You Gotta Believe

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It’s All On You

Whether writing, art, music–extending a word or a hand–the world can knock us for a loop when we venture to put ourselves out there in the jumble. Not that we won’t get the occasional coddle, petting, or sweet whispers, but not in a way we might deem as dependable. The wind changes, a door closes, sand shifts…and you’re left standing on your own, conflicted, confused, uncertain where you go from here.

Who’s In Your Corner

For me, all things begin and end with God. I firmly believe He gives us our gifts, securely plants them in our hearts, waters and fertilizes, fills our tank with mojo, and sets us off and running…

WOAH! Not So Fast

Did you forget something? I’m referring to that essential ingredient which makes your bread rise. The one you need to fold into the dough yourself. Without it you’re at severe risk of injury, failure, or all out doom. Which is to say, You Gotta Believe. In yourself. In what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. It’s not a maybe, or a someday, or an eventually. It’s a now and forever after.

High, Low–Maybe Higher

–or lower than low, in the tar pits low. And if your faith isn’t firmly held and deeply planted, it is this weak point in the dam where  angst and despair can most effectively seep in to crumble your foundation.

Not To Be Confused With the Bright Candy Coating That Melts In Your Mouth

You may be so blessed as to have a loyal entourage of enthusiastic and energetic cheerleaders who never fail to vie for a seat at your pep rally; who support your dreams, struggles, and successes. They boost you over the speed bumps, applaud and cajole with true admiration and dedication. But even then, these champions of your endeavors can’t be tuned into your channel 24/7. They too have dreams to feed and nurture. Sometimes it’s only you. Sometimes it’s been only you all along. In either case, how you push forward, stay afloat, or reach out to lasso the moon, has everything to do with how deeply you believe in what it is you’re doing. Want to do. Will do.

There Will Be Days,

when your heart will swell to bursting as you come across something wildly shining and beautiful with your name on it:

“…one of the best novels I have ever had the pleasure to read…her writing style brings to mind such authors as Harper Lee and John Steinbeck…”

Then just as quickly shrivel into raisins on the vine as you stumble blind and stupefied over this:

“This is really awful. Stupid story, stupid people. Couldn’t care less about any of the characters. I’m sorry I spent any of my hard earned money on this horrible book.”

Ouch!

But Whether Good, Bad, Or Hideously Ugly,

your belief in yourself and what it is you’ve set out to do, MUST run deeper than any pile of poo dropped onto the surface of your gleaming hopes and expectations. Because although your confidence can certainly be ruffled, trounced, bitch slapped, and bloodied, it can’t be hijacked without your consent.

Some assaults prove more of a challenge than others. Sometimes we’ve been pummeled so violently we temporarily lose all reason and sanity lock and load baby, mentally smacking ourselves repeatedly for ever thinking we’d be allowed to join THE CLUB.

And while there are times when weeping and wallowing feel necessary for releasing the buildup of toxins caused by critical assaults, it must only be temporary. Long enough for a cleansing wallow, but brief enough to recall that the opinions of others cannot injure your truths or shake loose your passionate belief in the gifts you’ve been given. They belong to you as long as you care to feed and nurture them.

And really, truly, it is my hope and prayer for you that you do.

 

What ya thinking? How difficult is it for you to maintain your armor when the going gets tough? Have there been times when you’ve been tempted to surrender, only to find your faith renewed in the eleventh hour? The floor is yours!

 

 

 

 

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My Man Rocky


Have you ever considered what character, fictional or real, would most fit the role of a movie about your life?

