Pinterest Fail

I have recently rediscovered Pinterest. And by rediscovered, I mean become obsessed with.

Am I late to the game? No, no I am not. I was down with Pinterest shortly after the late 2011 explosion. However, it took me very little time to realize that the main push of the site, at that time, was not really my jam. Let me go ahead and tell those of you who don’t already know. I am not crafty. At all. Like zero. I am not a good accessorize-er. I don’t do funky scarves without looking a wreck. I cannot elegantly frost a cake.  I don’t know how to pull colors together in a room with properly shaped and proportioned throw pillows. My “DIY a weekend project” is most likely going to result in calling a contractor (and probably my homeowners insurance company) to fix the big mess of shit I got myself into.

In short, I, and my kindred out there, am the reason #pinterestfail is even a thing.

However, like all things, functions and offerings ebb and flow and pinterest and I have found our way back to each other. She with her witty offers of animal memes and insightful quotes on writing. Me with my understanding that I do not need to pin the “Justice League cupcake party in 5 easy steps” pin as it will only jack up my “picked for you” suggestions and seriously, what do I really need that for anyway?

Pinterest has offered quite the plethora of writing inspiration lately. And as I was going through the pins from the weekend road trip, this was how two of my recent pins appeared on my screen…

Opposite Pins

 

As I scrolled through, this particular juxtaposition caught me as extremely interesting. These pins were saved relatively close together in time as they are close to each other in my pin feed. I saved them both to the same board – it’s labeled “Truth” and houses those pins that I find I relate to on a real level. Nearly same time, nearly same resonance , pretty different sentiments. The law of noncontradiction starts tugging some where in my brain but no where in my spirit and that is always a feeling that needs to pondered a while.

And I think about myself and what I am learning here. It also called to mind a few journal ideas I had over the weekend while on a mini outing with the children to Wild Adventures. I won’t get into those here, but suffice it to say that they too dealt with contending thoughts in the same head space. And I thought about The Many. And I thought about my tendency to roll depressive and roll manic. And I thought about all the differences in all the places of my personality that I know, have known, and are still discovering.

And it occurs to me that this cute little war of the spirit is probably pretty damn common. It is more than likely more common that not. I am thinking that the desire to be true and authentic without regards to the limits placed by others, while battling the need for approval and positive acceptance is simultaneously both the single biggest hurdle that most people face in their day to day lives, and the one denied the most.

I am also thinking that if none of that last paragraph is true for another single person, it is wholly true for me.

Even right. This. Second. I am editing what I say next as to not offend or upset. Why? Because I don’t want to upset. I am often taken as irreverent and say what I think. Why? Mainly I think it’s because I have no problem using the work “fuck” and publishing some of what I think. But the truth is, fuck is just a word I think has a particularly nice mouth feel so I use it and I probably publish less that 1% of what I actually think.

The truth is I have spent nearly my whole life caring an awful lot about what an awful lot of people think. You can call that whatever you want and I’ve already read the millions of articles about how that makes me a lesser person. How I am weak because what people think affects me. How I am a lesser brand of woman because I seek attention and approval. How I warp the ideas of my true self because I place stock in the ideas of others as it pertains to my person hood.

An interesting note about that. Older folks are right. You eventually hit an age where the noise that goes on around you becomes less of a thing. You eventually start giving less fucks about the bloviating others and more about your own bloviating. It looks like mine is 40.

What I mean to say is you can think whatever you want about the way I’m wired. The collective they has been getting on my nerves for a super long time any way. The bumper sticker writers, the “10 ways to be a” authors, the “must stop doing” hacks – the folks that take base emotion, add to it some cement character trait, and then pedestal it as some keystone of personhood – yeah, no.

And before this post comes off as incredibly salty (because it is starting to feel that way and that is certainly not how I feel and not what I intended when I started touching the keys this morning), let me let you in on a little bit of how I decide what the 1% of, “yes I should publish that” is. If I think I have identified in myself an emotion, thought, idea, struggle, that is uncomfortable to me because I feel it makes me less than the awesome person I know I am, and if I think I am wrong about feeling less than, and if I think that there are other folks feeling less than when they are not, I like to publish the thought. Because when we realize we are not alone, shame has a harder time living where we are (thanks Brene!)

