Embrace All Surprises (Easier Said Than Done)

I like surprises.

I do not discriminate.  I love stereo-typically pleasant surprises like flowers,books, bags, watches, dates, drawings from my children and yummy food (just to name a few).  I also appreciate “unpleasant” surprises because I believe they reveal a truth that is often necessary for your destiny.  Shaun, what does that mean?  It means, self-righteousness or if I may dare say salvation or if I go a step further …PURPOSE is rarely ethereal.  To over simplify my point, lies/secrets revealed may cause pain but they spark a change that would have been unable to grow in darkness.  We need light.  We all need light.

Constructive criticism is usually a surprise and seldom received as constructive.  Usually it invokes anger, resentment and maybe even shame.  However, I believe that even when it is surprising to hear something unexpected about your characteristics or behavior it can still be an experience in development. Instead of making a face and shutting down we can use it as an opportunity to modify.

This is a new philosophy for me.  I do not traditionally take criticism well.  I do not always deal with crisis effortlessly.  I am learning to expand in those areas and exhibit the strength I have.   However, I recently reflected on what was a very challenging time in my life and I realized I would never have made the leap to be more consistent in my spiritual journey if it had not been for the opposition.  As humans we get comfortable.  It takes the element of surprise to shake the ground from under us and force us to rebuild.

If you didn’t get denied for that loan you applied for, would you be attempting to repair your credit now?

If that toxic relationship worked out, would you know that you were slowly committing yourself to an environment where it is dangerous to dream ?  Would you know that you are poisoning your passions?

You studied for the test.  You almost passed. You were confident you could pass.  You were surprised when you failed. Now you are determined to get 100%.  You are less nervous, less anxious, and you are going to succeed because each time you failed you completed another step to pruning your proficiency.  

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do. -Henry Ford

https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/surprises

Now it is in no way my intention to motivate the malicious mind.  If you know you are attempting to create chaos and disruption then this message is not for you.  Yet, if you are diligently doing everything you can to invoke any innate goodness within then…

Be bold. Love hard. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn. Don’t be afraid. Embrace all surprises or Shut Ya Mouth and Call Me Ugly.

By:Shaun Liriano

I love reading your comments and your insight.

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Replenish! #Shutyamouthandpraysundays

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Every Sunday (for awhile) I will ask you to journey with me in understanding of self. A journey in the acceptance of growth. We will build a BS barrier and become more resilient together. I am NO life coach. That is not my aim. I am a writer. However,  all journeys are more fun with company. Most advice you give should also be directed at yourself. Sometimes we need to follow our own instructions. Sometimes we need to diagnose ourselves.
Being relatable is a gift and one that draws positivity.

This Sunday I took the kids to church at noon. We cleaned the house top to bottom prior to that. We ate an awesome breakfast. We danced. We loved. Most importantly we talked. I remembered how important it is to sit straight up, look in their eyes and focus. Listen. Today was a good day.

Day 8 of the self esteem challenge :
Are you comfortable with accepting compliments? Why or why not?
(Courtesy of life and magic in Wyoming at wordpress )
I am not always comfortable. There are things I know are above average and compliments on those assets I graciously accept. You have to believe something yourself before others will believe in it.

Day 9: What do other people say is sexy about you?
This is tough! I have heard different things. Mostly its my command. In a comfortable situation I take full command if a leadership position is needed in order for a task to be completed. I’m resolution oriented. So I just like things to be fixed quickly. I’ve been told my smile is sexy.

Emotional Evening

This is one of my favorite times. Fan blowing, candles lit, music playing, breeze coming in from the window, glass of ice water at my bedside, captivated spirit ready to be filled. Intoxicated by the scent of my own skin. My freshly painted toes catch the flicker of the candlelight ever so often. My eyes avoid the clock in a futile attempt to postpone tomorrow. Tears well in the corners of my eyes to drown the Sandman. In this time I forget the laundry that needs to be done. I forget the bills that need to be paid. I forget the hugs that need to be given, conversations to be had and speeches to be made. I don’t think about where I thought I’d be or how far I’ve come. Friends I had or enemies I’ve created. I don’t think about anything but the soft mattress underneath me, the love overflowing from my heart, and my prayer thanking God that today was an additive to my strength and wisdom. This is one of my favorite times.

