A recent episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life left me awestruck by the amazing awareness evident in young men who had been abandoned by their parents and abused in the foster care system. They had no business being so articulate about their traumatic upbringing yet there they were, communicating their pain and becoming more conscious, more hopeful … more themselves right before my eyes.
It was a powerful demonstration of the resilience of the human spirit.
“Each experience we live through and grow through is a vitally important aspect of spiritual growth.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
Without irony, awareness, or even a smidge of consciousness, some of us tout American exceptionalism while supporting a president with no moral compass, no discernable skills or desire to actually do the work, and no appetite for acquiring what is required.
“Most statements of “American exceptionalism” presume that America’s values, political system, and history are unique and worthy of universal admiration.” ~ Stephen M. Vault
Today I am grateful for the birth that gave hope to the hopeless. In this season of birth and renewal in the midst of confusion and fear, I am praying for sufficient strength to be hopeful, effective faith to believe, and enough compassion to be loving…
“For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” Isaiah 9: 6-7, MSG
In 1944, 19-year-old Lauren Bacall starred in the movie “To Have and Have Not” with Humphrey “Bogie” Bogart in the lead role. The pair sizzled on screen and then off and nobody questioned their age difference or thought the pairing was odd or decried the loss of her adolescence.
That’s because in the eyes of post WWII society, Lauren Bacall was grown.
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” ~ Ann Landers
Every anxious thought we have about what might happen, every moment we spend replaying and regretting an action we took or something we didn’t say…every time we give into anger over something done to us that we perceive as negative, we stray away from the precious present.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34, NIV
I first experienced the Air Force Academy graduation “March On” in 2013. I was there for the graduation and commissioning of my cousin, Wes Cobb, and I still remember that moment of giddiness during the ceremony when I realized the graduates were going to MARCH TO THEIR SEATS!
Yesterday, as I watched the 2017 Academy graduation, saw the precision execution of the “March On”, listened to the call for excellence, I thought about Army 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins. Killed before he could serve his country, lynched, according to some, for being black, Collins is another victim of the violence perpetuated on people of color in American.
And I wondered how the almost 300 officers of color commissioned feel about their oath to “support and defend” a country which doesn’t always provide a safe space for them…
“When I was 5 and playing against 11-year-olds, who were bigger, stronger, faster, I just had to figure out a way to play with them.” ~ Wayne Gretzky.
I discovered resistance training while in college. My roommate and I would squeeze into the cramped, sweaty, unorganized space that passed for a gym in the early 80s…a far cry from the sprawling Student Recreation Center current University of Alabama students enjoy.
I became fascinated (some might say obsessed) by the way the resistance training shaped my muscles. I learned how the stress of lifting weights actually created little tears in my muscle fibers, which fused together to create muscle growth. Lifting also made my bones denser and less likely to break as I got older, increased blood flow, which reduces blood pressure…just made my body stronger and more efficient.
I realized that the long-term benefits far outweighed the temporary discomfort.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” ~ Napoleon Hill
“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung.
People who aren’t whole are always looking for someone else to approve what they are doing, how they look… who they are. But there is nothing external to you that can complete who you are; you have to achieve wholeness on your own.
“I am a Divine, magnificent expression of life, and deserve the very best. I accept miracles. I accept healing. I accept wholeness. And most of all, I accept myself. I am precious, and I cherish who I am.” ~ Louise Hay
Have you ever justified staying with someone or in something that is not working for you because of the time, treasure or talent you’ve already invested? Have you ever been wrong about someone you trusted but unable to admit it to those who knew and tried to warn you? Have you ever doubled-down even in the face of overwhelming evidence that what you believe is untrue?
Our level of denial often reflects our level of commitment. The more committed we are, the harder it is to admit when we are wrong.
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” –Mark Twain
Inhale What is, Exhale What is not… Inhale Evidence, Exhale Illusions… Inhale Reality, Exhale Delusion… Just Breathe…