Is Your Flight Overbooked?

LIFE FLIGHT 

According to the Air Traffic Controllers Association, 87,000 flights crisscross the United States, every day. With a population of over 300 million people there are countless dreams and aspirations filling our air space. Gifts and talents, robed in passion, attempt to take-off and land successfully every minute of the day. Over-booking is more common than the average person notices.

possibilities

Image courtesy of Janine Forder via LinkedIn

Over half a million people were voluntarily or involuntarily denied boarding a scheduled commercial flight, in 2015. (Bureau of Transportation Statistics) If there was a way to actually see, how many people had their dreams grounded, we could all share in the collective disappointment. It’s empowering indeed to be able to order discouragement off your plane.

It’s legal for Airlines to overbook flights for the sole purpose of insuring their success. They need us but, aren’t afraid to abuse us, when it serves them. We can fill our plane with too much and too many. We can’t do everything; we aren’t meant too. It’s all to common to spread ourselves so thin that we aren’t proficient at anything. Many of us are too busy to be successful. Talk about turbulence! Rising above the clouds is about being able to do more of what you want and less of what you don’t.

Some things are not within our control. Many things are. Sometimes we have excess baggage. We can carry it with us, if we are willing, to pay the high rate for the privilege. If we will take the time to analyze, value verses cost, we can streamline our travel experience. Things like self-doubt, fear, and intimidation are unnecessary items. Removing them from our luggage makes for a more pleasurable flight.

Flight Path

The unexpected can happen, anytime. Careful planning can help minimize negative effects or manage jubilation. If what we don’t want shows up, it can throw us into chaos. Even getting what we hope for, can catch us off guard, and cause our plane to shake, rattle, and roll.

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Image courtesy of pixabay

Prioritizing requires honesty and  sound decision-making. Keeping goals out in front eases inner conflicts. The new trend is to manage tasks instead of time. We should protect ourselves from the illusion, that all activity is productive. We can work tirelessly without getting the results we’re looking for. Doing things that lose sight of our mission is a trap to be avoided. Most people relax once takeoff is accomplished. We mustn’t forget the importance of landing. Success never just happens.

Our daily routine must include an inspection of our flight controls. If we hope to get air-born and safely touch down in our deepest aspirations, it’s a good idea to insure everything is working properly. Repairs are wisely done on the ground. Lots of effort is used up on things that aren’t getting us any closer to accomplishing our dreams. Many things that are distasteful or unpleasant, must be attended to, if we hope to see progress.

TRAVEL AGENT

I used to travel often. Back when flight crews were fun and the skies were friendly. More often than not, nowadays, your treated like a cold-hearted obligation or even an inconvenience. How dare you board our plane with any expectation of quality care! Too many service providers have forgotten, or decided against, great service. I appreciate quality and attention to detail. Something I encourage is a customer first mentality.

hangglider by pampy96 on commons.wikimedia

Image courtesy of pampy96 via commons.wikimedia

Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you! Then treat others the same way. Distance yourself from haters and dissenters. You are within your rights to bump them from your flight. Your success might depend on your willingness to exercise courage. One reason there are so many flights is because everyone is not going to the same place.

Success will forever be a foreign country to some. Once you decide where you are going you can work on your passport. Since we define success for ourselves we educate accordingly. Jack Canfield and many other experts travelers, offer this frequent flyer tip; “success is found in your daily routine.”

To avoid getting bumped from life, pick up a copy of my book: http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

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Defining Moments!

The exercise was clear enough; list seven defining moments in your life.

What wasn’t so clear were the actual seven moments that defined me. Having never taken the time to pinpoint the life events that had altered/corrected my life left me to breathe in without exhaling.

euphoria by h.koppdelaney on flickr

Image courtesy of h.koppdelaney via flickr.com

Contemplating my landmark thoughts, feelings, decisions, and life experiences left me reeling to think, feel, decide, and experience the moment I was in. How do I wade thru the years of ups and downs, successes and failures, and the happy and sad times to declare just which occurrences qualified for such prestigious notoriety?

Thick fear appeared to big to mess with. What if I’m not defined? What are the undeniable instances of impact? How many times did I feel the music but didn’t dance? Do I need to acknowledge the magical personal revelations that remained bottled up inside with no corresponding action? What if I don’t have any historical changes to herald?

Leaning into my pilgrimage I methodically visited with the highways and byways of my past. The mountain tops and valley’s flashed across the memory screen of my mind. There were highs and lows falling on my think-tank like hard rain. Thunder and lightning called up familiar emotions wrapped in wanted and unwanted thoughts.

