When The Past Comes to Haunt You

Every single day I rise I have to overcome the temptation to give in to depression. All throughout the day I battle with self inflicted words wounds. Just to survive I must get my my injection of power words. Visions of suicide float through my imagination in the manner I would image “normal people” imagine lounging on the beach. I get up in the morning and begin by thanking God for all the small and large blessings he provides daily. I recite affirmations, and hear God’s word and my soul begins to revive. This is my life. I never arrive at the place where believing I can succeed comes easily. I have told myself I suck for so many years those words yearn to be forever a part of me. I am determined to prove those words liars.

Whose words are you living by? Are you living by the words spoken over you possibly by a parent, friend, a counselor or a teacher? Are you allowing someone else’s opinion become your reality? The sad truth is many times we are doing that exact thing unknowingly. There may be instances in your life where a person with influence constantly spoke words of death over you. You my ask what exactly are words of death Mr Amos? Here are a few. “You will never be.”  “You’re just like your dad he was no good you’re going to be no good.” “People like us don’t do things like that.” “I knew you would.” “Are you kidding me you know you’ll never.” The list could go on and on. 

One of my favorite movies of all time is the movie Rudy. It is a magnificent movie of trial and persistence based on the life of Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger. Rudy is the ultimate story of winning against all odds. It is the all about using the power of the human spirit to overcome just about every possible obstacle. There was a turning point in Rudy’s life where he decided after a series of events that he could no longer delay his dream and lifelong passion. He saved up money from his nowhere going job and bought a bus ticket determined to leave his small town and go after his dream. Upon learning about his decision to depart his father met him at the bus station.

His father a man whose dreams and passions were squeezed out of him by family failure, familiar surroundings, and is his own shattered dreams went to “rescue” his son from what he seen as an inevitable disappointment. His father tells Rudy a story of Rudy’s grand father who like Rudy had decided to put it all on the line to chase after his dream. Rudy’s dad recounts how not only had his father ruined his life by going after his dream but he had put his whole family at risk. He says something to Rudy that’s heartbreaking though he meant well. The overall line was meant to suck the dreams out of Rudy and get him to capitulate to a life of humdrum mediocrity.

The father wanted him to conform to the safety of a meaningless job in a meaningless town. He was a scared and broken man, attempting to pass on his disappointment in an effort to chain Rudy to himself.

“Rudy you’re a Hauser. Hausers  just don’t do that. We don’t do anything important.” Thank God Rudy’s resilience was too firm to be swayed by his father’s fear. Those deafening words could have caused him to to backup and relinquish his dreams to a life of “safety.” With God all things are possible!

What words have stuck with you that have caused you to freeze in time? What words reverberate through your soul creating fear or apathy?  It’s of great importance that you survey those words. Unless we make a definite determination to do something entirely different from what we’ve done thus far,  we will unconsciously perpetuate a defeaters attitudes. To recognize the cancer is the first step to eradicating it.

 Most of us don’t know that we are perpetuating the disease of defeat in our soul surreptitiously injected by the words of others. If we don’t stop and take stock of what we’ve heard and survey their influence in our lives we will never get free. Before we know it the stage of the disease has grown into a tumor that is almost impossible to cure. Notice I said almost! All things are possible to him that believes. The battle may be steeper because you may be in your fifties or sixties or older and just now reading this book but it is not a battle that can’t be won. Recognizing the problem and the root cause is the first step to victory. I lived in this diseased state my entire life until I learned the truth. To recognize is the first step in empowerment.

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The Power of Forgiveness

It is imperative that you forgive people of their oversteps and intrusions. Because until you forgive you are not truly free to be all of you. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful and underrated success principles available to the human. Forgiveness is a mental and spiritual detox. It (forgiveness) cleanses the soul and spirit.

Recently, I had a conversation with a wonderful lady that was holding bitterness toward another person. Originally I was not speaking to this woman who had the bitterness. I was talking my friend about the importance of mastering inward success before going after outward success. I related to her that to truly be a successful human being you must be free from maladies of the soul. I went on to explain that unforgiveness is on those invisible ball and chains that impede our growth. When you have unforgiveness in your heart you walk around with a piece of the perpetrator inside of you.

When the bystander heard me say that her eyes propped opened and she leaned in.

“So how do you forgive?” She asked.

Before going into the how to’s, I finished explaining that anytime there is unforgiveness in your life there are shackles that hold you to the circumstance that caused the pain. Many times we harbor pain in the bin of unforgiveness often not knowing the level or the depth of our unforgiveness. As we hold things against people they have no ideal that we are entangled in that web of unforgiveness in our heart. That is why it’s so important to know that without forgiveness there can never be true freedom to create.

