Thursday, December 31

Discernment and Boundaries Spare Us From Grief 12/31/15

Craziness, joy and growth.
         Best words describing 2015.
"The prudent man sees a danger and withdraws.  The simple continue and suffer for it."                                  Proverbs 27:12.  
          This observation is an antidote. 

           It helped me handle over-the-top circumstances faced this year.  I was insane during portions of this year.  During the year, I let go of the reins of caution.

           I was seduced by circumstances too good to be true.  The golden proverb above helped me retain a grip on common sense.  More than once, it guided me when I was drunk this past year. 

           I was imbibing too much joy.  The passage above helped me regain emotional sobriety.  I was able to focus once again upon reality.  This proverb guided the growth spurt I had this year.

        Thank you, for joining me as the end of this year draws near.  

          Within min-utes, my town will celebrate with a half-hour cacophony of fireworks popping within the community.  A new year filled with mys-tery and promise will be ushered in a moment normally known for silence and slumber.  The hopes of many soar during this witching time when the year changes its name.  Many anticipate 2016 will be better than the one just ending.

        Goals are pledg-ed for the new year. Many are not true goals.  Not if the aspirations do not have a time frame-work.  Not if they lack a plan with concrete steps attached.  For most, their aspira-tions are wishes, dreams.  

       They lack specificity. Having such plans is flying in a cloud bank without an instrument panel. We won't arrive at our destination.  If the dreams we have do not work in the new year, change them.  Make them measurable.

      Make the goals realistic.  But never change the goal. If necessity is the mother of invention, persistence is its father. Accomplishing what we want requires ongoing effort.

        Observations of this year from the innkeeper:

1. People com-plain. But, doing the work to make their life better, many don't do.  If we are not scared, it isn't courage we need.  Growth requires effort, discipline and pain. Or progress does not happen. I won't rescue some-one who does not want to rescue himself.

2. We scar others and ourselves when we avoid harmful people.  Having a blind eye towards angry people only fans the fire of harm they create.  It allows them to continue on, consuming others with their manipulative, predatory ways. When we ignore their behavior, we allow the bull of their selfishness to continue raging.  They have nothing stopping them from inflicting pain on those who cross their path.

     Emotional vampires suck the life out of others.

      They are those who brighten a room by leaving it.  They are curmudgeons, sarcastic, critical, and manipulative people.  These emotional Draculas are only stopped by the wooden stake of confrontation.  Our passivity emboldens them.  It lets them bite into others with their selfish agenda.

3. We scar irresponsible people by ignoring their behavior or compensating for it.  Making excuses for slackers is looking the other way.  We let them escape the personal load of duties. We are not making them responsible for their lives.

     We do not help bullies by being nice.

     We cross bounda-ries when we enable others through our passivity.  People need to ex-perience the natural outcome of their negative behavior. They need to reap what they sow. Otherwise, there is no motivation for changing their character.

    It's a poor idea, co-signing another person's life, bailing them out. We pay the price for their misdeeds. We pay for their false beliefs. We enable unacceptable behavior. How?  By covering for their poor choices and lack of character.

4. Often we are not being nice, when we think we are.  It isn't loving, overlooking abusive or lazy behavior.  It is not being kind ex-cusing irresponsible people.  No, it isn't being altruistic.  It's putting lipstick on the pig of unreliable and thoughtless behavior.
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful."                                                              Proverbs 27: 6
     It is still unattractive.  Even though we glam it up with our rescuing efforts.  We are naive.  It is lacking courage, not confronting.  We fear speaking the truth, saying what we want.  We fear upsetting manipulators and narcissists.

     This is being boundaryless.  It is passive and gullible behavior.

     It is important, standing in our power.  When we do, we are applying the recovery earned through work on our char-acter.  It is critical being true to our values.  This is integrity.  We do not want to relent to the manipulation of others.  If we do, we sell ourselves short.

     When we act this way, we are guaranteed depression.  Our resent-ments will grow.  See this post for more info about speaking our truth.  It talks about winning the Grand Prix of life---daily.
    "Do not relate with an angry man       or you will learn his ways."                                       Proverbs 22:24
      Not only that, we are letting that person influence/damage impres-sionable others.  Like your children, or others who hang around him.

5.  It is good, re-lating with strongly motivated, disci-plined people.  We are the average of the five people we relate with.  If others don't want to make the effort to improve their lives, our rescue efforts will not help.

     Personal growth comes from inter-nal motivation, not prodding.  We save ourselves grief when we admit this fact.  I relate with someone who is blind.  Not physically.  He's blind to common sense.

       I leave this person in God's hands.  There's only one God. I am not Him.  This is Step One in recovery.  We realize we are powerless over others.

