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Someone Like You...

TruthBeTold | The Blog

September 29, 2021 • Trey McGuire

“UNLESS SOMEONE LIKE YOU CARES A WHOLE AWFUL LOT, NOTHING IS GOING TO GET BETTER. IT’S NOT." -THE LORAX Look in the mirror. What do you see? Many times, the person looking back is not necessarily someone we like. But...what if... What if that person, in all of their messiness, was someone that simply cared? What would this world look like? What would culture look like? More than that... What would THEIR world look like? What would the culture around them look like? You and me both know what it's like to get or send a text with the words "How are you doing?" We know the response that comes naturally..."I'm fine." Right? That is the typical exchange. And we also know that that answer is, for the most part, a lie. But....what if..... What if both the sender and the receiver found enough safety in the context of the relationship at hand to go beyond the "I'm fine." + What if we could be seen? + What if we could be honest? + What if we understood that our honesty can help others? + What if we saw how our authenticity pushes us further than we could ever imagine. + What if we felt the security to really let people in? Many times, we don't feel or experience any of the above "what ifs" because we've never seen it modeled. We can not begin to grasp the fact that... 1. We CAN face our storms. 2. We CAN own our reality. 3. We CAN share our stories. Yes, you're probably thinking that those are far reaching realities for everyone else out there except for me. I've thought it too. We all have. But what if... ______________ One of our friends, Phil Myers, posted about his own journey as he presses forward through his battles with depression, bipolar, and PTSD. This is what he recently wrote on his socials... "You would never know anymore unless I told you, but I’m crashing again. Yes I pushed but not “too much.” I pushed harder than ever this time and found another limit. So I backed off, just like you would in the gym, and I’m giving myself time. Time to rest and grow stronger. It’s exhausting, self imposed ups and downs with depression...it sucks. But it’s better than just staying stuck and down all the time. But I’m learning and growing each time. Maybe one day I’ll actually push or grow enough to beat it. Something a small part of me feels is possible even though the doc’s says it’s not. But heck, you all know I’m a little hard headed, so I’m going to keep going. Just keep going, It does gets better little by little. I truly feel if I can learn to make these changes within me. I can not only show and teach others how to do it too, but show the world a path to start healing as well.” - Philly _____________ You see, he has dealt with the thought of suicide on multiple occasions. He has faced the doctor telling him he has bipolar and PTSD. He has struggled with relentless depression. He has also faced the WHAT IF question... + What if this doesn't have to win. + What if there is purpose for me? + What if the pain can help me grow? + What if I can help change the world? For him, he had every reason to give up. He had every reason to quit. He had every reason to end it all. He had every reason imaginable to allow his story to be silenced. But...he didn't. He looked in the mirror...and even though he saw a lot of things he didn't like, he saw something deep down, almost seemingly microscopic. He saw that someone like him was actually what someone like me needed...and he didn't even know me yet. We met a while back as he joined our advisory team, as he was trying to figure out what to do with himself now that he was transitioning out of the military. We became friends quickly. One day, a conversation alot like the one I started with happened. Somewhere in there, I think both of us actually gave up on the facade that we were fine. Right then and there, we were both met with empathy and compassion, understanding and challenge. We found that, and still do, in our friendship. Now, as he treks off on the final half of his Appalachian Trail hike, he continues to press forward. Using his truth, using his story, using his vulnerability. And, like all of us, the truth of his story is still being written. So let me ask you...Where are you? Someone needs someone like you. Someone like you needs someone. As the Lorax so profoundly stated...“UNLESS SOMEONE LIKE YOU CARES A WHOLE AWFUL LOT, NOTHING IS GOING TO GET BETTER. IT’S NOT." What if getting better begins with a simple "How are you?" that is followed by a simple "I'm not okay" It doesn't take much effort...just some genuine care and a little time, and a choice to believe that still small voice that whispers truth in your ear... This is how we silence the lies that scream so loudly. This is how we give truth a voice. What if it takes someone like you? What if...

