Somehow the darkness always finds a way.

Yet the rain on my face is a blessing,

lessening the pain of too many days in the sun.

The rain on my face is a grace,

erasing the stains of so many sin-filled days in the sun.

The rain on my face creates rivers running down

my cheeks as if with tears carrying away

all the sorrows I borrowed from my past.

The rain on my face is hard and the wind is strong.

Somehow the darkness always finds a way to heal me…

But I know it won’t last long.

Continue reading “‎Dorchadas Cneasaithe”

“Here. Hold this…!”

fire pit

NEW!

Top 10 Things to Do to Make 2016 the Worst Year Ever!

by Jefferson Holbrook, DSC.

— Step # 4 Hold Grudges! —

I hope you guys and gals are having (in alphabetical order) an awful, horrible, terrible year so far! Bet you are wondering where I’ve been? Or not. Whatevs.

kool aid man

Maybe I’ve been drinking my own Kool-Aid, so to speak. Leveraging my mad skills in following my own recommendations in the Second Installment of the “Top Ten Things to Do to Make 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!” by procrastinating.

So, since it’s been a hot minute, let’s recap:
1. Complain
2. Procrastinate
3. Blame
Aaaaaaannndddd #4? Drumroll, please. (or, maybe just an eggroll, that sounds pretty good right about now.)
4. Hold Grudges
That’s right. Today we’re going to learn the lost art of holding grudges!
Okay, let’s just say for the sake of argument… No, that’s not right. Let’s say for the sake of disagreement… No, that’s not right either. Let’s say for the sake of violent disagreement, (that’s better) that you have been actually following my advice so far. Awesome!
You’ve started the year of complaining, procrastinating, and blaming. But you haven’t been fired yet or successfully sabotaged any of your relationships? Okay, it’s time to take it up a notch. Holding grudges will definitely do just that. Holding grudges will take your efforts to make 2016 the Worst Year Ever up to a Whole. Nother. Le-vel. [picture me holding my hands up in dramatic fashion]
Charlotte Bronte in the book Jane Eyre remarked that “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” But, is it really? I mean is life really too short to spent in holding grudges?
very-SIMPLE-us-map_small_0000

A recent article by the Royal Geographical Society (not to be confused with the National Geographic Society, that still hasn’t sent me my free map of the United States of America) notes that “During the twentieth century, life expectancy rose dramatically amongst the world’s wealthiest populations from around 50 to over 75 years.” So, that makes me think that, Yes, there does appear to be enough time to hold grudges. And, if you want more evidence than that, just look around. Society is full of people who don’t let things go emotionally and get bitter and get even. It’s part of why we’re all going to “Hell in a Handbasket.” Or, why, according to Hal Lindsey, we are living in the “End Times”!!
But, I think we can all agree we are not in the ‘Ended Times,’ so let’s do what we can help that along, shall we? If there’s no solution, then being part of the problem puts you on the winning side…right?

So, that brings us to another quote on holding grudges. Anne Lamott, in her cute ratbook Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, states that “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Sounds good right? Or does it?
What if you drink rat poison, then as it is taking effect, you fall on the rat! I bet Ms. Lamott never thought of that!

Hoarders make this look so easy. They never let stuff go physically and geographically. They never let go E-VER. We can learn from their example. When you hold on to the pains of the past and never let stuff go, it will eventually destroy you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
When your hands are full (metaphysically speaking) with memories of all the harms and hurts you have endured over the years, then you are not free to accept the probable blessings of the present and the possible blessings of the future. And you are well on your way to making 2016 Your Worst Year Ever!
confuciusWhat’s that you ask? You want one more quote? Well, okay. Just because I’m so awesome, I will give you a bonus quote. Confucius once said that “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.”
Okay, so what’s wrong with that? I think we can all agree that forgetting what has been done to you either intentionally or unintentionally by others, might possibly lead to freer and healthier living. But that is definitely what we do not want if we are trying to have the worst year ever.gingko-biloba-tree Well, don’t worry. I am here to help.

