Reflecting on a conversation I had with my younger brother, in attempts to sell him on the idea of moving to Dallas (he’ll move…), I am reminded that one of the biggest barriers we have to overcome in our lives is knowing what we don’t know; many doors of opportunity in our lives are closed and we have¬†no idea¬†what lies on the other side. Whether it’s packing up your bags and moving to a new city or launching a new business venture, relationship or personal goal, we can’t see the future. All we know is where we are at, with the information we’ve been given and the choice of what it is we’re willing to do about it.

I was in the shower (my favorite thought spot, second only to my toilet) and processing the number of toxic individuals I’ve come in contact with over the past few years. It causes me to shudder when I think of the expert manipulators, liars, con artists, criticizers and naysayers that have done everything in their power – for a short period of time – to bring my life to a screeching halt. To be transparent with you, I will never understand why these people did/do what they did/do to others. However, I reached a moment of personal salvation when I was able to change my perspective on the encounters I had with these people.

I’m thankful for every ‘toxic’ person I’ve come in contact with in my life.

While that appears to be a bold statement, allow me to explain.

See, if it hadn’t been for the disastrous pain and personal turmoil these individuals put me through, I never would have known the extent of my limits as to what I’m capable of withstanding. More importantly, capable of withstanding with my head held high (once the blood, sweat and tears have dried) and stepping into the ring for the next round.

  • Manipulative people do everything within their power to control you. Escaping the clutches of these people is often difficult. However, it’s a testament to the inner will, determination and personal character you possess.
  • Takers will rob you in plain sight of your time, money, items, relationships and passions. There is often no extent of what they’re willing to take from you. What I’ve realized is that in spite of the takers, I am still left with my hands overflowing with goodness and positivity in my life.

The reason I titled this post ‘salvation’ is because a change of perspective can set you free. Nelson Mandela could have spent the rest of his life complaining about the fact he was locked away. Instead, he used it to fuel his passion to lead a nation.

You are still alive. Present. Hopeful. Perhaps not. Refer back to the first point of being alive.

As I approach the end of the year, I can only look back on the past year as a remarkable journey that has carried me through a roller coaster of opportunity and experiences.

Define your life. Stop letting others do it for you.

People who attack your character and integrity only do so because you have something they lack; character and integrity. Don’t allow yourself to be ruined by the ankle-biters. Run with those who challenge you to stay the course and press through to the finish line.

You can’t live a defined life if you’re constantly allowing others to call your shots. Step to the plate, son. You’ll knock it out of the park.

Featured Image From Deviantart


  1. December 10, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Proud of you friend.

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