Monthly Archives: February 2013

Transparent Afterthoughts of my Backwards Thinking: Part III

renewal“I woke up a few years ago and realized that I no longer had a grip on who I was…the me that I was living with was this dude who changed himself all the time to try and get other people to like him…and my entire identity was wrapped up in everyone else’s approval of me……so this is me – breaking loose of that piece of bondage and concerning myself with the approval of only One and not the many.”-David Dunn

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post (Transparent Afterthoughts of my Backwards Thinking: Part II).  If you also haven’t read the first part (Transparent Afterthoughts of my Backwards Thinking: Part I), please do so before reading this post as well, thank you!

5)   Reflect on Your Journey.  Just like anything else in life, you don’t become an expert by simply reading or scanning over it once.  The same perspective is necessary for your life and future.  We must look back on where we’ve been and where we’ve come.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the moment and where we’re presently going, that we forget about our past, we forget about the moments of hardship, the times we wanted to give up.  I found myself all too often getting through a tough moment only to put it in the back of my mind or hidden beneath many personified layers, holding it in, so no one will find out or realize I have a weakness.  How are we ever going to grow if we don’t let these things out, if we don’t ever look back on our lives to appreciate, to know, to realize everything is bigger than us.  And while we’re reflecting on our past, we can begin to discern and dissect problematic issues and circumstances, which led us into those difficult moments, empowering us to make more critical decisions later in life.  Reflecting on your journey simply creates a new perspective, conveys a position change, removing yourself from an unhealthy lifestyle into something healthy and life improving.   Sometimes we get stuck into a negative mindset of, “oh we/I had it so much better before” or “I was soo thin back then,” but look at where you’re at now, look at all the other things you can be thankful for.  God doesn’t take us down dark alleys only to be mugged and robbed, but instead guide us to safety.  It’s in the moment we step into the sunshine to realize, God was always at our side…

6)   Look Forward to the Unknown.  How scary is that word, unknown?  Don’t we have this automatic philosophy of insecurity and negativity with the unknown?  It’s like the phrase, “you need to drink water for all the health benefits;” as you read that, I’m sure you got a little thirsty or even reached for your cup of water because we always know to drink more water.  Well, it’s like that with the word, unknown.  We begin to walk on egg shells when we don’t know where we will end up for a job or how we will pay our next bill or will our loved one recover from a health issue, we don’t know, it’s obscure, it’s simply untold.  It’s so hard to think positive and recognize the silver lining in all situations and predicaments, right?!  Even though we may not know what tomorrow may bring, we should embrace the unfamiliar and mystery because as we open the curtain of the unknown, it’s all too often the reveal is surprisingly pleasant and rewarding.  Especially living a life for Jesus Christ, we have no idea where He will lead us, but I’ll confidently tell you, He’s already “been there and done that,” and there’s no need to worry or be concerned because “therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”-Matthew 6:34; so the only thing you can do is, be excited and ready because who knows what or who the Lord will bring your way!

7)   Things Happen for God’s Purpose.  Simple as that.  I’ve written about this all too often about the ups and downs of life and how God is THE orchestrator of all things.  How often is a moment so hard that we beg, “why God why, why me, what did I do to deserve this?”  In these moments, we need to reflect on the importance of giving Him all our love and attention because if He took us to this moment, He will get us through it.  As humans, we continually get stuck into a detrimental, pessimistic mindset once hardship rears its ugly face.  God never told us to do this.  There’s nowhere in the Bible does it say to sulk, regret, and dwell on what just happened.  We should embrace these moments because “count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”-James 1:2-4.  In the past year or so, I’ve quickly realized this.  As I continue to grow spiritually in my walk with God (yes, I struggle, I have my hard days too), I realize He’s in complete control, we’re simply pawns in His ultimate game of chess; if we try to move one way and get turned down or blocked out, He always provides us another move.  If a door closes, He provides another door for us.  From the obscure and odd timing of all the recent experiences in my life, I cannot simply say it was all a coincidence, the Mexico mission trip, providing loving friends and a random family to live with in Chicago during my internship, graduating grad school, my brothers wedding, the Super Bowl volunteer experience in New Orleans, and now, He has blessed me with a job; all has been provided by Him and only Him alone!  As a believer, I’m not in the business of randomness and coincidences, but rather ALL THINGS happen for God’s purpose!   “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”-Romans 8:28


