Fight to See Life is Worth Living


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“Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact”. – William James

Some days I just do not want to get out of bed let alone put a smile on my face and interact with people. This time of year in Michigan can really bring that feeling out in me. Bitter cold, grey sky and we all know what is on the way, a ton of snow.  I personally do not like anything about winter other than snow on Christmas, even that I could live without.

Every year around this time I begin to feel this feeling of hopelessness as winter sets in, a feeling of “well, let’s just get this over with”, however today my heart breaks to hear of the loss of another life from a topic very hard to talk about.

I would like to talk a little about something quite a bit more serious that has impacted my life and many others deeply, many have not healed, and some never quite recovering from the pain and loss; something that hits many people at the deepest space in their heart, suicide.

Even the word sends a chill to the bone.

This is very real to me; I have been there in my younger years. I remember thinking if this is life I don’t want it or any part of it. Night after night lying in bed staring at my walls thinking how I could end it all, never having enough courage to completely let go. I found relief in alcohol at the age of 15 and never had a shortage of it living with parents that drank and friends that shared the same interest in drinking.

I went from drug to drug trying to find the right feeling of relief however always coming back to alcohol. The changing point in my life was the moment I realized that I had to control my life and to become responsible for another life, if I don’t try or excerpt any effort into my life that is exactly what I was going to get out of it, nothing. The moment this was my first daughter’s birth, May 31, 2001 I was 20.

I remember thinking to myself “this day is the day everything changes” and it began to change. My friends began to drift away as I created a cocoon for myself in hopes of never showing my baby girl any of the life I had. I didn’t drink for almost 5 years, no drugs and lost almost all of my friends. I focused everything on our new baby and working to create a better life for her.

If you have ever felt the torment, you may relate with my suggestion of helping. Sometimes all they need is someone to lay and stare at the walls with, not to rescue them. Someone to just sit and listen to music as loud as you can, not to talk. Just having someone is in some cases enough.

When you lose someone to suicide the mourning process is not the same as someone that passes under “normal circumstances”; even illnesses, Cancer or accidental do not impact as deeply as someone choosing to take their life.

“Choose your goal and keep your eye on it. Never give up. Perhaps you will need to change your plan and approach you goal from a different direction, but don’t quit. Keep thinking. Keep re-planning. Keep going”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

In loving memory of all that have lost the battle of life and for those who are left to hold the pieces of that loss. My heart goes out to a family that needs love today for the loss of a family member. I will not name them or reference them out of total respect. I love you and today my heart breaks with you for the loss of our loved one.  

Set Your Life on Fire


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“The moment you become miserly you are closed to the basic phenomenon of life: expansion, sharing. The moment you start clinging to things, you have missed the target. Because things are not the target, you, your innermost being, is the target – not a beautiful house, but a beautiful you; not much money, but a rich you; not many things, but an open being, available to millions of things”. – Osho

Lately so many of the conversations I have had with others are all leading back to my past relationship and some painful topics. Today a song came on Pandora that made me sit back in my chair. The song was at one time in my life a feeling of desire to feel something else other than abandonment and loneliness.

(Day old Hate by City and Colour lyrics)

So let’s face it this was never what you wanted
And I know its fun to pretend
Now blank stares and empty threats
Are all I have, they’re all I have.

So drown me and if you can
Or we could just have conversation.
And I fall, I fall, I faulter
But I found you, before I drift away

Now you still speak of day old hate
Though your whole world has gone up into flames
And isn’t it great to find that you’re really worth nothing
And how safe it is to feel safe.

So drown me and if you can
Or we could just have conversation.
And I fall, I fall, I fall down
But I found you, before I drift away

The things we do just to stay alive
The things we do just to stay alive
The things we do just to stay alive
The things we do just to keep ourselves alive.

 

There are so many songs that mean something totally different after walking through a divorce, separation of what was known as my family and learning to brush off and start again. Sometimes letting go is easier said than done, what was a family is now a joint agreement to share two beautiful girls. With all that said I do not want anyone to think that I am low, depressed or re-thinking anything that I have done, not at all. I’m finally in a place in my life that I can process and begin to cut the last few strands that once held together what I knew as a family and create something new.

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light”. – Albert Schweitzer

My light went dim; it faded down to a small glimmer of light that was not visible unless you were close to me. But it never was fully extinguished. Today I feel so full of life, so loved and free to begin again. My girls were my constant reminder to tell myself to get up, show up, put on my hat, and show them that falling is okay, as long as you get back up. Through everything they have also said to me how happy they are that daddy is happy. I am so thankful to have them; they may have saved my life more than I saved theirs.

