February 28, 2021
Good morning friends. Happy last day of February! I hope you are all doing well, staying happy and healthy. If you aren’t, then it’s time to get busy and make it happen. You should be your first priority. This is your life and that stuff is your responsibility. Life is a gift; please don’t waste it. Time doesn’t slow down, so get moving. I’m not sure if you feel the same, but this month flew by in a flash! There were special events, celebrations, holidays, pain, heartbreak and sorrow. Some of these I was a part of, while others just drifted and passed me by without notice. A wonderful couple near and dear to me joined God’s angels. This is the part of life that tears at my heart and the sadness only subsides with time. Lessons learned from the passing days are difficult; life continues. Our lives are ever changing, and hopefully we change for the better as time ticks away. Remaining open and positive to the universe is one of my new best features. I’m grateful each morning I open my eyes, realizing I have a fabulous opportunity to create happiness. The sunrise provides a blank canvass to live my life and turn my dreams into reality. I’m excited for the chance to just be here and be a better human.
Happiness is my choice every day. That’s what I strive to achieve and want to facilitate in others. I may not always succeed and hopefully I’ll learn new lessons along my path. We all deal with various struggles during the course of our life. Don’t ever feel you’re alone or the only person experiencing these difficulties, dilemmas, situations, frustrations or fears. We are all subjected to doubt, anxiety, stress, trauma, or emotional issues while navigating life. We all feel and share the journey of existence. If someone tells you they have never been burdened by these, I doubt they’re being truthful with you or to themselves. Whether issues occur during childhood, adolescence or adulthood, it’s all part of our evolution. We’re humans and no one is immune from these events or feelings. Some circumstances are real, others are perceived and some are simply fabricated in our minds. Whether physical or mental, big or small, each has the potential for being equally debilitating or destructive.
Fear is a powerful weapon that has the ability to control our minds, immobilize our actions or completely restrain us. It can keep us from living a happy life. It’s a tool utilized by leaders, politicians, media outlets or others as a device to establish or maintain control. I’ve witnessed it used by power craving individuals in the work place, in families, domestic abuse incidents, relationships or for manipulating the masses. Keeping fear from invading your thoughts or being able to move past it can be a difficult process. Once it establishes itself as a mechanism of control, it is keenly effective. Individuals become conditioned to the constraints by constant indoctrination or abuse. Continual worry about events and things out of our control drags us down. Some thoughts seem to hold us hostage. Breaking the cycle or moving beyond it is a continual battle. How you process and dismiss fear is important to ultimately allow freedom of thought and expression.
Our indoctrination to life typically begins as young children. We’re all raised in different settings, with a variety of values and character traits. We are each subjected to various stimuli, situations, issues or events that trigger apprehension, anxiety, fear or some specific reaction or emotion. We grow and perceive fear based situations through our past experiences. As a young child I became ill for several days with a very high temperature. At night, the intense fever brought vivid dreams of a raging inferno with demons rising up from beneath my bed. As they grabbed at me to pull me under, I could only do my best to hold on and resist. This memory (and fear) was etched in my mind. It lingered within me for many years. Another fear based incident occurred as a teen while body surfing at the beach. I was rolled by a sizeable wave, bouncing me off the bottom while I guzzled salt water. I gasped for air as I broke the surface, excited to be alive. I immediately swam for shore as fast as possible, shaken and scared. The incident created fear and took considerable mental fortitude before re-entering the ocean. The scary memories faded as I matured and increased my self-confidence and personal security. Fear, trauma or death are no longer my deterrent. Life is precious and finite; to be lived and enjoyed. Wisdom and knowledge provide me the power to move past the apprehension to some life events. Not participating isn’t an option. Sitting on the sidelines paralyzed or overthinking is not living. Life is an experience meant for all.
