Letting the past go

While there are unavoidable religious tones to this article, its truth is far removed from religion. Traditional perceptions get in the way of new and empowering revelations. Please read this article from a place of personal reflection, and not from a religious mindset.

Remember, in yesterday’s email, I wrote of three phases to Passover: Death, Burial, and Resurrection. Let’s talk about the second phase of Passover, which is Burial. After the first phase (Death), it is important to complete the second phase of burying that which is dead. I remember a story about a little girl who asked her father at a funeral one day, “Why are the people still hanging around here at the cemetery when the service is already done?” Her father replied, “It’s because some people have a hard time letting go.” How would you have answered the little girl’s question?

Most prehistoric humans believed that by burying their dead, they were helping the departed cross over into the new life. They believed in this new life after burial so much so, that they often buried weapons, food, and even horses and pets to be with their departed loved ones in the other world.

While today, we don’t bury our dead with cars and pets, we still have similar beliefs. Most of the world’s population believes in life after death. So, after thousands of years practice, what have we learned — letting go. When we bury the departed, we, in a way, are removing them from our sight. When we turn to leave the cemetery, it is our way of saying goodbye. Depending on your beliefs, you might be saying goodbye forever, or you could be saying goodbye for now.

While it is understandable that people have a hard time letting go, it is still critical to do so in order to reach the third phase of Passover. The apostle Paul reminds us, “but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Now how does this apply when the departed is you?

When you bury the old, disempowered you, you are putting the past behind you. It is not so much like burying something, but planting a seed. You put the seed into the ground, the outer shell of the seed falls away, and makes room for the new life to come sprouting up. Burying the old you means walking away from an old identity — an identity that has not served you well, or as well as you deserve.

This weekend, I invite you to put some things behind you, so you are freed to move forward with your life. This may look like burying anger and bitterness, or like letting go of regret. Perhaps there has been pain in the past that has plagued you for years; well, it’s time to let it go and walk away. Keep in mind, you are walking away empty-handed because you have buried a seed. Your new belief is that past pains will turn into peace. You now await your victory to overshadow your regrets. You are walking away knowing that what you are feeling will be the worst you will feel and it will only get better. You free and empower your future by letting go of your past.

Just as the disciples walked away from Jesus’ tomb believing something good may come of it, what will you walk away from? What new expectations will you create for yourself now that your past is buried away? Letting go is not the easiest thing to do, but it is a critical step in experiencing the resurrection of your new life.

Darin Sanders  ~Life Coach in Texas~

Your Darinism…Extra time?

Have you ever said, “There’s never enough time in the day.” Have you wanted to do something different, but felt like you didn’t have the time? Do you really need more time? Really? Let’s tease this out…

Activity            # of hours

 Total                      168

Work                          40

Sleep                          56

Shower                      14

Eat                              14

Clean                        14

Driving                     7

Fam/Soc                 7

=============================

Extra Time          16 hours!

=============================

 

Obviously, I was liberal with the time allocated to some of these activities. Even if you changed the hours around, you will end up with somewhere around 15hrs of extra time. You had this all along. The big question is, what have you been doing with the 15 extra hours? If you have not made good use of the extra 15 hours you already have, “gaining” another hour this weekend (for those who did gain an hour-there are some places where the time doesn’t change) will make little to no difference in your life. Well, you might get extra credit for showing up at church an hour early! 

 

Think about all of the things you could get done in 15 hours…books you could read, the quality time you could spend with friends and loved ones, the education you could achieve, the time you have to workout, the time you would have for meditation, etc… No matter how you calculate it, chances are you have extra time. You could also waste time fighting, being stressed out, vegging out in front of the TV, etc… Whatever you decide to do with your time-maximize what you have while you have it. 

 

I offer you a challenge…take on making positive use of this hour you’ve “gained”. If you are one of the ones who don’t change time, I challenge you to find one hour where you could do something positive. If you don’t do something with the hour you “gained” then have you really gained anything? 

 

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff that life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

Anything is Possible!

Darin Sanders, M.Div.

 

Need help?

 

Find and fulfill your purpose…

Do you know what your purpose in life is? A life void of purpose is a life lost. I find it interesting that so many people ask me how to find their purpose. It must be frustrating waking up in the morning and going about your day not knowing if you’re getting any closer to the reason you are here on earth.

