Pass Me Not!

People watching nathangibbs flickr

Image courtesy of Nathan Gibbs via flickr.com

I’m a people watcher. I can sit at the mall or a public square and just take in the passers-by. I often ask myself questions as I try to think about this person or that person. They’re just strangers yet we are so inextricably connected. We might never share a word of conversation, make eye contact, or feel anything toward each other but we are sharing life.

The author writes the book, tells the story, and we are moved to tears. We identify with the pain, heartache, and triumph. We recognize their courage, creativity,  and deeply appreciate them inspiring us to live in hope. We create platforms of recognition, bestow accolades, and celebrate their accomplishments. I wonder, when did we start to care?

When we hear a powerful story that brings out the champion in all of us  there is oftentimes isolation, agony, and some sort of abuse  built-in to the story line. On some level it strikes a chord and we rally for the under dog that made it to the top. But what if the author was a passer-by, as we sit watching, when they were actually in the throes of despair? Maybe the little girl being molested, the little boy being beaten, the woman being battered, or the man thinking of suicide passed within inches of us.

Does our interests begin at publishing? Does our support happen the most when it’s needed the least? We don’t usually makes Rock Stars out of people unless there is correlation between our stories. An intimacy transpires when we identify ourselves within the story being told. We are moved by them, because secretly, they are telling our story. They are us! At least enough like us to care about.

I can’t help myself. To me, the magic isn’t in whats being shared as much as it is in sharing itself. This is what we wanted before it happened. Before the nomenclature of terrible injustices, included us on the list of survivors, we wanted people to care. We hope for someone to reach out in kindness and give a hoot about what is going on in our lives. Much crying is done without tears. We often don’t hear the inner wailing until someone acts out or makes it out alive or doesn’t make it at all.

walk-on-by-timothy-k-hamilton-flickr

Image courtesy of Timothy K Hamilton via flickr.com

We know life is not all pain and suffering. It has great joy and celebration too. The best balance isn’t created by extremes. It’s less risky to live from the center. Just suppose being caring, empathetic, and altruistic is the prescription for what ails us. If our caring and sharing does so much after the fact just imagine what it could do before or even during times of brutality. Maybe our ultimate isn’t to walk in sunshine. Maybe, just maybe, it’s dancing in the rain.

I sit watching. Who are you? What are you going through? What’s behind those eyes? That smile? Are you avoiding eye contact for a reason? Are you okay? I need to feel the energy, the inspiration, and the responsibility to not let you walk alone. So that I won’t be alone either. If I’m not careful you will pass by me and we won’t even know one another is there. May I join your party? Who wants to celebrate by themselves? I see you everyday, on the bus, at the store, or in the hall at work. I’d love to know your name.

Pass me not! Caring about you does so much for me!

 

 

That Will Cost You!

sale-tag free pi pixabay

image courtesy of pixabay

Not sure of the fine print? Did you omit the details of the deal? A failure to pay attention can turn out to be expensive.

Overreact and you might pay more than what’s necessary. Misread the conversation and the opportunity may slip right through your fingers. Use the wrong opening line and the lady might dismiss you forever. Mistakes can be costly. Beyond the loss of dollars and cents are the larger questions we have when it comes to making sense in the first place. We are not always rational.

Many people would like to live their lives completely open. An open heart, open mind, and being open to learning and exploring. They want to discover what’s behind door number 3. The vulnerability, of positioning yourself this way, can cost you. When you choose to see the world through innocent and nonthreatening eyes you may have some sharks swimming near you who think it is their right to take a bite out of you. We must decide for ourselves the sincerity and authenticity of the way we live our lives.

The chances we take reflects, to some degree, what matters to us. The more important something is the more we seem willing to risk. We can lose our vibrancy and vitality by one too many things not going our way. When enough things don’t work out optimism can yield to pessimism. Fight or flight remains faithful in offering us the choice for every life encounter. There is a significant monetary, emotional, and sometimes physical cost to consider in all of our decisions. What will this cost if I do and what will this cost if I don’t.

I think we have all been cautioned about, never say never. I find never has been granted an inflated ego. I have some “never again’s” that are permanent. The book has been closed. I learned my lesson concerning that. It’s over, finished, been there – done that. It’s a matter of wisdom, maturity, and experience. We are resolved enough to mentor any student ready to learn, about that. We have determined the cost, for that particular commodity, is too high. It’s just not worth it.

pricetag

Image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

Then there are the things that may have caused pain, heartache, and discomfort. We say, I’m not going to ever try again. Maybe it’s love, or a dream, or going after a job you really want. You got shut down and it left you unstable, immobilized, or fearful. We artificially inseminate our lives with isolation, disconnection, and cocoon in disappointment. The knock at the door is the same; what will this cost if I choose to never try again? Maybe it is worth it to re-engage in the things I place a high value on. If I stay stunted it could cost me and I might forfeit the very reason I’m alive! Just maybe, in fact, it is worth it. We might need to risk again.

