The Importance of Humility

“A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing.”
Albert Einstein

The older I get, the more it seems that I hold only a spec of knowledge, wisdom or counsel. This is not said in a degrading context, but is said to show in the vastness of the universe I know only tiny bit about the world around me. That does not mean that I stop learning, or asking questions, but that humility allows me to set aside any hints of ego or pride and be teachable.

If you have not guessed it, I’m going to write and reflect on the importance of humility in life and why I feel that it will take you far in life. Now first let me very clearly state that I am not the most humble human being in existence, my own ego and pride rise to the surface, thus preventing me from being the best student I can be.

Humility is an element that seems to be disappearing quickly, preferably in our American context. An old martial arts instructor of mine, once was telling a quick story about how he was on a plane home, and a man near him, spoke up and demanded that he be brought coffee right away.

My instructor, quickly got his attention and said “please, thank you?” with a very perplexed and obvious look on his face, the man then quickly recanted of his attitude and said please and thank you. This is one way that humility takes root in our lives, for me I’ve noticed that when I say the simple words of please and thank you, something in my heart softens. The simple fact is that no one has to serve us, yet serving others becomes a vocation, as others get to relax and enjoy their surroundings.

As a martial arts instructor, I watch how students act and carry themselves, and if I’m honest sometimes its very disheartening, very rarely do students say thank you for teaching and giving what knowledge I have in a certain area, I don’t want to imply that students have to worship at my feet, but when someone says that they are thankful, it not only softens their heart, but it moves something inside the person that is serving them.

I’ve also had students complain that they often do the same thing over and over in practice,and that they want to move on to “new” things. From a martial arts or athletic stand point, we must be thankful for the basics, we must be thankful that we can even do them in the first place. I don’t care how many times you have done something, you can always learn something from what you have previously done.

The problem does not rest in the performing of everyday tasks or drills that we do each and every day. But with the very disposition of our hearts and minds, sometimes we human beings feel that we have risen above the everyday and mundane, that we deserve bigger and better things. That simply is not always the case.

Everything in life is a gift, not something we deserve because we are so great and god like. Even in education, our heads can get so big because we feel we know so much compared to others, this only closes us off from actually entering into real relationships with others, in that when we feel we know so much, we tend to think “what could they possibly teach me?”

In closing, let us be every watchful of our own ego’s and pride, that way when we feel them rise we can gladly put them back in the place they belong.



Cerebral Palsy and Depression

Following my previous post What’s It’s Like To Live With Cerebral Palsy? I felt it would be good to continue on with writing about cerebral palsy and what it is like to not only live it, but also mental illness at the same time. I know it must seem harsh that a person might already have C.P. and now add on a mental illness as well.

While some may raise a clenched fist (which I have in the past) I’ve come to accept this fact, my cerebral palsy and even mental illness are apart of me, but not who I am as a whole. I can’t exactly remember when depression made its ways into my life. It would be easy to think that from a young age, enduring all the operations that my body has had to endure. The intense pain, the time spent in recovery (which has taken a year and half each time) and the intensive therapy to get back to a normal functioning state.

It makes sense that depression would begin to appear, after all, every human being has bouts with depression at one point or another. No one is immune to depression, But when you have other physical elements added on from something like C.P. it’s sometimes all the more difficult at times.

But having lived with depression (and anxiety) since I was seventeen, I am here to tell you that it can get better. Talk therapy, coping mechanisms and adequate exercise are some of the best ways to combat depression.

As far as exercise, its something that I’ve done my whole life, however discovering Cross-Fit over a year ago, it has been a fascinating way to night only improve my body, but also my mind. Cross-Fit is amazing because it can be scaled down to meet people who are in wheel chairs.

Talk therapy on the other hand, can be a bit tricky. It can be difficult to find the right counselor, one that actually listens and doesn’t not simply provide short arm answers, but when you do it can make a world of difference. We all need help in this life, we are not the lone rangers that we think we are.

So my wisdom is simple, if you are a person living with C.P. and also feel that you may be experiencing depression, or long periods of sadness. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone you trust, a close friend, family member and even professional. You might not find what what you are looking for right away, but never give up the hunt.

If you are a parent, with a child who has C.P. (or any other condition) and you sense they are struggling, talk to them, ask questions. And if they talk, practice the art of listening. It will make a world of difference.

Lastly, if you would like to know more about my life with cerebral palsy, depression and faith. Please check out my first memoir The Emotional Struggle. here:     1936383_124215146308_4705139_n

What’s It’s Like To Live With Cerebral Palsy?

