Adventures in Marty! 9

The last few weeks included Alex asking questions he’d never asked before. Never allowed himself to ask. With an attitude toward God he avoided looking into faith. He blamed God for his plight. Without understanding he surmised that God could prevent bad things from happening. A just God should keep innocent people from harm’s way. He was beginning to perceive the ways of the world. And the role God plays in everyday life.


c/o pixabay

Since the medical test confirmed, Leelee is pregnant, they’ve been living in a higher orbit. It’s too early for her to be showing. Alex insisted he could see her belly getting bigger. Everyday he had to inspect her stomach. Neither of them anticipated the joy they are sharing. She couldn’t be happier about how excited Alex is. Things are great. Just great!

Alex didn’t want to engage in deep conversations about his personal pain. He did drop comments and reveal more insights. Leelee strung together every statement like a necklace. One pearl at a time. She carefully took note of each word. Hanging them around her heart. They’d been together since Junior High School. Only being apart during some college terms. She is learning about the man she loves. The man she thought she knew. She knows now, more than ever, she made the right choice.

Alex isn’t comfortable. He can’t talk freely about his early years. He’s methodically sharing everything he’d kept buried for so long. He senses the deeper connection with Leelee his openness is causing. Her responses have made him feel safe. His fears of rejection and abandonment fad as he experiences her commitment to him. This is the love he hoped to find. He thought he’d found it in Leelee. Now he knows. Every time he exposes his secrets she embraces him as a man. Husband. And soon to be father.

From the way he treats her you’d think she was due any day. He makes over her like she’s breakable. She goes along. Humored for the most part. Irritated at times. Not willing to change a thing. He messages her feet every evening. Rubs her belly every morning and night. Talks to the baby growing inside of her. He’s sure it’s a boy. She wisely cautions him,,,  it could be a girl. He ignores her. Insisting its a son. She suspects he longs for the father/son relationship he never had. He says he will be just as happy with a girl. She knows his heart is set on a boy.

Alex interrogates Leelee about her faith. Wanting to know everything she believes. He doesn’t always agree with her positions. He still isn’t ready to jump on the church thing. They agreed to read the bible together. She routinely prays every morning. Usually after Alex leaves for work. He knew that. He questioned her about prayer. He doesn’t say anything about it but he began to pray on his drive to work every day.

He had avoided politics and religion in the work place. He now found subtle ways to inquire about the beliefs of some of his coworkers. He would bring the different positions home to discuss with Leelee. He respects her views but still has doubts. He didn’t know precisely what he was searching for. He decided; there is something to this God thing.

Life has changed in drastic ways. He’s no longer afraid of failing as a dad. He’s determined to prepare for fatherhood. He made a sacred contract with himself. He will resolve his issues. He will find a way to heal. He will be a whole person. He will not let his child down. Alex is growing up!

shopping pixabay

c/o pixabay

Leelee spoke to her mom often. Now they speak every day. Her mom is thrilled to be a grandmother. Leelee has lots of questions for her mom. They would sometimes spend hours on the phone. No one doubted Leelee would be a fantastic mother. At six weeks, Leelee has purchased just about everything she could ever need for the baby. How could life be any better? The pregnancy is going well. Alex is excited. They are growing in their faith. The peace of mind and joy she feels is over-the-top.

Alex continues to work hard. Putting in long hours. It’s obvious he has a new priority. He doesn’t bring work home with him anymore. He comes through the door every night bent on tending to Leelee. Taking care of needs she doesn’t have. She considered telling him it’s not necessary. She didn’t want to deflate him. Besides, the attention is kind of nice. She wouldn’t want to interrupt how spectacular things are.

Leelee woke in the middle of the night. She glanced at the clock. It’s 3:05. She wants to go to the restroom but feels too weak to get up. She wakes Alex. Startled he asks, what’s wrong? I don’t feel right, Alex. Can you get me some water? He springs out of bed. Turns on the lamp. Rushes to get a glass of water. She takes a sip. I need to go to the restroom, she states. He throws the covers back. There is blood on the sheets. He murmurs, Leelee, you’re bleeding. She looks. In shock she cries out, Oh, God! What do I do? Alex pleads.

Call my mom, she says. In his hast he calls his mom instead. She knew about the pregnancy but she doesn’t know about everything going on in their lives. Alex loves his mother. Very much. He just doesn’t involve her in his everyday life. She’s aware of the distance between them. None of that matters now. He told her Leelee was bleeding. He’s in a panic. He blurts out, I’m going to take her to the emergency room. No, his mom exclaimed. Call an ambulance. Let the paramedics treat her before you move here.



Okay. Okay, he shouts. Hanging up without saying good bye. Alex dials 911. An ambulance is on the way. He gets a cold wash cloth to put on Leelee’s face. She is pale. Frightened. Call my mom, Alex. He dials the phone. Her dad answers. John, it’s Alex. Leelee is bleeding. I’ve called for an ambulance. He could hear Grace in the background asking, whats wrong? John tells Grace, Leelee is bleeding. He’s called for an ambulance. She gets on the phone. What hospital are you taking her too? she asks. We will meet you there, she says. Let me talk to Leelee.

