power of acceptanceIt’s amazing how the passing of a loved one can really get you thinking about things is a different way. My Mother passed away two weeks ago, and I’m having a very different experience to my Sister and Brother. I wasn’t there when she passed, but they were. It’s a completely different experience and reaction and that’s rightfully so.

It’s amazing that you learn too, that even though you were all in the same household, and even though you’re only separated by 5 and 7 years, you had a completely different childhood, and totally different childhood memories. The oldest, middle, and youngest child all had different experiences with their parents, and none of us will know how it feels for the others because we’re all different.

Yet it seems like in today’s world we judge each other on levels we have no right to. I’m sure all of you know Adrian Peterson, the man who decided to take childhood obedience back a couple of hundred years. You read the articles. People judge him constantly. The one thing Adrian Peterson admits is that had he not had the discipline his parents laid on him when he was growing up, he probably wouldn’t be around to be able to do the things he’s done.

I’m not someone who would ever lay a hand on my child, but I know a lot of people that spank their kids. In fact, when I was growing up my Mom literally washed my mouth out with soap one time. My Mom used to get angry and punch me for no reason at all. I remember one time my Brother was going to be spanked, but my Dad missed him and hurt his hand instead. Stuff happens in families. What happened to Adrian Peterson’s kid certainly shouldn’t have happened, but I don’t judge because I didn’t walk a day in his shoes. I don’t know what it’s like to be him.

I’ll never know what it’s like to be Adrian Peterson. I’ll never know what it’s like to have run 2,000 yards. I’ll never know what it’s like to walk around, and grow up as he did. Yet in today’s society, we judge people based on our own feelings and our own thoughts. It’s something we waste too much time doing. We waste a lot of time doing that, waste a lot time judging people, and a lot of time talking about other people we don’t know.

The best thing that ever happened to Adrian Peterson was Ray Rice, because we spent a few days talking about Ray Rice instead. We all talked about how Ray Rice hit his fiancé at the time.  We all witnessed it, and we all talk about how we’re never going to get over it.

Well, we got over 9/11 didn’t we?

We’re not going to get over Ray Rice?

Just saying.

Would I ever hit a woman in an elevator?  No, as I’m sure most of you wouldn’t, BUT we’re not Ray Rice.  We weren’t there in that moment. We weren’t there the moment he lost his shit.

What he did was wrong and it was horrible.  Does Ray Rice deserve another chance to do what he loves, to play the game of football? Absolutely!  Does Ray Rice deserve to be ripped apart by the public every single day?  Sure!  There are people so consumed with other people’s lives they’d rather judge others, rather than looking deep inside a mirror.

That to me is the issue here.  Look at these experiences and work out what you can learn and apply to your own life.  You’re never going to sit down with Adrian Peterson.  You’re never going to sit down with Ray Rice. You’re never going to experience other people’s lives, so why spend so much time talking about it?

If I Could Sit Down With Ray Rice What Would I Say To Him?

Probably something like, “Hey man, what happened?”

If I could sit down with Adrian Peterson, what would I say to him?

“Hey man, what made you do that?  Maybe there are other ways you could deal with things.”

Being a man and standing up for yourself is really important. Standing up for the ones you love is really important.  We all make mistakes.  We all do things we might regret because life is just a choice.  Sometimes we make choices that aren’t right, and then the public or people we love scrutinize us.

That’s all life is. Life is a series of choices we have to live with.  Do you honestly think men like Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice aren’t now living with their choices?  They don’t need to hear it from millions and millions of people because they’re already living with it. They already know what they did and they already know what they need to do.

It’s funny, because they’re calling for Roger Goodell to be fired from the NFL.  Honestly, I think he just stood up for Ray Rice.  Nobody talks about this, but I’m sure the NFL paid somebody off to make that tape disappear.  The problem is, when it comes down to money, TMZ has deep pockets.  I’m sure they paid somebody off to get a copy of that tape.  I’m just not into publicly scrutinizing anybody because I think everybody has a right to their lives, and the key thing is what they learn from it.  I see two very humbled men when I look at Rice and Peterson.

All we have is our choices. All we have is raw, honest choices every single day. When we keep things inside, or we keep things bottled up, it turns into disease and we get sick. In fact, the other night I had a really interesting evening with my friend. She looked at me and she said, “No matter what you do to heal yourself, your wounds, your stories, or your bad stomach, nothing is ever going to change until you get your thoughts and beliefs wrapped around them.”

She said something else to me that was really interesting…

“When we eat, we’re taking in energy. When we’re angry and we eat, we’re taking in angry energy. How do you think your stomach is going to react? You have to know what to do with it.”

Spend time cleaning up your own life. Don’t get so angry about what other people do. Don’t let Adrian Peterson piss you off. There’s nothing you can do about it. You’re never going to meet him, you’re never going to be able to do a face-to-face with him. You’re not going to learn anything at all from being mad at him.

Look at what you can do in your own life, how you can make your own changes, how you can grow, evolve and get stronger, and how you can clean up your own shit. It’s really our own shit to clean up. Maybe it’s not as drastic as Adrian Peterson’s or Ray Rice’s, but still our own, so start concentrating on that.