The truth in the pins for me is I am still really hard on myself. Some of that is warranted. Some Most of it is bullshit put into my head by the ideas of others. That me that I am really hard on is flawed and not really fit for public consumption. I would prefer that wasn’t the me you see. It’s not my finest hour.

I am also fully aware that, while I have (and if I am lucky will always have) room to grow and get better, much of me that I am really hard on doesn’t really deserve the abuse I put on her.  And if she doesn’t deserve the abuse I put on her, the person that loves her the most in the whole world, then she damn sure doesn’t deserve abuse from anyone else.

So I would rather you not see the me pieces that I see, those I know that I am working on and feeling out and maybe haven’t smoothed the edges yet. But I have also found some edges that I think I’d like to keep, and I’ve decided I don’t really give a fuck what others think about that.

And the jury is still out on whether or not I will consider this a #pinterestfail redemption. I’m thinking I might 🙂

Holy Shit, I’m 40!

My eyes popped open at 0208. I tried until 0256 to go back to sleep. I just couldn’t. It feels like Christmas. And High School graduation. And getting ready for deployment. And heading to the delivery room. And waiting for the test results. All rolled up into one.

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Let me go ahead and acknowledge the fact that I totally get that some folks may think I have put way too much emphasis, both publicly and privately, on my 40th birthday. Let me be clear and with all the love I can muster for those who try and pop the bubbles of others – this is an opinion I do not give a fuck about. This is not your birthday, this is not your journey. You are more than welcome to celebrate with me and travel this way on the party bus. You are also completely within your right to stay the fuck home. The choice is yours. I respect it either way. I will now continue with my choice – celebrating and sucking every bit of life out of this milestone that is particularly important to me.

If you would have asked me what 40 looked like 20 years ago, I would have had an amazingly enlightened answer gleaned from the vast knowledge of the world I possessed when I was 20.

As an aside, there is a serious need for a sarcasm font. I think that’s a good fit for Comic Sans. I may try and start that trend. But I probably won’t.

20 year old me, surprisingly enough, would have been wrong. I would have never, ever described 40 this way. It is far more complex, simple, daunting, easy, exciting, scary, humbling, sexy, fun than I would have ever imagined.

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I have said over and over again these past few months that I don’t feel 40. I was wrong. I do feel 40 because I am 40. The truth is 40 just doesn’t feel like I expected it to. And honestly, I have no idea why I expected it to feel less than what I feel now. To clarify, I feel great. Why I wasted time assuming that there was a point in my life where I would feel less than is beyond me. I am sure there will come a day where I cannot do what I do now, but what if there isn’t? Moreover, why carry tomorrow’s baggage today? Why weigh down myself with things that have happened or will happen at the expense of what is happening?

Fuck that.

In fact, I think that’s where the root of the midlife crisis lives – holding on to so much “why did/n’t I” and “what if” baggage that our truth is crushed under the weight. It has been my experience that truth is not coal and does not, therefore, turn into diamonds under intense pressure. It is more akin to combustible gas that explodes when the pressure release valve is faulty. There are all these voices, ideas, personalities, opportunities, desires, thoughts that are routinely suppressed in our everyday lives because of our own shoulds, oughts, safety mechanisms. The younger we are, the more capable we are to ignore it or justify the hold down because we have “plenty of time” for that later. But you hit a certain age and that gets harder to believe because time just is what it is.

Then you just have to either shut it down and get old, or work it out and keep journeying. I choose, obviously, the latter.

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So here’s to living a life of badassery. Here is to the continued exploration of truth. Here is to leaving it all on the field and appreciating the feeling of exhaustion created in the wake of the good work. Here’s to feeling your age and appreciating what that feels like, even when it isn’t what you expected. Here’s to flipping the idea “I do (insert whatever here) so I am a good person” into “I am a good person so I can explore new things without fear.” Here’s to #teamunicorn 🙂

Here’s to Club 40.

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Because Fear

I once heard Oprah say that she believed there were only two base emotions – fear and love. All other emotions, in her estimation, grow out of those root two.

While I didn’t know it at the time, that statement fundamentally changed the way I viewed damn near everything. I considered for a long time the validity of the statement. That it resonated deep within me was true. But if that resonation warranted root or to be dismissed as a superficial feel good was something I had to ponder. It wasn’t until years later, after countless episodes of employing this “love/fear” filter, that I realized understanding this concept made me a better person. It fostered growth as a better listener, friend, thought sharer, problem solver, empathy giver, and communicator.

