GETTING OVER “STUFF”
AUTHOR - BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 - BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT
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*Special thanks to Shila and
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Anyone Have Stuff ?
be honest, if we have existed on the planet for any time at all, we
very likely have stuff. Perhaps lots of stuff. Its source seems to be
the tap that never runs dry nor shuts off. The tap spoken of, doesn’t
create immediate floods but with its non-stop dripping, it can
accumulate into quite the pool of water over time, one drop at a
time. Because “stuff” isn’t based on the hugely obvious, it has
the ability to hide itself in the secret places of our hearts.
Therefore, we can find ourselves feeling rather “wet” and not
of the dictionary’s meanings for “stuff”: “Worthless
objects”. But worthless and powerless are two very different
things. A sliver in my hand is worthless but if left unattended can
fester, creating infection throughout my entire body.
live in an imperfect world inhabited by imperfect people, us
included. Things get said or not said, things get done or not done.
These “things” are the material that “stuff” is formed from.
Words and deeds are powerful both in the positive and negative.
be clear, getting over “stuff” and getting over “the past”,
while seeming to be similar are by no means identical. Our “past”
issues are more often than not, obvious. The divorce, the death, the
flagrant abuse, etc., fluorescently stand out in our minds as if
being highlighted. “Stuff”, on the other hand, is far more
innocent in nature but equally diabolical as it hides in the shadows
of our lives, quietly impacting our reactions and responses to our
everyday life experiences and interactions with others. In
comparison, “stuff” and “the past” are like cousins from the
same family while not having the same personality.
a lot like having a sliver in my hand, compared to having a tree fall
on me. The source of the problem, being wood is the same. But in the
most negative of ways, they can impact me equally but from different
perspectives. The tree falling will have an instant and obvious
broken bone or two to show for its damage, but the unattended sliver
can contaminate my entire body! It’s been said that emotional abuse
is worse than the physical. It goes to a deeper place. One more
difficult to root out.
broken bones I can see while the other is hidden beneath the skin.
There are quick and easy remedies for broken bones, but how do you
resolve that which you can’t see?
has the insidious potential to infiltrate and often dictate, our
every thought regarding our own and other’s true value. The good
news is, we can turn the tables and control it. “Stuff” is only
as impactful as we allow it to be. We determine its worth or
speaks softly, often in whispers, but make no mistake, it possesses a
powerful voice of influence in our lives. Perhaps it’s time to
reclaim the microphone, turn up the volume, and speak back. Better
said: Fight back! Even better said: Take back the life we were meant
can’t always prevent “stuff” from showing up, but we can disarm
its toxicity in our hearts and minds with an always appropriate
response at the ready to greet its arrival.
not suggesting that issues regarding “the past” are always
brutally obvious, just more so. You see “stuff”, only rears its
ugly head when that certain person says that certain thing at that
certain time. It’s impact is scenario based! It’s not a ten ton
weight we carry each and every day. In fact, we can be perfectly fine
for months and then seemingly out of nowhere, there it is!
“stuff” has triggers that bring it to the surface, awakening it
from its dormancy. As an example: For years
after my very ugly and emotionally
debilitating divorce, there were places I couldn’t drive by let
alone visit. I would purposely route myself, regardless of the
inconvenience factor, to avoid their visual. As totally unreasonable
as that all sounds, it worked but only to a point. It certainly had
its limitations but was better than doing nothing.
were also words, phrases, and sounds needing to be avoided. Certain
songs were off limits for sure with their little reminders. I loved
music but not nearly enough to allow it to torture me.
“nervous breakdown” had long passed and for all that was obvious,
I had gotten on with my life. You see, I wasn’t dealing with
“divorce” any longer but rather “stuff”. The reminders of
things that were “said”, not things that were “done”! The
emotional residue of the act, can be worse than the act itself! So, I
became “secretly” enslaved to “stuff”. While showing myself
as “healed” externally, I was in fact “disabled” internally.
around me would never know until they happened to say: The wrong
thing at the wrong time! “Let’s go to X restaurant for dinner”
with my response of NO, without an explanation. You see I wasn’t
dealing with it, I was hiding from it, not to be mistaken as “running
from it”. I had no misconceptions that I could actually out-run it
seeing as it lived inside of me!
we can only do, what we know to do, at the time we need to do it! So,
my approached of protection by avoidance was fraught with fault.
While working momentarily it needed constant and obsessive
maintenance as to its religiously repeated adherence to its “check
list” of things not to say, not to do, and places not to visit. No
way to live life folks! Living in an invisible prison that only you
and God know you’re in, is not life as it was meant to be!
to the end of one’s self with our self-created resolves to life’s
complexities can be an exhausting experience. We as humans will try
practically anything before submitting to God’s everything.
Embracing God’s answer always seems to be a last resort of
Hurry To Forgive
we are planning on living in a bubble, “stuff” in reality, is a
very real predictable part of life. When the imperfect keeps rubbing
shoulders with the imperfect, stuff is the net result. We will never
be able to avoid it completely. That we have it isn’t the real
problem. That we hold on to it is!
are we hopelessly at its mercy. Absolutely not, thanks be to our Lord
Jesus who rescues us with scriptural solutions to life’s most
difficult scenarios! His counsel often sounds backwards according to
the flesh, but the battle is not against the flesh. The battle is of
a spiritual nature and in need of a spiritual remedy. Although
seeming to be backwards, if tried we discover, His directives always
5 - 43 & 44: “You have heard that it was said, “love your
neighbor and hate your enemy”. But I tell you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you”.