Gingko and Biloboa supplements have been known to improve memory and sharpen recall of specific situations. You can definitely use this to empower yourself to hold more grudges and hold them longer!

Okay, last quote. I mean it.
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” (Criss Jami, Salome’: In Every Inch In Every Mile) But what about those of us who are insubstantial, shallow, and not willing to move on? There is hope for us. And that hope has a name: “Sense of Entitlement!”
If you think the world owes you something, then you are on the right track. Expecting others to just grovel before your magnificient glory is even better. Then when anything (and I mean literally ANYthing at all) goes wrong or not according to your opaque and ever-changing plan, then feel free to get mad and stay mad.

Losers from all walks of life over the years have one unique characteristic in common: unforgiveness. If you are serious about making 2016 your Worst Year Ever, then at no time will you want to forgive anyone. Do not under any circumstances forgive your parents although they were just probably doing the best they could. Don’t forgive that co-worker who took your Coke from the fridge in the break room that said “Trendsetter” on it. cokeTheir Coke can was right next to yours and plainly said “#1 Fan” but this was not an honest mistake. They are out to get you. Do not let that stuff go. Hold a grudge. Plan revenge. That person who might have sort of cut you off on the highway even though they were quite a ways away. They made you slow down from 90 miles an hour to 85 miles an hour, so obviously they need to pay. And if you can’t get back at them, again, don’t let it go. Hold a grudge. How else is your heart going to grow cold and black if you don’t put a little effort into developing bitterness?

But with a little effort, you will succeed at making 2016 your Worst Year Ever!

 

Stay tuned for the next blog entry in which we learn the myriad benefits of Lying!new profile scruffy

Jefferson Holbrook, DSC, received a Doctor of Science in Communications from Tudor College of Earlscroft University and has published numerous essays, articles, poems, short stories and blogs. He is also the author of two collections of poetry. He lives with his family in the southeastern United States.

@jbh418

facebook.com/jeffersonh

© Copyright 2016 Jefferson Brian Holbrook and Kingdom of the Son. All rights reserved.

“It’s Not Me, It’s…Just Not Me!”

“It’s Not Me, It’s…Just Not Me!”

New! Top Ten Things to Do to Make 2016 the Worst Year Ever!

by Jefferson Holbrook, DSC.

— Step # 3 Blame! —

We learned in our first installment the importance of Complaining. There were even tips on how to complain, if you do not have much experience doing it and/or don’t come by it naturally. Then we learned how important Procrastination was in making 2016 your Worst Year Ever. We even discoveredthe keys to disguising procrastination and laziness as patience.

Now it’s time to get real. And by real, I mean honest. There’s a reason why you are not successful at relationships or at work or basically any area of your life, right? It’s someone else’s fault. It’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault.

Blame Pic

“Blame” is a really cool word. It can be either a verb or a noun! Dictionaries will tell us that as a verb, Blame means “to hold responsible; or, “to find fault with” someone or something else. As a noun, Blame is “an act of attributing fault.” Can you see where we’re going with this? Are you as excited as I am?

We are all tempted at times to be envious of what other people have but to have the Worst Year Ever, we want to really kick that up a notch. It is very important for us to realize that if we don’t have the same level of success as someone else, it’s somehow actually their fault, or society’s, or our parents, or something.

Don’t get me wrong. There are apparently people out there in the world who want to have healthy mature relationships and make decisions that will drive their personal and professional success. Those people might possibly kinda sorta take ownership for their own actions. But that’s obviously not where we’re headed if we want to make this year our Worst Year Ever!

And, could we ask for a better role model for not taking ownership for our actions than the great Han Solo? The infamous intergalactic smuggler was known for saying “Hey, it’s not my fault!” with a slight sympathetic whine to his voice, whenever anything went wrong with his ship, the Millennium Falcon. In fact, he says this phrase again when he reprised his role in the most recent installment Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Han Solo makes it look easy, but this kind of thinking requires a great deal of mental agility. Whether you want to Blame it on the Rain, Blame it on the Night, or Blame it on the Boogie, not taking responsibility for your own actions is one key component in having a horrible year. Why? Because when you limp lifeless and hopeless into 2017, you will want the trainwreck that was 2016 to not have been your fault at all. If you can manage to NOT take responsibility for any of your own actions, then you don’t have to worry about making any CHANGES to your behaviors. This is how bad actions become bad habits…and THAT is how you can use Blaming to make 2016 your Worst Year Ever! [I just dropped the mic after making that last very salient point… Trust me. It was really dramatic.]