Everything has a price-tag. Whatever you decided will cost you!

Do you think we get what we pay for?

 

 

Walk With Me!

walking-free-pixabay

Image courtesy of pixabay via free pics

My work is to encourage people to never give up on their dreams. To press through the hard times. To believe in the hope of better days. To celebrate every accomplishment with everyone I can. I have benefited from words of inspiration, the camaraderie of  life-giving thoughts, and living examples. I’ve known the sweet experience of walking with people who only want the best for you. I’ve been on the receiving end of tremendous generosity. Giving back isn’t a sacrifice for me, it’s a labor of love.

Jaden buried in sand

My grandson, Jaden, at the Aquatic Park, beach in San Francisco.

Not everything that I set out to do has worked out the way I wanted. I press on! My companions have changed many times over the years. I walk on! Sometimes I’ve had to walk alone. Sometimes I’ve chosen poorly in deciding who to walk with. I walk on! Disappointment has dominated my psyche. My own failures have sidelined me, at times. Instead of becoming a beggar, I walk on. I’ve known my share of rejection. I’ve learned to walk on quickly.

I would rank abandonment as one of life’s worst experiences. Not only the disappearance of key people in your life, but also, the withholding of affection. Betrayal, professionally or personally, can rock your boat. You might not be able to walk on water but you can, walk on, even if you can barely breathe. If nobody wants to help you, help yourself. When you do, other people and relationships will show up, to advance you and your causes. I know this to be true. Sometimes what looks like rejection is really protection. Some relationships will keep you from becoming a complete you.

Most everyone I know has been invited to quit. On a regular basis. Things can break your heart. Just don’t let it break your spirit. Walk on! There is a divine intention that came with your first breath. No matter what has happened that intention is purposely trying to lead you to abundance. Walk on! You don’t want to give your consent to being disqualified from life. Walk on! Walk on! Walk on! There is nothing powerful enough, to block aligning with providence, except forfeiture. Don’t be a spectator of your life. Please, walk on!

Who hasn’t been stuck, paralyzed, or disheartened at some time or another? Even if you feel buried under layers and layers of  setbacks, kerfuffles, and blow-outs; walk on! I have dug myself out of some deep pits. I’ve been in some places so dry my mouth was scorched. I’ve seen the mountaintop crumble into the sea. I have stood alone in the darkest of nights. I walk on because I still see the pinnacle.

walking-with-papa

Walking with Jaden at Lands End in San Francisco.

The universe isn’t dangling the proverbial carrot in front of you. The possibilities of what can happen aren’t teasers to make a fool out of you. That pull toward higher ground is not an illusion. Your imagination isn’t playing tricks on you. Believe! Believe that the spark residing inside you will lead to a three-alarm fire. You have an incomplete assignment with success. You have a rendezvous with destiny, if you will just walk on!!!!

In spite of past achievements and failures, I’m walking on. In your own way and in your own life, will you, walk with me?

 

 

 

 

 

Big Business!

open-for-business-libby-levi-on-flickr

Image courtesy of Libby Levi via flickr.com

The value of anything is determined by its exchange rate. The price the seller will accept and the price the buyer will pay is a basis for establishing value. But an exceptional bargain might negate the theory. Out of desperation the seller might sell something below its worth. The buyer may know this and scoop it up. Bargain hunters are aplenty!

Assets!

With a family to support, and in a pinch, I sold a Gibson 335 guitar with a Roland Jazz 120 amp. I deeply discounted the pair for a quick sale. Sold them for less than half of what they were worth. They were prized possessions. I wasn’t that good of a guitar player but I had hope that I would be someday. We got through the tough time we were in. My kids were glad to have food on the table. I still miss the stuff. Wish I had them back. I didn’t pursue learning the instrument after that.

Possessions are different from our lives. Manufactured items and experiences have a shelf life. They won’t last forever. I doubt they were ever meant too. Junkyards are full of what used to be exciting. Very few things we acquire appreciate. Many things lose value at the point of sale. Even a lifetime of savings can be gone in a day. Manipulated markets crash. People get laid off. Life can change quick.

goingoutofbusiness-peter-rukavina-on-flickr

Image courtesy of Peter Rukavina via flickr.com

It’s easy to take temporal things as a template for what is priceless. Our lives are different from possessions. They never go down in value. The most ravaged among us, the most addicted, even those who seem too far gone to ever come back are as valuable as the day they were born. Maybe not to you. It’s quite possible you can’t see their worth. But love can!

