Archive | September 2013

I Confess…Success is Scary

There’s a scripture in the bible from John 8:32 that says, And you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.  Now I here this spoken all the time by people of all different types.  Most of which believe it to be the dead on.  There’s another saying that confession is good for the soul.  And while I personally am inclined to think otherwise, I guess I can see the validity in something like that.

I personally, am not really the confessing type.  I’m not saying that I can’t admit when I’m wrong, but that’s the thing.  You have to get me to tell you what I did, in order for me to admit whether or not it was wrong.  I’m just saying…

Either way, what I really wanna talk about today is my own personal confession.  More like a declarative statement, so to speak.  So here goes….

I failed…I have failed…

I have not always lived up to my own expectations.  I haven’t had the money, I haven’t been well known, not famous nor any of that.  I have failed in most of my life.  I wasn’t the scholar that my family believed to be.  In fact, in most of high school, I was extremely lazy.  I only tried when I had to, and even then, it was probably more of a half effort.  I see the things that I didn’t do then, and understand some of my struggles now.  I guess I’m the type of person that has to wrap his mind around certain things in order for them to be true in my reality.  I don’t know if I’ve ever really felt successful.  I look back on my years, and I see a bunch of failures.  Being kicked out of school.  A failed marriage.  The friendships I’ve left behind.  Seems like too many to count for someone who is only 34.  I look at those things, and when I hear someone tell me how I can be better, all I think is, “You don’t really know how I feel about it.”  Until a few weeks ago.

I’d probably deny this, if someone asks after today, but I guess it’s in writing now, so I won’t be able to.  A little over a week ago, I was home in VA, and my brother pointed something out to me that I hadn’t heard in years.  He said something that only I had personally admitted to myself.  Like I said before, I hadn’t spoken about it, because I’m not really about that confession type of thing.  He said to me, that I was afraid to be successful.  And at the time, I probably would’ve called him crazy, and he was for the context in which he was talking, but overall he was right…

That’s my confession.  I…Am Afraid…To be Successful.  Part 2 of that would be that I am truly afraid of so much more as well.  I just don’t talk about those things.

It’s not that I don’t have the aptitude to be successful.  It’s that up until now, I never had the attitude.  I get so caught up in the exploration of the psychology of my failures, that it’s hard for me to move forward, and let things go.  When I have failed before, I’ve been really tough on myself.  I don’t know if it’s because of family, or what.  I believe it’s me.  I never focused on what I actually did well.  I focused mostly on what I did wrong.  I think it is because I’ve always wanted to be known as a person of humility, when truth is, I can be pretty arrogant at times.  It’s because I probably care a lot more about being important than I have ever been willing to admit.  I never sought out for people to look at me and say, he’s arrogant, and he thinks he can do it all.  I just wanted them to know I was confident in myself, yet humble.  That’s big for me.  Cause it took me a while to come to this, but I think it’s more arrogant for people to think that they can wait on someone to congratulate them on the things they did well, than to just have confidence in oneself.  And in all honesty, I don’t really know when I lost it.  It could be the time I got my first D in Honors English 9.  Yeah, I know that’s a long time ago, but I think it was when my proverbial scholastic bubble was burst.  It could also be the marriage thing like I mentioned above.  Truth be told, I really sucked at my first marriage.  Not because I was a bad person, but because I wasn’t everything I could’ve been.  It wasn’t being lazy.  It was that I wasn’t mature enough to handle the situation.   Believe it or not, I even fail in friendships as we all do.  I don’t always know how to sustain them.  I, at times, am non-responsive, or just lose touch with the people I say mean something to me.

I think that’s why not only myself, but also people are so cautious about things.  Nobody wants to fail.  But the truth is everyone does at some point.  The point of it all is that you can’t be afraid to fail, but more importantly, don’t be afraid to be successful.   Success and failures happen to everyone.  But what’s funny is that when someone is so focused on failing, that’s what they end up doing.  And when someone is so focused on their work, or being successful, they end up failing in a place in their lives they hold dear.   I would say that having a nice balance is best.  Also admitting that there will be some things that you just won’t be good at.  Some will fail in marriages, and when they try to make their marriages successful, they will fail in how they deal with their kids, or jobs, or just how personal they are with other things.   People generally get better with time though.

