I’m not going to lie, I haven’t felt like writing lately. Life has been a struggle to say the least and unfortunately, things are not going great on the home front.

Out of respect for my wife, I won’t share the details of what is going on, but suffice it to say, all is not well..

As many of you know, I’m at a big turning point in my life and have committed to making some life altering changes. I’ve got huge aspirations for my future and my vision is clearer that it’s been in a long time.

But given my personal issues, I have been a roller coaster of emotions and have flip flopped from going balls to the wall to being virtually catatonic. Not the best way to recreate a life and build an online empire…

What I have been doing however, is trying to stay positive and focusing on what I DO have. I’m also keeping myself busy with various online and offline projects (obviously not writing..)

In the midst of a family breakdown, it’s not easy to stay positive or motivated and I’m am fighting with this daily. Actually, it’s more like hourly, but I have to do it….

A Walk Through The Valley Of Doubt

I’ve always thought that things happen for a reason. Good or bad, there is a meaning behind everything that happens in our lives. I’ve often struggled to find the reasons behind many of life’s events, but I know in my heart that what happens is supposed to happen…

So as hard as things may be at home, I know there is a purpose for it. Will it make us stronger? Will it test our limits? Will it force us to become better friends and partners? I truly believe the answer is yes.

So in the midst of all of this emotional turmoil, it was no surprise to me that my friend Marcus asked me to go hiking in Harpers Ferry, WV. We had never met in person and he decided to drive almost 4 hours to meet me. That in itself tells you something about his character.

It was clear to me that our meeting was not just happening by chance or randomness. It happened for a specific reason. Marcus has become a great confidant and friend and has helped me understand more about myself through his honest insights on my personal situation.

When we met, the first thing I noticed was how calm and peaceful he seemed to be. Now I’m not a very spiritual person, but he had a very peaceful energy about him.Β  The type of peace that makes you feel at peace…

And as we walked, I started talking about all the obstacles in my life, the personal struggles I’m dealing with, and all the reasons I haven’t been successful.

He listened without interrupting and when I was done he simply said “all of that doesn’t matter. Let it all go. It’s what you do from here on that counts“. And as I tried again to tell him all the reasons I couldn’t find happiness or couldn’t get ahead financially, he said “you need to change the conversation you have with yourself“.

My Prison Of Can’t

It was then I realized (and he told me) that everything I think and talk about is why I can’t do something or why I can’t be something. It literally comes out of my mouth in every other sentence.

I had never really thought about it and never caught myself doing it. It was “I can’t be happy until my life changes” or “I can’t make more money because of my experience level” or “I can’t create a successful business because I don’t know what to do“…..

It was actually pretty startling to think that my conversations with myself are so negative. I thought to myself, how can I possibly get ahead when I keep telling myself I can’t do it?

It’s amazing how good we feel when something like this, as simple as it is, has been discovered. I didn’t even realize how often I was sabotaging my own happiness and success. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders when I decided to change the way I talk to myself.

Of course, saying that I am going to change and actually doing it are two very different things. And as I write this post five days after our hike, I can say that I’ve been catching myself multiple times each day having negative thoughts. And then I change them. I’ve got a long way to go though..

To Forgive and Serve

As we reached the summit of Maryland Heights, I took a few moments to look out over the picturesque town of Harpers Ferry and think about my life.

It was then that he looked directly at me and said “the only two things you need to focus on are forgiving and serving. That’s it. Your life will become significantly better if you just do those things.”

And I believed him.

Forgive Who?

Now if you know me, you know I carry a grudge like no other. I will hold onto a bad experience for my entire lifetime. Call it a character flaw or whatever, but that’s how it’s been. So when he told me that I needed to forgive the people in my life that are most important, I didn’t like the sound of it.

Under different circumstances, I probably would have just blown it off, but I’m committed to being a better person now and I’m not going back to how I was.

I thought about his advice and decided that there were people in my life that I did in fact need to forgive. And these people are:

  • Myself. For being a perpetually unhappy person, a poor husband, and a self imposed underachiever.
  • My wife. For being angry all the time and resentful towards me.
  • My brother. For being selfish and treating me and our parents like shit.
  • My mother and father. For putting my brother and I through a heartbreaking divorce where we were used as leverage in a bitter custody battle.
  • My boss. For treating people with contempt and an utter lack of respect.

Forgiveness is not a word that is used often in my family. My father hates his brothers and sisters and hasn’t spoken to them in many years. He still hold a bitter grudge against my mother for what transpired in their divorce 35 years ago. He can’t even stand being in the same room as her.

My mother’s family is just as bad. There is so much drama and in fighting and her father and siblings basically disowned her.

And on top of all that, there is a very strong correlation between being in my family and getting divorced, having children out of wedlock, and chain smoking Newport Lights….

So this is what I know. Broken families have been part of my life since I was a kid. But I need to let all that go.

I’ve been holding onto so much anger, resentment, and bitterness for so long that it’s part of my personality. I’ve missed out on much of what life has to offer because of it.

It’s time to forgive.Β  And move on…

It’s Time To Serve

As I recently discovered, my personality type according to Myers-Briggs is ISFJ. This personality type thrives in the service of others. Knowing this has helped me make some decisions about the direction I want to my life and career to go in. But I have been “out of service” for a very long time.

To me, serving means to unconditionally respect, acknowledge, and care for another in a humble manner. Not exactly my lifestyle, especially at work! And this is part of the problem. It needs to be..

Marcus told me flat out, you need to serve:

  • Yourself
  • Your wife
  • Your God
  • Your boss

Serve myself, check. Serve my wife, check. Serve my God, check. Serve my boss, say what?!?

If you know anything about me or my blog, then you know how I feel about my boss. If you combined Bill Lumbergh, Data from Star Trek, and Herman Munster, you would have my boss. And that’s on his best day!

That being said, this is the exact reason I need to serve him. I walk around pissed off all day at work. I avoid all possible contact with him, I take my lunch breaks and days off around his schedule, and I show him zero respect.

And as much as I dislike him, deep down (really deep), he is not a bad guy. He means well in his own warped mind, but he’s not all bad. And as hard as it is to talk to him, let alone serve him, it’s something I have to do. It will make me a better person and will start to break down some of the barriers of disgust and apathy I have towards him.

No Coincidence…

Part of my life’s goal is to become in tune with my faith and to have a relationship with God. I understand the importance of this and I know there is great power in it.

After our hike, I decided to go to Mass for the first time in many months and wouldn’t you know it, the homily was about me. Well, not me specifically, but it spoke to me and was what Marcus and I had spoken about just a day before.

Our priest, Father Jason, spent 20 minutes speaking about each persons unique abilities and our purpose here. He discussed how we get in our own way many times and fail to reach our potential.

It was no coincidence that this was his choice of topics. And as he spoke, I realized that I need to be a part of something greater than myself. Having a connection to God is going to help me and my family and I have committed to making that happen.

Growing up without any sort of religion or spiritual beliefs created an empty space in my life. A space that I filled for years with partying, traveling, dating, and doing meaningless things. I’ve seen the power of having the stability of faith in one’s life and it’s something that I believe will strengthen my family.

Still Figuring It All Out

As you can see now, there are a lot of things that I am going through emotionally and I’m doing my best to keep my head above water right now. Like I have said, I am 100% committed to creating massive change in my life and am working on myself each and every day.

And if you’re wondering, I still have many thoughts and ideas for the future of this blog and I plan to do great things. Just be patient and you’ll see…..

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