So how do we forgive? The first step in forgiving someone is to forgive by faith. What that means is that when you decide to forgive someone 99% of the time you will not feel anything. So forgiveness must first begin with a declaration of your forgiveness. You can tell it to the person or you can just tell it to God but you must declare your forgiveness out loud. It’s important to note that you will not feel like you’ve forgiven that person, however by faith, you have. Every time the feeling in the pit of your stomach bubbles to the surface you are to re-declare your assurance of forgiveness out loud. This will create a habit and the habit will eventually create feelings that eventually catch up with the declaration.

Most importantly, forgiveness releases God’s forgiveness in your life. God literally warns us that if we don’t forgive he cannot forgive. Forgiveness is powerful in its ability to release deep pain. Unforgiveness is like a half stopped up drain on the soul. There may be some amount of liquid getting through that drain however its full potential is never realized. When you develop the ability to love others even when they don’t deserve it, the sky’s the limit for you baby. Yes, that level of love and forgiveness, is possible, not easy but possible. How to forgive is seldom taught in an easy to understand methodology.
Forgiveness – it’s more than just a pithy statement or line spoken haphazardly. Forgiveness is a acknowledgement first all the wrongs that were done to you and specifically releasing the perpetrator from the specific crime. So when we forgive, we forgive the perpetrator for the specific crime. We are releasing the person who committed the crime from the guilt and judgment of it, and we are vowing to no longer hold it against them. So when we forgive someone in our past we are making a conscious decision to leave the intrusion in the past.

Forgiveness must be a concerted ongoing effort. Every time the feeling or memory of that hurt attempts to bubble up you must tell yourself “I’ve forgiven him or her of that, fill in the blank, it is now in the past,  and I no longer hold onto it. I set “insert the name” free from that episode. That pain and overstep no longer has a hold on me.”

As we speak those words over ourselves again and again you will begin to feel the healing take root in your soul. Now the key to this really working is that you cannot do it some of the time, you must do it every time! The power to change requires a deliberate and constant change of habit. Any habit, even the habit of not forgiving is broken through repetition. To develop any skill in fact requires repetition. Becoming skillful in the area of your soul requires nothing less.

If you were violated with destructive words in your past then declare, “I do not accept those words, They do not apply to me and they are no longer a part of me. I forgive my “insert name” for saying those things and I release them from hurts and pains they caused in my life.

 

Divorce Fear and Anxiety

I would spend two months in the hospital recovering. The physicians sent me home with my mother and father after more than 65 days in the hospital with a prescription for hopelessness.

“Enjoy your beautiful son Mr. and Mrs. Amos because if he makes it to five it will be a miracle.” Can someone say purpose?

In the early 70’s before all the current regulations governing air pollution the smog was horrendous in California. At the advice of the doctors my father and mother packed up and moved back to my Father’s hometown, Lansing Michigan where we would live until 1979.

I would go on to visit the hospitals in my city throughout my childhood so often every nurse and doctor knew me by name. Many times I felt more at home in the hospital than at my own home. The nurses in our primary hospital had a habit of calling me Benji, you know like the dog. I guess they thought it was cute. I hated that name but the care and love I received from them overshadowed the light irritation.

I became a walking experiment and spectacle as doctors from all over the country visited whatever hospital I was scheduled to see the miracle boy. Often times I would go in for a routine check and end up being there for 2 hours or more as doctor after doctor would come in and probe me. My parents eventually got wise to the fact that many of the EKG’s, EEG’s and other test. 

This was my beginning. Not so pretty but not so terrible. I mean it could have turned out a lot worse. You know what my saving grace was other than the hand of God? Words. Words of parents and aunties. Words of siblings and cousins. Love and words pulled my through. You know WHAT will pull you through and those you love? Words.

I hated not being able to run for more than 120 seconds, I hated the embarrassment of seizures and I hated being a load on my family. I constantly daydreamed of death. I would end up attempting suicide 5 times before the age of 11. I either sucked at suicide or God’s purpose was undeterred by my hopelessness.

This was the foundation for my life long struggle with depression. I was conditioned to believe that I was destined to fail even though everything in me screamed I am a winner. Fear was a constant roommate of mine.

There comes a time that one must decide they are no longer willing to live in the comfort of victimization. You must come to a place where you realize how powerful you were designed by your Creator. You don’t have to be controlled by any force. You don’t even have to be controlled by God. The Creator gave us free choice. It is what separates us from every other living being. Do you know the difference between purpose and destiny? Purpose is what God gave you before you were ever born. It is the very thing you were created for. Before your grandpa winked at your grandmother, before your mother got goosebumps at the smile of your father, your purpose was predestined. You were not included in the decision of your purpose.

