A stranger to myself.

I have played a role my whole adult life. I have been on stage. I waited for the applause. I have been an entertainer.

I don’t know who I am. I am empty. Or perhaps I am filled with plastic. But I am not real. I am a toy at the whims of what I need to be not what I have to be.

I want to shed my skin. I want to drop my chains. I need to let go and become who I was called to be.

But who is this man I need to be? Do I need to create another role for myself? That’s my first instinct. Become another persona. I wouldn’t do it to impress others. I’m genuinely looking for myself. But can I be found somewhere else? Am I somewhere else to be found?

Most likely who I am is inside me. I have locked myself out of shame and I have missplaced the key. So I guess the answer to the question of me is in me. Keep asking the questions.

I’m not who I am. But I long to sing I’m not who I was. 

Lord, who am I? I will drop this act. But I can’t do this alone. I don’t have the strength. I don’t have the courage. I want to be know. But I will pay the price with tears.

I will be carried when I can’t support myself. I will learn to crawl. I will walk. And finally run with maturity.

I say goodbye to this me. I will be cautious of this new person. Where will this one take me/us?

Hello stranger.

A stranger to myself.

A voice for the voiceless.

I have trained myself to not get too high or too low. I have lived most of my life expecting the other shoe to drop. I have been looking over my shoulder waiting for something bad to happen. While waiting something bad has happened.

I’ve become invisible. I have checked out from conversations. My wife says I’m not present. How can I not be present? It is disturbing. Actually, it is selfish. The really bad thing that has happened while waiting for the shoe to drop is I’ve become selfish. I am more of a fool than I thought.

I’ve always had a good image of myself since I was basically a good guy. I don’t get into trouble, I am helpful, I am respectful, etc. Now, I may be those things, but I’ve trained myself to detach from humans. The detachment keeps me from getting disappointed and thus the other shoe never drops.

But that’s never the right thing to do. I have deprived myself of a life. Maybe I am supposed to have campfire stories of my foolishness. But, I’ve taught myself to not buck this good guy image that I have of myself. And yet, I have let myself down.

What a sad lesson to learn at this point in life. There’s not much worth in getting down about this. But the awareness is priceless. What if I had gone to the grave with my selfishness? What if my gift to the world never came out?

It will a process to finding my voice. But I welcome and I am thankful for this revelation. I want to make a community. I can’t do that if I don’t make myself known.

But, how do I find my voice?

A voice for the voiceless.

Mom got married.

My dad was unfaithful to his wife. He loved his job more than my mother. I have no recollection of them under the same roof. It has always been my mother, grandmother and I.

Later in life, my mother remarried. He was a musician. He moved into the house the three of us lived. He played in a band and composed music for other bands. He even started his own band. I wonder sometimes if my love of music started there.

He had a piano I’m out house, but he never taught me how to play. I don’t recall much interaction with him, actually. It’s a behavior I don’t want to pass on to my sons.

This marriage didn’t turn out, either. I recall a major fight between my mother and him. Lots of yelling. It got so bad, either I left or was told to go outside. I recall crossing the street and climbing a tree in front of one of friend’s house. Something now tells me I could hear them fighting as I watched from atop the tree.

Their marriage deteriorated to the point of not just divorce but he made her feel so uncomfortable, we left to live with my uncle.

From a young age the men in my life behaved poorly. I know this has impacted me to this day. I don’t want to dwell on that too much. My two fathers hardly interacted with me. I can see how I have done that with my sons. And that needs to change.

Reflecting on my first eight years of life, the living with the effect of two divorces have been a negative in my life. It’s not a big negative. I had a great childhood. My mom and grandmother did the best they could. And it was great. But growing up fatherless has wounded me. It’s ramifications I still live with.

But that doesn’t have to be the case with my sons going forward. I may make things up as I go being a dad since I don’t have any role models, but I will be a father to my children. I can be a father figure to those who are fatherless today. That idea I can dwell all day.

Mom got married.

The process of letting go.

Let go of who you believe you are. Let go of who you want to be. Put yourself in a process of letting go. Life’s math is not in addition but in subtraction.

