Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Career, Change, Children, Divorce, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, friend, God, guilt, Happiness, helping, judgment, kindness, Life, Light, Love, Marriage, Mind Power, Penalties, Perseverance, Progress, repentance, Self, significance, slave, society, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Trust, Truth

Is it really yours?

image

You know the old saying that if you let something go and if it comes back to you, then it truly belongs to you? I just wonder how practical the application of this saying would be today. I mean, I think that some of us may have taken for granted the people in our lives. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the importance of people under our jursidiction and we really need a wake up call.

So imagine if you are the boss over a company or you are managing several employees, do you think that if they were released and given another job making the same money, they would stay with you? In the business world we believe sometimes that people get trapped and they don’t have choices. Are we taking advantage of them and treating them horribly because we can? As a leader are you making the environment your employees work in beneficial to them so that they can do the best job possible? Or have you made the place so in your favor that your colleagues hate the company and you? It should not take an episode of “Undercover Bosses” to make you do the right thing. The highest boss is watching and you will have to answer to him.
image

Let’s take this a step further and look at the family because I wonder how many children would stay with their same parents. For those of you with children, do you believe that your offspring would gladly stay with you if they had another opportunity. I’m not talking about riches or a bigger house, I’m speaking pound for pound, comparing apples to apples, given a choice would your children stay with you? That’s a hard question for some and not meant to ruin anyone’s week, but we need to take a step back sometimes and see if what we think we are accomplishing is good and for the betterment of the people God has placed us over.

Now for the finale, when you look at your marriage do you believe your spouse would come back to you if he or she had the option to leave with no strings attached? Think before you answer. Do you make your spouse feel that he or she is the perfect match for you? Do they feel God’s full blessing being with you or would they rather be single? Is this even something you can talk about? Has chasing after success in life or bitterness or past failures turned you into an asshole? Don’t look at me, I didn’t say it your spouse may have! I just want you to take an honest look at your situation.
image

Life is too short to spend the rest of it with someone who repels you. So before they sneak and talk to an attorney about their options, wouldn’t it be more cost effective for you to have that “come to Jesus talk” with them and say you’re sorry and you want to be better? If you really and truly love the person you are with, you owe it too yourself and your spouse a true confession and a heartfelt apology. Then you would spend your life prioritizing things in order of importance and you would begin with your relationship.

Don’t listen to the voice in your head that says this task is too much. It is just what your relationship needs. Be the leader you claim you are and lead in this effort to make your life better.

Posted in Accountability, Beauty, Children, Confidence, Determination, Generosity, Happiness, helping, Honor, Love, The Family

Tribute to my mom

image

One of my favorite songs we sang growing up in church was Home of the Soul. I never really understood this song beyond the melody which I liked.

But as I got older I started listening to the words and discovered this is a song describing the place that Jesus is preparing for us. I eventually matured to be able to put scriptural application with this song and in addition to seeing the place Jesus is preparing for me in the future, I saw another place. This place was prepared for my living in the past.

My mother, Annie Mayberry, is like no other. Pound for pound she’s the best mom you could have. (I know I’m bias but bare with me)

Looking back at what we had back in the day, I realize how hard it was to make that happen. We were not rich, but we lived in an extremely clean home that was comfortable and had nice stuff.

I looked forward to coming home from a hard day at school, hard time at basketball practice, frustrating day with friends and the reason I loved coming home was because it was prepared for me.

My mom in anticipation of us coming home made sure things were right. There was always more than enough food. All of my needs (and some wants) were taken care of and she did this despite how she felt on any given day.

My mom never wanted anyone to look down on us. She never wanted anyone to think we were not cared for and she never wanted us to feel cheated in life. She gave us a respect for the arts — from paintings to great music — she kept beautiful things around us.

She took our senses and used them to her advantage. We were surrounded by beauty, grew up on incredibly delicious soul food, clean clothes, warm bed and toys — what else could a child want.

But the greatest thing my mom gave me and my siblings was her love. Her love truly covered a multitude of sins — ours and hers. There was no doubt that she was in our corner and would not hesitate to whip our a$$ or kick somebody else’s a$$ in a New York minute.

So today I give honor to my first love. A woman who I admire and appreciate greatly! Thanks for everything Annie! Love you much!

Posted in Achievement, Beauty, Children, Confidence, Giving, Racism, Sports

The Greatest of all time!

I would like to say happy birthday to Muhammed Ali who I haven’t had the opportunity to meet, but his life has been a strong influence on me and I still admire him today.

He is arguably the greatest fighter to put on a pair of boxing gloves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmaHGY7BEog&feature=youtube_gdata_player

When I was growing up in the 70s I remember watching the wide world of sports on ABC with my brothers and my dad and we watched all of the great heavyweight fights from that era. I remember watching sports reporter Howard Cosell go back and forth with the champ and I remember hearing folks say that they argue like an old married couple.

