Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Long Way Home...

If we were candid, we would admit that we were handed more than we deserve.

Life has been incalculably hard since Debra was torn from my side. I never knew just how much on her I relied. But each day I see how I've lost my way since she's been gone. In fact, I've never felt so idle and alone. It's crazy how daily things appear, which I didn't see when she was here. But they appear nonetheless, and make me face what I never thought I would --the struggle to find a new love.

Doing so is hard because I'm an introvert, except for when I'm doing my work. But if I'm not speaking or teaching, it's hard for me to be outgoing. But I'm going to have to be if I want to be with someone else. Life is too long to live by myself. Plus, Bruce Springsteen was right when he wrote, "Everybody's Got a Hungry Heart." Listening to his music inspires and sparks. But whenever I consider approaching someone, I talk myself out of it. It's not that I lack confidence; I'm just conscious of all that comes with a relationship. 

Plus, I'm seeking someone special. Everyone is, I guess. At least that's what they say before they settle. Nothing's wrong with settling if you can live with it. But doing so makes it hard to live with yourself. At least that's how I felt when I used to settle for failure. But I hated that feeling more than anything else because I expect more of myself. I want more for others also. So, I wouldn't want anyone to settle for me. On the contrary, I want to be as special to them as they are to me. So, I've spent the last two and a half years in neutral gears, parking yet peeking at prospects. 

I also registered with a few dating sights from instinct. But I don't look at them because they don't sync with my soul. I'm not against them; they just aren't for me. So I keep asking God to lead me accordingly, until I find someone compatibly. Meanwhile some days are maddening because of not having anyone to share them with. I'd probably be dead if I didn't have a purpose and a gift. These keep me going when I find myself rowing towards the edge. Still, it's as if I'm taking the long way home.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sensing Destiny...

A sense of destiny is the sweetest aroma. 

I’ve always had an overwhelming sense of destiny. In fact, I don’t know how it feels to live without this sense. It makes all of my decisions, the bad ones aside, which this sense assures me aren’t mine. It assures me rather that it will gather these to garrison me until I am fit for what it envisions.

It’s hard to explain this sense to others, to myself routinely. Yet I am keenly aware of its presence. I’m also beholden to its lessons. In fact, I would’ve spurned all that I’ve learned had I not learned to believe in this. Believing is hard routinely and impossible occasionally. Then, I tell myself, “Joel, you’re crazy.”  

Despite my assessments, I still wear destiny’s vestments, however invisible they are to others. Still, I can’t help but wonder about the bumbles and the brambles, the hunger and the stammers, the inability to answer for my choices. Meanwhile others are being promoted; some are retiring. I, however, am still desiring the fulfillment of what is most appealing about destiny. What this is differs for each based on their range and reach.

In this regard, destiny transcends our search for fulfillment. It does so to raise our ceiling until we cease to expect and let God do what He desires. The process stills yet stirs our fires. So much until, part of us feels frozen; the other chosen. We eventually learn, however, that we are beholden. Else we would achieve what cheats us of God’s will for our lives. What this is fulfills immeasurably because it represents our true destiny. We err when we pair destiny with destination.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Leading Beyond Recognition

Our work has value beyond our desire for recognition. Its worth is innate when we take time to do our best amid the rush of life. This alone gives it merit though we've yet to merit others regard. Conceiving our work so deceives many of us because the desire for recognition bewitches. It also robs us of the joy of creation.

 Beyond Recognition

           Thus, we are routinely moody about things that are ultimately beyond our control. Paradoxically, a desire for praise empowers and impoverishes together because we can't garner it, enough at least to ease our angst. If we aren’t careful, we will devalue our work when we are ignored. Acknowledged, however, we are ignited. Conquering this conundrum requires us to affirm our work (and worth) without recognition. Only in doing so can we overcome custom.

 Beyond Custom

           We are conditioned by custom to view recognition as proof of merit. Discouraged by clicks, how often do we exist in professional purgatory because others ignore our work and its worth? How often do we consider quitting because we aren't getting the hits we imagine, which we use to establish a pattern of success?

