I could post that my life is absolutely god-awful etc… Boo-hoo, oh poor me, and people are thinking, “Are you for real Chad?” We all have problems or issues. As a matter-of-fact, I DO NOT wish a person could walk a day in my shoes because it is hard, I suffer everyday, I am stretched beyond belief but there is a part of me that does wish these lessons that I have learned through my TBI could be seen through other eyes. I do realize that I have valuable gifts of truth, love, and hope to share with people. I have these new eyes, furthermore, maybe my left arm and leg are paralyzed but what eyes do you think I am using to view the world?
These eyes from old Chad before the accident; who thought a lot about who I was dating or other superficial aspects of life (e.g., cars, clothes, and money); I did not see these limitations or disabilities. In life there are people who walk around like zombies like the walking dead, they do not like or care about anyone, and complain about everything; these people are not productive and just draining the life out of you. These people are in the “game” of life for themselves only. These people are the victims and that is why they are zombies. We all know someone or maybe ourselves who plays the victim card in life. I know I have. Can you think of any zombies in your life?
Using assimilation to shift one’s own understanding to a more positive aspect of life; we see someone like Nick Vujicic. Mr. Vujicic was born without limbs in 1982 in Australia. Can you imagine growing up without arms or legs? Nick was born this way. Since his first speaking engagement at age 19, Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions, sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity, speaking to a range of diverse groups such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals and church congregations of all sizes. Today this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime. He’s an author, musician, actor, and his hobbies include fishing, painting and swimming. In 2007, Nick made the long journey from Australia to southern California where he is the president of the international non-profit ministry, Life Without Limbs, which was established in 2005. Like he said he has more character than a lot of people in the world today. Nick talks about growing as a person mostly through those hard times in life. Why is that not idolized in today society?
I know many are wondering, “How does he do it?” How does a person with no arms or legs impact millions each day? Like how come I, in Marinette, Wisconsin am talking about someone who has significant limitations in life? He draws some kind of energy or purpose in life; what is it? Some kind of belief or faith or maybe it is power from something. Can I get some of whatever he has?
I have a set of skills that no one has in life. I have can share my hardships with kids who feel that he or she is alone in this world. Kids who think all the ridiculous lies and rumors about themselves and I have something that they don’t. I have, just to name a few, perspective, wisdom, and compassion and what Nick does in his motivational speeches is pour it out to everyone. So I asked the same question where does he get that kind of power? You have to realize though that you cannot give to people what you do not have.
A friend and I had been talking about this negativity that I’ve been experiencing lately in my life. He proposed this idea about the affects my emotions have on others around me. If you have a can of Mountain Dew soda and it is shaken up. What if you, now, suddenly open it? What do you get? The pop explodes out of the top spraying not cheese or cool-whip but Mountain Dew.
Think about it this way, now, if you are filled with all the negative emotions and you are shook up. What do you think you get in return? You spit out all this garbage that you keep inside yourself to everyone around you. Like for example, what you think about Donald Trump recent Twitter messages? Mr. Trump must be filled with a lot of negative emotions. Mr. Trump must have an STD. A STD stands for stinkin thinkin disease. You can do one of two things; bitch and complain until you are blue in the face or you can give your heart to the King of Kings.
Let Him not only cleanse you but fill your cup until it is overflowing. How have you cleansed yourself? Please do not forget if you are filled with crap (e.g., hate) you will get crap in return. How are you doing in the four quadrants (e.g., cognitive, physical, social, and spiritual) of life?
I love talking about examples when I write so I’m going to use one that might help. Think about becoming an author. I spend all this time worrying about marketing mumble jumble and not enough time worrying about the content I write. I can hire the best marketing team to help with the book but if I do not write information that is considered good or even great; why do I think people want to listen? If I write a heartfelt, motivational, and sincere book it will sell itself.
When I think about all the books I have recommended; I do not make any money off it; I do realize that the book has phenomenal content. The book I read gave a deeper, more richer, and a better understanding of life. I’ve recommended a book by Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” a dozen times to people. I didn’t make any money off these recommendations. The book has amazing content. The content is true.
