Life and Football

Have you ever thought about, or even noticed the similarities between life and football? If you take a moment to really think about it, they are more alike than you have probably ever noticed at first glance.

It starts with the introduction of two teams, your mother and father. A little while later comes you, and just like the coin toss, you are either male or female. Also just like the toss of the coin, both are completely out of anyone’s control. Then the game begins.

Each choice you make is like a play on the field. Sometimes you make the right call and move forward, other times you make the wrong one and move backwards. Either way, you just have to do your best and keep trying to move forward towards your goal(s). There will also be times that you have to punt and just start over.

Like the season, you will have many times to play this game over and over in many different locations and many different situations and conditions. Each time you do, you just have to do the best that you can at the time in each situation, or game, that you may face.There aren’t any winners or losers in the end however. By the time the game of life is over,you just have to hope that you have more good choices(wins) than bad(loses) on your record.

So, if you think about it, the two are really more similar than you would probably think. My advice to you is to just play the game of life to the best of your ability, have fun, and just hope for the best possible outcome.

Oh, and play like a champion every day!!

Advertisements

Healing

In life, we all go through some hard and painful events. Many times we look at these events and think that the pain is the hard part. I tend to disagree with that. Here is why I say that.

Although there may a great deal of hurt and pain associated with these events, both physically and emotionally, I think that the hardest part is actually the healing. Don’t get me wrong, the pain can also be quite hard and difficult to get through. There is no denying that at all. It can be anything from the loss or death of a friend, loved one, family member, physical injury, mental or emotional trauma, or a host of any other things.

In my opinion, however, the healing is the hardest part. That is the part that has you learning to live with, and dealing with, the pain. The part of learning how to cope and move on, even though you may never truly forget or be the same. The part of having to live with, in many cases, a life changing event and the effects it may have on your life moving forward. That is the hard part. Pain is temporary, but the healing from it can last long after the pain is actually gone. Some scars and healing may even last a lifetime. Healing is truly the hardest part by far in my opinion.

Regrets

re·gret

verb

1. feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity). “she immediately regretted her words”

noun

1. a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done. “she expressed her regret at Virginia’s death”

Some people say that they have no regrets. I respectfully call bullshit on those people. We all have things in our life that we wish we would have done or said differently. Maybe words or actions done out of anger or other emotions. Perhaps something was taken out of context or misunderstood. Or maybe you missed out on doing or being a part of something because you had to make a decision that you later wished that you had done differently. We all have regrets. It is part of life and is human nature. We second guess things and use reflection to try to validate our mind and heart’s “What if’s” surrounding the incidents at hand.

The truth is, we ALL have regrets. That feeling can overtake you like a wildfire sometimes if you are not careful. It may cause you to overreact to things, or you may simply start obsessing about it. Thus, causing even more damage. It is much easier said than done at times to just let something go and not worry about it. Especially if you have a regret about it. That just means that it meant enough to you for you to actually care. That isn’t a bad thing. You just need to be careful how much you think about it, and not let it consume you. That can be very dangerous and lead to depression, anxiety, and a host of other issues that can, and will, really mess up your life. Like i said,that is MUCH easier said than done sometimes.

Life is hard and is full of choices on a daily basis. Some we make or do without even realizing it as we go about our day. Others we labor and debate on quite hard. Either way, chances are at some point you may even second guess those. It happens. None of us are perfect and make the right choices every single time. We can only do the best we can at the time, and if regret rears it’s head, just do the best to remedy the situation that you can. I say that because sometimes regret over something can lead to depression, and depression can in turn affect other parts of our lives such as friendships, relationships, marriages, work, etc. It can even sneak up on you at times and before you know it…BOOM…everything hits a wall.

So, I guess my point is, we will all encounter regret over certain things in our lives no matter who we are or what we do. All we can really do is to hope for the best, try not to dwell on things too much, and try to repair any damage that we may inflict on our lives if it comes to that because of regret induced actions. Apologize, make amends, try your best to find peace in what happened, and forgive…not only yourself but others. Regret can be a nasty thing. Don’t let it ruin your life. It will if you let it.

Changes

Change is a constant in life, as well as our journey, on this rock we call home. If you stop and think about it, we are not that much different from it in some ways. I want to touch on one similarity in particular right now though.