I do personally believe confession is a good thing.  It’s good for the soul.  I’m not talking about the Usher type of “Confessions”.  I’m just speaking about personal failings and successes.  Nobody’s perfect, and we won’t ever be for that matter.  We should, however, try to get better at the things we lack in.  We shouldn’t be lazy and just allow things to just simmer in place.    Doing so is never a good thing.  When I acknowledged that I failed, and worked hard to repair some of those things that I believed were broken, and that truly helped me.   I also believe that when you’re good at something, be good at it.  Don’t be arrogant, and think you can’t get better though.  I know now that I’m pretty good at some things.  I honestly think I’m a good writer.  It doesn’t mean I am the best, but it’s okay for me to say I’m good.  And it’s okay for me to say that I care about what others think of me.  I also think I’m good at talking (well I think most people know I can do that) to people.   I’m am however, not good at getting to my point at times, that’s why all these blogs are so long…hahaha

More to come…

You’re Transparent…I’m Transluscent

In many churches I hear a lot of pastors, and preachers speak to their flock about being transparent. Transparent this, and transparent that…they want us to spill all of our secrets. At least that’s what most of think. We think that the pastor’s want to know all of our business while they go out and have their own secret lives apart from the church.

I would say that it isn’t true, but I think that’s already evident by my tone. That’s definitely not true. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very important to be transparent. But I would say that in being that honest, it’s more about being that way towards God and self first, than it is about telling others everything. I know myself, I am very honest from a surface level, but really try not to bring that much attention to myself. I see things as, if someone is interested in me, or notices me, then they would ask or find out what they wanted to know about me. That’s me, when I wanna know something about someone, I do everything I can to find out. I ask, I inquire.

In the bible, there’s a verse in the book of Proverbs that says: 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles. I completely agree with this verse, because you just shouldn’t say everything. No one should, in my opinion. Remember when you were a kid and parents popped you for talking out of turn, or saying something that you had no business saying? Exactly, most of us do, and we do the same with our kids even now. We start out making sure they don’t say certain things, because it’s just not wise for them to do so. And as parents, we have the life experiences to back up what we’re teaching. Most people probably don’t want to hear it all because they think they’ll be expected to tell everything as well. It’s actually a good thing to leave some things up to the imagination.

DISCLAIMER: I am in no shape or forming telling people to lie, or hold back important things that people should actually know like, telling your partner you have “HERPES SIMPLEX 10” or something crazy like that.

I rarely see myself as transparent. And while maybe I should allow others to see more, I would rather describe most Christians as translucent. Sure you can see some things, but not everything is open to plain sight. And honestly, I think that’s the way it should be. Most would say it is transparency that should be the accepted practice. But let’s take a second to be real. No one, and I mean no one tells everyone everything on their mind. And they honestly shouldn’t in my opinion. Not because honesty isn’t the best policy. It’s because the human condition is very fragile, and not everyone can actually handle total honesty. I’m sure that there are some husbands out there that wanna tell their wives some things, but don’t know how to say them without sounding rude. On the flip side, I’m positive there are some women out there that haven’t said everything that’s on their mind concerning their marriage. Most of us would most likely end up being divorced if that were the case. Like I said, being somewhat translucent is better, than being transparent because some things are truly left better unsaid.

Take for example a car. I know right now, my windows aren’t tinted. You can see everything through my windows. There’s no distinction of the things that are private to me, and the things that I want the public to see. With that said, I can’t leave anything out on the seat of my car of extreme value, because it would be like inviting others to come in and take it. On the other hand, my wife, has tinted windows. Her car leave things up to the imagination. So if there’s something she has accidentally left on the back seat, not everyone can see it. You would almost have to be right up on her window in order to peak through, and even then it isn’t very clear. I guess the drawback to that, is the people who are nosy, might just do that and wonder what she’s hiding in there. I wouldn’t say that she’s hiding anything by having her windows tinted, but she is just saying that some things should remain private. Some things are not meant for the general public. It’s nobody’s business, that you have an extra set of clothes, or the heels you wore at work in the back seat. And it’s no one’s business to know everything that you don’t talk about. That’s what I’m saying here. Some things should be left to the imagination. And while that can get people in trouble, the truth will eventually come out. It always does.

I look at myself as not being transparent to people. I am however, transparent to those close to me. I truly believe you have to have the balance of being both transparent and translucent. Going back to the example of the car. I have to not allow everyone to see it all, because of judgement. There’s only one judge, and I don’t have to appear transparent to him. He already knows me. I don’t have to let down the windows to my car so he can see in, because he already has a key to my car (that’s deep isn’t it!). Same with some of my family. They have the key to that which I hold dear. And you know how that is….we only give keys to those we completely trust with our prized possessions. Think about it.

More to come…

I Don’t Wanna be “Married”…

“Meet me at the alter in your white dress..
We aint gettin’ no younger….so we might as well do this
Been sittin’ here for a while, girl I must confess
Girl let’s go get married, I just wanna get married…”

For those who have never heard those lyrics before they belong to Jagged Edge’s song “Let’s Get Married. With that said, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I realize that there is so much going on in the world today. And not even going that far, so much just in my life. I have a wife, a daughter, and family (that in itself is a lot). I go to work 5 days a week, and have people to deal with there as well. The truth of it all is that my life, at times seems complicated, and without reprieve. Sometimes I just need a break from it all, especially from what society deems it should be.

