How To Know IF You’re Seeing Things Correctly!

All seeing eye Max Pixel

Image courtesy of Max Pixel

I’m a mixed breed! Accepting that is as pure as it gets for me. Giving up trying to be a thoroughbred, of any kind, has freed me from pining about pedigree.

 

Recognizable Specificity

I don’t fit everywhere. Thankfully, I no longer want to. The assumed task of pleasing everyone is an indomitable endeavor. And, I have never been content forfeiting me. Approval can be fleeting and laden with hypocrisy. When other people celebrate you, only because you accommodate their desires, conflict is inevitable. Peace of mind can’t happen in your absence.

I know people who listen to only one type of music. That just doesn’t work for me. Rhythms and lyrics affect me, like all mediums do, and I want to have a say in the feeling I’m experiencing when I’m listening, reading, or observing. I’ve learned to appreciate difference, any single point of view could never account for my multiple channels. I have a simple requirement, I insist on being lifted up.

I avoid things that bring me down, make me conscious of negativity, or disrupt my intention to reside in a state of harmony. A single focus doesn’t mean narrow in scope. Paintings, books, science, nature, an ambient restaurant, a small child, or a cloud formation are just a few of the many opportunities for tranquility. Life is full of beauty.

Every vibe isn’t virtuous. Anything that causes me to turn-on myself has slipped past my radar. I know immediately if I’m berating, belittling, or hating on me I’m  suffering vision impairment. And, whenever I’m flirting with consternation, pouring out wrath on others, smoke is in my eyes. Clear vision builds you and others.

CORRECTIVE LENSES

Anger has never had 20/20 vision. I speak from experience. I was angry for much of my life. I plunged into being angry at my anger. Much of my anger was justified. But here is the problem; anger, left to its own devices, blurs vision. We can be upset for good reason but, unless we are willing to turn our passion into purpose, we are left to stew in destructive heat.

Eye exam staff sargent Jason McCasland USAF

Image courtesy of SS Jason McCasland via USAF

Anger is not an invitation to hate, though it is often interpreted that way. It is, in fact, a call to action. Anger is a compliment of trust. Its simply requesting our attention. Desiring to show us a way forward. Giving us opportunities for growth. Providing insight to our unique set of challenge solving skills. Anger chooses us, to make something better.

Being betrayed and violated is disturbing. Almost as troubling as personal dysfunction. When we are done wrong… (Hey, it happens, and will undoubtedly happen again) its decision time. Just because someone decides to live in the basement is no reason to move out of the penthouse. We can be thankful that we won’t be investing anymore of ourselves in things we don’t want in our lives.

As Maya Angelou so ably instructed, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I believe in forgiveness, redemption, and second chances; I couldn’t be here if I didn’t. But disrespect and broken trust leaves little to build on. Repairs are possible with collaboration. I try to remember that what people do is not as important as why they do it.  Understanding that what happened might be the best there is in the moment.

When I resist the temptation to cause pain and intentionally strive to serve my mission, serving others, that’s how I know I’m seeing things correctly.

How do you see it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Determine The Questions To Ask!

question-mark- pixabay.png

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

It was a friendly environment and the speaker seemed warm enough. I was about to ask my question when… what if it’s a stupid question? The popular adage, “the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask” won’t actually protect you from uncontrollable sneering. I decided to forgo the chance at enlightenment, opting instead, for self-preservation.

THE BUFFET TABLE

The constant barrage of voices vying for influence, in our minds, can be daunting. We can grow weary and become vulnerable. Or, we can become frustrated and dismiss potential opportunities to increase understanding. Whether we slip into one of these, or some other immobility, we can’t ignore the lingering desire to learn. Being “in the know” is empowering. Questions abound but are only virtuous if they lead to solutions.

What scares us is the thought of feeling belittled, inadequate, or incompetent. Wanting to avoid negative feelings can be a strong driver. I disagree with the old saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”  While fear has a place of honor,  it is often out of place. Questions are a key component of any progressive strategy. I question myself first, then I test my answer in the form of a question to others.

Contrary to pervasive confusion, answers are not hiding. I’m convinced answers wait patiently to be discovered.  They are positioned in merited investigation. Whenever I’m struggling with advancing toward my aspirations it’s always because I’m not asking the right questions. Intuition is at peek performance when it suggests highly personalized interrogation. We benefit significantly when we realize the gift of the question that just won’t go away.

PORTION CONTROL

The people who stock the buffet have no responsibility for what we put on our plates. One of my favorite saying from Maya Angelou is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I get her meaning. Completely. However, I’ve had to tweak its power.

What we feel is the result of the invitation being extended. How we feel is the result of the invitations we accept. Nobody can make us attach to a feeling. In order for any feeling to resonate it has to be met with agreement. If someone hands us a helping of negativity and we “know” what they’re saying isn’t true, we can turn down the invitation. If we think there’s some truth in what’s being said, we are likely to overeat junk-food.

Partial truths are loaded with hidden calories and lead to unwanted weight gain. Our positive thoughts, and good intentions, go straight to our waste-lines when they are not allowed to flourish in healthy feelings. In my quest for personal excellence, I have come to understand, my well-being is not only found in what I’m eating but in how much of it I’m devouring. I try to ask only those questions I actually want the answers to.

DIGESTION

Our world is filled with limitless information and yet, solutions remain aloof. The endless chatter seems fermented in knowing exactly, what the other person needs to do, to make things better. When remedies beg for something more we need to ask a different question. I refuse to let anyone, by coercion or otherwise, take away my right to inquire.

The noteworthy work of aligning our good intentions with our prevailing feelings demands we know the value of questions. When my best answers don’t change my trajectory, I rephrase the question. If my findings don’t improve things for me, and those around me, I find another question. Being in the dark gives me heartburn.

