An Open Letter to the Woman I Scared Yesterday

o-ROAD-RAGE-facebook
An Open Letter to the Woman I Scared Yesterday

First off, let me start by saying, sincerely, ‘I Am Sorry.’ It’s amazing how quickly things will get out of hand these days when we aren’t diligent about minding our frustrations.

And yesterday certainly was a frustrating day. The Rodeo Parade had the most travelled bi-ways of town packed and crazy. Picking kids up from their marching band performance didn’t help any, as the officers directing traffic were doing so without the assistance of any road-blocks or signs and were already frustrated to the point of screaming at people.

When you pulled up to that stop sign, at N. Waco and Spring Street, with me behind you, it appeared as if you were turning right into the waiting traffic. I saw an opportunity to go around you, continue down Waco and avoid the chaotic mess of the backup. When I took that opportunity I did so safely, putting no one in danger and obeying all laws in the process. I had no idea that your intention was the do the same and that, despite there being no real inconvenience to yourself you would get angry about it. Angry enough to pursue me down the street, steadily blowing your horn at me.

This moment, was the moment I truly failed. This is the moment where I should have considered the infinite possibilities of what lead us to this event. The possibility that something had already happened, in your day, to make you frustrated enough to pursue an unknown vehicle down the street in anger over something that, in the grand scheme of things, was totally irrelevant. The possibility that I, in my haste and impatience, had truly offended you by unintentionally cutting you off from your course of action.  The likelihood that we were both aggravated about are day, or the traffic or any other number of things, neither of us could have known about, that caused us both to react badly. If I had considered all the infinite possibilities, what came next likely wouldn’t have.
So here I am, with you now behind me, honking your horn repeatedly. I suppose I should let you know, at this point, that I have no rear-view mirror on my truck at the moment. My windshield is due to be replaced and I’m waiting until then to have it reinstalled. So, I had no idea if you were a man or a woman. All I knew was that a vehicle was pursuing me down the street, honking angrily at me, while I had my teenage step-daughter in the truck with me. Regardless, I made a bad choice to return your (perceived) aggression with anger. I shouldn’t have done that, regardless of who was driving the vehicle. You can imagine my surprise, and my immediate guilt, when I put the truck in park, stepped out and with arms opened wide shouted “What the hell do you want,” only to see a woman staring at me in a mix of anger and fear. I could see you reaching frantically for what I can only assume was a cell phone or a gun. If it was the later I guess I should thank you for not shooting me,  though I didn’t approach your vehicle I know it was likely intimidating and scary; I’m not a small guy.

My behavior is my behavior and I behaved incorrectly by stepping out of my vehicle yesterday. Your horn blowing, although frustrating, posed no real threat to me and I should have dealt with it as such. It set a terrible example of how not to act in a confrontational situation in front of an impressionable teenager. I didn’t see if you had kids in the car, but if you did, it set a horrible example with them and I’m sure it was more than a little scary for them as well. It weighed heavy on me last night as I sat replaying it in my head and this morning it was the first thing on my mind.

Although I own my behavior and the consequences that come with it I have another hope of this message as well. I hope, in all of this, you take this as a learning experience – as I have done – and you do not pursue vehicles down the road blasting your horn at them in anger over irrelevant choices. In a much ‘worse case’ scenario I could have been a crazy person. I could have been a drugged out, nut job or a gun toting, bad attitude toting a-hole with zero tolerance and an itchy finger. Thankfully I am neither kind of person. What I am, or what I liked to believe myself to be is a person who was raised to not be threatening to women, something I (obviously) failed at and for that I am ashamed of my behavior yesterday.

For that, I am truly sorry.

Advertisements

Self Investment… how much time are you investing in you?

download

 

Life is a flurry of movement ninety-nine percent of the time. We wake up in the morning to hit the floor running trying to get ready as fast as we can. We have to get dressed, get kids fed and off to school, figure out what we are having for dinner tonight, when we will have time to stop at the cleaners or the do the laundry, who we need to call back on the way to work, make sure we have all our crap in our hands, kiss our loved one in a furiously fast flyby and hope to god we remembered to feed the pets and turn off the appliances as we warp speed out the front door! Then we have to race to the gas station, fight traffic to work, hurry up and clock in and dive right in to what can only be described as a ‘to do list’ of someone else’s agenda designed to help THEM achieve THEIR dreams. We dedicate 40+ hours a week to making someone we don’t know successful, at least the same amount of time to helping our kids and loved one achieve their goals and then (more often than not) we spend the remaining time we have in a given week descending into mindless entertainment on television or the internet because, let’s be honest, who has time for anything else after all that…