There is one more person that has changed everything, when she walked into my life I was lower than I have ever been, some people can turn your glimmer of light into a wildfire. I’m grateful for a strong woman that stands by my side as my best friend, someone that understands how life can go, someone that I can love as well as loves me and the two amazing girls that have joined my life with Jennifer that I am crazy about.

I also have a family that constantly tells me how much they love me and how proud of the man have become.

What defines blessed?

I believe it’s the ability to love what you have no matter how great or limited it seems. I believe I am blessed and have been blessed for some time without even knowing it.

The expectations I had about what my life would be, were the exact assumptions that limited the possibility of it becoming anything more. I would not recommend divorcing your wife or husband and I certainly do not want the hate mail that would come from an allegation of “well Scott said so” I’m only saying that in my case my life has brought me to where I am today through many choices that I and others in my life have made (neither right or wrong) and I have gratitude for where I am today.

When you find those people in your life that set you on fire, don’t hold onto them and suffocate their light; let them burn and keep them in your life as friends and loved ones to feed the fire inside.

Become What You Dream


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“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy”. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Today is a great example, I got up almost 2 hours after my normal time, skipped the gym and did not sleep well because like an idiot I had a pop (soda for my southern readers) late last night and I’m sensitive to caffeine. So at 11pm while I was playing a game on my phone I said “oh, tomorrow morning is going to suck” and guess what it did. Did I believe it therefore it happened or was it inevitable because I didn’t get much sleep.

Sometimes we fail before we even begin by believing we will fail before we start.

A great example is my oldest daughter has joined her high school power lifting team and so she has been training, studying her body and fully engaged in the idea of it. However like all beginnings lack the knowledge about her body’s strengths and weaknesses. We decided to go to my gym and train for a little, so we began to walk around the gym and get a feel for what she will be focusing on and I had her do a few reps of a something she has not done much of. I set the machine to a very light weight just to gauge where she was. After watching how quickly she moved the weight and the amount of effort she used I doubled the weight, her response was “I can’t lift that” and I replied “have you even tried”?

She gave up before she even tried, in her mind she told herself she couldn’t so I lowered the weight, but what she doesn’t know is without her looking dropped the pin back down, and She moved that weight…

“Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act”. – Leonard Cohen

The moral to the story is to not give up before you even know what you are capable of. Today’s warm-up weight was once my PR (personal record). I have learned a lot about lifting that relates to life. We limit ourselves so often that we do not even see it in most cases. Trying to fit into comfort and follow the pack so to speak. I no longer count my sets and reps, I lift until it burns, anything after that is where growth happens, I stop after doing one more then my body allows me to do. How much potential are we holding back and reserving?

Take some time and think about the limits you put on your life, and set a goal to destroy them.

Become what you dream!

A Standing Nation


 

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Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Sometimes courage is setting back in your rocking chair and crying, sometimes its screaming into your pillow and sometimes it’s as simple as getting up and putting cloths on and starting your day. When courage meets determination there is not much that can stop the outcome and movement of the individual.

I asked a few coworkers about what they though about courage just to see how other viewed it and the word as well as the actions behind it, I also researched the use of the word. Almost all the answers were about them, not judging at all, however it points out the issue.

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The population has significantly increased and yet the use of the word courage has decreased. People are giving up it seems, becoming dormant of change and surrendering hope in becoming better.

According to (www.thetoptens.com/words-describe-united-states) the top 10 words used to describe America are as as followed.

  1. Revolutionary
  2. Idiots
  3. Powerful
  4. Obesity
  5. Unhealthy
  6. La-La Land
  7. Overrated
  8. Large
  9. Violent
  10. Ghetto

How does that make you feel, personally I feel like crap after reading that. Guess who is to blame? We are, we as America have allowed every word to hold value on this butchery of a list.What have we become? How did a word such as Ghetto even make the list?

We need more visionary men such as Dr. Martin Luther King to stand up and fight to empower society to want to see transformation and not just a transformation, a positive transformation. It seems society as a whole has become stagnant and the people that are fighting for our country are not being respected, and worse disrespected.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward”. – Martin Luther King Jr.

