The only loser is someone who never even tries–that is my belief. I’ve been taking the steps to submit some photos to a stock agency. I say “steps” because I signed up for a course where they walk you through the process, step by step. So, rather than just submit photos I think are great, I am doing research to see what types of photos are accepted. I started to get negative earlier in the day because I see that there is a “test” involved in one agency. My automatic response (from years of negative conditioning) was, “Oh, I won’t pass the test and I won’t be able to even get out of the starting gate.” Then I said to myself, “Well, why even try at all. I’ll fail just like I always do.” Then that progressed to, “You’re just a loser.” My question is why do some people give up before they even try? I think it comes down to belief in yourself and that quality is the reason some people become an “overnight success” in the entertainment field after years and years of toiling away and just never giving up. That is the key to success in anything: perseverance, no matter how many rejections you receive. You have to take those rejections and turn them into positives by learning from them. So many people avoid rejection by just sticking with the tried and true–never taking chances. This way they never “fail”, but it has the exact opposite result; they never succeed. Yes, the only “loser” is someone who never tries, but also someone who stops believing in their abilities after a few rejections. You hear stories of well known authors who received so many rejections that probably anyone else would have just thrown in the towel and quit. But they refused to give up. So, to me, the only loser is a quitter.

Being Your Own Cheerleader

Sometimes, you have to be your own cheerleader. For the past two days I have fallen into the depression and hopelessness trap. That does not happen too often because of the amount of gratitude I have regarding my physical state compared to a year ago. But I get overwhelmed with all the steps involved in growing my blog. Today it came to a head, and all the old tapes started playing in my head, telling me I am a loser, and what are you doing this for, and who would even want to read your blog anyway–and on and on. But sometimes all it takes is a little hope and your attitude can turn around in an instant. I know that God is leading me someplace, but sometimes I don’t listen to the signs. It is no coincidence that I have gotten back into photography again, after all these years. My biggest problem is that I don’t believe in myself and I am always waiting for validation from others. In addition, when things get too difficult I just give up. I know from all my readings that you will never achieve anything if you don’t persevere. It all comes back to belief in yourself and not listening to the old negative voices in your own head from your childhood. I, for one, was told from an early age that I was “stupid” every day of my life by my father, until I believed it. As a result I lacked the self confidence to pursue a career in art, which is what I wanted. When you have no confidence, you never think you are good enough and go through your life settling. Granted, I did o.k. for myself, but at my stage in life I must start taking chances and trying to shed that inferiority I felt my whole life because I listened and, most importantly believed, the negativity from my parents. It is time to believe in myself, no matter if nobody else does. Yes if you don’t have a cheerleader (and lots of us don’t) you have to be your own.

Beyond the Grave

There are no coincidences in God’s world; sometimes when you think a relationship is dead it is resurrected by someone beyond the grave. When I was a kid, I used to spend so much time at Janet’s house that I was almost a family member. However, her older brother was such an annoying bully that I tried to avoid him when I could. She was nothing like him and as the years passed, and they both went their separate ways, their relationship became more and more fractured. There was so much animosity between them over the years, which grew and grew. Michael had a very dysfunctional relationship with his Mom, and was jealous of Janet as well because he felt she was the favorite. The last time Michael was at Janet’s house, he had a particularly violent argument with her husband. But this was just the culmination of years of misunderstanding and anger. After that Michael was banned from her home and they completely lost contact for years. But I guess her Mom had other ideas. Her Mom gradually began to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease and Janet dealt with this, eventually obtaining guardianship. At this point, she lived in Georgia and her Mom nearby in S.C. All this time, Janet lived in fear that her “crazy” brother would somehow come swooping down and cause trouble. He did not agree that she required care in an assisted living facility, but he never offered an alternative. Just before she died Michael got into a huge altercation with his Mom, while visiting her. He ended up driving away in anger leaving her standing outside of Walmart. He did come back for her but this was so horrifying to Janet and confirmed that he was still the same old loose cannon. But, she had not really heard the entire story. So, when her mom died at 85, Janet was sure that her “evil” nutcase brother would show up, demanding his share of her estate. But, the opposite occurred; he was strangely reasonable. Since there were estate matters that required both of their attention, she had to force herself to reestablish a relationship. When she absolutely had to call him, she always tried so hard to just leave messages and not speak to him directly. But, somehow, she ended up actually talking to him, and listening to his side of everything. They actually began a real relationship; one that they never had before. Over a period of months, they began to call each other, talking for hours about everything. If that was not miraculous enough, when Janet was diagnosed with MDS, she needed a perfect HLA match for the stem cell transplant. She asked him, not knowing if he would even get tested, and thinking he probably might not even be a match. Most often a same sex sibling is a match, but he agreed to be tested and turned out to be a perfect match. He has agreed to be her donor, and will effectively save her life. Recently they were both in Atlanta for some testing (where the SCT will be done) and her husband, Bill, took a picture. Janet texted it to me and it was so moving, seeing them both sitting close together and smiling. To make it even more perfect, Michael said, “Listen Bill. I just want to apologize for speaking to you like that the last time I was at your house.” Wow, that just about blew Janet away. Bill accepted and Michael and him were chatting throughout the evening. Who would’ve ever thought that would be possible? I told Janet that her Mom arranged that reunion. I think she is smiling down on them now, knowing that there is finally a bond. Coincidence? I don’t think so!