She tells Leelee not to worry. This sometimes happens. Let’s not think the worst. Leelee is crying. She manages a faint okay, mom. I’m so scarred, moans Leelee I know, Honey. We will meet you at the hospital. Alex sees the lights from the ambulance. Rushing down the stairs he opens the door in consternation. Guiding the EMT’S upstairs, they spring into action. They take her vital signs. Start and IV. They offer words of encouragement. Try to calm her. They load her on the gurney and head to the hospital. Alex follows in his car.

Pantokrater hovers! Marty is present. Unseen hands are at work.

Marty will return next Friday!


Good Things Happen!

I set out to write my first book a year and a half ago. I’ve never been a writer. Didn’t know much about the craft. I’d been a public speaker for many years. I knew about sharing ideas with a live audience. I soon realized that writing is a different animal. I’m on more than a learning curve. It’s a road atlas.

After months of writing in isolation I decided, in order to keep from jumping out of a window, I might need to get out among the living. I looked for writers groups. The first group I found was the Dallas Ft. Worth Writers Workshop. A thriving community of writers. The group is made up of traditionally published, self published, and people hoping to be published. I went the first time to observe. I joined the next week.

photo 3

with Rachel LaMonica and others at

I was totally comfortable to start my writing career knowing I didn’t know what I was doing. My passion to get my story out was more than sufficient to drive me to work at it. People who knew me gave me positive feedback on what I was writing. But I was eager for input from people who didn’t know me.

The structure of the writers group includes reading your work aloud in small groups. There is a time limit. The group then critiques your writing. The first time I read my work they applauded. That didn’t happen the week before. It didn’t happen for anyone else that night. I received positive comments on the story I’m telling. And, constructive criticism on  my writing.

I went home on cloud nine. I was so happy! I’m on my way. I told my wife about how I was accepted. I went on about how they clapped for me, thinking I’d hit a home run. When I went back the next week I learned that they clap for everyone the first time they read aloud. My bubble burst. I’m nothing special. Just a newbie. Oh, well! I will always have that week of ecstasy. Even if it wasn’t real.

I also joined the Writers Guild of Texas in Richardson. A smaller group with a similar mix of writing expertise. These groups have been so helpful in offering encouragement, instruction, and friendship. I am blessed to have people taking an interest in my writing. And in me as a person. I feel a deep sense of appreciation for finding wonderful people who care about more than themselves. Their commitment to developing others is refreshing.


dfw writers conference

I just attended my first writers conference sponsored by the DFW Writers Workshop. I served on the Marketing Committee of the conference. A volunteer team responsible for making the conference a success. I cannot give enough praise for the way the marketing committee pulled together. I think everyone believes the conference was a hit. The few hiccups we encountered didn’t deter the team from plowing through and making the conference work for all attendees. Having been involved in many conferences over the years I’m proud to have been a part of such a noteworthy endeavor. To all who worked so tirelessly –  you have my admiration!

I knew I didn’t know how to be a writer. I was okay with that. I didn’t let that stop me from getting started. Once writers convinced me, probably not their intention, I didn’t know how to write I took on some issues. I didn’t let that stop me either. I have a long way to go before I would consider myself a writer in the purest sense. I have a message that I’m driven to share. My first book just came back from the first round of edits. I have some work to do. But it is essentially finished. It will still be a few months before the book becomes a reality. It’s been a longer process for me than I could have ever imagined. I’ve always intended to self publish my first book and I will see it through.

I decided to pitch an idea I have, for a second book, to an agent during the writers conference. I wanted the experience more than anything else. I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never done it before. Professional Agents come to conferences looking for potential books to publish. Competition is fierce. I watched people go in and come out of pitch sessions. They didn’t always look encouraged. I made the decision to go in there and give my pitch.

photo 1

The Great Arrianne “Tex” Thompson

Gordon Warnock, a partner with Fuse Literary, would be the man I faced. You have seconds to articulate your idea. Jennifer Duggins, a dear friend, offered some tips. I also went to my, new and forever love, Tex Thompson and got about three minutes of coaching on how to pitch. Without their generosity I probably wouldn’t have done it. I then received my instructions on what I needed to do once inside. I went in, made my pitch, and was asked to send my first three chapters. That’s a big deal. Since it was only an idea I now have to put together three chapters. Well alrighty then! I will not leave my dream to collect dust inside of me. A special thank you to Tex and Jennifer.

I had the privilege of making some new friends at the conference. Rachel LaMonica from Little Lamb Books, Anna L. Davis, Author of Open Source, Michelle Stimpson, a multi-published Author, Speaker, and Educator were just a few highlights of the conference for me. The few minutes I spoke privately with Thomas Kunkle, a nationally known author and President of St. Norbert College were priceless, as he thought I had a powerful story to tell. I enjoyed a few laughs with Tara McKelvey, a journalist and correspondent for Newsweek/Daily Beast. She has a unique sense of humor. And there were a host of interactions with too many people to mention. It was an all around great time.

We all have to discover our purpose. We have to find our passion. We have to be ready to redefine ourselves. The powers that be will align to make possible what we are meant to do. Never give up. Mistakes and failures can work in your favor if you give them a chance. I don’t know where this opportunity will end up. But I intend to find out! I hope this helps you –  believe in yourself – because good things happen!






Adventures in Marty! 8

cuddling by pixabay

c/o pixabay

Alex and Leelee held on to one another until all doubts were gone. She assured him that she was grateful for him sharing such deep pain with her. I’m so afraid that you will think less of me, Alex lamented. No way, Alex. I love you. This only helps me see just how strong you are. This isn’t just you, Alex. This is us. We will handle this together.

