Posts Tagged ‘Blog’

You want to be famous?

No, I’m not starting a reality show. I’m not auditioning people for anything. But I am curious what you think makes people want to be famous. I wonder if it’s because we all are bombarded every day by images and messages that make us feel insignificant, and really we are longing for significance. We want to be remembered! And boy, how can you forget the really famous people!

If someone was to ask me who were the people that have impacted my life the most, I probably won’t say a certain actor or actress, though many brought me joy through their work. I probably will say people like Willo Boe or Milt Heinrich, teachers that taught me to believe in myself and to keep exploring for a more creative option than the one I might want to settle for. I probably will mention my Grandma Bob, who believed in me more than anyone and showed me how to give away your life for the benefit of others.

It seems like our society is so full of people who want to be famous, as if that’s some sort of Knightly tap on the shoulder, pronouncing our worth. I hope that someone that crosses my path is able to say something like, “I chose to stop settling, and start living life because of Mark,” or “I see a little more clearly and more vividly the blessings I’m surrounded by because of Mark.” Whoa…

I’d love to win an Oscar, or a Grammy, or a Brit, that would be a kick in the pants. But to go to sleep at night knowing I’m famous isn’t enough. Loving well the people in my life, and letting them love me — aaahhh…that’s success in my book.

Unleash Your Inner Wannabe!

Why? For too long the word wannabe has had a really negative connotation. I believe it’s time to reclaim the word for something positive. Perhaps even for yourself! This word is for you if you don’t want to settle for just getting by. It’s for you if you don’t want to be just like everybody else. It’s for you if you want to make a difference in the lives of people around you, and perhaps all over the world.

You’re a Wannabe if you are someone who is willing to take risks and step into the unknown, in order to reach out and really live this life. This is your one shot. How are you going to live it?

So, what or who do you really wanna be? And why? I want to hear your story…

Belonging

One of my deepest desires has always been to feel a sense of belonging–to be able to call someplace or some group of people my own. Ideally, a nuclear family is the first place a person can begin to understand what it means to belong. We all live in this house, have the same phone number, share some genes, go places together, etc. Oh yeah, and we love each other. Even though we might disagree, or not like certain things about each other, we’re not going anywhere.

Still, I know what it feels like to be disconnected and long for connection. I know what it’s like to be someplace and wish that someone would reach out to me and make me feel included.

For me, the first step is understanding the value of connection with other people. It’s like dropping anchor in a wild storm. It’s like hanging out in a bar where everyone knows your name. It’s about being uniquely interlocked with others who know that they need other people, perhaps as much as they themselves are needed. This awakens my desire to belong–basically, my discontent with disconnectedness.

Most people (myself at the top of the list), will scratch the surface in several areas of our lives, and wonder why we don’t feel a sense of connectedness, or belonging. Personally, my sense of belonging doesn’t come solely from other people making me feel like I belong, but it starts with me choosing to belong. I choose to belong to this church, these people, these groups, etc.

Next, I began to take steps to invest in what was going on around me by sharing my gifts and my personality with consistence. And perhaps most importantly, (and most frightening!) I had to start allowing others to know my thoughts, feelings and needs.

But between you and me, my default mode is isolation. I love to disconnect from other people. Sometimes, it’s just a whole lot easier (and less messy). But if it’s indeed a full and meaningful life I’m looking for, connecting with other people and belonging somewhere is a great way for me to find it.

What I learned in prison yesterday.

Yes, I was in prison yesterday. In fact, I’ve gone to prison every Thursday morning for the last so many years. More than five, less than ten. Let’s say 7 1/2. I rarely go in with any sort of agenda, except to be in relationship with a group of guys that elect to show up under the pretense of “religious visit.” Actually, there’s not much pretense about it. I bring my Bible and sometimes open it.

We talk about everything from politics to sex. We also talk about what it really means to have faith while living in the real world, and how it’s not just some kind of legalistic set of rules and regs. It’s usually a quite stirring discussion. Our group maintains a high dose of cynicism, mixed with wonderment. I think that’s why I like Thursday mornings so much. Yesterday, though, I wanted to read Romans 8. Pretty cool stuff about the human condition, er..MY human condition. Somethings that I don’t want to do, I find myself doing. And other things I want to do, I don’t do. What’s my problem?

Well, it turns out my problem is not too far off from what everyone around the table deals with as well. This duality of the wills, a divided heart, the good and the bad, the ying and the yang. Not too uncommon. My question then was, “How then do I keep from going completely crazy?” Without any pause, one of the guys (who’s been in longer than I’ve been going, and doesn’t know yet when he’s going home) spoke up: “Gratitude.” Whoa. His simple profundity nailed me to the chair.

I try so hard to figure it all out. I’m certain that if I can just get this or that question answered, or if I can just get my behavior or thoughts “good” enough, THEN I’ll really have it good. It’s as if I’m looking for a faith without unanswered questions. Or that I’m looking for a religion that is about me being good enough to earn the good stuff. As it is now, I have to rest knowing that my faith only has validity with unanswered questions. AND that my thoughts or behavior will never be good enough, and they don’t have to be. That takes a load off my legalistic shoulders. All I need to do is be grateful. Grateful for all I have and all that’s been done for me. Pretty simple.

As you can imagine, I look forward to next Thursday morning.

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