All My Bags Are Packed

Whelp, it has been about 3 weeks since my first counseling appointment, I have not scheduled another one yet. Mostly because of the holidays and the hustle-bustle of it all. I am here, I survived the holidays. Much as you did as well, obviously. They were good. It was good to see family, spend time with friends, and rest. I look back on the past few weeks to try and see what is different. What I have now that I did not have before. I do not know if I have anything now that I did not have before. I process and think and ask myself, “Why do I feel different?” 

I have no good answer. And I do not feel different all the time. I generally feel better, but not great. I still dip low, I am not living in the low points anymore.

Truly, when I compare what I have now to what I had before, I only have information. Powerful information. However, information and head knowledge only. Shocking how much this can do for me. Thrilling, really. I have the opportunity to move forward through learning more about myself. For me, this means that I can break free from the oppression of baggage. I choose whether or not my baggage controls me. 

I am beginning to ask myself, “Do I choose to have or not to have baggage?” 

For me, my baggage has not altered my brain chemistry. I have issues, no doubt about it; but,  because they are all psychological issues and not physiological issues, do I choose to have baggage?

I don’t have a good answer for this. I don’t completely agree with Yes or No as an answer. 

The best answer I am leaning towards at the moment is:

I do not choose whether or not I have baggage, I do get to choose whether or not my baggage is going to control me and whether or not I am going work through my baggage in a healthy way with people who love me and are committed to my success.

In Process,


What Is Next

I’m not the sort of person to make lots of huge grandiose plans. I don’t generally go all out or blow the top off of anything to make something happen. I am rather easy going and I go into most of my larger plans with a general idea that will be fleshed out when I get to the end. This is great if I don’t have any ambitions or plans for the future. However, it is not great if I do. 

Let’s be real, I do have plans for the future. They may not seem terribly ambitious. However, they are reasonable enough. I want to be a better husband, friend, coworker, and leader. This is ambiguous I agree. But the reason it is ambiguous is because I do not do a great job at planning what that looks like. I just set the goal. I am never disappointed that I do not achieve the goals I have set. I just never reflect on whether I set goals in the first place. 

Looking forward, I have a few plans set out, achievable plans. First, I will continue to write. I will write here, two or three times a week. Continue to process my feelings, thoughts, and generally my issues that I may or may not realize exist. I look to continue to be authentic and real. I will continue to write about my counseling, process my baggage, and anything else relevant to the conversation at hand.

Second, I am going to start reading. I do not read much. A better way to say this might be, ‘I don’t really read books.’ I will read my twitter feed, articles I find interesting on the internet, and I read the news every so often. However, I don’t sit down and read books very often, whether it be a physical book or an ebook. I don’t read much and I don’t read enough. So this year will be a year of reading and writing for me. 

You might now point out reading and writing do not accomplish my goal of being a better friend, husband, coworker, and leader. Ah, great point indeed. I would argue, these two thing do make me better at all of those. I will be reading insights in who I am and who other people are so that I might have new tools to use as I am trying to improve on these aspects of my life. Also, writing will help me process these portions of my life. 



Closing Time

The end is nigh! The year, the month, the sabbatical, it is coming to a close soon. In enough time, I will be back at work and plowing through 2015. I will be knee deep in the swing of things. The worst of it, I haven’t even finished all the video games and I am only on season 3/5 of Breaking Bad. What will I do!? How can I let my sabbatical end if I haven’t finished these sacred priorities. 

Really though, I am going back soon. I am looking forward to having routine. I am looking forward to have a healthier balance between relational time and solitude. However, I have found a new priority for my life. Spending time in self-reflection. I guess I will be focusing on more time where I’m away from the bustle and introspectively reflecting working and sorting the issues. I have spent so much time fixing everyone else’s problems, I don’t spend any time resolving the problems that keep me from growth, not only personal growth, but professional growth. I have so little time I spend with new people to connect to and invest in. The people who have been a part of my ministry for years, I don’t spend enough time with them. The people who are hardly involved in my ministry at all because I let the issues of peers overwhelm me and keep me from spending time with these people. I love resolving issues for my peers. However, at what cost?

I look forward to getting back to my friends and peers. I look forward to seeing them again and rubbing elbows with them all. This will be a good year and I look forward to seeing what all this year holds. I will also savor every last minute of my sabbatical and use those minutes to be as rested and relaxed as I can be. 

I will continue to write and post here. I expect I'll be posting two or three times a week. Depends on how my schedule pans out. I hope to continue to be as much as if not more more introspective and authentic moving forward than I've been up till now. 



