I’m going to challenge YOU to not only be challenged by a “challenge”.
Be challenged by the need, by the ignorance, be challenged by the belief.
Be challenged by the desire to empower and improve the lives around you, and your own, because they need be improved. Be challenged by the inherent hunger and thirst to be satisfied by the fullness of love and care and just. Be challenged by the hope of things to come, that are more aligned and affixed to the bounties of YOUR heart. Be challenged by YOUR reflection, by reflex, an automatic assertion towards a forward progress, exampling and exemplifying a habit and protocol of whatever it is that YOU are so “challenged” to be or do.
Do not only be “challenged” to charity, or care, or benevolence, or compassion, or mercy.
Not just for a cause, but because, BE-CAUSE!
I challenge YOU to not need a “challenge” to do better, or more, or right, but to do these things because YOU must. Because without doing these things YOU in effect challenge our progress beyond necessary. YOU challenge the orders and systems of good and compassion, with the selfishnesses of greed and ugly. YOU challenge evil for mere moments, to satisfy YOUR ego and YOUR pride, for sake of appearance, or popularity.
I challenge YOU to compel the most inner of YOUR spirit to free from the sanctum of idleness and independence out into the labor of work and necessary that MUST BE DONE in order to service a most greater need and much bigger picture.
I challenge YOU to secretly and quietly GO BODLY into the bowels of generosity and kindness and pull from there YOUR motive. I challenge YOU to be small, if so as to be sure. Let YOUR giving be cents if it can be consistent. Because strayed, stranded, and spread out BIG dollars, mean absolutely the least if not to be counted upon, or depended upon, or brought to pass.
I challenge YOU to volunteer, consistently. To promote life and peace, consistently. To speak these things, consistently.
Because YOUR greatest challenge is to be consistent. To be a flagship. To be the unnerved lighthouse along the most rigid of coast. Illuminated for even the most insignificant of ships. To be an example to the least of YOUR expect. To awake every morning and retire every night, challenged, to keep doing all and everything that YOU must to make things better. For all, for YOU.
Because in the getting of, or being given, life, there is no greater challenge on YOU than to GIVE;
And YOU shouldn’t have to be challenged to do that.
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
How to “pass” the past. In 12 steps.
Step 8: Challenge.
Facing the past is one of the most difficult actions that some people will ever take in their entire lives. Some people never do it. Some people never develop or desire the strength and courage that it takes to confront the issues or the people that are the reason or cause for them not being able to proceed through life effectively. Guilt, shame, anger, bitterness, hostility, and frustration are just some of the roadblocks that impede the progress or processes of healing, forgiveness, or restoration. Some people never accept responsibility or become accountable for their participation in their own lives or for mistakes that they have made that caused and contributed to the cycles and seasons of mediocrity or madness that the past holds their lives hostage to. And these issues, facts, and traditions, all become generational and identifying characteristics that are emulated and carried on in the relations and relationships of that person. Depression, hurt, sickness, and trouble, are all synonymous realities with a life spent avoiding or dodging the past. And that opens up the individual and their present-day existences to the vulnerability of triggers and coping mechanisms that are generally unhealthy means and modes of communication or dealing with their certain histories. The past is responsible for holding so many people back from reaching their potential or their goals. The past, or lack of dealing with the past, is most often the reason that people are diverted from what could be their true purposes and identities, what could be their freedoms, and what could be their peace.
But YOU do not have to be YOUR past!
Far too often we gauge or measure our cumulative success or failure based on the precedents or perceptions of what the broader society decides is the success of other people. So we either live up to, beneath, or beyond the accomplishments of individuals who the perception says were able to overcome, conquer, or defeat monsters or mountains similar or much larger or not as significant as our own. The idea is that we are all human, and we all have the very same 24 hours, and that it is our personal strength and determination that decides our resulting fates. And that is the general consensus of belief that attributes to the pressure of idealizing a standard level of accomplishment, or success, that is thereby the bar by which we set our expectations and our limitations, upon. There is a system of belief that empowers many of us to rationalize that we are successes, or failures, based not on our own reality, but totally based in the reality of individuals who have “made it” or “made good” in this life despite or in spite of the spontaneity and randomness that life has to offer. So the true story of an individual who overcomes significant odds or tragedy or adversity or a mixture, or mess of these all, becomes a standard by which others are measured or expected to measure towards achieving growth out of and beyond what any condition or situation is.
