Tag: thoughts

“Although our version of the story usually feels better and is easier to tell, a lie will always hurt the one you love more in the end.”  – Henry Nutt, III

 

We have been hearing it for most of our lives.  Phrases like, “don’t tell lies, you are only as good as your word and your word is your bond,” etc., but as we know, people lie to one another all the time and without flinching.  

Of course we are aware that it is not okay, but it somehow feels convenient and like the right thing to do, at least in the moment.  After all, we don’t want to hurt anyone, and in our minds somehow we believe the truth will hurt too much. I have been there done that, and have paid the ultimate consequence in a relationship.  The death of it without reconciliation.  So I have learned a few things about the path of destruction that is created by lying.  

In its simplest form, lying is choosing to be dishonest and attempting to evade the truth due to fear or some consequence that may bring discomfort or displeasure to the one telling the lie or someone else.  In a more complex and evasive form, lying is a mask, a covering or distortion of the creed we claim to live by.  It misrepresents the liar and deceives the one being lied to.  It removes our ability to make a choice, resolve, consult or deal with the liar first-hand with raw truth.  And ultimately uninterrupted, it will promote the demise of any healthy relationship like a cancer to the physical body.

During my season of engaging in this destructive behavior, I honestly felt as if it wasn’t that bad.  I was trying to (so-call) protect the one I claimed to love.  You know, spare her from being hurt.  And I know that was stupid!  As crazy as that even sounds to me today, that lie was the truth I lived by once upon a time until I was forced to deal with my own actions, alone.

It was a painful time, but equally helpful for my spiritual and emotional growth.  I peeled back the layers of my history, including my childhood.  Nothing was off-limits.  Every girlfriend, marriage, friendship and past relationship I examined.  I went to counseling to try an understand  how and why I became this man who could lie so easily.  

The one thing I found more profound than anything else was in order for me to lie to anyone, man woman, boy or girl, I first had to lie to myself.  That was a deafening realization, but it helped me come to terms with my own brokenness and inability to recognize the detrimental convictions that were destroying my once virtuous integrity. 

So ultimately there is a breakdown and a decision being made with lying. The breakdown, being the reasonings or rationale we come to, to forfeit the truth over and over. The decision, being the choice to accept deception as an option, because at its core, it is indeed always a choice. 

For me it was all things coming to a head.  My lies finally catching up with me and having no one to blame, with no excuse for my behavior,  but it was my relationship with God, my ability to feel the pain I created and finally, to have a deep remorse without the luxury of closure from a marriage that went astray from my own doing that led me to repentance and healing.

What I have learned is lying is not a shortcut, nor should it ever be an option in any type of relationship, even when you are attempting to spare someone’s feelings.  As much as one may feel they are doing someone a favor by lying, they are actually doing them a disservice.  An act that has multi-faceted implications, like the breaking of trust, which in many cases takes years to rebuild if even possible. 

Lying at its core is a selfish act.  It fails to consider another person’s emotions or well-being, and at the end of the day it will always do more harm than good.  So when given the option, if lying is still a choice on the table, that speaks volumes to your character or lack thereof, a lack of respect for others and more importantly an indication that a big part of your life is being guided by fear, an unhealthy need to be accepted and a lack of courage. 

Let’s begin to honor others by first honoring ourselves.  Tell the truth at all costs, swear to your own hurt and face the consequences that come with that decision. Your loved ones may be hurt or become angry with you and still decide to walk away, but at least you will have the (self) respect of knowing you chose to speak truth to power.  And that cannot be held against you, for the truth always stands the test of time. 

 

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength in distress, and grows brave by reflection.” – Thomas Paine

Today I took a walk.  Not just any walk, but a walk to clarify my thoughts, reconnect with nature, listen to the trees, adore the beauty that God created and breathe some fresh air.

I am not quite sure why turmoil is the thing that gets us to slow down and take note on what is really going on in our lives, but I am grateful for the moments and I have learned to appreciate the times when I am able to pull myself away from my daily routine and reflect nonetheless.

In these times I find myself becoming hypersensitive to not only what is currently happening, but also very reflective on the many unresolved situations that I have undergone.  Yet at the same time, I recognize what I am specifically dealing with and nature has a way of soothing my mind, reminding me of true beauty, and the (often) many unresolved issues I am facing tend to resolve themselves in the wind, literally.

