How Dare You?

Are you an investor?  I think it must take a lot of nerve to put large sums of money into stuff and then hope that someday it’ll pay off! I suppose it’s kind of like the lottery, they say you can’t win if you don’t play but there are others who believe that you can’t lose what you don’t bet…I’ve been told that relationships are work, as if they’re a task or a job that has to be done and that may be true…it would explain why so many don’t work! I think it’s also true that you first must venture something before it’s possible to see a return of it, let alone to see a return on it! We sow seeds hoping for a crop and although there’s a reasonable expectation of a result it’s still not a for sure thing. I’m drawing comparisons here to various things that involve risk so that I can talk about what most people perceive to be the greatest one of all,

loving people!

Allow me to clarify, I feel as though I need to because there are so many concepts people have about what that means. I’m talking about the type of love that can and most likely will cost you everything. The type that never stops to count the cost before acting or that leaves no room for compromise or half measures.  It’s an all consuming obsession that’s primarily characterized by selflessness and a concern for what’s in the best interest of it’s “object” which of course is so much more than a thing to them…

it’s their everything! 

Many people practice a much more conditional definition of love as in,

“I love you as  long as times are good or until you do something I disapprove of.”

Another common example is the idea that I love you until it becomes inconvenient for me or until my feelings for you result in a “heartache” on my part at which point we’re through. Some people do see love as an investment, and as such they have some very definite ideas about what they expect in return and while I do believe that love always comes back to us I don’t think that anyone truly gives love only because of what they expect to receive in return.

Having said that I’d also like to say that even though expecting a return on our love investment is not in character, that when we do give, sow, invest, or commit ourselves to truly loving someone the return is guaranteed! Perhaps not in the way we might expect or from the person whom we’ve loved but just as the rising sea levels of a harbor lifts all ships we benefit from bringing more love into the world! Like am electrical wire with current flowing through it, we’re warmed by it’s passage!

I’d like to be able to say that I’ve loved that way, but what Robin Williams said about loving something more than yourself kind of left me hollow, I find it’s quite a struggle for me to love something more than I fear being rejected by it…

I’m also floored to know that this is how God loves each of us, except it’s actually so much more than I can even comprehend. He sent His only Son Jesus to be our redeemer even though I’m sure He knew that many would reject this supreme act of love!

Thank You Father for Your infinite love, please change my heart to allow Your love to shine through me more, and for me to see the fear in my life for the liar that it is!

Do I dare?

How dare you?

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Explaining Your life…

This is a title that’s been bouncing around in my head for some time. I would anticipate most people’s reaction to it to be one of,  “To who? I don’t have to explain myself or my life to ANYONE!” and of course you don’t, but how about explaining it to ourselves? How well do we understand the various influences and circumstances that have each played a crucial role in shaping who and what we are today? How important is it after all? Are we still acting out the unresolved issues in our lives? Could we somehow be allowing ourselves to be victimized by our own flawed belief systems? One of the things that differentiates adulthood from childhood is the ability to “see around corners” and that is SO handy, but one day, usually when it would’ve  been the handiest for it to of been true, we find out differently.

We find out that when you think you know most of the answers…naturally they change the questions! We find out that there are things that will knock you down that you never saw coming…

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the unofficial statute of limitations on blaming your parents for your messed up life is around 25-30…So I must take the responsibility for myself and my life from here and move on…”

Sometimes, believing that there are no exceptions or extenuating circumstances pertaining to statements like this  is where people become confused. While the statement itself  is true, it becomes more true when you add this to it… “doing the best that I know how to do with what I’ve got” Our parents were supposed to prepare us to be successful in life, to of protected us from making bad choices that would hurt us… either then, or in our future, which is now.

Those who had to raise your hands just then may of had to face adulthood “harmed” or maladjusted. Subconsciously driven like spawning salmon to get your up to now unmet needs met, disregarding what might of seemed to be more rational behaviors for ones which often inspire people to wonder exactly what we were thinking.