Ali would shout about how great he was and how attractive he was. He would boast about his accomplishments and what he planned to do next. And he would do most of this in the form of a rhyme!

I didn’t understand the psychology behind his actions until I was much older. When I ask myself how many images were on TV that depicted African Americans in a positive light, my answer was not many. Other than James Brown proclaiming that he was Black and proud, how many shows on TV in the 70s brought this before America? None.

You see, if Ali was great and he matched the color of my skin, then subconsciously I had the potential to be great too because we were the same color.

The point is clear: Ali made greatness possible for every minority. The path he lit stayed bright for me and my pursuits. He saved me from a lifetime of hang ups regarding my appearance, my intelligence, inferiority and my possibilities.

I can because Ali could. And I’m glad he took the time to send the future generations a message. A message that I got loud and clear!

Thanks Ali! For me, you will always be the greatest of all time!

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Bigotry, Change, Children, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, Giving, God, Happiness, helping, Honor, Jesus Christ, Justice, kindness, Life, Love, Perseverance, Prayer, Progress, Relationships, Resurrection, Sharing, society, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Time, Trust, Worship

Some day at Christmas

Some day at Christmas we won’t be farmerry-christmas

from making friends no matter what color they are.

We will be color blind and our hearts will see

that God made you and me.

 

Some day at Christmas we won’t be rude

and pass out to everyone who has a need for food.

We will not covet all the things that we see

because we live for him who died on that tree.

 

3142505786_793baeb9a7Some day at Christmas all wars will cease.

Our heart’s desire will be to seek peace.

We’ll take responsibility for all that we do

and make this world better for me and you.

 

Some day at Christmas the deed will be done.

Our lives will be judged by God’s only son.

We lived our lives for Christ and stood in his Grace

and spread love thoughout the human race.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Beauty, Children, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Generosity, Giving, God, Happiness, Health, Jesus Christ, Love, Parenthood, Perseverance, Racism, Relationships, Sharing, Success, Taking Responsibility, The Family, Truth, Willpower, Work

I’m thankful for…

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving.

This has always been a sore spot for me ever since my second year of high school. That’s the time that I learned about the betrayal and almost destruction of an entire race of people at the hands of the Pilgrims.

Since that time, I’ve learn to find good in a day marked to celebrate their evil. Thanksgiving is somewhat like the Trojan horse. Both involved a festive occasion marred by betrayal and a massacre.

But there is hope.

Instead of thinking about the historic events that make this holiday ugly, I choose to be thankful.

I am thankful that I knew to make the most of my opportunities.

I’m thankful that I didn’t have circumstances like abuse, grief, drugs or poverty to hinder me from seeing the potential in myself.

I’m thankful for all the people who are close to me. I’m thankful for their love and understanding. I’m thankful for their friendship and kindness. And mostly I’m thankful that these people formed a hedge around me to ensure that I  knew I was loved and shielded from hurt.

I’m thankful for my parents. I am what I am because of the parents I have. And even though they were not perfect, they turned me into the best me I could be.

I’m thankful for my race. Despite the tragedy and racism that still takes place, I am proud of the contributions of my race, the rich tradition of the African culture and our resilience. I still pray that more African Americans will come to know this truth. #cutitoutFerguson

I am thankful to everyone who has ever disciplined me. I needed it and I realize how evil it is for others to go around not disciplining those in their scope of influence. Every child needs discipline and one of the problems in our school systems is that they lack discipline.

I’m thankful to every man that has been or who is currently in my life. You have taught me about a very diverse brotherhood that I am thankful for. The closeness, intimacy and trust we share has made me the strong heterosexual man I am today. I am blessed to be able to draw from brothers who are White, Indian, Cuban, German and Black.

I’m especially thankful for every woman who has ever built a relationship with me. You taught me love and respect the right way and made me less of a dog. I learned how to be intimate without having sex and I learned to appreciate beauty.

I am very thankful for the three children I have. They are all little models of me. I’m learning so much from them. They make me a better man.

I’ve saved the best for last. I am most thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ. All of who I am and who I hope to be rests in Him. Christ, you represent all for me and I love you with every inch of who I am.

Please take time to share your thanks with the people who have earned it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Beauty, Children, God, Love, Relationships, The Family

Birthdays are bigger than we think

I think we all know people who, when asked about their birthday, say that they don’t celebrate it anymore or that it’s just not a big deal.

What are we really saying about ourselves when we make these statements?

One of the things I love about spring is that in addition to the season in the Midwest beginning to change, I have two lovely daughters who celebrate birthdays in March and in April.

My girls are special to me. They know that they are special, but on their birthdays, I have an extra opportunity to celebrate the fact that they exist.

This is a fact of life that is often overlooked in childrearing.

