- Thoughts for inspired living

June 30, 2008

Running on Empty

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:48 am

The1977 hit song; Running on Empty by Jackson Browne pretty much describes the hole in our soul and our attempt to fill it.

(by Jackson Browne)

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-o-one
I don’t know where I’m running now, I’m just running on

Running on – running on empty
Running on – running blind
Running on – running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive
In sixty-nine I was twenty-one and I called the road my own
I don’t know when that road turned onto the road I’m on

Running on – running on empty
Running on – running blind
Running on – running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don’t know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that’ll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don’t know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on – running on empty
Running on – running blind
Running on – running into the sun
But I’m running behind

Honey you really tempt me
You know the way you look so kind
I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind


The emptiness he sings about is not the emptiness the ancients encouraged us to seek. The emptiness he describes is an unquenchable thirst. This emptiness follows a recipe of constant wanting; the other is a prescription for everlasting peace. Reminds me of a story . . .

My wife from another life had a coveted recipe for margaritas. Everyone loved them. She got the recipe 30 years ago from a bartender at a place called THE LOBSTER POT in Kansas City. He explained to her the key difference was that the ones he made were made with real lemon juice, not lime juice. She whipped up a batch and the rest is history. Everyone wanted the recipe.*

The difficulty arose when others made them. They did not taste the same. Upon further investigation, they were either missing an ingredient or another ingredient was substituted. The ones who followed the recipe to the letter got the real deal. Those who improvised got something different.

The emptiness that can’t be filled is what human beings feel. The logical thing seems to find something to fill this empty space. No one told us our container is a mental colander. It profusely leaks our fuel and we always want more. The recipe of constant wanting and consuming will never fill us up. This type of wanting leads to psychological gluttony. The more we consume, the emptier we feel.

The culture we live in supports this artificial method of tanking up. Everywhere you turn, the culture reminds you that the answer to your dilemma is something outside of you – this car, this house, this vacation, this lover, this lifestyle, this pill, etc.

These sought after things are wonderful accents to our life but can never be substituted for real life.

Real life is finding the emptiness out of which all things spring. Some refer to it as the “Void.” The writings of Lao Tzu refer to it as the “Tao.” Jesus called it “The Kingdom of Heaven.” The name is unimportant; the state of being is essential to feel the fullness of life.

You won’t find this fullness in a book or in a philosophy. They can only point the way. Tasting the real thing begins when we calm our mental noise and give attention to the feelings that show up in our body. This two step process will have you running on authentic empty.

Step one is allowing the story in your mind to calm down. It’s once removed from your pain and will perpetuate your psychological emptiness as long as you keep the story in place.

Step two is to fully feel the emotions that accompany this painful human emptiness. Pain is a pathway to peace. Paying attention to the feelings in your body is physical acknowledgement of your emotional state.

This recipe allows your true emptiness to metabolize the pain making room for the fullness of life.

All the best,


*Margarita Recipe

1 part tequila

1 part sugar water (Sugar water is made with 1 cup of sugar to 3 cups of water)

¾ part triple sec

¾ part lemon juice (Minute Maid 100% pure lemon juice)

P.S. Not responsible for the crazy behavior of anyone who drinks these concoctions.

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June 27, 2008

The Next Moment

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:32 am

The Grasshopper whispered this to me the other day,

“Each next moment is born in this moment.”

Much of our lives are spent getting to another moment, other than the one we’re in. The difficulty we run in to with that strategy is that the building block for the next moment can only be laid in this moment. If we’re ignoring this moment, you can easily see how an expectant future never gets built because we are on a mental coffee break in this moment. The expectant future never develops because there are no building blocks laid now.

Futures can only be built now. That means by paying attention to this moment, you are building a future with real substance. This is not a rant against daydreaming. I think that is a wonderful use of our intellect. It’s a nice diversion from our critical mind and it’s very entertaining. You have chosen to entertain yourself in that moment.