Just like Earth, we are constantly changing. From one moment to another on a daily basis, things change us and shape us during the course of a day. At the end of our day we are not the same as we were when we started it. Sometimes that can be good or it can be bad. However, we are different. How did today change you? Do you even know? How in tune are you into to life’s little moments. I think most times we are oblivious to them. I know big and important things happen and we definitely realize those. I’m mainly talking about the little ones. The small moments that make us happy, sad, stress us out, or make us angry. Sometimes it’s those little moments that make the biggest impact on us.

The little moments in life are where the greatness in life lies. Of course there are larger moments that are great. Iconic and milestone moments that change and shape us. The little moments though, are where it’s at. We need to do better about living in the moment. When we do this, we open ourselves more to see, feel, and appreciate them. Don’t get me wrong, have dreams, set goals, and look to the future and where you want to be. Just look there while you live in the present. Live in the moment. Don’t be so centered around the stresses and worries in life that you lose those moments.

Let those moments change you for the better. Whether it be from happiness, or a lesson learned. Change is going to happen. That is a certainty. Accept that. It’s what we do with that, that makes us who and what we are. So, love freely, laugh often, and live life in the little moments! That my friends, is how you live a full life. Live life….don’t just exist!

Let your light shine

Sometimes in life we get caught up in things and start to lose who we really are. We lose our identity. We may be trying to live up to someone else’s expectations of us, trying to fit in with a certain group of people, or simply by just putting our guard up to protect ourselves from being hurt. We normally don’t see this, if we even do, until it is too late although people close to you may see it long before you. Before we know it, we have changed into someone that we don’t recognize in some ways. Change and adaptation are part of growing, but not all change is good. Change can also be temporary. If we are not careful, we will start to lose that light and spark that made us, well, us. We must never let that happen. We can guard ourselves and be around others without having to sell out part of us. We have to stay true to ourselves in the long run and let our light shine.

Once we start to lose ourselves, the road we are on can become dark and lonely at times. It will most definitely feel like it at least. We may start feeling like people have abandoned us, or may we just simply pushed them away. Whatever the case may be, we are never alone. There are over 7.6 billion people on this planet. There is at least one out there that will listen to you, talk with you, be a friend, or care about you. You are never alone and you never were. Sometimes we just need to open our eyes a little wider or look in a different direction to see them.

If we do put up walls to protect ourselves, we usually tell ourselves that the right person, or people, will come along to break them down. Is that really fair? What if the right person, or people come along and can’t see who you really are because of those walls? Think of it like this. You drive down the road daily and pass tons of houses that you never even pay attention to. How many of those homes do think are absolutely beautiful and breathtaking on the inside, but we are never able to see that part of them? Does that change your perspective any? The same goes for us. Most of us are quite beautiful, but we fail to let others inside to see that. I am so very guilty of this too, so I am not casting stones. Guarding ourselves is completely natural and expected. We just have to get much better at letting people see us while doing it. That special person, or people, may walk right past and never even see us through or over the walls that we built.

I know much of this is much easier said than done. After all, we are programmed to act and respond to situations based on what we have been taught or have learned on our own from our experiences. I will admit, right now I am the pot calling the kettle black. However, I am working immensely to change that about myself. We can’t become isolated, cold, and dark. There is far too much of that in this world. To change that, we need more light in it. We each have to start letting our light shine for others to see. Along with that will come love, kindness, caring, and happiness. Just imagine how something so small could totally change the world, as we know it, if we each just made that little adjustment. The world would start becoming a much brighter place. Okay, here is another perspective change. A single raindrop is very small and nothing special at all. Right? If you get a bunch of raindrops together, you get a puddle. Add even more, now you have a flood and it all started as single raindrops. Let’s all be raindrops and flood the Earth!

You are not alone and you never were. Just stay true to YOU, let people see you, and let your light shine! If you have lost your light, get that spark back! It will attract the people that you want and need in your life. It will also make the world a brighter place for us all!

Know your worth

Many times we lose our sense of worth throughout our lives. Whether it’s with employment, in relationships, or even just to ourselves. We lose our own value and settle for less than what we should or deserve. This is done unintentionally sometimes in my experience.

Let’s start with work as I explain further what I mean.