Standing up they made their way to the couch. What are you most afraid of, Alex? I think I have always worried about being like my dad. That I wouldn’t be able to love in the right way. That I could walk away from my responsibilities. That I could abandon my wife and kids. I feel damaged by all that’s happened to me. Like something is fundamentally wrong with me. I work so hard trying to prove I’m good enough. Yet nothing I’ve ever accomplished has given me any lasting sense of worthiness.

Our wedding day was the best day of my life, Leelee. When you agreed to marry me I felt like I hit the lottery. I love you so much. And I believe you love me. But I’ve harbored fear that you would leave me someday. I thought, if you ever found out about my secrets, you would say good bye. Be gone forever. Bringing a child into my private world seemed unsafe. I didn’t dare risk it.

I know birth control isn’t full proof but how do you think we ended up pregnant? Well, I think we better wait until we get confirmation, Alex. No way! This has been too extreme. I would be in total chaos if you weren’t pregnant. While I wanted time to work out my questions and insecurities I would be in absolute disappointment if you aren’t with child. This is the most powerful moment of my life. I have never had anything touch me on all levels the way this has. I know in my heart that we have a child on the way. I’m still wondering how it happened.

Leelee said, I believe God decides when a child is to be born. What do you mean? he asks. There is so much information about conception. And what comes after conception. There isn’t much info about life before the womb. Since I was a little girl, I’ve pondered life before conception. I think life comes from God. He’s the giver of life. I believe life is a part of God. I believe life cannot happen without God saying, I want this to happen.

What a minute, Alex says, in a confused protest. What about parents? Don’t you think they are the ones deciding to have children? Yes, of course, she expounds. I think parents who decide to have children are cooperating with divine intention. Think about the people who want to have children and can’t. Life just isn’t possible unless God is granting it. Now you are filling me with even more questions, Alex expresses. Why would God deny children to people who want them? I’m not playing God, Leelee states. I don’t profess to know all the answers to every mystery of life. I just believe life isn’t possible unless God is directly sanctioning it.

manupstairs lambsofthelord

by lambsofthelord

Hang on, Leelee. I know you have a faith I don’t have. Based on what you’re saying I’m perplexed. I have trouble believing God is that involved in our lives. Why would he bring me into the world for me to be abandoned and molested? Leelee searches for the words to convey her thoughts. I think God ordains life. He puts life into the trust of human beings. It was never His intention for you to be abandoned or molested. Everything that happens, good or bad, is the result of whether or not we honor each others lives. The further people get from believing in the sanctity of every life the more abuses and human atrocities we see. The people that hurt you didn’t honor you. Or themselves. These decisions are often derived from selfishness. Sometimes it comes from their own pain. You know the saying; hurt people hurt other people. What you deserved, Alex, was to be loved and protected.

Alex is on the edge of his seat. The deep emotional experience, of the last few hours, has his heart open. He’s kept a reverent posture toward God publicly. But, his private thoughts have been more belligerent. He’s harbored anger and resentment toward the man upstairs. I’ve been upset with God since I was a little boy. Why didn’t He protect me?

Free will is an imperfect system, continues, Leelee. What do you mean by free will? he asks. We get to decide how we live our lives. What we do to ourselves. The things we do to each other. God tries to teach us the value of life. The purpose of life. How to maximize life. But He has given the power of choice to each of us. People choose good and evil. That’s the way I see it, Alex.

forgiveness by RenderSas @deviantart

by RenderSas c/o deviantart

So, if I’m hearing you correctly, I should be holding people responsible for hurting me and not blaming God. I think that’s the truth, Alex. If God intervened in every situation we wouldn’t be human beings. He would take our power of choice away from us. We wouldn’t be created in His image. So what do I do with the pain I carry. You forgive, Alex. You forgive and free yourself from the bondage of other people’s failures. You forgive yourself for your own failures. You forgive and get ready to be the best daddy in the world.

How did you get to be so wise, Leelee? I don’t think I’m wise, Alex. I have many questions myself. I’m thankful for the answers I do have. I keep asking for more understanding. I want to be a good wife. I want to be a good mother. Daughter. Sister. I want to be a friend to the world. I think we all have the ability to make the world a better place. I really want to do my part. For the first time in his life, Alex thought he should explore God. 

What a glorious day for the All Mighty and Ever-Present!

Marty will return next Friday!


Are you Thinking to Highly of Yourself?

I’ve only met a few bonafied narcissists. People out of touch with reality. Possessing a fictitious grandiose view of themselves. This level of selfishness borders on mental disorder. Thankfully, only 6 to 8 percent of the population will deal with this condition, according to the professionals. It may be too extreme to lock them away, but requiring dog tags for identification purposes, might serve the greater good.

Medical Validation

darktriad youtube


Wikipedia references the American Psychiatric Association’s classification of narcissism as a personality disorder. It’s been listed in the DSM since 1968. Drawing on the historical concept of megalomania. Narcissism is considered a social or cultural problem. It’s the third leg of the dark triad of personality traits. The other two being psychopathy (antisocial behavior) and Machiavellianism. (a disregard for morality- a focus on self-interests) I have to be self-aware, sensitive, and alert; I can succumb to narcissistic tendencies on any given Tuesday.