There is literally nowhere that Blaming is more destructive than in relationships. If you want to drive away the good people in your life, you owe it to yourself to learn how to place blame squarely where it belongs. Mainly on anything or anyone that is not you.

In playing the blame game in relationships, sometimes we might need to remember that conversations and such happened a little (or a lot) differently than they actually happened in reality. Nothing escalates an argument like accusing the other person of doing or saying something they actually never did or said. If you don’t have much experience in Blaming others, then that’s no problem at all. You can practice! Follow this easy exercise. Stand in front of a mirror. Arrange your face in a condescending scowl. (If you need help in determining just what a ‘condescending scowl’ is, please reference any photograph of presidential hopeful Donald Trump.) Then repeat phrases such as “Oh, yeah?! Well, remember the time YOU forgot to start the dishwasher?!” You know, things like that. And, by all means, be creative. Make stuff up!

Even though no one ever really wins the blame game,practicing the art of blaming leads to so much trouble and hard feelings, that it is definitely worth the effort. Which leads nicely into the 4th thing you should do to have the Worst Year Ever!

Next time, we will explore the oft misunderstood and underestimated art behind Holding Grudges!!new profile scruffy

Jefferson Holbrook, DSC, received a Doctor of Science in Communications from Tudor College of Earlscroft University and has published numerous essays, articles, poems, short stories and blogs. He is also the author of two collections of poetry. He lives with his family in the southeastern United States.

@jbh418            facebook.com/jeffersonh

© Copyright 2016 Jefferson Brian Holbrook and Kingdom of the Son. All rights reserved.

 

Learn How to Procrastinate!

Learn How to Procrastinate!

New! Top Ten Things to Do to Make 2016 the Worst Year Ever!

by Jefferson Holbrook, DSC.

 — Step # 2 Procrastinate! —

So, if you’re like me, you’re thinking that 2015 was what it was. It could have been better; it could have been worse. Well, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. I’m fond of saying that you shouldn’t wait for things to happen, you should make them happen. If you want 2016 to be the Worst Year Ever, you are going to have to get started now with negative habits that will last a lifetime! Because I am here to help, I have put together an easy to follow plan, ten easy steps to take. Last week we learned how to Complain. Today, we’ll look at Step #2 , Procrastinating…

I put off writing this blog as long as I possibly could, for obvious reasons. When so many different priorities are competing for your attention and expertise, the easiest course of action is usually the best. Do nothing. This is just the opposite of the Nike slogan. If the good people at Nike really wanted to help people have their Worst Year Ever, they would have the decency to change their slogan to “Just Don’t Do It.” That would convey a powerful message. Why work hard and be productive or efficient or whatever when all that will do is provide a potential for a future reward? Doing absolutely nothing pays off right now! Putting things off until tomorrow doesn’t just work for things like diets or exercise plans. Procrastinating can help you fail at everything from jobs to relationships.

 

Putting off paying the bills or even looking at your bank account has immediate rewards. If you don’t look, you can assume that everything is okey-dokey. You can just keep spending money like nobody’s business. And if anyone calls you out on your reckless spending, you can reframe this by saying that you are “Not living a life of deprivation,” or “Living abundantly.” This is also known as being a proponent of Prosperity Doctrine and will put in good company, with such fine folks as the independently wealthy and/or multi-level marketers.

 

Instead of being a no-good layabout, you are “Being Mindful,” and “Listening to the Universe.” These are excellent excuses for not doing a damn thing and will work for those pesky interactions with friends and family for at least a little while. To be honest, it’s hard to tell just what the Universe is saying exactly. It could be saying that now is the time to get out in the world and work hard to achieve your goals…. But the Universe is more than likely saying that you should finish off the rest of those Chips Ahoy cookies and binge-watch Netflix.

