Life will hand us as much as we can take. If we choose to deal with it, to believe that we are capable, a multitude of options open up. If we don’t, then we will deny ourselves the right to shape our future.

What makes us unique and so different from other animals, is our ability to make long term goals. We have the power, in large part, to determine our future so well that we’ve moved to the very top of the food chain. Its become really comfortable up here at the top, and many of us have lost the will or reason to live; in fact, many of us don’t know what living really is. We’ve stopped having goals, we have given in to sloth and become an animal that nature would have weeded out long ago if it weren’t for the safety of our cities and our separation from the wild.

Acknowledging the truth, and further, taking responsibility for our part in it, gives us the ability to understand how we can change it. Instead, we often look for a excuse as to why things aren’t how we like them, why we did or didn’t do something. We often lay the blame elsewhere, which really is like putting our goals, our fate,  in someone else’s hands. Our immediate need to be happy or comfortable is getting in the way of our great dreams.  We have learned to deal with life by running away from pain, coping with a short term solution like smoking, drinking, eating… you name it.

Only when we are forced to feel, through some situation or circumstance which we can not control, do we understand the power of the truth. At this point we are at a crossroads. We can blame others for our fate, or we can see our part in it. If we choose to blame, we won’t know which way is up or where to turn. If we decide instead to face it head on we will see what we can do about it and open our options.

Let’s not wait for life to throw us a curve ball that we can’t hit, lets make the rules and be the pitcher. Let’s look the hard truths in our lives right in the face and laugh or cry, whatever, but take responsibility for what and who we are. It is what it is, and nothing more. Keep it simple and realize that you are the master of your journey; don’t ever leave that in someone else’s hands.

A major long term goal of mine has been my 2nd degree, which after much hard work, I earned last week. With the help of Master Buckley, my sifu Ms. Newman, my training partners Ms. Dominguez and Mr. Lee,  and a great dummy by the name of Ms. Berch, I finally did it. That took nearly 4 1/2 years; this writing came together as i was ironing on my new stripes.

Gumsaba Boot Campers, you are also to be thanked. Your commitment to yourself, your loved ones,  and the inspiration you provide me each day of the week are a part of who I have become. I am eternally thankful for your support!

2nd Degree Black