But if your goal is to get to the next moment by ignoring this one, the next moment has the tendency to catch the future flu. That means that when the future arrives it has the same symptoms of the moment you were ignoring to get there. It’s a self perpetuating pattern that will run until you notice it and interrupt it. When you notice and interrupt your penchant for getting to the next moment, you are giving your full attention to what is happening now.

Call it “quality attention.”

See how much quality attention you can bring to the picnic today and then notice how each new moment has substance and aliveness attached to it. Pay attention to the aliveness of each moment and you will be building something of substance – not an illusionary future that never arrives.

All the best,


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June 26, 2008

You Get What You Order

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:54 am

I’ve been fighting with this idea for a long time and losing. It’s been hard for me to give credence to the idea that what shows up in my life, I ordered. It’s so easy to put the onus on the outside and blame circumstances for my delivery not matching up with what I consciously asked for.

The NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) community has a phrase that’s hard to wrap your mind around but fits nicely into reality. They state: “The meaning of the communication is the response that you get.” That means if you asked for vanilla and you got chocolate, you communicated chocolate. There are elegant, isolated examples to the contrary but when you look at your results on balance, this phrase takes on a dependable accuracy. Maybe an example would be helpful . . .

When I was in the radio broadcasting business we had a listener measurement service called “ratings.” Ratings in radio were delivered 4 times per year in many cities – Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. They would be an approximation of how many people listen to your station based on sampling a small portion of the population. The amount of money a radio station makes in advertising is largely based on these ratings. The difficulty is that any specific rating period can be dead wrong.

I can remember one rating period indicating that our station lost 50% of our male listenership. Anyone with two working brain cells knew that was not accurate. It’s like the umpire sneezed on a crucial pitch and, with his eyes closed, guessed and called it a strike, causing us to lose the game. You could go on and say he’s a lousy umpire but, upon further inspection, his calls throughout the season were highly accurate. If you judged his entire body of work by that one blown call, you would be doing his umpiring a disservice. The same is true with ratings. Any one reporting period can be an aberration, but over the course of time, they pretty accurately tell you where you fall in the pecking order.

The response you get in life (what keeps showing up) is the meaning you communicated. Again, it’s easy to point to examples to the contrary and extrapolate them across our life, but that would not be an accurate barometer.

What shows up, on balance, is what you ordered.

Paraphrasing Jerry Stocking, one of the great teachers of our time,

“We get what we order but we don’t yet understand the ordering process.”

I don’t claim to know what it is. I know for sure what it isn’t. The ordering process is not a conscious phenomenon. We don’t get what we order through thought and willpower. The ordering happens at another level. The reason we don’t get what we consciously order can be thought of this way: We order in English but the waiter only understands Greek. Our order is bound to be screwed up.

The law of attraction is working in all of our lives. We just mentally discount the law when it’s not working in our favor. That’s like saying gravity doesn’t exist after you’ve fallen off a cliff.

The reversal of fortune begins with the recognition that you are the source of your production. “I am creating this” is the phrase of recognition. The next step is to notice that there are patterns of behavior that you constantly use that act as the delivery route for your order. The patterns produce the result – not your conscious desire. The trap that we fall into by not diligently observing our patterns is the diversion the exception delivers.

The sport of Golf is the primary example of this diversion. Most golfers suck. It’s a fact of life for us duffers. The thing that keeps golfers coming back is the exception – the spectacular drive they hit once a round or the miracle putt they get once in a blue moon. When they experience that, they say, “I’m a player” no matter what the scorecard says. This keeps them from diligently looking at the patterns that are consistently producing horrendously high scores.

The conspiracy keeping you from what you want is self created.

Getting in touch with the feelings associated with what you don’t want is a step in the direction to outgrowing the patterns that keep giving you the same results.

Notice the frustration, sadness, anger, fear or whatever emotion accompanies the “wrong” order. Feel it fully in your body. Don’t dismiss it because it’s scary. That will have you just close your eyes again and miss the ingredient that’s necessary for your growth. Feeling your emotions fully allows them expression. When you do this, you allow, as they say in music, the chord to resolve. This resolving is the ending of the tensions that have been keeping you from getting what you truly want.