The questioning was offensive. How dare I cross-examine my own authenticity so vehemently. Who’s side am I on, anyway? Negative energy attempted to quell the monumental whisper trying to be recognized. At my core cried the mature infant; I am here and I want to speak.

Image result for cross examination

Image courtesy of T.H.Matteson via wikipedia.org

For much of my life I had consented to the chaotic cloud that hovered overhead blocking the light. I inwardly twisted in despair. Wait! Something is happening here. A defining moment? No doubt! A new thing was emerging from a womb previously denied.

I was a man who had miscarried again and again. The kick of life forbidden wore scars into the walls of my stomach. And I remembered the day I chose to live. I struggled narrowing the chain of events into specific times. It had to be done, in order to square myself with all that had been, with all that is to be.

Yielding to the notion that something was missing was only a fabrication altered the direction I was heading. The affirmation, clarity, and worthiness I had searched for resided within me. Rejection and abandonment were only distractions presenting themselves as permanent fixtures. I am in defining mode!

External factors are impotent to declare identity. They can only reflect what we believe about ourselves. I am hearing my voice rise above the mob screams telling me to stay where I am. Demanding I forfeit the invitation to come up higher. Rebellion delivered the virtue needed to proclaim, NO MORE! I moved on because I could.

I permitted the grief and tears over my neglected reality. The vigil was standing room only. I barely got all of me in the room. Sensing the finality of separation I was left the opposite of cold. Memories would persist but things will never be the same. With lightness in my chest, a dry mouth, and unimaginable relief I had won the Spelling Bee.

My list now flowed in unexpected ease. Multitudes of question marks gave up their seats for periods and exclamation points. Running so fast, focused on catching up to my liberation, I didn’t immediately realize the pain was gone. I had broken through, puncturing, misappropriated denotations.

designer-labels-flicker

Image courtesy of UpSticksNgo Crew via flickr.com

What I had  been hiding behind were articles of deception. Designer labels stitched together in the sweatshop of fallacy. I wore unwanted, unlovable, unworthy like required dress code. I window shopped purpose, clarity, and worthiness desiring to be fitted for a custom, made for me, life. Wrinkle free, permanent press, only disguised a disheveled heart, broken by the wardrobe, of dysfunctional dynamics.

Aligning with divine intention censored my emptiness. Our blueprint doesn’t call for us to be sidelined, left out, and excluded from the acquisition of the finer things in life. We’re not tinder for someone else’s fire. When there is no expectation of peace and harmony disappointment reigns supreme. Dissonance necessitates a paradigm shift

We are worthy of a rich, rewarding, and abundant life! 

     All defining moments have the inherent purpose of facilitating this truth!

What are your defining moments?

Be-younger.com on flickr

Image courtesy of Be-younger on flickr.com

 

 

 

 

 

Exacting Opposites!

TIME WILL TELL

There’s a great line in the movie “The Quick and the Dead.” As the bad guys were pursuing their victims, they were being killed off one by one by Sam Elliott’s character. As they determined to continue forward the line goes, “We’re going but, we are going to go real slow because I ain’t riding into no head shot.”

Any man attempting to explain what a woman wants from a man needs to proceed with caution. I’m certainly no expert on the subject. I have learned some things and improved my relationship with my wife. This blog is not meant to be exhaustive. I’m simply engaging in conversation. I’m willing to share my experience, data, and some of the opinions shared by others.

It appears, with heavy consensus, men and women often want the same things but, have different ideas about how to get what they want. Even when men and women use the same words they often have different meanings. For instance, when you ask a man what’s wrong and he says nothing, nothing means; leave me alone. But when you ask a woman what’s wrong and she replies; nothing, nothing means you had better figure out what’s wrong and, be quick about it.

There’s a strong argument that men don’t want women to read their minds, with one exception. But, women not only want you to know what they’re thinking, they expect precision and speed.

I like to give watches as gifts because it fits an idea of mine that it’s important to know what time it is. There’s a time for everything. A time to stand your ground and a time to compromise so you have ground to stand on. A time to talk and a time to listen. There’s a time to pay attention and yes, there is a time to ignore. If you can’t tell time it will be difficult to be where you need to be when you need to be there. Women tend to be time keepers and men will be well served to synchronize. Timing is everything!

SELFISHNESS HAS NO HOPE OF EVER BEING SATISFIED

Most of the time what we want from each other is logical, meaningful, and appropriate. Many times our methods are what’s lacking. To stay committed to a strategy that isn’t working is an indicator of the presence of selfishness. When habits fail to produce desired results a change of habit might be in order. Nobility and virtue can not flourish when we insist on getting what we want in only one way. A decision has to be made if you want to progress. Which is more important to you; getting what you want or getting it the way you want it?

