Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

A Personal Story

A Personal Story 

Let me tell you a personal story.

Several years ago a friend of mine was driving me someplace. I don’t remember where, and it doesn’t matter. We were laughing and talking about who knows what. Probably the kind of things men talk about when it is only men, which means sex. It was a perfect summer day. The sky was crystal blue without a cloud from horizon to horizon and the sun was warm, but not hot.

As he was driving he began to steer the car toward the curb and decrease his speed. Since I was always on the alert, due to the kind of life I was living, I immediately began to evaluate the situation. I know he sensed the rising tension within me, because his next words were, “Relax Steve, I only want to ask you one question.”  I still wasn’t entirely convinced, but this was my best friend. He knew all about what I did to earn my seven-figure a year income, because he was my right-hand man in the organization I had built. While I always kept at least a few things to myself as insurance, he knew enough, and was as deeply involved as I was, which was a kind of insurance in and of itself. Of course there was always the threat he might want to take the quick route to the top of the food chain, but I didn’t believe he had it in him to pull the trigger, at least not at close range in the front seat of his car. Nonetheless, it was always good to be cautious, so my right hand inched slowly to the inside of my jacket.

When the car had come to a stop, he reached over and shut off the engine. The stereo died and all I could hear was the rush of traffic along the freeway and my heart beat, pounding a mile a minute. He shifted his weight in the seat and turned to face me. The look on his face is still crystal clear in my mind over three decades later, as I heard him ask,

“Steve, don’t you think it would have been better for all of us, if you had never been born?”

I felt like all the oxygen had suddenly been sucked out of the car. There was a ringing in my ears, more than likely from the sudden surge of adrenaline. I was engulfed in the most complete silence I have ever experienced. I no longer heard the cars as they whizzed by. Nor did I hear the birds chirping in the nearby trees. It was just the ringing and the vast silence.

I don’t recall what I stammered out, but his question hit the mark. I carried that question with me. During quiet moments I would take it out and think about it. What was my worth? Why am I alive? What is this thing we flippantly refer to as life? What am I doing here? Why am I here?

It would be many more years before I would have my “life revelation” and find the answer to those questions.  Those were dark years. Not that I didn’t learn from them, I did. But I learned the hard way.

Now I am far removed from the events of those years. I have created an entirely different person from the one who lived in those times. One of my readers once wrote and said I was “plagued” by my past. I’ve given considerable thought to that sentiment. I believe the reader is/was wrong. I am not “plagued” by the choices I once made. I am well aware of them and the impact they had on me and others at the time.  But the operative word in the last sentence is “had.” No longer am I governed by those actions. I have a deep passion to help others find their True Path in life. I have discovered we only get a set number of years and wasting them by floundering around seeking our direction is counter productive to what we want to accomplish.

But plagued? No way! I have triumphed over that life! I have come out on the other side victorious! I did so with the patience and love of the one I am now married to. She saw the possibilities. She had/has the faith.

This post is difficult to end. I don’t have a nice and tidy wrap-up. I am not inclined to rally the troops and lead you in any type of charge. I just want you to know if your love is filled with drama, more or less it doesn’t matter, there is hope. You can change. I can show you how.

Or if you have that person in your life who no matter what you do, they never change. You have poured time, money, effort, prayers, and everything else you could think of into their lives and they never change. I can tell you not to give up hope. There is and always will be the possibility, even up to and including the moment they draw their last breath, that they can change.

I know…I use to be one of them.

I am always available to talk… or 812-314-1358.

Be encouraged!


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38 thoughts on “A Personal Story

  1. OneHotMess on said:

    I love this post. I have a past, too, and at one point I am certain few had hope I’d have a future. But, I did, and I do have a happy and healthy present. Never give up hope. People can, and do, change every day!

    • You go girl…and congratulations for turning your life around…and the happy and healthy present. Isn’t it wonderful that people can and do change? We must never give up hope on anybody, because we simply have no way of telling when a person may make the decision.

      Be encouraged!

  2. You obviously proved that sentence wrong by choosing to live a different life. I wonder how many of us who’ve lived dark years have thought that sentence about ourselves or heard someone else ask it? We all have such incredible potential when we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for our choices. There are a lot of encouraging people put in our path along the way if we pay attention. Thank you for being one of them to me.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read, then write your comment. I am always amazed at how we are in many cases, not all, but many, our own worst enemies. Facing that is not easy and knowing what to do after we face is even more difficult, but it is possible. The way we think has so much to do with how and who we are.