It doesn’t matter if you are currently employed, unemployed, or just looking at other options in order to make a change. Many times we settle for much less just to have something to do and an income. If you are employed, chances are that you are pretty much underpaid for what you do or bring to the table with your company. That is becoming more common in many workplaces. It is not always the case but there are multitudes of where it is. We need to try to be more aware of what our worth is in these situations and address the matter accordingly. If you are employed, talk to your management and see what options are available to be done to make you feel that you are being compensated more fairly for what you have to offer. If you are unemployed, it is much easier to lose your sense of worth just to be able to get a job and have some income coming in to the home. Be careful with this. I understand all too well the fact that sometimes we have to take less of what me may want, or want to do, just to land a job. If you feel the need to do that, especially if it has been difficult landing a job, don’t stop looking for that better fit. Which brings me to that portion of this topic. If you are searching, have an idea of what you and your talents are worth. Try to make that a reality as you find that fit. If you can’t find a fit, make your own path. Think outside the box.

Next we are on to relationships.

Trust me when I say that I am very familiar with losing your worth in this setting. It is very easy to do sometimes, especially if you feel unappreciated. Whether we are starting a new relationship or have been in one for a while, we tend to begin to lose ourselves and our worth in order to try to please the other person sometimes. It may not be an all the time kind of thing, but we do it. I’m not talking about compromise in general. I’m talking about how we view ourselves and our worth in the relationship. We tend to settle too often just to be near someone or have someone in our lives. We shouldn’t! We need to better grasp what we are looking for, want, and deserve in relationships. Never, ever just settle! Personally, I have settled a lot in my past in relationships. It has taken me a very long time to start to realize what I have to offer someone. I have also realized that not just anyone will get a chance to see that, like I have in the past, as I look to my future. I know what I deserve and will settle for nothing less. I have become much pickier in the types of people I will trust with my heart. I will hold out and wait as long as it takes for that to happen. Now, I know that when we meet people it takes time to get to know them and see if something may work or not. I get that. However, if it is not working, if I am unhappy, or even if I am unsure about someone, I am not afraid to cut things off. None of us need to be. If it is not fitting, I can’t make a round peg fit in a square hole. Our perfection is out there to find. Wait for it for as long as it takes. When you do find it, hold on to it! When you find “The One”, you will usually feel it in your heart, not just your head. Sometimes we are wrong. I get that too. All we can do is the best we can with the information that we have at the time. Know your worth and wait for that special one. It will make it all worth it in the end. No matter how long it takes. Waiting for them is better than settling for less and maybe missing them when they come along.

So, now that leaves us with our own personal sense of worth.

This one I could go on and on and on about, but won’t. I will keep it pretty short. I may revisit this part later on it’s own. Let me start by saying that you ARE worthy. You ARE great. You ARE special. Sometimes, especially in times of heavy stress, we feel worthless or like we have nothing to offer ourselves much less anyone else. That could not be farther from the truth. I know it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Trust me when I say that I do. We each have so much to offer ourselves, someone else, our companies, and the world. We first must be able to see that in ourselves. If others see that in you and tell you, LISTEN TO THEM! At times that can be so hard to do. However, in God’s eyes, we are ALL special and worthy. To HIM we are priceless and HE made us that way. We all have our own things that we bring to the table that make us each special and very valuable to ourselves and to others. We just need to learn to see it in us too.

I will close with one question…

What is your worth?

The answer…

You are priceless!!

Now you know.

Independence Day

Today, July 4th, we celebrate our independence as individuals, families, communities, and a nation. It is rightfully the most patriotic of our national holidays. However, our independence should be celebrated on a daily basis.

Our independence should be viewed as more than just the freedoms that we hold dear as a nation. We should recognize and celebrate on a daily basis our independence as individuals no matter where in the world you are from or reside. Race, religion, social status, and anything like that aside, we are all the same as human beings. We are all built in the same manner and bleed the same blood. That is where our similarities end though. Outside of all that we are all vastly different and unique in our own ways. There are roughly 7.6 billion people on this rock that we share as our home. That number also grows by leaps and bounds every second of every day. Each one different than the other. Much like 7.6 billion different fingerprints roaming the world every single day.

Individuality is a huge part of who we are and are meant to be. We are not created to be like the person next to us. How boring and mundane would that be? We are created and go through life always changing, growing, and learning, but all the while, staying completely unique into ourselves. We need to celebrate that more often. Celebrate who we are as unique creations of art. We are all one of’s! Every single one of us is one of a kind and should stay that way. We should never let anyone or anything take that away or change us. Stay true to who you are at your core! People will come in and out of our lives. We can’t lose ourselves trying to please or impress other people. We also cant let other people control us and try to make us into who they want us to be. Just be you! Stay what makes you, well you. People will either like that and stay, or they won’t, and they will go. That isn’t your concern. Just like in art, some colors work together at times to make beautiful works of art. Other times, those same colors won’t work together. Choose to be around the colors that make your life a beautiful piece of art. Fill it with as much of that as you possibly can. Fill your life with the things and people that make it vibrant, beautiful, and the unique individual that you are. Celebrate your independence every single day. Not just July 4th!