It’s a process and not a quick fix. The application of being with your feelings has a progressive effect that leads you to the critical mass of outgrowing some old patterns that kept delivering chocolate.

All the best,


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June 25, 2008

Your Spirit Never Gets Old

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:41 am

Old, as we have discussed before, lives somewhere on a continuum that’s older than you are. The old axiom, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” underscores that our spirit remains the same. It’s vibrant and unchangeable.

My grandmother, whom I’ve also mentioned before, had a response to the question of “How are you doing?” She would say, “I’m getting old.” She never admitted to being old, only getting there. My mother was less delicate. She would respond to the same question by saying, “Not bad for an old broad.”

These people were in tune with their ageless spirit until their dying day. They recognized that old really is a mind set.

I have always had a great rapport with older women. I think it stems from a suggestion I got from my father in the 4th grade. Perhaps a story would be helpful . . .

The school I attended had a raffle each Fall and each student was required to sell tickets. After you sold your mother, father, aunts, uncles, grandparents and nearby neighbors, you had to find new customers. I was a little hesitant going out and asking strangers if they wanted to buy raffle tickets.

My father gave me the strategy that proved quite effective. Before I tell you his suggestion, I will remind you that at that time, most women did not work outside of the home. They were known as homemakers or referred to as a term that I’ve come to despise, “housewives.”

My father said it was most likely that a woman would answer the door. He said the first question I should ask them is not, “Do you want to buy a raffle ticket for my school?” He said to ask, “Is your mother home?” He said no matter how old the woman answering the door; I was to ask that question first. I sold the most raffle tickets in my class.

I was addressing the ageless spirit in each of those women by using that piece of stealth flattery I got from my father.

It grew into more than flattery for me as I grew older. I found that I began talking with older women and men the same way I would talk to people my age. I never made them feel old. I never presupposed that because they were older, they wouldn’t get what I was talking about or be offended by something I would readily say to someone of my generation.

Older people don’t need to be protected. They have lived longer than you and have survived more than you can imagine. To treat them as less of a citizen because of their age is demeaning.

Also, I have come to ask older people their opinions on decisions I have been contemplating. The wisdom that pours out is priceless.

Yes, you will find older people that only want to talk about their health and prescriptions and how it used to be, but you will also find those people in any adult age group. Once you’ve weeded out the chronic complainers, you will find a treasure of perception that may not be readily apparent to you.

If you assume they don’t know, you’ll never ask and remain impoverished.

Find your version of “Is your mother home?” and discover a mother lode from someone in their “Golden Years.”

All the best,


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June 24, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:04 am

I used bibliomancy this morning to come up with the topic for today’s blog post. Bibliomancy is the practice of contemplating a direction to go and then flipping through a book (usually a sacred text) and having your finger land randomly on a word or phrase. This word or phrase provides a path to travel on in search of your solution. I used the dictionary and came up with “Volition.”

Volition as described in Webster’s Dictionary is “An act of willing, choosing and deciding – A conscious choice – Power or capability of choosing.”

Most of our choices are automatically made for us by our patterns (conditioned behaviors). Patterns are wonderful, useful and serve a purpose. For example, I will be eternally grateful for the pattern I have that allows me to jump out of the way of an oncoming bus.

We have some other patterns that don’t seem so glorious on first inspection. We’ve heard the expression that “he/she has a temper.” This person is conditioned to fly off the handle. This pattern was formed for a purpose in response to a situation way back when. The difficulty is that it keeps going on now, even though the original causative factor is long gone. The person finds that any new challenging situation in their life triggers the old way of responding. They have grooved that way of responding and therefore have removed choice from their list of responses.

Choice is a choice we rarely make. We let it make us. Leaving choice to chance is really the height of laziness.

There is an opportunity to choose at any given moment, yet we allow our automatic pilot fly us into the side of a mountain time after time.

“Why do I always do that?” is a question that points up the indolence of ignoring choice.

You always do that because you’ve always done that and then justify it by saying “that’s who I am.” The more accurate answer is that’s who you are conditioned to be.

