Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I Saw

When I was a child, I had a vision of myself in the future.  

It was a sunny afternoon in Montreal.  I was in the back seat of my mom's Ford. I must have been really little because gazing out the window required looking up. We were driving down Montrose, and then it happened. 

Just as we passed Westhill, a film began playing in my mind. I saw myself before a crowd of people, but I'm not sure how large it was. I stood before them, but I stood for them, and I yearned for justice.  From my mouth came six words, and now that I understand who Martin Luther King Jr. is, I was a little bit like him.

"Do we not have the rrright???..."

The people knew exactly what I was talking about.  There was energy, emotion and urgency.

And then it ended.  

Mom and I drove on towards Windermere. 

Today, I still don't know what I was fighting for.  Today, I wonder if what I envisioned was destiny whispering itself into my being and preparing me for my mission. Today, it feels a lot closer to destiny unfolding.

What was your vision?  Are you living it?

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Love Really Means

I was unable to control my emotions last night, as I sang through the penetrating lyrics of JJ Heller's, What Love Really Means:

"Who will love me for me?
Not for what I have done or what I will become?
Who will love me for me?
'Cause nobody has shown me what love, what love really means..."

The roller coaster ride between feeling adequate and inadequate is definitely a thrilling one!  Sometimes you know you're a gem, sometimes you feel you could be trampled on without anyone noticing.  I wish I always knew my worth and never based it on my achievements, flaws or failures.  I wish I always knew other people's worth and never based it on their achievements, flaws or failures.

Because when someone loves you for everything that you are and beholds it as this amazing treasure, it's an incredibly liberating experience.  You feel ok as you.  Quirks and flaws and brokenness.  

However, this unconditional love experience doesn't happen as often as I wish it would.  And I don't know how to fix the problem, other than love other people a little bit more unconditionally.

I also can't help but further analyze this topic, and I think there needs to be a disclaimer.

The famous Dr. Seuss quote says, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."  I understand his gist, but that doesn't mean we have license to be wreckless with ourselves or other people.  I guess the big question is, are the characteristics that define us healthy ones?  Are we a beautiful, quirky mess, or are we toxic, destructive maniacs?  As much as unconditional love is an amazing blessing, we can't forsake our  betterment and then consider ourselves victims when nobody loves us.  Sometimes we are unlovable and need to change.

So, be the beautiful you that you are.  Exist as your unique self because there is no one quite like you, and it's fantastic!!!  But be aware of your character and don't justify your shortcomings as you.  Work to become the best version of yourself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LYRICS to Worlds Collide

Strong Woman
Verse 1:
I'm in love with you
Do you know I exist?
How'd a strong, strong woman
End up like this?
Was it a long time comin'
That you'd mess up my world?
Turn a strong, strong woman
Into a patsy girl

Love, love
Don't pass me by
But if you do
Pick yourself back up, girl
It'll be alright

Verse 2:
Would it be so hard
For you to love me too?
What's a strong, strong woman
Got to do?
Did you see my face
When I caught sight of u?
This strong, strong woman
Has become a fool

Verse 1:
It's too late
You've lost your chance
The simple life just ain’t your romance
Saw you let go
Into your dreams
There's no going back now
To where you have been

Maintenant, t'es dans la merde
Maintenant, t'es dans la merde
Parce que tu m'as montré que t'es capable
Tu m'as montré que t'es capable
Tu m'as montré...

Verse 2:
God only knows
The places you’ve been
If you want it all, there’s no giving in
So, get your back up
Don’t hesitate
I told you once girl
You know it’s too late

And God only knows
The places you’ve seen
The simple life just ain’t in your dreams
It’s no wonder why you can’t relate
I told you this once girl
And now it’s too late

There’s no turning back girl
Look what you’ve done
Oh, now you can’t run
Just look what you’ve done
Look what you’ve done

The Path You Choose
Verse 1:
Journey-girl, journey-boy
Where you headed this time now?
You’re going somewhere but nowhere specific
Because the weight is carried on the trip
You’re going somewhere but who cares

‘Cause the destination doesn’t matter as much
As the road I trudge, as the lives I touch
‘Cause the destination doesn’t define you
The meaning’s in the path you choose

Love will find a way when trouble finds your soul
Feel like I am new to this road
‘Cause I have tried to save what I’ve learned to let go
Don’t know where these feet wanna go

Verse 2:
Achieve this, achieve that
But the endpoint turns you back
To where you started, oh young one
Store it up, stow it well
Even if you go through hell
The pain brings good change, you’ll see it

I’ve been learning to let go
Following these feet
Turning down the next road
Not knowing where it leads
My direction can blind me
I’m hoping that I see
So I’m living for today
‘Cause tomorrow is a dream
So I love
The places, the people I meet
So I love
The changes I feel inside of me
We can trust
The plan that we make is a lesson
Learning to find how great is the blessing

