Growing Pains – A Poem

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Growing Pains – A Poem

Why are these dreams that stretch out across my heart’s field of desire,
That glisten Like droplets of drew sparkling on the morning grass,
So hard to obtain, so hard to take to take hold of,
And so hard to lasso and pull close to reality?
The burden is bearing the tragedy of it all,
Knowing what you want, what you need,
Lies just beyond the forest and through the trees,
But you seem unable to put those desires into action.
So often I’m fixated on distractions that pull me off-course,
And get me lost on side paths instead of trekking onward
Towards goals, aspirations, and destinations.
It drives a person mad, carrying around bags of frustrations,
Grueling through labor day after day,
Counting the minutes, knowing there has to be another way.
But the Way is left without footprints, often prepared for
But never ventured and what’s left of hope slowly fades away.
There’s a demon inside of me that seems unable to be controlled,
Scoffing at dreams, content to let life pass me by,
Trampling on schedules, and consistently cursing meaningful causes.
Claws strike out at my fingers each time
I reach out to grasp my true potential.
I now know the paved road to success doesn’t exist.
You must venture through the dense forest,
Fight through the clinging vines, and thrash through the sticks.
No, to journey with intention is no vacation,
And the mess inside me, always attempting to misguide me, is no easy fix.
But the trail to nowhere is covered by countless footprints
And paved with the trampled dreams others have left behind.
The alarm clock beckons.
Wisdom speaks.
My souls shrieks.
But for some reason I have yet to understand,
I hear, but refuse to listen.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: After the rainfall via photopin (license)

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The Fight – A Poem About Conquering Fear

boxing MMA fight

The Fight – A Poem About Conquering Fear

You can cast your shadow across my future,
Across every step that approaches every opportunity, every opened door.
Try to tear down the walls of my confidence,
And attempt to convince me that I was never meant for more.

You can startle me with your swiftness,
Visit me whenever and however you please.
But I, and I alone must give you the power
To break me and to send me to my knees.

You have dwelt within every human heart,
And every human mind since the dawn of time,
Making the mundane feel like destiny,
Slowly dying, slowly binding us as prisoners of the grind.

Your power is as limitless
Or as limited, as I will it to be.
For the only person who can choose to make you master
Is the man who resides inside of me.

I will not give approval to your veil of darkness,
Nor give you bricks to construct your castle walls.
What you build up I will tear back down with action.
You may knock me down, but I will get back up when I fall.

Fear, I am marking you as my enemy –
Right here, right now, this instant, not tomorrow, but today.
For I have dreams that I must tend to,
So pack up your “what ifs” and get out of my way.

Keep coming at me with your terrors if you like,
But my place in the corner is now a vacant cell.
This heart will no longer hide from failure,
Nor choose safety over walking through the fiery hell.

I choose my destiny,
I choose to hold my dreams as a beacon in the night.
For the impossible becomes possible
The day we choose to defy you, the day we choose to fight.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley


photo credit: DSC_0104 via photopin (license)

What is Success? What Does A Successful Person Do?

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost

stairs walking up a mountain,  symbolizing success or hard workWhat is success? We all want to know, so we can define ourselves as successful when we get there. But I would argue that success is not a destination, not a certain level on a plane that we reach and can claim that we’ve “made it”; but a mindset and select core of principles that we put into place right from the start. In my opinion, success has nothing to do with monetary value or wealth. It is the opposition to the natural tendencies and forces that exist in life that attempt to push us to do what culture says is right, will bring you happiness, money, or fame. You can be “wealthy”, but quite unsuccessful; you can be “poor”, but quite successful. Did I lose you? Let me explain.

A successful individual is someone who is overall satisfied with his or her life. They pursue the passions of their heart and do not let fear or other’s opinions of them determine their actions. Successful people are constantly challenging themselves, constantly examining their life to see what areas need improvement. Generally, these types of people are wealthy, but it is not wealth that motivates them. Many people that society may label as “successful” are nothing more than greedy whores to a system that tells them to do whatever is necessary to get ahead, even if that means going against their values or hurting others in the process.

Happiness and success always go hand-in-hand. Human beings are naturally only truly happy when they are filled with purpose and are pursuing what they were born to do. When we stray from the path we know we’re meant to go down, there is a natural energy that arises within us that is disgusted with our decision and voices its opinion through our heart. Call that your soul, call that God, call it whatever you want, but know it exists to keep us away from the traps that the world sets out for us. We are most at peace when our outside actions perfectly match our inner feelings and motivations. Granted, it will likely be impossible to ever be perfectly aligned, but you can get pretty close.

