Today I got a guest post emailed to me by a super hot guy I know! I didn't even know he was working on it until it hit my inbox.
So from the desk of Shawn Birk . . .
Putting Yourself Out There
We all have done it, haven’t we? I am doing it right now, by writing this post. You see the great thing about putting yourself out there is the rawness of emotion. Its real, it’s sincere, it’s genuine, and for most, it is coming to a realization about one’s self. I am not really sure why I started to write about this, other than; it feels as if we all are hurting right now. We are hurting as a World, a Nation, as a Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Husband or Wife. So while being vulnerable and exposed is scary, I believe it is exactly what we ALL need, and we need it right now.
I want to enlighten us with words of inspiration, with insight that is so profound it can change the way that we view ourselves, our relationships, and beliefs of our own potential. Something said that completely changes the way we live, think, and more importantly speak and feel about each other. The truth is, I got nothing!
I could go on for days upon days about what is wrong with everyone else. My wife, my boss, my parents, my children, other people’s relationships…and definitely about strangers! I could from the outside, dissect and analyze everyone else’s problems, shortcomings and failures. That’s easy! Can I do the same about myself? Not a chance. When we look inward, it’s a whole different ball game. So let’s play ball. Let’s get real. Put yourself out there, because by doing that, by being meek and humble, the real process of change begins.
For the last year I have been an interested spectator, in what has turned out to be a very…well…let’s say unique election year. I have watched, listened and have been sickened by the tone and example that our “leaders” display. We have witnessed constant disrespect, dishonesty, disingenuous, and disgusting rhetoric that has become somehow acceptable in our daily interactions as a Nation. Two things… one, those were lots of disses, and two, how far have we fallen as a God loving, God fearing Nation? It has affected me in ways that I really haven’t realized until now. You see the most disturbing part of watching the elections play out on the National stage has been coming to a realization that my own life has mimicked the state of our Nation.
What do I mean by that, you may ask?
In a lot of ways I am jaded; ineffective, intolerant, unwilling to compromise or change…I have for all intents and purposes become The United States of America. It is hard to look at myself and think that I share a lot of attributes that I find so repulsive in our society currently. I don’t want to be this, I don’t want to look for the negative first, I don’t want to unleash a preemptive attack in order to protect myself. I don’t want to build a “wall” in order to keep others out of my bubble, I don’t want to live a life that only appreciates and understands those who think like me. I don’t want to be dishonest; I don’t want to destroy my relationships with others. I don’t want to be that guy, but the thought of being rejected, not understood, not loved, not appreciated and valued seems to drive a lot of these behaviors.
So what does this have to do with putting yourself out there? EVERYTHING!
For me, putting myself out there means that I acknowledge my own “stuff”. Recognizing when I hurt others by sharp words, or when my pride has hindered my ability to mend a relationship. When I place my own interests above others, or fail to compromise. The list goes on and on, but until we can humble ourselves and for one second forget the “what about me” mentality, the change will never happen.
The amazing thing about this life and journey is we have the power to change; we can reinvent our lives and rewrite our story. I have the ability right now to decide that I will speak a little bit kinder, that I will be more understanding, more forgiving, empathetic, more Christ like. Instead of looking for fault, I will find virtue, instead of being quick to anger; I will be quick to forgive. Instead of tearing down, I will build up, instead of being selfish; I will be selfless, because after all I am my brother’s keeper.
So today, our Nations election day is a day of renewal, a day of hope, and a day of change. When we all commit to being better than we were yesterday, treating others with respect, understanding, compassion and love, the change is inevitable.