With that, I’ll start with my subject for today. Marriage. Yes, I’ve touched on this before. But I wanna come at it from a different point of view. Contrary to popular belief, marriage has been around since the beginnings of time, and has survived all the way up to today in different forms. And when I say survived, I really mean, held on for dear life. The idea of what a marriage should be has changed so much over the course of time, starting out with the first man and woman in the bible, on to what it is today, where anyone can be married regardless of sex, race, etc. And that’s not really something I will touch, but I will say that marriage today has become more of an idea, than a reflection of a vow to love and be with someone till the end of your life, or even theirs.

Let me explain a little further…

When you think of marriage today, what do you really think of? I’ll tell you…Divorce. Nobody today stays married, and why is that? Why does something that is meant to last 60 or 70 years, only last from 3 to 7 years on average. And by saying that, I’m most likely being generous. If someone lasts for 10 years today, it’s celebrated, as if 10 years is actually a long time in the grand scheme of life. Marriage today is a shell of it’s former self. I’m not saying that it was perfect long ago, but people didn’t divorce for silly reasons, like they do today. Today people get divorced because someone out of the two snores. Yeah…exactly.

There are so many people out there getting married just for the sake of it. Men to men, women to women, men to women and vice versa…Just for the heck of it. They wanna know what it’s like to get the ring. But when they get it, they no longer want it, citing this isn’t what they signed up for. When the reality is…it’s exactly what you signed up for. Nobody forced you to do this, even if you have a kid together. It’s not always the best thing. A marriage license today cost about 50 dollars, and in all honesty, that’s how we treat it. They say, you get what you pay for, and that’s why marriages don’t last. Because it doesn’t cost anymore than a video game. And for those of us who play video games, what do we do when we’re finished with them…Oh yeah…discard them. I’ll bet if married cost 2000 dollars or we had to pay a dowry to the parents, we’d probably take who we were marrying more seriously.

Outsiders don’t even view marriage as a good thing any more. When they think of marriage, they think of a nagging wife, a husband who is rarely present or cheating, and a lack of sex. And as married couples, there aren’t that many examples to dissuade of the notion that marriages mostly fail. In referencing scripture I know that marriage isn’t for everyone, but the people that it is for should probably take a closer look at what it involves, before taking the plunge. Like I said, if marriage is the poster child for a lack of sexual activity, then how many people you know would sign up for that? I’ll tell you that answer as well…NOBODY!!! I certainly wouldn’t be someone standing in line for that. And most say that marriage is about love, and security, but I can get that without leaving my mama’s house. I don’t wanna be married if I’m not gonna communicate. I don’t wanna be married if you’re so sensitive and can’t take constructive criticism or I can’t be honest. I don’t wanna be married if we’re not having SEX (Yeah, I said it) It’s the truth. I could be single and get all the things I just spoke about truth be told.

I think that’s my point about not wanting to be married. When I say that, I don’t mean that I litterally don’t wanna be Married. I mean it in a figurative sense of how marriage is portrayed today. Today there are no more 50 year anniversaries. There are no more important milestones, like having the first baby, because people already do that outside of marriage. So you ask…what is marriage about? It is (in my opinion…) about two people who love each other enough to committ EVERYTHING to one another. When I say everything, I mean everything….The good stuff and the flaws that each person comes with. The commitment that says “I’m not going anywhere, just because we had a fight. If you wanna sleep on the couch for a few days, fine, but by the end of the week we’re working this out. You’re coming back to OUR bed.” That’s the marriage that I’d sign up for all day long. The marriage that allows two people to express themselves openly with one another. Not allowing others to come in and destroy what has nothing to do with them.

That’s what I’m saying…I don’t want today’s “marriage”. I don’t want to be ‘tied down’ to mediocrity. I understand that it’s not easy. But it’s worth it, so it’s not supposed to be easy RIGHT? It’s not supposed to look and smell like fresh roses everyday. It’s supposed to be great, and tough, and hurtful, and happy, and a grind to say the least. We have to realize that love is not something to take lightly, and a real marriage is an expression of love, that can make it through stormy weather. Matter of fact, that’s what the vows say anyway. I don’t have to explain that part. What I do need to say, is that unexpected things will happen in any marriage, and you don’t always find out whether or not you really love someone before marrying them. It’s one of the greatest faith walks you can have as a person. Trust me when I tell you.

I Don’t wanna Be Married the way everyone else is. I wanna experience marriage for what it truly is, and supposed to be overall…BEAUTIFUL