Should I Really Care What You Think??

Why do we pay attention to what others say about us? What makes us put special emphasis on what another person thinks about our self (e.g., style, mannerisms, personality, decisions, looks, etc.).  Even more, why do we have tendency to attach so much weight to their words as if they’re based on fact?  Yes, we are naturally relational creatures and most of us value others’ input, company, thoughts, etc.  This is the way we were made in God’s image and to keep it 100, we do need each other.

But hold up.  When does the need to be wanted, valued, validated, and accepted turn horribly bad?  Whenever we become so absorbed by the words of others we deem important that we lose ourselves; this is no longer a good thing!  This is especially critical when the results are feelings of inferiority, guilt, or shame.  True, some people have such strong personalities that they can cause others to believe that what they spout is gospel when it is nothing more than opinion.  In a world full of lies, deception, and ambiguity, we’d do well to consider the difference between fact and fiction.  Fact: You are worthy of respect and dignity no matter what your station in life.  Fiction: Believing that another person’s perspective or opinion about you holds more value than your self-worth.  Comments are welcome as always.

Scene from “A Black Swan” Performance

“See! I Knew I Shoulda…”

Second guessing oneself is at the heart of indecisiveness.  What is it that makes us think once, twice, and too many times before deciding to do something?  Perhaps fear of failure, prior bad experiences, feeling unqualified, or unwilling to take a risk may be reasons we talk ourselves out of moving forward.  More so, the things we vacillate about are not necessarily universe-altering; instead, they are everyday routine tasks that cause us to get stuck.

So why do we do it?  Take a moment and consider what might happen when we “wait long and wait wrong.”  Allowing doubt and unproven suspicions to dictate our actions can possibly prevent us from pursuing something truly meaningful.  The unique skills and gifts you possess enable you to be fully capable of accomplishing whatever you set your mind to.  Yes, living in uncertain times can cause to settle for being safe and a little too cautious.  However, if history has done nothing else it has taught us that we’ve gone through far worse and finished on winning side!  Comments welcome as always!

“Beyond My Grasp”

Failure to Act

Newton said for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Unfortunately, the same applies when there is no action or a failure to act.  Perhaps better stated whenever something that needs to happen doesn’t, the effort to fix it, revert, go back, rearrange it, etc., takes away from the next action or thing needing to getting done.  Often, the next thing that supposed to get done is more important than that which proceeded it and on and on.  The result is like that snowball rolling downhill. It gets bigger and bigger and more out of control so that pile of clothes on the floor you keep stepping over has truly turned into a mountain.

A person once told me that it is all about priorities.  What we deem to be important at the time is what gets us moving.  However, this may not be good.  Could there be other reasons we fail to act?  Is it an inability to complete the task, laziness, or fear of failure?  “Yeah, I remember what happened the last time I did ________.”  Perhaps it’s the dread that when we do act people will be happy with the results and expect us to do more.  While one or some of these may be part of your experience, they still are a pretty package with a red bow on it full of excuses.  Consider this—you only have today to get ‘er done—tomorrow is package that may or may not arrive.

Comments welcome always!

“Just Foolin’ About”

Mess-Makers and Cleaners

So, what kind of person are you; one who is good at cleaning or one who is good at making a mess?  Cleaners may be those who are adept at bringing order from chaos.  They may be good with the details and think of everything that needs to happen.  Mess makers may be great at shaking things up, turning things over, and causing momentum when things need to be changed.  And, although they don’t mind getting the mess started most likely will not take part in the aftermath of what comes next (or tending to the details of how it needs to come together).

Hold on, before you choose.  Is it possible to be both?  Maybe.  However, I imagine that those who put their whole heart into cleaning are superb at it in the same way that those passionate about making messes are.  What drives the decisions you make and the way you do things?  Could it be that you’re still trying to figure it out?  Perhaps you were once a mess maker but found out you’re happier being a cleaner or vice versa.  Both are valuable and there is a definite need for each one in the world.  What kind of mark do you care to make?  Comments are welcome.

Making My Mark

What does Family Mean to You?

I know what Webster defines as family but what’s your definition?  Is it just your mom n’ em or does it extend past the folks who live under your roof?  Depending on our cultural background, experiences, or focus some of us understand and accept that “family” refers to more than just who we’re related to.  We call best friends, neighbors, and the people who support us and who we support “fam.”  Unfortunately, for some of us who’ve been burnt, family can be a dirty word that brings up bad memories we’d rather forget.  Yes, family can be the people we love and hate at the same time.  What do you think about this?

So, why the big deal?  In a day when we’re faced with more unknowns that we can handle, who or what keeps you grounded and feeling like you matter.  Like it or not, we are relational creatures.  If we know that there’s somebody(s) who are thinking about and looking out for our best interests even when we’re not…well, there’s no words to describe it.  And, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, they still love you.  That’s true fam—simply put.  Comments are welcome!

Sisters

See, What Had Happened Was…

How do you deal with disappointments, unmet expectations, or broken promises?  What about the ensuing myriad of excuses that follow?  It seems that some people are masters of coming up with some reason they did not or could not meet a scheduled obligation.  Often, consideration for the bigger picture does not come into their view.  In other words, who or what may be impacted by what did or did not happen?

