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Looking back. Looking ahead. Looking up.

Man. The past 26 years have been quite the rollercoaster. Ups and downs. Life lost. Countless lessons learned from mistakes repetitively made. But there's been an enormous amount of blessings received. Life gained.

What i learned most from just this past year, I'm not where I need to be and not only that but I've regressed. Some of it self inflicted, some of it just the unfortunate adversity of life itself. Looking back over the past 12 months , I've realized I just can't get out of my own way. I can't relinquish the holds over my life. The chains choking my own progression in my life. The fear of making another mistake and regression, insecurities from the guilt, being too prideful to ask for guidance . Yeah, Looking back is dark.

But in that same breath and thought I look ahead. To this year upcoming and prayerfully the years beyond that. And there is still yet hope. Hope that I don't have to be in the same situation I find myself in right this very moment. Broken, ashamed, and afraid. Insecure, fearful and prideful. Hopeless and homeless. Figuratively and literally.
No, I don't have to be in the same place I'm in now. I can be restored, shameless, fearless. Secured and humbled. Hopeful and home filled. There's so much potential in… Looking ahead.

The potential…the hope.. the perseverance. It all sounds sweet. But how will I embrace any of this. How will I know for sure that everything will work out? That I will get out of my own way, release things I have no control over? How will I know that I'm progressing and growing like I should and know I'm capable of?

By Looking up.
God is the author and finisher of my faith. He knows the plans for my life. He knew this season in my life would come. He knew that I would fail at life Over and over. And over again He knew I would mess up. That I would fall short of His Glory. But He also knows my future. His promise is still for me to have a blessed life. Not with materialist things. But with a joy that no one can take from me. An unconditional love that can never be broken. His promise also is that I won't be broken forever. I won't be in the same place that I'm in now. I will be restored and the relationships that were strained will also be restored. My financial security will improve. My spiritual walk will improve. My life overall will improve.
He knows all of this. It's a matter of me stepping back , letting Him lead, and believing that He's not through with me yet. That He's only beginning.

…And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

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[photo courtesy of bing images]

Communication 101 

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One of the things I enjoy most is talking. Interacting with people. Loved ones. Coworkers. Classmates. Complete total strangers.  

One of the ways I enjoy interacting besides face to face interaction is through electronic media. Text. Email. Etc. now it's not the most enjoyable method of communication. But in a busy warped world we live in. It can be the most convenient. 

Not everyone enjoys texting and emailing. I do. Some people text a few words and think that will carry a conversation. Others like to send paragraphs in their text. 

Hi, I'm Joseph. The paragraph texter. Nice to meet you 

I just enjoy seeing longer texts (unless someone is upset either at me or something/someone else). Now don't get me wrong , a multi hour conversation over the phone/FaceTime or in person will always win over texting but I just enjoy being able to send longer texts expressing how I'm doing or what's going in the world or even I'm getting to know the person for the first time and enjoy when someone feels the need to express themselves that way as well. 

For me to be the paragraph texter means I'm a strong anti-one word texter. I don't like them. Never understood the point in one word texts. I'm pretty sure they're the end all be all of conversation killers. 

Common sense would tell you if you receive a one word text reply after the conversation has been flowing well, they're either 1) no longer interested in the topic 2) no longer in having a conversation with you in general 3) no longer interested in you in general 

I guess I'm just a weird person when it comes to text messaging in general. I equate the quality of texting to how that person would communicate in any other form. I'm willing to bet if you can send me a few more words in a text, you can articulate yourself well in any other medium. 

This doesn't necessarily mean this is the case for everyone and all of the time. But more times than not you'll notice that it is the case a lot of the time. 

I hold texting and email to a standard that you're willing to communicate in the most simplest form. It's easy. Simple. Fast. 

I'm big on content and conscientious. I understand I won't always get text replies seconds later. (Unless your read receipts on, then I expect a reply within minutes) but I do feel that the timeliness in ones response to a message, call back, etc. shows that persons interest in you and their respect towards communication in general. (And this is the reason why some people opt to have their receipts off. They don't want you to know when they read your message) 

Don't initiate the conversation and then don't respond for hours at a time. And if you do, at least continue the conversation instead of just typing a dry stoic "Hey/Hi/Wyd" Keep that.

If I receive a message or some sort of notification from someone and felt that it was important I will get back with you at my earliest convenience 

I posed a question on twitter the other day asking what does it mean if you ask someone how they were doing and they didn't ask in return and one of the responses I received was that I may have unrealistic expectations of that person. 

I feel the same with texting and communication in general. I shouldn't have to expect something that's usually asked like clockwork within the first few questions. And it's not just texting. I've experienced this in person as well. I would ask the person who their day was and they would proceed to tell me everything about their day and never asked in return. 

This conversation was in person. 