 

If that pesky boss keeps telling you to do something, the easiest and most passive-aggressive way to say you don’t give a crap is to continue to NOT do whatever it is you are being told to do. If you’re lucky this will get you fired and then you are off and running to your Worst Year Ever! But don’t stop there. Get creative. Sometimes the best way to let a friend know that you are not really interested in being a good friend is to let them down.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m so not advocating ignoring your friends. To successfully procrastinate you need to first acknowledge their needs. This requires Active Listening Skills, which basically is the same thing as looking up from your phone occassionally, making eye contact, and grunting a vague “uh-huh” at just the right moments. Once you establish that they need your help you immediately agree to help them. Don’t hesitate. Don’t ask for any details. Don’t even write anything down (such as the time they need to be picked up and where, etc.). You aren’t going to actually help them. Remember, perception is reality, so if they think you care, maybe you actually are being a good friend.

 

Another key component of procrastination is dealing with the fall-out. You never want to acknowledge that you are, in fact, procrastinating. What you want to try to do is dress up your procrastination in the guise of patience. Why didn’t you start your diet? Why didn’t you call that person back yet? Why haven’t you paid the bills or gone to the store or found a job yet? You are just being patient and that’s OKAY. (Not really, but you get the idea.) And, while we’re being real, let’s be clear about what we’re doing. Disguising procrastination as patience is a lot like putting an ugly dog in an even uglier Christmas sweater. It’s NOT OKAY. But you see where we’re going with this, right?

 

Saying that we are being Patient when we are really Procrastinating allows us to be self-righteous when we are called out. In this way, it is totally not our fault and something is apparently wrong, instead, with the entire rest of the world. This leads us naturally to Step # 3, Blame! We will explore this topic in the next installment.

 

Having mastered the art of Complaining and Procrastinating, you should be well on your way to making 2016 the Worst Year Ever!!  Feel free to leave comments below on your progress so far, and good luck!

 

new profile scruffy

Jefferson Holbrook, DSC, received a Doctor of Science in Communications from Tudor College of Earlscroft University and has published numerous essays, articles, poems, short stories and blogs. He is also the author of two collections of poetry. He lives with his family in the southeastern United States.

@jbh418

facebook.com/jeffersonh

© Copyright 2016 Jefferson Brian Holbrook and Kingdom of the Son. All rights reserved.

New! Top Ten Things to Do to Make 2016 the Worst Year Ever! by Jefferson Holbrook, DSC

New! Top Ten Things to Do to Make 2016 the Worst Year Ever!     by Jefferson Holbrook, DSC

So, if you’re like me, you’re thinking that 2015 was what it was. It could have been better; it could have been worse. There were kinda horrible things that happened and there were pretty awesome things that happened too. Well, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. I’m fond of saying that you shouldn’t wait for things to happen, you should make them happen. If you want 2016 to be the Worst Year Ever, you are going to have to get started now with negative habits that will last a lifetime! Because I am here to help, I have put together an easy to follow plan, ten easy steps to take to ensure that 2016 is a glorious disaster. Today, we’ll look at number one, Complaining…

  1. Complain

Dictionary.com defines the word “Complain” [kuh m-pleyn] as a Verb: “to express dissatisfaction, pain, uneasiness, censure, resentment, or grief; find fault.” You woke up before your alarm clock even went off, feeling refreshed and ready for a new day. There is almost no traffic as you make your way to work. You even had time to stop for a cup of coffee at your favorite place and there was not a line at all, the entire stop taking less than 3 minutes! Warning, these things can lead to you having a good day and then maybe another one and so on. Before you know it, you’re having your best year ever. Even if things are going your way, a good way to derail the Happy Train is to Complain. Complaining is an ingenious way to take whatever you have, be it a lot or a little, and make it seem even less.

For the true Complainer, the glass is not just half empty, wait! Is this glass clean? Did you even wash this glass?!

