By Ourselves

We’re all in this together–by ourselves. ~ Lily Tomlin

The pictures out of the Midwest have invaded my TV like an awful nightmare. They tell stories of suffering and horror, of loss and immense pain. They also tell the stories of heroic men and women who are working like hell to find those still missing. I know what it is like to go through a tornado of enormous magnitude. In 1979, as a young boy, an F4 tornado struck the town I was living in, part of what was known as “Terrible Tuesday.” I vividly remember driving from our home which had no storm cellar, to our friend’s home which did and looking out the back window of the car and seeing that gigantic tornado. Arriving at our friend’s home, we literally flew into an already crowded storm cellar. Despite the relative safety the storm cellar provided, the fury of that moment filled a little boy’s heart with fear. I remember my ears popping and ringing and the horrific sounds of destruction just above. Those sounds stay with you. The aftermath of that storm was terrible…42 people died that day in my little town. As I’ve watched the devastation that has played out in the Midwest these past two days, I am reminded of that little boy, surrounded by family and friends and yet, alone. While it is great to have comfort and support in times of deep trouble, but in reality, we process our feelings alone. As the people of the Shawnee and Moore begin the rebuilding, my prayer is that they find the comfort and strength that they need and that we, as their fellow human beings, can offer the support that will be needed to walk through this valley.

Prayers for comfort, healing and strength!

Categories: Fear, In The News, Thought for Day | Leave a comment


Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. ~ Marianne Williamson

The other day, while Paris played outside with the neighborhood kids, I took the opportunity to perform one of my least favorite chores…cleaning the bathroom. I had just started mopping the floor when I heard all this screaming, yelling and general racket. Cries of “kill it” and “stomp on it” were followed by more screams and yells. I really didn’t feel like running downstairs, but given all the commotion, I figured I’d better check it out. Just as I started down the stairs I heard Paris yell “I’ll be brave!” The screaming and yelling stopped and before I had a chance to get down the stairs, normalacy had returned. I found out later it was a spider that had scared the girls and brought out the bravery of my kid. Last night after I climbed into bed, my mind again turned to the kid’s bravery super-imposed over the quote attributed to Ms. Williamson. I wondered what would happen if we really recognized our fear for what it was (fear of success) and made a determined effort to be brave; to suck it up and actually live in the light our success brings. My little guy faced the fear the spider brought AND he instantly became a hero to the little girls surrounding him (at least one of whom thinks he’s “hot”).

Here’s to recognizing our fears for what they really are! Cheers y’all!

Categories: Children, Fear, Paris, Success | 1 Comment

Ready, Set, Go!

Success is my only option, failure is not. ~ Eminem

Recently I was flipping through the menu on the television and noticed that Showtime was airing Eminem Live from Madison Square Garden . Despite all his flaws and often raw performances, I like Eminem and as such, decided that I’d see what he had to offer in a “live” show. I tuned in just as Eminem was finishing up his last number and walking off stage. Having been to a couple of shows in my day, I waited, figuring that an encore was in order. I was not disappointed as rising above the roar of the crowd was the distinctive beat of one of my favorite tracks. As the crowded roared their approval, Eminem swaggered back onto the stage and with mic pressed to his lips began with a line that always gives me goose bumps.

Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted – One moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?

The track is from the film 8 Mile, a story loosely based on Emimen’s own life growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in Detroit. It’s raw and gritty and more than likely would be offensive to many who know nothing of that life. It’s also an incredibly inspirational film about walking with confidence through the doors that have opened. Each of us have been given moments that when gone, are often gone forever! Are we grabbing the moments that are given to us and taking full advantage of them? Or are we hesitating at the door? “You can do anything you set your mind to!”

Here’s to taking that shot! Cheers y’all!

Categories: Fear, Goals, Growth, Passion, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

Scaredy Cat

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. ~ German Proverb

When I was a kid, I had a recurring dream that I was falling from some great height. While I never landed in those dreams, that feeling of falling has never left me. Today, at the advanced age of [mumble, mumble], I have an irrational fear of heights. As a young adult we visited the Space Needle in Seattle. Attempting to walk out onto the Observation Deck dang near made me pee myself. I was paralyzed. I envied those people who could walk up to the railing and look out over the amazing landscape. The Sears Tower in Chicago has a Sky Deck that I hear is amazing. Over thirteen hundred feet and 103 stories above the ground, this Sky Deck allows a person to see for miles around…in to four different states in fact. Watching a group of friends stroll out with abandon gave me momentary courage, at least until I actually got out there at which point I really did wet myself. In an effort to overcome my fear of heights and of falling, I gathered every last little bit of courage I could muster and went bungee jumping. Yes, I did and you guessed it, I pee’d myself. Did I overcome my fear of heights? Yes and no. I found out I didn’t have to be paralyzed by fear but, well, there was that wet spot on my jeans that had to be dealt with. There’s a Moorish Proverb that says something to the effect that the person who “fears something gives it power over him.” What are you scared of? Is that fear keeping you from your destiny?

Here’s to facing our fears head on!! Cheers y’all!

Categories: Confession, Fear, Growth, Thought for Day | Leave a comment

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