But YOU are not them, YOU are YOU…
This step is about challenging YOURSELF to be YOU! It is pompous and preposterous to imagine that any life outside of YOUR life holds more importance to who YOU are in YOUR life. It is kind and considerate, a noble gesture, to put emphasis and energy on things and people outside of who YOU are in order to fulfill an inherent desire to empathize or feel responsible for others but if YOU do not exist, does that mean that they do not? No. But because YOU exist, is the fact that YOU can add or subtract value to or from their lives. My thinking is that YOU are the most important person to YOU whether YOU believe it or not and once YOU acknowledge and then grow to appreciate that importance YOU will treasure and value who YOU are, in YOUR now, and the past will be unable to control or corrupt YOU as it may have been able to. Because for YOU, there is no survival as pertinent as YOURS. Whatever YOUR aspirations or agenda or belief is, what makes it relevant and possible to YOU, is YOU!
I challenge YOU to challenge YOURSELF to be YOU! By being YOU and understanding who that is, success and failure become personal aspirations and attributes that YOU have complete control over. When YOU discontinue the habit of comparing or justifying YOUR actions or activities to the experience of others YOU are sure to realize that YOU create and maintain YOUR path and the “success” or “failure” of YOUR expectations is completely negotiable to what YOUR journey is.
“… All paths lead to success, if learned is the process…”
-from the poem, “This is the moment”, by -see
YOU have to understand that everyone has issues, everyone has trouble, everyone has pain, everyone makes mistakes, everyone has challenges, and everyone has a past, and then YOU can begin to appreciate that we all struggle with “stuff” that happens and causes havoc and messes things up. YOU have to know that YOU are not the only one who has dealt with disappointment and depression. YOU are not the first person to let someone down or be hurt by someone or have YOUR trust betrayed or betray someone else’s trust. We’ve all experienced loss and tragedy, of magnitudes that no human should ever have to endure, but they have, and they do, and as long as life continues, they will. Far too often we isolate ourselves in the caves of our imaginations of what magnitude we pretend our issues to be. So we avoid confrontation and connection in an effort to hide or distance ourselves from what sometimes feel like a fatalistic truth of our poverty. And we harbor negative thoughts and feelings to the behest of our own inherent and often inaccurate declarations of what our situation is. And we then poison the gardens of opportunity that are planted for us to enjoy with the weeds of lies and facts that we tell ourselves are insurmountable and impossible to be forgiven.
Challenge YOURSELF to let go!
Today is the chance YOU have to start the process that leads YOU to the place or person or purpose that is beyond YOUR past. YOUR biggest challenge is no other person, no thing, no place, no issue, or no expectation, YOUR biggest challenge is YOU! YOUR most daunting obstacle will be to face the person that stands in the mirror of YOUR own reflection and identify with that individual that it is okay to live. It is okay to breathe. Whatever the thing, or past, that YOU have been dealing with or hiding from will exist and haunt YOU until YOU step out of the shadows and stand up to it. Then YOU will realize that YOU are much bigger that who YOU were, or what happened, or what YOU had feared or assumed was the case. Quite common is the truth that we are understood but undiscovered, because we shy away from the chance to be embraced and encompassed by the support and love or compassion and understanding that is the fact that any human, at any given time, is sure to realize.
I challenge YOU to be bold in opening YOURSELF up to being freed of whatever hold that the past once held on YOU. I challenge YOU to stop fighting and stop running and stop hiding and stop blaming and stop making ridiculous excuses. I challenge YOU to let someone know what YOU are feeling and to listen as they share those same feelings, of their own, with YOU. I challenge YOU to decide that “now” is the one day YOU have hoped for to be rid of the hurt and shame and loneliness and guilt and un-forgiveness and silence and repetition that the past has become for YOU. I challenge YOU to breathe. To breathe in a new feeling of what is possible for YOU and to receive, as YOU inhale, the opportunity to be noticed, to be recognized, to be considered, to be trusted, to be healed, to be forgiven, and to be loved, and as YOU exhale, YOU release the feelings of doubt and hurt and insignificance and trauma and insecurity, that have paused YOUR life.