 

Purpose is not about going to work to make a living. Purpose is about fulfilling life. Fulfilling life is much more than doing what makes you happy. Fulfilling your purpose fulfills all life. So, when you are void of your purpose no one’s life is fully complete. The whole world, indeed the universe, is depending on you to discover, develop, and deploy your God-given purpose.

 

There are some of us who have known our purpose since we were kids. And there are others of us who, even though we are older, are still searching. There still seems to be this part of us that is asking that same old question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?

 

We have come a long ways from the times of our migrating, caveman ancestry,  a time when you just follow in the footsteps of your father or mother. Though it is not uncommon to follow the profession of your parents, today we live in a world of choices. We live in a world where there is more than one way to be a hunter or a gatherer. And therein lies the problem…choice.

 

Many have asked, “Why doesn’t God just tell me what to do?” It seems as if people think that God is playing some sort of Hide-and-Seek game with the purpose of their lives. Let me answer that quickly by saying first, God has spoken to you. Secondly,

 

God understands time, and how much of it you have. God is not playing games with your life.

 

Perhaps this very email is the voice of God speaking to you now.  So the question is, will you listen? God’s purpose for your life is not for you to spend your time cluelessly searching for that purpose.

 

God does not want you to be like that blind man in a dark room, looking for a black cat that’s not there. 

Since the very beginning of creation, God’s plan for everything that lives has been clear, and clearly stated. God gave this one commandment to everything that He had given life, “Be fruitful and multiply.” The intent of this command is straightforward. This same command still exists today, though how it gets fulfilled has expanded.

 

Discovering your purpose does not necessarily have to do with how you make a living. It has everything to do with how your living is making you. Later on in the Bible we see the command stated this way…

 

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” 

 

 

Anything is Possible!

Darin Sanders, M.Div.

 

Need help?

Giving it 100%

Give 100%

What does it mean to give your very best? What do you look like when you’re giving 100%? What does 100% look like when you’re at work? What does 100% look like when you’re at home? What is 100% look like in a relationship? How do you define 100% in a relationship with God? Does it mean giving more time, more attention, more passion? Possibly. One thing is for sure, it does mean being willing to do all the above. It means being willing to go to the next level; it means being willing to be better than better.

This then begs the question, “What does it mean to give 110%?” No doubt you have heard this, and probably have said it yourself. What does it really mean? Or, should I ask, what do you really mean when you say that? That statement is often said to garner a certain level of attention. By saying this we intend on expressing our intention to do better. The challenge with the statement requires that you know what your 100% is. It means that you have to know what your best looks like, feels like, and sounds like.

Giving 100% means fulfilling your known potential. It means doing what you know you could do. Thus, giving 110% means going beyond what you know you can do. It means accessing a certain power within you that you did not know was there. The 110% is you expanded to the Nth Degree. You can’t reach 110% until you have reached 100%. That leaves us with the question, why have you not reached your 100%?

The reason is because your productivity matches the stimulus placed upon you externally. This stimulus could be positive or negative, for example, getting a bonus or losing your job. When your productivity is based on external stimuli you minimize your real potential for 100% to the level of that external stimulus. So the moment you reach the requirements of the external stimulus you cease to pursue further greatness. The reason you cease to pursue further greatness is because you have misconstrued the payoff as external. The true payoff is accessing the greatness inside you that is greater than anything that anyone could pay you. The satisfaction of fulfilling your purpose is the true payoff, and there is nothing that can compare.

When you ask a wealthy person why they continue to work hard, the answer is often not for more money. If they are not working for more money, even though they don’t need it, why continue to work hard? The answer is because the wealthy understand what the true payoff is – it’s the internal satisfaction of fulfilling their ultimate potential. Being a difference maker makes a much bigger difference than any paycheck could. The poor are counting the dollars, while the rich are counting the difference they make.

So the next time you show up to work and you see that you’re counting the dollars, you know which category you are operating from. I invite you to take on the other category – the difference makers. Think about what difference you can make today versus yesterday. What is something that you could do today that you don’t usually do? And consider this, what could you do today that others tend not to do but could do? Because we are creatures of habit, this requires stepping out of your comfort zone. This means that you have to look at yourself differently, and you have to look at your world differently. It means seeing yourself as a person who takes advantage of every opportunity. It also means seeing the world as a place of abundant opportunities.

