Kindness Begets Confidence

kindness

 

Previously I have written about how we treat others is truly a reflection on how we feel about ourselves titled ‘Self Reflection in Others”

This post was about how we feel about ourselves is manifest in the way we respond and interact to those around us.  When we accept this self realization we can become kinder and more gentle, yet more powerful and confident.

The other side of this spectrum also holds true.  When we are treated poorly by others, we often react to the stimuli, whether this reaction is silent or outspoken for the world to hear, we all react.

The difficult part of this comes within ourselves.  Do we choose to see and listen to the abuse from others, allowing them to ruin our day?  Do we shy away from someone due to potential conflict?  Do we deny ourselves experiences based upon someone else’s behavior?

Many times we choose to allow others power over us in the way that they treat us.   We teach others how we want to be treated based upon what we will accept from them.  When we hold our ground, kindly, firmly,  yet peacefully we have more power in that moment than the other person could ever have.

Power comes from confidence and knowing who we are.   Part of this knowing is understanding this dynamic of how we treat others is a reflection upon how we feel about ourselves.

So true is how others treat us is how they feel about themselves.  Those that are angry or mean spirited individuals in reality have terrible self esteem and do not like themselves.  Whether it be the waitress that was rude, the tire tech that called you a jerk, the guy that flipped you off on the highway.  These individuals who go through life bulldozing over others are so disgusted within themselves that they react to their own internal struggles and guilt by abusing those they come in contact with.

As we lift and serve one another we can find that we actually become stronger, more confident individuals as this manifests beauty within ourselves.  We see ourselves in the people we serve with heartfelt kindness and genuine intent.  We can improve our own self loathing through this service.

The way we treat others, including strangers, not only reflects how we feel about ourselves but also creates within growth in those feelings.   If we treat others in a negative fashion, we will certainly see ourselves worse than we did before.  If we are kind, we too see that within ourselves.  We gain confidence, strength and humility along the way.

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There are No Rules in Domestic Violence – My Story

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 I was asked to speak today to some of our state senators and representatives.   Here are my remarks:

I am a survivor and former victim of Domestic Violence.

I have been mentally, emotionally, verbally, physically and financially abused by my ex wife.  I have been bitten, hit, kicked, cut, and bruised.

There is a lie in our society that men cannot be victims of abuse and that if a woman abuses a man the man is somehow weak, or they did something to provoke her and deserve it.

There are no rules in domestic violence.  It is not conditional based upon gender or age.   It is not specific to your level of education, race, income, religion or social status.  It is a plague that is destroying families and our children and we must act to put an end to this scourge.  Abusers will blame the abused for making them into the abusers they are.  This is part of the manipulation process abusers use.  Sadly, many of us fall victim to this lie and believe it.

If we falsely believe that domestic violence will go away by ignoring it, or if we fall victim to the many lies about this plague we are abandoning our children and grandchildren to continue perpetually down this evil path in our society.

Domestic Violence impacts every one of us in this room.  Whether or not it is public knowledge or anyone outside the victims immediate family knows about it, such as in my case, we all know someone who lives this hell.  It could be your daughter, your son, father, mother, grandchild, or neighbor.  It could be a leader in your church or a teacher at school or your coworker and friend.  Most victims are silent, looking for help and not knowing where to turn.

In Utah we are surrounded by many who by outward appearances have great and amazing families.  From an outward perspective, I had it all, a great family, a great wife, a great job, a beautiful home and great kids.  No one ever suspected the hell I and my children were living as a result of her abuse.

Many have asked me afterwards why if things were so bad would I stay in the relationship for so long.  First and foremost I will tell you that I love my children and am a deeply devoted father.  I worried for their safety and well being if I left.

Remember I had been told by the many police officers and those in the legal profession that I turned to for help, that a man cannot be a victim of domestic violence and if it is happening then he provoked her to it.  Utah has a terrible history in family law, one that quite frankly we should all hang our heads in shame over and that is the blind obedience of the judges to mothers and custody.  This was the single largest issue that kept me in this abusive relationship.  I didn’t want my children to suffer without my protection for them.

In the end, like most abusers, she left when she found someone new.  My relief at this being over was minimized as the courts gave custody to her.  My biggest fear in leaving came true.

My other primary reason for staying is abuse doesn’t always start off being physical.  Abusers manipulate and make the abused feel worthless and that they don’t deserve anything better and that they deserve what they are getting.  This lie held me hostage for years.

It was upon finally being freed from this abuse that I began to know about the resources in the community like the Domestic Violence shelters and what they do.

I have spent countless hours volunteering to help with anything the local shelter was in need of, from painting, to moving furniture, to fixing toilet seats and washing machines.  I have spent the time to know and understand what they do and why they do it.    While a handful of the shelters will take in men, and shelter them from abusers, there are many that do not primarily due to funding issues.  I don’t believe I would have sought shelter as financially I was in the position to leave if I needed.

What I wish with all of my heart and that would have saved me and saved my children from witnessing the abuse is the knowledge available through the community outreach efforts of the shelters.  The education and resources they provide that would have given me direction and support were not known to me.  I was unaware that anyone could help my children and I during this nightmare we were living.

