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In Chapter 4, "Note To Self", of my book, "Hard Work Is Heart Work", I tell you how a picture of my baby boy and I brought me to tears as an adult and made me write the young girl staring back in the photo an apology letter.
The thing is that in this letter, I didn't write to her about what others did because that would only provide an excuse not to face the past. Instead, I apologized to her about what I refused to do for myself and how I treated myself in spite of being assaulted, abused, emotionally traumatized, impoverished, misunderstood, broken into pieces, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown at only 18 years old.
To whom much is given, much is required and I figured out why bad things happen to good people. It's because we come to earth packed up with so much of the good stuff that opposing forces join together in hopes of making us believe that we aren't who we are, don't have what we have, or will give up and quit from being too tired to fight any longer.
I always feel like we were very ill prepared for what life really is and that that's the reason we are so flabbergasted when the time comes to face your enemy and your "inner-me". Only the truth can help us prepare, endure, and come back from the impact of life's hard blows. For some reason, there's this strange idea floating around that if we have great skill, talent, and ability (or even looks) that we are exempt from being tested like crash test dummies in an auto factory. The fact is that if we have great skill, talent, ability AND we are aware of it, none of those skills, talents, and abilities show up until the real you is tired of being pushed into the wall.... tired losing fights, tired of trying to win on someone else's terms, and is ready to settle the score in your own way! Your own way requires that YOU be YOU but, the price for choosing to stop believing and agreeing with those opposing forces always starts in the pocket of your heart.
Unpacking the good stuff you came to earth with brings love and hate at the same time and if you're not careful in making sure that you know who you are and who you are not, you'll be too busy going up and down everyone else's emotional rollercoaster instead of remaining unchanged by the strange™.
The best part of you is still breathing and ready to live despite the blows of life. The only way you'll win is with a shovel, which represents your gifts, talents, and abilities.
Bury "IT"... not you and if you need some help shaking the dirt off, email me at email@example.com, but in the meantime, what's your Aha! Moment??!
In a world that’s constantly moving forward, we find solace in going back. Of course I’m not referring to going backward in progress, but I’m talking about going back to the “heart of it all” in order to keep sane and whole while we go for it all.
I decided to name my blog “Back to Back” because I’m always pointing to the foundations, principles, purposes, and motives behind and within what we do and how we think. I truly believe that a great or greater life experience is based on our heartitude, mindset, and attitude. Alter any of those the right way and one can only see success in multiple areas of their lives at the same time although it may have taken tears, hurt, or a knife in the back to get there. …now that I think about it, you’re going to need to go back to the heart of it all just to readjust the heart, mind, and spirit to prevent those kinds of experiences from taking you over and out with anger, bitterness, and fear.
Going back is really going forward as is being humble is really the way up. While it’s a matter of choice, it’s really gotta be in your heart to be that kind of person or else the right situation will bring out the beast that has yet to be fully put away. The fact of the matter is that all of us have the ability to be a little beastful and peaceful but to go from beast to total peace, we have to keep working on that weakness until it’s a strength. Weaknesses only trap us when we don’t know what they are or refuse to acknowledge that we have them. The act of going back instills a heartitude, mindset, and attitude that remains unchanged by the strange™ and it’s essential to make space for, make room for, and even steal away for the chance to go back to the beginning so that you can get back to being the real you. In order to become and remain who we are destined to be, no matter what or who does and doesn’t happen, we have to go back to love, back to life, and essentially back to the beginning!
With that being said, I’m giving you one good reason to go “Back to Love, Life, and the Beginning":
I’m not even going to try to define what love is. Instead, I’d rather talk about the way it makes us feel, how it changes us, and how to get to that place on a daily basis in order to give you one good reason to go back to love. (…I really did try to go with one good reason lol but not only are there so many but there are also so many points to one good reason!)
Here’s the reason: Love makes you live the unconditional life!
Okay so maybe it didn’t pack a punch for you just yet but keep reading and I think you’ll see the capacity for that statement to deliver a TKO.
First thing’s first, you must always remember that love is not judgement, which is an opinion or declaration of something or someone being defined as good or bad, but love is indeed always unconditional.
To be a lover, you have to be a giver, and to be a giver, you have to be in tune with who you are and who you aren’t because family, friends, coworkers, strangers, and anyone else you can think of are likely to be prone to loving you at their convenience. Now, some are fully aware of what they’re doing and they just want to get away with it and others don’t have a clue but both types of people are interacting with you this way because you haven’t taught them how to treat you but that’s an entirely different blog. Convenience in return for your unconditional love doesn’t feel good and if you aren’t careful with making sure you’re consistently involved in knowing yourself, you’ll allow convenience to change you into a conditional lover. Conditional love brings so many limits and boundaries cusped by fear…and that doesn’t feel good, look good, nor does it make good for a great and greater life experience.
Here’s how conditional love looks:
You’re holding the door for a stranger or letting someone jump in front of you while in traffic. The immediate thought is that the person is going to say “thank you” or at least give you a thank you wave or nod that you can see through their back window but when they don’t, the responses can vary between, “That’s rude. Can’t say thank you? I didn’t have to hold the door for you you know or even I should’ve let you sit there and wait.”
It’s because the giver was committed to a loving act with an expectation of a reward instead of delighting in the fact that they are a product of love and they live to give based on who they are, not who others are not. Conditional love always requires the acceptance and payback from others but unconditional love only requires self-acceptance and contentment with the fact that your payback is coming in a major way multiple times from resources beyond your control. Sowing and reaping is a universal principle, no matter your belief system, that is set to automatically occur each time you participate in the cycle.
Lastly, you cannot give what you don’t have, which brings me to ask, have you put yourself on your list ahead of everyone else?
When you are open to the idea of unconditional love, you start to realize how you treat yourself and those closest to you. Unconditional love will help you see that you’re demanding others to do what you won’t even do for yourself. Unconditional love gently holds you accountable to change and gives you the courage to face the beast, the bad, and the ugly. It’s not that you can’t engage in self-discovery but it’s having to look at all of the things that you haven’t dealt with in order to engage in self-discovery. Everyone has a story! Some are more intense and horrifying than others but rest assured everyone has a story that connects us all in one way or another. However, when someone chooses to be aloof to who they are and are not, they start driving the people around them in circles by making it the job of others to figure them out. They leave it up to others to make them happy and secure. The thing is, when and if a loved one fulfills a demand, it’ll never be enough. Something will be wrong or “off” with the giving or in time the leaps and bounds they’ve conquered will not be enough and the only thing left to do is make another request…and another…and another…and another…and another. This makes a conditional lover appear insatiable to the ones they love. It sends the message that since the requestor can’t be pleased then the “fulfiller” is incapable of doing anything right. The whole not knowing yourself thing combined with the conditional love thing is really the root cause of all relationship issues including the one we have with our selves.
I don’t want to do that to myself nor my loved ones. I love us all too much to focus on the conditions that society puts on love.
When you fill up before you pour out, you avoid the exasperating feat of trying to give on empty and when you leave yourself open to receiving unconditional love, you can give it because it’s who you are more than it will ever be what you do.
Make room for love at the start of your day, throughout your day, and at the end of your day…. Okay so I’m really saying make making room for love a way of life. It will help you to be who you REALLY are at all times and at all costs because you’ve already paid your cost to be your boss.
Get back to the heart of all matters, back to the start of it all, back to love.
And stay tuned for my video/vlog about the flip side of unconditional love!