Tag Archives: love

What Are You Worth?

I have said for a while that I believe that being an artist (whether it is an actor, singer, painter, etc.) is an incredibly dangerous profession because so much of your success is determined by whether or not people want you.  This isn’t like an inanimate object that you are producing on an assembly line.  You are the product.  The more successful you are the greater the risk of being greatly injured when the crowds of fans aren’t there anymore.  I believe that’s part of the reason why we see so much dysfunction in Hollywood.

But recently I started to re-frame my perspective on this idea.  Because I think that it exists in more basic ways and its implications are far-reaching.  What I mean is the idea that you have value based on what people can get from you.  There are so many people out there in the world that think that if they can please someone, they will feel better about themselves.  I know that in my own life I have had this notion in the back of my head at times.  But as I’ve gotten older I have tried to divorce myself of it, which has at times, caused me to drive into the ditch on the other side of the road which is denying people what they want because I simply do not want to give them that power.  Sounds a little twisted but I recently stumbled across a name that defines it.  It’s called “Cerebral Narcissism.”  I’m not exactly a narcissist, but I won’t get into that.  You can research it yourself.

But there is this idea that if I can just emotionally gratify someone, or if I can sexually gratify them then I will get the affirmation that I desire so much.  So what do we do?  We bend over backward.  We say yes when we know that we’re compromising ourselves and we should be saying no.  We think that if we can just get people to love me for whatever I am that I can put out this fire and finally have some contentment.  But unfortunately it doesn’t work.  Because it is the nature of desire to never be satisfied.

But we’re blind to it.  We don’t see it and so we get into relationships and associations with goals of being pleasing to someone else.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we shouldn’t please people, it’s just not good to want to please people because our self-worth depends on it.  But even if we don’t acknowledge this principle in our heads we act upon it like it was pre-programmed in our very DNA.  We take it into our social settings and make judgments about people based on it.  Who do we want to be like?  We are envious and covetous of the lives of others.

Now I’m not saying that everyone is like that.  But I know many people who are.  I think this is why we as a society put so much stock into the things that celebrities say and do.  Think about it for a second.  Our favorite actor becomes an activist of some kind and we become micro-activists for the same cause.  Part of the reason why we listen to people about a variety of social issues is simply because of their celebrity status.  These people aren’t Plato’s Philosopher Kings.  They aren’t these mythical godlike creatures that possess all of this wisdom and hidden information.  They are mimes.  They are parakeets.  Yet we are so swayed by say.

I think the reason for this is because there is an algorithm or what have you, in our mind filter that sees their fame and their ability to please others and something just clicks inside of us that makes us want to believe them.  It makes us want to obey them because they are loved and if we can be like them then we’ll be loved and we’ll have value too.

But let me just say this.  Your value goes far beyond what you can do for others.  Your value comes from a God that created the entire universe and loves you more than you can ever know.  This is just my opinion but I think that if we could understand how much God loves us it would kill our earthly body.  I don’t think our poor old tickers could handle it.  But God loves you and you have value simply because He says you have value.  Because that part of your mind that is distinctly separate from your physical body comes directly from Him.  It’s a part of Him.  Don’t be a people pleaser anymore.  Love God with all of your heart.

When You’re Angry Do You Still Love Me?

I learned some very valuable things today.  I got the opportunity to spend some time with my only son today.  It was a day that his Head Start preschool put on a county-wide celebration for all of the kids to play games, play in the bouncy houses, have fun with each other and have lunch.  It was packed with children and parents and was a really great time.

Aaron and I got to play Frisbee, do a “cake walk” (unsuccessfully I might add), play games, get some sunglasses and do a lot of awesome things.  I was able to get Aaron in the zone and he just thought he was as cool as the Fonz.

Aaron

I too got in on the action by jumping into a picture of Aaron and Ronald Mcdonald.

mcdonald

It was an absolutely gorgeous morning aside from the fact that I had to put on a sweater to keep from getting too chilly.  But we had a really great time for a dad and his boy to spend some time together and learn some things about each other.  For example, I learned that Aaron doesn’t really understand the concept of knock, knock jokes.  He would say knock, knock and I would reply who’s there?  And he would say something that you absolutely couldn’t play off of the word “who” and would laugh like crazy.

After Double A would make one of his crazy knock knock jokes he would stop and ask me; “Am I hilarious Dad?”  I told him that he’s the funniest guy I know and he would give me a big grin go on to his next knock, knock joke.  Trust and believe me when I say he’s got a million of them.  Because if his eyes can see it, it becomes part of his joke.