I tell my testimony. I give people an opportunity to engage while I’m always encouraging people to look past my shell, my insecurities, my brokenness, look past my outwardness. My testimony will help others see that I am more than a TBI and the whole point is that I am offering hope to others no matter what your ailment or injury or birth defect is. The only thing that is different between Nick and myself and you is I have a different vehicle to portray my message.
Look at it this way, everyone has a message to tell. Take this for example, a coach of some kind is still trying to encourage people, still trying to help players build themselves up and trust, to be confident, to recognize that there is more to life than your own trials and tribulations but for your teammates. The person right next to you, is still fighting for the same goal. The connection that you have with other teammates that you may sweat or even bleed for in battle.
If we do not have that connection; then why are we here? We are not here to live life on a pedestal or a holy perch; being perfectly healthy and wonderful; but furthermore not be connected to a single soul. What is that? I have to find my connection… Many might wonder what do I have to tell folks. It is not step into my shoes; it is to know that I am a good person to get to know and that I have learned priceless life lessons but that I cannot be alone in this world. I need to connect with others. I crave that connection with people and see I could write about it in my bedroom by myself and it sucks because I’m trying to write about connection with people and I do not have any of those valuable relationships. At times I don’t even have a connection with my damn dog unless I have bacon.
I would love connection but it is hard to sit in my room and talk about relationships with people. As I alluded to earlier, the purpose of my website is to find my voice. I am constantly weaving in and out of a positive voice but I want to find a positive voice all the time. I am certain that this may be a trait from my TBI. Making this part of my story of the struggle and hardship it takes in writing a book. I have to be aware of this struggle and step outside of myself and say, number one, how do other people view me and number two what do other people need to see not only in me, but in themselves and others. That is the voice that I’m looking for with writing this book. I want to tell some TRUTH about some things, I want to do so in a LOVING way, and that is about connection or about HOPE, like at the end of every post, chapter, message there is a call to action. Connect with me or at the very least connect with somebody that needs your help or connect with somebody in your community that is going through some hard times, whether it is a TBI, lost a child, or a house has burned down, but connect with somebody that needs your time.
I think when I make this appeal people will recognize that we all are in the same position and will react to it. When I start hearing the stories of people reaching out in forming this connection I will then realize my purpose. Back in my football days, the team was asked to close our eyes and visualize making that play or tackling someone. In NFL, a lot of teams, ask players to visualize themselves crossing the goal line or what you do on this play. In addition, imagine yourself doing this pancake block or having an awesome tackle. I believe this may also transfer into other sports arenas as well. Look at basketball, asking Michael Jordan if he ever visualized shooting a buzzer beater would be ridiculous. These strategies, are not some stupid exercises for athletes, they help put individuals in the right frame of mind and that in turn reminds you of who you are and all the muscle memory and passion, blood, and sweat starts to kick in right before game time.
These exercises are the same thing in all of life. If I want to be exceptional in anything I have to be there mentally before I actually arrive. It starts right in one’s head and if I have stickin thinkin disease (e.g., STD) that is taking me right off the edge. I am going to help anyone realize that life matters because I can bring a special story to people. The story is one that has never been heard or one that they need to be reminded of. This story is MINE; my testimony, and I’m going to show you that I can overcome some of these hurdles or difficulties in life.
In order to tell you my story it requires a lot of humility and that is hard for someone who has been beaten down, kicked around, or stepped on, to who humble themselves even further. That is very hard for someone to tell the world his or her story. I mean, do you want to humble yourself when you feel like crap? In other words, I first need to be healthy in those four domains. I mean I can give someone all kinds of links to: websites, videos, songs, poems, books, and all kinds of stuff but all of that stuff is going to fade if I do not actually believe it. That this book is for me. Who is the author of your story?
An even better question is who is the creator of your story? God. Why are you here? More specifically, what do you want for my website? If you are like most, you may say, “I want guidance or some directions in life.” My answer to that is so does everyone on the planet wants to know am I on the right path or not, am I making good decisions or not, or am I going to get there or not. These questions may come about especially when things get tough. Questions like; why did the storm happened to us, why did that person lose their baby, why did my car fall apart today, or why did I lose my job. Every single person in this world is asking these questions. Why why why why why. So I am no different.
