Clear Eyes Full Hearts

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It has been a bit of a crazy year. I am sure it is easy to tell by my posts that I have been in a bit of a reflective kick this year. I haven’t seen the need to put on some mask. Instead I have tried to share with you all what is really going on. Life isn’t full of just highs. There are plenty of moments where we are all down, angry, or lost. So I have wanted to share those moments with hopes that others will find strength reading about someone else in a time of weakness.

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I by no means write this with hopes of people feeling sorry for me. Instead I write this so they know that those bad days all have a purpose. Those days will only make you stronger if you use them as a chance to grow. There are many times on the bike where I feel weak and question if I can keep pushing. So I started telling myself to dig deeper and push harder. Those rides are the moments I can look back with appreciation because I know they made me a better rider. The suffering wasn’t permanent, but it was a reminder that success takes sacrifice. Would there be any satisfaction setting a personal best or doing something I didn’t know I could if it came easy?

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The past 6 months or so I have seen a huge change in my life. To this day losing Copper still rips at my heart. He probably was the first thing I have lost that I really loved and cared for. Changing jobs brought on some anxiety that I didn’t know I could ever have. Alex moving to Knoxville made me realize how quiet a house can really be. I have had to change so much about how I interact with people, how I spend my spare time, and what I invest my time/energy into.

Instead of retreating to my house and to a place of comfort, I have reached out to friends. I have taken that step of uncertainty by being open to those in my small group. Sharing things that I previously would keep to myself. Using these men to become a stronger Christian. The things I used to desire or value has changed. It has caused me to question some things that are almost a foundation to my life and to be honest it scares me to death.

I know more about myself than I ever have. This comes at a price though. I have had some of the worst days because of these changes. Some days were difficult because I couldn’t find happiness in the simple things I used to. Being alone became destructive instead of a refuge. A night of video games lost all appeal. Relaxing on the couch mindlessly watching TV would drive me crazy. I have felt so lost on those days. ┬áSo instead I started to ride more, get out often, and I have tried my hardest to be engaged with the people I care about.

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Those bad days are worth it though. They give me the power to tell myself that I can conquer more than I think I can. But they also show me that I can’t do it alone. That I still need to listen to what God has planned for me. That all things have a purpose and it could take me months or even years before I realize what it is.

So for anyone else that is in the storm just know you can use it as an opportunity to change. Turn the loneliness, pain, etc into a reason to fight harder. Use those moments as a reason to praise God. Reaching out to Him in a time of weakness feels vulnerable, but it also makes it easier because you have someone that will listen. Someone that truly cares for you like nobody else does. None of us are ever truly alone. He is at the door waiting, we just have to open it to let Him in.

Direction

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I am going to be completely honest when I say I have no clue what I am doing. I probably never have. But in the past I have done a good job at convincing myself I knew the direction my life should go. I once completely focused on worldly success. I needed that 6 figure salary, car we all want, that house you love on pinterest, and a marriage people would be jealous of. Sure these things are not bad aspirations, but they shouldn’t be how we measure success or purpose in life. My impact on this world shouldn’t be how well I can put myself together. It should be on how I can help put someone else together.

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(Side note, I don’t really know the point of me writing this. I just felt the need to type today and share what is happening in my life.)

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Where is the motivation or drive if I am doing everything for myself? Why do I care what society values or believes makes someone complete? To me living that kind of life isn’t sustainable. I don’t want to be that person that hates Mondays, but tells myself it is worth it when i get paid on Friday. I don’t want to get old and see that all I have is a nice car, house, and large bank account.

I have started to realize that I want to look back and see people I have changed. See a friend that is smiling/laughing. That same friend that I was there for in the past when things were tough. See a child realizing they have a purpose that maybe years ago they didn’t believe in. If I can improve someone else’s life, then I have improved mine.

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Oh and before anybody thinks I am trying to place myself on some pedestal, just know I am HORRIBLE at all of this. I don’t tell people they matter. I don’t call my friends to see how they are doing as often as I should. But that doesn’t mean I am not trying. Improving my life and someone else’s is a daily challenge, and will never be something I can master.

 

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That being said it is sooooo worth it. I know how much I love a friend reaching out to me even if I don’t show it. So I only hope my random message or setting aside my time for them shows them that I care. After all I am very selfish with my time and most of all my energy.

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I don’t want to be an actor to the world. What I mean by that is I don’t want to play some character by smiling and making the world think I have everything under control. I don’t, and doubt many of us really do. Now that I think about it maybe I could have been a successful actor. Hmmm I digress…Some of my best moments and conversations have been when I or others open up about what is really going on in our lives. Being vulnerable makes that relationship stronger and more meaningful.

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If I ever ask you how you are doing, please know it isn’t small talk. I really want to know. There are few things more frustrating to me than a person who asks that when you know they don’t care. I couldn’t count how often at work or somewhere else people will ask me a question about my weekend or whatever and it is obvious they have already moved on. Don’t waste my time.

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Like I said at the beginning, I don’t know what I am doing. I told myself years ago I need to go a certain direction, and I never listened when it was clear the path was wrong. I told myself I was strong and could handle it. Well guess what Eric, you are weak.

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I am done making my own path. I am done planning out what I believe makes me successful, or is my best fit. For now on I am going to listen to what God’s plan is. Where he wants me to be. Only then will I find my direction.

PS….jumping pictures are much better pre-jump

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I guess this would be an awkward time to post photos of nice cars……soooo yeah

 

 

 

*Inspirational quote about direction or purpose in life*