Archive for September, 2016

A Couple of Old Ladies

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

old-woman-imagesBoth elderly widows lived at the same assisted living facility so obviously they had much in common. Each appeared to be about the same age and seemed to me to have more or less equal health and mobility.   Both sat in their favorite chairs with a blanket covering their legs watching TV.  Even though it was in the seventies outside, both rooms felt like the sauna at the “Y”. Not a hair was out of place on either head. Obviously they had recently returned from their weekly hair appointments. The décors of their rooms were essentially the same. Pictures of loved ones, past and present, adorned the walls; both had land-line telephones, chairs for visitors, goodies for snacking and a box of Kleenex within easy reach.

But the inhabitants of those two rooms could not have been greater contrasts. One was all smiles and answered my knock on the door with a cheerful, “Hello, please come in”. The entire time of our visit there was an aura of a positive and contagious force field around the sweet lady with a huge smile. Her demeanor testified to the delight my visit had brought her. As we talked, I recalled thinking, “Hope I can be this content when I move in this place”.  I came away uplifted and thankful for such pleasant experience with a truly amiable lady.

When I knocked on the other door, I heard a moan-like “It’s open”. When I cracked the door, the woman looked like she had just returned from a funeral. Alas, nothing had changed since my last visit! As we talked, I wondered how long it had been since she had actually smiled. The lady never said one positive thing during our thirty minute “ain’t it bad” conversation. It was all about her pains, her lack of bowel movements, how bad the food is and the lackluster staff.  I came away from her room wanting to shoot myself!

Walking to my car, I tried to analyze the contrast between those two women. I came to the conclusion that the quality of our lives is pretty much an internal thing. Simply put, it is dependent on the daily choice we make before our feet hit the floor.

The story of my  journey to wholeness in my free book  @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again

Hole to Whole

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

6a00d83451df4569e201b8d0ce078b970cToday is one of my favorite days because it is September 14. It is my yearly day of personal reflection and thanksgiving to my “Big G God” for a new life. It ranks up there with the day I was born, got married, son was born and the day that I found a personal relationship with Jesus. So on this day, I can see that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  Eleven years ago this date, I was on an airplane to the unknown, as I flew to Tucson, Arizona  to begin  rehab in the Trauma and Abuse Program at Sierra Tucson (http://www.sierratucson.com). I was an emotional basket case. I re-felt the same fear that a terrified fourteen-year boy had felt when he was afraid people were going to “find out”. Yet, I knew the awful secret, that I had kept tucked away in the darkest recesses of my being, was the reason that I was on that flight.

Undoubtedly, things were going to be different from now on; but I was horrified of what was ahead and what was going to happen to me in the process.  But most of all, I feared what people would think about me. I was terrified that people would stop loving me; very few did. That was the exact fear I had experienced 45 years earlier. Now, suddenly the secret was out; everything had changed, while nothing had changed. In a real sense, the fear, pain, and remorse of the next several weeks that would stretch into the spring of the new year, would be nearly more than I would be able to bear.

Yet, all along the way God, in his mercy and love, strategically placed people who loved me, people who took my hand and walked with me, when I could not walk on my own. I have quite a list; they know who they are.  During my rehab and the months that followed, I cried several lifetimes of tears. It was not easy; I thought I would never smile again, but I have. Today, I smile quite a bit in fact.  The truth is, since the day Cathy put me on that Southwest plane, I have been, more and more, seeing life and myself with a brand new set of eyes. For most of my life, I had a “hole” in me; today I am able to see that I am “whole”. That is why September 14, is such a notable day in my life.  On this day I will pray for folks who are still carrying emotionally crippling secrets.  God wants you to be blessed too. Remember, doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. The greatest regret I have is that it took me so long to choose sanity.

More about my journey to wholeness in my free book for free @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again

Spinning It

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Louise Brown walks down King Street during a Black Lives Matter march, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. The event honored the Emanuel AME Church shooting victims. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

I hope you are not as tired of the marathon 2015 -16 presidential campaign as me. Just when I think it can’t get any worse it does.  How many times in one hour can the talking heads repeat the same thought or can Anderson Cooper and Sean Hannity analyze again what they’ve already vastly over analyzed? How  did we survive all those years without the seemingly infinite lineup of  experts on CNN, Fox News and the other cable news networks telling us what to think or what may or may not happen next?  How in the world did our parents and grandparents make up their minds on which candidates would get their votes? Enough of my cynicism! Indulge me as I shift gears to share something significant that I have noticed about this run for the White House.  Completely missed by the talking heads is that apparently all the candidates are believing the Bible when it says, “…all things work for the good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Apparently, “all things” includes getting beat like a drum.

How else can we explain the fact that when all the other wanta bees dropped out they stood before their supporters with beaming smiles and sparkling, bleached-white teeth claiming that everything is still wonderful. In all my years watching sports, I have never seen losing coaches put a positive spin of coming in second. But political candidates do it all the time. It is just one more lie. Perhaps there is a clue for the rest of us in all this political hoop la.  Defeat is seldom as bad as it seems, is not final as long as you are still breathing and is only as bad as you allow it to make you feel. Take away: Next time things don’t go your way, spin it like a candidate.

My book for free @ Part 1 UNSCREWED – Becoming Whole Again