48: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”.
solutions can only come from a perfect Source folks!
6 - 15: “ But if you do not forgive others their sins your Father
will not forgive your sins”.
6 - 37: “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn
and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven”.
Does anyone else feel like they are being backed into a corner of
great discomfort at this moment? Challenging comments, seeing as its
Jesus making those statements.
would never subscribe to anything that would not have our best
interest as the point. He cares about our well-being more than we can
imagine. Often more than we care. He’s keenly aware of “stuff”
and its potential for harm if embraced.
in mind, He healed the sick and in the process was accused of being
the devil. That’s some serious “stuff”! He hung on a cross and
with His last breath forgave those who participated in His
crucifixion. Just prior to that, He expresses compassion to the one
hanging next to Him with His response to the man’s dying request:
“Today you will be with me in paradise”. Can “stuff” possibly
get more serious than that? More personally stated: Can my “stuff”
even remotely compare?
what did Jesus do with His ‘’stuff”? He forgave it and moved on
with His purpose on earth undeterred. His spiritual feet never
stopped moving forward.
is our standard! He is our example! No servant is greater than his
master. As His disciples, why would we think that any other response
is workable or acceptable in His sight? He didn’t suggest
forgiveness as an option accompanied by a contingency plan of other
options to try if forgiveness isn’t our cup of tea. He gave us the
one and only path that would lead to the death of ‘’stuff”
having its way.
was absolutely secure in Himself therefore forgiveness was His first
choice of reaction. When you know who you are and are secure in what
you know, it would seem forgiveness is much easier to embrace as an
emphatic truth to be applied in all situations.
bottom line: What is the most detrimental aspect of entertaining
“stuff”? You, making it matter to the point of being disabled by
it. If you have a need to understand “stuff”, your need will
never be quenched! You can spend your entire life working through it
repeatedly and come up with nothing as an answer. That’s why we are
cautioned to forgive it and move on. We were born with a specific
calling on our lives and figuring out the attitudes of others isn’t
question: Will we agree with the dictionary’s description and call
“stuff” what it truly is: “Worthless Objects”. Well,
“worthless” strongly suggests not worthy of our time!
we like Jesus be committed to our “purpose” to the point of
refusing to be side tracked. Stuff is on its way as we speak folks.
What will we do with it? Jesus has given us the answer. Don’t
mediate on stuff but rather commit to forgiving stuff. In doing so we
remain spiritually free thus useable for God. I’m thinking that’s
the point. The big point!
can now visit any restaurant I choose and take any route I wish, to
get to where I’m going without concern of weirdness breaking out.
It seems so very long ago that I was hiding in fear.
first, something had to happen. Forgiveness. To be precise, pride had
to go first followed by a stopping of the “poor me” internal
the key that broke the back of the dilemma thereby setting me free
from its bondage, goes as such: I stopped focusing on my wife’s
mistakes and stated wearing my own. I realized I had been forgiven
for mine and therefore felt without option to forgive hers. How could
is powerful within its ability to put things into heavenly
perspective. So did that perspective come complete with a conclusion
that all that was said and done throughout the collapse of my
marriage and family was now OK? NO. Just forgivable!
how in the world did I navigate through the waters of pain to arrive
at that shoreline?
I know that as they were driving the spikes into my Lord’s hands
and feet, He didn’t say it was OK. When they mocked Him, he didn’t
say it was OK. When they spit on Him, He didn’t say it was OK. When
they tore the flesh from His body with a whip, He didn’t say it was
OK. When they buried the crown of thorns into his skull, he didn’t
say it was OK. When He was falsely accused and convicted, he didn’t
say it was OK. When Barabbas was released instead of Him, He didn’t
say it was OK. When the crowds screamed crucify Him, He didn’t say
it was OK.
see, he never did say any of it was OK. But He did say it was
forgivable! So who am I to think otherwise. I was asked a while ago:
So when do we “Push Back”. My answer was short: “Never, we love
back, that is our standard that was established on a cross”. Not
one this world will ever understand but that doesn’t diminish its
we meet “stuff” head on in its tracks with the power of the
cross. In doing so we disable it before it disables us! We leap our
hurdles with grace, and with undistracted hearts intact, we continue
our destined purpose in life.
seems clear that whenever we release others through forgiveness we
simultaneously release ourselves. It would also seem that when
forgiveness is withheld both parties suffer equally from the fall
out. Could that be what Jesus meant when He said: : “Forgive and
you will be forgiven”. It’s amazing how, regardless of the size
of the perceived infraction, un-forgiveness makes it all equally huge
in the end. As mentioned, far too expensive and not to be considered
is only the beginning of a downward slide that always leads to worse
emotions such as hatred. Hatred has been correctly described in this
way: It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets
sick. Who among us hasn’t been eaten up on occasion by holding on
to a grudge? Have you noticed it never gets smaller over time nor
does its impact. It follows us around like a bad smell.
only one life to live, let’s embrace it as the gift that it is.
Let’s be vigilant in protecting that which is immensely valuable,
from being invested in “worthless objects” - “stuff”.
has provided for us a protectionary antidote from this folly becoming
our daily reality. Forgiveness! We have also been given a “when in
doubt” visual to follow: The cross!
you soberly think about it, is it not true that the very reason we
love Jesus as we do is this: When we weren’t OK, and when we aren’t
OK, we are still forgivable. Is it any wonder we so desire to be like
Him? But first we must lose our desire to be like ourselves! I have a
feeling that once we get over ourselves, walking with Jesus gets much
easier, and isn’t it true that WE are the real hurdle in need of
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