone who knows a lot about the past”. – Tom Hopkins

Wisdom isn’t found in guessing what happens next in life, it’s found in knowing what has happened in the past and learning to respond differently.

If we relied on our minds to project our goals and future and not listen to our hearts we would be doing ourselves a great disservice. Our minds tend to generate what we “think” is going to happen based on past experiences and in some cases we are right. Unfortunately, being right or wrong is not what our motivation should be focused on as much as learning how to respond differently next time.

Think about it this way, you are on a long walk on a road that you have never been down. The direction you will travel is in the direction you look. What we focus on is what we will become. 

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” – Steve Ballmer (CEO Microsoft in April 30, 2007 interview)

Don’t be Steve, Steve had a vision for the iPhone and wow was Steve wrong. Imagine if Steve would have been leading the production of the iPhone, he most likely would have ended production. Do not limit your future potential by giving up on a dream you have because someone thinks it can’t be accomplished.
A marathon begins with one step!

Limiting your life by what someone believes is true for you is giving up the power to become anything more than what they allow you to become!

Dream big, when you fail learn from it and try again, when you love, love fully and when you mess up take credit for what you have done and try again and when you fall, get up and learn why you fell, not that you fell.

Life is far too short to be what others want you to be, if you can dream it you can achieve it!

Seasons Change, our Faith Remains Consistent


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Seeds of faith are always within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth”. – Susan Taylor

Through our struggles we become who we would never have become if we would have given up. Some days we win, some days we lose, however in the larger vision of our lives the conflict can be won as long as we understand that to stay hopeful and positive and that everything has a season. I heard something yesterday that still echoes in my mind this morning.

“The fastest way to lose is to give up” – Pastor Lee Cummings

As long as you are trying, even if it feels hopeless and you hold onto faith there is a chance the battle can be overcome. Use the crisis we face in life to help refocus our hearts and visions.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet, only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved”. – Helen Keller