Many of us are on the other end of the spectrum. Most of us were taught to love others the way we love ourselves. The assumption being, we love ourselves. Most of the people I’ve interacted with, over a fifty year span, find loving themselves challenging. To clarify, love here is representative of benevolence. Social charity and affection for your fellow man. It’s having an interest in the well-being of the broader community. Including yourself!

Observing how I respond to other people is a great indicator to how I see myself. I can be on the front line of giving to others. And, I can be isolated in a room grieving for the life I think I’m suppose to have. Directly or indirectly my neighbor gets the treatment I’m giving to myself. So does my spouse, children, and those closest to me.

Spiritual Influence

I call my source of enlightenment, God. Some call it, higher power, supreme being, and a host of other things. I have found this to be true; how I see myself is how I see God. If I feel short-changed, or cheated in life, it’s His fault. He cheated me. God can’t be who He says He is and allow terrible things to happen. I’ve asked for help I didn’t receive. I’ve prayed prayers that didn’t get answered. What kind of God is that? I’ve been honest and dishonest in my interactions with God. I’ve said to Him what I’d been taught to say. Used the words I was trained to use. Even after I knew better. Change is never an accident.

I’ve experienced internal conflict in my conversations with the divine. Saying things like, I’m not worthy. I’m a horrible person. Degrading myself in an attempt to make myself more attractive to and angry deity. In hopes of obtaining an exemption from the certainty of the, cruel and unusual punishment, I had coming. This approach caused me to see God as defective as I saw myself. In order to figure out who I am I had to know who He is.

baggage stanley howe

by Stanley Howe on

There’s not many people who get on a airplane without some sort of luggage. Life is the same way. We all travel with some kind of baggage. Airlines are suspicious of passengers with no bags. And so am I. We live in an imperfect world. With imperfect people. Imperfect systems. And, imperfect institutions. I don’t trust people unless they walk with a limp. Success without failure isn’t normal. Does everyone have to crash and burn? I don’t think so. But do I think you’re perfect? No I don’t. I don’t need to know the details of your misdeeds to satisfy some sadistic tendency. I don’t want to know your failures to make me feel better about mine. Or to provide comparisons where I can extract an excuse for myself. I need to know how you started treating yourself appropriately. When did you learn to be your own best friend?

The occasional traveler seems to carry the most non-essentials. People with the most baggage tend to have low to moderate success. Frequent fliers learn not to pack every experience into their suitcase. Not every story can be the headline of your life. You can’t love others until you love yourself. When people do you wrong don’t agree with them. When you are discounted, disrespected, or made to feel invisible don’t internalize it. If someone fails to honor you don’t fashion the experience into a way of thinking about yourself. We can all prolong pain with wrong interpretations of life events. Whether self-destructive or abuse toward others, forgiveness unwraps your potential. 

Dr. Joe Rubino, creator of the Self-Esteem System, estimates eighty-five percent of people suffers with low self-esteem. A self esteem deficit doesn’t lend itself to reaching our potential. Living our dream. Understanding our value.

More than Wishful Thinking  

I’m not lovable. I’m not worthy of love. I’m not smart enough. Attractive enough. Interesting enough. I’m defective. Flawed. I’ve created such a mess in my life. I have addictions. I haven’t been able to form lasting relationships. I don’t follow through on anything. I let people walk on me. People use me all the time. I’m hopeless. I have dark thoughts. I’m an angry person. Volatile. Explosive. Destructive. I’m a hater. I’m rebellious. I rage against the machine. I’ve hurt people. Use people. I’ve been and abuser. I’ve caused a great deal of pain. I don’t respect anybody or anything. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum you are not as bad or as good as you think you are.

God is, and always has been, the perfect match for each of us. To think you are beyond His ability to remedy, redeem, and restore is wishful thinking. Do you think your set of circumstances are so prolific that you’re the “one” God has no answer for? Religious rhetoric, hypocritical behavior, right-wing ranting, and left-wing promotion are all in His purview. The atheist may think he has outsmarted God by claiming He doesn’t exist but God doesn’t move any further away from him than He does anyone else.

perfectmatch Louise Soe on flickr

by Louise Soe c/o

If you think God cares for, gives Himself to, and loves you while hating the person next to you, think again. It’s always been unwise to compare oneself to others. Thankfulness and judgement don’t cohabitate. Wars, violence, protests, politics, even religion isn’t making the world a better place. If we think we are too outrageous, if we think we are exclusive, one way or the other, we are confusing our intention with God’s intention. What I accomplish on the inside, the maturity I grow into, the self-mastery I achieve has the greatest ability to bring about positive change in the world.

I can think I’m so good I don’t need God. I can think I’m so bad God can’t help me. I can’t think I’m somewhere in the middle, lost in space. At some point in time I may have subscribed to every concept. One thing is certain. God is not hiding. It might be shocking, to some, to know just how close He is to all of us.

One of the best rituals I’ve ever incorporated into my self-care regimen is asking myself this question everyday.

Are You Thinking To Highly Of Yourself?