After we got home, I sat down here in my computer chair and made myself comfortable.  Aaron turned on a fan and then walked up to me and put his little hand on my arm and said “Dad, when you’re angry at me do you still love me?”  That hit me suddenly and unexpectedly because I have never considered that once in his little life that he wasn’t always sure that daddy loved him.

I never considered that, just like the knock, knock joke Aaron wasn’t able to always connect events together in his head in a way that made sense.  He just knew what he saw daddy do.  When he made a knock knock joke and daddy laughed it was funny.  To him it didn’t matter what he said, he just knew that daddy laughed and told him that he was a funny guy.  And just like when daddy’s mad at him about something, all he could see was that daddy was angry.  So in his mind he thought there were times that daddy might not love him.

But because my boy loves me so much, and because he wants me to love him so much he was compelled, out of the blue, to ask me just so that his mind could possibly be at ease.  He, like many of us, want and need to know if we’re loved.  The way my boy felt, is the same way I felt this morning after driving the kids to school, staring a beautiful blue Ohio sky.  Does God still love me even when he’s angry with me?

The voices in my head tried to fill me with fear and despair.  They told me that it could be too late for me.  But my mind had to be put at ease.  So I looked up at that bright blue sky and I said “Thank you God for giving me another beautiful day in this world”.  It was a statement, but in my heart it was a question because I was throwing it out there to see how the inner man would respond, and would God speak back to me.  It’s like being in a relationship with someone and you are wondering if they’re going to speak to you so you say something, anything, hoping that they will say anything back to you so that you can get some kind of status of how things are between you.

When my son asked me that question I almost cried because I don’t think he thought this thought on his own.  I feel like God was prompting him to ask me so that I could give him the answer that God wanted to give to me.

So, I picked my boy up and I sat him on my lap.  Then I picked him up almost like I would my 5 month old daughter and laid him back so he could look into my eyes.  I said “Daddy loves you all the time, even when he’s mad at you.  And usually when dad is mad at you it’s because he loves you knows and sees things that you don’t know and understand.  Your daddy wants what’s best for you and I want you to know that Daddy loves you no matter what, and there’s nothing in this world that can ever make your daddy stop loving you.”  He smiled at me and said “Okay.” as he hopped down to the floor and went to play a couple of video games.

Like, share, follow, re-blog.  Thanks for reading.

I Miss the 90’s

I was born in the early 80’s but most of my memorable childhood was spent in the 1990’s.  It was, in my biased opinion, one of the greatest decades in American history.  We had a government that worked together, an economy that was strong, fantastic arts such as music and cinema.  The list could go on and on.

When I was young we lived on a hill in the country.  We had a gigantic hickory tree in the front yard of our small house with an old tin roof.  You could see storms blowing in from far off and when they did I would open the front door, grab a blanket and lay there watching through the front porch as the wind bent the trees over.  The lightning would crash and the thunder would boom as I fell asleep there in the doorway listening to the raindrops ping the roof.

One of my favorite movies was “Twister”.  I must have watched it 100 times.  I would watch it and dream about going out west one day and seeing a tornado for myself.  For awhile I would tell the kids on the school bus that I wanted to be a storm chaser one day.  I lost the desire to have a career as a storm chaser but I would still like to do it one time.  But it was more than wanting to chase a tornado.  It was about the simplicity of Midwestern life.  It was lure of wide open spaces and big beautiful skies that made me get lost in euphoria.

twister

My brothers and sisters would go outside and play all day.  We made up some of the most ridiculous, games that are too embarrassing to me now to even mention.  But looking back in retrospect the complexity and originality of the games we played showed a tremendous amount of potential in what we could be in the future.  We played outside until dark and then we would come in and have dinner.  We were poor and we didn’t have much but to be perfectly honest we had some of the best tasting meals a few bucks could buy.  My dad was and still is a tremendous cook.  Mom could cook too, but my dad just seemed to be a culinary master.  Even the most ordinary foods he made them come to life.  Bologna, hot dogs, hamburger, sausages; it didn’t matter.

I spent much of my days on a mission.  The missions varied but there were days were I would be writing a book.  There were days were I would take an old cassette stereo and listen to radio stations for music to record.  I waited with bated breath for the moment a song would come on the radio so I could hit record.  Perhaps those days haven’t left me.  I now have a talent for knowing a song on the radio just by hearing the first note or two.  I also am on a mission daily.  I write screenplays and blogs, and other things because it is still a passion.  I took these things from my childhood.  I love them dearly.