Transparent Afterthoughts of my Backwards Thinking: Part II

renewal“I woke up a few years ago and realized that I no longer had a grip on who I was…the me that I was living with was this dude who changed himself all the time to try and get other people to like him…and my entire identity was wrapped up in everyone else’s approval of me……so this is me – breaking loose of that piece of bondage and concerning myself with the approval of only One and not the many.”-David Dunn

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post.  If you haven’t read it yet, please the first one first (Transparent Afterthoughts of my Backwards Thinking: Part I), so the following makes sense.

3)   Stay Determined and Focused.  In the face of trials and tribulations, it’s easy to get lost, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself and others.  I’ll wholly admit I was navigating a rough sea without any direction, getting tossed and turned, being engulfed in my own waves of confusion, resentment, and unfulfillment, losing sight of the precious lighthouse to light my path to safety.  In those regards, avoidance and turning to unhealthy behaviors pushed me farther out to sea, immersing me into complete and utter desolation, forfeiting my life to engrossed thoughts and actions, hurtfully inattentive to ones around me, simply because I was wavering and wandering in my thoughts and actions.  You must not only be determined, but also be determined to keep your focus on your life’s purpose.  We all have passions, we all have a “sense of purpose.”  Everyone has been gifted with a talent.  As we lose sight, our gifts and talents also become obscured, altered, or even redirected in a negative light.  In other words, instead of using wellness, nutrition, and fitness (which encompasses my talents and passions), I was using it in a highly adverse and detrimental way.  So as I gained refocus over my life and determined to maintain my focus, my gifts and talents began to realign with God’s purpose, using them to please Him, serving and loving others, as I always should have been doing.

4)   Love and Embrace Close Family and Friends.  Once again, as you have noticed from the aforementioned disciplines, once you lose sight of yourself, purpose, and drive, everything else is lost at the waist side, including close family and friends.  Once you become so overwhelmed by personal issues and consumed by egotism, others are haplessly afflicted, even if those people were/are trying to cultivate corrective behavior.  In your “world of I,” constructive criticisms and questions about faulty resolutions are either ignored or criticized, alienating and most often hurting the only ones who have been indefinitely at your side.  Regularly hurting loved ones around you will only make everything else more difficult.  As I started to be renewed, the love, closeness, and guidance being offered by others, in which I was condemning, was actually sympathetic and improving all the aforesaid disciplines.  So embrace the precious love and support from others, encourage closeness among your family and friends because friendships and relationships are mutually exclusive, there must be an exchange of self-surrender, with both parties complimenting and coordinating feelings, thoughts, and actions in an intimate or socially appropriate manner.  You can’t conquer your fears alone.  The fool is the one who thinks they can conquer the world on their own.

Check back tomorrow for Part III…


Transparent Afterthoughts of my Backwards Thinking: Part I

renewal“I woke up a few years ago and realized that I no longer had a grip on who I was…the me that I was living with was this dude who changed himself all the time to try and get other people to like him…and my entire identity was wrapped up in everyone else’s approval of me……so this is me – breaking loose of that piece of bondage and concerning myself with the approval of only One and not the many.”-David Dunn

As I reflect on the year or so, my mind isn’t wrapped around a hyperbole, but rather a conciseness of where I’ve come and what has happened in my life.  The adventure, beyond the words of this blog simply may seem as a misconception or oversight, or even a fabrication of the truth, but I promise you, the sincerity and candid thoughts behind these words are the essence of my true self.