If you’ve heard something from enough people over the course of your life about a piece of your behavior, chances are they aren’t making it up. It’s a pattern and you do have a choice.

Saying you don’t have a choice is denial, and not taking steps to outgrow the pattern is not only being lazy, but contrary.

Knowing the genesis of a pattern is not as important as knowing you have a choice. Some people when they find the initial cause of their patterned behavior use it as a justification to keep the behavior alive. “I’m the daughter of a left-handed alcoholic” may be an eye-opening revelation but it does little to outgrow the learned behavior.

Knowing you have a choice is true freedom.

Recognizing a pattern while it’s running is the best time to exercise choice. Recognition is the wedge between stimulus and response. Once the wedge is inserted, you have choices. Whether you take them or not will give you a measurement on how lazy or contrary you are.

Volition removes the glue known as blame and keeps you from being stuck.

Make a choice today!

All the best,


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June 23, 2008

Yours & Mine

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:02 am

The Grasshopper delivered a saying this morning that I am musing on as I write this blog. He said,

“It’s mine to give, not yours to take.”

There are so many surface applications that apply to this idea but I’m searching for the deeper significance.

Superficially, it could be about my wheelbarrow that I graciously let my neighbor use, or grumble if he uses it without asking. That supposes that I have a wheelbarrow. Those that know me just laughed.

It could be about an intangible like generosity, compassion, kindness, etc.

I’m beginning to see that the phrase is about something that cannot be taken away. I believe it’s about peace.

We find this peace aptly illustrated by John 14:27:

May peace be with you; my peace I give to you: I give it not as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled; let it be without fear.”

Me quoting the Bible – again people who know me just laughed.

The peace of the pond is not always reflected on the surface. It’s always, however, at the deepest levels. Dueling swans cannot disturb the deep peace of the pond. They cannot take it away.

Our deepest part is not disturbed by surface situations and will not allow its peace to be taken away. The corollary is just as accurate: It will bestow it to you at will.

The peace you seek is not on the surface. That’s just a reflection of the peace beneath. To give your peace, you have to be in touch with it, otherwise it’s just a nice Bible quote that lets you talk about it but not experience it.

To find your peace, you have to quiet your mind. The mind is always the sentry standing guard at the entrance to peace. There are so many ways to get mentally quiet. Find the one that works best for you.

In this quiet space, you will be bathed in peace. With each visit to these depths, you bring more of it back with you to the surface. That means that things that are currently stealing your surface peace will have less and less opportunity with each passing day. This happens when you discover that all parts of the pond are connected. This means you can access its deepest gifts and allow them to flow through you at a moment’s notice.

No one can take true peace away. And there is so much of it to give because everyone has an inexhaustible supply.

Find your peace today and you will realize, first hand, that you have something to give that nobody can take away.

All the best,



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June 20, 2008

Resistance Revisited

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 10:11 am

Back in January of 2005, The Grasshopper offered me this nip of nectar:

“The degree to which you suffer is proportionate to your resistance.”

Where does that resistance reside? In your mind, of course.

You may have heard the Carl Jung bon mot: “What you resist persists” but the locale of that persistence is never identified. It’s in our mind. We will suffer as long as it stays there. We will play out our scripted resistance with the same persistence and get the same result.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get the resistance to stop and have the associated pain go away? It’s a noble goal and not likely for most people. It would be great to be able to go with the flow and accept whatever comes our way and enjoy the freedom from stress that it would bring. But that ain’t happening for most.

Most of us will resist until our dying day unless . . .

Let me come back to that in just a moment. First let me tell you a story . . .

It’s the tale of a man with “shifty eyes.” About 23 years ago, I brought Harvey Diamond, co-author of the book FIT FOR LIFE, in for a seminar. Harvey’s seminar was wonderful. His book was at the top of the best seller list, he had been on all the major TV shows, including Oprah. Early in his climb to international fame, I happened to interview him on the radio and we had an instant rapport and a common goal – helping people Lose Weight and Keep it Off. Then he agreed, as a favor to me, to come to town for a one night seminar. I had to put it together quickly because he only had one date in the very near future to do it. I purchased ads on the radio station I worked at and did live commercials for about a week prior to this event. On the air, I mentioned how excited I was to bring Harvey to town to share his message and how I had arranged the seminar. I also told the people due to the short time window we would only be able to accept cash at the door. There was no time to set up a credit card account or joint checking with signed signature cards and I disclosed all of that.