When you wake up each morning and look in the mirror, you should be proud of that woman or man that is starring back at you. You may have the comfort of wealth, but if you are disgusted by what you see, can you really consider yourself successful? If you know that you have cheated the system, pushed down others to get ahead, took the easy path and cut corners, if you look at yourself and know you’re a phony, a fraud, and a liar, constantly in fear that the world is going to see the see through your outer shell, can you ever be truly happy? Absolutely not. That is not success; that is tragedy.

But success is a cultivator of wealth. Not because you’re seeking it, but because it follows success. Someone who is aligned with their inner self is going to love what they do, have drive, have passion and wake up everyday excited to make the world a better place. Their heart is in their work and with hard work, wealth typically follows. Wealth, however, can NEVER be your goal or motivator. If it is, you’re unsuccessful before you ever begin. Why? Because when wealth is your driving force, you will be willing to do whatever is necessary to obtain it, which immediately puts you against your inner self and makes you an opponent of happiness.

A successful person is a visionary, a light for the world, a lover, a fighter, a rebel, a leader, a builder, a guider, one who unites, one who divides, one who sympathizes, one who restores. They can be all these things at once because their main focus is using their gifts to make the world a better place. Sometimes that requires division, sometimes that requires discipline, and sometimes that requires praise or building another person up. A truly successful person is always at odds against people and culture, yet always works with people and culture in mind. The world hates successful people even if we try to pretend that we don’t because they are a light, and a light reveals our own darkness. A light challenges us to follow, when we’d prefer to stay in the comfort and ease of the dark.

I want to challenge the way we think of success. Success immediately equals wealth by culture’s standards; however, is goes far deeper than that. Success is using our gifts to the utmost of our ability and using those gifts to ensure that the world is a better place because we lived, because we loved, and because we had the courage to walk down the hard road rather than drift along the lazy river. Many successful people are wealthy, and there is nothing wrong with that. But wealth is not a qualifier of success, it is simply a typical byproduct of it. Take people like Jesus Christ, the Buddha, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. Are these people “successful” by the world’s definition? No. They are absolute failures – losers even. Yet somehow they have changed the world in ways that few people ever can or will. Hate him or love him, Jesus is the most influential person to ever walk the earth, and I believe always will be. But he was a homeless, penniless man with practically no possessions to his name. Can you really call him or any of the people on the list a failure or unsuccessful? I hope not. They lived their life with beauty, with purpose, and with love at the forefront of their mind.

Rich or poor, success is when we live the life we know we were born to live and can wake up each day and love the face that smiles back at us in the mirror. Success is staying true to ourselves and the core set of principles that we hold dear, always fighting, yet always persisting in the face of opposition. Some days we are more successful than others, but success is not an overnight venture; it is a lifetime pursuit of love, truth, passion, and hard work.


photo credit: Todo area @ Mount Hiei in the fog @ Kyoto via photopin (license)

“When Fate Knocks At Your Door” – A Poem

2218949283_5b822ed649Most of us have a vision of the way we think our life should go. We have a certain career path that is right. We have a certain type of spouse that is our fit. We have a certain idea of a family, a house, a life. But life rarely follows our course. And thank God for that. Sometimes the person that knows what we need least is ourselves. That doesn’t mean we should live lives without discernment, but we should open ourselves to possibility and not run from situations that don’t seem to be a part of our original plan. We choose what we want. God chooses what we need.

“When Fate Knocks At Your Door” – A Poem

When you hear fate knocking at your door
Do you answer it?
Or leave it to wait upon the stoop
Like some door to door salesman,
Pretending you’re not home,
Waiting for them try their luck next door?

Or do you welcome it into your home,
Inviting it to track the mud of its hard travels
Across your polished floors and spot-free carpets
And accept the gifts that it brings?

Do you put demands on fate,
Shackle it up in chains like a jailed prisoner
And try to reap the rewards
While staying in control,
And steering clear of the risk of damage?

Fate is not a caged animal –
It roams where it pleases.
It only thrives when it’s left open to possibilities.
Sometimes the biggest surprises,
The things we’d never choose,
Are the things we most deeply need.

-Poem Written by Justin Farley

If you enjoyed this post, I would greatly appreciate it if you like, share, or comment on it. Follow my blog to receive notifications when new posts are published. You can find my other Christian poems, Lent poems, or inspirational poems at https://alongthebarrenroad.com/category/poetry/


 

 

photo credit: Porte for the Porteño via photopin (license)