got a secret
can you keep it?
swear this one you’ll save
better lock it, in your pocket
taking this one to the grave
if i show you then i know you
won’t tell what i said
cause two can keep a secret
if one of them is dead…
~ pretty little liars theme song
i have a secret, but it won’t require you dying or getting injured or stalked by some sadistic weirdo with nothing better to do with his or her life. nope, my secret is about more pleasant things and once you learn it, and apply it, things in life will get better for you. is that a promise? i’m sure of it. the thing about knowledge though is it must be applied. and that’s when it becomes wisdom.
oddly enough, i arrived at this secret revelation when i was on the treadmill last night. as i was running on the treadmill, you know, up in the gym just working on my fitness, i had a moment of clarity. holy smokes. most of the great mysteries of life boil down to very simple equations.
equations? yes. i am not a fan of math. sure it’s universal and beautiful and fun and blah blah blah. whatever. i don’t like it. but everything in life is an equation. and so as i was sweating to pharrell’s “happy” on my ipod, i said to myself, self, it’s about time you acknowledge that god makes things very simple for us. (did you catch that big secret unveiling?) he’s not complicated. sure, his thoughts are higher than ours and his ways are higher than ours, but that’s exactly why everything is so simple.
sidenote: “happy” is a seriously fun song and you can’t help but feel happy when you hear it. it puts you in the best mood. i highly recommend you download it now and listen to it no less than two times a day until you seriously realize how awesome and amazing just being alive is! (that was not a suggestion by the way.)
now back to the regularly scheduled program. i want you to be prepared to not be blown away. as i said, these are simple equations. but i dare you to read them and apply them and then come back and tell me what happened!
secret number one: the first step to abundance is to consume less than you have. this applies to all resources, but mostly i’m talking about money. most of us have not mastered this simple concept of spending less than we earn. over time your savings grow. of course there are more complicated equations for making your money grow exponentially, but we’re not talking about that. we’re talking about the very simple concept of spending less than you make. some people like to call it living in your means. others call it saving. i’m just acknowledging if you use less than you have, you end up with an overflow. abundance. ta da!
secret number two: the first step to health is to treat your body like a temple and not a convenience store. in the temple, there is order and structure. you find beauty and peace. there are places for quiet reflection and loud jubilation. there is love and joy to balance pain and sadness. there is community and food and divine presence. and most of all there is rest.
the convenience store is the exact opposite of that. it’s loud and fast and full of junk. it’s overpriced and dirty and chaotic. it’s in and out without making any connection. and they are open 24/7 with no time for rest, relaxation or rejuvenation. too many of us treat our body’s like convenience stores and we look up and we’re fat and old and achy and sick. that is definitely not god’s idea for us to be in good health.
secret number three: the most important part of love is forgiveness. we are simply incapable of experiencing true love without forgiveness. we do some seriously jacked up things to each other. there is not a person on this earth who has not been hurt in some way by another person. we lie and steal and cheat on a daily basis and it hurts and it leaves wounds. deep wounds. over time those wounds might scab over and callous and make it impossible for us to receive or give love. this is absolutely no good. can you imagine what it would be like to exist without love? as leonardo divincci said in ever after, life without love is no life at all. but love without forgiveness cannot exist. we have to learn to forgive ourselves and others if we want to experience deep, true and pure love.
secret number four: you can’t move forward if you’re always looking back. i know people tell you to know your history and know where you came from to make sense of where you are going. that is very true in the sense that your story has a beginning. but if you want to add chapters to your life story, you have to keep living it. and the only way to truly live is to move forward. you can always reflect on the past. you know those little things called memories? they can be great ways to reflect fondly, or painfully, on the past. they can also serve as reminders to keep moving forward.
yes, know where you come from. but know that you aren’t limited by the past. brown people cannot escape slavery. it is part of our past. but when you look at the whole of our history, it is a very small part of our past. and if we spend too much time focusing on that small part of our history, it will cripple us and keep us from moving forward. in looking back, be careful not to spend too much time focusing on the pain. remember it is just a memory and life itself happens in the present.
secret number five: you can achieve joy no matter what is going on in your life when you focus on giving to others. yes, wallowing in self-pity or thinking about how bad things are in your life 24 hours a day is bad for your health! it will make you miserable. and misery loves company apparently. to avoid being bad company, find a way to give to someone else. somebody smart said it’s better to give than to receive. i’ll tell you why that’s true. have you ever had a horrible day where you just wanted to crawl under a rock and disappear? or maybe throw dishes at the wall just to hear them break? or perhaps screaming at the top of your lungs suited you more? either way, we have all been there.
but what if you could channel that energy into doing something (unexpected even) for someone else just because? i promise it will do something to you on the inside that will combat the horrible feelings trying to set up shop in your soul. it usually only takes one good deed for the transformation to take place. and the awesome thing about it is you reap what you sow. if you start sowing joy in the lives of those around you, you’ll be surprised how that joy takes hold of you. before you know it, your despair, anger, frustration and sadness is gone.
i hope you enjoyed learning about my little secrets. i couldn’t wait to share them because secrets don’t make friends. as i said from the very beginning, these “secrets” are very simple equations. life can be complicated enough without us trying to be all philosophical and deep for no good reason. keep it simple. you’ll be much happier that way. be sure to let me know how it goes when you start living these secrets in real life!