It also allows, when I can stomach it, a deeper ability for self discovery. To understand better, I am a person who really, really, REALLY loves self discovery – in theory. In practice, it routinely makes me want to vomit. A lot. The work creates the best/worst versions of nearly every aspect of my character (and there are a lot of them). Whether I come out on the other side a rising sun of badass warriorness or reduced to a quivering paralytic ball is really 50/50.

I used to take that chance, in small doses. However, this toe dipping rarely allowed for any real discovery and still had the same 50/50 outcome. The bang for the buck sucked. So, I hit the pause button and called that “being comfortable where I am” or “settled in my own skin.” Which is all total bullshit. I am built for journey and growth. I am built for movement and dynamic shuffling of all my voices. Stunting that, interestingly enough, creates the exact same 50/50.

So I don’t write, I don’t interact well with others, I don’t grow professionally, my energy lags, my health suffers, my brain tangles up, my heart hurts, my family misses out, my surrounding reflect the mess that is my spirit. I don’t write.

Because fear.

When this gets completely oppressive, I have a few band-aids to get me through. One of my favorite is the bookstore. I have found that I get nearly the same brain yum when I walk into the bookstore as when I am in the presence of big water; my brain calms down, my soul gets big, and my heart opens up. Incidentally, I have a lot of books. This is my newest one, The Writer’s Daily Companion by Amy Peters.

The Writers Daily Companion

The Writers Daily Companion

I love writing prompts. I love books on sale. This was both. But I have thrown enough money at useless drivel to know that not all prompt providers are the same. So I put down my 10,000 calorie, $155 Starbucks latte to investigate it a little further.

Writers Daily Companion Day 1

Writers Daily Companion Day 1

I didn’t really look any further in the book. It was going home with me and we both knew it.

Flannery O’Connor once said, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Writers do write for those who don’t have words of their own. Sometimes, that includes the writer herself.

Because fear.

The book sat next to the Thinking Chair for weeks. I realize I have neglected this journal for sometime and have not properly introduced you to the Thinking Chair. I apologize. I will. So it sat among the stacks of Thinking Chair hopefuls. Picking it up meant writing. Writing could mean anything. I am not always ready for anything.

As fate would have it, two girlfriends (both exceptional writers themselves – coincidence?) posted this Tennessee Williams quote. (Full disclosure I spent about two minutes vetting the source of the quote and could not find anything concrete, so I went with Mr. Williams)

Tennessee Williams Quote

Tennessee Williams Quote

And I cried.

Yes, I do that. More often than I care for anyone to know for reasons I am not always proud of.

Now what Mr. Williams said, while beautiful and currently being committed to my memory, is not actually what I heard. What I heard was…

Fear is everywhere and will eat you dead. Love is the only liberator. You are compelled to live your love. Write or the body burns down.

It took me another 12 hours to touch the keys. Another hour of fucking around before I made the first word.

Because fear.

Maybe I’ll work it out. Maybe it’ll be another 18 months before I come here again. Who knows. I do know this is the point in my posts where I typically wrap it up real cute like and put a little bow on the idea. I don’t have a bow. I have a burning house.

 

 

Living Love Every Minute

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
– Albert Einstein

Growing up I had a second family. They are my parents’ best friends. Their sons are my brothers. We fought like it too. Having two moms who knew how to cook everything and two dads who seemed to know everything was an awesome way to grow up – except when it came time to get in trouble. That came in twos as well. However, having brothers that couldn’t routinely beat on the bathroom door was a pretty good bonus.

Thursday, Mike Kelly died at the age of 61 after a valiant stand with Alzheimer’s. 61, seriously.

The funeral was filled with tears and laughter. His wife and his children each wrote loving and funny letters about this wonderful man. I sat there thinking the miracle was he knew all this before he died. This family did not wait for death to understand love and they did not require a crisis to find closeness. I have watched them love – and have been loved by them – my entire life.

It occurred to me that so many of us live our lives as if this one thing today is a small thing. We fail to grasp the wondrousness of having the opportunity to experience the thing at all. I also considered how terrible it would be to mourn the death of a loved one with things left unsaid. Love left ungifted. How awful it would be to wonder if the one gone left knowing just how much they were cherished, loved, and respected.

It is a blessing to know this amazing man did not leave this world that way. It is a blessing that every word spoken for the family was a whole lot of love people already knew about. It is a miracle that still as an adult, after all this time, even in death, Mike Kelly is still teaching me things.

