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We need another “We are the World” recording

Back in 1985, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie lead an all-star cast of singers and musicians in the recording of We Are The World to raise awareness and funds for those starving in Africa. It was unprecedented and it made a difference. Twenty-five plus years later another group of all-star singers and rappers got together for a similar recording with the beneficiary being Haiti this time. Equally as touching and Haiti was better off.

Now, America needs to come together for our troubles here. We have lost our way and greed, fear, hate and selfishness has consumed this country. Everyone is for themselves and people are dying, oppressed, forgotten and depressed.

Rich people are being trusted to take care of the needy and they are doing a horrible job. There is a clear history of disparities in this country and both political parties have blood on their hands.

Americans have lost its compassion. In the song there is a line that says “there’s a choice we’re making. We’re saving our own lives.” This is a profound statement because it calls attention to those who participate in humanity. You cannot be a part of the human race and not care about the whole human race. If one of us hurts, we all hurt. When you turn a blind eye towards any injustice your conscious dies a little each time. With slavery, civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights, too many of us have tried to look the other way at the expense of their conscious.

America is leading with it’s worst parts out front. Change needs to happen immediately for we don’t have time anymore for politics. The people who will suffer first will be the weaker vessels meaning the very poor and uneducated.

Then the suffering will continue all the way to the middle class. Do we have to wait that long before we decide to get involved? We are responsible for us!

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Mind over matter

What’s real and what isn’t?

Many times we have battles in our mind that stem from what’s going on in our lives. This battle built on actualities and interpretations — what actually happened and how my mind interprets it.

So if I already have doubts about myself or self esteem or self worth issues, just imagine how bias, against me, my mind will interpret every situation I’m in. I won’t ever be able to do anything right. Someone will always not like me or be against me and I will always find someone else to blame for my troubles.

My rational emotive behavior is working against me and statistically speaking if I am a minority, I am effected by this condition more often than my white counterpart.

Before the mind over matter battle happens in the mind, there needs to be a pre-battle in my conscious where interpretations are challenged. Not to make this complicated but I had to take responsibility for the healthy functioning of my brain and that includes having a favorable outlook on self.

For example, in your mind you might think nobody likes you. But in your conscious you must challenge that statement. Because all I have to find is one person to like me to make it a false narrative. I may think I can’t do anything right. My conscious says sure I can and begins a list of things I have done right.

The old hip hop adage of “check yourself before you wreck yourself” rings true here. So begin challenging those thoughts that stop your forward motion. Argue those thoughts that make you abandon your dreams and love your best life — in support of self!

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You are depressed for a reason

Hey you!

Yes! You! You have been depressed for some time now. Are you just going to hold on to your depression like it’s a tumor or are you gonna finally take it to a professional for help?

Depression is not a condition that you’re supposed to deal with it alone. It was meant to be shared. It’s like a large pizza, you can’t eat that all by yourself — at least you’re not supposed to. When you think about depression there are actually some positive takeaways people don’t think about.

For example, depression was meant to bring people who love each other together. There is nothing like a condition to bring family and friends close. Not that they can do anything specifically about it, depression makes you be present and focus your attention on one person. It pauses our lives that we might reaffirm feelings and gratitude toward each other.

Depression also humbles you because eventually you must realize that you need help and support so you have to humble yourself to ask.

Depression also allows you to see who is really with you and who you can count on. This is particularly important because there could be worse ways of finding this out — like waking up from a coma from a car accident or heart attack. Depression is a milder way of seeing your support network in action.

But the greatest thing depression does is it should get you to counseling. There are things in your life that are hard to measure or deal with. We also make a lot of mistakes and there needs to be a way for us to talk in private about things that bother us or things that make us afraid. There are some things that need to be hashed out before decisions are made and there are some things that need to be diagnosed. There is NO SHAME in this.

Bottom line is: You need counseling my friend. Don’t let fear or pride keep you from thriving. Help is a phone call or email away. Make an appointment with Clydestyle today! Technology allows us to serve you anywhere in the world!

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Call it maybe…

You ever felt like your life was in a holding pattern? You know like how planes circle in midair around the airport waiting to land. And due to inclement weather they end up circling longer than anticipated? Life can get that way too.

It is especially difficult if you are waiting on someone else to do something or for a situation to happen. What’s even worse, is for some of us, our minds will do us in with negativity. We start second guessing our motives and actions. We begin to think the worst and doubt whether things will work out for the best.

This seems to be the time where God has said, “maybe” when answering our prayer. When God says maybe, things come to a screeching halt and we have no choice but to wait.

This is normal test time with God.

You see, he already knows the outcome but he wants to see how well your faith holds up during a trial. In one of your darkest hours, how strong and supportive is your faith or even the faith of the people around you.

Are you going through a test of faith right now? How are you holding up? Are you operating in a safe environment that is comforting for you? The people around you, are they helpful? Are your expectations being met? Have you placed expectations in areas or on someone you shouldn’t have?

These are all questions that need to be answered and learned from during this trial. So in the meantime, find the answers you need and hang in there!

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I know why the Lord visited the spirits in prison

When we read 1 Peter chapter 3 and come to the part where it says Jesus visited the spirits in prison who were disobedient, we assume it was just to minister good things to them. That Jesus would try and get them to choose another path and that they would change their selfish ways and begin honoring the father with their lives.