Liabilities!

I had a new car. I was up at Big Bear to speak at a youth camp. I was on my way to pick up a few things from the convenience store. Coming toward me, down the hill, on a two lane road was a car completely out of control. I had nowhere to go. I brought my car to a stop. The other car was all over the road, skidding from side to side. I was frozen in place as this car fishtailed, finally broadsided into the driver side of my car. He was drunk and got away with it. $16,000 dollars damage to my vehicle.

My car was never the same. I ended up trading it just to be free from the disappointment. Somethings can’t ever be made right. The loss is permanent. But that’s not true of your life. Some opportunities have passed. Some relationships are no longer possible. Some choices are final. Some decisions can’t be undone. But your life is just as valuable as the day you took your first breath.

big-business-by-banalities-on-flickr

Image courtesy of Banalities via flickr.com

Repairs!

Accidents of omission and commission are equally repairable. We live down to expectations when we feel an agreement with untruths. Even self-sabotage is dismiss-able. Broken and dysfunctional people prey on the wounded. Too many make a business out of exploiting others. Reveling in the revealing of secrets. Leeches living on those struggling to breathe. They will always be small businesses. Bankrupt of virtue before they ever open shop.

When you rise from the ashes. Claim the life you were meant to have. Separate truth from fiction. Live up to the inherent worthiness that waits for you. That’s Big Business. It’s never too late. Start today!

Are you getting what you’re worth?

 

On Purpose!

Candy Binge by comedy_nose on flickr

Image courtesy of comedy_nose via flickr.com

We will do these three things today.

EAT!

We will be deciding all day long what we will devour. Not just how we nourish our body, but, how we feed our spirit. Some will experience the pain of gain while others will deal with the pain of loss. For whatever time we are not sleeping, conscious and unconscious vibrations, energy, and patterns will be hard at work. Our reactions to everything will determine if we are eating healthy.

FEEL!

pexels-photo-41123

Image courtesy of Pexels via free stock photo

We will feel things today. All day! Things we don’t want to feel and things we do. Some will be familiar to us, having interacted, on so many occasions. Other feelings might seem strange and distant. There will no doubt be, some mystery and romance, toying with our affections. How we feel about our selves dominates how we feel about every thing. The treacherous feeling of hate could make an appearance. But, will he be invited to stay? Opportunities to give and receive love and kindness will be all over the landscape, will we feel each one? Nothing is more inaccurate, than to think you have no control, over what you feel.

THOUGHTS!

You can expect somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 thousand thoughts today. About 35 to 48 every minute. The courtship of thoughts and feelings meet at the designated spot. The hiding place of secret lovers where the head and the heart fall into one another’s arms. The relationship will help or hurt. Support or abuse. Like the items on a smorgasbord we have to choose wisely. Thoughts are like birds. We can’t stop them from flying over our heads but we can stop them from making a nest in our hair. Whether on purpose or by default what we think about we bring about. Thoughts take us in one of two directions.

What will you dine on today?

 

May I Help?

can-i-help-tim-schramm-on-commons-wikimedia-org

Image courtesy of Tim Schramm via common.wikimedia.org

My goals for writing are simple. I write to make the world a better place. To help someone feel better. To empower others. To share what I have learned. To create conversation. And to question the way we think

The Spice

I’ve come to understand that beyond our differences we’re mostly the same.  Our differences do matter. Not everyone wants to change the world. Some people want to simply enjoy the world they live in. We have spotlight seekers and we have those who prefer to be behind the scenes. There are those who use others to feel good and those who spend their life bringing joy to someone else.

A favorite color to one is disliked by another. Difference is part of uniqueness. How bland would the world be with only one color in it? Taste in sports, style, entertainment speak to a persons individuality. Our gene pool, culture, and exposure will be factors in our choices. Judgement isn’t always rational and fact driven. Sometimes, its reactionary, based on personal pain or disappointment. Two of us can see an event or hear a story and report two separate versions.

Our perceptions of ourselves affect how we see other people. We can be uncomfortable with what we know and also with the unknown. Fear can be a friend or an enemy. We will be constantly reminded of our differences. Authenticity isn’t about standing in a crowd it’s about finding the courage to stand alone. Whether there’s a crowd or not. To be real it might take facing the crowd in opposition.