The Fork in the Road

October 14, 2021 • Trey McGuire, TruthBeTold Blog

When the relationship began, all seemed well…even promising… Now that the relationship has progressed, all seems…let's just say confusing…even painful… What happened over the years spanning then and now… You hear the words of "then" loud and clear. You even remember the actions… Praise, promises, and gratitude all woven together in a delicate mixture of quality time, gifts, and whatever else your love language may be. Now, you’re sitting here afraid to even face the chance that this relationship might be…let’s just say…toxic. Reality is, over the years, you’ve probably pushed aside others who love you. You've probably fought to the death to defend your “person.” You've even angrily rejected the well meaning person (or people) who lovingly tried to help you open your eyes. You see, the goodness in your heart has allowed the boss, best friend, family member, spouse, child, co-worker, or whatever other relationship to work their way into your life and trap you in their slick yet sticky web of self-centeredness. Truth be told, part of you still doesn’t want to see the latter part of that previous statement…and now, the echo of their more recent words and actions are not allowing you to see the reality of the beginning part of that same statement. You've given of yourself. You've given your time. You've given your money. You've given your talents. You've given...quite frankly...you. And what do you want in return? Nothing. Literally. Except for the fact that there is this underlying desire to simply be treated as if you were a human being. Yep. You're deep in a relationship with a narcissist. But, you're also standing at a fork in the road. One road leads to more heartache and eventual bitterness, depression, anger, and isolation. The other leads to...dare I say it...freedom. You know which road you need to take, but man, it's still, for some reason, really hard to make the decision. What happens when I do start walk down the road that leads to freedom? Well, let me give you some realities... 1. You're going to feel as if you're a baby giraffe trying to learn to walk...but even if you fall a few times, slowly but surely you will begin to find your footing. 2. You're going to be ripped apart publicly. If the narcissist can no longer control you, they will try to control how everyone else sees you. Maintain integrity, and remember the goodness in your heart, and let your integrity win. Cause, it will. 3. You're going to feel alone, but even if your journey to relational thriving means you have to apologize to some of those above mention folks who tried to help you along the way, you will find yourself more relationally secure than you ever knew possible. 4. You're going dream again, even though you've been told that your dreams are not worth anything. Give yourself permission to dream. 5. You're going to feel guilty...because the insecurity of the past years has left you feeling as if you can't survive apart from your abuser. 6. You're going to need to get help, specifically because you're going to need to learn to love yourself again and learn what it looks like to be loved and love others. 7. You're going to be okay...and in all honesty, you're going to THRIVE! I used a very powerful word in number 5. Abuser. And I used it on purpose. Why? Because what has happened to you is nothing short of abuse. And the relationship you are in is one sided and abusive. It is you giving everything to someone who is only focused in taking. But...which I know, the word "but" negates what I just said. BUT...true healing, true freedom comes with this reality in mind. You CAN NOT fight against them, no matter how tempting it is. No matter how bad they try to make you look. No matter how embarrassed you are. No matter how mad you become. That is a battle you can not win because you will find yourself fighting a person that does not care. You want justification. You want vindication. And you deserve it. BUT...you will only find it by taking one step down the road, followed by another, and by another...and allowing every single step to position you closer to that thing you are fighting FOR. You can fight all day long AGAINST them, or you can fight all day long FOR something. You may not know what that something is, but I can tell you from experience that it is there. My something that I fight for now is my family and each and every Warrior we come in contact with. In hindsight, my love for those two areas was in my heart while I found myself embroiled in this type of relationship. As I began to step, guess what happened...I found myself experiencing what true love and acceptance was in the form of my wife and closest friends. And I found myself around folks who believed in my crazy dreams...folks who I didn't even know. And guess what, those folks today are people I credit with helping me today experience what it means to fight FOR something. So, parting wisdom...don't fight them, walk. And as you walk...walk away. It won't be tomorrow, but I promise you that you will hold your head up one day, sooner than you think. And you'll look around and see a world you've always been looking for... -Trey

Read Any Good Billboards Lately?

