In the introduction of Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith’s recent bestseller, The Dragonfly Effect, there’s a great quote about promoting your personal goals.   The book says, To be successful, you must translate your passion into a powerful story and tell it in a way that generates ‘contagious energy,’ so that your audience reflects on your tweets, blog post, or email, long after they leave their computers.” 

Whew.  That’s a tall order to stand up to.

Over the past year and a half, it’s often been rough to decide what my passions are anymore.  With a losing and costly battle custody battle over my three girls that had absolutely nothing to do with fact or the rule of law, and the fast dissolution of my second marriage that wound up being a  living nightmare, changes in work, changes in fleeing the house of my dreams, having my favorite dog ever given away before I could turn around, and seeing so many other things happen that I could never have imagined, it’s been hard at times to keep my head up.

Which for those of you who know me personally, that’s not believable, I know.  I’ve always had a strong feeling about pursuing one’s dreams and trying to do things that in turn will make a difference in the lives of others.  You’ve heard me discuss what I refer to as Value Centered Living; doing something kind and generous for others irrespective of how it’s going to benefit me.   But with all that’s transpired some of those things that used to would have been me, have been tarnished.

Examples of Passion Strained

When I was younger and mad for an Auburn girl, I drove in the wee hours of the night from Montgomery to Auburn and left balloons and signs for her from her apartment to main campus on one Feb. 14.   Nuts or not, that was passion.  A unique expression.  From the two horrible experiences I’ve had with wives, at this writing I can’t imagine doing that again for anyone.

I’ve had a passion for photography since I was in my last year or so of high school.  Well, actually, I remember being in sixth grade in Michigan and making pinhole cameras and trying to make up my own concoctions to develop film without having to take them to the BX.  Lemon juice and water just didn’t work no matter how many rolls of film I tried it on.  And from time-to-time this year, I’ve gotten out the Nikon and gone on photowalks.  The results are satisfying and you’ve seen many of them posted here on DaddyClaxton.com.

My love of music has stayed with me and I have a Playlist in iTunes that I play the most often–it’s called FREEDOM–as most of the songs in it help inspire me and remind me I’ve fled from the horrible nature of my marriages and the situation that has unfolded around each of them.  But it’s not what it was.

While I was married a second time, we’d taken to making at least one trip to Yosemite National Park each year.  There I would celebrate nature’s beauty.  Hike.  Climb. Take lots of pictures.  But now I don’t have the time or money to go out there.

I’ve spent the past 12 months now working day and night to grow my ClaxtonCreative.com business.  Things are turning a corner and there are some tremendous prospects sitting on the horizon.  In the past nine months I’ve been able to do some Professional Tithing in helping Veronica Galaviz launch her LivingToShare.org site and begin to go out and speak to others about the horrors of living in a bad relationship and what to do about getting out of it.  I’ve done more to help my friend Sam Allen launch his NorthTexasBuffaloSoldier.com site where he and others travel throughout Texas teaching those within earshot about the history of the first African American soldiers in the US military.  Yesterday, I met in Richardson with a counseling center that’s longing to find ways to reach new customers in order to grow their business.

Those are all opportunities that have come about because of my passion to do what’s right, to help others, and to help try to make a difference.  And that’s rewarding, truly it is.  I’m finally doing things in my life that are making a difference.  Because of Veronica’s pushing, there might be new legislation in Texas concerning protective orders.  Sam’s reaching young children who need an inspirational message themselves.  And think about the lives that a counselor can touch, even if it’s just for one hour with one person.

Maybe I’ve reached a mature turning point in my life.   Maybe the pain of the disillusionment associated with two marriages to two women whom I clearly should not have married has worn me down.  I have my three girls from my first marriage.  I have a step-daughter from my second who calls and thinks of me as Daddy.  I’m the only one she’s ever known. I love all four of them equally and there’s seldom a minute of the day when I forget that the things I’m doing to work so hard to make a difference, in the end are so that the four of them will have a little better of a brutal world in which to live.

I long so badly to have a positive, loving and mutually respecting love in my life some day. But I have so much healing to do.  Having lived with a taker has sapped me of my fire.  Having lived with an angry person has me tensed up as though I might be struck again.  Indeed, I’ve probably been in seek of someone positive for me most of my life; that’s only dwarfed by a love from God, and probably admittedly, overshadowing him at times, too.

I know now that love doesn’t include being yelled at all the time.  It doesn’t include infidelity.  It doesn’t include throwing things at me, near me, or kicking and slamming doors.  Saying “I do” doesn’t grant someone else the personal freedom to tell you constantly about what they don’t like about what you’re doing, or someone else is doing, or how they’re sick all the time with a headache, a migraine or some other sickness that has to out do yours when you come down with a simple cold and want to just crash for a day to get well once out of every six to eight months.   (It’s been amazing.  Knock on wood, I’ve not been deathly ill with a cold, asthma, headaches, stomach flu, or anything else a single day since I moved away from my last world of matrimony.)

I’m sorry for the melancholy post today.  I’m normally riding high on the crest of a wave and inspired with the belief that nothing is going to hold me back.  I’ll be back tomorrow.  Hopefully sooner. And maybe then, too, will return my passion.

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