Years ago I had the most beautiful wife, 5 of the most ridiculously beautiful children ...(we lost one), a beautiful home in a neighborhood that was fantastic with great neighbors, and a job I loved. The only debt I had was my mortgage and that was on the fast-track to being paid off early. I was putting aside money for the future. I was investing in rental properties and homes. We had our plan and we were building it.
Then I lost all of it except my children. All that we were building was taken away by things within and outside of my control. We did not create what we did to fail yet by the world's standards I failed big time.
Something happened after the dust settled around me...I had no idea who I was. I knew what I wasn't but I did not know who I was. I was not the husband, I was not my job, I was not my religion, I was not spiritual, I was not the father, I was not the little empire I was working so hard to build. It was absolutely surreal to look at myself and there was no depth in my eyes and soul. Everything of value was outside of me and it was gone. None of what I was building and creating with my wife and kids mattered anymore. As Moses said, I was a stranger in a strange land. I felt empty, lost and confused. Thanks to my ego, I did not let many see my situation and I played it off the best I could by showing that I had it together. And yes, there were many moments I did a terrible job of showing that I had it together which resulted in causing others pain and suffering. Something I regret terribly.
This nightmare was an illusion. I was in a magic show and I was telling myself that it was 100% real. I was lying to myself about everything. I was even lying to myself that I believed in God but in reality I did not. Most everything was bullshit. If there was a time in your life when you realize what you believed in came to be a lie. The “Santa is real” belief that came to be untrue. That initial shock. I had that feeling constantly. One thing I learned quickly, the petty, weak foundation I had built did not hold up to anything. It crashed hard and fast.
Another thing I learned at this time was that I needed to rebuild this foundation. I needed to find out who I really was. No illusions, no lies, no bullshit. So, at the age of 36, I had to do something that I had never done before; be completely honest with myself. It was not fun by any stretch of the imagination. And man did I argue with myself a ton and to this day I still do to a degree. It was a battle royal. But I was the only one that could fix and rebuild this. NO ONE or NO THING could do it for me. Not drugs, not religion, not money, not even God himself could or would. It was time for my 40 days in the wilderness and under the banyan tree. To a degree I am still there building, looking, pondering, studying, contemplating, planning, struggling and learning.
The result is that a new foundation is being built. It is stronger and more flexible. I have found more peace in my life than I ever had. Less stress and anxiety and more gratitude. I see things differently. And in many ways I have healed and continue to heal and in turn have helped others heal.
My Christmas gift to you is to share this little story about myself and some possible new perspectives that may have yet to be entertained. Please consider these:
1. You are not here to suffer, you are here to experience joy, happiness and prosperity.
2. You are in more control and have more power than you realize.
3. If you have the power to destroy than the inverse has to be true and you have the power to create and heal.
4. Nothing has any values except the ones you place on it.
5. Let go of “right and wrong” and adopt a mindset of “what works and what doesn't work.” If you find something that does not work for you, let go of it or it will drag you down suffering lane.
6. Forgiveness means: Let go of completely, totally and unequivocally.
7. Every choice is one out of fear or love. Empower yourself to know the difference and act on it.
8. You have the tools built inside of you, use them.
9. God and heaven are within you. Before you go looking somewhere else, take a peek there first.
10. Life is about how you treat the person next to you.
The following are questions I ask myself, things I work towards answering in the affirmative. No, I can not always answer yes to all of them, but I am aware of it and always making adjustments.
Have I made certain that those I love feel loved?
Have I done something today that improved the world?
Have I conditioned my mind/body to be stronger, more flexible and resilient?...
Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?
Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?
Have I accomplished something worthwhile?
Have I helped someone less fortunate?
Have I collected some wonderful memories of doing good?
Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?
Much love and Happy Holidays,
“God can become to the individual only what God can become through the individual.”