With that said, separate from anxiety and fear, I’m going to reexamine and recollect on the journey I’ve experienced through this blog.  If you have read my story (who am i?), you’ll quickly realize I use to be a perplexed individual, having no sense of direction, focus, or motivation for my life.  Through the difficult remodeling experiences, maturation of habits, and the rediscovery of my true personality, there are SEVEN disciplines cultivated about myself as well as life in general; with all highly essential and conducive to continued consistent growth and well-being.  Not limited to, but highly profound learned disciplines are as follows:

18704876_JEdJdnIX_c1)   Face Your Fears.  No matter where you are in life, you must not shy away from the difficult moments.  Whether it’s apart of your previous habits of turning to “comfort food” or some other procrastination outlet, we MUST deal with the situation at hand. However difficult a situation may be, there’s always a solution, there’s always something that can be done.  Repetitively not acting upon certain circumstances creates a personal culture of accepted accommodation.  In other words, the more you avoid a situation, the more you create excuses and reasons not to do something or make a decision.  And that means, according to yourself, inaction equals permission, the opposite of what kind of internal thoughts and conversations that should be occurring.  Once you start to undertake and face all problematic situations and decisions, you’ll quickly recognize avoidance is the worst way to deal with an issue.

Responsibility-ahead-Blog-142)   Be Accountable for Your Actions.  Adding to the first discipline of facing your fears, you must be accountable for your own actions or even inaction for that matter.  Once you start avoiding things in life, whether it’s either inaction or distasteful decisions, you must be willing to suffer the consequences of egregious actions.  Negative decisions=negative consequences, right?  Isn’t that what all our mothers taught us when we were little, if we didn’t make our beds or clean our bedrooms?  It makes sense.  With a properly instilled discipline system, whether that’s internal or external, we know there will be consequences because consequences breed future knowledge of what NOT to do.  But it’s all too often, we don’t realize or recognize our faults until we’re looking from the outside in.  Luckily, facing your fears and asking for help from trusted family and friends, we can appropriately diffuse our internal battle, solving an issue at hand, and lessening the negative ramifications.

Check back tomorrow for Part II…


Up Down

up-down-arrowsAs one chapter ends, another begins.

Life’s perpetual motion is cyclical, spinning and twisting oneself up and down, left and right, from valley to mountain, to mountain to valley.  Put it simply, life is seasonal.  Good seasons are great.  Bad seasons are of course bad.  But guess what?    It’s a pretty difficult task of embracing such negative seasons or down points in your life, but why not?  Why don’t we use these valleys in a more productive manner?  Instead of simply rolling over and asking, “why, why did this happen to me,” we need to pick ourselves up and know, this is only temporary.  This hard time, this stressing moment, this jobless, bankrupt period is only-short lived.  I need to endure, I must endure!

You may ask yourself, well about the times where people are going through permanent difficulties, such as divorce, cancer, disability, etc, etc?  Granted, from a human perspective, these are enduring concerns, but what will an individual do with such a difficulty?  We’re all familiar with the saying, “it happened for a reason,” I’ll give you one better, it happens for God’s reason.  “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”-Romans 8:28.  What may look or seem like a downfall or weakness to some can be used to encourage and motivate people for God’s kingdom, it’s as simple as that.  The tools God has gifted us with, the hardships He takes us through have been orchestrated for a reason.   Where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you are going is exactly apart of His plan.

God didn’t create us to dwell and fall short when we’re in trouble.  We aren’t suppose to dig ourselves a hole and stick our heads into the ground.  We were all created for a purpose, even through the hard times.  We must embrace the fun and happy times, but we also must embrace and endure the hard times, and cling to His trust, that God and only Him will see you through.  No matter the sorrow, no matter the predicament, God is there for you, He’s just waiting for you to call out to Him, “I need you Father, I’m lost without you, I need you now in my life.”

In and out of season, we must turn to God.  If life is up or down, the season will end, and another will begin.  Look to Jesus next time your season goes down.