The thought today is about MOTIVATION….and how we motivate others/are motivated by others.

There have been times in my life that I have been motivated by someone making me so angry that I was gonna prove them wrong or die trying! And maybe that was their intent–a little reverse psychology.

While this can work, and sometimes this sort of ‘rough love’ is needful, sometimes it can be more harmful than productive. There have been some ‘interventions’ in my life by others that really spoke to what they feared most to be true about themselves–so by confronting it in me, they were in a way, doing so in their own lives.

The problem with this sort of messy intervention, is sometimes it works, but mostly, it alienates. Years later, you might realize what the person’s actions motivated you to do, but at what cost to the relationship with them? At what benefit?

There have ALSO been times when someone has BELIEVED in me, steadfastly supported me, not just saying meaningless stuff, but speaking to the things that were true about the situation and about me.

That is an incredible motivator—but sometimes it is a slow-acting one.

When you speak belief into another person’s life, it can act as a healing balm that soothes many dry places in the soul.

And sometimes (I know it is true with me) sometimes, you have to get used to being believed in! Depending on your journey, a person might be so used to degradation, cynicism, picky fault-finding and perfectionistic expectations that when confronted by something different, someone speaking faith in their lives, it kind of blows them away! What is going on here?

In this season of my life, I tend to surround myself with people of the second variety, speakers of positivity and truth, rather than doomsayers and ‘kicking you in the seat for your own good’ type of people. Either behavior can be taken too far. We can ‘positive’ others into a place of where the Emperor truly has no clothes but thinks they are splendidly arrayed. Or we can ‘negative’ people into a place of depressive despondency where they feel weighed down and feel no need to try.

How will you motivate others today? I think there is a time and a place for everything. A time to motivate by love and steadfast support, and yes, even a time to motivate by kicking butt. Which will you do today? There is a lot to be gained by having some insight into our hearts when we proceed in acting towards others. Is this really for them, or is it for us? Is this action to fulfill a deep inner need we are not aware of, or deny, or are we truly being altruistic?

Some of the most dominant, and yes, bullying people are often also the most frightened people. By attacking the qualities they most hate about themselves in others, they deny this shadow side further. Good can come, but sometimes at great cost to both the person and the people they attempt to change.

Today, I will try to motivate others for good, as I try to self-motivate to make my own life more effective. But I will also try to ask myself what really is going on in the situation. What is BACKING my desire to act in a certain way. Why am I doing what I am doing? Is for others, or is it really for me?

One of my favorite counseling analogies about lying to oneself is that of putting a lace doily on pile of excrement. We may have made it look good, but underneath, it still STINKS. What are our motivations?

This is a question I seek to answer for myself as I go out in the world today. Here’s hoping you do too–and that your motivating, speaks healing balm to the souls of others.  


My, My, Hey, Hey (Is Obstruction here to stay?)

My my, hey hey……..stupidity is here to stay.

Or at least I think so.

We’re on Day Two of government shut down. We have Senator Cruz quickly making himself the most hated person in Congress…..and Kentucky’s own, “Randomly Appalling” proving why his mother really shouldn’t have consumed alcohol during her pregnancy. (No, I don’t know if she did, but something has to explain his childish, sadly predictable, and frankly, sometimes frightening lack of logic.)

The brutality of these adult temper tantrums has yet to make its total, horrible impact. I’ve skimmed the long lists of deprivations to see just part of what programs are/will be suffering—and it is vast, folks. However, the main problem is the failure for the above gentlemen to see what their casual approach to solving this man-made crisis is doing to their constituents.

800,000 is a big number. Of anything. 800,000 doughnuts would make a lot of happy cops. 800,000 cars (roughly what it feels like are on Nicholasville Road when I’m trying to get from my church into the lane towards Wilmore and home) are a lot of vehicles.

800,000 dollars would buy a lot of meals for people who, thanks to certain politicians will now have their food supply cut, to encourage them to get out there and work, (literally the most inhumane and frankly sinful thing I’ve heard of lately.)

And then there are 800,000 people. Federal employees who will be directly impacted by the extended ‘naa-naa-na naa naa’ going on which led to government shutdown yesterday.

I think that President Obama, for the life of me, has the world’s worst job. He has to be a parent to the biggest bunch of spoiled brats since Nellie and Willie Olson on Little House on the Prairie. He has to have the patience of a saint, the wisdom of Sherriff Andy Taylor, and the hide of your average ox. And that’s just been up to recently. For the last two days, he has had to let Congress experience the consequences of their actions. Consequences which are far reaching.

Much like the parents of an unruly teen, tired of saying “you do that one more time and I will….” our President is at the moment of truth. He has to let bad things happen to good people so that for once and for all, the Republican and Tea Party extremists are shown to be exactly what they are: short-sighted, narrow-minded obstructionists, more interested in playing up to big-money lobbies than caring for the people they were elected to serve.

And the math isn’t really all that hard, folks—even for a dyslexic like me. 1+1=COOPERATION. This really isn’t about Democrats, Tea Partiers, or Republicans anymore. This is about ‘we, the people’ who this warring Congress seem to have suddenly forgotten about in their desire to have the last word.

Solutions? I have few ideas. Encourage every literate American to write a letter to their respective Congressperson DEMANDING that a compromise be reached. Stating (and fully intending to follow through) that the elected official will be held accountable (by withholding a vote) at the appropriate time when they run for re-election. Get on the phone and flood their offices with the same comment. Write blogs, write letters to the editor, exercise your ability as a citizen with free speech to protest this lunacy.

I am not sure if he has the authority, but I would love to see President Obama, in his unwanted parental role, to suspend the ‘allowances’ (all salaries) of Congress until an agreement is reached. Even of the ‘good guys’ standing up for ACA. If the 800,000 (plus the untold others being affected) should suffer, then why not several hundred adult children who apparently had enough social skills to get elected, but choose not to communicate effectively.

I would like to see nightly updates by the President, on all four major television networks, that take away the ability to watch the nightly reality show, the latest sports battle, the latest game show. That keep Americans from watching who is the best dancer, singer or wanna be-star. That pre-empt advertising. That should effectively aggravate enough uninformed/and informed people to get a few million more phones ringing in D.C.

I’d like to see the President ‘send Congress to their rooms’ by suspending vacations, holidays and ending any other recess (I would say bathroom breaks, but maybe that’s cruel) until a compromise could be made. Make attendance by all congress people mandatory by fining each lawmaker who does not show up, or tries to leave early.

Could obstruction of justice be an appropriate charge to be levied? It is certainly an obstruction of justice to make 800,000 go on furlough when they have bills to pay and families to support. Maybe a little jail time would make Senators Paul and Cruz a bit more receptive to acting like mature adults? What about a grass-roots demand to have obstructing politicians impeached?

Does this sound a bit, dictatorish? Maybe….but the time has come to put up or shut up. Congress has a job to do. They need to do it. For the good of the people. If they can’t (or won’t) do it, they need to feel some real time consequences.

Stupidity and toddler-like stubbornness seem to be the one constant in our current governmental universe. The Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court, who is supposed to have the final say. Yet, like petulant children, legislators continue to have a (only way to say it) pissing contest over whose ideology will have the final say.

It is time for Congress to remember who they work for and get the government running again. It has to be difficult for the President to see millions suffer or potentially suffer for the sins of a foolish few, but hopefully this grandstanding behavior will be the final straw which breaks the backs of obstructionists.

Readers (if I still have any at this point,) call, write, email your congressperson TODAY and demand an end to this tomfoolery. Remind them that YOU, the people, sign their pay-check. It is time, past time, for the obstruction to end.