Your destiny however is an entirely different thing. You and I determine our destiny. Expand the word destiny and you have destination. You alone ultimately decide your destination. Hopefully you are beginning to grasp how powerful the the Law of Decision is. You want to hear something super cool? You and I can change our destiny. Another way of looking at it is, you can decide to change your destination.
You and I are not designed for fear, anxiety, depression or defeat. We were manufactured for victory. Say this to yourself,

“I decide to divorce myself from fear anxiety and depression.”

 

The Psychological Damage of Fear

Are You Motivated by Fear?

Y2K will always be branded in my memory and I’m sure millions of other Americans that were alive during that time because of the irrational fear that engulfed the world.  The scare created a worldwide phenomena as computer experts across the globe were prophesying the end of life as we knew as computers would abruptly completely shut down when the calendar hit 2000. As a result everything in society as we know would come to a freezing halt because our modern society is reliant upon computers for almost everything. I watched in awe as “normal” people from all walks of live rushed to purchase generators, and stock up on non perishable items. It was crazy. I remember saying to my friends it’s not going to be like people think. I just did not buy into the fear factor. I did take a couple small preparations like extra water and things, but that’s it.

When you are motivated by fear what often happens is you make decisions based upon anxiety and not prudence. We must always conduct a self assessment to ensure that your decision is based upon need, rationale or calculated desire. Whether its how you deal and relate with your children or your professional life decisions it can be very dangerous to make decisions based on the worst of what could happen. Resist the urge to be sucked into fear based decisions.

Sadly the average person is more motivated by fear than almost any internal inspiration. TV personality and psychologist Dr. Phil says that 80% of the average American’s decisions are based on fear. Advertisers, marketers, sales people, even the medical professional not only realize you are driven by fear but they capitalize on that lower level of natural human inclination. Vincent Ng blogged about the juggernaut mouthwash company Listerine’s successful catapult into American Ad scene and subsequent company success.

Listerine became a household name by scaring people with the term “chronic halitosis” in newspapers ads in the 1920’s. Halitosis was an obscure medical term that means bad breath.What’s ironic about this particular fear based marketing campaign was that before the 1920’s it was acceptable to have bad breath in society since almost everybody had bad breath. But Listerine advertised that bad breath was a deal breaker when it came to finding romance. Anybody that had bad breath wasn’t going to find love in their life. And that single fear that bad breath could prevent people from finding their one true love was enough to boost Listerine sales through the roof.”

Any serious student of marketing soon discovers that countless hours and untold millions have been dedicated to discovering the pain point of one’s intended audience or ideal client and drive in the point of that pain to create motivation. Television shows, commercials and especially the news is driven by fear. The financial market builds a vast majority of their empire by leveraging fear. Most of the buying decisions that you make are because you are afraid of something happening or something not happening.

 

How to Win in a Negative Environment!

They say it takes many more muscles to make a frown than it does to make a smile. The result being that it takes more energy to frown than it does to smile.

There are 43 muscles in the face, most of which are controlled by the seventh cranial nerve (also known as the facial nerve). This nerve exits in the cerebral cortex and emerges from your skull just in front of your ears. It then splits into five primary branches: temporal, zygomatic, buccal, mandibular and cervical. These branches reach different areas of the face and enervate muscles that allow the face to twist and contort into a variety of expressions.

Although positive power is stronger than negative power, negative power reigns supreme in this realm. The reason negativity reigns supreme is because there is more of it. Most people are negative, most news is negative, and most of what we say about ourselves and our surroundings are negative, therefore infusing the air around us with negative energy.

I once heard a psychiatrist say that for every negative word spoken about you, you have to hear 16 positive things spoken over you to eradicate that negativity. It is much more natural to be negative in our lower level humanity, and that is where most abide. So how do we win in a vacuum of half empty? It is really quite simple. Its not always easy to remain positive in a ocean of negativity with sharks of doom swirling around waiting to feed on your downfall but you can do it!

Marcy

Marcy had always been a different kind of  individual . As far back as 9 months Marcy showed signs of a unique personality. Everything had to be a particular way. Her mother groggy and frustrated would have to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to prepare warm milk well into toddler age. Marcy had tight curly locks that matched her bright brown eyes with lashes that seemed to tickle her eyebrows, and more than a few times they were her saving grace. Among other idiosyncratic cravings, the peculiar toddler refused to to drink milk or eat food that was not just slightly above luke warm. One long night her mother determined to teach Marcy that it was time to transition from warm milk to at least room temperature.