Many people spend years educating themselves for a career. But one of the most important decisions we make is who we choose for a mate. Too often, more time is spent planning a wedding, than planning a marriage. You can’t just decide to be a surgeon and show up in an operating room without any training. And yet, many of us enter marriage without investing in learning what we need to know to be successful. Pre-op and post-op are there for a reason. If your relationship is ill, and it’s important to you, get a diagnosis, have the surgery and go to rehab.

Women tend to live from the inside out. When their heart is aroused hope is released. They are wired for nurturing. Women are creators of life. They think about taking a man in the womb and incubating him to perfection. Men, on the other hand, are wired to be gatherers, hunters, prone to be finished when they catch the girl. He concludes his work is done when she says, I do. Everybody needs to Wake Up!

The different wiring is designed to be complementary to each other. Love, like life, is a delicate balance of tension. Stretch it too much and it snaps. Give it too much slack and it’s not functional. Understanding, appreciating, and respecting the different wiring allows for a pleasurable and fulfilling relationship. When we try to rewire one another we have an ongoing battle of the sexes. Men and women are wired for optimum coexistence.

Things like a family of origin, societal pressure, and life experiences are often not considered when choosing a mate. Everyone has some baggage, dysfunction, and immaturity they bring into their relationships. Love has the potential to conquer all. But, when we aren’t skillful in the way love works it can easily break down and fail. Love is a great feeling but, unless you feel like working to maintain it, that feeling will pass.

STAY IN SCHOOL 

My wife and I will celebrate 36 years of marriage in May. We have much to celebrate. So much to be thankful for. I began more charming than a prince. I have made some mistakes that only love and forgiveness could rectify. I am determined to be the man she wants. I’m the romantic in our relationship. I court her. Woo her and continually try to win her. Why catch her once when I can do it again and again? I was not a man, by my own definition, when I married. So, I became one.

I don’t spend any effort trying to change her. I have made myself a student of my wife. I learn her moods, hot buttons, pet peeves,  and emotional needs. I’ve learned her likes and dislikes. I have a grip on interpreting her code words. I wish I could say I do it perfectly. This is an art form, not a science. It’s a way of life. I see her as a gift, a treasure, the most valuable part of my life. If I fail here no other success will compensate.

I do dishes, laundry, help with house work, and do much of the cooking. Routinely, not just on special occasions. Tina works out of the house while I work from home. Sharing the load is not some gift I give her but an acceptance of responsibility. I arrived at this point having originated from thinking these things were her job. I’ve simply learned how to make love to my wife when we’re not having sex. Sharing is caring!

Personal growth brought me an understanding of the practical ways in which men and women are affirmed. Men are moved by being praised and women are moved by being heard. So get moving. Why sit hardened in stubborn cement. Since one great fear of men is incompetence, criticism will shut a man down quicker than anything. A man will go around and round before he will ask for directions. Internally, he is fighting incompetence. He doesn’t want to be seen as not knowing where he’s going. It is a wise woman who will employ this insight. A subtle consequence of GPS is the salvation of many marriages.

Something I caught years ago before my wife worked outside the home, was her need for me to listen to her when I came home from work. I had been out all day slaying the dragon. When I came home I was ready for my man-cave. The last thing I wanted was to talk. She had been home all day collecting all the things she couldn’t wait to talk to me about. This was a point of contention until I was willing to extend my studies.

There’s some debate about actual numbers but it’s generally accepted that women use about 20,000 words a day to a man’s 7,000 words. At about three words in I got what she was saying. I used to get upset when she insisted on continuing to explain. I got it already. I was solving the problem while she was still painting the picture. Will you please just stop talking?

She did not want me to solve the problem. She wanted to be heard. My job is to provide this space for her. My need for recognition of my competence dictated my quick response. I’m a problem solver. Why can’t she see this? Actually, I was creating a problem. I, eventually, found bliss in giving her my undivided attention. No multitasking. Just sitting calming, engaging the woman I love, while she expressed herself. For as long as it takes. I might not even get to offer a solution but, I have prevented a big problem for myself.

Tina is intelligent, intuitive, and wants the right to fix things herself. There might not even be a remedy. She might just need to vent, complain, or get something off her chest. I learned to use the time to admire her. To look deeply into her eyes. To show her I care about whatever is important to her. Her rant might even seem trivial to me, but she’s not. And, I want her to feel how important she is to me. The payoff is this makes me feel competent and her validated!