Today I took a walk.  It was quite warm, so I took water, not only for my  body, but for my soul.  It was time to replenish my soul.  I spied tree stumps that I have walked by countless times, but really saw for the very first time today.  Their story spoke to me.  Why were they cut down, yet still standing decades later?  Will I still be standing in the next decade, and how will my story shape me?  Or how will I shape my story?  How will the unknowns enter my life and affect how I think, live and love?  What will my testament be?

I do not clearly know the answers, but as I walked along the trails in the warm sun, I thought, (sometimes out loud) “I am still an unfinished work.  A creation that God has destined and purposed for great things that are yet to be manifested.” 

However, sometimes we forget, we lose sight and become easily frustrated with the pangs of life.  You know, those situations (and people) that tend to get under our skin.  Those things that easily beset us. Those things that come to try us, test us and confirm that we really believe what we verbally claim to be.

Today I took a walk.  I was out for more than two hours, but the thoughts that encapsulated my mind were timeless.  My childhood and adulthood stood front and center almost simultaneously. I recalled the scent of my room as a boy, as I listened to my mother speak lessons of life to me.  Lessons that I desperately needed today.  I thought about the landscape I was passing on my trail.  It is the same, but different if you choose to look closely. 

Some parts have changed, but the overall scene is the same. Some trees have grown taller, some have fallen to the ground.  The grass is brown and then green, as life comes and goes. I am not the same man I use to be, know matter what others may claim.  My life is ever-changing and God still has His hands on me.  Guiding me in truth and purpose.

Today I took a walk.  I started with many questions and returned with the answers I needed.  My life is ever-changing with moments that I grasp and some I cannot.  However somehow I am okay.  Well more than okay.  I know what I need to know, today.  Tomorrow is another day, another time with its own portion of grace that I will receive then. 

I will not be anxious.  I will rest in what is now, even if “now” is far from what I desire.  The grass grows, dies and then grows again.  I am like the grass that I see on the trail.  My life is not over.  I have seeds still being planted by dead grass.  I am he that continues.  Like you, like us. 

Today I took a walk.  It was life changing.  I spoke to my myself and listened to the eucalyptus trees speak in the wind.  They indeed had a message for me.  Peace, was the message and I received it.  Day in and day out they stand, established by God.  I can be like that tree that sets by streams of living water.  I can be replenished when it is time.  I just need to understand how, and equally understand it may look different then my neighbor. 

Every trail has its own beauty and its own truth (if you will).  Each are the same , but different.  I can always learn something new if I choose to look closely.  

Today I took a walk.  I learned something new, and it was more about me than the trees and wonderful landscape, but I was grateful because this is the story that God chose to share with me exclusively.  And He knew that I would be listening.

 

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

 

“Sometimes, you just need a break, in a beautiful place, alone, to figure everything out.”  – Unknown

What do you find yourself doing when you have time alone?  Are you the workaholic type where phone calls and emails fail to cease?  Perhaps you are that busybody type who chooses to never sit down, even when time allows.  

I can certainly say that I relate to the seemingly never-ending, always something to do mode.  Life is usually that way, especially for those of us that have goals, aspire to become more than what we are and find ourselves becoming uncomfortably restless when sitting still suddenly pokes its head into our perfect routines.  I cannot leave out the lack of time afforded to those of us that have been blessed to be parents.  With this group especially with younger children, quiet time usually equates to sleep, or it should.  So as I deliberate my points on taking time for yourself, know that I that do not place you in this category.  Your time will come, but for now get your rest when you can.

For the rest of us, what does it look like to be alone with time?  For some it can be scary, because silence can be very loud and often distracting, especially when our thought life remains at warp speed.  

When I think about the daily routines of life, family time, work time and extra curricular activities and such, how does one find the time to ponder, reflect and consider next steps?  Or the harder question is do we really want the time to think about the many aspects that make up our lives, past as well as present?  

With all the distractions that exist, true alone time, without radio, television, cell phones or the internet is a rarity, but often an uncomfortable rarity because when we get the time to reflect on our own thoughts it can remind us of the things we would rather not recall.  

Things like broken relationships, loss of loves ones through death, unattained goals and obviously many other things we can all fill in with our own life journeys. However painful, disturbing or uncomfortable this time may bring, it is nonetheless essential for our personal growth, healing and ability to navigate our way through the hard stuff.   

The hard stuff that still causes you to become overly emotional and easily disturbs your peace of mind, even after many years.  Sound familiar?  I know, I have been there and continue to work through various issues myself.  