If you don’t believe opportunities are there you will not pursue them. If you believe the opportunities are there, but believe you are incapable of achieving them, you will not seize the opportunity. You can start wherever you would like, but for those who find this challenging, I recommend starting small. You could start as small as picking up a piece of paper, or trash and throwing it away, versus just walking past it. Will you get an extra dollar for going out of your way and doing someone else’s job? Probably not. Again, the satisfaction is internal. You, in that moment, have made a difference regardless if anyone sees you doing it or not. You pick up and throw away the trash because you are a difference maker, and throwing away trash properly makes a difference.

What’s actually happening when you do this is you are training, and empowering your will. Most people operate there will out of some compulsory stimulus. In other words, they conform their will based on the requirements to getting pleasure or avoiding pain. This is the difference between being motivated and being inspired.

Motivation is external. I could motivate you to run at your fastest pace as long as you possibly could. It might require me pulling out my pistol and firing a few shots your way, but in the end chances are you will start running. The moment you stop hearing the gunshots, and you turn and you don’t see me anymore the first thing you’re going to do is stop. The reason you stop is because the external stimulus is no longer there. Thus, motivation requires a constant external stimulus to get results. Furthermore, the stimulus has to get stronger over time in order to produce the same results. This is because some stimuli you get used to, and they don’t produce the same results. The reason is because you know you are not going to get anything more out of doing what you’ve been doing. So, as long as the stimulus is there and gets stronger the motivation will be there to produce results.

Conversely, inspiration is internal. Inspiration does not require external stimuli in order to produce results. The stimulus is internal, it’s the burning on the inside that says, “I’m better than this!” Inspiration is that insight that you get when you see how things could be done better or more efficient. Inspiration has you do more than just think about making a difference, it has you going about making a difference…because you can. When you have made that difference it gives you a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction than your normal paycheck. What it means is that you understand your own worth, and that you are worth more than the paycheck you get in your hand. This is the beginning of moving from the poor mindset to the attitude shared by the wealthy and elite.

The excuse that many people give for not giving 100% is they believe that it would pull away from the time they have for the other important things in their life. The answer to this quandary is proper time management and communication. So, this means that you can’t just show up to work tomorrow and say okay today I’m going to give 100%. The reason you can’t do this is because chances are you don’t know how to prioritize what you could do to make the biggest difference. So my recommendation is to build a list of priorities that make a difference. Build a separate lists for different areas of your life: your work life, your family life etc. After you have built your list identify the top three difference makers and plan them into your day. If this means that your schedule has to change a bit communicated that to those who need to know. And in your communication explain the value that they are going to get out of you fulfilling on this difference making. Also, create an expectation of the difference you are going to make in the category that that person occupies.

That said, the biggest impact you can make is the one that is done when others aren’t expecting it to be done, or at least others don’t expect it to be done by you. This reinforces the important notion that the reward is not external but internal.

Anything is possible!

Darin

 

My journey through the valley – Part 1

Dr. Wayne Dyer once said if you find that you keep waking up every night at an early hour, it is God waking you up to give you a message. I believe him.

For the last several nights, I have been awakened at exactly 2:43 AM. Now, it is time for me to open up.

For the last several weeks I have been suffering from a neurological ailment that some doctors believe is multiple sclerosis: a disease that deteriorates your nervous tissue. This deterioration of the nerves causes numbness, and paralysis in the arms and legs, and torso. It can also calls blindness. I have experienced all of these. As of late, I have lost the use of my left hand.

I can either, accept my condition as simply life –the luck of the draw. Or, I can choose a different meaning –that the disease itself is a message. Strangely, for the last four years, I have experienced almost all of the diseases Jesus healed in the Bible. Yes, this could be simply coincidence, the result of MS. It is also possible, that it is a message. What is the message? Miracles and healing are possible.

Perhaps, it is my assignment to provide this message –beyond a speech, or sermon, but through empirical evidence. Perhaps, God wants to be marveled again like in the times of the New Testament. It seems to me, that God has chosen me to be the one given the opportunity to marvel.

There were two ways Jesus was marveled in the Bible. One way Jesus marveled, was at how much faith a person had; another way Jesus was marveled, was at the lack of faith people demonstrated. Today, I choose the former. While I do believe there is both a science and an art to faith, I must admit, that I am not confident that I know the formula. However, I am confident there is a formula. I will find it, and use it, and God will marvel.