Adventures in Marty! 7

It is awkward as they continue to embrace walking down the stairs. Both of their faces are flush from deep emotion. Stumbling several times, they laughed as each steadied the other. Reaching the bottom of the stairs they couldn’t let go. It was like they were trying to be on the inside of one another. Their uncertainty flourished in security. Leelee and Alex sensed the the divine moment they were in.

holdinghands by josep ma. rosell on flickr

by Josep Ma. Rosell

Sitting on the couch, hands interwoven, they strolled into one another’s eyes. Neither of them anticipated this experience. Alex broke the speechless communication. After my father left, he began, uncle Albert started spending time with me. Taking me places and buying me things. He was very affectionate. Alex paused, lips quivering. When he put his hand on my crotch, I froze.  Alex jumped up, screamed, then rolled on the floor. The outburst scarred Leelee.

Using her arms as instruments of healing, she messaged his broken heart. He is in agony. Leelee had no idea this had happened. He rolled onto his back. Gasping for air. His words were scrambled. It’s okay Alex. It’s okay. I’m so ashamed, he mourned! I never wanted you to know. I didn’t want anyone to ever know. She pleads in silence. Searching for what to say. What to do. Marty whispers to her spirit. Wisdom flows from her tongue.

It wasn’t your fault, Alex. You were just a little boy. He said, I didn’t understand what he was doing at first. After he performed an actual sex act, I never wanted to see him again. I was seven. I couldn’t hold my head up. I had a hard time looking people in the eyes. He told me if I said anything I would be taken away from my mom and put in a home for bad boys. It went on for three years until I finally told my mom.

Mom called and invited uncle Albert to come over. We sat at the kitchen table waiting for him to arrive. I was very frightened. Mom wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t know if she was mad at me or not. I didn’t know what was going to happen. The smell of fresh baked cookies gave me some comfort. I asked if I could have one. She gave me three cookies with a glass of milk. I knew mom was upset. She had a look on her face I hadn’t seen before. Uncle Albert knocked on the door. Mom yelled, come in. He opened the door shouting, hello. Mom spoke, in a firm tone, we’re in the kitchen.

cookiesmilk Jonathan schertzer

by Jonathan Schertzer commons.wikipedia

I had a piece of cookie in my mouth. I couldn’t swallow. I let it melt. I was afraid to move. His smile left his face in a hurry when he saw us sitting there. He seemed to know what was about to happen. What’s going on? He asked. Without offering him a seat, mom said, Alex told me what you have been doing to him. How could you, Albert? What is wrong with you? He replied, what in the world are you talking about? Mom sent me to my room. I was glad to go.

Our apartment was small. I could hear everything being said. Don’t you even think about denying this, Albert. I trusted you. He started to say something when mom said, don’t say a word, Albert. Not a word. Right or wrong, I have decided not to report you. I don’t want Alex to be injured any further. You and I will never speak again. You will leave any family function me and Alex are at. You will not be anywhere near Alex again. If I ever hear that you have done this to another child I will come forward.

argue by relationships1 on fliker

by relationships1 on

You will seek professional help. Tomorrow you will hire a therapist. You will instruct the therapist to contact me and give me reports of your progress. If you don’t obtain satisfactory results, or quit going to therapy, I will report you. If the therapist’ has a legal obligation, to report you, then that is what will happen. I will cooperate with the authorities. If I don’t get a call from a therapist, by the end of the day tomorrow, I will call the cops. Do you understand everything I’ve said, Albert? This is some sort of misunderstanding, Albert pleaded. No, it’s not. Do exactly what I said, Albert. Now get out of my house.

The door closed as Albert left. I sat still. Waiting for mom to come to me. Or call me to come to her. It seemed like forever before she came into my room. I could tell she’d been crying. I was sitting on my bed. She knelt in front of me. Mom hugged me tight for a long time. Then she leaned back keeping her face close to mine. She said, uncle Albert will never hurt you again, Alex. This wasn’t your fault. You just forget this ever happened to you. There isn’t anything wrong with you. We never have to talk about this again, Alex. You just act like it never happened. Okay?

When Alex finished telling the story, he just looked at Leelee. Worried that she would see him differently. Not feel the same way about him. Squeezing him, she wrapped the two of them together. I love you, Alex. You will be a great father. Their bodies were so close she could feel his relief.

Pantokrater’s presence provided everything needed. Marty’s work of healing, wisdom, and comfort blended the three of them into a spiritual oneness. Love unleashed the attributes of perfection. This was a moment, like no other, for both of them.

Marty will return next Friday!


The Way to the Greater Thing!

twoeyes bykyo-kun 1997 deviantart

by kyo-kun 1997 at deviantart

Deep inside, where only two sets of eyes can see it, lies the dream yet to emerge. It’s a recent spark for some. For others, it’s the longest fuse known to man. It sits there fizzling like a firecracker waiting to explode. We wouldn’t have the inclination if it wasn’t possible. What do I have to do, to see this thing live, outside my body?


We learn from two paradigms. Pain or pleasure. One says, this is the way to do it. It screams, do more of it. The other says, this will never work. And bellows, stop doing what you’re doing. What moves us to act one way or another?


Desire is neither good or bad until I express it. My interpretation of life events encourages behavior. If I believe in a great conspiracy, to thwart my best efforts, I remain locked in immobility. Waiting for some external force to secure my release. Good luck with that.

If I see obstacles I can address them with strategy. If what I want, is beyond what’s in front of me, action is required. Move it. Go through it. Go around it. By all means necessary-get there. You’re smart enough, talented enough, and have what it takes to wrestle opposition into cooperation. You either want it or you don’t. Be honest.

