Of Mice and Meaning: Part Two

I’m in a mood. It’s not good or bad, it just is… ever been there? You’re female, I’m guessing you’ve been there what three times already today? laugh. Me too.

Our neighbors are fighting. I can hear him destroying her gardens with a weed eater and she’s yelling at him to go inside and cool off.  I scrub floors when I need to cool off — men build or deconstruct. That or they go find a man cave and veg.  He’s cooling off just fine, she just wants him to cool off — on his turf, not hers. They are newlyweds and the house they moved into was her house. The gardens he’s destroying have been the envy of the neighborhood for years. This might not end well. I predict tears soon.

Mine is a mood that comes when I know I’m stuck and need to get unstuck. It’s not a turf war unless you consider the new ground I’m trying to break. Somewhere along the last few years I decided that learning how to be fearless would be a good thing. Hiding in cave doesn’t get me there. Neither does scrubbing my floors.

I “get” the dream I had last week — being fearless doesn’t mean being a bitch. Nor can one be fearless by being a people pleasing doormat with no sense of self. And you can’t be fearless and full of self-pity at the same time..

I told you last week that Jim’s book kicked me in the gut — it did. Do you know how I know I was reading truth? I started feeling sorry for myself – a sure sign that I needed to keep reading. Turns out I left out a key ingredient in my new adventures. I forgot to define what kind of woman I want to be. I know, I know – My kids are grown and almost moved out, I’m doing stand up, my husband travels — I tell people all the time that I’m the ADHD Bouncy Ball of Tulsa that keeps my family moving. Who needs definition? Well, turns out it might be a good thing after all. Besides, I can already tell that my husband is at great risk of being mothered by me, and that as we all know is bad.

In chapter 2 of Real Men, Jim writes” and so he asked me, when the (deleted) are you going to grow up and become a man?…to do that he told me I had to define what kind of man I was…there is a big difference between knowing what you want to be and defining it…”

Are you following me here?. Growing up isn’t just about finding a man, settling down and raising a family. Sure that’s a great thing, and maybe for you a big part of it, but if you — or I — don’t define for ourselves WHO we are, we leave ourselves open to the waves of opinion and emotion, and have no home turf. There is nothing more draining on a man – or woman really – whose mate uses them as their only mirror of self-esteem and knowledge. Wanting to be fearless and going back onstage isn’t going to do me a darn bit of good if I don’t have clearly defined direction. My spine will be crushed under the weight of need.

He goes on to write: ” the kid has a goal in mind, but has yet to develop his definition of himself…he needs to identify a few things that define his goal…we as men (sic women too) need to take back our sense of self, define who we are and stand by it, instead of listening to what other people want us to be and then trying to stuff ourselves into that mold…once you figure out what is important to you, you have to stand by it..Most (people) have not defined who they are, and have not come up with their terms.”

 Part of learning how to be fearless — involves action. Willingness (to be fearless) without action is fantasy — I say that a lot. I thought I was the right track, and yes and no.  I missed a step or twelve. So that’s why I’m in a brood. (which my word for moodiness caused by brooding.) Instead of defining what I want that closet to be filled with, I’m coasting, hopeing someone else can define it for me — that way if it doesn’t work out? I have someone else to blame.

That’s really what coasting and people pleasing is you know — a passive form of blameshifting. The victim of this tactic is usually our parents or significant other.

This is actually really good advice. And it’s something I apparently needed to be reminded of.

To quote my friend Pam – also from Chicago I might add — this my friend is AFGO. Another Fantastic (not the word she used) Growth Opportunity. Yes, Pam it is..

It’s not all loss. I’m moving forward, I just need to go back and fill in some gaps even if I am ADHD and would rather wing it. What about you? Do you have your road map? Or are you just coasting along hoping someone else navigates thereby letting you off the hook? It’s okay if you are, recognizing that is a great start – – don’t stop there — do something about it. I am, starting today.

Fearless by Max Lucado — Book Review


“Another fear has fallen victim to trust.” –

Max Lucado, Fearless

When I picked up Fearless by Max Lucado, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Fear is definitely an issue with me and everyone who knows me, knows that. My husband’s company downsized last Spring, cutting our income by 10%. My youngest son has epilepsy and my oldest just left for college.  There are a lot of things to fear in life these days, and yet Max Lucado doesn’t just write about the problem of fear, he tackles solutions and breaks them down into achievable steps.

Countless times, I have read books on fear and been left with a list of more things to be afraid of than what I started with. That just isn’t the case with this book. Max Lucado covers my real and imagined fears with such solid clarity and scriptural truth that my heart can’t help but feel lighter. This isn’t a feel good, don’t be afraid kind of book. Nowhere does Max over spiritualize the real issue of fear. Instead he meets me where I am, takes my hand and invites me to walk with him in an exciting journey of truth, faith, and hope.

This book gives real solutions to very real problems facing us today and it comes with a study guide in the back for those who wish to go deeper still. I definitely recommend reading it.

 To Preview Fearless – click here –

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