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Are You Pushing?
When you were a kid, you couldn't wait to wake up, and greet the day. You just knew that there was something wonderful waiting for you to explore, and find, not only in those things around you, but more importantly inside yourself.

When you were a kid, you had a passion for lots of different things. You may had a passion for writing, singing, dancing, reading, crafts, being out in the woods, or any number of things. What has happened to those passions you once held dearly as a child?

When you were a kid, and you heard the doorbell ring, or heard a knock at the door, it excited you. You wanted to be the one to open the door, because you wanted to greet, and welcome whomever was at the door. You hoped that it was one of your dear friends come calling for you. You hoped that it was a dear friend who would greet you with a wonderful smile, because you knew that they truly cared, and embraced you for all that you were, and hoped to be, even in your bad times.

For some people, as they got older, their life became more and more hectic with various activities, traveling, college, and so forth. The knocks at the door, and the phone calls, became less and less frequent. I am sure that many of you may have asked yourselves, "What happened to so and so"? You may have asked yourself, "Why doesn't so and so come over, or call like they used to"? Did they stop coming over to visit with you, and stop making phone calls, or were you the one that slowly pushed the door closed, because you got so busy in your day to day life, that you weren't able to hear the knock at your heart's door, or that phone call reaching out to you saying, " I have missed you my friend"?

We all have things that come up in our lives at times, that wash over us like a tidal wave. We have all made the mistake at one time or another, of trying to handle everything on our own, and putting those that we care about on hold, until we feel that we have the proper time and energy, to get back in the swing of things once again, and devote ourselves to connecting with, and staying connected to, those that share a very dear, and special place in our heart, whether it be family, friends, co-workers, or what have you. The truth of the matter is, is that our life is never going to be perfect. It is never going to be as we would like, and want each day. Each day, life throws us curve balls. You may have had a lot of curve balls thrown your way lately, and you may have become frustrated, overwhelmed, saddened, and stepped away from 'life's' batting box, thinking that you will be able to return to the box shortly. The problem is, is that life doesn't always work that way. We don't always get another chance to be at 'life's' batting box in that particular moment.

How many times, have we all been guilty of saying to the 'coach' in our inner life, "Put someone else in the game today coach". "Let Jerry bat for me today coach, I have too much I have to do". "The rest of the team ( family, friends, co-workers, and others) will understand. They may understand that there are times when you feel overwhelmed, or too busy to play. They may understand that there are times, when your heart is not 100% in the game, as you would like it to be. What about your 'life' teammates? Has it dawned on you, that they may be going through hard times as well, and struggling with some of the same kinds of things that you are right now? If you keep saying to them, "The team and the game means a lot to me, but I have to focus on these other things right now", but call me if you get in a pinch, and need someone to fill in", how long to do think they will keep waiting on you? How many calls do you think you would get asking you ( who is only willing to give yourself, and your 'life' teammates leftovers) if you want to be a 'fill in'? Did you appreciate it when as a kid, you were only chosen, because you were the last person left to be picked, and there wasn't any other option? Did you appreciate it, when some of your friends would call, and say, "We are having a game, and we asked Jenny to play with us, but she couldn't." "Can you"? Did it warm your heart to know that those on your 'life time, were treating you as a 'fill in' or a 'left over'?

Fast forward yourself fifteen or twenty years. Have you been saying to your 'life' teammates, "I am too busy to play, but if you get in a real pinch, or I end up having a little free time, I will play with you". Is it getting harder and harder to remember the passions that you have, or once had, when you weren't so busy? When is the last time you treated yourself to you, and the passions that make up part of who you are as an individual?

As I mentioned in a previous posting, we live in a fast paced world, where it seems that everything has to be done right that minute.

One of the problems is, is that everything that we 'think' has to be done right this minute, may not have to be done right this minute. Often times, we convince ourselves, that whatever task is before us, has to be finished at that moment. At times, things do come up, that can't be helped, and do require our full time and attention. If we are honest with ourselves, most of the time this is not the case, we want to believe that it is the case, for whatever reason.