She put the 3 year old in her bed and told her she would no longer heat her milk up.If she was determined to have her milk warm then she would go without. This was not the first time the battle of will had went down but each time mom would grow weary of hearing Marcy’s whimpering and pleading. Marcy would wine constantly for hours at a time. “Mommy my belly aches. Mommy please I’m very hungry.”Jane’s vocabulary was immense for her age yet she seldom used it except when she wanted her way.  Eventually mom’s resistance would break down culminating with visions of smothering the young child.

This time she was determined to win even if it meant starving the child half to death. She rationalized it was better than snapping from the crying and winning that would go on for hours on end.

“Jane mommy is not going to warm your milk anymore you are a big girl and you know how to sleep all night. So I am going to place your sippy cup right here and if you get hungry at night it is there for you.”

The crying began about 2 am, followed by the pleads and the cycle went on through the night. The new mother placed headphones on to drown out the cries that by the 3rd hour had escalated to screaming. The deep reverberating scream of James her husband broke through Mozart piping into her headphones.

“Jane what the hell is wrong with you!” Jane’s eyelid popped open to find a her husband  rocking a almost lifeless baby trembling with eyes full of fear and anger. Marcy’s had cried herself into a frenzy until she collapsed from exhaustion. The father arriving home early from the night shift found her in her bed whimpering, slobbering with slight tremors.

“She, she’s something is wrong with her John! Something is seriously wrong with her. She evil!” That would not be the first time Marcy her those words. All throughout her life Marcy was told she was crazy, evil, ugly by the person who was suppose to love her.

Those words created a prison of self hate that she would live in until she was 30. One day Marcy heard a woman that visited her church talk about how words frame who you are. The woman spoke, her voice often cracking as she held back tears, about a world where she was captive by dark destructive words spoken to her daily all her life. Marcy’s life came crashing like waves on her heart and she began sobbing profusely. But when that same woman began to speak with authority of how she learned to change the narrative that she told herself she appeared to grow in statue. She told how those words over time almost magically reconstituted her life. Marcy felt a rise of hope from a place she didn’t know existed for the first time in her life.

Today when Marcy tells people of how she lived a life of fear and isolation people almost don’t believe her. Marcy is a best selling author, owns a string successful fashion stores and is a volunteer coach for a 6th and 7th grade city volleyball team.

 

If Words Could Kill

My Words!

When I was just a child, if I had to guess the age I would say about 7 years old, I developed a destructive habit of self-hate. This habit would carry into my adult life blossoming into a full blown battle with depression. I would often stand in the mirror staring at my malnourished looking frame and tell myself how ugly I was. I HATED my body and abhorred my physical frailty. If you were around me you would of thought I was as vain as any brother could be. Clothes meticulous, always in my hair, latest fashion, that was all me. This dichotomy of my relationship with myself continued on for many years, following me into early adulthood.  On the outside I was seemingly confident. I had girls who liked me and I learned to develop swag in clothes and demeanor. I’ve always been into fashion big time even from a kindergartner. I even would say things that gave the impression I believed I was all that.

Now I will admit there were times I was pretty okay with myself but inside there was a dark, insecure voice that constantly screamed self-hate, and I, in turn voiced those words to myself. Those words would eventually develop and grow into a ominous shadow that would take form and attempt to kill me. 

There is a verse in the Bible that says, “the same temptation anyone goes through all go through.” I can safely say it is not assumption to say that most people reading this are waging war against the same destructive voice inside. That voice that whispers methodically in your mind self destruction. There are billions of people around the planet that struggle with the same internal war.

That voice in you speaks also speaks verbally into the atmosphere.  

In the Disney animation blockbuster “The Little Mermaid” Ariel’s desperation to live above the waves and marry the prince forces her to sacrifice her most precious gift – her voice. Ariel visits the witch of the sea willing to give up her precious gift to become like a human with a soul that goes to heaven. The witch willingly helps her by selling her a potion that gives her legs in exchange for her tongue and beautiful voice, as the Little Mermaid has the most enchanting voice in the world. One of the entertainment mammoth’s most beloved film story focused on the power of language. Mankind has always known the gift of words but unfortunately most people never really consider the power of mankind’s most amazing gift and its effect on us as we go about our everyday lives.

How many people  think about the words they use on a daily basis  and the effect they have on their lives? Do you?

Words have the power to shape the world we live in. Men and women throughout history have understood that powerful oratorical deliveries can turn the tide of a nation.

In this book we are going explore and hopefully I enlighten you on the plethora of ways words affect everyone of us. Words have spiritual, physical and conscious power and when yielded with skill can radically alter the trajectory and out come of our lives.