That just tells me that person wasn't interested in how I was doing that day. Sure, it's possible they could've just forgot. But if they've done this multiple times, they didn't forget. 

Maybe I do have unrealistic expectations when it comes to communication. Maybe I should follow suit with many other people and just devalue communication and conversation. Some people don't really appreciate text messaging. They would rather talk on the phone. FaceTime. Meet in person. And that's fine. But you can't FaceTime all day. Can't always meet in person. Texting shouldn't come with a handbook. Either you like it or you don't. If it's for you, great. If not, that's cool too. 

One thing I won't do is force a conversation. If I can already pick up you not being interested the conversation or me , then I'm no longer interested. I would much rather the person tell me they're not interested in either of the two and save myself the hassle. We're all adults here. 

There's a time for texting. Then there's a time to hold a conversation over phone and a time meet in person. And now matter which one, know that the importance of all of the above. Different people may prefer one medium over the other or deem one more important the other.  It's all communication at the end of the day. A person may only prefer to text and meet in person. Another may only prefer to talk on the phone. 

At the end of the day, if you're interested in someone or enjoy having conversations, the medium won't make a difference or be a deal breaker. But remember a one word or short text can easily be just holding the phone or staring at each other in person or looking around awkwardly. One particular medium doesn't or shouldn't equate to ones ability to converse. 

The idea is to be able to converse the same in all mediums. Text the way you talk and talk the way you'd interact in person. Not everyone is capable of this but it would make things flow more smoothly. 

You wouldn't one word text/email your supervisor and hours later at that. 

You wouldn't just hold the phone aimlessly for hours if you were talking to your mother. Unless she was complaining on why you haven't called her all week. 

Communication is everything. It's important in relationships. Important in the business world. It's important at Starbucks. Either way, communication is important. Communication can bring clarity and peace of mind. And I don't want to neglect it. I haven't been the most perfect and communicating but I realize I'm not the worst at it either. Communication will diffuse confusion. Whether you're my supervisor, mother, best friend, spouse, or a complete stranger, you'll remember the experience you had with me based on my communication and not be left feeling confused, or disrespected. 

If you don't agree with this, that's fine. Don't bother returning any of your texts that are in your phone. Your emails. Don't call anyone back. It's perfectly. understandable. If reading any of this convicted you, that's unfortunate. Save yourself the guilt, never send a text again. Only have phone conversations. Only meet in person. That should help. 

I'm totally kidding. But that may say something about how you communicate if you honestly felt a come kind of way after reading this. 

"But I was busy. I had x-y-and-z going on. I forgot to respond/call back. " 

Nobody's that busy that they can't take 2 seconds to return an email or text. A few minutes to return the phone call. They just weren't interested in doing so. You're not that important to them. 

I work two jobs, will finish school at some point, and I'm a father. If you're important to me, you will know. Trust and know I will find a way to communicate that to you. But that's just who I am. I value communication. 

What does communication really mean to you? Do you value it? 

…..

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Cloudy. Not the sky. But that’s how my head has been the past few weeks, months. 
2016 hasn’t been the best year in any regard. Just reflecting on decisions I made , the ones I didn’t make that I should’ve. It’s like I took a major step back when I should’ve progressed further. I hate beating myself up for what’s happened this year but I feel like I just can’t get out of my own way. 

I’m not focused. I’m not motivated and ambitious. Not elevating myself in any aspect. Just living. Just existing.  

I can’t just exist anymore. I have to elevate. I have to get back to being focused. Being determined. I just feel like there’s no drive. No push. Like my internal engine has been shut off and I’m just on autopilot. 

I feel overwhelmed because of the uphill climb I have to take because of my setbacks and mistakes I’ve made. 

I’m not crying out for sympathy. Just don’t like the headspace I’m in right now. I’m better than this. I just gotta get over the hill…stop shooting myself in the foot.. stop blaming myself for foolish mistakes.. take responsibility and hold myself accountable. 

No one cares how hard I have it right now. 

Ultimately it doesn’t how hard I have it. Doesn’t matter how hard the struggle is. 

All it matters now is how bad I want to succeed. How bad I want to persevere. That’s all that matters. 