Today I encourage you to consider living a life full of gratitude for those you hold dear. Never resist the urge to pick up the phone, write the note, spend the time, send the message. Smile more. Hug a lot. Sure, for most of us we have a whole lot more time. But it isn’t guaranteed. Besides living one day or a million with that kind of love in your heart makes all the difference in the life.

Thanks for the coffee…

Happy New Year!

A happy New Year!
Grant that I May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.
~Edgar Guest

I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily event for me. ~Anaïs Nin

Happy New Year! I want to thank all of you for being so patient with me as I took the holidays off. It was an amazing time of getting settled with my new team at work, enjoying family festivities, filing away all the things of 2011 and really getting ready to rock 2012.

I love New Year’s. It is so conducive to reflection, evaluation, and hope. It has come to be a special time for me. I have joyfully succeeded in taking nearly all the stress out of the holiday.

I do not make “before the end of the year” checklists. Likewise, I do not make resolutions…

Aside – Now I understand that “not making resolutions” has become the hip and “enlightened” thing to do. So let me say, if you DO make them, good for you. There is some real merit in making conscience decisions to modify and change. You, better than a coolio guru, know how your brain works. Always go with that.

…Both of these activities generate large amounts of stress in my life. Who needs that? Moreover, in truth, I already do this nearly EVERYDAY. I have things that need to get done. Some of it has to get rescheduled because I still haven’t figured out how to function with no sleep or add more hours to my day. But there is never NOT anything to do.

And I am consistently looking for ways to move into my potential. There are always skills I am looking to hone, things I would like to learn, habits I am attempting to unlearn. This does not simply happen once a year. It is a daily desire to confess, learn, and try again.

Today I encourage you embrace joyfulness. Be glad in the ability to throw out an old calendar and put up a new one. Enjoy the cleanness a new year brings. Resist the urge to place more stress on yourself than you should. Appreciate the things you do on a daily basis and do not buy into the idea that you have under performed or failed to be all that you should. It is a new day, everyday. Welcome to it.

Thanks for the coffee,

2012 Manifesto – Because I Like the Word “Manifesto”

It has been an interesting year…looking back on 2011 as it comes to a close, it seems while one might say “business as usual” there are actually some fairly interesting movements.

Typically, I start each new year with an anthem of sorts…and honestly, I can’t remember what this year’s was. I suppose I could go back and look at some of the places I would have recorded it. But frankly, if I can’t remember, that says something about its importance.

Knocking on the door of 2012, I know there are things that have to change. They have to change because I have changed. I am known for a pretty thick skin. It has worn a bit thin. While I am more comfortable in it, I feel through it a bit differently. Situations that I could view or pass through unscathed now move me in ways that are distracting. My eyes well on a regular basis. My heart hurts. I feel sadness. It isn’t that I myself am sad, or my own circumstances cause pain, but the empathy for those around me.

I witnessed a great deal of pain, sickness, hurt, death, and despair this year. I also experienced great joy, love, creation, and happiness. I doubt there were more occurrences – I am simply more susceptible to its effects.

Things that used to seem interesting or even slightly important now seem pivotal and game changing…

Even as I write this, I realize I am not saying all the things I want to say. It is becoming clear that this movement will develop itself…continue to develop itself…as I grow and learn with it.

I know that I am not all that I could be. I also know that it is not because I fail – but because I have so much potential, I have great room for expansion! I know I make mistakes, I realize that I am not perfect. I understand that if I were to run for a public office, it would be interesting. But I also know that I am a fabulous person. I am not scarred by failure and missteps. I am enriched by experience and journeys.

This year I became a runner. It has had a marked effect on me as a person. It has strengthened nearly every aspect of my person, created some beautiful friendships, and has become a core characteristic of who I am. The combination of time alone, exercise to the body, and a great illustration of my personal fortitude have created a deeper understanding of all that I am capable of.

This year I have owned my profession. For the first time I refuse to accept second best in any aspect of my professional life. I have gone back to school. I have forged new relationships. I have clarified roles, positions, expectations. I accept full responsibility for things that are mine. I do not martyr myself for others who refuse to do the same. I appreciate that there will always be critics and people who have nothing better to do than to try to drag down others. They can do that by themselves – I am not playing that game anymore.