Life is a gift

It is my belief that life is truly a gift and full of surprises. Every day that we are blessed to wake up for another one, we should cherish every moment of it.  Good or bad, we are here to enjoy it all. Many each day are not so lucky. As each day unfolds, we are given unseen paths to take. Each path taking us through certain situations and encounters designed to test us. How we choose to handle those tests, determine how long it will take us to get to the destination that we are meant to get to. I believe that we all have at least one destination that we are destined to reach. That could be a person or relationship, place, or thing that we are meant to do with our lives. It could quite possibly be a combination of those as well. After all, how many times have we encountered a situation that causes us to stop and think for a moment “If I hadn’t met so and so, or gone here or there…”, that we would have never been where we are now? I’m sure that has happened to us all. I know for a fact that it has happened to me more than once. Imagine life as a giant spider web. Our destination is the center. We can start at any place along the outside. How many twists and turns could it take us to get to where we are going?

My point is this. Life is a gift. We never know what is in store from one moment to the next. Life is also short and goes by quickly. Do what you need to do to enjoy your time here. Life is too short to spend extended amounts of time being unhappy or miserable. If you are unhappy or unsure of a career, job, relationship, or whatever, change it! Do whatever you need to do to make yourself happy and able to love life. We only get one! Spend as much of it as possible with people you love, doing things you love, and just being happy! Many of us are currently in situations in which we are unsure if we should stay at our current jobs, unsure about a relationship we may be in, or considering a geographical move. If you are having these thoughts, it is more than likely life trying to nudge you onto a different path to get you to where you need to be. Don’t let fear and what ifs keep you on the wrong path. Change can be hard, but is also necessary and part of life for us to continue to grow and become who we are meant to me when we reach our destination. Make that change! Take that scary 1st step that you may be being pushed to take by those thoughts that you are having in your heart. It will be worth it in the end.

I will close with this, followed by a poem that I wrote a few years back. Life is a gift that unwraps itself for us each day. Live it! Love it! Don’t waste it or the time you have! You never know how much time you have left. It could all be gone tomorrow. Spend it with people that make you happy, doing things you want to, and enjoying what it has to offer. Life is much too short to be unhappy or unsure of things.

-Courage to change (3/12/09)

We all have problems

We all have fears

Afraid to face them

To look in the mirror

You’re stuck in a rut

Nowhere to go

Knots in your gut

Going with the flow

Not really happy

Only content

Start feeling crappy

Just need to vent

Change is needed

Where to begin

Refuse to be defeated

Use the courage within

We all have it

It is not lost

The result is worth it

It’s worth all the cost

Storms and Lighthouses

Ironically, it is storming as I am sitting here writing this. I have been thinking a lot recently about storms and lighthouses. However, it is probably not what you might think.

I think that we can all agree that life gets really hard sometimes for all of us. Some of us have, or have had, a much rougher life than others. We all have had our share of ups and downs though. That much I am certain of. For many of us, just when we get things all sorted out and the sailing gets smooth, life has a way of tossing us storm, after storm, after storm for us to weather. Just as it is in nature. How many natural storms have each of us endured in our lifetime? I am definitely sure that it is more than just one and some of them were far more severe and destructive than others. So, the storms in our personal lives can come in a myriad of forms such as financial hardships, emergencies, relationship issues, or even personal issues within ourselves just to name a few. That list could be quite endless depending on the person and the situation(s). My point is this, no matter how life tries to throw you off axis and disrupt your direction, trying to stay the course can be quite difficult. Often times we may even feel like the storms just come one after another and seem endless and we feel lost and all alone at sea. That can make it hard to see that there is end in sight, even though we may not be able to see that far to the horizon at the time. We may also start to take on the weight of these storms. Thus, making us feel like we are drowning from all that we try to carry as we attempt to continue our journey through them. We carry the stresses of the entire ordeal, including things in the storms that we cannot control. We have to let go of those weights before it is too late and we go under. No matter what the storm is, most of it is more than likely out of our control. There are really only two things in this world that we can control, our words and our actions. All we can control is us. Everything else are just variables designed to promote a reaction from us. Don’t get me wrong, some of our storms are brought on by our own actions. We just have to learn from those choices we make and not plot that course again and circle back into that particular storm or storms. All of this brings me to my next piece of this, the lighthouses.