For those of us that rarely get these types of moments, we must force the issue at times.  Perhaps you have a long daily commute like me.  That said, turn off the radio, get off the phone and get into the habit of driving quiet for 10-15 minutes at a time.  Predetermine what you want to reflect on and do it.  Give yourself license to not have an outcome with this time.  Just get use to having the time and allow it to become a part of your way of doing life.  

It certainly will not happen overnight, but anything we can do to allow reflection to become a normal piece of our lives will prove to be helpful, especially when things become challenging.  The key is not to wait until the moment is desperate or overwhelming.  Take time out for yourself deliberately, and make your quiet time special, fulfilling and an investment towards your future.  Your body, mind and soul will thank you.

 

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

 

 

 

 

 

“Before you assume, learn.  Before you judge, understand.  Before you hurt, feel.  Before you say, think.” – Unknown

 

Life is full of surprises. There are so many distracting, unplanned events occurring daily across the globe, let alone in our personal lives.  Sometimes it’s hard to know who to listen to or what direction to go. The noise is often overwhelming, uncontrolled and relentless.

The many circumstances in my life (and more often than not, the tragic ones) have taught me some great lessons. One lesson in specific is how to be still during even the most daunting events. Without this ability I would have certainly lost it on more than a few occasions. 

Nowadays one would have to live in a cave (without available WiFi) to be sheltered from a continuous media stream of bad reports, tragedy and potential life changing circumstances, and so since living in a cave probably is not the most effective way to raise a family, have productive relationships or earn a living, how does one maintain tranquility and stability in such a volatile world filled with information that instills fear, anxiousness and hopelessness?

Even for those of us that walk by faith and believe in someone/something greater than us, the issue can still be troubling, cause us to fret and live with uneasiness. You know, those days when you are preoccupied with circumstances more than you are focused on what is front of you, or when your sleep becomes restless because your mind is filled with all of the “what if this happens” scenarios?  Have you been there?  I certainly have.

Well being there is one thing, but staying there is something entirely different. These days we must choose to live in a different way. A way that perhaps challenges your status quo, threatens your television time and maybe even parts of your social life.

It has been said that if you want to keep something from a black man, put it in a book, because we do not make time to read. We are caught up with self-indulgence, which usually looks like being fancy, being more concerned with what we have and how we look, versus who we are or who we are becoming. Of course this is true for anyone, but you understand my point hopefully.

I choose to look inward and force myself to be still by tuning out outside forces and noise. It is imperative for my state of mind to remain at peace and to be at my best more often than not. Simply wishing it will happen does not work. It must be deliberate and purposeful, therefore requires a scheduled time that I give to myself. I call this going inward.

It is a time when I close off to the entire world and pray, stay quiet, reflect, think and most importantly, listen. Listening is a skill that seems to be the most challenging, yet when we choose to commit to it will be also be the one time where we are able to learn more, and respond more effectively with enriching words of wisdom.

Nothing can substitute the inward life and in these unpredictable times it is imperative that we spend time with ourselves, our God and hear what we must hear, so we can know what we must know and remain calm during the storms of life.  There is no question that we live in unprecedented times and our state of mind must remain intact and on point. 

So today I encourage you to examine your life and how you are spending your time. Turn down the outside noise and go inward.  Make a date with yourself and practice being still and listen.  You will be amazed how much you will hear and learn.

 

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

 

“He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees.”  – Benjamin Franklin

I have always been one to lose stuff.  A wallet, (with money or a check in it) car keys, a phone, you name it.  If it were not lost, it was certainly misplaced for a good period of time that usually drove me and those around me a little bonkers.  Thankfully I have become a bit more careful when it comes to losing or misplacing my belongings, however nothing can compare to the loss or displacement of losing our peace of mind. 

Honestly the two do not compare at all actually, because when we lose our peace there are usually other contributing factors, often not in our direct control or cognitive thought.  And although losing my keys will prevent me from physically getting from one place to another, which is really important, losing my peace will prevent me from even having the desire to arise for a new day.  Who cares about keys at that point, right?

As for cognitive thought, I firmly believe in Maya Angelou’s quote that states, “When we know better, we will do better.”  This is why it is imperative to learn lessons, and apply those lessons as soon as we learn them.  When we choose to not acknowledge or live by this creed, we probably will find ourselves repeating poor choices, stifling our growth and surrounding ourselves with people who do not promote our good welfare, which is a pretty good indication that we are not living in peace yet.

Quite honestly, we mess stuff up with the best intentions.  We hurt those we love the most, but authentically desire to do them well.  We make promises we cannot keep, and commit to things that are not sustainable by our own strength.  We are easily influenced by societal pressures (whether we care to admit it or not).  We see what others do and swear we will never become like them, until we are the splitting image or worse.  Was this just my life or can anyone else relate?