BEING HAPPY IS BETTER THAN BEING RIGHT 

I discovered a gold mine when I learned that the last word doesn’t always require syllables. Using love as the period to every conflict sustains the melody of the heart. A tender embrace, an assurance of safety, and a willingness to seek mutual resolution is perhaps the pearl of great price. Empathy has endurance. Romance is tied to understanding. Humor works wonders too.

If I win the argument, and I’m rewarded with an iceberg, what have I gained? Nobody crawls into bed with a loser and brags about the good time they had. Who wants leftovers from a fragmented and shattered opponent? Nothing is more distracting than feeling taken for granted, unaffirmed, and obligated. Dousing the object of your affection with a bucket of indifference is certain to cause the wrong kind of sparks. Happy is right in front of us if we will open our hearts to it.

CHECK THAT GREENER GRASS MYTH

If fantasy is greater than reality it’s time to call Houston, for we have a problem. There’s nothing more connecting than agreement. The greatest harmony is found in singularity. Deep fulfillment isn’t possible if the needs of both are not met. Balance is found in equality. When one person is elevated above the other disorientation ensues. If disillusionment sets in we have turned down a dead-end street.

No woman should stay in an abusive relationship and no man should stay an abuser. And vice versa. Love is worth living for – it’s not worth dying for some distorted version. You are worthy of a rich, rewarding, and abundant life. Give it to yourself and you will attract someone who agrees with you. Maybe even the one you’re with now!

If you know what you want you are ahead in the game. If you know how to get what you want you are remarkable. Giving up before we have exhausted every possible remedy makes us less likely to find what we’re looking for. Apathy tends to define a Blamer. Try being the mate you wish you had. You might just find your mate doing the same thing.

I found some keys to understanding my dysfunction. I share my discoveries in my book. If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness    http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Can You Learn AT The Symphony?

symphony-3I count my blessings every time I get to go on a field trip with my grandson. Helping to keep the natives from getting restless is a small price to pay for the rich experiences of new explorations. Chaperoning second graders in a super city will keep you on your toes. How interested will they be in the symphony?

The music hall is an architectural eye-feast. Stunning in its precision design. You are filled with the engineering thought behind carefully crafted detail to bring out the best in melodic possibilities. Beside the commercial free listening you get to take in rich tones and arrangements offering an intoxicating cocktail of orchestration.

What is my grandson thinking and feeling? He is days away from turning eight. Is there something being birthed inside him. Is the violin, clarinet, or oboe calling his creative juices? Maybe he is captured by the conductor standing on his perch waving his baton. Does he understand the excellence of each member’s contribution? Oh, how I want him to notice everything.

Music will undoubtedly play a role in his life. His entire life! And, there are many choices. From music intended to express anger and revolt to romantic love songs forged to deliver priceless moments. What will he gravitate toward? If we are fortunate he will seek to understand anti-establishment tunes as well as popular feel-good grooves. I will be pleased if he knows where music come from and more importantly, why it has such power.symphony-2

With the backdrop of social unrest, my mind went to work, to take in the bounty, of what was being served by a group dedicated to a dominate and collective purpose. Struck by the intention of individuals coming together to create a feeling for all to breathe in. Any break in continuity would be so noticeable and strike a most unpleasant chord making everyone cringe. The moment was preserved with the skill of dedicated will.

I asked myself, which of these shared hearts were to be feared, and hated? Who was a democrat or republican? Conservative or liberal? Should I single out the horns or string players to despise? Surely making music that offers peace and harmony must have a derogatory section to blame for every ill. But then, in the moment, I realized I was without complaint.

I caught myself in the liberty of the occasion. All I wanted was for my grandson to witness the different and distinctive sounds contributing to a moment that held the power to transfix us all in togetherness. I want nothing less than for him to believe in the symphony of life, love, and peaceful coexistence.symphony-1

I have hope for a shattered world!

I write about my journey from chaos to character in my book: If Only I Had A Dad

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Got Time For A Heart Attack?

OK! I took time out to have a heart attack.8576195628_0df9f2a68e_z

Don’t cry. On second thought, go ahead and cry. They tell me there’s no visible signs of damage to my heart. I told them they need a machine that will show heart-breaks not just heartaches. My physical organ only tells part of my story. Metaphorically, I have plenty of scar tissue on this ole ticker of mine.

They asked me what I thought caused my heart attack. Having never experienced chest pains or any other symptoms, I told them I had just released a book about a week ago and the sales were so disappointing that it clogged my arteries and sent me to the ER.

