You’re NOT Santa!

I remember last year when the Pastor was had all of the young children come to the front of the church for the reading of the story depicted the birth of Jesus.  Children are hard to coral and you never know for sure what they are going to say.  During the story one of the kids declared to the Pastor that You are Not Santa.  I am not quite sure what the parents explained to the kids as to what was going to happen the last church service before Christmas, but there it was blurted before everyone in attendance that the Pastor was not Santa.

Of course, the story of the birth of Jesus had nothing to do with the Santa but the church has to address the reality of one and the tradition of the other.  I thought the Pastor fielded the assertions with grace and humility.  That lead me to wonder, if I were to give a choice to people that knew me best, would say I was more like Santa or Jesus?  What would they say?  That of course takes away all of the more negative options.  For the sake of argument the only two choices were like Santa or like Jesus.   What is our subconscious defaulting to.

I came to the conclusion that the relationship with Santa was very one sided.  It was all cause in effect.  If someone was good or was pleasant to me, then I would bestow the gift of being generous with my time, resources and talents.  However, if someone was quick to judge me,  dismissive of me or flat out offensive, would I treat them to the “lump of coal”?  Which is the darkest form of matter that I can think of.

If I unpack that a little more, I would see that my actions were always a reaction to a circumstance that would directly benefit me or I would go dark.  Do I give gifts to those I do not know?  Do I withhold gifts from those without merit?  The answer is yes.

That would not only mean that I fall well short of any comparison at all to the “Living Lord”.  In this example, I could be mistaken as a follower of the world aside from my profession otherwise.  Based on eyewitnesses of my actual actions I might failed to convince others that I am indeed different. Then my ways are still transformed by the world.  Ouch.

Now I think of the comparison to Santa Claus and think how many kids would say, I know Santa Clause and you Mr. Dan are no Santa Claus.  Meaning I fall short of lesser of two choices in this season the light entering into the darkness.

So, with Christmas passing by yesterday, can I transform my ways and renew my mind.  To this I say yes.  Looking with hope to 2016.


History Repeats

I had to come to terms with the fact that the things I did five years ago that bothered me still do and yet I still do them.  I have not changed what I know is defective in me.  I find that my self-talk is what fuels this repetitive cycle.  Are the deep seeded negative things I think about in myself create a rinse and repeat over and over again.  I need to look underneath the root cause of that core belief that I have about myself.  The real question is it true or was a lie fed to me that I chose to adopt and make a part of me.

So we all have areas of insecurity.  If you are a guy, that insecurity can be defined by your relationship with your father.  Now your dad can be the greatest guy in the world and love you to death and still have ignored you because culturally that is what father’s of that era typically did.  They worked all day and then came home for dinner and then grabbed a newspaper, watched TV or maybe even went outside to play catch with you.  But kids need time that is engaging. Time where Dad asks what happened at school today.  A dad who when he hears of conflict does not automatically assume that you caused the situation.  To have a dad that has your back no matter what.

We are a product of that cycle with our dads.  We can say yep, my dad did a couple of those things and a list of positive things and maybe a list of much more negative things.  We recognize that abuse by our father’s is going to create dysfunction in our life.  But we also need to recognize the certain levels of emotional neglect can also leave a scar that you still battle with most of your life.

This post is about unpacking that thing with your dad that did not end well and resolve that with him and more importantly with yourself.  Free yourself from the grips of control it has in your life and how it impacts your current relationships today.  Even if you feel your dad made mistakes, know he is human and needs our love and respect.  So son’s turn your hearts to your father, even if you are hanging on to some things.  Then look forward in Hope. Hope is a profound need and it is so important that someone pretty significant died so you can have it.  Look backward in and effort to move forward.  If you cannot look forward yet, then look up, help is there for those who seek.


What you looking at?

Did you ever feel like you were always the odd man out.  Like either you were the only one drunk at the party or the only one sober.  The language, the social cues, the light banter, the trying to pretend that you care, but you really don’t.  What happens when you come to full terms that you are self-centered and self-absorbed.  When you get a bit too introspective do you get defensive and just shut down?  I know, we can more easily handle critiques if they come with 9 affirmations to balance out the scorecard.  Do we look at ourselves appropriately? Are we too hard on ourselves? Are we too easy? Do we deflect, reject, react, shutdown.  Is it possible to do all of these things and still feel like while trying to be introspective and grow a bit, in the end it is just too emotionally exhausting.

I am here to say yes and yes.  So what is the release button that we can hit and everything magically falls into place.  Do we have to take a journey backwards before we can move forward.  I am thinking that that really depends on where we are at any given time.  What is our trajectory?  You have heard you are either living or dying or gaining ground or losing ground.  When we think we are in a holding pattern, more than likely we are in a slow decline.  What is the goal, the mission, the purpose, the passion we live each day with?  If I do not know is the answer, then we got sum splainin to do to ourselves.  If we were battling the same challenge 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20, 30 and things have not improved then we need to be shaken to our core.  The idea is to remove money from the stress causers in the family. Having a plan to effectively deal with money allows us to then focus on the really important things in life. We want to be content and have a genuine smile.  Mine was enhanced recently by  my dentist.  But the smile really comes from within our inner being.

There are answers, there are paths, there are better ways to accomplish what it is we really want to accomplish.  We just need to get the “me” out of the way. Join me as we walk down this path together and see if we cannot find a little bit of light in the darkness.