Life can be like a whirlwind.  Things are always changing and for every  question we have, there are 100-plus more answers to navigate through, from well-intentioned family, friends, acquaintances and I’ll add the internet.  How do we know which road to take, what job to pursue, which school to attend, should I date him or her, should I marry him or her, do I get a second opinion on a negative diagnosis?  It can all be quite overwhelming.  I have been there, done that and on many occasions I might add.  And I suppose I will experience more of it in the future.  That is life.  The real truth is in life we can always count on most things changing.  Imagine that.

However as things change, which they will, we can remain more consistent and stable even in the hardest of times.  It all begins with what we are doing with our time.  There is a scripture in the Bible that says, “Bad company corrupts good morals.”  Simply stated, what we are attempting to shape will be impacted by who and what we allow to have dominant influence over it.  Whether a marriage, a child or your own mind.  It will become and respond to what it exposed to the most.  That said, consider what and who you allow in your space.  Be selective and protective, like your peace relies on it.

There are no quick fixes or easy buttons to press to obtain peace. My personal route for peace comes in my relationship with Jesus, however even with Him, it requires something from me. It is a personal decision to surrender my life in way that releases control, and anything that requires me to give up control, my personal control, is not an easy an easy thing to do.  So consider the cost, weigh the options and decide if you are ready to no longer be at the helm of your own life. Seems crazy I know, but what good things have you accomplished alone, really?

 

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

 

 

 

“Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?” – Unknown

 

When life gets unbearable, what do find yourself doing?  Not what you say you will do, but what you actually do when all hell breaks loose in your life.   If you are anything like me, what you say you will do and what you actually do, does not necessarily match up.  I wish they did, but sometimes my expectations do not match my actions.

It certainly has nothing to do with my lack of vigilant prayer or good intentions.  It’s just that sometimes things work out how they work out.  These moments test my resolve like no other, and all that I have and hope to be, seem to lie in the balance, but it is moments like these that truly test where I am, versus who I claim to be.

Am I strong like I say I am, or are those just words?  Do I remain vigilant in rough times or do I falter at the first sign of difficulty?  I must admit, it is a little of both, depending on the circumstances, but one thing I have learned is having a quiet place to pray, mediate and reflect is essential for my peace of mind and staying focused during a challenging season. 

As I endure tough times and pass through moments that test my ability to stand, one thing I have found to help more than anything else is my alone time with God.  I am not simply speaking about a few moments of prayer time in the early AM of PM, but a one on one encounter that literally redirects my focus and outlook. 

This only happens in my secret place, and unfortunately I do not always make the appropriate time for this encounter to occur, but it is nonetheless essential for my overall well-being and balance in life. 

Life issues tend to become distracting and noisy, and as humans we tend to place our focus on those “things”  that seem to mean more in the moment, but we ultimately must surrender to a power higher than us for true peace and clear direction.

I can list the many distractions that tend to mean more, (at least in the moment) like work, family, a spouse, children, bills, etc. But when life issues come at me in such a way where I fail to be at my best, nothing else is more important than me, because my actions will impact everyone else that I claim to care about.  It is kind of like what they tell us just before a flight.  “Get your own oxygen first, then help others.”

My secret place is just that, my oxygen.  It is where my dreams, hopes and beliefs our birthed and nurtured, and that experience must be deliberate and purposeful, otherwise my mind will be moved with every wave and idea that comes my way. 

My time alone with whom I personally believe is my all in all is imperative to an existence filled with purpose during my dark days, hope when all seems to be falling away beside me and personal joy when happiness is just not sustaining. 

I am not here to tell you how often you should be going to your secret place, only that you should.  The signs of you going without have a way of mounting up quickly.  These signs tend to manifest themselves in ways like ease in becoming irritable, losing sight of what is more important and becoming overwhelmed in times when you normally would not. 

We tend to know the signs, but fail to respond appropriately when we are there.  I am encouraging you to not wait until something drastic happens, but become more proactive and vigilant about your peace of mind.  Be more about the preventative work, and acknowledge that you matter more.  Someone is relying on you to be at your best, and we will never be at our best when we come half cocked.

Go to your secret place and be still.  Hear from God and learn what it is you need to know.  Your world will be a better place for it.