You are not better for being more. You are not better for having more. More does not define you. What can be taken away cannot define you – your job, your role, your money, etc. All of it can be taken. Therefore, it cannot be who you are.

Loose yourself to find yourself. Stop believing who you are. Stop performing. Stop playing a role. Your true self will reveal itself to the world. You may not like this new you at frost. Everyone has apprehension toward a stranger.

Let yourself go. You’re holding on to a possession. You are holding on to property that’s not yours. Who you are right now is made up. Keep what serves you. Let go of the rest. The story you believe is just that a story. You don’t have to believe anything about your story.

Let go of the baggage. Let go of your fears. Let go of what’s holding you back. It’s a story. Make a new story. Simplify. Toss the old you. Let go of the excess. And live with your essence. That’s you at your greatness.

What’s the lowest common denominator for you?

The process of letting go.

Are you the captain of your ship?

I’ve characterized my life as a leaf on a river. I have not been in charge of where I end up just like a leaf is at the mercy of the water taken to some destination.

Another analogy. I’m not the captain of my ship. This begs the question if it’s your ship, why aren’t you the captain? It’s my life, it has to be my ship. I’m just not steering it. I haven’t even set a direction. Well, that’s not completely true.

I’ve set direction, I’ve even done the steering. But I’m not a good captain. I’ve never been seen as a captain. And the few times I put the captain’s hat on, I’m not trusted that I will do the job. It’s an earned reputation. I don’t scream look at me, I’m the captain, I’m the captain. And because I haven’t been captain for long, I’m not trusted with the responsibility for too long.

I’ve been trying to be honest with myself about myself and where I’m at in life. These self awareness moments are brutal. I just want to ask how did I get here? It was by not being intentional and having a terrible work ethic. The truth hurts. And the truth costs.

Some days I don’t know what to do. I want a nice looking house, but I’m not a handyman. So i have to pay some one to make me a nice house. I can’t pay someone else to build me a good life. I have to do something so others can say there goes a good man with a life I’d like to copy in some ways.

I want to inspire and yet I can’t inspire myself.

When in a hole, stop digging. When walking in the wrong direction, stop. In my case, what do I stop? And where’s the way? Am I lost without a map? Who can teach me to be a good captain?

Are you the captain of your ship?

Here in the dark.

Give me peace.
Give me solitude.
Give me silence, no thoughts.
No fears.
No tears.
No anguish and such.

Here in the dark,
the world sleeps away.
Here in the dark, I lay awake.

Here in the dark
all comes to light.
Giberish to all.
But it’s all my delight.

If you take this dark
you would take away my way.
And I would stray.
And I would pay.

Here in the dark
truth is not real.
For it does not matter
there is no light to reveal.

Here’s where I lay
until sunrise and may
I see what a game
life in the dark played.

Here in the dark.

If you have to choose, choose greatness.

The big question is what’s the meaning of life? Here I am 6AM getting ready to go to work. I come back from work. I’m with my family. I’m with my friends. I do social activities every once in a while. To what purpose?

If at some (hopefully) distant point in the future, I will die, what’s the point of it all? And if there’s no point, why achieve?

If I work hard and someone else enjoys the fruit of my labor, what’s the point of working?

I live in a house whose previous owner out a lot of work into remodeling. And here I am enjoying his work. All that money, all that time, all that effort. For what?

What other choice do we have? Let’s say life has no purpose, which is a lie by the way, it is still beneficial to choose to work than to not work. It is still beneficial to choose to be great than to choose to be a lump on the side of the road.

We have a purpose. Heck, trees have a purpose. And we have more to offer this world than oxygen – although that’s a pretty cool purpose.

We provide hope for others, for one. Our stories are a sort of oxygen for others. We teach others. We are moved by others. You are not a waste of space. You are needed. You are important.

You can’t keep you for yourself. For your own sake, choose to be the very best. There’s someone out there. That needs you. And that person needs you at your very best. So you can tell the story of you at your very worst and how you got out of that hole. We are meant to teach.

What do you have to say?

If you have to choose, choose greatness.