The South Valley Sanctuary currently operates a community outreach center in West Jordan to assist those in need of resources and support prior to the need to seek shelter.  We need more of this in our communities.  We need to ensure that our children are protected and that the resources are given to those making a difference on the front line of this plague everyday!

The domestic violence shelters need your support to continue to operate and not only provide the shelter from the violence, but the ongoing community outreach, training and resources to those in need prior to the need to flee. It is far less expensive to make certain that resources are available to those in need than it is to prosecute and house the perpetrator and bury the victims when the violence turns deadly.

We cannot end the violence if we are merely reactionary.  We must provide the resources in addition to just shelter that many in this community are in dire need.

As you review the funding this year, I hope that my story resonates with you and opens your eyes to the need for additional resources that will help these shelters continue to provide safety as well as resources to your daughters and sons experiencing violence at home to get the help that they need, before your need to plan their funeral.

THE POWER OF CHOICE

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Have you ever noticed that some people regardless of the trials they are facing in life always seem to be happy and always in a good mood?  There are many who have learned that they have a power within them to be happy, no matter what they are facing in life.   They make a choice.

Choices are the most powerful force we have in our lives and ones we alone have total ownership of.  It is through our choices that our lives are lived, our paths are chosen and our circumstances are brought to pass.  Understanding this powerful force in our lives allows us to create the future we desire and deserve.

There are many of us who all too often blame others for our own bad choices and the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in.  While it is true that many of the challenges we face are created by the choices of others, the responsibility for our choices overrides anything that another can do.  I used to blame my sadness and unhappiness on my ex and her choices that led to the demise of our family, until I learned that in the beginning it was MY CHOICE to date her and marry her.  I invited her into my life and in that single act and choice of my own, I allowed the situation that then led to my sadness and unhappiness.  The feelings I felt and the sorrow that I felt were also MY CHOICE to accept them into my life. When I began choosing to take responsibility for my own choices, both the good and bad choices that I alone had made, I discovered a power within me to take control of my own life and stop letting others choices dictate my satisfaction and success in life.

This isn’t to say that I don’t struggle with the outcome and result from choices that others have made that have impacted my life directly, it does mean that I take responsibility for my choices in how it impacts me. I miss my children immensely, the choices of their mother impact my life on a daily basis.  At times the sorrow at not seeing them seems overwhelming.  When I feel the deep sense of loss and imminent despair, I remind myself of the simple rule that has taken me a lifetime to learn, I choose my own feelings.  I choose to be happy for my kids sake.  If I am despondent then what good am I to them?  The more I understand the power in choices, the more I refuse to allow anyone else to choose my happiness or sadness for me.  It is my life and I alone am in control.

There are some who will argue that we don’t choose our circumstances in life.  While on many levels this would be true, this isn’t about choosing what we have been born into, or sickness and disease, it is all about choosing what we are to become and who we are!  Regardless of our own personal struggles, we alone choose how we respond to them.  There is no one else who can make those choices for us. If we choose to break the law that takes us into a prison where we lose our freedoms, the original choice was ours and ours alone.  There are always consequences for our choices.  Choose wisely and we gain success in our endeavors, choose poorly and we create additional obstacles that limit what choices we are able to make.  Our attitude will always be our choice alone!

Sometimes we feel like we have no other choice, that circumstances require the choice we make.  Logically, this may be true, that the wisest choice is obvious and set before us, however the choice to act or not to act upon that logic is ours and ours alone. Every day of our lives are filled with choices, sometimes we even make the choice not to make a choice, regardless we have chosen inaction over action and we are responsible for that choice, or lack thereof.

Choices are one of the most powerful forces upon us in our lives.  It is through our understanding and mastering of this limitless personal power that will create the life we envision for ourselves.  When we take responsibility for our choices, both past and present we can take tremendous power over our lives and responsibility for ourselves.  We are in control of our choices and therefore over our own destiny and futures.   Our lives are a mirror image of the personal choices we make, what we see in the mirror staring back at us come from all the choices that we have made.  If we don’t like what we see, change how make your choices.

THE LIBERALS BLIND OBEDIENCE TO WEALTH, FAME AND FORTUNE

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The liberal agenda is quick to find fault within the right wing conservative groups in this country classifying them as evil money hoarders intent upon destroying this country through corporate greed and tax breaks for the rich while deposing the poor to a life of low wages and servitude to corporate America.  Liberals argue that the wealthy and the evil corporations are to blame for the problems in our society.  The continual assault from the left against the powerful with money is ironic when one takes a little time to comprehend who is really controlling the money and business in America.  The Left wing extremists would have you believe that big business is bad and that those with money are evil, while they continue to lobby and support the very individuals they claim they are against.

If you compare the top 50 wealthiest Americans who control more than 35% of the wealth in this nation it is interesting to note that 44% of this group support Democrat candidates, 38% support Republican candidates while 18% support the independents.