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

 

 

 

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost 

 

Life can be complicated, unpredictable and sometimes just hard.  Being married has its own set of issues as well as being single, and when you add children(young or older) work life scenarios and family dynamics to the mix it can get even more complex.  At times things can become overwhelming, where our only option seems as if we should run for the hills and hide out.  I have been there and I am certain that you have as well, but through the years of learning lessons, understanding my triggers and gathering more insight on my on level of emotional intelligence, the consistent thing or good advice I have received has been to work through it.

Now because I am kind of an analytical personality, I cannot just use that term without also giving an explanation of what it actually looks like.  After all, it is the question that I would ask or demand more clarity if someone were to drop that phrase on me.  So what does “working through it” actually look like?  I will give a few examples of what it is for me and what it is not to help describe it in more detail. 

 

1. Take an unbiased stance on what the situation is. – When we decide to truly work through something, we need clarity of thought and mind, so having an unbiased view is essential. That said, we will probably need a trusted friend to help us navigate through what we cannot see due to our natural prejudices.  

 

2. Develop a game plan to move through it. – Nothing really works well without a plan, so once we understand the real issue, now it is time to make it happen.  This process may include quiet time for reflection, counseling, prayer, journaling, hard conversations and much more, but however you choose to move through it, the various stages are necessary for an effective outcome.

 

3. Do the work. – This is the hard part.  Now is the time to put action to our words.  Expect to fall several times before you get it right, but keep working through until you begin to see change.  Keep in mind the change you are looking for lies in you, not someone else.   That’s the challenging part.  The actual work has many levels.  There may be a season where you are only focusing on your childhood.  Then you may move to your past relationships or dramatic situations that require a deeper look on your decision-making skills during that time.  The key in this stage is to face yourself and bring reality into why you are, who you are. 

 

4. Analysis and Self Evaluation. –  This is not a time for self-judgement, although it will be easy to do.  Be careful not to simply come down on yourself during this time.  Sure there will be many issues that may come to the surface that point directly to you, but so what.  This whole process is not to blame yourself.  Taking responsibility is one thing, but blaming should not be the focus or objective.  You may come to a point where deeper work beyond your means is essential.  Hopefully you will be able to continue down that path and receive the help you need.

 

5. What it is Not. – The one thing I can say “working through it” is not, is to over simplify the process or issue.  Quick fixes that neglect the core issues only perpetuate the problem.  When we fail to address the real matters of the heart we only set ourselves up for future failure.  Now is not the time for surface work.  We must choose to go deep, but if we are not ready, it is better to understand that and wait until we are.  Otherwise we are wasting our time, seeking results for something we have not yet properly invested in. 

 

I am not the expert in this area, but I am a man who has seen and experienced his share of turmoil.  Some self-inflicted and some not, but I am committed to myself in such a way that I will never be satisfied with surface results.  I want to better understand why I do what I do.  In some cases it will be fairly obvious and in other times it will take much more work.  I am committed to doing the work.  It has become a part of my life journey and I am better for it.

 

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

 

 

 

 

 

“To remember who you are, you need to forget who they told you to be” – Unknown

 

Have a moment of reflection with me…  Think back on the things you have learned over the course of your life, whether through formal education or through the school of hard knocks.  Both have relevance and have probably helped to establish you in life today, whether professionally or personally. 

There is nothing like learning and I look forward to discovering something new every day, especially when I can apply that something towards my life in real-time.  As of late, I have found myself gaining new insight with thought-provoking books, intriguing blogs or a good old fashion heart to heart conversation with a trusted friend, however as much as I am down for constantly being educated I equally understand the importance of how the knowledge that I possess, transcends to the knowledge that transforms me, because what I actually allow to work, apply and become a part of me is what will truly matter.  Anything less is probably based in pride, a self perpetuated illusion or my unwillingness to grow.

Due to the fact that I have spent the majority of my life teaching, counseling and helping others, taking my own advice is sometimes an area that I fall down in.  It can be so easy to read a good book or hear a great sermon and automatically think about who it can apply to, not thinking it was meant for me.  Have you ever been there?  

It easy to do, especially for those of us that spend more time giving of ourselves than not, but unfortunately it does not provide an excuse nor does it provide a remedy for performing the hard work of changing the (internal) ugly things about us. 

What happens when we put that great book down, come home from a life changing church service or had that in-depth talk with a wise and thoughtful counselor or friend? Are we finding ways to apply the truths we have discovered about ourselves, or are we in denial and making excuses for the way things are still? 

No, it is not easy and will more than likely cause you grief, distress and ultimately become one of the hardest things you will ever have to do, but when we fail to grow, evolve or change we quite honestly short-cycle our own blessings.  In other words we get in our own way and become our own worst enemy.  Been there, tired of doing that!

