Thursday, July 27, 2017

Endless Confidence

What a large idea … endless confidence.

And don’t we all need someone in our lives who epitomizes that?  I am in that season.  My wife, Carolyn, demonstrates this every day - EVERY DAY.

And she never seems to run out of kind and esteeming words, and ways to demonstrate just how much confidence she places in me.

~It is amazing.  
     ~It is esteeming.  
          ~It is soul-filling.

We need more individuals who are willing to hang in there for the long haul.  Sure, we fumble, we make blunders, we don’t dress to the nines, and yet, these endearing ones in our lives love us anyway.  They keep their confidence in us.

I borrow this idea from Seth Godin.  He said it this way.

We have endless confidence in you, 
regardless of what happened yesterday 
and the day before that.  
That’s what endless means.  
You’ll get there.  Maybe today.
Seth Godin What to Do when it’s Your Turn

Yes indeed, maybe today you'll get there. Now wouldn't that be something.

Boy, do we need to share the love with others in our circle.  And it starts with endless confidence.

This is my morning reflection!

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Under the Influence

I think a lot about the individuals and life experiences that have influenced me.  This is important and needs to be wrestled with, turned over, examined and contemplated.  I don’t know that you’ll find a four-point outline for how to undo certain influences, but at least you might find the courage to examine those experiences.

In my growing up years, I was a very compliant child.  I was expected to toe the mark, don’t make waves, don’t show off and “do what I say.”

Basically, I was being taught to not think for myself.  Let others do your thinking for you … parents, adults, the ‘church’.  I think I swallowed this mindset so much that I lost my will and my ability somewhere along the way to actually form a coherent thought and forge my own way.

That kind of influence is what shaped much of my growing up years.  Those
influencers had good motives.  Yet their influences influenced.

Thankfully, one fine day, I began the small steps toward self-understanding.  I found some books, and some authors and speakers who started to resonate with my heart and mind.  They began to show me a different way of viewing my life.  I could actually make good and healthy decisions for myself.  They taught me that I had some value and could be a contributing member in the world around me.  I just needed a huge dose of self-belief. 

They taught me some concepts and principles, and a new language of self-talk that has guided me to better places. 

And my spiritual mentors gave me insights into the nature of God and grace, forgiveness and redemption. 

My new influencers came from a variety of resources and individuals, and along the way I noticed a strengthening of my power of choice button, my discernment and my decision-making muscles.

This has been a tough journey, and I’m probably revealing my soul much more than I’m comfortable with and perhaps, more than you want to know.

However, this is so important that I dare to share it in hopes of helping someone else who struggles with major influencers in his/her life and you too are quietly, or not-so-quietly, floundering. 

So, what is my advice to you? 

You are better than you think you are.  You have a brain that works very well, and you can, to a large degree, reprogram it.  Just know that takes a lot of hard work and it is not a quick process.

Now, believing what I just wrote is the first step.  You ARE better than you think you are.  You have goals and dreams that are worthy of your efforts. 

Find some good mentors, either in person or through books and audio recordings.  Delve into some good and sound self-esteem teachings.  Find the voices that resonant with your inner nature.  And your mentors may hang out a shingle labeled, “Therapist”, “Counselor”, “Psychologist”, Psychotherapist.”

Pray to the God of your understanding.  I have found that God can handle anything that I throw at Him … awful thoughts, and angst and grief over anything that has ever happened in my life. 

Develop some strong affirmations that speak to your soul.  They could be Bible verses or other simple thoughts such as “I approve of myself.”  “God loves me as I am, not as I should be.”  “I am not my past.”  “I am not my mistakes.”

The beginning of this new journey is an important beginning.  Once started, never look back.  Hold forth an image of the healthy you, the sound and reasonable you.

I will pray for you.

This is my morning reflection.

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I Did it My Way

Bear with me for a moment.  This is important.

Who holds the pen when it is time to write the story of your life?  We spiritually minded individuals will naturally say something like this: “Well, God directs my life day by day.”

Of course, and I’m not challenging that.  What
I am challenging is … after we allow God’s input, what then?

How much influence should we allow from spouses, parents, siblings, bosses, neighbors.

Everyone in my life has an opinion of how I should govern my life.  My wife has definite opinions on the clothes I wear and the foods I eat.

And how much control do I give over to all the other voices in my life?  Do they really know the best life, the best choices, the best career decisions that I should make?

Consider this … You hold the pen, my friend.  It is your life, after all.  You know what beats inside of your heart and mind.  You know your dreams, inclinations, you know what jump-starts your heart or what fears and dreads you have.  So, what are you going to write in the story of your life?

Don’t live someone else’s life.  Live your own version of your dreams and hopes. 

This is not a selfish, egotistical, me-centered post.  This is a post to inspire you, to set you free as you travel toward what you really want to do and accomplish with your years of living. 

When you come to the end, what you want to be able to say is … I did it my way.  I didn’t leave anything on the table.  I spent all I was given and I am happy with the tracks that I left.

Now, I don’t hear ego in that comment.  I don’t hear selfishness there.  I DO hear … I held the pen myself.  I lived out the best version of ME that was possible.  I was true to myself, as I understand ME, and as God is my witness, I did my best to be a true and authentic ME.

I blame no one for my life.  I accept my life as it has been lived.

Now that is a life well lived.

This is my morning reflection. 

Words of Hope
Encouragement Inspiration
One Word at a Time