In all this we get overwhelmed by responsibility, necessity and the unending barrage of unimportant distractions. We have so many people asking us for some many things that we often default to ‘yes’ just to get them to go away and we find ourselves looking at our days, minute by minute, with frightful despair at the lack of time we have remaining. Then, there is the powerful and unrelenting gravity of the media giants we have filled our lives with, not the least of which, social media, tugs at us with the strength of Jupiter. We spend hours a day, often the most important hours – that should be spent in planning and celebrating our days- in the clutches of social media where we analyze our lives by comparing them to the updates of others. We check in, update, comment, and critique. We capture our ‘highlights’, the least common moments of our lives, in videos and photos and wait to see how relevant they are by the number of likes and comments we receive. We are checking into the irrelevant reality that has been built for us but we are checking out the most important moments of the day.. the moments we should be investing in ourselves.

As human beings, we are a by nature investors. We invest in homes, financial stability, education and careers. We invest in family members, friends, religion and the pursuit of all things that we believe will bring us happiness. But what many of us are not investing enough in, is ourselves. We are checking in on social media, but we are checking out of our own stories. We are achieving goals that are largely for the benefit of other people but we are not allocating time to the pursuits of ourselves. We are being parents, employees, husbands/wives, friends and helpers but we are not being who we are truly meant to be; free, joyously happy people. We have disconnected from our true purpose in this life, to pursue and experience happiness so that we can conform to the world that has been built for us. We have become intricate parts of other peoples stories, but WE ARE FAILING TO WRITE OUR OWN.

We live in an inclusive universe or abundance; that means that we cannot exclude anything from our experience in life, we can only include what we choose to include. By focusing all our attention on the needs of others and INCLUDING an exclusion of ourselves we are magnifying that exclusion in our lives and moving further away from writing our own story. We must be intentional in our inclusion of ourselves, our dreams and our goals in our daily life if we are to see those become reality. But we are in luck because the only thing necessary for us to invest in ourselves, to inclusively write the story of our lives, is the things the currency we all already have available to us; our time and our intention.

It’s not a hard task to invest in oneself, but it does have to start with a understanding of what it is YOU want in your life. You have to be willing to thinking, to say and to believe it. You have to be able to visualize your story in your in your mind. As the saying goes, ‘If you can believe it you can achieve it.” And let’s be real here, this is YOUR STORY so don’t be cheap or modest! Dream big or go home! Imagine that life you want and then hold on to that image because it needs to become a part of your everyday life, in those important pivotal moments of the day that will carry enough emotional weight to ingrain it into your heart and your mind.

The first hour of the day, when you are compelled to initiate warp speed in a mindless flurry of repetitious actions, take that moment to be intentional about your day and your story. The mind works really fast so it isn’t like it’s a big investment of your time. Take a few moments, a few minutes at most, and think about everything you need to do that do. Prioritize the activities so that you can focus on the most important, because let’s be honest about this… you probably aren’t going to get it ALL done today. What is equally, if not more so, important than prioritizing the mundane tasks of the day is taking a moment to build that mental and emotional bridge between what you MUST do today and how it will get you to the story that are you trying to tell about yourself. That’s the real key, because if you can’t build that bridge of connectivity, it’s going to be real hard to motivate yourself to traverse it with any real passion, isn’t it? These few moments in the morning can really set the tone for the day, help you keep focus on what needs to be done and keep you headed in the direction of the dreams that are part of your story.

The end of the day can be as equally impact full and important as the first hour of the day. Its when the flurry of the day has slowed and your daily responsibilities done, or at least as done as they can be, that you can (AND SHOULD) take a moment to reflect on the day. What happened today that you liked? What happened that you didn’t? What could you do better tomorrow, next week, next month, next time? What occurred that you would like to never see a part of your story again? What happened that you would? What should I celebrate about this day? Don’t get sucked into the negativity of ‘this sucked’ and that  was ‘crap’ because that’s just subjective labeling of an ambiguous emotion. Really dig in and identify the what, why and how so that it can be of real value later.

Of course, there is nothing that says you are tied to the ebb and flow of standard time. There is no ‘circadian rhythm’ to investing in ourselves. Invest where you have moments to invest, but be sure you are actually investing. Time is a tricky thing that will get away from you quickly and you will find yourself running ‘out of time’ if you are not intentional in how you choose to invest it. Yes, all those responsibilities seem really important in the heat of the moment but the most important moments of any day, which collectively become the most important of your life, are the moments you dedicate to yourself and your story. Those moments where YOU INVEST IN YOU to become the person you want to be, to live the life you want to live, to achieve the dreams you have dreamt and to tell the story that YOU CHOOSE to tell that becomes your life. It is the intentional moments that you put aside for you that make everything, and ANYTHING, possible. It a universal truth that we must CHOOSE to set aside time for the things that we truly want and desire in life and all those wants and desires will coalesce around you when you choose to invest in yourself.