When we are in the midst of these storms and feel lost and alone, we all tend to look for that beacon, or sign, for a direction to go that will lead us out of the storm and into safe harbor. Those are our lighthouses. These lighthouses are not necessarily one single thing or person. Just like real lighthouses are built from many different materials(bricks, mortar, steel, wood, etc.), so are our own personal lighthouses. They often times can be a combination of family, friends, loved ones, God or other personal beliefs, and things. Some of our storms are much too fierce to try to weather alone. We have to look for those beacons to help get us through. Hopefully, we all have at least a few people close to us that offer help, support, and guidance to get us through. Let these people in! Let them help you by whatever means that they have to offer. Sometimes that is not the case sadly. There may not always be someone reaching out. That is when we must take charge as the captain of our lives and reach out for help. Call out as loudly as you can and I am certain that someone will hear you and shine their light to help guide you home. Reach out for those people or things. Whatever it takes to regain some sense of direction.

So, even though many times the seas of our lives may be rough, and the storms quite strong, just remember that there is smoother sailing ahead and that you are never alone. Storms don’t last forever, even though it may seem like it at times. Look for that beacon and I am positive that you will make it out. You may be a little battered and show the wear that the storms put on you, but you will be okay and can begin to make the necessary repairs before the next one comes your way.

Father’s Day

Well, it’s that time again. That one day of the year when we celebrate the great men, fathers, and dads in our lives, or that we may know, for all that they have done. It is usually a very happy and joyous day for many. However, for some, it can be a very difficult time of year as well. We need to remember that too.

First of all, let me start with the good stuff. Let me start by saying that, in my opinion, not all men are fathers and not all fathers are men. If you are reading this, you have, or had, a father in your life at some point. He may, or may not, be in the picture anymore for whatever reason, but you still had one. In many cases your father is present in your life somehow. Whether he is or isn’t, you need to at least thank him. You don’t have to personally know him to be able to do that. Just simply utter a “Thank you for giving me life” at some point in your day. After all, if it wasn’t for him, you would not be here. So whatever differences you may have had, try to table that for a few moments just to let him know that you appreciate the gift that is your life. On the flip side of that is the great dad. The loving, caring, wise, and supportive father. The one who was always there as much as he could be and helped shape you into who you are today one way or another. The one who still worries and thinks of you daily, even when you are grown. The one who has done and will always do anything he can for you and has sacrificed countless times so you could have the best life that he could give you. The one who has loved you unconditionally from day one. That also does not mean that he has to be your biological father. There are so many great men out there that have stepped up to the plate for children that weren’t their own and have loved and provided for them as if they were. In my book, those men deserve a HUGE shout out and praise!! They didn’t have to do any of it, but they chose to out of one thing….LOVE! So, if you are able, see, call, or even text your father and tell him you think of him and you love him.

Now, you also have the fathers that aren’t in the picture at all and refuse to pull their weight or have anything to do with the child that they helped create. I am not going to spend much on this topic because we all know it too well in today’s society. That saddens me. Just like mothers, there are many men out there in this giant world we live in that would want nothing more than to have a child of their own, but can’t for whatever reason. Yet there are fathers out there just basically throwing children to the side and not thinking twice about it or them. That is a total shame!

Then, we have the ones of us that have lost fathers and/or children which makes this day very hard at times. Especially the first few following such a loss. That one day when everything comes flooding back. The memories, emotions, and just sense of love that floods us around this time each year as we try not to drown under that very flood. Some of us handle it better than others, but everyone is different and handles things differently.

Finally, we have the fathers that want nothing more than to be a presence in their children’s lives but can’t for whatever reason. It may be a personal or geographical distance and logistics issue. It may be due to some sort of legal action(s). Things that are largely out of his control. Whatever the reason is, they want to be a part of their kids lives but can’t. It could be due to a personal issue with the mother to where she withholds the children or verbally trashes the father. Thus, damaging and putting a strain on those relationships to the point that the children could care less because that is all they have been taught. That is truly heartbreaking to me.

So, just keep this in mind as we all wish each other the traditional “Happy Father’s Day” wish. Although, for must of us, it will brighten our day and bring loads of joy and happiness, for some, it will not. It will bring on sadness and pain. If you see that happening, don’t be offended. Just be understanding.