The Legato Effect!

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Image courtesy of Feed My Starving Children via flickr.com

Advantage of Defining!

Some people like variety while others resist all change. Perhaps we would do ourselves a favor by switching things up a bit. At the risk of utilizing a worn out statement, I offer the familiar definition of insanity; “Do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” To get something you don’t have you will have to do something you’re not doing.

In one of my life-changing exercises I identified my seven most defining moments. It wasn’t an easy task. My biggest complaints, as it turned out, weren’t all that defining. My complaints only provide an in-depth explanation of my response to defining moments, not the moments themselves. I discovered that in the absence of celebration I complain.

I learned that my attitude often caused me to dig my heels in. Which, of course, kept my feet from dancing. Some of those less than desirable life events, you know the kind I speak of, should never have happened. It took me a long time, too long by my own admission, to learn how to handle betrayal and being violated. Especially from sources that are supposed to be above such activity. You guessed it. I found myself doing things I hated. I did some things to others I didn’t want done to me.

What I focus on I become!

The Law of Attraction, what you think about you bring about, are principles that open us up to understanding the impact we have on ourselves. The American grand piano has three-foot pedals. The sustain pedal has the result of continuing the sound after the keys have been lifted. Constant pressure on the pedal resonates the sounds long after the strings were struck (legato). I have literally become a part of a perceived injustice by keeping the pain and disappointment alive with mental and emotional energy.

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Image courtesy of Tim Albano via flickr.com

Without knowing it, I created a legato effect. Keeping myself tied to the very experience I want to get over. Hence: moving on becomes difficult. In an enlightened way, it is completely pellucid to me now. My antipodal thinking wasn’t fertile enough to spawn transformation, let alone, miracles. In my case, my commitment to righting every wrong led me astray. Preoccupation with wrong made me wrong-headed.

Catch and Release!

Disbelief can be as paralyzing as faith can be mobilizing. Between the cradle and the grave, it’s reasonable to assume, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for chaos, incertitude, and perplexity. I’ve been on both ends of less than excellent human interactions. There are powerful and effective ways to shorten the lifespan of baggage that wants to stay alive.

Take your foot off the sustain pedal; you don’t want to hold that note. Release the stranglehold on your perpetrator; you’re cutting off your own oxygen. Dust yourself off; everyone hits the dirt sometime. Forgive yourself; your loved ones will thank you. Always remember, don’t let experiences define you. No matter how devastating! If you deserve better, and you do, prove it. Give yourself the rest of you life.

How do you get over things?

The Phases of Arrival!

 Dependence is First!

Like it or not, if someone didn’t take care of us, we wouldn’t be here right now. Even if the caretakers did a lousy job, and we ended up issue abundant, we had to have help. The design is rather virtuous in nature. Innocence must be protected and nurtured. The first years have a great effect on the way we relate to the world. Attitude and perception is shaped like wet cement and hardens quickly.

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Image courtesy of Prachisurya via flickr.com

I have many stories to share about a difficult beginning to my life. I’m certainly not unique. I’ve met many people who talk about the alligators in their milk bottles. The silver lining is that we made it. Surviving challenges we weren’t prepared for. There seemed to be just enough compassion and empathy to get us through. We didn’t die. We might have defects but, there are cures, if we want them.

Independence is Next!

Blame has a very short shelf life. Support for persons with unfortunate circumstances are readily available. There are plenty of willing hearts, ready with life strategies, to advance us in the direction of a productive life. Resources abound for the individual wanting to overcome adversity. When tales of woe, are more important than progress, inspired people will fade from view. Other people, sporting brokenness, will show up to wallow with you. Liking the familiarity of despair. 

Nobody is coming to save you. The world only owes those who can’t help themselves. It owes nothing to those who won’t. I do work for an organization dedicated to assisting blind persons. Many don’t accept their disability as disqualification to living. They don’t spend energy on what they didn’t get in life. What they should have been given. They’re interested in, what they can do, with what they have. Overcoming, an undeniable deficit, they fight for independence.

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Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

The whole idea is to raise children to not need us. Refusing to cripple them by making them dependent adults. I know people who overcame poverty, racism, violence, and abuse to gain nobility. Hell bent on a better life. Independent people are confident, self-assured, and determined. They don’t look for an unfair advantage. They figure out how to beat every system designed to hold them back. Independence is the main credential needed to flourish at whatever you choose.

Interdependence as an Encore!