Once a year, during the summer, I would visit my grandparents with my brother and we would stay there for a week.  My Grandpa and Grandma did this with all of their grandchildren and frankly it is an idea that I will use when i have grandchildren if I am around this world that long.  It was like my own little vacation.  We would wake up at 7 a.m. in what can only be described as the most wonderful smelling house in the history of the world.  I floated to the kitchen being pulled in by the smell of pancakes, bacon and sausage.  We washed these babies down with maple syrup and big cold glasses of milk.  After breakfast we would go down to grandpa’s leather shop where he would make me a belt with my name on it.  He recently bestowed his leather shop to me and I have began to make leather belts myself.  It is a truly relaxing and gratifying skill.  We would go to church on Sunday with Grandpa and in the afternoon we went to Lake Logan and ride around on the Pontoon boat fishing.

Hocking-Hills-Marina-at-Lake-Logan1

I remember watching the Hale Bop comet inch through the night sky and staring with awe and wonder.  I remember thinking about what it would be like to be in space and watch it fly by.  It was almost a supernatural experience to me.  It was soon after that I saw on the news where some weird looking guy talked others into committing suicide because they believed they were going to ride the comet away from earth’s destruction.  It turned out to be the Heaven’s Gate cult, but I remember thinking about how could anyone ever get tricked into killing themselves.  Weird.

Hale-Bopp2sm

It was in the late 90’s that I got a sweet dual band cell phone which made me incredibly popular whenever someone needed to make a phone call.  I was making money at 16 years old collecting urine samples from race horses at Scioto Downs racetrack.  What a job.  Hahahaha.  It wasn’t nearly as glorious as it sounds.  But it bought pizza from Stardust pizza and it paid my cellular bill.  Pizza and cell phones are pretty important to a teenage boy.

There are so many things that made the 90’s an incredible time to live in.  Wiindows ’95 anyone?  Watching the Buckeyes basketball on television when they were disgustingly awful and praying for a miracle win.  Sometimes we’d get that win.  I’d savor the victory with a cheeseburger from Rally’s and a strawberry milkshake that mom would buy me on pay day.  Those were the days baby…..those were the days.

If you enjoyed this blog feel free to like, follow, share or re-blog!  Thanks for reading!

Perspective

I am going to keep this blog pretty brief because I have to be out the door soon, but I thought that maybe this little nugget of wisdom might help someone else as much as it is going to help me.  So even though I might be a little pressed for time I decided to write.

I was taking a shower earlier and the unthinkable happened.  As I was washing (what I have left) of my hair I was getting a little out of control with the shampoo suds.  I was being way too reckless and got some soap into my eyes and it started burning them.  I quickly started flushing my eyes with water because I didn’t want to leave the house looking like I had been crying all night.

It was at this point that I had a flashback.  I remembered back to a specific moment when I was a small child and my mother was giving me a bath.  I was probably 4 or 5 years old.  I don’t know if that’s too old to be getting a bath from mom, but at least I wasn’t like 15 years old or anything.  Anyway, I remember getting soap into my eyes when I was little.  I remember the panic, the pain and the sense of feeling totally lost.  I don’t know if anyone else ever felt like that when they were a kid and were doused in the face with a bunch of water.  But regardless I remember that I was petrified of getting my hair washed when I was small.

Then I thought to myself, Why is it that I am no longer afraid of getting soap in my eyes?  I had the realization that the primary difference between the panic I experience then and the annoyance that I experienced today was perspective.

After many times of getting soap in my eyes over the years I must have subconsciously realized that my eyeballs were not going to burn out of their sockets, or that I wasn’t going to drown when the water from the shower was hitting my face.  I had a different perspective.  What I know now keeps me from being frightened.  Knowing that the pain is only temporary allows me to not be afraid of it.

I think this line of thought can be taken to just about any area of life.  Why’s that?  Because Jesus said that in this life we would have trouble.  He guaranteed it actually.  But Jesus told us not to worry about the trouble because the trouble and the pain are only temporary.  I like this verse from the book of Matthew.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifee ?

28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

When you understand that no matter what you’re going to be okay one way or the other you don’t have to fear anything.  Not death, not pain, not sorrow.  God loves us and he promises that there will come a day when it will all be done away with anyway.  It’s this perspective that will keep us from being afraid and turn us into brave warriors.

If you like this blog please feel free to like, subscribe, share to Facebook or re-blog!  Thanks so much for reading!

Good Relationship Wisdom

I had this little quote today as I was driving down the road and it was so good that I thought I would put it on my blog.