The other problem with this scenario if you will, is that we start giving not only our 'life' teammates 'left overs', we start giving ourselves 'left overs' as well, and we wonder why we feel so run down and empty inside ourselves lately.

When we start giving ourselves 'left overs', without meaning to, or even realizing it, we end up pushing our 'life' teammates away. You may be saying to yourself, "I have never done that". If you have never done such a thing to yourself, or others, you are a remarkable person, and I applaud you. For most of us ( me included ) we have all been guilty of this at times in our life. It is not a good thing. It is not something to be proud of. At the same time, it is something that you do have control over, and can take steps toward each day to get balance in, and victory over. It is not always easy. We all struggle in this area at times. That is why we need not only ourselves, but the help of our 'life' teammates. As John Donne once said, "No man is an island unto himself". God created us to experience life, and to help each other as best we could, along life's way. God did not create us, for us to struggle through life all alone, with the weight of the world constantly on our shoulders.

Are you guilty of trying to live your life on 'left overs', as well as giving your 'life' teammates 'left overs'? We can't live our lives on inner 'left overs' and we can't continually give our 'life' teammates 'left overs', and expect to live, and experience a happy, fulfilling life in ourselves, and with others. It is impossible.

No one perfect. We all fail at times. I know I do. We can't change the past. What we can do, is do our best from this day forward, to change things inside ourselves, thereby changing the relationship with our 'life' teammates for the better.

Many times we all end up going in a circle in a particular area, and each time, we scratch our heads, wondering why the same thing keeps happening time and time again. At times, this kind of thing happens because some of our 'life' teammates aren't truly listening to us. Sometimes this happens because we think we are communicating with them, when we are actually talking to them. If we are honest with ourselves, most of the time this keeps happening to us, because of us, and not others. Many times, we are to blame, because we have been trying to conquer life on our own, and saying to others, either by our words, or our actions, that we feel more secure, and in control, facing life on our own. We rob ourselves of precious moments and blessings, when we say to ourselves, "I am sure that they understand all that "I" am going through, and 'need' right now, as far as distancing myself from my team, so that I can get the victory." If you have said this, or thought these kinds of things before in yourself, that is a 'red flag' to you, that you are already giving yourself physical and spiritual 'left overs', as well as those on your 'life' team. If you have said, or thought these kinds of things inside yourself at times, that is a 'red flag' to you, that you are pushing yourself, and others, away from the blessings of you, and your life, but also pushing yourself away from the blessings and precious moments with your 'life' teammates.

If you have noticed that the passions that once rang strong in your life, are growing faint, it may be time for you to stop for a moment, and take personal inventory of you, not others.

If you have noticed that your relationship with others has lost its zeal, and seems like a chore lately, instead of a real joy, it may be time for you to take personal inventory of you.

If you have found yourself getting farther and farther away from those you care about, and whatever goals, and aspirations you may have with them, whether it be family, friends, co-workers, or whomever, it may be time for you to take personal inventory inside of you, and see if you can find where you started pushing yourself, and others away.

If you have found yourself taking longer and longer to answer 'your' door, or at times, pretending that you weren't home, so that you wouldn't be disturbed by your 'life' teammates, that is a 'red flag' to you, that it may be time to take some personal inventory inside of you. If we are taking longer and longer to answer the door, or not even answer it at all, because of who is there, or who we think might come calling, then you need to ask yourself, what has control over my life right now, and do I want it to have control over my life? If we are taking longer and longer to answer 'our' door, we may need to take a look at who it is, that keeps knocking at our door, and why?

We all take personal inventory inside ourselves at times. Sometimes we may get scared because we already know whats there, and what we need to address. At other times, we may refuse to take inventory because of we honestly don't know what is there, much less what we will find. What I am talking about here, is not always easy to do in ourselves, or with others when need be. However, it is something that we all must do on a regular basis, if we are going to have the kinds of relationships on whatever level, that we long for in our life.
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