I Pledge Allegiance to Living Stress-Free

I pledge allegiance to living stress-free

Remembering worry doesn’t work for me

And neither does angry fretting (unfortunately)

I pledge allegiance to living stress-free

Because controlling people and things 

(I don’t control) is the job of Kings

Not me.

Truthfully

My worry and stress never helped one single soul

Only pulled me deep into a sucking hole

Where there was no benefit for me or anyone

Just an embarrassing waste of adrenalin*

*Some of us, who insist upon worrying, believe, erroneously, that the opposite of worrying is not caring. However, this is not the case. Often, surrendering is the only wise way to effectively care…and much more efficient.

If I Want a Big Life

If I want a big life

It starts with a smile on my face

Not in that very small place

Where everything I see

Is bigger, better, or more than me

If I want a big life

I can’t wallow in some small slight

What someone said, or what isn’t right

If I want a big life

It’s me who must live 

Worthy of big

Worthy of noble

Worthy of strong

Furnishing My Inner Life

“Suffering always brings new furniture with it.”

I woke up from a dream where this phrase was being spoken to me by some sort of sage. What the heck?

As I thought about it throughout the day, this was how it decoded:

When suffering comes into my life it always brings new “furniture” for the remodel of my inner life, and (after the pain subsides) my “accommodations” are improved. Afterwards, I will reside more comfortably with myself or be able to provide hospitality to someone else coming into my life later.

In the middle of suffering, I cannot see the new furniture while attempting to light my way with the “matches” of my own wit. But, when I give up trying to fathom the unfathomable, there they are: ghostly, shrouded, half-faded, and half-formed shapes of new wisdom, awareness, and sensitivity.

Tread softly

For this is holy ground

Could we see with seeing eyes

The place we stand upon

Is Paradise

-Christina Rossetti

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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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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.

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.

How to Avoid Victimization by Pathological Liars

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To condemn a liar is easy.

To admit our own lies is hard.

It always stumps me that social media is so full of indictments against liars. I hate lies too, yet, I know that not lying is something most of us have not mastered. I often wonder how so many people have conveniently forgotten their own lapses and gotten on their high horses about a habit that is so universal.

Humans (that includes me) have lied to avoid pain (prompted by some derivative of fear), unable to come up with a way around the pain without lying. Humans usually don’t set out to lie until the adrenaline starts pumping out a desperate plan of escape. Then, unfortunately, some will continue down the “socio-path,” addicted to the lie, unable to distinguish truth from lie, or to remember life without the lie.

Ironically, in order to spot, and avoid being victimized by, these pathological liars, we must simply recognize the “why” and humbly own this ugly side of our shared humanity.

Just One More

The most moving moment in the movie Hacksaw Ridge was the prayer for “just one more” from the medic who needed the strength to rescue just one more of the seventy-five wounded soldiers he saved on Hacksaw Ridge during World War II. I thought of that resolve and request for strength today when I was facing my weensy little tasks and feeling the lack of motivation and energy.

So when I am overwhelmed by the prospect of making it through a “difficult” day, the answer lies in simply making it through the next step, not the whole frickin list.

Just this one breath. Just this one task.

“Just one more,” seventy-four times, saved seventy-five lives in impossible circumstances.

Whether we know it or not, our willingness to persevere will always make a difference for others.

Going from Pressure to Pleasure

Feeling the Monday morning pressure? It’s no coincidence that in some countries, more heart attacks happen at 9 AM on Monday morning than any other time of the week. Many of us start dreading Monday as soon as we wake up on Sunday.

An easy way to open this pressure valve is to find your pressure-to-pleasure question. The following have worked well for me: 

  • How can I have fun while I work?
  • How can I make this task a challenge to myself?
  • How can I utilize my gifts more fully as I work?
  • How can I bring my entire, unique self to this task?
  • How can I appreciate the difference I am making today?

Patrick Lencioni, in the book Three Signs of a Miserable Job, attests that these are the signs:

  1. Performance is unnoticed
  2. Performance is unrewarded
  3. Performance is irrelevant

If we must stay on a job where we feel unnoticed, unrewarded, or irrelevant, we will have to find a way to do those things for ourselves.

When It Is Okay to Feel Superior

“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances.”

– Bruce Barton, Ad Executive, Author, and US Representative

I have a daily blog because I got fed up with my own whining. I got tired of believing my circumstances were too much for me. Feeling inferior had run its pathetic course.

Today, I don’t have to prove I am superior to you, Donald Trump, or anyone else. But, I will summon my superiority and call out (with authority) “Bring it on!” to any circumstance that comes along.