“It’s a man’s duty to preserve the dignity of his woman.  It is the duty of a woman to honor her man.  When a man and a woman get together and the woman doesn’t respect or honor her man the relationship becomes toxic.  When the man doesn’t preserve the dignity of his woman it often ends in abuse and neglect.  When a woman gets with a man who has no regard for preserving his own honor and when a man starts dating a woman that isn’t interested in preserving her own dignity the relationship is doomed before it starts.”  – Matt Sams 2015

If you think that it is a good piece of wisdom please feel free to share it, re-blog it, like or comment.

Thanks!!!!!!

xoxo

Where Do I Belong?

I was sitting there drinking a mixed drink with about 3 shots of tequila.  And I suddenly got the urge to listen to some worship music.  Strange combination no doubt and I understand that you don’t relate to it.  I packed it in on my homework, a project worth 10% of my grade.  Flushed it and decided to get drunk.  Drinking on a Wednesday night?  I never do that but this night I just didn’t feel well; mentally and emotionally.  I just felt sad.  Sad for myself.  But the urge to listen to some worship music came over me.

I started listening to a song called “You Deserve the Glory”.  It’s one of my favorite worship songs of all time.  I could just get completely lost in it thinking about the awesomeness of God.  As I was listening to it I asked myself this simple question “Where do I belong?”  I am not happy with anything that I do.  I got a college degree and yet I’m not happy with school.  I own race horses yet I don’t find satisfaction with them.  I do all kinds of things that bring satisfaction from time to time.  I have a family that I love and would die for and yet I find myself in a hole with a feeling of heaviness; a deep heavy gray fog keeping me from feeling anything but depressed.  But something inside me said to listen to this song.

Where do I belong?  As I watched the video of people worshiping God I recalled the time that I went with a group to the Toronto Airport church for a big conference.  I experienced some very powerful things and I wondered for a time whether or not it was all in my own head that I was experiencing these things because I saw a lot of stuff that I just didn’t feel like it was God.  There were a lot of things going on that felt like people were putting on a Holy Ghost magic show and we complied just so we didn’t look like the odd man out.  But, after a lot of thought I believe that it’s only partially true.  I believe that it was in my head, but isn’t that where you experience God is in your head?  Yeah sure, he might do things in the world around us but we meet God in our minds.  We meet God in the deep recesses of our being which we call our heart.  So I still believe that those feelings of being glued to the carpet weeping like a force was holding me to the earth were the Holy Spirit.

So upset with myself.  I think I drink because I miss feeling the overwhelming experience of God’s presence.  There’s some candidness for you.  I think that the reason why I go out on the weekends and get trashed is because I have tried to cope with having stepped out of the place that God made for me.  It’s beyond disturbing to me.  It has driven me to the point of getting ripped apart drunk to try to feel something more.  How much do I miss being in God’s presence?  Enough to experience the awfulness the next day of barely being able to walk, and vomiting and headaches that are the aftermath of the weekend.  It doesn’t stop me.  Because wanting to feel something more than this life of highs and lows that keep you searching for little moments of happiness and validation like a rat getting little pieces of cheese in a huge maze means that much to me.  The rat gets just enough to keep him going.  That’s what I’ve done to myself.  All of these little goals and hobbies give me just enough satisfaction to keep hunting down the next euphoric highs of adoration of people.

It’s amazing to me that I feel like God has never abandoned me.  I am not a man who’s mind has been seared with an iron.  Some people go into a world of denial and try to make excuses for their debauchery and lechery.  I don’t make up excuses I just wish things were different.  I know that it’s as easy as deciding to be different but I have always struggled with the strength to overcome my weaknesses.  I operate differently than most people, which is what causes me so much harm I think.  What I mean is that I don’t like people encouraging me.  When people encourage me it makes me want to quit.  I’m not saying that I respond positively to criticism either.  I don’t like being pushed whether it is positively or negatively.  I motivate myself better than anyone else can motivate me.  That’s a lonely place though.  Because if I don’t figure this stuff out or somehow magically get the strength to overcome then I am in serious trouble.  I have prayed so many times for strength and I have failed over and over again.  I believe Jesus, I just don’t understand some things.

One time at church I was walking through a hallway and I heard someone in a room in the hallway say my name.  I stood outside the door where they were standing and I heard them talking to one or two other people and they said “God has great things planned for Matt Sams”.  It tears me up to think of those words now.  Because I look at myself as an incredible failure.  A man with immense talent to be anything he wanted to be and he didn’t have the discipline to even sniff success.  I won’t say who the person was in my blog but if you ever ask me privately I’ll tell you who it was because I’m sure it’s not a big deal to them if people knew that they were saying good things about me.  I just don’t want to embarrass them by showing people how wrong they were.