This group has secured what it needs. They may not be affluent but they are rich, fulfilled, and well rewarded. They’ve made their mark and now they want to make a difference. They collaborate to solve problems. Working on things that will outlive them. They’ve discovered the secret of giving. Generous with their time, talent, and money. They’re addicted to humanitarian endeavors. They rail against corruption, stand for civil liberties, and demand to be heard. They’ll be remembered for what they left not what they took.

They’re experienced, some walk with a limp, and many rose above their own failures. They refuse to let calamity and tragedy define them. They create enough force to maintain balance in an otherwise out-of-whack world of wrong thinking. Listen closely to what they would do differently and do it while you can!

What phase are you in?

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Things That Begin In The End Zone!

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Image via flickr.com

Few things will matter more than our own definition of success. 

Standing on the sideline, helmet in hand, I dreamed of being a star. I wanted the coach to call my number. I was eager to be in the game. Baseball had come easy to me. I had established myself as a top player. This was the first year I would experience the gridiron. I was among the smallest on the team. I wanted to be a running back. In my mind I had moves. I played them out in my head. Twisting and turning, avoiding tackles. In my imagination I was fast. I could see myself blasting through the line of defense and breaking into a wide open field. I would cross the goal line untouched, spike the ball, and do the dance. Teammates celebrating, fans cheering!

Opposition!

It was amazing, down right disgusting, how many people wanted to spoil my dream. We were losing badly when the coach called me over, sent me in with the play. I was to get the ball and run straight up the middle. The two defenders I was supposed to run between had to be criminals. They were way too big to be legal. How they looked from where I stood off the field was quite different from how they looked up close. I immediately changed my mind. My imagination betrayed me. My mental pictures of jubilation had been tackled by fear. I just knew this would be the last thing I ever did.

How could I trust knees that were shaking, palms that were sweating, and a coach that was willing to offer me up as a sacrificial lamb? There were plenty of people on the field, lots of people in the stands, I never felt so alone. Time moved so slow when I stood watching others play. Now that I’m on the field, things were moving way too fast. Before I had a chance to call my mommy, to ask if she could come and get me, I had the ball in my hands. I took one step before those behemoths smashed me into the ground, laid on top of me, and took my breath away, literally.

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Image courtesy of Raphael Love via flickr.com

Choose Wisely!

We aren’t meant to do everything. Even if we are good at many things there will always be things we were never meant to do. Doing something because we think it’s the way to affirmation, acceptance, and inclusion can put us in the worst possible place. We don’t have to be limited to just one thing. But, we should only do those things that emanate from authenticity, those things that bring us life. What brings someone else life might kill you. Or, at least, prevent you from living the life you were meant to live. In football, you can make fantastic plays. Astound the crowd. Gain yard after yard. But, if you don’t get into the end zone you don’t score points. Without enough points you don’t win!

Know The Score! 

I’ve seen teams make, more yards than the other team and, lose. I’ve watched as a team is beaten up. I’ve seen them fumble the ball, throw interceptions, fail miserably and avoid losing. No matter how horrible they were, how many mistakes they made, when they got into the end zone they celebrated like nothing bad ever happened. It didn’t look pretty. It certainly wasn’t text-book. Yet, they still found away to win!

Life is just like that. It has its own end zone. Sometimes we fumble the ball because we’re trying to live the dream someone told us to have. We get intercepted by an unplanned life event. There are times when our play can only be described as messy. Confusion reigns when we can’t break through what holds us back. Replacing a non-working game plan, with a new one, is a good way to change the outcome, in the game of life.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

When you let go of failure, get over the past, you begin to move the ball down the field. The end zone is where an ugly process no longer matters. Mistakes, ignorance, poor performance aren’t explained in the score. You enter the zone where negative thinking, self devaluing, and not knowing who you are, ends. Despair yields to triumph.  You stop chasing pretty rainbows and pursue the crown of your own clearly defined destiny.

I think a good definition of success is: Winning in the End! 

Many things begin, where other things stop,  in the end zone.

What’s your End Game?

 

Daily Prompt: Recharge

via Daily Prompt: Recharge

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Image courtesy of youtube.com

What a day! I have nothing left. This is the way I like it. Pouring out the last drop of oomph I have left in me. Everyone has their own version of fun. I have mine. I enjoy the sweat dripping from my brow. My muscles burning as I tax their limits. Deep, life saving breaths, keep me feeling alive.

I remember the first time I witnessed camaraderie. Sports introduced me to shared goals. I took notice of how connection formed around a hoop, a home plate, or a goal post. Funny how so many things begin in an end zone. Even individual sports like tennis required a team of coaches, trainers, and practice partners.