They said, that’s probably not the cause. Totally ignoring a possible intangible truth, they launched, into a diatribe on how important it will be to switch to a heart healthy diet, and an exercise regimen. You can see what I’m dealing with here.

I seem to be doing fine even-though, I completely failed in convincing the Dr. to use a different explanation to describe my medical event. Heart Attack, he insisted. You had a heart attack. Other than getting me to take it all seriously I can’t, for the life of me, figure out his resolve. I’m dumbfounded by his stern diagnosis.pexels-photo-41123

Anyway, if you think I’m slow to respond or acting out of sorts, just know I’m waiting for the raw carrots and broccoli to kick in. I expect to be back to myself in no time. Other than making errors, in everyday activities of daily living, I’m determined to return to active duty, fully myself.

Resisting the temptation to over-spiritualize my unwanted and uninvited interruption I can’t turn down the invitation to pay attention to matters of the heart. It does appear that our hearts are prone to unsuspecting combat. If we see ourselves engaged in meaningful work it’s easy to notice that poor diet and lack of extraneous exertion will have a derogatory presence.

Eating a steady diet of fast foods like rejection, unworthiness, and isolation will render us immobile and inactive. We can ignore the need to exercise goodwill, toward ourselves and others, leaving us where prevention is too late and a cure is required. Remember, if you have burned with anger, unforgiveness, and self-loathing it’s never to late to quit smoking. We can all give up fried hatred; self-directed or otherwise.

Energy and good health are necessary to a vibrant life. Giving up is not appealing unless you are headed in the wrong direction, thinking wrong thoughts, or allowing self-defeating attitudes to clog the ever-important circulatory system. Think”heart health!”

My book “If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness” is good for what ails us; what ails our hearts. If you have lived with a broken heart, struggled to know who you are, desired more clarity, and would like to know how to treat the high cholesterol chaos running through our collective humanity, give this book a chance.

If my book doesn’t make you cry, laugh, and leave you hopeful email me! I know a good shrink I can refer you to. Just joking; sort of!

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Get the free Companion Workbbook at: ifonlyihadadad.gr8.com

A Few More Exciting Reviews!

With the release of my new book inching closer. I couldn’t be happier with these early reviews. My heart is full with thankfulness for the encouragement.

A powerful example of the desperation for identity a fatherless child can seek. Written by a grandfather who was fatherless for his fatherless grandson. Rick poignantly captures the awe that comes with the birth of his grandson, Jaden, and his commitment to ensuring that Jaden has the father figure he needs to find his way. A must-read for every man, fatherless or not, who must set an example for the next generation.

Pat Haddock,  Author of Dear Aunt Peggy, Emails from Petey Pup, and Amelia’s Gift

We are hard-wired to seek a life fully alive. To do that we need direction toward what we are created to do.  I have worked with many leaders that struggle with their self-worth, identity, and the expectations of others.  One of the biggest factors I have found that holds us back from success and significance is the lack of a healthy relationship with our Dad or no relationship at all. This book is a must read for every leader to heal themselves or equip them to heal the leaders they are sowing in to.  Thank you Rick for this incredible book on the true Fathers love and how to move into the fullness of who we are!

John Ramstead, CEO Beyond Influence, Inc. Founder of the Eternal Leadership Podcast named a must for CEO’s Entrepreneurs and Leaders by Blogspot.

As a mother whose son gave me my first glance at real unconditional love, I fell in love with Rick’s relationship with his grandson and the story of Divine Healing that it was so obviously designed to facilitate. As a daughter whose father experienced the same wounds Rick bore, my understanding and compassion dropped from my head to my heart because of Rick’s willingness to show the reader all of his insides. As a seeker and messenger with a similar mission to witness the empowerment of the wounded, I am grateful to see this leader rising.

Amanda Johnson, Founder of True to Intention,  Author of Upside-Down Mommy

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Thank you so much for telling others about my book. I deeply appreciate it!

An Amazing Two Years!

What I thought would be two months turned into two years. As I approach the final days until my book is released I have a number of thoughts and emotions swirling in and around me. I am very thankful. And, apprehensive. A book that lays out many details of your life can be disconcerting and yet authenticity is required to be of value.

The early reviews have been more positive than I ever dreamed. Strong and encouraging with a consensus of timeliness and accuracy. I’m more than thankful.

Some Early Reviews

“Rick’s amazing book is a heartfelt love letter from God to the world. Whether you have a relationship with your biological father or not, Rick’s true story of his journey from abandonment to his understanding that God is our Father and that love is a decision will touch you and impact all of your relationships. Rick’s book should be required reading for all fathers.”