I cannot say that my desire to grow or change has come by the way of epiphany.  It has usually come by the way of pain, whether self-inflicted or by outside sources.  Either way it hurts the same and has been a motivating factor towards not repeating the things that brought me such travail. 

So if you are anything like me, keep helping others and blessing people with your life-giving words, heart-felt thoughts and life changing deeds, but please do not become remiss with your own personal work.  Once you are done with all that, do not fail to recognize who is number one (that would be you).  The ones we support depend on us to take care of ourselves well, otherwise we will have nothing to give that is worthy.  

Keep doing what you are doing, just make sure your words line up with your life choices. 

 

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

young-man-black-sportswear-sit-cliff-edge-look-daybreak-horizon-over-misty-valley-red-sun-63017645

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” – Edmunds Lee 

Whenever I reach a milestone I tend to reflect on my future, my past and where I am today.  In the next few weeks I will be reaching such a moment, (at least for me) and I have already begun to reflect and ponder about where my life is headed.  This particular milestone for me is turning forty-eight years old on September 3rd.  Although I am still a few years shy of the big fifty club, celebrating a new year is significant because we are certainly not promised a tomorrow in life. 

So as I count down the days to this momentous occasion, I think about my life.  What I have accomplished, what I have not and what dreams I still believe that I can achieve.  I remember as a kid I use to think about seemingly impossible things that I wanted to accomplish.  Things like becoming a doctor or engineer, owning property, traveling around the world and becoming a great speaker and author.  Maybe for many these were easily obtainable dreams, but for me they were not.

Obviously our dreams and goals change as we get older due to life circumstances and changes in our personal desires.  Case in point I am definitely not a doctor, but I do enjoy my current career in construction management.  I have owned a few homes, but I am not yet the real estate mogul that I dreamt of.  Traveling is certainly a passion of mine which I have had the opportunity to partake in quite frequently and I have been blessed to speak on various platforms around the country.  Lastly I am two chapters away from completing my first book and I will hopefully continue to write on topics that encourage people with this blog and other books yet to come.

So what about those unmentioned dreams?  You know the ones we tend to keep to ourselves for whatever reason.  Perhaps we gave up on them, a circumstance destroyed them or we simply stopped believing them.

I am not here to over-simplify why we tend to stop dreaming, because I can certainly identify with giving up, falling short or things just not working out like I planned.  As children or young adults we seldomly see the challenges that come along with pursuing a dream, so the sky is the limit (and it should be), but often once real life hits us the story tends to change a bit.  The obstacles become more apparent as we get older and there is nothing like reality kicking us in the gut and altering our plans or at a minimum prolonging them.

For me, one of my undisclosed dreams was being happily married (once) and having a family.  (Read my other post to learn more about this) I did not necessarily grow up seeing the perfect marriage (not that one exist).  My parents were divorced after seventeen years of marriage and you always believe you will do better, but when you do not have the tools to keep it together, you are destined to fail even with the best intentions.

Of course I never saw myself here, but I am and once I got over the guilt of the initial failure I was able to continue living with the hope and anticipation of having an intact  family, which included a fulfilling and committed marriage.  A dream that was shattered by much of my on means, but thankfully I have learned in my journey to never quit and listen to others that do not have my best interest. 

So it was up to me to keep believing and following my dreams, no matter how far off they seemed to be.  I had developed many reasons to stop outright, however something deep inside of me was not settled with failure.  I owned my failure, but realized it did not have to define me or the next stages of my life.  The dreams I once believed in were still attainable.  I just needed to take the hard lessons I learned and apply them.  Like really apply them.   So with a lot humility and a little courage I did just that. 

I began to believe again in what was once lost.  I began to believe again in what I once gave up on.  I began to believe again in what God placed in my spirit as a child.  Yes I experienced some failures, made some poor decisions, and in some cases even attempted to alter the ultimate plan that God had for my life, but life was not over for me yet.  And when I finally got back to pursuing my dreams, I realized they were still there like a treasure buried under rock.   It required a little digging and work to retrieve them, but they were still there.  I just need to believe and begin following them again.

Wherever you find yourself today, I challenge you to reflect on why you gave up on your dreams and find a way to rekindle them or take the steps to start them possibly for the first time. 

No one can do it quite like you can and the world is waiting for you to rise up and follow your dreams like your very life depends on it, because in some cases it really does.

Keep Pressing,

Hank G

www.theupsideofdown.org

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