Human beings have an amazing brain capacity to think, create and build incredible feats. When our mind creates thoughts or stories based on faulty information, this is where more problems begin. If you allow your thoughts to wander freely, the more fabrications it creates. One moment you are innocently silent and a second later your mind has manufactured an incredible tale in your head. An innocent comment, read or heard, may trigger your mind to create an entirely false narrative. I remain mindful to know when my thoughts begin to create such a tale. I end this process before it takes my brain on a crazy journey. If you allow these negative issues to be sown, it creates additional harm. My past experience has taught me physical struggles can be easily overcome. Hard work, discipline and a positive mindset gives me the energy to achieve and succeed. For many of us, it’s the manifestations in our mind that create the most significant difficulties. Our thoughts are extremely powerful and controlling. This is where the real struggles begin and end. There are many things in life that can scare us, want us to hide, not go out, cease interactions with others or be fearful. Facing fear and moving beyond it is the path to happiness. During my law enforcement career, I was involved and witnessed events and people that showed me sides of fear I never knew were possible. These incidents made me more aware of the dangers surrounding us. Some were deeply traumatic, painful and caused me to withdraw within myself. I realized living in fear or hiding isn’t an answer. I would much rather be an active participant in life than just exist. I took charge of my thoughts and life (with some assistance). My positive and happy outlook allow me to live in freedom.
My Dad rarely showed fear. He served in the Army during World War II, fighting from the beaches of Normandy across Europe. I’m sure those fears and scars were deeply imbedded in his mind. He fought and defeated much of the adversity thrown at him in life. He never seemed to worry. He recovered from a heart attack, high blood pressure, bypass surgery and prostate cancer. When he was diagnosed with MDS (a blood disorder), he continued to fight. I took him to many of his doctor appointments over the four years before it consumed him. I knew it was slowly wearing him down, but he never complained or was fearful. After each appointment he’d tell me, “Michael, I can beat this. The doctor said I should eat healthier foods and exercise, so that’s what I’m doing.” He told the doctor, on several occasions, that he felt better after eating a particular food. The doctor would say, “That’s great John. Keep doing that.” Dad never gave up; always remaining positive and strong. I’d always agree with his assessments and reciprocate with my strength, encouragement and positivity. Fear wasn’t an option.
Death has the ability to create fear, sadness or a full spectrum of emotions. Maybe it’s the manner it’s introduced to young children, or how it can be used as a scary device. We know it’s an inevitable part of life, but few people are eager to acknowledge this fact. The death of a loved one is heart breaking. Their memory remains close in our heart and forever in our thoughts. We never know when our time will end on this planet. Culturally, being Italian, death was an open subject. The death of relatives or family friends gave cause to mourn and celebrate. As I’ve grown older, more relatives and friends succumb to their final breath on earth. I have no control over death, but I do have control on how I live my life today. I want to be here as long as possible to enjoy my daughter, family and friends. I believe the more I enjoy life in the present, the more I am at peace with giving my soul to God when that time comes.
I live a healthy lifestyle to maintain good health and increase longevity. I enjoy nutritious foods, fitness, exercise, restful sleep and quality time in the sun and nature. My intention is to live the best I can, in happiness and with love for others. Life is an amazing and beautiful experience. The first step in this process is allowing life to happen. You can’t control everything, so don’t try. It just creates more stress or worry. It’s natural to be fearful, but not to the point where it keeps you from living life. Pull back the ego or the belief that you’re the center of the universe. We are merely tiny specks in this vast expanse of space. Limit your time viewing social media and main stream news. Get outside often and enjoy nature. Remember you’re never alone in your struggles. Don’t allow fear to consume you, prevent you from living your dreams or enjoying happiness. When you free yourself from the constraints within your mind, you discover the joy and splendor of life. Our world can be fraught with struggles and fear. Protect yourself with knowledge and knowing what is truly dangerous, rather than what’s created in your mind. Stay positive, strong, self-confident and courageous. Be fearless to live a happy and healthy life. I’m here if you need support or a helping hand.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!