Kevin Knebl, CMEC – Int’l Speaker/Author/Trainer/ Executive Coach and the Co-Author of “The Social Media Sales Revolution: The New Rules for Finding Customers, Building Relationships, and Closing More Sales Through Online Networking” (McGraw-Hill)

This isn’t just a novel it’s a journey. Rick takes you with him through the muck and mire while showing glimpses of the deepest imaginable love. It isn’t just a book for the “fatherless,” but a book for anyone struggling to find their own worth or hold on to it. It’s easy to get lost in our busy and socially overwhelming world, but Rick’s book is like a map to guide you. The love he feels for his grandson is one we all strive to reach. The love he feels from his God is one people have missed, lost or constantly seek and you learn, from Rick’s experience that it wasn’t an easy path of awareness or acceptance. Read this. You’ll find yourself.

Jennifer Duggins founder of Bohemian Gypsy Girl, LLC, and author of Facing Giants and other works.

Rick’s story will start any reader down a path of healing, especially those who are fatherless, by helping them expose the lies in the mind and allowing them to see the truth. We have a fatherless world and so much pain stems from that problem. My prayer is that this book will add momentum to the movement rallying to help solve this problem. This book is well written and captured my attention right from the start. Well done, Rick! Thank you for your openness and transparency to help others find what you have found, even in the pain.

Ford Taylor Founder FSH Group/Transformational Leadership, Co-Author “The Hike” The Missing Link to Transformational leadership

As someone who in not an avid reader, I could not put this book down. I found myself laughing and crying and wanting to hug and salute Rick for the courage it took to live a painful story and now share it. This book is a powerfully vivid and reflective journey inviting the senses and emotions of the reader. It encapsulates suffering in its rawest form giving insight into an intense personal and painful reality of hurt, misunderstanding, hope, and healing.

Dr. Sandy Ingle, PhD    Clinical Psychologist and Counselor

COMING SOON!

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I’m on a mission to help people find Identity, Affirmation, and Clarity in a world that so carelessly strips it all away.

 

Identity Theft: An Inside Job!

identity theft by Taylor White

by Taylor White

Someone has taken over your life. Panic sets in. You lose your breath. You have fallen victim to criminal activity. Your bank account is bone dry. Credit cards are maxed out. You’re ashamed. Like you did something wrong. How will you explain it? How will you survive? Where do you turn? Your identity is gone.

According to the US Postal Inspection Service, and the FBI, identity theft is a major problem. Affecting millions of people every year. To the tune of billions of dollars. You will probably live through it but you will never be the same. Besides the monetary loses you can’t get back, trust is going to be an issue. You may be hindered to function normally. Your way of life may be altered forever.

After a slight decline, identity theft is on the rise, again. Major retailers like Target and Home Depot have suffered huge data breaches. Medical information thievery is now a mounting concern. All of this illegal brokering has spawned the multi-billion dollar Identity Protection Industry. And we are still vulnerable. But there is another kind of identity theft. It’s been around for a whole lot longer.

This one, is more than the loss of a bank account, or credit score. It’s the loss of affirmation, a sense of worthiness, and clarity. These things are rightfully ours. We’re born with them assigned to us. The loss might have been instant or it could have come later. But if they were stripped away, we have suffered. Our emotional displacement offers the scars to authenticate our losses.

brokenheart by deviant art

by Ashe Emerson at deviantart

The heart aches. Many types of addictions can follow. The wounded spirit limps through human endeavors. The mind may be tormented. Every achievement leaves you wanting more. You can’t be satisfied. You keep chasing what you believe is missing. Things never feel right. When you think you’ve found what you’re looking for it falls apart. One relationship after the other. One job after another. You move. And move again. Ever aware, none of this makes sense.

It should be simple. Life should be abundant. Rewarding. Exciting. When you don’t know who you are, where you belong, and what your purpose is you can wander and wonder. You can do the next thing because it’s what you’re suppose to do. What everybody’s doing. But if you do the right thing, for the wrong reason, virtue can be absent. You can hobble away in disaster. Ready to give up. You tell yourself, that’s it. I’m not going to try anymore.

You can become callused. Withdrawn. Isolated. But that little notion inside won’t go away. You know there is more to life. You sense your destiny. You know you have a gift or talent and it longs for wings. It’s what keeps us all going. External forces can get inside us. Immobilize us. Fill our eyes with sadness. Our words with disgust. And cause our tempers to flare. We breathe. And breathe again. Because we know, we are in there, somewhere.