Comparing myself to others is an efficient way to ignore my uniqueness. Find people who are where you want to be. Interrogate them to death. DO NOT DUPLICATE THEM! Common denominators present in every successful person is a great foundation. If I imitate, I will be a terrible them, and a lousy me. Principles have to be retro-fitted to your own skill set. Not compromised. Adapted. The dream is you. For you. And about you. If you let your dream die, you and the entire world will be denied the benefits of why you are alive on the planet.


I always ask myself, why did this happen? I’ve come to realize, the answer is irrevocably the same, for every question. To wake me up. If I don’t pay attention I can end up paying a body shop, a traffic ticket, a doctor, or a divorce lawyer. Maybe I need to wake up to the good things in my life. Things I’ve been ignoring. Wake up means, it’s time to get up, and go up! No one is created to be a bottom feeder living a discounted life. 

 When I started selling health insurance I had a routine. After every appointment, whether I closed the sale or not, I asked myself the same question. Why? Why did I close that sale or why didn’t I close that sale. I wrote everything in a journal. I kept what worked and got rid of what didn’t. I ending up building an agency with 83 commission only agents. Doing more than 5 million dollars a year in new business.

Success and failure isn’t about luck. Both are the result of intention. I never deliberately intended to fail. However, I had to learn a hard lesson. Without an intention to succeed failure is what you get. I can trace every gain or lose to my thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and actions. An unbiased analysis shows how I, set myself up, every time.

harpin mountain .en.wikipedia


I don’t believe in a strait line to the top. Some people do get there faster than others. But I don’t allow myself to begrudge successful people. Many of them have more failures than successes. I know success is the result of never giving up. They had to do the hard work of navigating their shortcomings and honing their strengths. They learned the power of leveraging. Sustainability happens when the desire to give is equal to or greater than the desire to get. What I do is not as important as why I do it.

Now matter what happens, the more important question is, what do I do next? Whether I’m trying to get on top or stay on top, after every win or loss I ask myself, what now? Whether you crashed and burned or landed on the moon you want to know why. You want to know what to do next. The question is relevant to arriving in my dream.

I was born because of intention. I have an intention for my life. We are all the same in that regard. Life is about discovering what that intention is. The greater thing is connected to mastery. Wishful thinking doesn’t give life. It’s a destructive distraction. A willingness to become proficient, at whatever beckons at your heart, is one of those known secrets everybody wants to avoid talking about. Show yourself how serious you are and the universe will help you out. You are meant to win. Don’t let your circumstances talk you out of it.

The method of Exchange!

cashier by


What do you need to learn? Do you have clarity? Do you need systems? Are you accountable to someone? Do you have a team? Find mentors, classes, online tutorials. Get plugged in to groups that share your aspirations. Live in the real world. Synthetic virtual friendships can fail to deliver adequate support. Volunteer in places that do what you are passionate about.

Invest in yourself and other will too. Don’t show up expecting to get for free what you intend to charge for. Pay for your dream and it will pay you back. Not having money is no excuse. Barter. Trade. Do whatever it takes. People want to help. Ask. Seek. Knock. You can do what you are meant for.

Refuse to be denied! That’s the way to the greater thing. 



Adventures in Marty! 6

Alex, please listen to what I have to say before you react. Your facial expressions and your tone from our last conversation are fresh in my mind. So please, think before you respond. Alex shifts a little in his chair. He doesn’t know where this is going. He’s uncomfortable. She begins. You know I haven’t been feeling well. I’ve thrown up several times. Usually in the morning. I checked the calendar. I’m late. I might be pregnant, Alex. 

serioustalk by frederic soulacroix

by frederic soulacroix, c/o en.m.wikipedia

He starts to speak. Pauses. Asks, how could this be? Did you forget your birth control? No, Alex. I haven’t missed taking my pill once. Well, what do we do now? he asks. We need to know for sure. So, I made a doctors appointment. We’ll know next week. What if I am pregnant? Alex gets up from his chair. Kneels in front of Leelee. Takes her face in his hands and says, we’ll deal with it.

I’m afraid, Alex. About what? That you wont be happy. That you’ll feel forced. You were so firm about waiting. Leelee, can you give me a few minutes to process what I’m feeling? I want to take some time to think this through. I wasn’t expecting this today. Sure, Alex. That’s a good idea. Great. I’m going to take a shower.

As he heads upstairs Leelee has a chance to think too. She wants to be pregnant. Wants a baby. But doesn’t want a baby that isn’t wanted by their father. She knows enough to know, a baby can feel that. She doesn’t want her marriage to go off the rails. She squirms in her seat. Can’t relax. Realistic possibilities stab at her imagination. She hoped for a different posture from Alex. Struggling with the unknown she decides to have a cup of tea.

