04 Nov Dream Catcher
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
Life is tumultuous, heartbreaking, and chaotic. But, it’s also incredibly beautiful. I know, I know… very insightful. Here’s something else I’ve noticed about life; It’s incredibly easy to settle for less. The easy route to “I’ve always wanted to…” is always open. You’re tired, I’m tired, work is hard, kids have been crabby all day, your electric bill just went up, I GET IT! But the greatest mistake we can make is to accept life’s challenges as an opportunity to throw in the towel.
I know purpose is out there. And I know it’s for EVERYONE. I know this because I know who I am to my very core.
I’m the 2nd born of a split family. My childhood wasn’t easy. There were plenty of dark times sprinkled in. I have 4 brothers and everyone would tell you straight up, “You don’t know the real Manny.” They tell you this because they were only there for the start of my race. I’ve lived through abuse, physical and otherwise. My name was an “insult” among my family, cousins, and uncles. If someone did something silly or goofy, it would be described as being “Manuelistic” and the crowd would laugh at my expense. (If it came down to it, these same people would run in front of a car for me, they’d just laugh at me after for getting myself in that situation. But I needed more. I need(ed) understanding, compassion.)
Our culture can be funny. We tend to put-down friends and family in success instead of uplift. We tend to feel it’s our public duty to keep family from getting a “big head” through success. Oftentimes, they succeed.
I knew no worth other than the embrace of my compassionate mother who’d tell me, “things will change, it won’t always be like this.”
Why do I reveal this? Because we all have a past. And maybe it’s because I’m coming off a very difficult season from ACL surgery and am hopped up on pain killers, but I’m okay with showing my scars today.
Because you have scars too. And maybe someone in your life is trying to keep you from allowing yourself to move on and progress in your life. And maybe you need someone like me to tell you to shed your old skin, be comfortable in your new skin, and be a DreamCatcher. Be fierce. Be relentless. Be unapologetic about who you are. Your antagonizers want you to fit you into the box they only comprehend, don’t let them put you back in there. Be you.
But don’t just be you, be the you that YOU KNOW you can be. Be the you that can change other peoples lives. Be the you that God has fearfully and wonderfully made you to be.
Because the world needs more you’s and less them’s.
Your past is your gift, for better or for worse. It belongs to you and you can choose to use your gift as an excuse, a curse, or you can choose to channel it into something positive. Something that EMPOWERS YOU instead of something that weighs you down.
There are no perfect days, just perfect opportunities.
I don’t always get it right, but that’s the point. Get past the idea that you need to have it together before you try to lead, grow, or do anything of worth. Understanding your past, accepting your frailty, and allowing your humanity to show is where REAL LIFE is lived. I’m not a campaign, I’m just some dude who wants to make a difference. I know there are people who’d rather I keep quiet, stop sensationalizing everything, and live out my days. I’d rather Love Recklessly and make some waves.
Who knows, maybe a ripple of my actions can inspire someone out there to see their beautiful value and launch out into a life of sweet, glorious purpose.