The stability, security and self-esteem for any daughter are wrapped up in her daddy. A father is the first man that a daughter should be in love with. The number one reason is because this would be the daughter’s first taste of TRUE love – unconditional, never-ending, God-like love.

Codependent women, for the most part, did not experience a strong interpersonal relationship with their fathers.

I have counseled a variety of women who have said that even when their father was there, he really wasn’t there. He lived at the house, they ate dinner together sometimes and he was a great provider of physical things.

But how often they exchanged intimacy was in question.

There were no tender moments. They would say things like. “I know my Dad loved me, he just doesn’t express himself that way.” Or, “Dad loves me, he’s just very busy.”

The effects are devastating.

The daughter that doesn’t have the strong interpersonal relationship with her dad will always struggle with her relationships with men. The codependent part comes in her defining moments. She will always wonder is she beautiful, does she matter, who loves her.

And she will look for a male to supply her with these answers.

Just imagine the teenage boys willing to tell these girls that they are beautiful, they are important and they are loved.

What do you think these codependent girls will do in return for these simply words that should have come from her dad?

If you have ever wondered how some guys ended up with these very beautiful and intelligent women – you guessed it, codependency.

The point here is this: Every little girl needs to know that she is loved and that she matters. In fact all of us do. These two things are directly attached to her inner conscious which she will then use to fight off the voice that tell her no one loves her or she’s ugly.

This is why birthdays are especially important to all of us. They should be used as a tool to express love and to celebrate the life of a person we love. Everyone should have at least one day a year where people make a fuss, go out of their way and express their love all because of the birth of that special someone.

It is also for this reason that my two little girls will always know that they matter, that I love them more than life itself and that they are smart and talented enough to do whatever they put their little minds to. They need to understand that our spirits are forever connected and death can’t even separate us. That our love is everlasting – which means from the day they were conceived, it was in love and that their life and death will be spent in love.

Make sure the people you love know it. This must be demonstrated and said out loud often enough to make it a habit. This is how we live with no regret.

Posted in Accountability, Change, Children, guilt, Happiness, helping, kindness, Life, Love, Parenthood, Relationships, Sharing, society, The Family

Dealing with the affected of witnessing parental conflict

image

Every now and again it’s good to provide information that will bring awareness to real life problems.

The family constellation is in trouble. Even when a family overcomes domestic violence, the effects of the events linger long after the watchful eyes of “little Johnny” can not see anymore. His memory of the incidents stays in the family and not easily forgotten, they affect him years later. These images are burned in his memory forever. This fact sheet will focus on and expose this often forgotten evil and offer helpful suggestions to counselors who deal with this type of abuse.

image

Children today hear and see lots of things and unfortunately some of the most beautiful memories are smeared by some kind of abuse. Studies have shown that kids today see a wide spectrum of abuse that becomes hard for them to digest. Abuse such as physical violence, verbal abuse and threats are just a start. Some children have been injured while watching the father wail on their mother or were injured by trying to stop the father from beating the mother. Some, sadly, have taken an active part in the violence. Whatever the means, our eyes take “forever pictures” of these events. Each year an estimated 3.3 million children are exposed to violence against their mothers or female caretakers by family members. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family: Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family,1996)

Researchers agree that most of the violence children see comes out of their own homes. A child’s exposure to the father abusing the mother is the strongest risk fact for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family: Report of the APA Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family,1996). Moreover, in families where the mother is assaulted by the father, daughters are at risk of sexual abuse 6.51 times greater than girls in non-abusive families (Bowker, Arbitell and McFerron, 1988). And then, Male children who witness the abuse of mothers by fathers are more likely to become men who batter in adulthood than those male children from homes free of violence (Rosenbaum and O’Leary, “Children: The Unintended Victims of Marital Violence,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1981)

image

When an incident occurs in the home, the focus always centers around the direct parties involved. When mom and dad fight, counseling is between mom and dad. Rarely do the witnesses’ feelings become an issue. Children experience emotional overload during this time and even when the parents seem to have “ironed out” their differences and resumed life, the kids are emotionally “stuck” at the scene of the crime. A survey of 6,000 American families found that 50 percent of men who assault their wives, also abuse their children. (Pagelow, “The Forgotten Victims: Children of Domestic Violence,” 1989). In addition, research shows that 80 to 90 percent of children living in homes where there is domestic violence are aware of the violence. (Pagelow, “Effects of Domestic Violence on Children,” Mediation Quarterly, 1990).

Professionals serving the needs of children exposed to domestic violence should be prepared to provide:
(1) Crisis intervention (i.e., assess for safety; develop a safety plan; file an abuse report; and provide crisis counseling);
(2) Assessment (i.e., assess current functioning, suicide risk);
(3) Short and long-term therapy (i.e., gradual exposure, trauma processing, reduction of feelings of responsibility and self-blame).