No doubt it’s not an especially easy choice to make, and it would likely require a casting call of thousands to find a persona close enough to fit the gazillion nuances of quirk and personality that make you, you. But lets say we do manage to narrow it down just enough to produce your life on movie screen.  Who are you?
So yeah, I am Rocky, but of course you easily saw that coming.  It’s not like I didn’t give you any clues 😀
I’m crazy about Rocky.  The battered, bloody, but nevertheless triumphant Rocky, to be precise.  I love his story, yes, but even more so, I am Rocky

Am I suggesting that I don’t clearly enunciate when I speak, or that I have pecs of steel?  Um, well no, not exactly.  My love of Rocky goes far deeper than those super-pumped, stand-up-and-cheer, fight scenes.
For me, this valiant underdog best personifies my own knock-down, drag-out travails as a writer. High drama? Exaggeration? Not so much, because for anyone who has undertaken a similar journey of the heart, you know where this is coming from. It’s rough, sometimes hostile, often frustrating, and downright mean.  Yet, even then, stronger and far superior to the pummeling afforded by these exterior obstacles, are the true and far more durable strengths of hope, faith, belief, and yes absolutely, perseverance.Rocky’s story appeals on multiple levels. While nearly everyone who looks at him might see an ordinary, uninspiring, nondescript nobody, he nevertheless holds to his dream and keeps on standing tough when the blows of life – and later Apollo Creed – continue raining down.  It isn’t just that Rocky is a dreamer (dreamers after all are as common as fleas on a dog), it’s that he’s a dreamer with unshakable purpose, dedication, and a persistence strong enough to allow him to gulp down a daily tonic of raw eggs, pummel frozen beef carcases, and keep on standing when the blows come the hardest.

(Of equal note is the actual story of how Rocky creator, writer, and actor, Sylvester Stallone, held on against the power and $$$ of Hollywood to get his movie made with his vision intact. Inspiring in a BIG way!)

Yes, we start with a dream, but at the dawn of each day it’s all about staying the course and going the distance.

So who are you? Give us your character 🙂

Reality TV, Is it Really?

Seriously, but this IS NOT a rant about what and why we watch what we do on TV.  Certainly there are plenty of offerings that inspire brain growth — Science, History, Travel, LIFETIME MOVIES!– and that’s all good for filling up the Einstein quadrant in our brains, but honestly, (and rest assured, no one can see your hand go up in agreement) doesn’t it also feel sinfully delicious when we’re craving just a little taste of junk-food, to succumb to an episode of Jersey Shore, Gypsy Weddings, any assortment of Housewives, or the especially disturbing Tots in Tiaras (please oh please, but tell me that people don’t ACTUALLY behave like this!)?   If only because it can be so exhausting being a real person living a real life. And isn’t it strangely true that the more heinous the train wreck, the more likely we are to keep our eyeballs chained to the screen?

That’s Entertainment

Hey, it’s exhausting being a real person living a real life. Really, I get it.  It can be a truly welcome diversion after a day of being out in the world Fighting the Good Fight, to drop into the nearest comfy chair and tune into the angst of a bachelorette working her way through a dozen dishy men in order to find Mr. Old Spice on a White Horse, or another Bride driven to crazed meltdown at the bakery because the Fondant on her wedding cake is a hair-shade to dark to properly compliment the cascading butter-creme sweetheart roses.

It’s sort’ve like eating a Twinkie, so dreadful, and yet we nevertheless feel compelled to eat one now and again, (though preferably when no one is looking). And isn’t it strangely true (strange as in, the part of human nature we all recognize but are loathe to admit) that the more heinous the train wreck, the more likely we are to keep our eyeballs chained to the screen?

And Then There’s Real Life 

But, herein lies the problem, it’s when viewers get confused and start to believe that what they’re seeing out there in Crazy Land, is actually the reality of our day-to-day interactions. Case in point, recently I read a blog post by Patricia Caviglia titled Be A Good Guest, which perfectly nails what I’m getting at, which is that REAL people don’t sure as hell shouldn’t behave like the reality stars on the telly. In REAL LIFE good manners are still required, disagreements are preferably settled away from public places (although welcome and expected on TV, where table-flipping and unnatural hair extension removal are encouraged and rewarded with frequent replays), good parenting does not involve berating small children into fulfilling all of miserable parent’s lost dreams, sessions with ones therapist are still a private endeavor and not necessary dinner party conversation, and certainly our Multi Million Dollar weddings hold on even after our People Magazine covers have gone out to the recycling bin.

So, what’s the scoop? Are you finding more and more Reality Personalities creeping  into your own real space?