“You will struggle, you will sweat, you will cry, you will want to give up, but above all, YOU WILL OVERCOME, because you are meant for greatness” – Unknown
As I approach the one year mark of writing my first official post on this blog, I find myself reflecting on the initial reasons for embarking on this journey. I think of failed relationships, painful heartache, living a lie to myself, sleepless nights, overwhelming sadness, hurting people, lots of unresolved issues and many dark places with no light seemingly to be found. Although at one year later I still have not mastered all of my shortcomings, I have learned that pressing through while in my current state is the best and most healthy action that I can take. So as I prayerfully journey towards another year of living a joyful and content life while experiencing new opportunities for growth, I am committed to learning and growing with each new challenge that I face.
Making the decision to become transparent with the world with many of my close kept secrets or personal life struggles was not a ploy to gain sympathy, attract followers or even to say, “Hey look at me”. I am just a guy with a story, many stories actually that I am no longer afraid to share (At least most of them). I still believe each one of them can help someone decide to live a more whole and fulfilling life when authenticity is applied along with their own truth. A truth that defies that there are endless options to choose from, but recognizes right from wrong, whole from half-full, and black & white from gray. Even if and when that decision of truth exposes you at your own core.
The chips have always fallen where they fall, the difference now is I no longer try to control where they fall or how delicately or hard they hit the figurative floor . I accept the fact that I have made some poor choices (and still do) and my life is not defined by how perfect I live, but it is more about the ability to accept my truth, live my truth and learn from it. Some things will honestly take me longer to understand and really acquire, and like you this can be frustrating, especially when you believed you had it down. So often it’s back to the drawing board for us, four and five times later or more before we stop hitting our heads.
So yes, this is about you, this is about me, as the individual. And as much as we can apologize and repent for our failures we cannot save someone else from their own pain even if we were the main perpetrator for it. They will have to come to their own conclusion about how to heal and the steps required for it. We all have to choose what we will do with the hurt and pain we harbor in our hearts. We can allow it to become the fuel that drives us to deeper bitterness and hopelessness or the impetus for new beginnings. Both may provide a sense of release, but the later will insure a more sound future. The choice really is up to us, but no one should ever be able to hurt us so much where we feel our only option is to completely give up and remain in pain. That is power we should never relinquish to anyone.
Once we understand well enough to move forward in a healthy manner, we can begin the journey of healing and wholeness. The lowest points in my life always had someone else directly tied to it. Whether my being molested, a severed relationship or being let down as a kid growing up, I could blame someone else for my pain, what they did to me, while others could blame me for the same. However, I realize the individuals in all of these circumstances are not responsible for making me feel better as much as I wanted to believe they were. As I literally lied on the floor in anguish with assorted levels pain, I was forced to make some decisions. Either get up and face the circumstances as they were or live in misery.
My choice to face the circumstances was not the easiest of the two options I gave myself, but it was the decision that I felt would give me the most opportunity to heal, take responsibility for my actions where it applied, and to learn from the experiences. As I look back on this decision, it was certainly not for the faint of heart. I have faced ridicule, accusations and straight denial of anything ever happening to me. Through it all I have trusted God, my convictions and my pursuit to be a better man, while living my truth, authentically. And although it may not always be obvious to others, I am growing and still learning. So at the end of the day, this is what matters the most and as I choose to remain open to this I will abundantly receive the benefits of doing the work and equally recognize when I fall short for failing to apply the lessons.
Do I continue to fall short? For sure and I have the evidence to prove it, but as I stated earlier, my life is no longer about perfection, performance or proving things for others to see and comment on. It’s about me. Me getting better in the timing that God shows me and gives me. Anything less or more would simply be an act of compliance, only fulfilling an expectation for someone else, versus being true to my own convictions.
Does it ever stop and when do we finally arrive at the promise land of mastery? Uh, never right? So let’s continue to strive to becoming better people by accepting responsibility for our actions, acknowledging our role in the failures that we helped to create and being committed to the essential dialogues and conversations with others for possible reconciliation and growth. I know, much easier said than done, but once you authentically own one failure it does get a little easier. Better yet, once you realize that you will fail people for the rest of your life, saying sorry, meaning it and doing something about it will get easier, at least a little because you live on the credence that I will fall short, and possibly a lot at times.