This year I have learned that meanness is a major contributor of all things ugly in the world. Its root is fear. Fear makes for dark places. I am learning to place more emphasis on compassion than right, grace than win, comfort than conversion. I have learned that people are defensive, not because they are created that way, but because they are conditioned to proverbial face slaps whenever a weakness or a fault shows through the façade. So we fake. And we puff out our chests and berate others over the one thing we have gotten right so that maybe no one will notice all the other things we have yet to figure out. Because we can’t be weak…we can’t be wrong…we can’t fail…yeah, I am calling bullshit on all of that. A little harsh in the language category? Maybe, but I am thinking I am going to get pretty darn militant about compassion, grace, and comfort.

This year my family is nearing the conclusion of the journey that will bring us fully into the Catholic faith. It has done more to strengthen our resolve as a family and increase our compassion to humanity in general than I can begin to explain to you. Is this an evangelical mission? Not unless you want it to be…otherwise, it is simply me sharing with you another moment in my year. Interesting that I even feel I have to qualify that…something I will need to chew on…at any rate, this journey is becoming more evident in nearly everything I do. I was nervous about that for a minute. I am not so much anymore.

I am excited about 2012. I am looking for wondrous happenings. I am as prepared as one can be for more heartbreak…because I am committed to loving and serving more fully. In that position, heartbreak just happens – I am working on no longer judging that as good or bad…it just is…and hurting for others is proof of the love for others. Compassion moves with people where they are…and sometimes those places are painful.

But I am committed to the rainbows and unicorns. I am committed to smiles and hugs. I am completely sold out to motivational posters and talking in bumper sticker…because, quite frankly, I am thinking that a happy dork is going to be more productive as a human than a hateful suave.

Photo credit to Planet Breathe

Hallelujah is Our Song

Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people
and hallelujah is our song.

~Blessed Pope John Paul II

Thanksgiving is next week. I have been blessed to be around a bunch of folks who are taking this time of the year to intentionally reflect and name those things for which they are thankful. It is a glorious season.

Interestingly, this time of year also magnifies difficulties. Financial struggles become more pronounced. Estrangements and distance between family and friends becomes more noticeable. Fears about tomorrow and angst over yesterday occupy more of our minds.

There has been quite a bit of suffering, illness, tragedy, and death lately. I don’t know if it the hurts are increasing, if they are hitting closer to home, or I am just noticing them more.

I don’t have many words today (you are shocked I know). But even the chick who turns around Tuesdays finds some Tuesdays more heavy than others. In fact, I almost skipped today. If I myself have no words, then what is there to put out?

I can embody those things I always try to instill in others.

Today I encourage you remember the Easter, participate in the Thanksgiving, and be glad in the Advent, the new beginning that we are each afforded with every single breath. We cannot help others heal the ills that hurt our hearts if we wallow in our own. We cannot offer comfort to those afflicted if we constantly require comforting ourselves. We cannot carry on the mission of those who have gone before us if we are plagued by grief. We are human and we hurt. We are blessed and we sing the hallelujah song. Sometimes we just have to do them at the same time.

Thanks for the coffee,

There are Days When Spelling Simply Doesn’t Count

You can’t help respecting anybody
who can spell TUESDAY,
even if he doesn’t spell it right;
but spelling isn’t everything.
There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count.
~A. A. Milne
The House at Pooh Corner

I will be honest. I get excited when folks let me know they enjoy my writing. It is a nice thing to hear. I am especially thrilled when they use words like “transparent” and phrases like “I can hear you saying it.”

I enjoy that most because it is what I strive to do. I want to be honest. I want to be open. I am not interested in rose colored. Fake is illusion. Real is progress.

But not everything is suitable for public knowledge. Not all laundry needs to be be out in the open. Every good Southern girl knows that the intimates are hung on the inside line between the linens – hidden, out of view.

Is this because we are ashamed or guilty? While those things may be true, that is typically not the reason. Some things remain private because there are certain situations that are nearly too much to process. The wires are already so tangled, the extra voices already so loud, the self conscious advice already so judgmental and so bad that it just would not do to open that platform to anybody else.

Do I mind that you know I am horrid speller? Nah. I am not even concerned that regular readers know some of my biggest challenges, deepest fears and awkward moments. In fact, these frank discussions have enriched my life in countless ways. Amazingly enough, I heard from many that there are others that have had the same experience and that is breath taking for me.