Someone That I Don't Know.

There are people who walk past me every day who I will never know. They have lives, friends, names, experiences, and value. None of which I’ll ever know. 

The other extreme is the far extreme of people I have known for years, practically since birth, with whom I am connected with. I have a checklist of things I have ticked my way through and found I know everything about them I want to know about them and similarly, they know everything about me they would want to know. Now we’re friends, maybe the best of friends.

The trick is, how do I decide when someone crosses the gap? When is someone I want to cross the gap. I know it happens. I usually realized it happened when I get to talking to someone and we talk about something that happened in their life. Either a major event or a minor event. Then I realize how long it has been since we’ve known each other. I realize how much we’ve been through and how connected we are. 

I love seeing this connection to people. I love seeing how much life I’ve walked with people. I have the friends I grew up with, I’m very close to them and I miss them dearly when I’m not around them. I also have these friends in my hometown. People I’ve known much longer than I’ve realized. Friends who I didn’t realize I value as much as I do till I’m 6 hours away from them. 

The trick is, I don’t know how to help someone across this bridge from stranger to best of friends.

I can, however, try to be more intentional about finding out about who these strangers are. I see them every week, all over town. Why not just stop and talk with one of them sometime. Find out who they are and maybe a tidbit about them. I wonder if I have another friend walking around my hometown and I just don’t know it yet.

How do you know when someone is one of your best friends? Do you spend time trying to get to know those people you run into every week?



Different Strokes

There are people I have met in my life who are truly different from me. Whether they are so harsh and to the point and I cannot be around them because I feel steam rolled and manipulated. They are so creative and artistic, I cannot understand what is going on in their minds. There are also people who might also rub me the wrong way, their voice, the things they say, their vernacular, clothes they wear, or simple the way they smell. They rub me the wrong way and I am immediately driven nuts the moment they walk into a room.

I have met a handful of people in my life who fall into one of these categories. They don’t mean to cause my toes to curl, but they do. I can think of a few now. I have dealt with them poorly at times or completely avoided them in the most ridiculous of manners. 

I now realize I have never been intentional about consistently celebrating these people. I have never seen the difference and called it out as an amazing part of who they are. The harsh person will get things done, the artist will create beautiful work, and the people who grate on my nerves are loved and valued by many. When have I taken the time to call out their differences as something to be celebrated?

Valuing diversity,


Weight in Gold

I have been reflecting on my writing looking for themes and common denominators between what I’ve been saying and what I’ve been struggling with. The biggest theme I’ve seen is the value of other people, my perceptions of them, and how I interact with them. I’ve taken this observation and spun it around to test as a view of myself.

My own value has been in question for years. 

I agree with this statement. I have been undervaluing myself, devaluing myself, and underestimating my own self worth for years. I don't believe in my own opinion to be valuable. To which my subconscious responds, “Yes you do. Your opinion has value! Very little value, but some value is better than no value.” Me believing this about myself is the reason I play the part of the doormat more than the part of the door. 

And I’m scared. 

I’m scared to value my own opinion. I’m afraid I’m going to do this wrong a lot. I’m afraid I’m going to hurt some people in speaking my mind more. I’m not looking to be belligerent. I just have to speak up about what I think because it can make people around me better. I don’t want to offend and hurt people as I go. I think humility will play into this as much as anything. I’m going to have to be willing to back down my opinion when it isn’t popular and not be hurt (not being hurt will be the harder part.) The hurt part is why I’ve stopped putting my opinion out in the first place. 

The reality is, it is ok for people to accidentally hurt me. It is not ok for me to react poorly when someone does  unintentionally hurts me. Likewise, it is ok me to accidentally hurt someone, it is not ok for me to intentionally hurt people.

These two things are linked for me because it hurts me so much when my opinion/idea is not the popular opinion. However, I could probably count on one hand the number of people who have actually been out to hurt me by ignoring me.

I must start creating space in my thoughts and ideas to be gently set aside without being hurt. And I need to start being willing to take the bull by the horns when the popular action is to wait for everyone else’s opinion.



Putting the 'Mas' Back in Christmas

You now see why I can make a case for Christ-Mas being a hispanic holiday. 

Though it is not actually a hispanic holiday, it is Christmas day. Todays origins are in a manger in Bethlehem, Israel. There is a stable where a man named Joseph, a woman named Mary, had a son and named him Jesus. This man and woman allowed their son to be the man he was meant to be. They did not stifle his story or inhibit him so that they might push their agenda. They told his story and did not hide the truth of his story from their friends.

