Now today, my topic is strength of character and by that I mean what others around you see and notice about you! Believe it or not! People around me always comment on my strength, endurance and positive attitude. They give me credit for things like pulling through cancer twice, leukemia, radiation enteritis, hepatitis c, bowel resections, colostomies, ileostomies and the myriad of other things I have gone through. They tell me how strong and brave I am. But, you know what are those really my strengths of character? I don't count them as such, all I really did is survive! Now, I am not saying that I didn't fight for my life. What I am saying is this, I didn't know anything else to do. I wanted to live so I kept going. Sure there were times when I thought I couldn't withstand another round of chemotherapy or radiation. Where I told my mom I was tired and wanted to quit.
But, the secret and the key to all of this is I turned it all over to God and the power of prayer. You would be surprised at the hundreds and hundreds of people that have lifted me up in prayers including my mother. Without them and God I wouldn't be here today. I actually don't count that as strength of character. I count that as faith. See the body and the mind are miraculous things, and God created it and knows it's inner working better than anyone and can heal it. When I talk of strength of character, I want you to think of those attributes of yourself that other people see and measure. Such as your desire to help them. To love them unconditionally by accepting them for who the are, their behaviors, hang ups, moods, their decisions and actions. Yes, you maybe disappointed at times by something they have done, but regardless you love them none the less.
Trust me when I tell you we all have a great capacity for love. There is an endless supply and it's yours to give. When I think of strength of character, I think of integrity, your word, your bond. When you tell someone that are your friend no matter what and you are true to it, that is a strength of character. Each of you can confirm that if I have told you that we were friends you can believe you can count on that. Further, if I have told you that I love you, you can believe that I do. Understand that I don't use that word freely. When I love I love hard and it never fades. I love you through the good times, the bad times and anything in between. That also goes for my friendships as well. You are always going to be a part of me and my life. I am a firm believer that we are the culmination of all our decisions, actions, consequences and friendships, each one of these things goes a long way into building our character. Since we are talking about strength of character I would like to think that all the good points of ourselves are absorbed by our friends and loved ones and makes us that much stronger.
For those of you who have known me for years you can attest to the fact that no matter what I have always tried to help when and where I could, always giving of myself. One of my ex's called it the Stray Syndrome, I always tried to help those on the street by providing them with shelter, safety, food or whatever I could to help them get back on their feet again. Over the past 21 years or so I have given freely of myself and if you read my entry on the "Defining Moment" you will understand how one error in my judgement changed my whole outlook and helped mold me into the person I have become. You don't know how many times over that span of time I have heard how I was two-faced, fake, phony and too good to be true. That no one could be as nice as me. Only to have those same critics come back and tell me that they were wrong that I am sincere, that I did care, and thank me for taking the time to help them. This is my strength of character, a testament to being a loving giving friend, who wanted to help never expecting or demanding anything in return. I am not trying to brag or toot my own horn, there are hundreds of people who can tell you all about this. Ask Greg, E, Kameron, Joe, Sterling, any one of them can tell you how I sacrificed myself, my relationships, my home, personal needs to help everyone around me.
In all honesty most of my relationships ended because of my need to surround myself with others like myself that just needed a little helping hand. I didn't think about the consequences of my actions I chose to follow my heart. I know I hurt some really good people who loved me and thought I was kidding myself, that I was throwing everything away. But I wasn't, I truly just wanted to help genuinely and sincerely. I took their love and their strength, these partners of mine, and I sacrificed their love on that alter of giving. I am sure that they can see now what I was doing now that I have let out the story of why.
Oh there were the dark times of my life, the drug days! where I taught people how to slam for the very first time. But even then I was conscientious of y duty to help and protect them. My rule was if we do this we do it together. I watched them, helped them through the experience. I was there offering safe harbor and a place to enjoy the experience without pressure or judgement. I know some of you may judge me harshly because of this. But you know what that is alright! because you can't judge me any harder than I judge myself. There is a difference here that I would like to point out, even though my actions may seem destructive and the help that I gave could be seen as irresponsible, trust me looking back I realize this myself, I wouldn't change my experiences one bit, I may have saved a few people their lives by teaching them the right way to do things and the proper dosages. Another reason why I wouldn't change anything I have done, is because of all the wonderful people I have met, interacted with and have made a connection too. Throughout everything, I have been through and experienced it is the people, the love, and friendships that been built that I cherish. It is the dedication and friendship, love, support, the network that has developed that are a testament to my strength of character.
People look at my life as a learning inspiration. They see that I live by what I preach, because my message is simple, it is love, unity, acceptance, understanding, companionship and true friendship. These are the values I have and I show in my daily life. I help others to the exclusion of everything else and I think that is what defines me. As long as I am helping other people working towards making their life a better place. That is where I want to be. This is my story! What is yours? Tell me what makes you a person that is strong in character? What makes me want to look at your life and choose it as an inspiration to live my life by? Get back with me and let me know about that!
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,
Warning...this podcast is 12 minutes and 28 seconds in length. I hope you will take the time to listen to it again, it is my first attempt please be easy on all the pauses, um's and other obvious mistakes...I will endeavor to try and make the next one better.