 Passion Beyond Patterns

           These patterns matter but they shouldn't maim when they are missing from our lives. During these times, we must affirm emphatically the worth of our work. We must also reject the portrait of persecuted genius --the kind common to artists. Rather than being insulted by others indifference, we should work without regard for the regard we’ve yet to gain, convinced that our work has merit though we aren't raved and recognized.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stepping into Greatness

Our lives are too large to be scarred by failure indefinitely.
 Greatness demands a commitment so authentic that most of us fear making it. So we accept less than we desire only to admire those whose commitment is authentic. This doesn’t mean everyone begins with greatness in mind. But it does mean that greatness is ingrained in our souls and native to ourselves. Unfortunately, however, most of us weren’t raised in climates wherein greatness was a requirement. Even so, we can still commit to its achievement rather than being cheated by circumstances.
In the Beginning
          The first step is to step outside what we believe is possible for ourselves. We do this by developing a vision that inspires a discipline to do what we routinely avoid. In this regard, discipline isn’t a choice. We all have it and employ it daily. What matters, however, is its direction. If we can work 40 hours a week, we can do likewise when what we seek is worth having. We know its worth instinctively but are discouraged continually by the time it will take to realize our dreams. So we realize schemes that keep us distracted instead. Greatness, however, requires us to use our discipline towards our dreams despite delays and distractions. If we can do this we assist ourselves greatly.
Stepping in to Greatness
          The second step to achieving greatness is to stop seeking guarantees because these grieve when greatness fails. Moreover, if guarantees were possible we would wrestle until we wrested greatness. Hence the importance of planning, patience and perseverance. These offer the only guarantees possible. Everything else is radically contingent however we spin it. This thought should thrill rather than chill. It thrills when we maintain our zeal by respecting ourselves enough to give our all though we fall repeatedly. This respect often resembles insanity. Yet we must be missing a few screws to be enthused when reasons lack and results indict our efforts.
Dessert Time!
          The final step to achieving greatness requires us to embrace our worthiness. In fact, we must develop a sense of entitlement to survive the entanglements we encounter in route. This sense of dessert is underwritten by work. We do this work independent of circumstances. Too many of us enthrone circumstances. Yet we readily cite the resolve of others despite circumstances. Our references indict unless we excite ourselves similarly by deeming ourselves as worthy. These simple steps can help us step closer to greatness.


Monday, August 4, 2014


                                   What is innate pre-dates our efforts, and guides them also.

          I’ve spent years having imaginary conversations with extraordinary people in an effort to learn their secrets. From rapper Lil’ Wayne, I learned how to churn words until they revealed their rhythm. Ralph Emerson, in contrast, taught me the ways of wisdom, and how to write indifferent to reception. Soren Kierkegaard reinforced this lesson. From Shakespeare I learned that brilliance has no bounds. His plays to me are more like plows, pushing me to hope and herald authentically though in disgrace with fortune circumstances find me.
From Michel Montaigne I learned the value of sincerity and the art of the sentence. Each encounter with him (and Schopenhauer) increased my confidence. From MLK, Jr. I gained strength to love, learning to be devoted despite the motives of malefactors. If, however, it weren’t for Fredrich Nietzsche indifference would have defeated me. Yet Nietzsche encouraged me to become who I am despite being slammed by circumstances. In this regard, Michael Jackson and Jordan also served.
I’ve never seen anyone do what they did with so much verve. Who would have thought that a ball and a beat combined with backward moving feet could accomplish so much and inspire so many. Of course their success (and privilege) wouldn’t surprise Paul Tillich, because he recognized that anything can become an object of ultimate concern if we commit to it and are willing to learn. Thanks, moreover, to William James many of my anxieties were tamed. His Principles of Psychology eased my fears of mediocrity and of being overlooked, especially when time was inclined to stream slowly. James’ wisdom comforted and helped to grow me.
There are also other extraordinary people by whom I have been instructed, Herman Keyserling included, as well as those whose names I have omitted (Blaise Pascal for example). Thanks to these I have been able to weave my own literary web. In time, like them, maybe I too can help someone else find his way, hers too, thanks to the shrew, Mary Wollstonecraft. Who’s teaching you along your path?