Here I am. Today, it is my goal to tell my story. When people start trying to get to know me or asking me about the last year. When they ask about what I’ve been doing, where I’ve been, what I’ve been up to etc. I am going to tell them all about the last month of self reflection and learning. I’m not going to bounce from one awkwardly shallow conversation to another. I need to tell people about my life. I don’t think my life is super important, interesting, or a bastion of light for other lives to be lived; but, I do think my life has a story. And my life wouldn’t be what it is if people weren’t willing to share their lives and stories with me. 

It is time to reciprocate. 

When I am scared of reactions. 

Afraid of judgement.

I need to speak out and tell my story and trust in the person standing across from me. They have a story too. They have value. They need to know that I struggle just as much as they do. Today I tell my story. 

Will you take the time and trust someone else today? Will you tell your story and not hide the details?

Telling my story,



Stop, Take a deep breath, rinse and repeat. 

Today is Christmas Eve. It isn’t like I don’t have enough other thing going on. There are things to do with family, friends, rushing around, and of course last minute shopping. The worst part about last minute shopping is it is always followed up by last minute wrapping. I would argue that last minute wrapping is the number one reason men are so bad at wrapping gifts. 

Today of all days is the day I need to stop, take a deep breath, and remember why I’m doing anything I’m doing.

Why am I so worried about gifts?

Why am I so busy with family?

Why am I spending so much time with friends? 

Why. WHY. WHY!? 

These are the people I value most. So before I get snarky with them because I’m tired and I don’t want to be running like I am. I need to stop, breathe and focus on what I hold most important. And, if these things I’m trying to do are truly an inhibitor for me to connect and prioritize those people. Time to skip these priorities. The reality is, in twenty years, nobody is going to remember what I got them for Christmas. Everyone will remember how I treated them. How are you showing the most important people in your life that they are a priority to you?



Christmas Adam

My wife, her family, and I have quite a few traditions around the holidays. Many of the traditions revolve around this day, 23 December. The family has come to call this day, “Christmas Adam.” (in reference to Adam and Eve. I appreciate the pun–tastic nature of this naming scheme.) We decorate cookies, judge each other decorating skills for prizes, sing songs, tell stories, swap gifts, and watch movies. This is a family tradition of theirs dating back millenniums as best as I can tell. Christmas Eve is usually a more relaxed day involving cookie/sugar coma recovery, possibly a Christmas Eve service of sorts and more movies. Finally, there is Christmas day, full of gifts, food, and family. I enjoy all of these times of celebration, memories, and family. I find myself still thinking about the rest of the month. 

I think about this month being a time where I am processing my messy places. 

I think of those who don’t have a healthy way to process their mess.

I think of those who are truly in need.

This year I have been thinking about my lack of service in the midst of our Christmas Adam/Eve/Day Trifecta. This year I need to be a part of making a difference for those who are not in the middle of a community who want the best for them. This may be service at a shelter or simply by engaging the people around me and telling my story. Showing that there is hope no matter how hopeless they feel.

How can you engage those you need to know there is hope in this season of darkness and loneliness?



Stranger Danger

Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. 

A simple statement with all of the meanings. It has so much to say and it strikes me hard as I’m spending so much time in a metropolis. I see people all around me every day and I make snap decisions about them. 

I see someone who is a bum and I assume they choose to be there. 

The fast food worker and I assume he never went to college. 

I assume so much about all of these people yet I never take the time to ask them their story. To discover how they actually got to where they are. I never take the time to explore with them what their future could hold and what hope there is for them. I just keep on driving, ignoring, and assuming I have a reasonable estimation for who they are and how they got to where they are. I don’t spend time getting to know their story. Their story has value. They have value and I don’t take the time to know their story, only to know my guestimation about them.

I had value even though I was in a rough place. I might have never been a bum, but I have been emotionally broken. I have never worked at a fast food restaurant, but if I needed a job and they were hiring I would take the opportunity to pay my bills and fill my belly. I am not too different from these people I am making snap judgements of. I have potential. My potential and value has been called out. I am valued by people who love me who have taken the time to get to know me.

Who am I taking time to know and encourage? When do I stop and remind myself that these people I see have value, potential, and life experiences that have played into their life choices.

