Peace During Trouble

My talk this Sunday will reflect on how to find peace during trouble.

This past week, I blogged 2 posts that were personal:

I want to thank everyone who has been supportive. I also want to encourage those who started following my blog because of those posts.

I can sense your hurt and search for healing. I get it. Thankfully, you can tell I’ve been there. I don’t have all the answers. I only have my story. The fact it resonates with you means a lot to me.

One of the most important techniques I used to heal was to identify when I was a peace.

When you are in trouble, it is not natural to think you already have peace. You cry for it; you long for it; you talk about it: but you do not consider it is already in your possession!

Your grief comes across you in waves. It is like you are standing in the water at the edge of the surf. Wave after wave crashes over you. Grief is not friendly. It knocks you over.


In between those powerful waves, there is calm.

Where are you at? Literally. Are you with a particular friend? Are you with a certain group of people? Are you watching a movie? What is it that you are doing when you feel a bit of calm in your life?

Identify the times you feel more at ease with yourself.

And then stay there.

Easier said than done, I know. The idea is to learn to love yourself and take care of yourself. You also learn who to stay away from — some people are just plain toxic!

Peace CAN be found during trouble.

I would love to hear about your ideas and experiences.

Peaceful blessings on your weekend.


P.S. I am speaking this Sunday at Albany Presbyterian Church. If you are in the area, please drop by.

P.P.S. Thank you everyone who purchased my most recent book, Finding Hope: How I rebuilt my life after it fell apart.

Love My Ego?

What does it mean to “love yourself”? Are we to love our Ego? No! Your Ego is not your Essence.

Jesus taught the foundation for loving God is built on a love for yourself. He specifically taught: “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).

When your Essence entered Time, she travelled through a specific Space. The selected path led to a precise landing point. She arrived to manifest herself in You. You are a unique expression of Divinity.

You entered a preselected environment. Your physical conception was a direct result of a combination between a particular male and female. Your emotions were developed by interacting with your local culture. Your abilities were sharpened through exploring your environment’s composition. All of this means your personality was shaped within Time and Place.

Your Person, however, is not who you are. Your Essence is that part of God released into this world to discover the beauty of herself. Your Person is what you are; your Essence is who you are. This difference explains why so many cannot find peace during Life’s crises. They live in ignorance of their true nature. They substitute distractions for substantive reflection. And when a crisis is delivered by Life, they are thrown completely out of balance.

Peter encouraged early Christians to “be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). You have within the essence of the divine. To love yourself is not to love your Ego or your Personality, it is to love that Holy Spirit within who seeks to empower and reconnect you with the Absolute.

That’s why I say, “It’s Okay to Love Yourself.”

Its Okay to Love Yourself

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. — Gautama Buddha

Being reared inside of Fundamentalist Christian circles, I was taught it was evil to love yourself. For many years I obediently propagated this falsehood. Joy was taught as the acronym: J.O.Y. The acronym was made of three words: Jesus, Others, and You. The teaching is that in order to obtain inner joy, you have to love your Self last. You must love Jesus firstly, others secondly, and aways lastly your Self.

The theology propagates a notion of self-hate.

For many years, I hungered to understand how this could be so. Gnawing within were questions like, “Am I not a product of the Creator?” and “How can I love my Creator if I cannot love myself—a product of creation?”

The truth is: to love your Self is to love the Creator.

Joseph Butler was an Anglican theologian (Christian) of the 17th century. His moral philosophy is known for criticizing egoistic self-love. Interestingly enough, his arguments help us understand that every passion we pursue does not mean we are selfish. He helps us understand the principle of self-love is happiness of the self, not self-indulgence. In other words: it’s okay to love yourself.

Jesus taught to love your neighbor as yourself. You cannot love others until you learn to love yourself. That means it is okay to love yourself. And you will never obtain success until you do.

There is something driving you to be successful. What is it that you want to produce? Is there a service you are passionate to give others? Is it a legacy for your family? There is something you want to pursue. It is not a sin to seek happiness. And you find happiness during the pursuit of a passion.

Love is more than an emotion.

Love as a noun means there is a mental affection that gets excited at beauty and things of worth. There is an intellectual pleasure communicated through qualities of objects and people. It is not just an emotion of sensuality.

You are a beautiful creature. The combinations of natural elements that make up who you are defy logic. You are a wonderful, marvelous person. Appreciate your own worth.

Love as a verb is the general sense of being pleased with something. When you respect the qualities of your own make-up, it yields a pleasing sensation. You are happy to be alive. You are grateful for life. You love your Self. And you are able to do something with that love for others.  Love is faith in action.

When there is a mutual commitment to shared vision, there is love. Your success begins with loving yourself and embracing the dream you have to help others. Create your personal mission statement and put your love into practice. Mutual love submits to something greater than you. Loving your Self is the foundation for loving others and creating a cause.

Success to fulfill your dreams begins when you unite an appreciation for who you are with what you want to do. Your outward actions express your inward Self. Love who you are so that you can express an unselfish love towards others.

There is a parable floating through cyberspace of unknown origin that illustrates this notion of success. It is a story of an African tribe who handles a member who does something hurtful and wrong. They take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

Sometimes you need to be reminded that you were made exactly how the Creator intended. Yes, we all fall short of Eternal glory. And that is the point: His standard is what we strive to meet! Inside of you is the ability to find that glory. When you make a mistake, don’t focus on what went wrong; focus on what went right. There is so much good in you. It is from that good you will find success.

Affirmation: I am loving with a unified body and soul.

The above is a selection from 56 Notions of Success. You can meet me at a book signing August 14, 2016 in Carlsbad, California.