There is an FCC rule that you must have a disclosure phrase, usually at the end of the commercial that says something like this: “Announcers are compensated for their testimonials and appearances.” It’s a formal statement. It wasn’t in the commercials I did. I said all the requisite things but they were done conversationally within the commercial and never in one formal statement – an unwitting error on my part.

Fast forward to the night of the seminar . . . hundreds of people show up and so do the TV stations. I was very excited that things turned out so well. One of the TV reporters came up to me and asked for an interview. I readily accepted. Little did I know they had an agenda. They thought there was something underhanded about the evening because we would only accept cash. I explained why we did that. Then she wanted to know why I didn’t disclose that I was being compensated for the event. I was confused. I said that I said that on the air many times but she harped on the fact that it wasn’t officially disclosed and did I have something to hide. I felt like a criminal.

Later that night I watched a tape of the TV interview and did I look bad. My eyes were shifting side to side as I was searching for answers to her questions that were now turning in to barbs. I was searching for answers inside my head. A little NLP primer may be helpful. When your eyes go up, you are accessing pictures, when they go lateral, you are into sounds and when they go down and right, you are into your feelings – your body. Never did my eyes move off of lateral which is a prime indicator of someone who mainly processes their world through sound.

I never checked in with my body for an answer and consequently gave a pretty incongruent interview. As a viewer, I wouldn’t have believed me if I didn’t know the facts. I stewed in my head for quite awhile.

The good news is I got over it.

So now let’s go back to my point. How do you get resistance to go away?

You get it out of your head and into your body. Your head only has one solution for resistance – persistence which keeps it in place. Your body has more room to process the resistance and neutralize it. How do you get the resistance from your head into your body? First, notice that there are feelings attached to this resistance. They exist in your body. You won’t know they are there unless you access them. One quick way is to take your eyes down and to the right and notice the feelings. More importantly, let them be. Do not chase them away. That’s more resistance. Your body has the capacity and the innate knowledge to know how to make them flow through.

If you would like to learn more about how to have your body tend to your feelings, get yourself to one of Jerry Stocking‘s courses. He is an absolute wizard in helping people discover their bodies and the magic they perform.

Here’s a homework assignment for the weekend. Find something you are resisting in your head and find out what it feels like in your body. Then let your body handle the feeling without any interference from your logical self. It’s a magic way for resistance to melt and fade away.

All the best,


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June 19, 2008

I’m Being Followed

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:28 am

Peter Pan wasn’t the first person to notice he had a shadow. And when it became separated from him, he was concerned and had Wendy reattach it.

I wonder how many times we’ve had the opportunity to leave our shadow behind but just never acted on it. Every time you encounter the same difficulty with uncanny frequency, you are presented with yet another chance to separate from your shadow.

Last night The Grasshopper just blurted this out from the blue:

“Whatever follows you around and keeps showing up means you haven’t dealt with it yet.”

What keeps tagging along?

It’s a question worth your quiet contemplation time because the answer is your doorway to discovery and growth.

It’s no accident that you’re being followed. You can bet there is a pattern of behavior below consciousness that keeps attracting this recurring dilemma. The question, “Why does this always happen to me?” is our first clue that we are clueless.

Patterned behavior attracts the same exact thing time after time. It may show up in a different dress, a new suit of clothes, or wearing a fake nose and glasses but it’s the same result being attracted by the same pattern.

Have you ever gone to restaurants with someone on several occasions and noticed there’s always a legitimate problem with their order? It’s no accident. They attract it. Think about a woman who seems to be a “Bum Magnet.” She continually meets the same type of man with the same character flaw. She didn’t pick him, her patterns did. What about the “accident prone” person? Yes, they’re being followed by what their patterns are attracting.

