Robert's insights & revelations as he shares his message.
Everything Must Change!
This is a statement that I associate with a song-
“Everything must change,
nothing stays the same.
Everyone must change
nothing stays the same.
The young become the old,
mysteries do unfold.
‘Cause that’s the way of time
nothing and no one goes unchanged.
There are not many things
in life you can be sure of.
Rain comes from the clouds,
and sun lights up the sky,
and humming birds do fly.
Winter turns to spring.
Wounded heart will heal.
Never much too soon
everything must change…”
Change is at the heart of the fall colors associated with my logo! I’m thankful that over the years RobertPruitt.Com or RPC has evolved, grown, shifted, changed. The launch of the new RobertPruitt.Com site is evidence of RPC’s continued growth. I can remember writing the html for the first version of the site in 2000. Then God sent me Mark who modified the site in 2007. Now, I’m blessed with Mark and Chris who’ve brought their individual and collective talents, skills, abilities and experiences to the design and launch of the new RobertPruitt.Com. I feel like a kid as I navigate the site with ease and anticipation of what the next click will bring. What’s changing in your life? Are you resisting or embracing the change?
Check back often for news, updates, opportunities and insights at RobertPruitt.Com!
The box is a metaphor for our lives. The items in the box represent everything that we have: traditions, criticisms, judgments, experiences, assumptions, achievements, beliefs, relationships, principles, and the like. There exist things like a new job, new relationships, new emotions, new fears, accomplishments, dreams, visions, money, happiness, freedom, and truth that lie outside of our box. Every one of us has “something” that we want, but are fearful of grabbing because it lies outside of our box.
Our box provides us with comfort, security, and control through predictable patterns of behavior. For example, many of us drive the same way to and from work. Some of us eat at the same restaurants. Others constantly talk about their dreams but never go after them. And still a small group of us complain about the things that we don’t like in our lives but we never do anything to bring about change. Welcome to your box!
Our boxes also contain excuses that we generate to explain why we have not succeeded, reached our goal, or tapped our unlimited potential. Our excuses or thoughts will generate actions that keep us inside and safe.
Keep in mind, not everything in our box is bad. The box or comfort zone is a great place to go. Conversely, when we step outside of our boxes we tend to experience discomfort, lack of control, and even anxiety. It is the fear of the unknown and lack of control that justifies staying in our box. People that live happy and successful lives do so because of their willingness to risk. They risk comfort that is either perceived or real to create extraordinary results in their lives. I have only encountered a few individuals that are living the lives they dream about. Most of the people that I know and have met along my journey only dream about the life that they desire. And having been there, I am familiar with staying in my box because of fear!
The exclamation mark in the icon depicts that excitement associated with discovery. The discovery that occurs when we do something different like drive down a new street, challenge our assumptions and beliefs, or quit that boring job to start a business. Discovery is a tedious and oftentimes uncomfortable process, however the rewards are unlimited. This is the period of self-actualization that the psychologist Maslow refers to. It is our ability to meet our own needs. This does not mean to exclude others from our lives. Rather, it means to demonstrate an understanding of who we are and what we want, coupled with the ability to constantly meet our needs and redefine ourselves.
Discovering what’s outside our box fills us with happiness, pride, and a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, the discovery process removes limitations, constraints, and old ways of “being” that prevent us from acquiring our heartfelt commitments and dreams.
There is a warmth associated with satisfaction and joy. This is depicted in the icon by the fall colors: burnt orange, mustard yellow, burgundy. These seasonal colors also represent the continuous changes that we undergo as we move through our discovery process and our lives.
Lastly, the box and the exclamation mark represent the joy that we bring to the lives of others when we share ourselves authentically. And the authenticity of the gift that we are is imbedded in knowing: 1) who we are, 2) that all things are possible, and 3) that everyone is significant and has something to give. It is when we give that others have an opportunity to experience us as loving, kind, fair, unique, respectful, generous, tolerant, and showing concern for others. These are the traits that my parents referred to when they told me as a child, “you are the best gift that you can give!” And I say to you, “You are the best gift that you can give!” However, you have to discover this for yourself and it will require that you risk!