Another popular “quip” used by a certain TV psychologist is that “If you choose the behavior, then you choose the consequences” that’s another phrase that is at times used to bludgeon people who couldn’t possibly of  had any idea what the consequences of their behavior would be when they chose them.  There are those of you who even now as you read this are feeling angry or are making that face you make whenever people say something you think is absurd… while thinking to yourself, “these people should just get over it, Lord knows I did” or “what a bunch of cry baby’s, just grow up and smell the responsibility”  You’re anger is a connected issue here, perhaps you’re not nearly as “over it” as you think you are.  What I’m trying to illustrate here is our lack of compassion, and our inability to fully appreciate the love that was shown to us in our lives.

We see people through a one size fits all, good for the goose is good for the gander mindset. Our unwillingness to choose to see others in any other context only leaves us one other option…”As you sow so shall you reap”  and brother,that’s OUR problem.  We’re people who were raised with some if not all of the so called advantages, but was it enough? Apparently not…We still find it necessary or preferable to build our house on the bones of others who  “fell short.” It seems to somehow add to our own self aggrandizement if we can point to all of the people who failed to make it to where we think we are. I’m reminded of the quote, “If it’s a rat race, then let the biggest and best rat win”2536213068_ce3de9a6f2_b

And so it goes…

What’s the real purpose or benefit of being able to explain your life? I think I can sum it up by saying that “It’s not the things people call us that matter…It’s what we answer to” and that it’s only the things that we believe about ourselves that can be used against us by people who are  inclined to do so. Knowledge is power, true ignorance may be bliss, but partial ignorance is like knowing just enough for us to be dangerous. Like we have just enough of an ego to be vulnerable to people who will try to maliciously  lay guilt, lies and shame on you and yet not enough wisdom to understand that people’s condemnation of you are in reality more of a statement about them than they are about you. Since it’s kind of rare to be truly ignorant, or actually irrelevant, there is some merit to our having an understanding of a few critical pieces of truth that pertain to all of us.

Nobody just gets up out of bed in the morning and says “How can I screw up my life today”

Some people will talk to you as if you had, not true.

My parents were raised by people who passed on their dysfunctions to them and who also passed them on to me.

Blame is so pointless! blame who? your parents’,parents’, parents’?

And yet you persist in holding me accountable for being flawed in some way.

Which I will freely admit that I am, I’m just not accountable to YOU! friend…

I don’t believe in blame, I believe in blessing!

All of the most screwed up things we’ve done in our lives are related to our misunderstanding of God and of love, and our search for both.

It’s hard for me to criticize someone who rather than sit on the sidelines  in the “No thanks, I’m “good” section of life chooses to jump right into the mud pit if they believe that the missing piece of their puzzle is somewhere in there…That’s what’s called “courage” which reminds me of the opposite which is “dis” courage, which is what some of the “good” folks I mentioned before will do to you while you’re down there in the mud searching around for whatever it is you’re needing that you won’t find there and that most likely you will only recognize when you hold it in your heart…

As I was driving my bus route this morning through an extremely dense fog the point I’ve been trying to make suddenly came into clear view. As I see it, knowing who just needs a hug and who needs a kick in the pants is very close to being at the essence of love.  At times I see our approach as being one of trying to teach people about nutrition while they’re bleeding profusely, wondering why it doesn’t seem to help them. It’s all about bringing comfort to the afflicted, and affliction to the comforted.

This blog is personal to me, maybe it’s personal to you too. I think that we all find ourselves on both sides of the equation at different times on our journey. I want to say that I am a true believer in people taking responsibility for their thought life which is the ultimate deciding factor in all that happens to us and that it’s in our thoughts that our best opportunity to effect change in our lives is found.

Therefore, be of good courage, fear not, search on, bless your mistakes if they were a part of the process that got you here.  There’s much work to be done, you’re help is greatly needed…