Negative points of view are much different from positive points of view. But they each draw conclusions. Passion comes in two dominate flavors; love and hate. Much of the driving force behind creative endeavors is traced to these dictators. They inspire the pictures we paint of our lives. Love and hate show up in our movies, music, and in our motives. And, in writings.

Scarecrows

Shock jocks might think they’re teaching us all a lesson but, if they didn’t get attention, they wouldn’t do it. You will find many doing what they receive praise for doing. Others only get involved if they can remain anonymous. I think there are people genuinely embarrassed to be publicly acknowledged. And there are people who are wrecked if they don’t get their due.

Our achievements allow us to taste possibility. Our failures can and should alert us to things we’ve been ignoring. These are two of our best instructors. They can show us the abundance in moderation. War-mongers and conquest thinkers get a lot of publicity. But peacemakers are needed to keep things in balance. Often people think their opinion reigns supreme while tragically discarding difference.

chompers-enokson-flickr

Image courtesy of Enokson via flickr.com

Those of us who understand equity, the value of a dollar, and how to protect an investment will make repairs before trashing anything. Our most prized assets will always be our relationships. We can each stomp our feet, throw temper tantrums, and threaten one another with excommunication from our social world order. But, I ask the question, can’t we do better? Is destroying other human beings the best we can do? It just seems a bit too much like Hitler, Stalin, and McCarthy. An attitude of, if you disagree with me, you have no right to exist! Really? I mean, really?

Solid Ground

The internal battles we lose have a way of showing up in the public square. To wage a successful campaign it’s best not to confuse fighting within ourselves with fighting among ourselves. The human experience is best savored when no one has to be eaten, devastated, or destroyed. I’m doubtful being unreasonable will ever become virtuous. I will defend my loved ones when needed. It’s just that, I’ve never met a paper tiger, with any actual teeth.

How can we improve on civility?

 

Rhyme Or Reason!

tgif Maurina Rara on flickr

Image courtesy of Maurina Rara via flickr.com

Thought I would do something different for this post. Hope you have a fantabulous weekend!

 

Sense

Here a little and there a little

I slowly made the move

Exchanging wrong for right

Figuring out my groove

My feet were always dancing

Even when I had no shoes

A real act of balancing

To discover my personal truth

Tiny nuggets of liberty

On the menu of life events

Just beside the fallacies

Painful pleasures never make any sense

-Rick Amitin

 

The Past

I understand your desire

To stay with me forever

Every night and day together

Makes this difficult, however

It has come to my attention

You don’t have my best interests at heart

Devastation is your intention

Keeping me and completion apart

As a friend you’re an imposter

Caught with your hand in my cookie jar

In a time for soaring heights

You’re the reason I can’t get far

So I’ve made the tough decision

I must bid you a final farewell

If you try to follow me

You’ll be defeated by my liberated swell

Believe me when I tell you, I’m just as surprised as you

Becoming totally clear, of what it is I have to do

I’ve never even considered, what we had would fail to last

Until I realized, all you have to offer, is the past

-Rick Amitin

 

Fear

A smile can’t be found, trying hard not to drown

Uncontrollable emotions, multiply and abound

Driven to the bone, from this dictator’s throne

Thoughts refuse direction, acting out on their own

In a very specific way, in my life you have a place

Keeping from physical harm, is a definite gift of grace

Assuming to always be welcome, you really cross the line

Causing worry and trembling, tormenting in the mind

 

It’s an obvious battle, since you ignore demand for eviction

When it comes right down to it, the final word is conviction

With knots in the pit of my stomach, I rise to stand my ground

You’re just a phony counterfeit, no real power to keep me bound

I will continue to see you, as a fierce competitor indeed

Occasionally plucking your root, like any other weed

Life is ever so fragile, should always be handled with care

I have learned to never dismiss, the whisper of beware

 

To prevent my life from being, a tragic cautionary tale

I will have to face you squarely, letting the wind fill my sail

The call of a dream is relenting, keeping one up through the night

The worst thing that can happen is, to miss your life for fright

What we don’t know can be scary, play silly games in the head

Solve the many mysteries, take charge of your life instead

Even on the best days, this coward finds the means to appear

It matters very little, it’s just deceptive fear

-Rick Amitin

 

I would appreciate your thoughts, critiques, or anything you might want to share.

The Legato Effect!

good-by-feedmystarvingchildren-on-flickr

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.

piano-pedals-tim-albano-on-flickr-com

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.

independence-prachisurya-flickr

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.

interdependence-commons-wikimedia

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.

8550787168_e8756f5aea_z

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.

3422027845_b49721d196_z

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.

2067375201_04ca41c93b_z

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.