I determine the questions to ask based on whether or not things are working the way I want them to. The most important questions are the ones you ask yourself!

Any questions?

I demonstrate my Q & A journey in my book: If Only I Had A Dad,  http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

 

 

 

 

 

What You Can Do Without A Father!

The gash on my innards was remarkable! It affected everything about me.  My lack of understanding led me to misdiagnose who I really am. Every time I retold my story, adding polish and pizzazz,  I increased the strength of the lies. I was open to trickery and manipulation. Thank God for false teeth.

father & daughter by apdk flickr

Image courtesy of apdk via flickr

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

My grandmother put me on a chair thinking I would watch her through the window as she hung the clothes on the line. I was a year and half old. Instead, I climbed over two wash tubs and into the wringer washing machine. Mimicking her, I stuck my hand into the wringer. Half way up my arm the wringer kept spinning, round and around, burning a nice scare into my forearm. She came in to find me face down in the water.

As my body grew the wound on my arm grew too. I’m use to it, of course, but everyone who sees it wants to know what happened. Being the consummate communicator that I am, I fashioned a story of a trip to New Orleans where as a young man I wrestled alligators. Toothless, mind you. Getting pinned underneath the ferocious creature, his rough skin tore up my arm. Hey, I convinced quite a few, before I would come clean!

Things happen to us and they stay with us. Childhood issues become adult problems. We make up stories because they sound better than the truth. We learn to talk about it in a way that garners sympathy to avoid the questions we don’t have answers to. What we really want is to find resolution for our dilemmas.

The first step to coming clean is to admit there’s nothing wrong with you. Our thoughts and feelings might be askew but that’s not who we are. The issues that often plague us didn’t originate with us. We deal with generational and cultural dynamics that must be taken into account in order to be intentional about resolving inner conflicts.

I had a hole inside, the shape of my father. His abandonment of me caused an emptiness that sprouted and flourished. Permeating every segment of my life. I gave myself an unconscious pass. I didn’t know, for many years, the root of my anguish. I artificially inseminated with sex, substances, rock & Roll, and religion and nothing birthed peace of mind.

When we are able to identify the ramifications of our beginnings we are able to focus on our endings. The scars will always be there but the pain doesn’t have to be. We don’t have to implode, repeat self-destructive habits, or remain chained to propaganda. We are not wrong to see what’s right. It’s wonderful to work together, to correct errors, with the people who participated in the mistakes but, it’s not required.

OUR POWER IS IN BEING WILLING TO FATHER OURSELVES

My father died without me ever getting to know him. I needed him to change my life I was in serious trouble. Let’s get real; whether your father is dead or alive moving on is your responsibility not his. We can’t hate on our fathers without hating on ourselves and becoming like them as a result.

Angry by Katmary on flickr

Image courtesy of Katmary via flickr

My third step father was the most miserable human being I ever knew. He was angry and bitter. Jealous, insecure, and competitive. I could go on with an endless list of negatives. At times, I hated his very existence. I only lived with him for a few years, leaving home at fifteen, but, I was influenced by his behavior.  I was not happy when some of his characteristics showed up in me.

Managing dysfunction doesn’t provide a path to change. I learned, the hard way, that what you hate is deficient. It’s what you love that’s fruitful. Spending time trying to alter the thinking, attitudes, and actions of others are obstacles of distractions. We can’t rewrite our own stories when we are preoccupied with the stories that other people are holding on to.

Transformation happens when we change our feeling, of being defective or damaged, to a feeling of being whole. A primary function of fatherhood is to validate children. If that wasn’t executed we have to take matters into our own hands. We give ourselves permission to rise above broken trust. If we don’t we’re apt to be a continuation of the things we despise.

Here’s the kicker, our fathers may be locked in their own fatherlessness. They may not be capable or willing of being any different. We have to make a choice about what we will do separate from them. When we accept our own value we are able to affirm ourselves, gain clarity, and establish a sense of worthiness. We then start attracting people and things based on a new paradigm.

LIFE IN THE FATHERLESS LANE

I was always excited to listen to him talk. He was someone I highly respected. I loved his concepts. Then he said this: “You don’t get what you want in life – you get what you are”. I didn’t want to be friends with him anymore. I thought, he couldn’t mean that. How could that be true?  I immediately began to wrestle those words to the ground. Guess what? Those words are frightfully correct.

In the sanctuary of our private worlds reside the potential for everything that is possible. What we believe about ourselves determines what we experience. How we see ourselves is how we see everything else. When things didn’t work out the way I hoped it wasn’t because they shouldn’t, it was because they couldn’t. Everything in life operates by principle and not by luck.

Fathers are impact players. When our fathers are missing or fail everyone involved is affected. Even if we lose a father by premature death his absence has consequences.  We are either very thankful for who they are or very hurt by who they weren’t. Good or bad we deal with the circumstances surrounding our relationships with our fathers.

Fatherless men can be unsure of themselves, acting timid or overcompensating. Living in a conundrum to love women without stealing their power and struggling to mentor their children without abuse. Women without fathers can battle low self-esteem, fear abandonment, or develop negative coping skills. Men and women can operate out of greed rather than contribution. These are only a few of the many pitfalls we can fall into and there are exceptions to every rule.

sunset victory by couguar on flickr

Image courtesy of couguar via flickr

I failed miserably before I succeeded. I experienced setbacks in love, life, and vocation until I dealt with my father issues. Don’t worry about what is behind you, be concerned with what is in front of you. And, don’t fret over people who choose to only see your past. That’s all about where they are not where you are. There’s no need to fear moving on.

All adversity has optional outcomes. We can choose to be the victim or the victor! 

For more information on personal transformation pick up a copy of my book,

If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness. http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t