6. Being passive is not being passive.  It is dishonesty.  It is lying.  Often, it isn't doing what we said we would do, or being true to our values.  It lacks honor.

     We are not living with authenticity when we are passive.We are not respecting ourselves.  It lets down those who  trust us.

7. Growth is not internalizing a problem.  It is not a matter of more research.  It is not solving issues apart from others.  Growth happens as a result of living in a compassionate, loving com-munity.  By ourselves, we do not have all the resources to handle what life dishes out.  In community, we do.  What I lack, others have.

8.  Growth happens when we move from our Victim Story.   This story consists of the excuses we give for failure.  It is seeing life from the scars of our past.  Our Victim Story is a flashlight with a de-fective lens.  It is viewing life negatively.

      It is not acknowledging the good qualities we have.  It is not view-ing our successes, when we struggle.  It is seeing life from all our past failures and pain.

      We want to see from the searchlight of who we truly are, now.  All the positive qualities we have.  They far outweigh the nega-tive we see in ourselves.  Especially when we are troubled.  We are not living in recovery when we allow the past to damage our self-image.

      Wishing you a fantastic New Year!

Friday, December 25

My Favorite Christmas Story 12/25/15

Taken from my favorite Christmas book,
The Christ Child, Illustrated by Miska and
 Maud Petersham 
     Merry Christmas.  That each guest of this inn has a lovely day, is my wish.  I know I will.

     What is Christmas?  Nope, it isn't about gifts.  It's about

Wednesday, December 23

My Second Favorite Christmas Story 12/23/15

      If you missed the previous season-related tale, my third favorite, you can find it here.  
      I wrote the following in 2011.   You may not be familiar with it. 
      Wishing you a peaceful and happy Christmas,                         ThInnkeeper

     Gather round the fireplace warming this inn.  You may be frazzled by the call of Madison Avenue.  QVC and the Home Shopping Network assault you with gifts options for loved ones.  Commercials from

Tuesday, December 22

My Third Favorite Christmas Story 12/22/15

WWII photo of the Ardennes Forest
       Good evening, one and all. I hope life is treating you well. For many, this is a frantic, mater-ialistic season.       
         Needn't be so.  In the inn, we're having a countdown for the biggest day of this month.  For this, and the next few days, I am sharing stories I've written related to Christmas.  My  hope is

Friday, December 18

Calmness in the Eye of the Storm, Revised ........... 12/18/15

      I am posting this today.  Many guests of this inn were not  around, when it was writ-ten more than four years ago. I've revised it.  Here it is:

     It's impor-tant sheltering ourselves.  Like the fellow in this picture. 

     Especially when over-whelmed by the waves of

Monday, December 7

There's a New Innkeeper........ 12/7/15

          Completed a marathon.

         And beginning another. When I got home at 10:00 p.m., after spending two days in Sacramento, I collapsed.  On the couch.  Unable to get up for

Tuesday, December 1

Holding Everything With an Open Hand, Feeling Grace 12/1/15

Image: "England: Cumbria: Dalt Wood"  by Tim Blessed.
Copyrighted photo. Used by permission. 
     There was balance to the day.  Even though I traveled more than two hundred miles this evening.  I rose at 6:00 a.m.  Throughout the day, I made time to breathe, mentally, as well as physically. Slowing down nurtured my inner self.  It helped me keep company with my thoughts.  I held them- - - examined them--- gently, during downtime that was inserted between today's appointments.

      It feels good taking care of myself.  More relaxed, I am.

Gratitudes for Tuesday: 
1.  It's nurturing and satisfying, celebrating life. That happened today.  It takes place when I let go of control of people and outcomes.  It's an accomplishment---and can be a struggle---holding everything with an open hand.

     I am.

     Relationships, the future and my career are treated with this perspective.  That is possible when I am not anxious or fearful. When I am mindful that I am a loved and innocent man, it's easy to let go of my controlling death grip on my circumstances and relationships with others.

    That's only possible when I am live within a nurturing community.  I do.  Freedom from anxiety is  knowing recovery from codependency. It involves overcoming scars from my past.  I have.
2.  Grace was revealed at a business meeting I attended in Sacramento tonight.  It is a marvel, feeling its presence.  Always uplifting. 
3.  I enjoyed the catharsis felt when penning my previous post.  I like the craft involved when writing.  It's about adding, through subtracting.  Verbal sculpting, it is.
4.  Feeling God flow through me today was humbling.  Relaxing, too.  I don't take such occasions for granted.  While working with one client, stuff came out of my mouth that I didn't know I had within me.

    It was a special positive time.  I had to make a note of what I said.  I didn't want to lose the moment.

    I am tired. I'll add to this post tomorrow. After getting rest.

How About You? 
What are your three gratitudes for today?  I'd love hearing from you.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.