When You Can’t

When you can’t do it for yourself

Do it for those who never had a chance

Who died before their time

For those who had to push through the pain

Every day

Or trudge through battle fields, cold, and rain

For those who kept going when there was no light

Who kept fighting

After they had lost the fight

 

Do it for them, if you can’t do it for you

Be the ball, take the shot, cop the attitude

You’ve always had enough to master today

Now go and give it away

Whatever it is

You got this.

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Secret Thoughts

When I am with someone who says something critical about another person or group, I immediately;

1) Regret the times I have spoken harshly about others (without giving them an opportunity for rebuttal or explanation)

2) Feel compassion for the person or group being criticized

3) Feel compassion for the person criticizing

4) Hope for a more generous world where tolerance and the benefit of a doubt are readily available

If we only say things about others, in a manner that we wouldn’t mind someone saying the same about us, what a big shift in the airspace there would be…

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The Crazy Truth

I hold these truths to be self-evident (and freeing):

1. None of us are normal.

2. All of us are more screwed-up than we realize.

3. It’s okay to be a work-in-progress. (Embrace criticism.)

4. We make things worse by pretending to be normal and projecting blame and shame on everyone else.

5. Delighting in each other (and ourselves) in spite of the crazy is the way out of self-inflicted torture.

6. “The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier.”  (from Silver Lining Playbook) Translation: By focusing fanatically on a larger goal and larger world outside of my suffocating angst, I overcame it.

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Accept it and laugh on.

Middle of the Night Assessments

Thinking, thinking, thinking of all the ways I have screwed up, relationships I had marred, the many flavors of stupidity I let fly out of my mouth, and my inaccurate estimations of myself at the root of all these embarrassing displays of weird. In the middle of the night I can quickly label myself as unredeemable or I can remember that it is the middle of the night when I am most prone to be out of whack.

I can wait until morning for judgement, when rested, when I will see that I am more than this: still a work in progress, a mixture of bright and dull, awesome and not so awesome, light and dark, sunshine and shadow.

 

Dark Messages from the Night

I wake peacefully in an orderly room.

Yet, here, in the dazzling new light

Myriads of dark voices speak from the night

Of sirens, terror, and trouble

Obliterated rooms in cities of rubble

I throw off the cover and move fluidly to my feet

Hearing pained whispers of those incomplete

With missing limbs, children, and necessary things

My face wet with water while the desktop dings

Then, I choose my breakfast from a chilled collection

While feeble voices moan for help and protection

It is there I digest the message, You are not quite safe

Perched here, precariously, on the edge of fate 

 

This poem is not about fear, it is about awareness of the troubles millions experience on this planet right now, and about how easy it is to be oblivious to, and surprised by, the imminence of change.

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Miracle Cure

With ample supply of this amazing elixir, I can:

  1. Overcome pain
  2. Disregard criticism
  3. Persevere through obstacles
  4. Smile at the future
  5. Heal my dis-ease
  6. Accomplish goals
  7. Forgive others’ faults
  8. Love fully

What is the elixir?

Confidence in my own worth;

Knowledge that my value is equal to the value of any and every created being that ever lived or will live; knowledge that even death cannot destroy my eternal presence and purpose; awareness that my value is something given freely to me. My value does not have to be earned or defended.

What time, energy, and sanity I would have saved if I had taken this elixir early and often.

(originally posted in 2013)

And the Worst Fault Is…

When I am preoccupied with the faults of exes, politicians, competitors, or relatives, I may be with the majority, but it is the mediocre majority.

When I am preoccupied with the faults of others, I will be tied and bound to ineffectiveness, derailed from happiness, and blind to my own culpability.

When I am preoccupied with the faults of anyone, I will miss the best opportunities of my life while groveling for my own self-worth at the muddy feet of jealousy.

And even worse, by my example, I will pull others down with me, to wallow in the smug and dirty alleys of vanity.

The Nature Doc

It’s nothing new that nature soothes, heals, and puts our senses in order. The problem is often our inability to access nature.

  • If I am caught up in self-pity or the pain of disappointment, sucked into my couch’s black hole…
    • Someone asks me to go outside, I say no
    • And, if I don’t go, it will be more difficult to go later
  • If I am stuck inside working (or sick in bed) all day, I can’t visit the “Nature Doctor”…
    • That’s when I must go to my stored-up memories of mountains and waterfalls
    • Or use my Google machine to call up images
    • Or “switch apps” or “change the channel” in my brain to refresh
  • If I see nature everyday, but it has lost the power to impress me…
    • My callousness to miracles is the most difficult problem to fix
    • I have to imagine being confined underground, in prison, or in a hospital
    • And see the sun and sky for the first time
    • Taste the water, smell the grass, feel the wind, touch a leaf

Shantaram, Shaken, and Surprised

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This is one of the major themes of Gregory David Robert’s experience as portrayed in the book (soon to be movie), Shantaram. Also in Tim Tebow’s book, Shaken. Although, one book deals with the dark realities of life and the other, mostly with those of a fallen football player, the lesson is the same; losing is often the win we need for the long-haul. Accept the pain of losing as it comes, and our character development and re-direction will have countless beneficiaries.

I was pleasantly surprised with that reality recently when my challenged nephew was invited to an event sponsored by Tim Tebow’s ministries; ministries that would not exist if Tim Tebow had not been kicked off of three NFL teams.

Falling Upward

This Richard Rohr quote pretty much sums up the tragic plots of countless movies, TV shows, books, and plays (see Shakespeare, Kite Runner, Game of Thrones, This is Us, etc.), but also sadly, wars and worse.

You might recognize this illustration from Madmen. Same song, second verse.

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We’ve heard it since we were children

We must forgive

Starting with ourselves

Yet, we try to beat the odds

And hold on to vapor

Groping like madmen

For the protection of liars

Who will go down with us

Unless we collapse into truth

And choose to fall upward