If you’re not a complainer by nature, you might need a little help to get started. Complaining is just part of a larger goal you have of being a really negative person. No one just wakes up and all of sudden starts complaining. So, where does it begin? The seeds that eventually bear the bitter fruit of complaining are laced with ingratitude. That’s right! All you have to do to get started is simply ignore someone whenever they do something nice for you or do something just plain good in general. People who walk around with a sense of entitlement have got this down pat. That’s because they expect everyone around them to do and say things for their benefit. Not expressing gratitude is what eventually leads to complaining.  A good example of this is when a family member or friend goes out of their way to help you. Maybe you need to be picked up somewhere and they drive up right on time to pick you up, ignoring their kind gesture is where it all begins. Before you know it, you’ll be making them feel bad for not bringing you coffee when they picked you up! See? The grate (see what I did there?) thing about being ungrateful, is that once you make a habit of not thanking people it will become second nature. You won’t even know you are doing it. You will just be off in your own little world, oblivious to the fact that everyone arround you sees you for the ungrateful person you really are! Being ungrateful leads to many unpleasant things, complaining is just one of them.

 

And it is so easy to complain. You can complain about anything! Those healthy tax refunds? What the heck are you going to do with all that money? All those gift cards you got from relatives over the holidays? Don’t they know how crowded the stores are going to be? Don’t they love you at all?! Sure, your boss loves you and you just got a big fat raise, but isn’t there something better out there for you? Maybe?

 

And, anytime is a good time to complain, especially if a friend or family member is going out of their way trying to be helpful. Don’t they know how annoying a listening ear can be in times of trouble? And don’t get me started about the helpful advice they gave you that one time when you really needed it. What were they doing, just fishing for a compliment or something? Well, they won’t get a compliment from you. You’re just too good for that. Once you have managed to master the fine art of complaining you are well on your way to making 2016 the Worst Year Ever!

Stay tuned for the next article where we learn the importance of Procrastination!

Jefferson Holbrook, DSC, received a Doctor of Science in Communications from Tudor College of Earlscroft University and has published numerous essays, articles, poems, short stories and blogs. He is also the author of two collections of poetry. He lives with his family in the southeastern United States.

© Copyright 2016 Jefferson Brian Holbrook and Kingdom of the Son. All rights reserved.

Septembrance

Septembrance photo 1

the softing of the sky feels like a light breeze

but it should be something more…

something more sane…

more like rain.

what do the heavens take for congestion

and pain…?

the sky is scarred and scudded with clouds

that hold no promise

only a faint suggestion of rain.

the storm is straining for release

but being

held back by a tight leash.

this is that time of heavy treads and anticipation

when the world waits in trepidation.

the dry grounds cracks, splitting slightly,

then pulling apart

gaping more widely.

children run and jump and play, stumbling.

tripping, slipping, they fall, unaware of

the dangers of sliding all the way to hell.

they forgot the ground’s warning, the rumbling,

they forgot the strangers’ mumbling,

all they can remember is the pain

of skinned knees and hot tears

and no one there

to wipe the blood or calm the fears.

let August fall to September

let September surrender to October

let me sleep until i no longer remember,

just wake me when it’s over. because,

this is that time when all the words have been said

and trust has been bent all the way backwards

like thin metal,

and when the dust settles, the silence that is left

is something almost, but not quite, dead.

the silence steals over us like  something

humid…thick, sticky and electric..

lightning that is afraid to strike…

but i am not afraid to go outside

take me where the air is thick with ozone,

i am quick and don’t care if i have to go alone,

let the thunder come and yell it’s abuse

i will not run.

what’s the use?

when you are at your weakest

and feel like you can’t go on any longer

you begin to suspect that while

your roots are deep and wide,

that the wind might be a little bit stronger…

so let the lightning split my limbs

from my trunk and let the burning

consume me

as the light rain begins to finally fall…

find me free

in the place we used to be

when the flames take me

branches, leaves, and all.

Septembrance photo

© Copyright 2015. Words and Photos by Jefferson Holbrook.

All Rights Reserved.