Friday, January 7, 2011


I am an eternal optimist. I am. I can't help but think that everything that happens to us is eventually going to work out for the best in our lives. Perhaps it's my faith that leads me to this conclusion, or it could just be the way I learned to approach the world.

Or, perhaps its because, looking back at my life, I realize that all my struggles have shaped me into the man that I am today. And the things I struggle with now only give me opportunities to improve myself for the future. Deepening relationships, overcoming fears, confronting embarrassment.

But this isn't about me. Which is odd, because its usually about me.

We are consumed, driven, motivated by impressing others. We post Facebook statuses that are clever and funny to see how many people will "Like" it. We share with the world we just got a great job or a promotion, or post pictures of the cute outfit we wore to the incredible club/party/gala event we just went to. We do all we can to subtly shout to the world that we are succeeding at life. That we have it all together. That we are as good, or better, than you are.

And we forget to take a look at ourselves, or at our friends, in a deep and meaningful way. We forget that underneath the high-paying job, or H&M sweater, or over-sized sunglasses there is a person who is dealing with something in their life that they wish they weren't.

That they struggle to be accepted, to be who they really are, to tell that world that they need help.

You're not supposed to ask for help, you know. It's a sign of weakness. Like crying. Don't cry. You wouldn't want to show us your emotions.

Sometimes I laugh so hard I cry. It ranks top 10 of things I want to happen that rarely ever do. Right above finding a $20 bill in my pocket, but underneath being allowed to smack to some talent into Katy Perry.

If you are consumed, as most are and I often am, with proving to people that you are somebody, that you have a voice and you should be heard. That you have your life together. That you have goals, plans, a future. Take a step back today and examine yourself. Honestly.

Don't worry, no one has to know. Pretend that you're a Nickleback one is listening.

I assume you haven't stopped reading to think about yourself. And I won't belabor the point. Just do it. Promise? Then you can continue reading.

You know all that messed up stuff you just found out about yourself? That thing you keep hidden from everybody else?

Remember that everyone is hiding at least one of those things in their life.

This isn't a call to action. It's not a condemnation of you for trying to fit in. It's not even a sermon about why you might need Jesus in your life.

I just want to make you aware. To remind you that everyone you talk to today, and everyone you creep on via Facebook, is dealing with something. Their life isn't normal. They don't have it all together.

Everyone is dealing with problems in their life. Yet only a few of us are working towards making it better. Towards fixing it. Towards being a better person.

Remember that.

But don't worry. It'll all work out for the best in your life.

Trust me. I'm an optimist.

And if that doesn't work? Then, in the words of my pastor, "You don't think you have anything to be thankful for? Did you wake up today?! Are you breathing?!" Let's start there.

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