Thankfully, I am starting to learn the answer. The answer is; “God, what can I learn from this experience? God, why did this happen? God, thanks for being there.” The world is a difficult place. God is not a master of puppets who pulls levers to make things easy for Chad and harder for so-and-so. That’s not how God works. The world is nothing but absolute barrage of chaos and disorder left and right and God is humming in all of it. God is saying, “I can help here; you just let me know if you want to work together, I can help here,” because if you do not want work together then why do you think we have so much anarchy in this world. Everybody is trying to do it on their own. That is why we have pandemonium.
Another football analogy is golden here. A head coach orders his team and gives everyone a role to play and then calls plays. On the other side of the field, unfortunately, there is another team that is trying to screw it all up. Likewise, you have God’s people on one team and got a whole bunch of other people on the other team. Sometimes that other team is well organized and prepared and they beat the snot out of you that game and other times they have absolutely no flippin clue and God’s team rolls right over them. I ask you; are you on the disorder team or order team?
I ask you now; who’s team do you want to be on? If you are not on the right team then switch jerseys. If you decide to change it has to be intentional and not half ass. You are either on His team or you are not. I asked these questions to make you aware of the effort to improve your and others life. When you become cognizant of this fact; it is a game changer but when you are not aware of it you go through the motions of life. You may be struggling this very instant and now you are aware of it and you think, aha, I have to make some decisions or create some new things or habits. I have to trust those habits to get me where I need to go in life. Those habits might be talking to Him, praying to Him, or doing situps or push-ups or want to read the Bible, or I’m going to write in my blog, or I’m going to spend time connecting with people.
Look at it this way, if I go to a tennis court and hit the ball over the net, it doesn’t mean the ball is going to be volleyed back. What am I working on when practicing tennis? Am I working on returning someone’s serve or am I serving myself. My writing is all about serving. About serving you, him, her, and them. I want to start serving on a regular basis. The act of writing this very post of ideas is a start but it definitely is not the end. I am going to keep writing till I have my product.
I am always looking for someone who serve because my cup of life is overflowing. It is pouring out in all directions. I could have a simple graphic on love, a 10 page essay, or it is a 250 page book; I am going to serve someone. Whether I am serving by going to someone’s house or going to the kitchen at the local shelter to serve food to people and until your life becomes an act of service; you or I are going to be all about oneself. Nobody is all about Chad. You could care less about me because I only care about myself. Why should you care about me? You may be thinking; it is all about you Chad, you don’t have time for this, you have your own problems.
I’m saying this now and forever I always want to give. I need to get busy serving other people but before I do that I need to become aware of whether or not I have anything to give. Every breath I take is not my own; it is for someone else and the second I give that breath away to where I exhausted myself in the service of others I will then know my purpose or meaning in life. For example, the two major days in your life. The day that you are born and the day that you realize why. Why are you here on my website reading this post?
You do not need to use words to preach the gospel if you want to be the gospel for other people than you need to serve, guess what, it is hard to serve others when you have a TBI so I only can imagine how hard it would be for a healthy person. Please do not misunderstand the message here; you do not have to go out and serve people, right now, but recognize that there is a reason and season for every spot you are in life. The spot in life could be in the deep valley at a really low point or at the top of a mountain and overzealous state of mind.
Look at the mountain another way; what do you have on either side of you in a valley? On either side you have two high points. If you are at a high point in your life, guess what, what is on either side? Two low point in life. Why are you so surprised when you are at a low point and think life will always be this low, likewise, when you are at a high point in life, you think, why can’t life always be this way? The fact that both points in life are not true that both will be consistent forever. Is this always the reality?
If you can take anything away from this post about connections is that there will be rhythms in life. In other words, you need to be humble when you are on top of the mountain and be hopeful when you are in a valley. The power of these words are amazing in that you have no idea who you might connect with in the rhythms of life. Life is a doozy. It has its lows and highs.
- What do you think about this post?
- How can you serve others?
- How can you form a valuable connection with someone?
CONNECT WITH ME………….