​The only limits in your life are the limits you place on yourself by not investing in yourself with your time and your faith.

self_reflection

Note: I’m just a regular guy. I’m not famous, financially wealthy or in any way ‘qualified’ by any means of the social definition to tell anyone else how to live their life. This is just knowledge that has been imparted to me, that has worked and is still WORKING FOR ME an that is universally applicable to anyone who chooses to engage in the process of actively telling their story. Take it for what it is.

What You Are Searching For?

 

783715044303919910

What is it that you are looking for? Do you really know?

A few days ago, I was desperately searching for one of my athletic knee braces to take with me to the gym. I have been doing a rather intense anaerobic routine and my knee was in the midst of one of the greatest protests it has ever endeavored. I knew that those braces were in the bathroom or the closet but, despite all my searching I was unable to find them. I was so frustrated as I knew this would mean I would have to reduce my pace at the gym and, ultimately, limit the benefits of my routine. The next day, still suffering from the throbbing of my knee, I went into the depths of the closet again; certain they were there and I had just missed it. It was at that moment that it dawned on me, “You’re looking for the exact imagine of a knee brace and haven’t found it yet… you need to look for something else, something it could be in.” And so, in a matter of a few seconds I located shoe box which had all my knee braces in them. Needless to say I was ecstatic. I had failed to find them the day before because I was searching with the expectations of finding the exact representation of a knee brace. I failed to identify that they might be perfectly placed right in front of me, behind or in something else.

A few days before that I sat down at my desk to work. I was burning through my to-do list when I suddenly realized I needed some information from a sticky note that I keep hanging just above my monitors. The problem was, when I went to get the information it was gone! In fact, all my sticky notes were GONE! I immediately went into a panic as I couldn’t imagine, for the life of my, where those sticky notes would have gone. I looked around the floor and nothing. In the trash? Nada! Sticky notes don’t just get up and fly away! Then, I remembered that my mischievous ‘other half’ had been at my desk earlier that day. Of course! That explained everything! I texted her and asked here if she knew anything about it. A few moments later she walks into the room, smirking and giggling and tells me, ‘look up.’ Almost frustrated at this point I look up, six whole, horribly long inches and there they were. Literally, only a short distance from where they had been the day before. I was so focused on them being where they were supposed to be that I failed to see they had (been) moved a few inches away and, in my mind, I had lost them.

Now, several months ago I would have written this all off to just aging, bad memory. But, as things have shifted and changed over the recent months, I found that there was actually a very valuable lesson to be learned in there; one which we all know about but don’t (as often) adhere to the knowledge of as often as we should.

It is, by most standards, inarguable that the human spirit is designed to search. We are programmed to find that which fulfills us and (for some) helps creates a sense of completion in our lives. We spend the better part of our lives not at all understanding what (exactly) it is that we are looking for much less being able to describe it to others in a sufficiently relatable manner. How many people have spent the entirety of their lives searching for something they couldn’t quite put their fingers on? How many have achieved ‘everything they want’ but yet feel there is something the failed to find along the way? How often have we narrowed the vision of our wants so drastically, with all the details and expectations we build, that we go from having the unlimited possibility of the whole world from which to search, to basically being limited to searching through a keyhole?

And in all this searching, by way of our expectations and imaginations, we literally become the very bumps in the road that make the journey so difficult. We become so focused on the details of what we imagine as the destination of our searching (finding that knee brace) that we fail to see all the possibilities and opportunities along the way. We become so hung up on the details that we have firmly planted in our minds (the location of those sticky notes) that we are unable to see that what we are looking may be right in front of us, just not exactly where we expect it to be.

Of course, we have to get past our egos first. We have to get past the ‘want’ and get down to the needs. I see people complaining about being single, but their list of requirements for a partner are so vast and deep that its no wonder they remain repeatedly disappointed. I see people wishing they had more meaning in their lives, but they are so focused on a specific expression of that meaning they miss the multitude of opportunities that present themselves every day. People longing for not for what will make them happy, but what they see making other people happy and missing their own happiness along the way.

Maybe it’s time to stop searching so intently. Maybe it’s time to focus on the heart of what you desire and leave the details to whatever force orchestrates all this. Because as the end of the day, what we are a really wanting is that something, that someone, that life that makes us fulfilled. Everything else is just commentary.