Stories from experience and observations
I observed that there are men of the majority race who seek to retain their souls.
Opting for jobs as bartenders, servers, and coffee makers.
Opting out of the world where interruptions are competition and sexual innuendos are a part of the workplace banter.
These men appear happy and at peace with their life choice.
But what are they missing? Would it have been more fruitful to take part in the dance of their brothers?
Yes, college is more affordable for the kids of company men; winter vacations in the mountains are occasions to create social envy,
fast cars, and fancy dinners are the language of their cohorts.
But is this a benefit?
Described in the Holy Scriptures, our lives are like fog, we are here today and gone tomorrow.
Are the trade-offs, missed holidays and cold turkey dinners worth it?
If not, is it pursued out of boredom?
Oh, What absurdities are done in the name of boredom.
Men who live in fear.
It is amazing how much we rescind to fear regarding our lives, instead of taking action that empowers and gives us a voice.
As my husband and I sit in Barnes & Noble, which is sort of a weekly ritual for us that involves overpriced coffee and oversized chairs, we realize it’s an enjoyable activity we do together. Today, we find a man of “lighter pigmentation” who seems to have lost his courage. Anyone who comes up the escalator or sits near him with a “darker pigmentation” is a victim to his long stares and subtle gestures. He shifts back and forth in his chair as if to say, "if you don’t leave, I will."
The past couple of months have been strained in America, as it relates to race relations. Dallas has seen its share of the unthinkable when five officers were killed in the line of duty at a rally. But, should we live with fear and trepidation now?
I think not.
We should not be fearful of each other because it is through community, communication, and the sharing of ideas we become each others’ salvation. An example of that would be, a man seeks out a recovery community to address his addictions. There, he finds like-minded individuals that reveal to him he is not alone and that there is grace on the other side of his dependence. In my case, community with compatible people provided me with a mirror to the issues that I could neither see, nor address on my own. Community provided me with accountability and a place to lay my burdens down.
There is no fault in needing someone. It is the ego that plays a vicious mind game on us. The ego challenges us to take on the world alone under the pretense that no one understands and no one cares. But not even Jesus himself subscribed to such an ideology. He had twelve disciples who walked with him and who provided him with companionship, conversation, and support.
Who are we in the light of this revelation? Do we not need each other? Do we have to live in fear of tomorrow or can we place ourselves in the center of our community, plant our feet and find purpose and healing?
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The Art of Detachment
A couple of years ago I went through a horrible breakup. Even though the split was devastating many lessons came from the period of mourning the loss of companionship.
I became a yoga instructor that year and learned of a principle called detachment. Detachment is used to put people and things in right relationship in our lives. It allows us to exist independent of those things and people. It clears out the human tendency to control, nag, and posses. At that time in my life, learning this way of thinking changed my life.
Three years later I would meet my now husband and the beauty of our relationship blossomed from the principle of detachment.
I do not own my husband.
He is his own person.
I am my own person.
His needs, wants, likes, and dislikes are different from mine. That is okay.
Love by nature is freedom.
The Bible teaches this same principle, freeing man from his obsession to make this life, a temporary state, his permanent home. The Biblical teaching goes on to read, "How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone." The message encourages us to not only live detached but to live each day as if it were sacred.
Complete and utter independence from everything that seeks to own.
My husband purchased for me a beautiful engagement ring - simple and classic. Most mornings I remember to slip it on before heading out the door. On days I decide to work from home I don’t wear it. But with or without what the world would call a "rock" and a status symbol of belonging and success on a personal level, I hold fast to not detaching myself to its significance.
I am not defined by whom I am with, what I have, or who I strive to become.
The creator decides the purpose of his creation.
My position is to flow through life grateful for the moments that make up each moment, living in the present, learning from the past.
What We Believe Matters
When an individual is deeply invested in their beliefs you will not win them over with reason because you are asking them to go against the very thing they believe.
Beliefs are important.
For instance, one might reason that people who call themselves lovers of the peace movement would not succumb to rhetoric that is fervently for war. An individual who believes they are a Christ follower has certain character traits and so on.
We should pay close attention to beliefs because they dictate thoughts our thoughts steer our actions.
My question, how do you alter beliefs?
How do you and I shift the very foundation we build our entire life on? We live and die by our beliefs – even if they are wrong.
We loose the principle of truth as a foundation for our beliefs because we cannot agree absolute truth exist. My faith teaches that there is absolute truth. Truth is found in Christ, scripture, and seen through creation.
My belief in an absolute truth lays the foundation for how I treat you, respond to hate, and live my life. But, this is my truth, and no matter how bad I want that truth to be the truth of the world, it is not.
Other belief foundations that we witness today are those around abortion and homosexuality, money, and power. It appears the foundation is centered around the belief that your life is your own and you do what you will. But I have known people who did what they will as it pertains to life, love, their body, and relationships and it has led to pain.
How do we decide on a central and absolute truth?
The place to begin would be the beginning but we would all have to agree on the starting point. We would have to agree on the starting place of our existence and creation, a beginning in which man was created.
The reason we don’t know where to look for the answers is because we have lost our starting point. Truth is subjective and our beliefs stem from the days newspaper headlines.
I hope we can come to an agreement before we harm each other further with our “beliefs”.
Remembering Christ in 2016. Verses taken from Matthew 5:1-12
Run the race. Fight the good fight.