Escape You
Verse 1:
I let you go
Came back to you
If love was fair
Man, you’d be through
You’re too blind
I am too
Guided by a higher truth

I can’t escape you
Come rain or hell
I try, I try
I can’t escape you
With everyday I die
A little inside
A little inside

Verse 2:
Hold onto
Big mistake
The things I fear
Keep me awake
Love exists
To break in two
I give it all
Back to you

You’re too tired to try, to try

Forgive Me, Mr. Edison
Verse 1:
Forgive me, Mr. Edison, I'm cryin’ on my knees
Only reached attempt number ten
And I'm cryin’ on my knees
They tell me, Mr. Edison, that failure’s a breeze
But I’m fallin’ more than I'm standing up
And I’m starting to wheeze

I’ve tried so many times oh
They keep telling me that it’s alright
I failed so many times, but I tried

Verse 2:
Forgive me, Mr. Edison, I'm cryin’ on my knees
Made it to number twenty-two
But I'm cryin’ on my knees
Why's it have to be so hard to become what we please
Don't know if I can try again
Oh help me Jesus, please

Bridge 1:
This time
I’m sick of the candlelight
I’m sick of the candlelight

Bridge 2:
This time
This time
This time
Forgive me, Mr. Edison, Forgive me, Mr. Edison
This time

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

That was Then, This is Now

Last night, my teammate, Joannie, and I were having our bedtime chit chat about the ups and downs of life.  We both exhaled with a sigh after she said, "I wish life and water polo and relationships could just be...perfect." Ya, me too...  She is recovering from breaking her thumb, which is really tough, especially when it's your dominant hand and you play a sport that requires gripping a ball with your...thumb. We're over here in Arizona, training with Arizona State University, and so the bother of her injury is especially troubling when it's GAME TIME!

As we reflected and shared our snippets of wisdom with each other last night, I remembered how I felt around this time last year.  I was in a completely different state of mind than I am now.  My injury wasn't physical, like Jo's, but my headspace was a war zone.

Enter journal entries.

February 9th, 2010:

"God, help me.  I don't know if this is my own ugliness, but I am just so down and also frustrated with water polo.  I don't want to go to practice right now.  At all.  I just want to not show up... It runs my life, and I want out.  The same demon that always comes back is back.  This feels so meaningless... it gnaws at me.  I can't deal with this season..."

(That's a troubled soul right there!  But look here:)

January 19th, 2011:

"Good morning from San Francisco!  Lord, thank you that my spirits are far more positive this year.  It's actually crazy!!!  I was at the end of my rope last year, so down in the dumps about everything.  And now, I am doing much better!!!  So, Lord, thank you, and I love you.  Thank you for this season.  May you make me stronger in it, so that my faith will be unshakable in hard times.  Because I know hard times are inevitable..."

Exit journal entries.

When I read over both entries, I am reminded that there is something so important about holding on when times are tough.  I feel like I have gone to such dark places when feeling really down, but I bet I am not the only one (right?).  I sometimes wonder who could plant such negative thoughts in my head?  It often feels so much bigger than me.  Like I am at war with a self that is not myself!  And it's all happening inside a mesh of cells the size of a large my head!  Bah!

But there is hope. And hope changes everything.  So, as I fell asleep last night, and Jo stayed up reading, still a bit uneasy about the reality of her situation, I told her that I was praying for her.  As dreamland approached, I prayed that she would be comforted, and that she would have hope.  I prayed that God would teach her something through this hard time and bring her to a better season like he did for me.

And so, here we are today. Practice went pretty well this morning, reports Jo!!!  We're one day closer to her full recovery.  We're one day closer to her shooting the ball with a ZINGGG!!! that I love to watch (I'm obsessed with players that flick their wrists really well--she's one of them).  We keep moving forward, yes we do, aware of the hills and valleys that make life life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Confessions on Leadership

Today I realize a misconception I have about leadership. There is a part of me that only believes I am valuable in my role as a leader if I am leading a certain 'caliber' of people. That if you put me in the position to lead a country, boy am I a leader!!! But if you ask me to lead a team of overnight stockers at Walmart, ok, whatever, sure.

But what is leadership? It is the opportunity to impact, elevate and empower the lives around us.  It is our chance to be an example that inspires change. We can invest and care, sincerely.  And any life is worth it.

You see, if I were to lead a team of stockers, I would have the opportunity to teach them more than the most efficient way to replenish items on shelves.  Our lives extend into our jobs, and there is always something meaningful going on.  

What's beautiful and a bit suspenseful is that a lot of the time we don't choose who we are going to lead.  We may be positioned somewhere, but people still have the choice to value and take to heart what we do or say.  Often times, we are chosen. And I think that whether it's our little sister or our entire community, it is leadership just the same. And we ought to value our roles of leadership in other people's lives, no matter who they are.