I was pondering/praying for a blog topic to write on this morning, and the question came to mind: What is it like to live with cerebral palsy? Honestly at different points in my life the answer would have varied. There would have been days where I would have said that it absolutely sucked and days where it was something in the back of mind.

I’m sure that there will be days where I will again say that it sucks, and my body will ache. But more so now, I see it more as a blessing and motivation. Why? You ask, because I wasn’t supposed to be able to do much on my own, on the other hand doctors said that I would “grow out” of this condition.

I see my cerebral palsy, as a means to prove people wrong and to motivate others to strive for the best life possible. There have been seasons where depression and self-loathing where like a close companion, following my every step. But my faith in the one true God was the silencer to the despair.

His love has broken through the pain, the fear, the shame and lifted me to the sky. It is because of this fact, that I am proud to say that I am nothing without him. If you are a person living with cerebral palsy, don’t let it stop you, let it be a means of motivation, prove others wrong who say you can’t. Let it be a means to inspire others and meet others where they are.

If you are a parent of a son or daughter, who has cerebral palsy. Comfort them in the dark and heavy times, but also refuse to let them stay where they are. Motivate them to rise above always. Love them always.321679_10150871924185165_448704118_n

On Fear and Writing

I get so scared to write anything anymore, there is so much fear inside me. Fear that I’ll never write anything worth while again, fear that anonymous critics will rip my efforts apart from afar, fear that I’ll be a forgotten soul who only tried to make a difference in this world, by saying things that mattered.

As I release each book, I feel as though they are only tiny drops hitting the ground. When what is really desired is to make a huge splash, I’d love to be that offer that everyone is talking about, the one that sells millions of copies and is a multiple time best seller.

However, I know that this never happens in the blink of an eye, it takes much grit and focus to keep going. So in a sense this is my confession, to you, my fellow writer. My hope is that through this confession, we both can be comforted, and also that we might fight our way toward the light.

And with that, I leave you with the words of Rocky

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa

The Lie We Like To Believe

So many people attempt to go through life, doing things on their own strength. Even yours truly does it all to often.What I find though, is that when I attempt to do things on my own strength I often run out of strength easily and I grow tired. Does this happen to you? If so, I want to tell you a very basic truth, are you ready? It’s okay to ask for help. Let me repeat myself one more time: It’s okay to ask for help! It doesn’t mean your weak, or are incapable or without skill, it simply means you’re human and being human is okay. I believe the greatest lie we as humans can tell ourselves, is that we don’t need others. I know that I’ve told myself this lie and even believed it. But it’s a lie, we are meant for community, we are meant to bare each others pains and burdens. The hardest part is opening ones pie hole, and admitting when you can longer do things on your own. One has to in a way, hit their own personal rock bottom. I would almost guarantee that there are people around you or within surrounding community that would be willing to help with whatever it is. It simply requires the courage, bravery and faith to the first step. If there are not people in your, be willing to go find the help you need. It’s there to be had. If it’s counseling or some other means of help, be willing to do what it takes to find it. It’s easy to get flustered when life does not go our way, but in the end it dos not help our cause much. Be relentless, be of courage and hold strong until you find what your looking for. Blessings -Brandon

In The Midst of Anxiety

Here is an same from my very first devotional “A Journey Toward Intimacy” which will be releasing via fairly soon.

Day 16
In the Midst of Anxiety
Psalm 34:4-7

Last night I was overcome with anxiety, perhaps you can relate. Sleep was far from me, it was as though the enemy (Satan) was at war within inside my mind and heart. As we have seen in a previous devotion, the enemy is the farther of lies. The trick to the enemy’s lies is that they almost seem true.

God doesn’t love you, because you’re not good enough.

Well yes, your right I am not good enough, but God does love me because he sent his son for me.

Satan might reply: Even so, you’re a horrible Christian, you don’t love God for who he is, and you love him for the gifts he gives you.

Very well king douche bag, I am not a good Christian, but his mercies are new every morning.

In the midst of anxiety, our only hope can and must be Christ himself. As I got out of bed the next day I dove into the psalms, instantly God brought come to my frantic self. As today’s texts reads: I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

In the midst of anxiety, we have a mighty fortress to run to, in the midst of anxiety the peace of the father will rest upon us and we will smile with radiance, in the midst of anxiety there is a strong and mighty hand to deliver us.

May you know his peace and the beauty of his presence, and may it be well with you today.