Seasons…

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They change.  One is not like the other,  and the next one will bring forth challenges the previous one did not. Each season tells us something about ourselves.  Whether its the clim…

Source: Seasons…

Seasons…

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image

They change. 
One is not like the other,  and the next one will bring forth challenges the previous one did not.
Each season tells us something about ourselves.  Whether its the climate seasons telling us what kind of weather we like or don’t like…
The seasons in our personal life we encounter , proving to us what we are called to do and where we need to be. 
Personal seasons like knowing when to consider a job/career change,  letting a relationship go,  or even a person who you wanted to be in one with but things didn’t materialize, and the list goes on.
But each season brings forth new challenges and new calls for purpose. If you’re in the season of pain and are coming out of a relationship with someone,  missing them, struggling to move on,  discover that purpose of why you’re in that position.  Why hasn’t moving on come so easy,  is there some unfinished business or unresolved emotion there?  Are the two of y’all purposed to remain in each other’s life for a more meaningful reason than to be together?
Maybe you’re the person that’s single and in a season of hurt,  regret,  rejection,  compromise. Hurt because you’ve felt ready to redeem yourself from past mistakes but have been turned down and rejected,  turned away,  told that its not you,  but have been given that explanation too many times to believe that it really is “not really you” . Regret because of those past mistakes,  letting the Good one get away,  multiple times. Knowing you won’t get that time,  that chance back. What’s your purpose in this season?  Play the role of advise and give wise counsel to one you desire to be with, but they’re in their season of emotional toil, dealing with a breakup… Give the one you let away encouraging words because now they’ve found someone and they’re mostly happy , yet still there’s room for growth and opportunity in their new found love. 
The season of career change.  A new job with new purpose, New expectations. Yet you find yourself  with a renewed energy.  Faith stronger than it has been before.  All because you’ve been blessed with the opportunity to provide even more for yourself and your loved ones than before.  Your purpose is to do just that.  Love what you’re doing and it’ll never be work. 

All seasons are about having perspective. 
You will not remain emotionally distressed over past relationships or not being able to find new love. The perspective is to find the light in the darkest of seasons. The relationship ended for a reason.  They said no, now is not the time for a reason.
That reason is that you are purposed to something greater.

Trouble won’t last always. These are just seasons. After all, they do change. 

image courtesy of Google

One

Aside Posted on Updated on

It’s always the one you want,

that doesn’t want you the same way…

The one you have your eye on,

that isn’t even looking in your direction

The one you can’t get out of your mind,

and you hardly even cross theirs..

The one you could give the world to,

that isn’t interested in what you have to offer..

The one you would make a priority,

that only makes you an option..

The one that you think could be the one,

but they would never give it a chance to find out if..

The one you write this about,

that will probably never read this

The one you wish to love unconditionally,

that will never truly realize how much you do.

The one that will never be your one,

because the one you want doesn’t want you to be their one

1. 

Inside Out: The Prelude

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I want to do a summer blog series called inside out and I want to look at the different issues in our world.  But in order to do that,  I need to acknowledge the issues going on around me.  That’s why I want to start with myself and internally examine whats going on with self.

The world is a messed up place. And even that is an understatement.  I wouldn’t call myself messed up but I will say I haven’t made the brightest of decisions. 

I’m now realizing as well as accepting that this season I’m in is my consequential season.  Living out my karma.  The mistakes ive made the people ive hurt,  it’s my time to be hurt by others and have to deal with the consequences and the repercussions of extremely poor decisions.

Looking at my life inside out ive discovered ive lost alot of people’s trust in me.  Ive lost trust in myself.  I don’t believe in myself anymore.  Ive hurt people who have cared deeply about me.  I haven’t given myself any opportunity to make things right cause I keep getting in my own way. 

Bad karma has caught up to me.
I’ve damaged relationships with people that have given their all in and I never returned the same,  ive said I did and wanted to believe it but my actions never followed suit.
Now when I want to start new relationships I get vested in someone that I like only to be returned with a fraction of the adoration and admiration. 
But I deserve it,  no matter the reason why my admiration isn’t reciprocated, I just deserve it. Because of my past. 

I’ve done nothing to improve anyone’s life, even my own.  People who shared deep places in my heart no longer wish to share a conversation with me,  because of mistakes ive made. 

I have to get to the bottom of the root cause of this. What has happened that has made me so incapable of being the man I’m supposed to be. I was told that my life has fallen apart since it changed forever less than 2 years ago. The reason it changed was something that will forever be special.  It’s not the cause of why my life has fallen apart but the failed expectation of my life getting better.
Nothing positive in your life will ever lead to your life falling apart thereafter.  But the responsibilities,  the maturation that needs to take place because of the positive life altering event(s) could affect the status of your life and direction it’s going in if they’re not upheld. 

And that’s where I am right now. Failing.  At the responsibilities,  the maturation.  The ambition,  the drive,  the will to take my life to the next level. Because everything else in my life won’t stop. Everything else will continue to go on without me.  The world will continue to spin and rotate around the sun. 

I must change.
Stop beating myself up,  but rather acknowledge and accept that I have work to do and get to work.
Stop vesting myself in people and things that aren’t worth my time and energy. 
And most importantly,  regain my passion for the things and people in my life that matter most.  The few ones that remain and still have an once of hope left in me.  Thank you for not giving up on me.  With your prayers, and God’s never ending love and grace I will return to the man I once was. 

But to get there, I must start inside out.