Here are a few questions to contemplate. Do you know what’s in your box? Do you know which things work for creating a happy existence? Do you know what’s outside of your box? Are you aware of the thoughts that stop you from opening up to the world? Do you accept 100% responsibility for your life? Or do you hold others accountable? Can you identify moments when you “take” and when you “give”? Are you living the life that you dreamed about? Or are you merely existing from day to day? What are you waiting for? How much time do you think you have before it’s too late to make a difference?
This is the only moment that we can be certain about. You and only you have the power to fill your box with the things that you really want! And with this power comes responsibility, accountability, and a proactive attitude. Our world is rich and abundant and every one of us can have the life that we want. I invite you to discover what’s outside your box today and share it with the world. It’s the only way that we will build supportive, nurturing, protective relationships. The world will only come together when we do!
THINK outside your box and view the world and the people in it differently!
STEP outside the box and access your heartfelt commitments!
DISCOVER what’s outside your box and grow, experience happiness and success, and our world will benefit!
This is the question my son Aiden habitually asks. It’s great because I’d been teaching my twin boys words like frustration, exasperated, bewildered and even annoyed. I selected these words because they described my emotional state at the time they began learning two basic emotions: happy and sad. Unfortunately, those two emotions rarely captured what I felt. So, I expanded their vocabulary. And as children will do they began to ask, “Daddy, are you frustrated?” And I would reply, “Yes!” It felt good that I could teach my sons to more accurately capture my emotional state.
However, I was blind to two things: 1) I was showing a great deal “anger” related emotions and 2) I was teaching my sons that “anger” was more prevalent in my life than “happiness.” So, a couple of months ago I tuned into Aiden constantly asking am I happy – a question which was mostly posed when I was mad because one or both of my sons had done something “wrong.” I will return to this concept of being “wrong” shortly.
I became so aware of his inquiry that it began to annoy and frustrate me. And I started snapping at him, asking him why he kept ask me that question. In my arrogance, I thought, how dare a child ask me, an “adult” if I’m happy. Here’s something else I missed-I WASN’T HAPPY! I was taking on the “pains” of parenting and holding on to the pain associated with my children’s “wrong doings.” Please understand I’m not talking about children who jump off of furniture, throw tantrums, talk back, curse, break things, set things on fire, refuse to go to sleep, are disobedient-no I’m talking about five-year-olds who as they develop make “mistakes” another word I’ll say more about shortly. Children who, because of their accurate interpretation of my “angered-state”, wanted to hide their mishaps because they didn’t want to see my angered countenance. Let’s be real, like many children my son’s want to please me and to see me frown or utter words that promote “guilt” and “shame” are not their idea of a “happy” time.
Two weeks ago I returned from a seven day spiritual trip. I didn’t go to a mountain top, or a spa or a spiritual retreat center. I jumped on a plane and flew to a beach where I could lay in the sun and let my “inner-child” tune into my God-voice and determine what I would do and when I would do it without debating with my “adult-self.” What an experience. What a breakthrough! I got it! GOD was asking me about my happiness or lack of it. Happiness is the very thing I’ve been committed to experiencing with greater frequency. And for me, as with others I know, parenting can bring about some challenging even overwhelming moments. What became clear was I was “punishing” my sons for being “wrong.” When in reality they merely make “mistakes” which call for “correction.” Boy did this revelation shift my way of thinking about parenting. Additionally, I was immediately released from my childhood experiences of doing the “wrong” thing.
