We only have one life. That’s it. One go around here on the planet and, like so many, including myself, we treat it like a stolen car. We ram into things, we put it at risk, we attain high measures of speed and we abandon it when the heat is on. The only thing worse than that is parking it in the garage.

Stop disrespecting your life. I heard it clear as day. God and/or I was trying to get a message to me. I had been going through a lot. I had been anxious, moody, and over all a miserable person, but, unless you’re my wife, you wouldn’t know it.

I have the spiritual gift of phoniness, in the sense that I can hide what’s wrong while helping you with your problem. I heard Joss Whedon on NPR call this “hiding your damage while trying to create”.

That’s what people do. We hide our damage so we can portray to the world  a well balanced, emotionally healthy, hard working, spiritually mature individual, when we know we are not.

Stop disrespecting your life. I heard  it again and again. Listen, I wasn’t murdering anyone, but I had a gotten into a rut of not caring. and that is the worst kind of disrespect you can show the one life your given, but it’s not the only one.

If I were to create the  10 Commandments of Disrespecting One’s Life it would like like this:

Thou shalt not quit caring 

I put this at the top because I think it’s the worst, the one I loathe in me. I’ve always cared and sometime too much. The wounds and scars of working with hurt people who hurt  people, almost did me in. It’s still no excuse to quit caring.

Thou shalt not waste thy gifts

I’ve met so many gifted people. Musicians who’d rather do drugs. Artists who hide their gift because of fear and doubt. Writers who won’t start a blog or submit their work because they do not think it’s good enough. It’s tragic that so many do not see themselves as artists, even if their art is not traditional like baking or

Thou shalt not waste time 

We can waste a lot of time worrying and having pity parties; neither of which helps anyone, including us. Time waits for no man. The future is happening right now like a moving train and we can either jump on or watch it pass by, but that train is neither stopping or even slowing down. We must jump, with both feet, as hard as we can and grab the handle and then work like mad to hang on until we get to where we are going. No one is coming to save you, you must save yourself.

Thou shalt not be selfish 

Why not be generous. It’s only money, you can make more. Times. a different story. We should guard and invest our time. We can’t make more time, everything else we can afford to give away.  All our gifts and talents were meant to be shared not hoarded. We have these gifts to make people laugh, smile, think, and believe. Why in the world would we hold that back? Pass it on.

Thou shalt not turn from thy calling

I have spent the past 27 yea working with teenagers and it is a badge I proudly wear. When I sensed where my life was heading, I dove in with both feet and did not turn back or turn away like Jonah. So many of you have something important to do, stop running from it.

Thou shalt not give less than 100%

It’s easier to just phone it in. It’s easier to just do enough. You can justify it by saying “they are not worthy of my best” and shrug it off. That hurts no one but you. You are not the better person because you give less.

Thou shalt not give into fear

Maybe because I am turning 50 next year but I am losing a lot of my fears. If the world has not killed me yet, its not going to in the next 20. I have more fight in me now than ever. I’m ready for the next leap, the next hurdle, the next jump. Screw fear.

Thou shalt not hide 

Hiding does not mean evading the spot light, it means we might not even show up. We hide in the shadows and watch others succeed while we suck on bitter envy. We hide because we do not want to be rejected. The risk is too great to jump into a conversation, show up to that party, try something new.

The comedian Rodney Dangerfield joke, “When I was a kid I got no respect. I played hide-and-seek. They wouldn’t even look for me.”

No one is looking for you sunshine, you have to yell, “Here I am!!”

Thou shalt not waste your time on hate

Hating others is losing proposition. Tearing others down does not elevate you. Hate drains our soul and puts us on unnecessary guard duty,  doing our best to protect the world from “others”.

Thou shalt not give up 

This should be number two of the worst ways to disrespect the one life your given., but I needed s good closer. Giving up means you settled. You settled for the wrong guy or girl, the practical, or the average. I disagree that someone has to average in order that others might be great. I think everyone can be great in their own home, in their own school, or their own city.

Great does not mean  a million views on Youtube, a thousand post shares (although your are welcome to try with this one) or being the king or queen of the dance, Great means you’re great. You’re a great hugger, a great friend, a great lover, and a great listener. It’s more important to be a great person than a great personality.

Giving up because you are not someone else’s version of great  is not acceptable.

I have broken all of these commandments at some point in my life and sometimes multiples at the same time, but I’m done disrespecting my own life.

You were given a life. Don’t be disrespectful.

Which of these are you guilty of breaking?

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