Above is a picture of me worrying. I can tell by the set of my jaw and the furrow of my eyebrow. It's a little ironic, isn't it... my carrying my youngest daughter on my shoulders, her being oblivious to it all?
But there were reasons why my brow is furrowed and my jaw is fixed. There were YEARS of reasons...
-I was struggling to keep my fledgling school a-flight in a merciless economy
-I was "upside down" in my house in a ritzy community
-I was grossly behind on several payments.
I could go on. In fact, when I think about this day, I don't really even think about it.
I feel it.
Here are a few other things I was doing that day:
Washing the kitchen floor...
Looks like I'm being productive, doesn't it? In retrospect I can honestly say that each of these activities were DIVERSIONS from the acid that was slowly eating away at my soul.
Acid? Eating away? Soul?
At the time of these photographs, I was reflecting on almost 13 years of investing in a community of people who in very damaging ways ended up not being what they projected 13 years before and all along. In reality, they were petty, grasping, devious, and effectively deceptive in convincing me that I had a place with them for as long as I lived.
But I'M the one who believed it. So I forgive them.
But should I be stupid again?
I mean, aren't we supposed to trust? Isn't that what cultivates a genuine sense of safety and ease among people?
Yes, it does. But I was missing a basic element that my HEART was telling me throughout those 13 years but my BRAIN was conditioned to suppress: I was told that thinking about myself FIRST was selfish.
This hit me like a ton of bricks about a year ago on a flight from Baltimore to Nashville. I've heard it dozens of times from air stewardesses, but this time it finally made sense:
In the event of an emergency and oxygen masks are deployed, put YOUR MASK ON FIRST. Then put your child's mask on.
When do you get "selfish" like that?
WHEN YOU HAVE OTHER PEOPLE DEPENDING ON YOU!
-Have you ever wanted to tell your boss exactly what you think about him or her, but you refrained from it because you could lose your job?
-Have you ever wanted to tell someone who cheated you in business WHERE THEY COULD GO, but you refrained because it could jeopardize your clientele?
-Have you ever wanted to tell a caustic neighbor how petty they are, but you don't because it could cause you more problems?
Of course, you have.
Do you have others depending on you?
Of course, you do.
Do you want to know how you can put your heart first in every important decision?
Click on the link below.
Click the link below to take TRAITMARKER: Finding Your Hidden Strength
Want MORE thought-provoking inspiration (for FREE)? Like us at: