29 Nov 2013

Does This Shirt Make My Butt Look Big?

Self esteem. Where does our opinion of what we think we should look like come from? Today we are surrounded with images that tell us how we should look to be considered beautiful.

We are bombarded with pictures and images that tell us to reach for an false standard to be considered beautiful. This if for both men and women: Women are shown as tall, thin, perfect hair, complexions and bodies. Men are to have the chiseled face, six pack abs, a golden tan and a full head of hair. Why? Who tells us we need to look like this to be beautiful!

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

There is nothing wrong with wanting to “look good”, be fit, exercise and strive to be the best person you can be. In fact, every one of us should strive to be the best we can and reach our full potential with the gifts and talents we were given. But do it for yourself and your own health and well being not because society says you need to look a certain way to be considered beautiful. It is a lie!

By reaching for a standard that is not real you set yourself up for failure and disappointment every time. This in turn will destroy your self-esteem. You will never think your are good enough when nothing but the opposite is the truth.

“The mind is like a fertile garden. It will grow anything you wish to plant – beautiful flowers or weeds… Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.” – Bruce Lee

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”

I know many of you are made to feel inadequate by others that think they are better than you, but if someone truly loves who they are they would not feel the need to tear others down. Those mean spirited people have their own self esteem issues. In order to feel better about themselves they attack and ridicule others. “At least I’m better than them” is what they need to think.

Don’t buy in to the lie and give others power over you and your happiness. Love your self and know that your are beautiful!

You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

You’re Not Alone: Reason #1

You’re Not Alone because no matter what you are going thru, some one, some where has gone through something similar and they found a way to deal with it, face it and come out on the other side. I know these words will not make the pain go away or necessarily make the pain any easier to endure but perhaps they will provide some hope that whatever you are going through it is only temporary and you can conquer it.

Now, there may not be anyone you know right now going through what you are dealing with but I promise you that everyone around you has something they are trying to cope with. Perhaps they don’t like themselves, their family is dysfunctional, they don’t know how they are going to live with the pressure to succeed or the expectations to be a certain way, they want to be accepted by their piers and/or family, they don’t understand why bad things happen, what meaning is there in life, they feel alone, angry, lonely, confused and just want to be understood and loved.

This is what the name Also-Me represents. You can turn to anyone around you, in a room of five people or five hundred people and say Also-Me (me too), I’m confused, hurt, angry, insecure, depressed, need help, feel overwhelmed some times, want some one I can talk to, just want to be happy and know what to do next. Everyone and I mean everyone, not matter how popular/unpopular, what they look like, rich or poor, young or old, doesn’t matter the color of their skin or where they live, everyone has something they are trying to deal with. If someone tells you they don’t have something they are lying to you and themselves.

The difference is that some people accept that they need help and struggle. They aren’t afraid to admit it, stand up and say I can’t do it alone, I need help. It isn’t easy to do, you risk people judging you and once you admit you need help you become accountable for doing something about it.

Don’t be afraid others will judge you if you ask for help. Everyone has something, don’t worry about those that aren’t able or willing to admit it, be brave enough to face what is yours and do something about it!

Remember, You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013

Show me what I’m looking for!

I’d like to share a recent experience with you. As many of you may know Lynn (my wife) and I were in a motorcycle accident while on the 1000 mile for the Also-me fundraiser. As a result of the accident we were not able to complete the ride and Lynn spent a week in the Roanoke, VA hospital being treated for 5 broken ribs, a broken scapula and some mild road rash. While her injuries were not life threatening, they were and are very painful. The accident was my responsibility. If I had made the turn and controlled the motorcycle she would not have been hurt. While I was fine physically, this event had a significant emotional impact on me.

Lynn and I have faced many obstacles the last 3 ½ years. In addition to coping with the crime my son committed and all of its fall out, there have been significant financial challenges, family issues, illnesses and other situations that have stretched us beyond anything we thought we would ever have to face. All the while we have stayed strong and faithful.

Now I know there are many of you that have no time for faith, God or “religion”. All I want to do is share with you my experience and how I was helped. In addition to my faith, I have also spent many hours with therapists and psychologists to help me cope with the emotional issues from numerous events in my life such as: the anger and confusion from my childhood, the failure of my first marriage and the crime of my son. As always, I implore you to seek help, whether it is faith based or not, with whatever you are struggling with. You’re Not Alone!

Lynn had been taken out of the room for some follow up x-rays. For the last few days I had been beating myself up very badly because of the accident and how I was responsible for hurting Lynn. This put me in a place I had not been in for a long time: There were feelings of doubt about my faith.  I felt like I couldn’t take any more stress.  Why was this happening?  I felt extreme guilt for my role in hurting Lynn.  Sitting there alone with my thoughts I decided to ask for some answers. The only book in the room was the Bible. I took it out of the drawer, sat on the pull out bed I had been using and held it between my hands. I closed my eyes, cleared my mind and prayed for God to help me with my doubts about Him. The verse John 3:18 entered my mind. I turned to it and read “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” NIV. Well that couldn’t have addressed my doubt any more clearly!

I still needed more help. So, I closed the Bible and my eyes again. Once again holding the Bible between my hands I prayed: What is going on? What do I do with all of this? How do I cope? Psalms 18:18 entered my mind. Turning to it I read “They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.” NIV. I was amazed, such a simple but powerful message on how to deal with the challenges in our lives!

That left just one more question I was wrestling with. What is MY deal? Why do I struggle? What is the biggest problem I must personally over come? Once more I closed the Bible, held it in my hands and prayed for something that would help me understand. The verse 1 Samuel 2:3 came to me. I had no idea what this would say, turning to it I found “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows and by him deeds are weighed.” NIV

Wow! This hit home. The over confidence in my gifts and abilities has long been a stumbling block I trip over. The thought that I can “control” a situation, “handle it” on my own is still a burden I must lay down.

In my moment of doubt and need I humbled myself and asked for help and received it. My hope is that perhaps this will help some of you. Whatever it is, remember, you can get help through it. Ask for help. You’re Not Alone!

29 Nov 2013


Here at Also-Me we’ve adopted S.C.A.R.S. – Simple Conversations About Real Stuff – as a theme for the blog and this section of the site.  We believe this will help everyone realize something extremely important, You’re Not Alone!

The first thing we want to discuss is…

What are SCARS?

Let’s look at some definitions: lasting signs of damage, either mental or physical; marks left by a healed wound OR a wound or a hurt.

Do you have any SCARS?  I know I do.  Often we don’t want to admit it, but we all have SCARS.  It doesn’t matter who you are, I promise you, everyone has SCARS.  You can look at anyone around you and say “also-me”. I’ve been hurt, I have doubts, I feel alone or lost,  I don’t like myself, I don’t like my life, I don’t understand why things are the way they are, I want more and many more struggles that leave SCARS.

Some SCARS may be deeper and larger than others; perhaps they are new and still healing or perhaps the wounds are so deep you feel the SCARS may never heal?  The one thing I am certain of is You’re Not Alone!

No matter what you are going through someone else has gone through it and made it out on the other side.  They have not only survived, but conquered it and thrived.  You can do it to.  You’re Not Alone!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had to face the divorce of my parents, issues with anger, the breaking up and failure of my first marriage, mistakes and failures as a father and the tragedy of what my oldest son did, amongst many other things.  I could focus on the bad things and the mistakes in my life.  They have all left SCARS, but it is what I do with these SCARS that matters.  Do I let them dominate my attitude or do I take something from each experience and become a stronger person?  You have the same choice!

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.   You’re Not alone!

19 Nov 2013


Selfishness – devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.

We struggle with why there is so much pain in the world? Why do people hurt us? Why do we hurt others?

So often it stems from selfishness. What we want is the most important thing. We deserve it. We should have it. It isn’t fair that someone else has more than we do. If we just had more or something different we’d be happy. I deserve to be happy and no one has the right to keep me from what I want. Unfortunately, acting out of selfishness will never make us “happy”. The “happiness” it brings is only temporary. It’s an illusion that traps us. We will never experience true happiness at the cost of another.

It’s time we take a look at ourselves and the decisions we make. Nearly every one of the negative parts of our lives can be traced to one thing in one form or another… selfishness! It may be our own selfishness or the selfishness of another.

Why do we want, want, want…? It isn’t only about money and material things. It can be about what we do with our time. Do we share it with others or do we make it all about ourselves? What about our family? Do we want to keep them to ourselves or share them with others? Many of us, myself included, come from broken families where there are step parents, ex spouses, extended families and friends. We need to “share” our loved ones. By being selfish we put what we want in front of the welfare of others.

This carries over into our careers, relationships and families. There is nothing wrong with wanting something or doing things for ourselves. However, when we lose perspective of its “importance” we need to look a long hard honest look at ourselves. Why is it that we want something so much? Is it really important? Whom are we going to hurt? Where can we give to others? How can we treat others the way we want to be treated? What can we do to share a little happiness?

If we looked at others and put them in front of our own desires how different would the world be? The world, our country, our cities and our families would be so different. If we would simply take selfishness and turn it upside down and instead practice “excessive giving”, what a world we would have!

Put selfishness in the trash bin where it belongs! Begin a movement of “excessive giving”. We all have something we can give or share with others: it may be as simply as a kind word; perhaps it is money, our time, our talents or some small random act of kindness. Whatever it is, we all have the ability to “give excessively”. So, let’s do it and change our lives!

“The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.
” Lao Tzu

You’re Not Alone!


16 Nov 2013

How To Save A Life

by The Fray

16 Nov 2013

With My Own Two Hands

by Ben Harper