In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 15 verses 21 through 28: “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coast of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coast, and cried unto him, saying, have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is previously vexed with a devil.

But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and sought him, saying, send her away; for she cry us after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me.

But he answered and said, it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters table.

Then Jesus answered and said unto her, old woman, great is thy faith: be it unto the even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

It is clear that persistent faith marvels God. This kind of persistent faith stands in the face of God –saying yes, when God is saying no. This is not defying God, but proving that God honors faith, no matter from whence it comes. Whether you are deserving of a blessing or not, God honors faith.

The story is simple as a narrative, but its applicability is a different matter. My left hand is withered by the constant spasms of my muscles. I have seen several doctors, none who have provided much hope.

Is this lack of hope from the doctors, Jesus at the table telling me, “Shall I cast my bread to a dog?” Should I be offended by this denial and insult? Or, should I see it as a challenge? Or, is it a challenge to be persistent?

Desperation is a tight rope. You can so easily fall into despair. Or, your desperation can stir up an adrenaline that causes you to hold on. Which will it be for me? Honestly, I have fallen both ways. Some days I am hopeful that the powers of God will prevail. Then, again, there are other days that I am gripped by despair, fear, and doubt. It is most painful when my daughter reaches up for me to pick her up, and it takes all the physical strength I can muster to lift this one year old baby girl. It causes me to despair. It causes me anger. It causes me to question.

I am at the point where doctors have little help for me. So then, I must choose to believe these stories in the Bible, or choose not to believe. The answer for the religious one is simple –believe. But, there is no greater despair then when your faith goes unanswered. Yes, I know this sounds like a doubt. But, have you ever prayed and received no answer? Have you ever hoped, and prayed for a sick loved one, who still died? Have you ever been desperate, and prayed for a job that you needed to feed your family, and yet you were still denied? What do you do then? What do you do when your faith goes unanswered?

I hesitate to share this story, because of religious people who will judge. It is easy to challenge, when your hand is not withered in pain. It is easy to judge when your child is not sick. It is easy to say, “Just believe.” When you are not wrenching and pain, or when your heart is not being broken.

Regardless, I am still left with one of two options: my desperation will either drive me away from God, or cause me to cling to God.

I am told, that there is no cure. It is easy to believe that, when a professional physician tells you this.

When you are sick it takes a lot of energy from you. Faith, too, requires a mental energy. It seems, at times, the mental energy from the sickness takes away from the energy needed for faith. It reminds me of the man who told Jesus, “Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.”

Conveying this experience is in a way, a bit embarrassing. It is embarrassing, because I am one who has graduated from seminary. One would think that I have both the knowledge, and the faith to employ the concepts taught in the Bible.

So then, what is this message, and reason God continues to awake me at 2:43 AM? I have hope, enough for today, but I don’t know about tomorrow.

The problem is, I know most, if not all of the stories of the Bible, but they seem to have little impact in the moment. I’m not a nonbeliever, again, I believe, but help my unbelief.

The real question is, what is it that I believe, that I need to unbelief –or let go? Part of me believes that my hand will continue to be withered. The reason is because the pain is so real; the disfigurement is so obvious –to me.

Which is more real, my pain or my faith? Which is more real, the storm or the ability to walk on water? That’s an easy question when you’re reading it in a book, but a different reality when you are the one in pain.

What do you do with pain? Dealing with physical pain is one thing. That’s easy. Take a drug, any drug. Pain gone. But what do you do when the pain is in your mind? What do you do when the pain is deep within your heart? There’s no drug that can reach pain that deep. Pain that deep requires a different kind of medicine. This medicine cannot be found in a bottle. Trust me, I know. I tried to drink it away, smoke it away, sex it away, and simply deny it. None of those methods work. I needed something different, something more. Like chaos cannot produce order, pain cannot produce wholeness. Only order can produce order, and only wholeness (holiness) can produce wholeness. Holiness is not religion, just like God is not church.

Holiness is atonement. Atonement is at –one –ment. Atonement is the process of reconnecting with that original singularity, which is the true source of ultimate power. This is the place where there is healing, Hope, love, strength, and your true and original self. To find your true self, you must access this ultimate source. It is from this ultimate source that you were created. To deny this source is to deny your own reality, and to deny the possibility of you living free.

I want to be free. I choose to be free. I choose atonement. I am one with God, and God is one with me…

Until next time,

Darin