We are innocent. Precious. When we take our first breaths. We will die without water, food, and shelter. But we will live, without being alive, if we are not loved.  The feeling of being wanted causes us to grow and flourish. If we feel like an interruption or inconvenience we will stagnate. We attend our birthdays each year but, that part of us we need in order to celebrate our lives, has been removed.

Thoughtless words of criticism creates inner turmoil. When pushed aside we feel we don’t matter. The absentee parent that willfully abandons, distorts perception. The neglectful parent that’s present, teaches self-doubt. We enter the playgrounds and school classrooms and encounter more perplexities. Adult relationships lack intimacy. We write stories about the events of our lives. These emotionally charged hyperbole’s are often more crippling than the actual infractions. We tell these stories, so many times, they form walls we don’t want. We unknowingly build excuses. Justifications. Do harm to ourselves. And those who try to love us.

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by magalibobois

Since we are slightly off-centered we lean to one side. Bumping into characters just like us. Unable to admit it, we struggle with the habits we’ve formed. We attract people based on what’s in us. What we have isn’t lining up with what we want. We can’t understand why we oppose ourselves. We might function well in the fury of activity. But when the commotion subsides we don’t want to be alone with ourselves. Someone took who you are away from you.

We can be so desperate for love and acceptance that we sale-out to get the best version we can. No matter how deficient.  But clinging to whatever gets you through the night might mess-up your days. When we settle for less we meddle with our ability to connect with the best.

I have to be willing to re-write the story. It’s hard work. Giving up blame and taking responsibility can be scary. But if I want to recover my identity I will have to take the steps necessary to get there. To financially recover you have to contact the bank, credit card companies, and mortgage lender. You will send letters, make countless phone calls, and talk to credit reporting agencies. You will explain over and over again, this isn’t me. I didn’t do these things.

Maybe it was one or more of the many forms of abuse that ripped you off. Or perhaps it was molestation that left you devalued. Abandonment? Rejection? Ridicule? Does the poison you drank matter? That depends. If you want to stay, lost in translation, it’s all that matters. But if you want, your life, it matters little. Wrong thinking, dysfunction, and self destructive behavior isn’t you. You didn’t do these things. This is all about the person who isn’t there. These patterns are made possible because of your absence. The real you has been stolen.

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by Ashlee Martin

It might take many letters and countless conversations with yourself, before you convince you, of your self-worth. The FICO scoring system, first used in 1989, was established to determine risk when extending credit. It’s designed to be sterile, cold, with emotion removed from the equation. It doesn’t feel you. To get your true identity it’s all about feeling. The only scoring system that works is the one on the inside.

The real you knows your true value. You forfeit instant gratification for the prize of you. You shed the people and systems that leave you pampered in your condition. You recognize the way you have lived down to the messages sent to you from empty places. Wholeness is never lonely. You’re comforted by discovering who you really are. You stand tall in light and love. Everything you ever wanted shows up, because the universe knows, you get it.

Other people affirm you because you affirm yourself. You cancel the affects of failure by understanding your worthiness. You see the difference between what is, and what is suppose to be, and you act. You surround yourself with people, who have bit into the prison bars, and gnawed their way free. You’re willing to let the darkness fade into the night. You’re not afraid of the present Light.

You’re open to the possibility of you. You see the love and grace that has been there all along. You employ resources. You invest in yourself. You don’t run from the clutches of despair you, run to the arms of bliss. You’re not about to neglect yourself any longer. No need to compare yourself to the path of others. Competition only exists if someone is willing to lose. Your mission is completion. At any stage. And any age.

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by Anita Pelecanos

You have recovered your identity. And you like it! You announce yourself. Introduce the real you. You want everyone to meet you. You throw yourself a party to celebrate your arrival. You express what you’ve found in a painting, a song, a dance, or your writing. Not everyone claps. All are not willing to let you go free. There will always be those who want you to pay. You accept the momentary sadness. Embrace the real you. And, walk deeper into your truth. You see clearly. It feels good.

Welcome home! Nice to meet you.

 

 

 

 

Adventures in Marty! 18

new baby en.wikipedia.org

Image via en.wikipedia.org

The baby is cleaned up and presented to mother. Leelee received her precious offspring with the deepest possible affection. Alex had free-flowing tears as he reached out and touched his son on the head. He didn’t have the words to express his emotional transformation. He only knew it was definitive and permanent. From his core, he understood he could never go back. He would never be the same.