I caught the distinctions among players. It was like a dividing line. A mark of demarcation. Some participants were only there to have fun. Pushing themselves to discover their limits, to explore potential, or to become great was not of interest to them. The minute it becomes too competitive they look for the exit.

The warrior mentality is evident in the other group. Win at all cost. Take no prisoners. Besting an opponent, for them, is like blood to a mosquito. They crave the adrenaline rush of high-octane challenges. They want to know. They have to know if they’re good enough to become great. When they walk off the battlefield, of competitive play, they ask themselves one question; is that the best I have in me?

I was good, but, not good enough. I made it to the minor leagues and that is where my aspirations ended. I would not play professional baseball. I had made my decision. Many thought I was wrong. I was an accomplished tight end receiver. Fast, agile, with good hands. I liked football, just not as much as I liked baseball. Could I have made it in football? We’ll never know.

Accepting, my fate in life, I moved into the workforce. I had taken the summer to settle my disappointment. I knew I would still have to deal with all the comments meant to encourage me. Some would share their thoughts about my choice of sports. People who believed in me have a right to their own disappoint. I knew it would pass, for each of us, in time.

I will follow my dad and two older brothers into the oil fields. It’s hard work, but, it pays well. There’s a future in it. Possibilities for promotion are there for the taking. I will ask my girl to marry me. We’ve known each other our whole lives. Dated since the ninth grade. Everyone expects us to wed. I’ve never considered another girl. Sally Jane is the only woman I’ve ever wanted.

I can see us with a beautiful home. At least three kids. Maybe a couple of dogs. I know we’ll be happy together. We’ll find our bliss. Raise our family. Reach our goals. We’ll find a way to live the dream. I’m determined to not let my failure, to turn pro, make me a loser. It’s over. The faster I move on the better my life will be.

I didn’t see it coming. It was my first day on the job. Nobody warned me until it was too late. The last thing I remember, before I woke up in the hospital, were the voices screaming, watch out! When a pipe is about to burst there’s a sound that regulars recognize. They know to run. There was a loud explosion that sent a piece of steel straight at me. The force was incredible. I lost both of my legs.

Sally Jane takes me to see the boys play football on Friday nights. She has never left my side. Our twin sons are great athletes. As my wife wheels me to my favorite spot on the sideline, I go to work. I can’t get out of this chair but I don’t let that stop me. I don’t even let it hinder me.

I yell and scream. Flay my arms around. Jump up and down inside. I give myself a thorough workout cheering for my sons. I’m so proud of them. Sometimes our side wins and sometime we don’t. They leave it all on the field and I leave it all in the stands.

We arrive back home. I recharge, so I can do it all again!

rickamitin.com

 

 

Who’s The Most Qualified?

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Image courtesy of John Goodridge via flickr.com

Here’s the question; what kind of sandwich is not too fattening? The answer; half a sandwich. See how easy that was? Man by nature is a problem solver. Try to imagine life without electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. Things such as X-Ray, DNA, and MRI are solutions to dilemmas. Don’t forget about planes, trains, and automobiles. If there is a problem there is an answer. From the Theory of Relativity to the Periodic Table we are known for figuring things out.

We Don’t Always Like Answers!

According to Crime Clock, one person is murdered every 31 minutes. One person is raped every 1.9 minutes. One home is burglarized every 18 seconds. Every 4.2 minutes, an elderly person, is the victim of violent crime. One child is reported abused or neglected every 34.9 seconds. What happens to our problem-solving skills? Does wisdom run away from home? 

  “If you don’t work you don’t eat. Keep your hands to yourself. If you can’t afford to buy it you don’t get it.”  

  Is common sense really that distasteful? Is it so bitter we can’t drink it? Is it so tough we just can’t chew it? 

First Do No Harm!

Whether the oath is actual or implicit we’re right to expect more from ourselves. Our prisons house not only the down and out but, the up and out too. Many positions that were once held in high esteem have seen better days. Men and women have broken public trust. Turned service to others into a dirty word. Greed is the root of unrest. Yes, you can find entitlement thinking on our welfare rolls but, if you want to see our worst cases, go to the Halls where Justice is Suppose to Be! I challenge you to find greater selfishness than the people sitting behind desks of power. Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. - Lord Acton

Harsh Remedies Not Harsh Blame!

