It began with the celebration of our freedom on Independence day weekend. How can one not rejoice in a time as such. With everything going on in America many have lost hope, but hopelessness is not what our nation was built upon. As Bono of U2 stated, America is not a country it is an idea. The definition of an idea is "a thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action" or "the aim of purpose". It is ever evolving and whether you believe it or not we do maintain a certain level of control within the shaping of that idea. One thing we have to remember is that media thrives on the negative because they want ratings. They will use images and sounds to paint a picture to portray to the minds of the world in a way they feel will draw more people in and increase their ratings. Kind of sick, I know. But there is also so much good progress happening right here in America and in the world abroad. It is there if you will just look for it. Do not give up, keep your hope alive.
A week later I found myself on a plane heading to Germany. This was my first time to Europe and I absolutely fell in love with the town in which I stayed. I learned a lot while there. About Germany, about America, and most importantly about myself. I met amazing individuals and I got to experience true, authentic Germany thanks to the fact I was staying in such a small town. I got to enjoy German beer, history, culture, the autobahn, food, and oh what beautiful country it is. I also got to visit Bavaria one of the days I was there and see some amazing small villages thanks to an error with the GPS in the rental car on the way back to Frankfurt! It was the experience of a lifetime that will have a lasting impact on me for the remainder of my time here on earth. If given the opportunity I would definitely go back.
The next great adventure was the best of all! My son Andrew made his first trip out to Texas to come stay with me for ten straight days. Truly the best time of my life up to this point. He is such an amazing young man who brings immense amounts of joy to my heart and soul. There are no words I can type in this post to describe that either. Nothing I put down would give justice to the visit. Just know it was amazing. With this visit I learned even more about myself, which was not my mission. My intent was just to further connect with my amazing son and build upon our relationship. I definitely walked away with knowledge of things I can do to be a better father and a better man.
Through all of this I also realized the growth I have experienced as a person over the years. Many emotions were involved with everything I experienced. And for the first time in my life I took control of it all rather than allowing my emotions to control me. As emotions have been stirred I have learned to dig down deep to find what is stirring those emotions. In doing so it helps me grow even more. Because just like the idea of America we too are ever evolving, growing and we do have a certain level of control. Can we control our circumstances? Only the ones with which we are provided choices, some just hit us like a bag of bricks. But we can control our reactions to them and then seek out how we can grow.
So how about you? When you look back on your battle of July were you victorious? If the answer is no do not beat yourself up. Use it as a learning experience and move with confidence into the battle of August. You may be asking why I use the term "battle". I do so because life is tough and it is a battle. Even when everything is going your way are you not fighting for something even in those moments? Maybe none of this makes sense to you, but I know it makes sense to me. If this only speaks to me and no one else I am OK with that.