Nov 282011

A couple of months before I headed to college, my mom felt the need to write my name on everything I owned:  My clothes, my type writer (I know, a what???) my books, my suit case, MY underwear (nice) and anything else that couldn’t be nailed to the ground.

One night, during a prayer service at University, I knelt to pray.  As I was getting up, I realized on the bottom of each shoe, written with a Black Sharpie was my FULL NAME from toe to heel.  Sixteen letters!  If embarrassment could of killed, I would have died that night.

If I was lost, I was found:  all I had to do was look at my shoes, my underwear or my purse to remember who I was.  The only thing my mom didn’t write my name on, was an umbrella – and it was stolen on the first rainy day.

Do you know who you are?  Sometimes, we get caught up in the pressure of life, whether it be money, status, certain relationships, keeping up with the Joneses’, trying to stay ahead of the game, being something we’re not and we forget about what really matters:  our integrity, helping others, common sense, good character and remembering that the journey is WAY more important than arrival . . . because we’re never really there, we’re just on our way.

We get in a groove, a rut of sorts, living our nice little life, surrounding ourselves with our BFFs, enjoying “girl’s night,” sports night, placing our kids in every music class, on every athletic team and trying to maintain the status quo . . . Cause after all, we’ve gotta keep up appearances.

Don’t forget the person of adventure who used to try new things, the person who used to write letters to change wayward political views, the person who sought to help those in need, the one who used to ski, scuba dive or golf, but can never find the time, the once fit mom or dad who’s got the (I have a family and don’t have time to take care of myself” syndrome).  If we look at our TRUE Self, we may not recognize the current person in the mirror.  It’s time to RECLAIM Our Life!

It’s time to come clean, start exercising, writing, golfing, reclaiming date night, family night; go back to basics and talk to each other eye to eye, not text to text.  Don’t be the stolen umbrella of life, the person who is so far away from who you really wanna be, that your true identity has faded.  It’s time to reclaim who you Really Are, who you wanna be . . .

Just as those shoes had my name boldly written on them, claiming their owner, Be the Owner of Your Life. Find your True Self and Write Your Name on it.

 Posted by at 10:20 am
Nov 032011

Asking a mom if she ever feels guilty is like asking a woman if she likes chocolate.  It’s a “no brainer.”  It comes with the territory.  Show me a mom and guilt is around the corner.

Like the song:  Should I Stay or Should I Go, guilt peeks its ugly head like a fire breathing dragon.  Should I quit work and stay at home.  Should I go back to work?  Do I volunteer enough, did little Johnnie get plenty of hugs last week?  Are my kids eating healthy enough, are they in the correct activities?  If only I were a better cook, skinnier, happier – and as the plates continue to spin, so does our head.

Guilt is tricky in that whatever you do, the void can’t be filled.  Whatever choice you make, it’s the wrong one.  If you’re here, you should be there, ying should be yang, up should be down, right is wrong, the grass is always greener, and the cycle continues.

There’s a book recently published called:  “Enemies of the Heart”.  It discusses the characteristics of Guilt and spurs one to answer the questions:  Who do you owe and What do you owe?

Often, the “Guilty” hat follows us around like a permanent cloud, a dark shadow you can’t outrun.  The author, Andy Stanley suggests if we can answer Who do we owe and What do we owe, we’ll break free from this emotional control.  Guilt, a destructive power, tries to set us up for failure, before we’re out of the gate.  Look guilt in the face, make it play a fair game.

Whatever circumstances you’re in, perhaps something unforeseen, a bad marriage, a bum deal at work,  miscommunication, a child in a difficult phase, whatever the case, set up a plan of action.  If you’re happy at work, embrace it.  If you’re happiest at home and can afford to stay, seize it.  We’re not living in Utopia where everything is perfect.  We’re living in a world full of too many choices, too little time and one mom trying to juggle it all.

Don’t let Guilt rob you of the joy you have, in whatever position or spot you land.

Guilt is a “Happiness” robber, a contentment thief.  It’s no respecter of persons and doesn’t care what side of the fence, saddle or route you’ve chosen. Guilt will find fault with whatever stance you take, making you feel as though you’ll never meet the standard, complete the race or be truly successful.  It’s a 2nd guesser, a what-IF-ER.

It’s not your friend, rather an enemy that needs to be set sail.  If you had a “friend” who treated you this way, they would be sent on their way in a heart beat, with a footprint on their back side, yet we cuddle up with GUILT like a warm blanket and hot chocolate, hosting it in the most sacred position: our home, our heart, our life.

Identify Guilt for what it is, recognize it and whack it with a broom.  Tell it out loud:  NO MORE!  Answer the questions:  Who do I owe and what do I owe and in this, you’ll find the peace, the contentment you need to embrace the Happy in the place you’re in.

Do Your Best and Forget the Rest.  Here’s to living a life with contentment and purpose.

 Posted by at 7:57 am