But there are still things about folks that we come into contact with everyday that we just have no idea.

Today I encourage you appreciate the idea that everyone is some where. While that sounds superfluous, it isn’t. We see where we think another person is coming from. We have information that we know and even more that we think we know. Trust me – there is still more. There are untold and unnumbered fears, hopes, dreams, challenges, living in each soul that crosses our path. I encourage each of us to be kind to ourselves and each other – even when it isn’t spelled just quite right. There are many days when spelling isn’t everything. When spelling just doesn’t count. Those are the moments when it is so important for us to remember to try to focus on the things that do.

Thanks for the coffee,

Creating Rich Places to Grow

In my skin, I am not a checklist.
I am a holistic being with more facets than I even know about.
And light from one may create a shadow on the other.
And just because our shadows are different doesn’t make us less than the other.
~ Me

Alrighty Jack. There you go. He has been looking for one of these to start with a quote from yours truly and he’s got it – although I am of the opinion the large majority of it is nothing but my quotes. But, hey, I can compromise.

I have been writing this column for a pretty long time. I was asked yesterday if I had written this week’s yet. Nope, I hardly ever write it until it is time. I was asked where the ideas come from. Honestly, who knows. It kinda depends on what is going on at the time. The topics range all over the place often led by whatever wind is blowing through my own hair.

Sometimes it gets preachy. Other times it is a bit snarky. Some days I feel like a cheerleader – others, a warden. There are days when I am afraid to hit send. Wildly, more often than not, positive responses often show up tagged with, “It was like you were talking to me.”

I appreciate all of that, even when we don’t agree, I am thankful. But I want you know, I never intend to condescend – I am almost always talking to me. I feel, at the core, that most people are wonderful people with a few less than stellar challenges. I most certainly consider myself a part of that group – yes, both wonderful and challenged.

In truth, we are fairly eclectic beings. We all have our histories, influences, biases, desires, disgusts, causes, beliefs, priorities, vices, challenges. As we change and grow, we each seek to know and be known. The vulnerability in that is astounding and can intimidate the thickest of skins. Let that vulnerability be met with harsh judgement or condescension once or twice and a problem bigger than differences will start to arise.

Today, I encourage you to applaud all the different aspects of you, even those things that could use some work. Appreciate your different facets. Enjoy the eclectic nature of your likes and dislikes. Once we begin to appreciate these things in ourselves, we will be better capable of appreciating them in others. That type of support and genuine affection for others and from others is a powerful tool. Grow it. Wield it. Protect the goodness it is created from. It’s easy to stand aside, puff your chest and point accusing fingers. It is something else entirely to watch the goodness of a person unfurl because you created a rich place to grow.
Featured Image Courtesy of Georgia Brooke North

Sin and Virtue of Pride

To know a man,
observe how he wins his object,
rather than how he loses it;
for when we fail,
our pride supports us –
when we succeed,
it betrays us.

~Charles Caleb Colton

I will admit to being a prideful person. I appreciate doing well and being well. I appreciate excellence and I expect to see it in myself. It is easier to perform for the sake of my own appreciation than attempting to please the masses.

I have, as I am sure others have, been kicked in the teeth a few times. That situation is painful. Failure is never fun. Falling short never feels good. There is nothing anyone can do for you when just don’t feel like getting over it and trying again. That has to come from inside. That has to manifest itself with in each of us.

Winning is easy – humility is hard. Success is easy – failure is hard. Pride, just like ice cream, cable television, and jalapeno cheetos, is a requirement with an intense need for moderation.

With it, our thoughts of ourselves may become more inflated than they ought. We may become complacent in our abilities and stop striving for excellence. Pride then becomes a cover for deficiency – a facade for ego.

Without it, it is hard to maintain an internal barometer of self-satisfaction. We are left with no judgement of our own ability and dance in the wind to the opinions of others. Our skinned knees become impossible to overcome as there is no internal motivator to be better and try again.

Today, I encourage you to appreciate your inner drive. Appreciate your strengths and honor your courage to confront your weaknesses. People will long insist on “pride” being both a virtue and a sin. However, as in many things, it is our ability to remain vigilant in the commitment to produce goodness in the world – for both ourselves and others – that prove the heart of the warrior has the final say. Listen to yours. The conversation is priceless.

Thanks for the coffee,


*Photo Credit to Brian