We do not have to become a victim of the mishaps of others whether intentional or not.  How might we begin to see things differently?  Certainly, all of us have been on the receiving as well as the giving end.  But, oh we don’t see ourselves as excuse makers, do we?  It’s something about how we view ourselves—position, privilege, influences, self-worth or whatever—that we think allows us to get a pass.  It can be something as simple as not returning a phone call and dismissing it as “I’m too busy with an important client” and yet this is just another way that we excuse ourselves when we make excuses.  Perhaps a different perspective is needed.  There are always going to be people who could care less whether they hijack your time.  However, the next time we’re tempted to burn within at someone who stood us up, let’s step back, soften, and consider what it must have been like for others when we fell short.  Comments are always welcome.

Wrestling Not Against Flesh and Blood

When It Hurts

Often people say things like, “I understand what you’re going through” in an attempt to ease the suffering of a person going through an extremely challenging time or the loss of a loved one.  Well-intentioned as that statement might be we really do not know or understand what another person’s experience is.  True, you lost your brother and I did too but what you’re going through is truly unique to you just the same way it is for me.

Because suffering is part of the human experience, all of us will have our share of it as long as we are on earth.  In our attempts to console someone, perhaps it is best to simply be there, hold space for them, and remain silent.  When people are hurting, the last thing they need is to hear are platitudes stating that their physical pain will be over soon, that trouble is only temporary, or that their loved one is in a better place.  Remember the story of Job?  Looking at the situation, when did he receive the most comfort from his friends?  If words are meant to be shared, less is more.  Being an instrument or part of someone else’s healing can be beneficial if we are sensitive and thoughtful.  I am learning to do this; how about you? Comments welcomed as always.

Untitled

Flipping Sticks and Throwing Stones

To be invisible and voiceless is a reality for many—especially for minorities; including those with disabilities.  This may be uncomfortable to think about or consider.  But if you’re in the majority with inherent privilege it can be easy to overlook the struggles others have.  Living in a predominant Western society comes with certain assumptions:  whether you were born here or migrated to this culture shouldn’t you know what to do, how to live, or say or behave in ways that are “appropriate or correct?”  If not, why don’t you?

Voicelessness can potentially affect one’s ability to effectively state what they truly need.  It can deter from a person’s confidence to make decisions they want to make but don’t feel they can.  How are you helping or being a deterrent towards someone being able to speak “their” truth?  Clearly, there are exceptions—no it’s NOT ok to slander folks or engage in microinsults.  Yes, we may not necessarily agree with that person but that’s not the point, is it?  As one who has experienced invisibility and voicelessness, I can appreciate true “freedom” of speech when it is given space.

“Jus Lemme Have My Say!:

Hot Air Balloon

How much value is there in your word?  If someone, were to assess a cost for your spoken or written message what would it be?  I think we can all agree that the political arena holds the record for having the biggest hot air balloon on the planet—filled with loads of empty, meaningless jargon that holds no weight.

However, what about you?  Is your word bond?  Or are you strategic and calculating in how and what you present to others?  Oh yeah, we can communicate very loudly with our facial expressions and body language; much more than words will ever do.  So, with your mouth you announce good intentions to your neighbor but your body says “You’re really bothering me right now!”

News flash—most of the time people can tell when you’re not being real or less than truthful.  I believe it has to do with change in tone of voice, shift in the body position, and little eye contact.  Instead of trying to hide in plain sight, perhaps its best to come correct—being truthful and sincere—not making promises we know we can’t keep simply because it sounds good and gets us off the hook in the moment.  We’ve all have had this done to us and if we would confess, we’ve done the same to others—even those we care about.  In the blink of an eye, we’ve already completed half of 2021 and we cannot undo what’s been done.  What might you do to change your narrative going forward?  Comments welcome always.

Synchronicity

Satisfaction Guaranteed?

Is it possible to provide a service or produce a product where satisfaction can be guaranteed?  Well, when humans are involved, you already know the answer.  Some businesses claim this is as their motto and that you should expect a full refund if you don’t get what you were expecting.  But it seems that no matter how much effort is made, some folks will never ever be satisfied.

What if we were to flip the script?  What I mean is…is it ever ok not to be satisfied?  Consider what’s at stake when you become satisfied:

  • You stay in your comfort zone and never venture past your front door
  • You’re never woke—so you can’t relate to important things happening around you
  • You develop couch-potatoitis; a disease with symptoms that include laziness, apathy, and a big sloppy butt
  • Your answer to most things is, “I just don’t give a _____”

I’d rather stumble, bumble, and fumble at trying to do what I can to make change than to sit back and be a passive spectator in Life.  The motivation to avoid the things abovementioned is the ever present need to do what I feel I’ve been called to do.  In this way, I’m able to remain true to who I am as one who is part of the Struggle and to encourage others on the journey.  Be ever curious, wanting, expecting…

Comments welcome!

Preponderance