      I am humbly grateful if anything I have ever written has brought you light and encouragement.

      As a side note…Susie and are thinking about taking our show on the road. We are talking with people now about doing a series of speaking engagements to help others have hope.

      Be encouraged!

  3. There’s no doubt that, once again, you have come up with a thought-provoking post! And once again I have to think about it. 🙂

    • Jane you take all the time you need to “think” about it…however, may I make a few suggestions that I can assure you will make the entire process go much smoother:

      1) Prepare an large ice-cold tumbler filled to the brim with your favorite beverage.
      2) Find a supremely comfy place to recline.
      3) Put your feet up.
      4) Scratch the occasional itch.
      5) Read/Think until the tumbler is empty.
      6) Refill tumbler and make potty stop.
      7) Repeat as necessary until all ideas have been exhausted.

      While I confess these suggestions might seem a tad rudimentary, I can assure you they go a long way toward making the process a vastly enjoyable experience.

      Have fun. 🙂

      Be encouraged!

      • Having just read your more recent 2 posts, including a remarkably mellow approach to ambition right after a post with an illustration of a backstabber, I find myself back here! It’s the idea of someone saying the world would be better off without you, and that apparently this wasn’t altogether a surprise to you that stays with me. I was pleased read Ambition and feel that whatever (the hell) you were doing at one time, you are in a far more balanced place now! Phew!!

      • Actually Jane, it was not a surprise to me when my best friend asked his question. It was one I often asked myself. Having another person ask you, however took it to another level.

        I am an ex-drug dealer. I left home at the age of 15. My first drug deal netted me over $24,000 for about 2 hours of work and an investment of $40. Within 4 years I was making over $1,000,000 annually and my living expenses exceeded $33,000 a month. Of course, over the next decade I accumulated over 30 arrests.

        I was 38 years old when I had my “life revelation” and realized my future included either life imprisonment or early death. For the last twenty years I have made every effort to insure young people do not make the same mistakes. I have also found I can address less than young folks with a message about hope and how everyone has the power to change their life.

        Be encouraged!

      • Nice to have you being part of the solution!

      • I’m definitely trying…thanks… 🙂

        Be encouraged!

  4. WOW. This post took MY breath away.

  5. What a question to hear from your best friend. Ugh. Well, you always have good stories, Stephen. Fables, I usually call them. Good for you for your turnaround. We never really know where we will be taken in this life. The twists and turns are amazing, sometimes. And you’re right– hope is essential. I guess I’d be dead without it.
    Thanks Stephen, and hi to Susie and Jake. ~ Lily

    • Oh Lily so good to hear from you again…and with such gracious words…I am grateful.

      Susie and Jake TWD say Howdy.

      BTW…we have opened our home to a rescue kitty we call Zip (it would take you about 1.3 seconds to see why we have picked this name for her) and Callie a morbidly obese husky…she was so heavy when we got her she could hardly walk and couldn’t get up steps…this morning she walked 2.2 miles with Jake TWD and I. So we have renamed her Callie the Sleek.

      Be encouraged!

  6. Everybody can change if they truly want to; I firmly believe that and your story is testament to this. It takes great strength to battle old habits and fight through hardships (I know, I’ve been there) but inner strength will always pull you through.

    Be proud. You have every right to be 🙂

    • Thank you for such warm and gracious words…you are entirely right about our inner strength…as a whole we the people sorely under estimate the power within…as Susie (my wife) once said, “We are already equipped for what we need to do.” That statement contains great Truth and Power.

      Be encouraged!

  7. free penny press on said:

    Great thought provoking post.. sort of a WAKE-UP write.. While I am not proud of past choices in no way do I feel invaluable as a human being. I firmly believe I was meant to live through those events to be the woman I am today..

    • Isn’t it great…the things which are meant to tear us down and doubt our self-worth, can also be the very foundation for us to begin to build a life of success…glad you are making it…keep making those right choices…they are like seeds…and you always harvest far more than you planted.

      Be encouraged!

    • I quite agree. I’ve made some poor choices in my life and have survived parental neglect, marital violence, an eating disorder, alcoholic partners, deliberate starvation by a husband, homelessness and many other things. I firmly believe that I went through all I did so that I could appreciate where I am today – happily married, living in a beautiful town with wonderful in-laws and a beautiful garden. Never mind that I’m disabled; I still live a very rich and satisfied life.

      My grandmother always told me that everything happens for a reason… and she was right 🙂

      • I know in the whole world wide web the likelihood of people ever meeting are slim, but there are a few my wife and I would like to know…not for any other reason than just to look one another in the eye and explain our love for them. We read about others lives and feel this huge desire to just sit and talk. You are one of them…we are so happy to read you are doing well.