Chest Naked In The Park (Part 1)

She woke up in a sweat.  Reached around feeling for the phone. She found it in the crevice of the couch still attached to the charger.  No missed calls. Four text messages:

“Hey Beautiful.” (from some guy she met on an internet dating site 3 months prior.  She stopped returning his text messages 2 months and 3 weeks ago but it never inhibited his persistence.)

“The balance in your Chase checking account is 32.48.” (An automated update she gets every time her account is used.)

“Do you want me to bring you a plate of food for tomorrow?” (A caring co-worker who always looks out for her.)

“Guess you forgot about me.” (An old flame that died out before it was lit.)

Nothing from him.  Unable to hide her disappointment, she threw the phone across the room.

“WTF? Either I am too quick to assume the worst…or the worst has happened.”

She pondered while the oscillating fan blew hot air over her. She watched it move right to left. Left to right.  “What could have changed in a couple of hours?”

NOTHING.  But since when did anything have to go wrong for a man to decide that you are no longer his number one pick?  The truth of the matter was Tamara was a pretty girl, smart, and ambitious but she changed her men as often as her oil changes.  Some men were changed by choice and some by circumstance.  There was the minister AKA the “Freak and the Gentleman” who was obviously confused about his chosen path in life.  One minute he was discussing politics, being chivalrous, and preaching against pre-marital sex.  The next minute he was playing in her hair with one hand, holding the bible in the other, while trying to get her titty into his mouth. (What a multi-tasker!) Tamara dated everyone from the investment bankers, to the personal trainers, the broke college student, and even the “but baby my back is against the wall” unemployed ex-convicts.  A firm believer that your prince is sometimes disguised as a frog, she never judged.  Her father told her as a child, “Your heart doesn’t know status or circumstance.”  Daddy was wrong.

Travis was supposed to be different.  He was brilliant, handsome, confident, and attentive.  All the qualities that she loved to love.  He had his flaws and she was prepared to accept and love those too.  Realistically, Tamara was panicking prematurely.  It had only been a few hours since she heard from him, but for them, that was a long time!  She shook herself out of it.  Why was she always so anxious?  She was in a constant state of waiting for the ball to drop.  She was always waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under her.

She decided to go to her favorite park and run around the track since she was already sweating.  No use in sitting there babysitting her phone … or destroying it.

When she got to the track, she looked at her cell once more. NOTHING. She decided to leave a voicemail.  One of her close male friends always told her never to assume anything.  What if he was in an accident or he lost his phone?  She left a KISS message (KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid) just plainly stating the obvious: “Hey. Just giving you a call.”

Then it happened.  She leaned back in the seat and she wept.  She didn’t cry because of him.  She cried because of the disappointment that she was so accustomed to.  She was so angry.  What was she doing wrong? Maybe she should act like a complete b*tch, men seemed to like that. Finally she came to the conclusion that she was overreacting and she needed to get outside and distract herself.  As soon as she tied her car key to her shoelace, put her cell phone in the glove compartment, stuck her ipod in her bra, and opened the driver side door…..BOOM!

The sky broke and it began to pour.  Tamara shook her head and laughed.  “With a day like this, its gonna be a hell of a night”, she quoted Young Jeezy.  She looked on as people started exiting the track, trying to avoid getting soaked in the rain.

All except one man.

He kept running.  He was one of those men who just looked effortless while working out.  Easy pace.  Steady rhythm. Chest Naked, his skin glistened while he ran in sync with the rain drops.  His skin was an exclusive shade of brown.  It was as if God made it just for him.  It was a beautiful sight to see.  A high school anatomy class could have studied him, every muscle in the human body, could be seen.  “Yummy. Who is this chest naked man running in the park?”

{To Be Continued}

By: Shaun M Nickens