September 1, 2021 • Brianna Cooley

Have you ever stopped and read your to go cup at a fast food restaurant? I’ve missed fast food this year and the closest place to my house is a chicken chain with really awesome ice. I know ice is a crazy reason to go to a restaurant, but… its really awesome ice. I was eating my chicken a few months ago and saw a fun quote on my Zaxby’s cup,   “Half full? Or half empty?... problem solved! Just refill” I didn’t really think anything of it until I saw a cool billboard this weekend. Our town in peppered with positive billboards and one really struck me,  “Cultivate Optimism” I always thought the answer to the question, Half Full or Half Empty? was half full… optimism! I’m a positive person. The answer is supposed to be half full. Right?!? But what if the cup is half empty? Does it really matter?  I have recently been reminded of the quote on my cup. When you begin to think of you glass as half empty, just refill your glass!  So, next time you feel a little empty, cultivate a little optimism....within your community, within yourself. Showing kindness cultivates optimism. By sharing kindness with others, you are helping to fill someone’s glass. The best part is by filling others up, we ultimately refill our own glass as well. Now, a little homework assignment:  + Eat chicken. + Read cups. + Pay attention to cool billboard. + Spread kindness and cultivate optimism.

Below the Surface

August 25, 2021 • Trey McGuire

As I walked up to the rock wall dividing the Louisiana Boardwalk from the banks of the Red River, I expected to see the same thing I usually see...a River, a couple bridges, some birds, maybe some logs floating downstream, and the Shreveport skyline. As fate would have it, I walked straight back from my favorite store (Under Armor) and directly to the riverfront. Did I see what I expected? Yes. Did it take me a second to look past literally what was the only nasty place on the surface of the water? Yes. I know that the river tends to be “rough around the edges” (just like, if we’re honest, most of us), but in this moment, the place I stood to look at it was the exact place that exposed the biggest flaw of what is usually, with all of its expected and natural blemishes, an absolutely beautiful scene. Especially on a beautiful day like today. Compared to the enormity of the Red, does this little bit of silt, sediment, and debris effect the power this river has? No. Does it change the life giving power this flowing stream has had for centuries? No. Does it diminish the fact that it is the sustaining resource to two cities? No. In fact, back in the 1800s, Shreveport was actually founded because of a much much much bigger issue than a little dirt and debris swirling around. A log jam that literally dammed up the river and the efforts to clear it is what actually led to the settlement of this area. From that point, it has continued to give life to unthinkable amounts of wildlife and millions of people. With that reality, the swirling mess still distracted me. If even for a few seconds, robbing me of the sheer beauty I was looking at in the much bigger picture. So, I’m that, I learned a few things. 1. Don’t give that blemish unnecessary power. 2. Do my part in preventing said blemish by making sure my trash doesn’t make it to the river. 3. Even with the mess, there is still purpose. Now, go look in the mirror. What do you see? A little dirty blemish, a huge log jamming failure, something in between? Are you allowing that to overpower reality? Can you define the problem? Call it out? Do something about it? Cause, like the river, you’re not defined by whatever problem you see staring back at you. Your not diminished because you may be a little dirty. And that understanding will help you take the steps to actually clean up the problem rather than letting it rob you anymore. Then go look at the people around you. Did you immediately see the flaw? Is that flaw distracting you from their inherent value? Maybe they can’t see reality when they look in the mirror. Maybe they need your help. Maybe, just maybe, you can be the one to look beyond what’s on the surface and help them out, because you see that what is underneath has unrecognized and untapped potential, just like this river did back when Captain Henry Shreve led a team to rid the river of the biggest natural disaster to ever hit our area. Therefore, leading to everything we experience today. Today, look beyond the flaw you see staring back at you. Whether it’s in your reflection or in that person around you. You both have no clue what’s under the surface. And you’ve allowed flaws to overwhelm the potential for too long. -Trey