Settling into a chair at the table, she clutches her cup. Hearing the shower tun off she stares into space. I need wisdom she says in silence. I’ve always wanted the news of being pregnant to be the best news of my life. A strange feeling of calm envelopes her. She shivers. Checks her arms for chill-bumps. Peaceful tears fill her eyes. She hears something gentle. Like some sort of whisper. She had never called on God out of desperation. Her heart is yearning. Without knowing how, God is with her in a different way.

babyinmirror by noirta tsu

by noirta tsu c/o deviantart

Alex dries off. Puts on his pj bottoms. Stands in front of the mirror and reaches for the comb. Strokes through his hair once. Drops his arms. Looking deep into his reflection he begins to cry with no restraint. He would later talk about the weird experience he had. As if someone or something was in the bathroom with him. I wasn’t afraid, he claimed, but I’ve never felt anything like it before. He wrestles his shirt on. Sits on the edge of the bed sobbing.

He stepped into the shower with near anger. Moments later he’s here with confusion. Acceptance is penetrating. A sensation of turning is so strong inside of him he stiffens to control it. Shattering memories of an absent father flood his mind. He held a seat for his dad at so many events. A seat his father never filled. Alex is afraid. Fearful that he doesn’t know how to be a dad. Alex is mad at his father for what he did to him. He’s also angry at God for letting it happen. Alex is melting. Dissolving into something he can’t recognize. Shaking his head as if to throw off his emotions he stops before he loses what’s going on.

Leelee’s in a state. Her peace isn’t rational. She crosses her arms in an unconscious self-hug. With too many ideas to choose from she leaves them scattered. There is a boom sound from above. Like something fell. She gets up to go and see what the noise was. Alex slid off the bed. His knees hit hard on the floor. He hears Leelee’s footsteps. Jumps up before she can get there. Rushes toward the door. They meet in the hallway. He takes her into his arms. Startled by his weeping she releases her own tears.

Offering comfort she says, it’s okay, Alex. What’s going on? I don’t know what just happened. I want us to have this baby. I want to be the father I never had. I said it was money. The truth is, I’m scared. What are you afraid of, Alex. I don’t know how to be a father. I feel messed up about that. I thought more time would give me a chance to fix myself. What do you mean? fix yourself. There are things I’ve never told you. Things I’ve never talked about. Alex, you know you can talk to me about anything. It’s not you, Leelee. It’s me.

couplehug by groverflanagan.blogspot

by grover flanagan at blogspot

As they stand there, clinging to each other, they both knew their love just went to a new place. I know everything is going to be alright, Leelee. I’ll have to find the courage to share things I’ve buried. Deep things I didn’t want to ever talk about. I trust you more than any person on earth. All I want right now is to hold onto you forever.

Marty rests. This day couldn’t have gone any better. He wallows in Pantokrater’s pleasure.

Marty will return next Friday!


Who do you THINK you are?

The search for meaning is universal. Astrology, philosophy, theology, and many other avenues are readily available for exploration. Finding yourself can be a lifelong occupation. Discovering who you are before you expire is admirable. But, if you don’t have enough time left to build a life on what you learn, what’s the point?

Don’t give up – get focused!



A number of years ago (no need to get specific here) it was very popular to ask people, what’s your sign? When it comes to romance, the notion that the stars could align to provide a soulmate, is intoxicating. Wait a minute. In 2011 major news outlets reported that the Earth’s rotation changed the zodiac signs. Does that mean I’m not who I think I am? Is there an impending identity crisis being thrust upon mankind? No worries, mate. You can’t release an epidemic on an already infected population.

Cultural trends have a shelf life. A fad alters things in the moment. Things like clothing styles and music tastes change. Often. Even the arts have to remain fluid to hold our interest. For something to last, it has to extend from our desires, that don’t change. You can be insanely popular today and a distant memory tomorrow. I think what comes and goes reflects our willingness for distractions. What endures reveals what’s important to us.

When Mark Zukerberg launched “The facebook” in 2004 he tapped into our abiding passion for connection. From zero, to over one and a half billion users, Facebook continues to grow. As with anything this large it points-out strengths and weaknesses. It show-cases what’s real and what’s not. Bringing out the best and worst in it’s subscribers. It does provide an opportunity, for people to declare, who they think they are.

horseandcar by lowrider-girl

by Lowrider-girl

From a single horse drawn carriage to a 280 horse-powered car, we’ve advanced our inclinations, to go places. In just a few hours in a plane we can cross the country. A few more hours and we can travel the globe. The potential of human beings is experienced with every achievement. From building massive cruise ships, to landing on the moon, our capabilities find expression. These things tell us what we can do – not who we are!

Taking notice of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, it’s clear, we are all just one idea away from the next big thing. We can record a hit song. Write a best seller. Paint a masterpiece. Develop new technologies. Make millions of dollars. But, who are we? With all of our advancements the world stays it’s course of disrupted harmony. Lacking in peace, we carry the ills of our shared community. What we do isn’t as important as why we do it.

awake by johnhain

by johnhain

I wouldn’t want to be in a world where I couldn’t be touched by the talents of fellow sojourners. I have so many moments to reflect on when my heart was lifted by another human being. Celebrating life is grand. When I think about the insurmountable suffering I have neighboring my delight, it gives me pause. If I let it become depressing I won’t have a response. But if it awakens me I will find a place of impact. If I become desensitized-I become cynical.

My life review includes disappointments. My own mostly. I’ve also experienced sponsors of terror. Willing contributors to my anxiety. How people see themselves dictate relationships. In a fast moving world, it can be tough, to find a place to rest. Providing the ability to redefine priorities.