I have many friends and family that has served this country and I’m proud and thankful for everything they have given. I have the independence I have because of their sacrifice not mine. Today is a calendar Holiday reminder to thank the service men and woman of our country, every day should be. The jobs they perform are just as important as who is in office and they are essential to the lives we have. Thank them and most importantly respect their actions; they are fighting, sacrificing and given their lives for you!

Laughter Will Cure Anything


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“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road”. – Henry Ward Beecher

If you know me at all you will also know at times my sense of humor can get me into trouble, some have said it to also be a breath of fresh air in this far too serous world. My middle school teachers would probably disagree with the latter. When I was younger my sense of humor may have been taken as an act of defiance, personally I think it was nothing more than my coping mechanism to the severity of the life around me.

Growing up I moved around a lot, I know you are probably saying “what is a lot”? Well, I would really have to sit down and think to be honest; I know that over the course of my life there is not one family member that I didn’t live with at one point or another.

In this particular time I’m thinking of, during one of my many troubled stages, I lived with my aunt and uncle, Patty and John. There were very few adults that understood my sense of humor and still conveyed it as a gift. I do believe it was due to the fact that John himself was a bit of a smart ass. I can remember time after time joking back and forth like a tennis match, faster and faster as our responses quickly began to enter the danger zone; we never reached the “off limits” area of jokes and to this day I appreciate his willingness to allow me to be me.

The other time was a little different , my aunt and uncle Anne and Tim, and at times they loved my sense of humor and I do believe at times did not approve of it as much, and I am glad. Due to their disposition and dedication to love me and guide me I believe I am where I am today because of their willingness to take a different approach to my gift of absurdity. There are many story’s here too, some hilarious and some not so funny but all of them were in love and molded the man I became.

“Seriousness is a sickness; your sense of humor makes you more human, more humble. The sense of humor – according to me – is one of the most essential parts of religiousness”. – Osho

So as for me my humor will always be one thing I hold dear to my heart, practice often and keep as cultured as a teen with a smart phone. You know you are getting old when your teenage daughter says something and you fake laugh only to write it down and later Google what the heck she was talking about, witch most of the time sends me to Urban Dictionary and a short one on one conversation with her the next day about my findings, yes I’m getting old..

I really wanted to write today to hopefully give a little moment away from what we are facing as a Nation. To lighten up the seriousness of life a little; don’t forget to live during the changes of life, whatever that looks like for you. One thing in life is a 100% guarantee, what you are going through today will not last forever; something better or worse WILL take its place and for me laughter and my sense of humor has been the only thing that has consistently gotten me through anything I have faced.

So your mission is to find the most hilarious person you know and never lose friendship with that person. There is always a little pain behind a great sense of humor and I promise that when you see the serious side of a comedian they may be one of the most interesting people you have ever met.

Laugh often, love hard and lighten up, life itself is hard enough without you beating yourself up every day.

To Judge Me Will Not Change Who I Am


“The more opinions you have, the less you see”. – Wim Wenders

I sat down to write and thought hey why not, why not post something that I can look back and remember how November 9, 2016 felt. But I’m not going to do that, I’m not going to feed the hate machine or banter I read on social media. Maybe I will try to calmly express how sad I am that so much hate and anger there is today. I do believe we are heading into a much more divided future. We are not United States; we are the selfish, hatred spreading selfish States of America and I do not think it will get better considering the current situation.

I’m not sure we have ever been united on anything. With the issues regarding racism, religious views, sexism, and basically anything else you can name down to sports teams. Everyone’s view is the “right” view. What if we thought that there are no right or wrong when it comes to topics other than ethical topics, we are all right. My view about my life and beliefs has no impact on yours, or it shouldn’t. If you choose to allow my views to impact your life that has nothing to do with me, it is a reflection on your willingness to see others views and I think we need more of that in the world.

If you were to step back and look at what really matters in life there should be no basis for hate to be fed. Republican, Democratic, Muslim, Christian, Atheist… These have no bearing on living morally or ethically; or they shouldn’t. We are ALL here on this planet, together, and yes there are differences on so many levels. Why can’t we simply love?

I do not discriminate because of race, religious beliefs or political views.  I differentiate by how you are treated by that person.  I do not understand how people think anger, aggression and hate will EVER help anything other than destroying any chance at becoming united.

Was I happy about what I heard this morning, absolutely not! Will I continue to live with respect for the path our country is taking, yes I will. Yes it does impact my life, but I sleep at night because it WILL NOT change who I am or what I believe.

