I know everyone is watching the Superbowl, and I’m supposed to keep it light, and be all Go Broncos or Go Panthers, but I’ve got some #realtalk for you tonight.
I have often been accused of being callous. People tend to think that I don’t care, and they’ll gossip about how differently they think I should do my job as a leader.
Many assume I don’t understand, or I’ve somehow had things handed to me. I’ve seen people call me lucky so many times, I don’t even laugh at it any more, even though it never gets less ridiculous.
The flip side is that people think I must have the most perfect life if I can really find things to be grateful for every day. My positive outlook, my take responsibility for your life mentality, and my love for being alive, actually pisses people off LOL!!!
They look at my 110 pound weight loss, my amazing marriage, my financial freedom and my huge following, and they just don’t get it. Mostly they think it’s fake, or they know it’s real and are simply jealous.
I don’t take well to people saying “I wish” or “I can’t” and the word “try” doesn’t even register to me. People hate being called out on this stuff and they’d rather point fingers at me, than look at themselves.
I rarely meet anyone who understands my level of dedication to watching how I speak, taking responsibility, and finding gratitude in every moment.
Last night I was searching for a way to put this into words, in a way that might help someone.
I thought I’d quickly make a list of some of the struggles I’ve faced, or lessons I’ve learned, and hopefully something would pop out as a good story to share. I grabbed a pen and jotted down a few of my harder life moments.
I just kept writing and writing ….
I actually surprised myself at how much I actually lived through before I was even 30. I realized the list WAS the story to share. I’ve already dealt with, and learned, more than most will ever see in a lifetime.
In no particular order:
- Born Premature
- Social Anxeity
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Foodbank Dependent
- Emancipated as a Teen
- Endured Bullying
- On Welfare as a Child
- Years of Bulimia
- Sexual Assault
- Childhood Obesity
- Criminal Record
- Years of Drug Abuse
- Morbid obesity
- Diagnosed Bipolar
- Extreme Alcohol Abuse
- Unknown Father Until Adulthood
- 10 Years of Heavy Smoking
- Thoughts of Self Harm
- Suspended from School
- Domestic Violence
- Fired from Jobs
- Compulsive Overeating
- Shopping Addiction
- Debilitating Depression
- Panic Attacks
- Diet Pill Dependency
- Hormone Imbalances
- Low Self-Esteem
- Self Doubt
- Thyroid Issues
Honestly the list could have gone on further, but I think the list above is sufficient for what I’m about to say.
EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THAT LIST IS A BLESSING.
Yes you read that right. Every one of my darkest, hardest, most painful moments, happened FOR me, not to me. I know that because I have been blessed with the INCREDIBLE gift of service. I have the ability to help hundreds of thousands of people, that I wouldn’t be able to help had these things not taken place.
I have a perspective on the world that few can have, and it not only provides me a HUGE sense of purpose, but takes care of my financial needs as well. I joke all the time that my extra skin, is just one physical reminder of what I had to sacrifice to have a life this amazing, and it’s worth the trade off.
I am not upset about my past or any of the people in it. Every moment I’ve my life I’ve been collecting experiences, stories, and an understanding. The more of these “teaching moments” I can collect, the more valuable I am in the future.
The more I’ve endured, the more my value has increased. Too many people believe the opposite about themselves.
The problem for YOU is, that if you reach out to me, you have to REALLY, HONESTLY, want to change. You have to want a different life, and want to move forward.
I do not want to hear your sob story about how it’s all so-and-so’s fault. I won’t entertain thoughts that you aren’t capable of greatness. I absolutely will not even hear any statements that you can’t help anyone, because you’re not “ready” or “perfect” or “there yet” whatever the hell any of that even means.
I’m not interested in people who enjoy their places as victims. I don’t believing in “venting”, I won’t hear you out if you are gossiping or judging others. If you are toxic, I’ll cut you out of my life faster than you can blink, I don’t care how we know each other, or for how long.
Any of that nonsense will keep me from my calling, and I won’t choose to waste all those struggles, just to make you feel better.
Every single moment of your life has prepared you to live out your calling and serve the word. EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT.
You CAN choose to embrace your mistakes, your darkness, your failings. You CAN choose to measure your true value.. Not by how perfect you are, and how polished your life highlight reel looks, but how many moments you’ve collected that can be used to help others.
If you choose not to share your hardest moments, then they happened for nothing. If you hide in shame, you will only perpetuate the belief that perfection is valuable. That belief only holds you back, and it will hold back all the people around you. That includes your partners, your sisters, your children…our entire society.
Perfection does not exist. If you keep reaching for it, or comparing yourself to that standard, you will even be enough. None of us will.
I choose to measure myself by something that is actually useful instead.
I plan to live an incredible, long and healthy life. I know that the first 1/3 of my life was simply preparation. All my hard moments were simply an education. I now have a degree in life, and the last 5 years I’ve been using that degree to change the world.
What will you do with yours?