With Empathy,



Growing up, we never had many traditions. We never really had an annual groove where we did this or that every year. We celebrated birthdays, holidays, and took trips. However, we didn’t really have any major, “Manning Family Traditions.” I think everyone involved would say this is true. Now that I’m older I go to family and friends houses, or talk about different holiday traditions people do every year. I love hearing about how these traditions bring people together, how they have enjoyed these traditions and what they mean to them. 

For me, I am glad, so glad I do not have a deeply engrained regiment of traditions bonded to my soul. It has been freeing for my wife and I create new traditions that are unique to us and enjoyable for both of us. Meanwhile maintaining the right priorities throughout the process. 

(Aside: It has been more enjoyable for me than for my wife. However, she is amazing and wants to find thing we both agree on and can celebrate together even though she loves the traditions she had.)

These traditions are hard to come up. They leave us with many questions. Do we buy a tree? Do we do gifts for people anymore? Do we do gifts for each other? Do we put up lights? Do we even know why we do any of these things in the first place? 

And no clear answer as we don't love doing some of this stuff and we do love doing other bits of this.

How do she and I work together to find traditions that speak to both of us and align with out priorities?

This is the question we keep coming back to. The question that drives us forward. We don’t have many answers yet, and we are going to keep digging for new answers, but I am glad to have the answers we have and to be looking for these answers with her.

As the clock ticks closer and closer to the “big day,” where do your traditions come from? What do they prioritize? Do these traditions align with your life’s priorities?



Sleepless in Tacoma

I love asking questions. I love it even more when I find answers to my questions. I love the answers the most when I have been wrestling with the questions for a while, especially a questions like, “Why do I feel compelled to go to Tacoma to spend time with my friends? What waits for me there?” 

[Aside: Obviously I want to see my friends. I love these people. I just felt more compelled and forced to go than just the usual, “Golly gee, I’m super excited to go.”]

I’m excited to say, I have a clue to the answer tied up in a story from these past days spent in Tacoma. Of the two friends I have in the area, one of them is, putting it mildly, quite a bit more forward and blunt. They are both pretty honest and real people in general, one of them will tell you how it is in a very direct sense. Suffice to say, he calls a spade a spade and makes no bones about it. He and I have been spending quite a bit of time together. I love spending time with this guy.

The flip side of this conversation, I am not an extremely forward person. I actually have a bit of fear and anxiety about sharing my opinion or bringing up conflict with people. For example, the other night I was talking with some friends and we were trying to decide what to eat. I suggested a place because we were all so indecisive. But I was afraid of rejection, offending someone, and anxious about it being a bad choice. I almost didn’t say anything. 

Spending time with my friend is reminding me that I need to voice my opinion. I need to voice my commentary. In situations where the outcome has no bearing on anything, I need to voice my opinion if I have one (in these types of situations I usually don’t have even an inkling of an opinion and I’m not about to start making some up to be contrarian.) In situations where the group is going drastically off course, I need to voice my opinion. I need to have a voice. Having a voice is good. However, it is a high powered assault rifle and it is going to be a little messy moving forward and figuring out when and where it is actually good to open my voice.

How do you feel about having a voice? What are you doing to use your voice for the good of others and your community?



From the Outside, Looking In

I love the community I get to be a part of. I’m a part of a group of people who love each other. They want the best for one another and they genuinely want everyone to succeed. They have their priorities in order and they aren’t bent on silly things. This community is far from perfect I assure you; but, we are all more focussed on the well being of one another than we are each others’ flaws and flukes. I can say all this because their actions align with their words, especially in my life. However, I’m beginning to see how different the community I get to be a part of is different from so many other communities. This is not a statement that my community is better, it is a statement that my community goes about things differently. I’m so glad we’re different too. 

Our methods work well in our area, better than they would someplace else. The methods of other communities works better in their areas, better than they would in my area.

The striking part of my observations is, when I am visiting a different community, it is better for me to take part in their methods and processes and encourage them to pursue their goals than it is for me to insert, discuss, or force my own ‘tried and true’ methods. I am excited about this realization. 

I now see that the guilt and weight I’ve always carried when visiting people who do things differently than I do was as unnecessary as I felt it was, even though I could never put my finger on why it was unnecessary. I’m can celebrate the differences wholeheartedly. 

How will you celebrate the differences between you and whoever and wherever you spend time this holiday season?



Mama Bear

**DISCLAIMER: I am not pregnant and my wife is not pregnant in any sense of the word.** 

I am afraid of parenthood. For 1000 different reasons, I am genuinely afraid, both from the perspective of a healthy respect for something. My fears range from viewing a mama bear across a valley through binoculars, respecting the mama bears power and strength from afar; to, the genuine terrifying fear of someone who is fleeing from a mama bear after they accidentally stumbled into her and her cubs. 

