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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here's Your Sign

You may be familiar with the comedy routines which talk about how stupid people ought to wear a sign saying "I'm Stupid" as a warning for the rest of us so we know what to expect when engaging in communication with them. This random thought popped in my head, (it happens), when I was considering a comment from my friend Michelle in Seattle to my post yesterday on giants.

I feel a little bit like Larry King. "Michelle in Seattle, hello."

Michelle made a good point that I had thought of, but not very deeply. But she was absolutely right. She said, "Too often though we become comfortable with our "giants" and fail to see that they are preventing us from realizing our personal promised lands."

This is so true. Sad, but very true. I know a guy who looked me dead in the eye and told me, "I'm probably the most selfish man I know." While they say that admission is the first step toward recovery, I think they imply that that first step is actually followed by a second step. I'm not exactly sure what that second step is, but I'd be willing to bet it has something to do with fixing the object of the first step. In the case of the man who told me he was selfish, he hadn't. He was basically saying, "I'm selfish, so don't say I didn't warn you." In so many ways, so many times, he lived up to the label without remorse.

How many of us are guilty of hosting our flaws, our "giants"? How many of us have allowed them to take up residency in our lives to where they have become part of us, like a sign around our neck.

"Here comes Nancy the gossip. Be careful what you say around her!"

"There's Paul the womanizer. Don't be charmed by his attention to you."

Are we guilty of nurturing those things in our lives which damage our character and integrity? Are we dealing with those things which keep us from being our best and being able to have healthy relationships? Have we simply accepted those things to be part of us because they're just too hard to overcome? Have we accepted those things as being part of us because our parents were that way?

As Michelle stated, we have become comfortable with those things in our lives which hold us back. It's like we have some sort of weird version of Stockholm Syndrome where we become sympathetic and attached to that which holds us captive. We become attached to these qualities because it's easier to accept them than hate them. It's easier to be loyal to them than be miserable and responsible for the negativity and hurt they cause. It's easier to give in to them than to beat them.

It's time to break the chains. It's time to take responsibility for patterns we've held on to for so long. It's time to take control of what has controlled us for so long. Believe it or not, it is in your control. That doesn't mean you can do it alone. But you have to choose to beat it. Consider this some kind of cyber intervention. No one can make you do it. You have to want it. Take the first step of admitting something has been stealing your very best from you and those who love you. Then, follow it up with another step. Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and support you in getting past it. You already know who they are. They are people who have your best interest at heart and will walk with you through it. They won't tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.

It's time to take that sign off that you have carried around for so long. It's time to face the giant and beat it once and for all. It's time to enter your Promised Land!

It most certainly is my time to do precisely that.

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