Over the years I have come to learn that I have a tendency to over think things. At times I can even become a bit of a perfectionist, or just very anal about how things should run in my life. Of course this characteristic has its advantages, but it also comes with its own set of baggage as well. For years it has limited me or often times short-cycled some significant events from occurring in my life. To be specific, it would be a case of me sitting on the sidelines watching others enjoy something or pressing through a life event, and for whatever reason I did not give myself license to become involved or discover what could have been significant for me during that time.
As I continue to take my own advice and “Keep Pressing” ahead, I found myself at a cross-road with the topic for this week’s post. With so many ideas constantly running through my brain, I allowed myself to become challenged and almost stifled on what to write. The challenge was not finding a topic, but wondering if I was staying true to what this blog is about.
So this week I am in San Juan, Puerto Rico for work, with a few added extra days on the tail end. I had a topic all cued up, but something inside of me said, “Save that for later and write about this trip and how it relates to my truth.” My first thought was, “Am I staying true to what The Upside of Down is about”, by doing that? After toying with the thoughts for a few days, I refused to think about it any longer, and simply enjoyed my trip on this beautiful island.
I went on some tours off the beaten path, watched families fly kites by the hundreds at a park near El Morro, walked around for what seemed like miles, met a bunch of great people at the conference I attended, and in the taxi I rode in. Whoever was the waiter/waitress at the local restaurant became my friend by name, with some form of friendly affection shared, whether by a compliment or good conversations. I ate some great local dishes, took a guy out for dinner on his birthday that I just met, had some great drinks, took some amazing pictures, (some you see posted here) lied on a hammock on the beach between to palm trees and chilled for hours doing absolutely nothing. Now I’m sitting here at 10:08PM EST, writing this post from my Villa over looking the ocean.
As I watched people and did abnormal things (at least for me), like not become a loner on this trip after the people I knew flew home, I forged some great friendships and discovered, this is what The Upside of Down looks like. I discovered how much I needed this trip and how important it was for me to exhale this past week. Not exhale in the sense of relieving stress or pressure, but in the sense of embracing something different and feeling/being okay with it (maybe that’s inhaling actually). I am living The Upside of Down, and this trip has helped me to see what that actually looks like for my life more clearly.
I am truly blessed with so much and thankful for all of it. My perspective is hopeful and my best is still yet to come. I look for that best to come in the form of rich relationships, through family and friends (new and old), a dynamic love-life, a limitless career path that will stretch me far and wide (as it does now), widely read published articles, best-selling books and the ability to authentically help others achieve their wildest ambitions, through this blog or through personal interactions.
I want you to rediscover the truth for your life.
It hasn’t changed since you were that curious kid. It has only been hindered or delayed by circumstances. Once you have the faith to see it again, apply that same faith to cause it to become a tangible possibility.
I have learned that how we define things for ourselves will ultimately shape us and dictate a certain path for our future. In other words, as I use the phrase, “Keep Pressing” every week, I have a picture of what that looks like to me, based on my understanding and faith. If your image of those words are completely different from mine, it won’t matter what I say, regardless of the level of intensity I say them with.
Your truth will become your (boundary) invisible jail cell or what propels you to greatness!
For many, that boundary will quarantine you like a glass ceiling or become vast like the stars in the night sky. The choice is really is up to you and I. Each day we have the opportunity to choose what will limit us, by first recognizing what those things are. Here lies the problem. Since we don’t know what we don’t know, the cycle can be vicious, by habitually impeding any attempts towards making real progress or living a life of freedom versus bondage. There is a quote in the Bible that states, “What a man thinks about himself, he becomes that man.” I don’t think it could be any clearer than this, but with any attempt to grow, we must have, what I call the four rules to change, become whole or healthy.
1. Recognize or identify that you have an issue – like a cut or wound in your physical body, this usually comes in the form of pain, whether self-inflicted or committed by others.
2. Seek help to remedy the problem – Go to a doctor/counselor/pastor/trusted and wise friend to help with this newly identified issue.
3. Apply the lessons or counsel given to the issue – Administer the ointment or advice, and do the homework prescribed.
4. Give yourself time for the lessons and counsel to work – Cuts don’t heal overnight, and emotional wounds are much more complex, so give yourself some time for the medicine (lessons/counsel) to work.
Contrary to popular belief, time does not heal all wounds, it only lessens the sting. It’s what we do in that time that truly causes the healing to really take effect.
In other words, a broken leg may feel better after several months, but if it’s not reset correctly, you may never walk the same again. And without therapy you may never have full use of it, even if the pain seems to be gone. Do the work, however long it takes. We begin to visualize and accomplish this when we understand our worth and our value. You must begin to visualize yours and often times it does not manifests itself in the path of least resistance. It’s usually the “hard thing” or what causes you the most discomfort. Perhaps it will become your greatest challenge to date.
We’re typically not ready to take these steps until the pain is so great, where it becomes intolerable and the normal means of numbing becomes futile. That was my story and today I am grateful for the pain, for it was the one thing that allowed me to finally discover what my truth really was, not with simple structured words alone, but with something that I could visualize, hold on to and pursue with passion!