Really, it is quite terrifying when I think about. I am bringing a small, miniature human into the world. My teammate and I are uniquely responsible for feeding them, clothing, changing, and appropriate nutrition. Then there are the psychological needs as well. We have to encourage them, love them, and provide the essential building blocks of human social interactions. All the while also maintaining their physical needs. I can’t divide these tasks between my wife and I. If one of us doesn’t do enough, in the physical or emotion needs then we have a disaster on our hands. And the thing that really gets my goat about it all, I don’t even know how good a job I did for 18 years? 20 years? 25 years? 40 years? The nail in the coffin is, there is no test drive, manual, or perfect recipe.

No amount of babysitting will ever prepare me for a lifetime of parenthood. 

Trial by fire. 

Much like our friend who is being chased by the mama bear, he only knows if he is going to live because is or is not caught by the mama bear.

Now that I’ve hopefully given you a glimpse of my minor apprehensions about having children, it is time for the coup de grâce in the conversation, “I do not get to set aside my own issues in order to rear this youngling.” All of my upbringing, good experiences, bad experiences, and brokenness will be present in the way I bring up this little “bundle of joy.” I do not get much of a choice in this either. 

Finally, we have the the wildcard in the conversation. Me and my friends.

I had a conversation with a friend about the contents I of the post and he picks it apart for me immediately. I had a conversation with a friend who knows me, who has lived with me, who has known me through my life’s struggles. He says to me, “Yeah, you really need to work through your stuff with your dad, it will make all of this so much better.”

How right he is. I am afraid of my children being negatively affected by my decisions and my wife’s decisions in the same way my life was affected by my dad’s decisions.

This is my friend who loves me and knows me.

Who knows well enough to point out where your hurts are dictating your decisions?

**DISCLAIMER: I am not pregnant and my wife is not pregnant in any sense of the word.**


I have people in my life who know me pretty well. These are people I can be genuine, open, honest, and they just know me. These are people who I’ve known a long time. A really long time. We've been friends/family for the better part of 20 years. We’ve all seen each other at some really high points and some really low points. We know each other. These are a couple guys I would call brothers and a girl I would call a sister. 

I get to be with these people now as I have the time to spend with them. I came to their place and told them where I am at, and they take me into their lives with open arms. I am blessed by these people. This family of mine. They bring me in and love me and support me. This is the best reminder that I am loved. And whether I think I am or not, I have people in my life who want the best for me, here in Seattle, Moscow, and Pullman. I have people who care. The question for me is am I going to let them care? 

Am I going to let them in on what is going on or hold them out at a distance?

Mr. Thinker & Mr. Feeler

The recent personality exploration I’ve gone through have caused me to perform my self analysis with a new lens based on the information I was shown about myself. A piece of this information is how I’m wired in regards to thinking and feeling. I have an ability to think and feel on equal terms. When I make a decision or make a statement, I have to have my thinker come up with a couple options, then my feeler has to verify that I feel good about one or both of these options or revise these options. Then my thinker has to reprocess any changes the feeler made and my feeler has to approve the revisions continue revising. You can see that this process becomes a little tedious. It happens rather quickly considering all the pieces involved. However, it is very slow in comparison to people who are free to make decisions based on one attribute and not two. (I’m painfully aware of how long it takes me to make decisions.)

These pieces get interesting when one of my attributes is malfunctioning. An extreme life event of some sort such as the passing of a loved one. This life event might leave my feeler broken, overwhelmed with emotion, or just shut down and became incapable of processing. Overstimulated. 

So, my thinker stepped up, he said to the feeler, “Don’t worry bro, I got your back. Just sit down and heal up and we’ll pull you back in to the game when you’re better.” Very thoughtful of my thinker to take on the load for a bit. 

My feeler never stepped back up. He never took the reigns again. He was lost in the fray. Hiding. 



He was incapacitated. He has been crying out and I haven’t been able to help him. My thinker has been overworking trying to maintain the load and my feeler just keeps feeling worse and worse all the time. My feeler eventually fell to the place where he was suppressed behind my thinker, depressed under the stimuli, and my thinker is angry because nobody is helping him. 

Six months later I’m falling apart because my thinker and my feeler are overwhelmed by it all and they cannot process a dang thing. And now I’m dealing with it. 