I really hope that we will one day come together; I do not fear the future, I choose to keep myself together and continue on with everything I have.

Take my job, take my possessions, and dishonor the flag of our country I will continue to love those who hate me, give to those who need me and wake up tomorrow and do it all over again because that is not what defines who I am. Not my faith, not my finances, my job, what cloths I wear, the car I drive, the sports team I like or that I truly do not even like sports at all. What defines me is how I treated you, did I respect you, did I show you compassion, and was I your friend regardless of your views and beliefs.

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible”. – Maya Angelou

I hope this changes the hate and anger to compassion. I believe we need more empathy and less indifference between what you “know is right”. Judge me by how I treat you, how I father my daughters, my compassion in life and my passion for life itself. Those are what I will be judging you on and nothing more.

Sometimes Getting Lost is the Best Way to be Found


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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes, don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality, let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like”. – Lao Tzu

 I have found what I wanted most when I stopped looking, I found myself while I was lost in the woods walking night after night alone, I found love when I found myself, and I found a better relationship with my daughters when I gave up pretending to be something I wasn’t to them. I have learned to stop fighting and looking for my life to be what the world perceives a man to be, how a father should act and how partner should love. In return I have been given far more than I ever knew existed. I also gave up trying to please others; if you please yourself your presence in their life will be pleasing to their heart, it’s not my job to make anyone else happy, why should I rely on them for my happiness.

I have never had the ability to pretend things are what they are not or fake being happy when I am clearly not. I feel deep inside my heart that God has lead me here to rest and know that for now the struggles are over. I am not so naive to think that my life will always be smooth, however I have faith that when it becomes hard again I can get through it because of what I have been through and being on the other side of it.

Today I am happy, I am loved, I can love back and the relationship with the most important human on earth, my daughters, we have reached a place in our hearts that we have never reached.

Before I knew I was lost I was found, unexpectedly it was by a boy I haven’t seen in a very long time, I am very pleased to have him back.

When did you lose the little boy or girl you were?

What was it that took away the joy as a child?

I hope that one day you find the most important person in your life; yourself.

Wake Up and Live


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“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses”. – Anonymous

 It’s a conscious choice how we see our lives every day from the moment our eyes open until we close them to sleep. Some days the weight of yesterday still lingers, some mornings begin rushed and some mornings are a fight to even smile. However, you wake up, you take the first morning breath and have the opportunity to live. I’m learning that that in itself is a gift, life is the gift. If you are blessed with the chance to wake up, you have the opportunity to live. Do not waste it holding onto yesterday, chose to have a totally new day.

 

Image source: http://whytoread.com/

Finding The Heart of Gratitude


 

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Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
– Melody Beattie

Last night after I got home, tucked my girls in and sat down to process the workday and night I just had, something hit me. I just went trick-or-treating with people that in so many cases would not be together. The group was made up of myself, my girls, my girlfriend and her ex-husband and their two daughters, his girlfriend and her daughter and it was only after that I got home and sat down I thought to myself, “wow, that was special”.

I am in no way bashing or speaking negatively about my ex-wife, we are not there yet and I’m not sure we will ever be. The thought of that breaks my heart, the thought that we may never come to a middle ground of understanding for our girls really hurts. Yes it’s just as much my fault as hers; I have some healing to do as well. Last night was just a powerful statement to the world around us and who knows who we all are. The look on some people’s faces when it hits them, “wait, they are all together” says more than words could. It’s a huge blessing to have what we have, we are not only two families blended here, that makes it even more powerful.

I have some work to do on my end, maybe some pride to suck up, a little anger to let go of and some wounds to allow healing to occur. Time will tell what my girls will get between their mother and I, my hope is that I could have what I see with my girlfriend and her ex-husband. I can honestly say it’s not only cordial between us all, we can laugh, connect and I have even worked out, ran and had beers with Curt.

Today I’m thankful for the wonderful woman I fell in love with, her willingness to maintain relationship with the father of their children and that I can be a part of that. It gives me the power I need to see what I need to do for my girls. My girls come first, and it’s so hard to let go of the pain, aggression and hurts.

One day I hope and pray I can meet my ex-wife like the wonderful example I see with my girlfriend and her ex-husband. My heart is full and I can’t help but hurt for what my daughters could have but do not yet have.

 

image source: https://hlhsdad.com/tag/gratitude/