I have accomplishments. I want more. I’ve figured out if I only want to achieve heights, for self-aggrandizement, it leaves fulfillment wanting. My greatest times of satisfaction come when I’m being to someone else, what they cannot be to themselves, in that moment. My best thrills haven’t come from a stage of applause. Which can disappear in a nanosecond. No. It’s been from the life-changing look in the eyes of the thankful. Who didn’t have the words to express that defining moment in their life. When I supplied a hug. A listening ear. A meal. Encouragement. A pair of shoes for a little boy. Sharing tears without judgement.  Who knows? what it means to them! The effect it has on me is priceless.

How many of us laughed hysterically at Bill Engvall’s, Here’s your sign? I won’t expound on the jokes themselves. They’re easily found online. But the premise fits my subject. Are there signs available to help find one’s self? Your talent may not be your gatekeeper. What makes you tick? (the thing or things that get you excited) What ticks you off? (the thing or things that make you hopping mad) These are signs to who you are. Read them and respond from the heart. Feeling the way you do offers an introduction to your destiny. Solving problems, for ourselves and for others, leads to significance.


by sheepdog319

Perhaps Gandhi said it best; “Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

With all the talent running loose it hasn’t eliminated chaos. Relieved our pain. Or made us better. A personal definition of success is what instructs the individual. What I think, commands my energy. I question any stage that doesn’t lift its audience.

I ask myself;  Who do you THINK you are?




Adventures in Marty! 5

Leelee says, I’m going to grill you a steak and make a tossed salad. Do you want a vegetable? No, says Alex. But do we have any baked beans? She replies, I think so, as she gets up to look. He continues with more details of his day. I want to hear all about it, Alex. Give me a minute to start the grill. He keeps talking even when she goes outside. He’s more keyed-up than he realizes.

table for two by pixabay

by pixabay

She sets the table. Throws the salad together and checks on the steaks. Come to the table, Alex. He hasn’t stopped talking. In between his sentences she calculates how to talk about her day. Sliding his steak in front of him he proclaims, that looks great, Honey. I’m starving. As Leelee sits down, he continues his discourse. She encourages him to talk privately with the guy that let him down. Maybe you just need to clear the air, she offers. He’s disappointed. It’s not about you.

Marty understands the value of life. How precious it is. How fragile it can be. The challenges is poses. And the rewards it offers. Leelee is a bit tense. Her nap helped. But her stress level about Alex is rising. They’ve been able to communicate about most things gracefully. Alex can be competitive. High strung. And he can come off as forceful. She has no problem declaring her feelings. This is different. This isn’t style or color preferences. A baby will change their lives forever.

As Marty comforts the developing life he whispers to Leelee and Alex. They don’t see the big picture. They think the decision to have a baby starts with them. He will expose them to the deeper meaning of life.

Alex was raised by a single mother. A fabulous lady. Devoted to her only child. His father had walked out on them when he was young. Leaving for another woman. He doesn’t have a relationship with his dad. He adores his mom. But he has many questions about his father. His mom worked hard to stabilize his life but his masculinity can be volatile. Alex was taught to believe in God without any participation in organized religion.

Leelee was brought up with both parents. Her home was solid. Full of love. She’s close to her parents and siblings. She doesn’t have questions about being wanted. Or where she belongs. She was groomed for a good life. Mentored on how to get it. Her family went to church and believes life is spiritual. When she went to college her involvement with her church waned. But her beliefs remain strong.

After marriage Leelee expected they would get involved in a church. She’s a Methodist. Alex doesn’t claim any religion for his own. She’s disappointed with his lack of interest. He doesn’t want to be a regular attendee. She has gone without him but doesn’t like it. He often suggests they do other things on Sundays. While they haven’t fought about it, there is concern, especially for Leelee.

spiritual intamacy youtube


For now, Marty is the major influence for the baby to be.  This bundle of joy will soon be subjected to every kind of thinking there is. Everything in the world operates through thought processes. Attitudes dictate actions. Beliefs decide family dynamics, political structures, and religious persuasion. There’s a short space of time to establish the best directives. After those virtuous moments pass it’s all about correcting the errors. Marty labors to prepare the baby, the parents, and the environment.

Alex slows his semi pleasant diatribe during dinner. By the time the meal is over he ended his story-telling. Rising from the table he kisses Leelee on the cheek. That was a wonderful meal, Babe. You’re welcome, she counters. He heads back to his chair as Leelee cleans up. Her thoughts take her to a place of solitude. She barely notices that Alex dozes off to sleep. Finishing her after dinner chores she retreats to the living room. She’s decided how she’ll open the conversation.

inrecliner by michael styne

by Michael Styne

Sitting on the couch she watches Alex in his peaceful slumber. His focus on his work project had him intense for the past couple of weeks. The positive outcome is an obvious relief to him. She loves Alex. Deeply. She’s certain about how he feels about her. Alex turns to get more comfortable and wakes himself up. Noticing Leelee watching him, he apologizes, and sits up. I haven’t even asked you about your day, Honey.

I do have something I want to talk to you about, Alex. Sure, Babe. What’s going on? You were very firm about waiting to have a baby. I didn’t agree. It upset me. But I’ve decided to go along with you. It’s true, we don’t have to rush. Oh, that’s great, Leelee. He’s thrilled. Maybe a little too much. I do want to have kids. You know I do. Just not now. Hang on a minute, Alex. Let me finish.

Marty will return next Friday!