The dynamics of wealth within our government is more deeply skewed in favor of net worth and the Democratic Party, particularly within the senate.  The average Senator maintains a net worth of $14,013,596.  The average for a Democrat in the senate is $20,795,450 while that of a Republican is $6,358,668 and the Independents at $6,099,707.  The Wealth of Senate democrats is 327 times greater than that of their Republican or Independent counterparts.  In the House the numbers appear closer.  The average net worth in the House is $6,594,859 where Republicans lead with an average of $7,859,232 which is 53% greater when compared to the House Democrats at $5,107,874.  The wealthiest branch of our government is the Senate.  Those with the money and the power are pushing the liberal agenda upon the American people.

One only need look at Hollywood where 90% of the celebrities are liberal.  Hollywood gives 5 times the amount of money to Democrats compared to the Republicans.  9 out of the top 10 highest paid celebrities are liberal and strong supporters of the Democrat party.

Corporate America is no stranger to the liberal cause either as many of the top companies in America are led supporters of the Democrat party and it’s liberal agenda.  The list is LONG when looking at the CEO’s of corporate America and those who support the liberal agenda in this country.  Major employers and companies including, Chase, Costco, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, Facebook, McDonalds, Starbucks, Staples, Conoco-Phillips, Disney, Bloomingdales, and the list goes on, are all headed with CEO’s who support the agenda that the Democrats and left wing liberals want to push on this nation.

Those in this nation who support the liberal agenda do so at their own peril.  They fight against themselves as they elect leaders who support and endorse the very causes they claim to detest.  The continued hypocrisy within the Democrats agenda is astounding that anyone with any common sense could ever support.

The average small business owner whom 79% of them are conservative have an average net worth of $497,000 compared to the mega-millions of the liberal celebrities, CEO’s and Senators.  Liberal households in the US earn an average of 6% more than that of the conservative households, yet conservatives give 30% more to charity.  If the poor in this country truly support a liberal agenda, as the past 2 elections show, then the disparity between the rich liberal and the poor one must be a much larger gap than that between the rich conservative and the poor by the mere fact that the liberal households in this nation do earn 6% more in wages.

The underlying issue is that the powers within the Democrat party, have influenced those who need help in our communities through the power of the media, celebrities and entitlements that the conservatives will not help, when the facts prove otherwise as noted with the charitable giving differentiation.

The average American liberals blind devotion to those with fame and fortune are leading themselves into a state of slavery at the hands of their very own leaders, through the blatant lies and misinformation regarding true compassion and giving in this nation.  They are blindly following these liberal leaders with ulterior motives and hidden agendas to remove all freedoms and power from the people and put it in their own hands.  The resulting power shift will result in the end of our freedoms.

ALL THINGS DENOTE THERE IS A GOD

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Last night as I walked along the beach, listening to the sound of the waves as they came ashore my mind wandered to the majestic beauty of this world.   What a marvelous creation we live upon.  The perfect balance that exists in nature is unfathomable.  The harmony between the plants and animals that creates the ability for all life to survive on this earth is impossible to be chance.  The evidence of God’s hand in this world is undeniable.  Science will argue this fact yet they are grasping at straws to prove theories with no evidence to support their stance.  If science were correct, we humans would have the ability to create other worlds,  we do not.  Only God can.

The evidences are far greater that there is a GOD;  The exacting distance for the placement of the sun and moon. The photosynthesis in the plants. The conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen performed by plants. The pollination done by bees that allows plants to grow,  The waves of the ocean.  The gravitational pull on the earth.  The changing seasons.  The different climates.   All these things and so many more all working in perfect harmony together creating a sustainable living planet.

How can anyone believe that this happened by chance, one time, one big uncontrolled bang and magic, it all came together in a perfect balance for life to begin?  Its absurd to think that so many required elements coming together to sustain life just happened.  The human race is incapable of preventing disease, war, abuse, bloodshed, famine, yet we believe that there was no intelligence in the creation of this world.  Absurd!

Each time I reflect upon the beauty and wonder of this world. with each moment I take I am reminded that God is real.  Each time I hold my baby girl in my arms, each hug and kiss from my children I am reminded of God and his love for us.  The miracle of children and families and the natural laws of God that provide for our ability to participate in creation with him as we bring these little ones to this earth to live.  What a remarkable blessing we have been given to know and understand his love through the love we experience with our own children.

As this world moves away from the God of this world.  As we continue to rebel against Him like the spoiled children we are, we create a distance between God and us.  This distance is our own doing.  This heartache that we bring upon ourselves and this world through disobedience to Him that created us will for some be the end of the journey.  God has given us the freedom and the ability to choose what we will believe and act upon, however with each choice is a consequence, positive or negative.   The world is choosing the negative.

God has given us plenty of examples in this world of his love, power and knowledge.  All things in this world denote that God is real, from the smallest grain of sand to the miracle of childbirth,  Every breeze that blows in the trees is a reminder of our God.

God has given us everything in our lives.  He has provided for each of us.  He has given us the freedom believe or not to believe.  Isn’t it time we give something back to Him?