I’m looking my feeler in the face, making him process through the life events. I’m easing the load of my thinker. Letting him step down and only take care of the thoughts so my feeler can take care of his load only. 

How do you deal with unexpected stresses? How long do they affect you for?

Who helps you process your stress?


The server at my restaurant, my barista, my neighbor, at some point of these people will offend me [again.] I’ll be hurt and angry about this. Maybe I’ll say some unsightly words or yell at them (in the comfort of my car where they would never know of course.) Then I’ll go on with my day. Ignore the fact that I’ve made these decisions to devalue people I don’t know. 

People who have a life and experiences that I’ll never know about. These people will never be close to me. I make decisions about these people every day when they offend me. 

I decide their value.

I decide their potential.

…their humanity. 

I decide this all based on my own experiences. 

…my own value.

…my own humanity.

Now it is time to start remembering these are real people, not simply nameless faces. I need to engage these people the way I would engage my friends, let them make mistakes (even if it negatively effects me.) I need to assume these people are just like me. They have life experiences, value, and they are worth more than me projecting my baggage on them and deciding their worth accordingly.

What do you use to decide others’ worth?

Wake Me Up, When December Ends

I’ve been wrestling. (I’m sure this is a surprise.) But I have been wrestling with myself and why now. Why December? Why not next summer? Why not never? Why not when I’m 73 and retired? Why now? 

Why a sabbatical now, in December of 2014?

Then it struck me. Finally. The question spun itself. When better than right now? 

I’m going to be seeing family and friends. I’m going to have time to spend with these people. Not for the usual purpose of being unruly young men. Or the general celebrations with family where we are all meeting and greeting and small talking. I’ll be seeing them this year to talk about my mess. I’ll be seeing them this year to help them deal with their mess. 

This is the season where you and I are met in our messy places to be healed.

The season where I know I can find healing.

What are you going to use this season for?

A Week Already

It is hard to believe it has been more than a week and truly I am just shy of two weeks since I started my sabbatical. I’ve met with a counselor, I’ve gone through the Pathmakers workshop, and I’ve spent a good amount of time reflecting on my life, analyzing where I’ve been and how I landed where I’m at. I actually feel like this is a rather healthy adventure so far. 

I didn’t think it would be as good as it has been. For some reason, I was afraid that I was going to be an epic failure and go back after a month as messed up as when I started. However, if I went back today, I would would feel accomplished. I am astounded the difference it makes to take time to reflect and heal. 

I’m glad I still have more time to continue this process. Today, I am in my old stomping grounds. I’m seeing some friends I haven’t seen for far too long and I’m going to spend some time with my mom and stepdad. I’m glad to be back. I don’t get back this way as often as I would like and I am glad to be going back for an extended stay. My time back home is usually far too short. 

I think I will be able to connect with my mom, old my friends, and some new friends who have moved this way. I look forward to all of it. However, none of it would be possible unless I was taking some time off to reflect and heal.

When is the next time you’re going to do take some time for you? Have you made an appointment in your calendar to get away and reflect? Are you like me where you need someone who loves you enough to make you take that time off? Don’t wait too long. You need it sooner rather than later. Even if it is just a couple hours, an afternoon, or a day. Get some time to clear your head and reflect.



Epic Failure

If revenge is a dish best served cold; then, failure is a dish best not served at all. At least that is how I’ve operated in my life up till now. Any time I apply myself to something I succeed. Maybe I’m not the best at it in the world, but I would at least succeed. I would decide “task xyz” is worth my time and effort, pour my heart and soul into it, and I would be a success. 

The part of this equation I’ve never dealt with is when I pour myself into a task or working to achieve a goal and then I fail. Not in the sense of I came in second place in a competition. More in the sense of, the goal was totally and utterly unachieved. 

This summer I encountered one of these “unachieved goals.” This is part of the reason I’m falling apart. I’ve never encountered failure of this proportion before and I have no healthy way of encouraging myself to get back on the horse. When a failure of this proportion is built on a foundation of self doubt and issues with my dad and all of a sudden, I have the perfect recipe for an angry depression. 

Now I have to figure out a healthy way to stop these things from destroying me. I have to figure out how to get myself back on the horse. Some sort of motivation maybe? I am truly clueless. I am looking into myself and every time I turn the page to the, “How To Motivate Yourself” chapter it is as if the whole thing is written in hieroglyphics. 

I don’t know how to motivate myself past failure besides to tell myself to just keep going. This method only works for so long with me. There will be more to this. I am not giving up on this, I just don’t know what more to do.

What do you do when you encounter failure?