When this “ah-ha” moment hit I smiled and had experienced joy and happiness which are with me as I type this blog. I looked forward to coming home, sitting down with Marshall and Aiden and sharing. So, let’s fast forward to ten days ago, when I said, “Aiden thank you for allowing God to speak through you and make me aware of my anger. Daddy apologizes for having you both feel guilty or shameful when you would do something “bad.” So, starting right now I will not say you did something “bad.” I will say you made a mistake which needs to be corrected. Now you won’t have to feel like you did anything bad or that either of you is a bad person. And daddy won’t show anger because I won’t need you to be perfect.” With that my sons hugged me and smiled. And since that time, I have over heard them using the words mistake and correction. They have also come to me with greater frequency to tell me about their mistakes. My responses are calmer, my face isn’t scrunched up and I’m not replaying the incident. This allows me to ask them how to correct their mistake and most times they know or provide correction with a smile and a hug or High-5. WHAT A HUGE DIFFERENCE in their reaction to my response.
So, from my son’s to you, I ask you a simple childlike question, ARE YOU HAPPY? Happiness is a choice! It’s about re-framing the meaning or interpretation given to past events so that you can see them in the light of LOVE! ARE YOU HAPPY? If yes, celebrate! If no, get clear about why. Being unhappy is to experience resistance, pain, stress, even despair! If your answer is no, what do you need to forgive? Who do you need to forgive? When will you forgive? Forgiveness is essential to the experience of happiness. Forgiveness releases us from our attachments to people, old thoughts, behaviors, unresolved issues, old self-concepts, and old hurts! You can choose to feel happy at this very moment and you may not need to fly to the beach to get clear.
Sure my “shift” is less than three weeks old. However, my desire to feel and express happiness is stronger than my desire to live from a place of pain and hurt. Remember, I said earlier that I’d already made a commitment to experience happiness with greater frequency. And yes, I’m back in parenting mode and I’m still allowing Lil’ Bobby to guild my experience. He reminds me that my son’s simply make mistakes and they need guidance and loving correction not punishment and alienation. The same thing Lil’ Bobby needs. Three days ago Lil’ Bobby encouraged me to share my breakthrough with my mother and my ex-wife to ensure the boys experience “correction” rather than “punishment” in those relationships. The idea was warmly received. As a matter of fact, they reflected on their own emotional state and use of words-WOW!
So, if your answer to the question is no, I invite you to identify the ways in which you punish yourself! What would life be like for you RIGHT NOW if you freed yourself from guilt and shame? What would it be like not to judge yourself? While on the beach, I began to notice the number of judgments I made in just 10 minutes-INCREDIBLE! I continue to monitor my judgments. Remember, my anger towards my sons was the manifestation of my judgments: You are wrong, you are bad, get it right, you make me look bad, and you inconvenience me with your wrong-doings. Those were my judgments and stemmed from my childhood. Now, I immediately offer my judgments up to God for healing, clarification and/or meaning. This prevents me from making up things in my head which would only serve to reinforce old beliefs and hurts.
Since, I believe God is all knowing and that my attempts at knowing more than God has never worked, I now give my thoughts to Him and wait for a response. My stress level has dropped tremendously. The numbers of conversations I have with myself have been reduced significantly. My energy has increased and so has my patience and understanding. All of this contributes to my state of happiness. In choosing to let go of the anger I uncover happiness. Twelve years ago my anger was apparent to my father who instructed me to let go of my anger and be God’s man. Keep in mind, the judgments we render about others reflect the things about ourselves we don’t like, haven’t forgiven, haven’t dealt with or may not be aware of. My judgments blocked my happiness, creativity, peace and my ability to fully receive and give love. My judgments also blocked correction and hinder change.
What’s blocking your happiness? What’s blocking the happiness of your family and friends? Are the people closest to you happy? Typically we associate or hang with people who think and act the way we do. If you are not happy, do you really want to be? And if you are leading others, what might they think and feel when they look into the face and see someone who is REGULARLY frustrated, exasperated, bewildered and annoyed? What do they make up about you? What do they make up about themselves? You are responsible for you happiness!Not the truth-Just a thought! I welcome yours! Okay! This is a thought that is true!Share the gift you are with the world! (1Peter 4:10)
(After Thought: The message in church today was entitled, “Be completely open to correction and change!” There are no accidents.)