Human beings make mistakes. The humanitarian in us forgives. The god in us restores! You just can’t find Jesus to escape the consequences of your actions. Being sorry you got caught has never been the same as being sorry for what you did. When you see the energy employed to beat the system you realize there is enough creative juice to stay above the fray. It comes down to choice!

It’s a popular misconception that the phrase “First do no harm” is part of the Hippocratic oath taken by doctors. While it is implied, the actual statement, is not formed in the pledge. What if we made it a part of our commitment to ourselves and to each other? What if the rule formed the basis for all human interaction. What if I never had to question if you are cheating me. What if you knew, deep down, the person you’re doing business with would never defraud you. What if you could trust that every one of your relationships would always put you first? Would that change the world. Would it change your world?

Cynicism Is Too Expensive! 

Skepticism is a currency that will surely bankrupt us all. I mean, really. If we can’t change the world why bother to change ourselves? C’mon man! It starts with us, always! How did so many of us become addicted to the kool-aid? And how did we get such an abundant supply? Every flavor imaginable designed to numb us from reality. The water of life is found by me genuinely caring about you! And your well-being.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Awake! Come Alive! Get in the Game. Show up for yourself. You will make a difference for you and for me! Lying is for people who don’t think they’re good enough. Denial is when people think the truth is too terrible for human consumption. You’ve never been that bad – or – that good, for that matter! Decide what you really want. What’s really important to you. Then, hire yourself to get the job done. You’re the only one qualified to build the life of your dreams!!!

How are you putting yourself to work?

 

 

 

Abandoned!

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Image courtesy of Bala Sivakumar via flickr.com

What’s The Best Way To Do It?

Driving down a country road we’re on our way, to somewhere. My uncle Carl noticed a car, up ahead, pulled to the edge of the road. He mentioned they might be having car trouble. As we got closer, their car door opened and a puppy was thrown out. The door closed and the car sped off. I was a young boy. I’d never had a pet before. I asked my uncle if we could pick up the dog and take him home. He hesitated, then stopped the truck, got out to collect the puppy.

The little fellow couldn’t have been more than a few weeks old. I remember he was black with a white spot on his forehead, just above his eyes. I jumped out to follow my uncle. Just as he reached to get the dog he jerked his hand back. He said, oh man! I asked what was wrong. He said the dog is sick. Told me to look at his eyes. They were swollen with thick fluid leaking out. I felt really sad. My uncle said there’s nothing we can do. We got back in the vehicle and drove off.

My uncle explained he didn’t know what kind of sickness the pup had. It could be something dangerous like rabies. He couldn’t take a chance. He knew I was disappointed. I’ve never forgot that puppy. I asked my uncle what would happen to the dog. He told me, most likely, the puppy would be dead soon. He may starve or a larger animal might get him. He was alone, in the middle of nowhere, abandoned!

Sophisticated Component!

We can dress up our choices, decorate our decisions, and disguise our intentions. We can be reckless, foolish,  and selfish. What we can’t do is discharge personal responsibility. We can certainly be irresponsible. But, we will always be accountable even if we never give account. Satisfaction, contentment, and tranquility are also being auctioned.

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Image courtesy of Exile on Ontario St. via flickr.com

I drove past buildings in a number of our cities. Boarded up, neglected buildings. Weeds growing out of control. Plywood windows marked with graffiti. Some broken glass and doors barely hanging on. What disease did these neighborhoods have? Why were they left like a sick puppies on the side of the road?

The executive came down, a sharp dressed man,  from the 21st floor to grab a hot dog from the corner stand. He knew Gonzales. He worked the corner for a long time. What Gonzales didn’t know about Michael and what Michael didn’t know about Gonzales is the exact same thing. Two completely different positions. Status, prestige, and material possessions totally removed from one another. The isolation they, felt inside, made them blood brothers. I recognize both of them.

Gonzales believed he wasn’t worthy. He thought he would never be good enough. He loved his family but felt like a failure for not providing better for them. Michael believed he wasn’t worthy. He thought he would never be good enough. He was a workaholic scared of being seen as a fraud. These men have pronounced a life sentence on themselves. Their fathers were not there for them. What disease did they have to be left, like sick puppies, on the side of the road?

… 

Broke because of corruption on Wall Street. Broke because of infidelity. Broke because of spiritual abuse. Broke because of selfish ambition. Broke because of molestation. Broke because of parental betrayal. Broke because of jealous rivalry. Broke..Broke..Broke!

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Image courtesy of Chris Devers via flickr.com

ABANDONED!

We can all do better. We can start today. Choose a pet, a building, or a heart and fix it!!!