Now I know that the game isn’t over and i wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t trying to sort it out in my mind.  If I wasn’t very dissatisfied with my life as it is I wouldn’t be having these thoughts and feelings.  As I watched the worship clip that I posted above I kept thinking about how much I just wanted to be back in the flow of being around people that worshiped God.  People who weren’t control mongers.  So many good, God thirsting people have been ruined by control mongers in the church.  Not that I was one of those people, this was just a little side note.  I got bored at church.  I got bored with teaching.  I got bored with routines.  I need things to be different.  But the way I handled it has put me in a position that I don’t like.  A guy getting drunk on a Wednesday night.

Here’s another song in my head.

“The One”

I have tried to write this blog several times already over the past month or so and any time I try to write it another idea will pop into my head and I feel it’s more timely to write about other things.  But now it is time to dice up and cook up one of the ideas that has annoyed me over the years.  This is the idea of “the one”.

The idea that I’m talking about is the idea that there is one person out there in the world that is the perfect romantic partner for you.  It is the person that God has specially set aside for you.  It is the commonly held idea of the person that is just perfect for you.  And Ol’ uncle Matt has come to tell you wonderful people today that it is one of the stupidest ideas of all time.  I don’t mean to offend you if you believe this because I know that it is a sincerely held belief by people who mean no harm.  It is a deeply held belief by people who have been hurt or are eager to have a spouse, etc. etc.

First I would just like to say for the record that if you’re waiting for the perfect guy or girl you will be waiting quite a long time.  Why?  Because in all of my 32 years I have never met a perfect person.  The perfect person just doesn’t exist.  It’s like trying to find a unicorn, or the hunt for Red October…..Okay or maybe just like finding a unicorn.  I’m pretty sure they found the Red October but it took a communist defection for that to happen.  But other than hoping that your future spouse comes from like North Korea or whatever, maybe you should give up the idea.

I think the main thing that bothers me about the idea of “the one” is that I have always felt that it means that one person is better than another.  And perhaps one person might be better for you than another, but that’s not the way it ever comes off in conversation.  What I mean is that when I read or hear about people who are waiting for “the one” it is almost always coming from a place of bitterness.  Even if the person saying or writing these things doesn’t realize it.  I’ll give you an example:  When a person is talking about how high their standards are and how many times it never worked out.  Now they are just waiting on “the one” that God has for them.  This to me is a slight against everyone else.  Because when I hear this, what I’m hearing is “You’re not good enough.  They’re worth more than you”.  Now I know that might be coming from my own issues, but you have to admit that this is something that can be insinuated when a person says that God made one person for them.  But that’s not the only reason I dislike hearing people say it.

First off you are sinning by objectifying people like they will belong to you when in all reality they will never belong to you.  In your association with them there is exclusivity, but don’t mistake exclusivity for ownership.  I think that’s a mistake that a lot of people make.  You don’t own the person.  You might want to own them or have “mutual ownership” (which makes no sense to me because nothing in life is static so there will always be someone that has more or less love and more or less control).  You don’t own the mental and emotional part of them that makes them unique.  How do I know that?  Because when you die they aren’t obligated to be with you, more over I don’t think that they are able to be bound to you in the afterlife.  Like Jesus said, “None will marry, and none will be given to marriage.  They will be like the angels in Heaven.”  This tells me that the most important part of a person doesn’t belong to people, it belongs to God.  That emotional, mental and spiritual aspect of a person that makes you love them isn’t for you to have.  I know that sounds a little harsh so let me offset it by telling you some more things you don’t want to hear.

If you aren’t the type of person that has bitterness and using pride and arrogance to fuel you idea of “the one” then it’s most likely because you have been hurt.  The idea of the one is a coping mechanism for you.  You do it to give you hope.  And I need you to hear my heart right now because you’re probably making up a lot of excuses in your head as you read this so that you can try to discredit it in your own mind.  But the truth of the matter is that the reason why you have this ideal about the one is because you’re not close enough to God.  I’m not judging you because I know that I have my own issues that distance me from God.  But you need to understand that this idea is not a result of wanting a husband or wife.  This idea about the one is an idol.  It’s idolatry.  Please don’t conflate two issues.  Marriage is good, but this idea of the one is the elevation of man (or woman for that matter) into places they aren’t supposed to be elevated to.  Anyway, I need to go before another good idea pops into my head.