It is YOUR time. It is YOUR turn.
Once YOU accept the challenge!
©2014 Cornelious “See” Flowers
Until you face those things that require YOUR attention, those things that YOU try to ignore, to hide, to imagine never existing, those things that have scared YOU and scarred YOU, physically or invisibly, emotionally and psychologically, and limited YOU and haunted YOU, until YOU turn to those things with even the smallest bit of courage and say, “I’m not afraid of YOU anymore”, until YOU do that, YOU will run, YOU will hide, YOU will hurt. Until YOU confront those things, until YOU say the things out loud that YOU imagine saying in YOUR head, until YOU free YOURSELF from the captivity and trap that has continually imprisoned YOU, until YOU unlock the cage that holds YOU hostage to whatever or whomever that thing is, until YOU set YOURSELF free , until YOU take back control of that part of YOU from whoever or whatever has its stronghold on YOU. Until YOU admit that what has happened and been done, has actually happened and been done, until YOU forgive YOURSELF for doing what YOU may feel makes YOU responsible or either not doing what YOU could have or should have done that YOU believe could have changed or made things different, until YOU admit that there was either nothing YOU could do or that YOU did all that YOU could. Until YOU release YOURSELF from feeling responsible for someone or something that happened out of YOUR power, until YOU realize that whatever happened has only the power that YOU give it to continually overpower YOU into submission and subjection to the guilt or shame or defeat that continues to cause YOU devastating and destructive consequences. Until YOU forgive that person or that thing or that energy that did what was done to YOU, until YOU let go of the part of what happened that steadily reminds YOU of the pain and always takes YOU back to that moment, a moment in time that YOU were probably nowhere near and had no way to prevent. Until YOU let all of that go, by acknowledging it, accepting it, and assuring YOURSELF that YOU can only move on, that YOU need to move on, that YOU have to move on or YOU will suffer in the place where YOU have been stuck, in the fear that YOU have been stuck in, trying to avoid life for fear of reliving some bad thing or things that YOU made it through but have yet to realize. Until YOU realize that what YOU do have is the power to take back YOUR life and the power to live that life happily and peacefully and free of the weight that is yesterday’s and serves no purpose for tomorrow. Until YOU face the person in the mirror that holds the key to YOUR survival and relieve them of the duty to hold onto pain, until YOU look in those eyes, in the mirror, and say, and mean, “I forgive YOU. I love YOU. YOU mean the world to me”, until YOU do that YOU will circle in mediocrity and mayhem and mischief and manipulation that only makes it harder to deal with YOURSELF. Until YOU deal with YOURSELF and take back YOUR power, and move on the way that YOU need to, until YOU do what is necessary, YOU will do nothing. All that will come of YOU will be nothing, and all that comes out of YOU will be nothing. And it will mean nothing to YOU until something is done.
YOU have to discover what YOU need to do in order to get YOU back up, from the fall, from behind, from in the hole. YOU have to get the help that YOU need, and the support that YOU need and until YOU do, all YOU will ever do is need. And YOU will never fill the void of that need. Not until YOU want to be better and want to do better because YOU know that what YOU are doing is not healthy. Not until YOU face what made YOU sick. Not until YOU do what needs to be done to get better.
And once YOU get to that point, YOU have a long way to go but YOU are going in the right direction and where YOU are going is up to YOU and is YOUR choice and has no limit or restriction. YOU can choose YOUR way and how fast YOU decide to get there. YOU get to dictate the terms on which YOU are living and YOU get to do that on purpose! YOU get to smile and YOU get to enjoy everyday full of the energy that is capable of embracing the surprises and unknowns of what life is about. YOU get to be bold in the face of whatever challenge or challenges, or circumstance arises. YOU get to face the inevitability of adversity with a will and willingness that protects YOU from being broken or bewildered as YOU had been before. YOU get to live. YOU get to love. YOU get to come out of hiding. YOU get to step into the light that was always there but just invisible to YOU as YOU functioned in darkness. YOU get the final say on how YOU react to life. YOU get to be proactive and deliberate and intentional. And no one or no thing will be able to take anything away from YOU. Not unless or until YOU say so.