        Be encouraged!

  8. Wow! What a great testament to how people CAN change. Thank you for believing in yourself enough to turn things around for yourself. You’re amazing, and I’m thankful you’re a friend! In the words of someone I know…”be encouraged!” 🙂

  9. You tell your life story so well and in such a compelling way, I can only imagine how good your book is going to be when it’s finished!

    • Karen, I thank you for your wonderfully kind and gracious words…but let me tell you writing is freakin’ hard. It is labor…I am the re-write king. I thought I would be able to sit down and the words would simply pour out and then everyone would be impressed.

      Well I’ve aced the “sit down” part, but the rest of it is giving me fits. The words pour out, but yuck!…what a mess. I write something, read it, re-write, re-read, re-re-write, re-re-read, re-re-re-write, re-re-re-read…you are a smart woman, I know you get the picture.

      I devour every piece of advice you give in your blog…and still, I don’t believe this book will be done until the year 2525.

      With all of this said, I should add, I’m having the time of my life. For authors who make it appear so easy…I bow down. While the writing is strenuous, I somehow find a way to enjoy every second of it. Nothing is better (well…okay maybe a few things) than nailing a piece you are writing. You get it just right. The words carry your meaning, it is concise, they literally sing off the page, and I have a smile on my face you couldn’t knock off with a 12 pound sledgehammer.

      Karen thanks for writing me…I know this is a tad longer than the usual reply, but you caught me in one of those moments when the only nailing I’ve done is to my thumb, who knows what I mean, the words wander like a Dead-head with a fresh load of hash, they croak off the page, and the sledgehammer feels like it is hitting below the waist and above the knees.

      Momma said there would be days like this…and I still love it.

      Be encouraged!

      • I’m in that same space of editing and re-editing and wondering if it will ever end. Life you, I’m also having a wonderful time with all sorts of writing projects and am grateful for those days when the words sing. Thanks for your longer reply. You made me smile and I enjoyed reading it! 🙂

      • Thanks Karen…and best wishes to you on your writing projects.

        Be encouraged!

  10. You are an absolute fighter, for coming back to life is not an easy thing!
    But i also made out something else from this post…..success, money, position makes us so insecure, i mean you can’t even trust your own best friends!I so hate the ‘success’ of this world, makes me feel insecure, lonely!

    • The ‘success” of the world is a twisted, messed up thing. I am a firm believer in true success does not look anything like the way it is portrayed in the media/culture/society/world.

      Be encouraged!

  11. livvy1234 on said:

    I was mesmerized by your story. Thank you for sharing a pivotal point in your life.

    • I’m fortunate that you found my story interesting. Many times as we write (I know I’m preaching to the choir) we wonder if anything we are saying will touch someone. We think, we ponder, we worry, we re-write, we re-re-write, we pray, we hope somehow, someway, just one person will read what we’ve labored over and it will mean something to them.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment…it is good for the soul. 🙂

      Be encouraged!

  12. very nice post dear!

    lovely encouraging ideas!

    shall be reading more of you!

  13. How good for you and yours. I believe most of us come to a cross-roads of some sort where we can choose life in abundance, often involving great change through a fast growth spell, or we can choose to remain unenlightened, unchanged, uninvolved, and disinterested. Hopefully the latter will get a 2nd chance, but they shouldn’count on it! Thankfully I got 2 chances. I never made full use of the first, but made some progress. The second has led to renewed, reviralised, reengergised, recreated life in abundance! Gloriously! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your gracious words…mostly we are just in shock…our team is still periodically doing the happy dance…of course we have to figure out what step to take next…but at least we will have some expert direction.

      Be encouraged!

  14. freethewronged on said:

    I rarely ever comment but I do follow this blog because I seem to find that feeling of hope, and a different way of thinking especially on days I feel there is no hope. I am not easily moved believe me, but this is the one place I can come and feel like its all going to be okay!

    • You know why you feel like it’s going to be okay?…because I’ve been through all the not okay stuff and know in my heart that there is another side…I’m intimately familiar with the yuck…but a couple decades ago I decided maybe being my own worst enemy wasn’t the best way to approach life…especially when life seemed to be a lot longer than I first imagined…so here I am on a one man crusade to change the world…btw you are more than welcome to join…then it will be two of us trying to change the world…now only 6,999,999,998 more to go. 🙂

      Be encouraged!

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