They couldn’t stop looking at their son. Taking in every detail of his tiny body. These are two proud parents. Deliberate parents. They are at this place in their lives on purpose. The past year has been an incredible journey. An awakening. An emergence of fate, destiny, and things meant to be. From conflicting positions, to this moment of unity, it feels better than they could ever have imagined. Not in their wildest dreams did either of them expect the exhilaration they are experiencing. Alex had baggage. Leelee had bark. Today they are a family. A beautiful family.

It's a boy

Image via publicdomainpictures.net

Well Alex, what do I call this son of ours? Leelee begged. I want to name him Showman. Showman? she replies. I’ve never heard that name before. Neither have I he admitted. How did you come up with that name? she inquires. Our baby has shown us the way, Leelee. I know it’s God. But He chose to use this baby to show us the way to abundant life. To open the eyes of our hearts. To heal our emotions. To instruct us in the power of forgiveness. To make us aware of the ever present love that sustains us. I could go on and on, Leelee. I do believe you could, she added. For me, Leelee, this baby is a Showman. I love it, she said. Showman! it is.

I better go get the family, Alex said. Just as he turned toward the door he saw them all standing there with hungry eyes. Can we come in? they all whispered. Of course, he said. I was just coming to get you. They seemed to rush past him as if he was in the way. Crowding around the bed. The” Ooh’s and Aah’s” begin. What a celebration. There is no shortage of happy today. Grandparents are infatuated. Parents are elated. Showman is “Living the Dream.” He couldn’t of had a better introduction to the world. He had to be feeling the love that was all around him.

baby on father's arm publicdomainpictures.net

Image via publicdomainpictures.net

The days ahead will be filled with joy, challenge, and thankfulness. This family is not aware, not yet anyway, of the tremendous changes they will experience. Their lives will be richer, fuller, and more fulfilling than any of them could have ever thought possible.

Showman is finally here. And he didn’t come alone!

 

Adventures in Marty will be taking a break! Thank you for following this story. Your support means a great deal to me. I will be posting other things. Your feedback is always appreciated.

Embarcadero!

We are loading up for the second move in three years. You have to be at least, a little nuts, adventurous, deeply in-love or motivated in some special way to engage in such risky behavior. We didn’t unpack all of our boxes from the last move. Now we are packing again. We decided to purge. So we unpacked the boxes we hadn’t unpacked to get rid of the things we hadn’t seen in two years. How did we ever live without these things?

We purged honestly. Had a nice yard sale. Made many trips to Goodwill. Chose to leave some things behind for the next guy. Decided a smaller truck will do. Colossal mistake. Evidently we’re not as honest with ourselves as we need to be. Truck is completely full, car is on the trailer and securely connected to the truck. Problem is, a third of our stuff is yet to be loaded. Many words made themselves available for employment. I chose wisely. Took deep breaths, reminded myself that I volunteered for this assignment.

My wife will have to drive the car so I can get an additional trailer to tow. It’s the 4th of July weekend. The entire country is moving. Everyone must be feeling their independence. Lost a whole day locating a trailer. Finally, made the swap for the auto transporter and trailer. We load up the additional stuff after some more donations to charity. We are a day and a half late on hitting the road, but let it be known, we aren’t the type to be put off by difficulty. At 9:15 at night, after working like fools all day, we head west. California bound. San Francisco here we come. Got a seven year old grand boy waiting for us. He’s clearly worth whatever it takes to get there.

I had promised to be there to spend the fourth of July with him. We had to push hard. My wife is a trooper; driving for hours alone in the car. Following a UHAUL truck halfway across the country. She had moved at my request many times over the years, this time though, was at her request. She made no complaints though I could see the price she was paying. She just wants to be near her kids and grandson. I owed her this move. It wasn’t like I had to be talked into it. I want to be near my grand boy more than anything.

We arrived safe and sound first thing Sunday Morning. Went to the storage, to unload all the things we just couldn’t live without, to discover a major kerfuffle. UHAUL has some “splaining to do.” Relying upon years of experience and utilizing my negotiating skills, we came to a resolution. I will pay for the first month of storage even-though my paperwork says it is free. My grand boy is literally ten minutes away waiting for us to get there. I have to get through this exercise quickly.

With the trailer unloaded we leave the truck and take the car to go pick-up our daughter and grandson. I can’t remember all the frustration. I’m not even thinking about what we have been through the last two weeks. I’m not feeling the effects of two fifteen hours days of driving. Or the misrepresentations we are yet to deal with. There is one thing on my mind. It’s not the famed Embarcadero of the San Francisco waterfront. It’s the one made up of a little boy, without a father, wanting to be with his Papa who knows what it’s like to be without a father. Now that’s an EMBARCADERO!!!!!