Whatever shadow keeps showing up, lack of money, excessive drinking, overeating, or just plain bad luck is being drawn our way due to our patterns – most of which were formed without our consent or knowledge.

The 6 words in life guaranteed to keep you stuck are: “That’s just the way I am.” That’s as close to hopeless as one can get. The more accurate statement is: “That’s the way my patterns are.” You can do something about patterns once you recognize them.

When an athlete or sports team is struggling, a wise manager or coach will take them back to basics. The basic behavior for outgrowing patterns is recognition. You can separate yourself from your shadowy existence by noticing your patterns while they are happening and then interrupt them. This noticing and interrupting, with practice, gives you the ability to fly out of Neverland. You outgrow the old way and grow into a new way, or simply grow up.

Patterns run our lives, not happenstance.

Two quotes from a book written over a century ago illustrate this reality. The book is “AS A MAN THINKETH” by James Allen. He wrote,

Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.”

“He thinks in secret and it comes to pass: Environment is but his looking-glass.”

All the best,


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June 18, 2008

Experience Hypnosis

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:55 am

If you have always wanted to experience Hypnosis (Accelerated Learning) but have never acted on it, now is your opportunity. Below you will find an offering that I sent to my John Morgan Seminars Subscribers. It’s alerting them and you to a HALF PRICE Summer Sale going on at

The offering is self explanatory. If you want to hear my explanation of Hypnosis, just log on to and click on the audio arrow on my picture. I think it will clear up many of the misconceptions many have about the phenomenon known as Hypnosis.


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All the best,

John Morgan

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June 17, 2008

Wounded Healer

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:58 am

I have never met Tiger Woods, I only see him on television. I witnessed a gutsy performance this past 5 days from a wounded warrior during the U.S. Open. Tiger had knee surgery in mid April and came back to play in one of the 4 major championships held in golf each year. He won.

He was wincing in pain and truly wasn’t on his game. He won anyway. The Nike people must have gone crazy and I’m sure they have a commercial planned already, filled with Tiger’s grimaces and the “Just Do It” trademark ready to punctuate the performance.

Then I got to thinking about the antitheses of Tiger’s example – the people I refer to as “Wounded Healers.” These are gifted people who are terribly flawed themselves and don’t “walk their talk.” They have a great message but their personal behavior just doesn’t match up in many cases.

I must admit that I have difficulty hearing relationship advice parceled out by someone working on their 4th wife. I have trouble with someone who would cite the ancient writings and lecture on personal peace who died a hopeless drunk. I have trouble hearing nutritional advice preached to me from a celebrity who has had major fluctuations in their weight since they’ve been in the public eye. I’m sure you have your own examples.

Part of our dilemma is wanting our heroes to be perfect, something that will never happen because “perfect” is an antonym of “human.” The other part is our striving to be perfect – what I call “chasing the horizon.” I don’t remember where I first heard it but the following phrase put perfection into perspective for me: “Don’t strive for perfection; strive for excellence.” Excellence is achievable, perfection is not.

I think back on one of the greatest teachers I had who taught me more about communication and hypnosis than anyone else. He was truly a genius. He also smoked like a chimney. I had a friend that owned a major alcohol treatment center who had his child custody privileges revoked when found sprawled on the floor in a drunken stupor by his young daughter in his care for the weekend. My past pronouncement would have been “Hypocrisy.”

There is nothing wrong with their message. The messenger is wounded. It’s easier to affix the hypocrite label when the person is so pompous and holier than thou like the Jim Bakker’s, Jimmy Swaggart’s and Eliiot Spitzer’s of the world. Their messages were sound. Their behavior didn’t match. The famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote describes how we relate to these people, “What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.”

I’m beginning to look at them and myself in a more forgiving way – a way that doesn’t have me judge the messenger and miss the message.

What I have learned is twofold:

  1. If you shoot the messenger, you can’t get the message.
  2. The messenger may not have gotten it either, but maybe their only purpose was to deliver it to you.

All the best,


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