I would imagine that some of that took place, but I am sure, with what I know about Jesus, fellowship was of the utmost importance.

Anyone can go to jail or prison, but it seems more than not that the poor end up there for whatever reason. (I could tell you why but that’s for another blog!) And there is a natural connection between this population because of what they have been through. Being around them you get a look through life from a different lens.

When you hear of their mistakes and the issues that plague them you want to help because you really do have the answers. But then you find out they weren’t looking for answers, they were searching for understanding. They were longing to be heard. They were hoping that someone would see them in a different light other than the negative one that is always cast.

I recently spent a full day in county jail as I was investigated and I learned the true meaning of probable cause. (I have a blog series coming regarding this experience and prison reform that will come out after Christmas.)

I sat in a holding cell listening to Black, white, Mexican and Cuban guys shoot the shit mostly over nothing but bond together through their infirmities. They helped each other, laughed at each other and bonded — creating a community of sinners that I was glad to be a part of. I was affectionately called “unk” by various members of this community probably because of my age and wisdom. It was funny that during this time on 4 occasions a white guy asked me if I was really their uncle… it made me smile.

We talked about life, love, mother’s influence, dad’s influence (many did not know their dads) and fear. I was able to turn it into a therapy session without anyone noticing that I was a therapist. When they got suspicious I could swear or say something negative about “the system” and my identity would be cloaked again.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending this time and giving of myself. At the end I was far more blessed than the blessings I gave and I have two new friends as a result.

As I was driving home I realized that another reason that Jesus would have made prison visits is because he needed to be rejuvenated and what better way to do that than be with lively people who don’t have to make themselves out to be anything. They’re just free to be… in their own space, in an unlikely place where they can see Jesus’ face!

Posted in freedom, Grief, Happiness, Progress, Uncategorized

Suffering with midsummer depression…

Everyone seems to be enjoying the beautiful summer weather but you. The idea of taking in the sights and getting some sun or taking a trip or even going to get ice cream just doesn’t seem appealing to you.

You begin avoiding people because they keep asking you what’s wrong. You stay in bed, don’t shave, lessen communication with your usual circle of friends and there is no desire to eat. Or you actually could be eating a lot or sleeping a lot — the point is you have no balance, you are living on the extremes.

Nothing hurts at least that can be measured. You either have a broken heart or a shaky mind.

Clearly you are depressed.

Seasons can actually do that to you. The year is not going like you think it should. There are ongoing problems that tend to be getting out of hand. You’re in a bad relationship and it’s wearing you down or just life itself is getting too difficult.

During this time it feels like this is only happening to you. The silence in your life is more like a fog that is coming to make you sad. It’s chasing you and making it difficult for you to escape.

Here are the top 5 things you need to force yourself to do when you are depressed.

1) You need a confidant who doesn’t solve problems for you, they just listen and support you. They get you out of the house for a break and keep you connected to the non-depressed world. You’re living on the depressed side. This person can be trusted and you know they have your best interest at heart.

2) You have to exercise…everyday. you need to break a sweat to release some of that negative energy and help balance your hormones. You need exercise to help you with step 3 as well, so pick something that will tire you out.

3) You need sleep. Find the right amount based on your age. If your magic number is 8 hours then make sure that’s all you get. Not 5 or 6 hours and not 10 to 12 hours. Eight is your number.

4) Drink half your body weight in water and try to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. It would be great to cancel added sugars in your diet for 10 days. You want to stay hydrated and not have anything that gives you highs and lows.

5) Eat healthy. Plant-based whole foods are best. If you can, only eat meat once a day. So you might have fruit and oatmeal for breakfast. A huge salad for lunch that includes seeds, nuts, fruit, lots of green leaves with carrots and olives. Your snacks for the day would be granola, fruit and trail mix. Then dinner could be a vegetable, sweet potato or brown rice and your meat of choice. But whatever you do, don’t eat after 9pm or 3 hours before bed.

Need any additional support contact me.

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Is there a cause worthy?

Our country has been divided for so long it has become a way of life for us. Division is our new normal and it seems that their is not a cause worthy enough to make us set aside our differences for the greater good. Is there still a greater good?

When we joined WWII we seemed to be on the same page although before and after the war was quite shady.

Before the war we were selling tanks, jeeps and other heavy vehicles to both sides. When the war ended, not only did we renege on our promises — especially to minorities — but when the bounty from the war was rolled out in the form of jobs, the pay for those jobs were given with prejudice. Minorities and women did not receive equal pay and didn’t even have access to the best jobs.

Fast forward to the 21st century and we are now expecting wealthy people to look out for the welfare of poor people. The wealthy people are in government and congress and there is no greater time in our history when politics have been played to the degree it is today.

More promises. More politics and no change. No matter what political party is in charge: More promises. More politics and no change.

As citizens we struggle with healthcare, debt, fair and livable wages and a stable future.

Currently, the 20-

plus Democratic presidential hopefuls believe they have the answers for us. They have spent years in congress and now they want to fix problems that are 30 years old. Republicans aren’t any better, 2016 they were singing the same song that they have all the answers — nothing has changed.

I struggle to find a cause that would force government and Congress to work together for the benefit of the people they are supposed to serve.

So who is democracy really working for?