memorial day

May 25th, 2015

How do you thank a soldier who gave up his or her life? How do you pay back the daily torture of PTSD or the agony of life long pain many soldiers live with every day? Just how do you say thanks?

A soldier becomes a soldier for a hundred different reasons. When I enlisted in the USMC back in ’67, truthfully, I didn’t even consider that I was helping my country. Patriotism was low on my list. Being John Wayne and having an incredible adventure was tops.

Reality rocks everyone’s world sooner or later no matter what path they take. The reality of serving with friends who die or are horribly wounded comes like a thunder clap.

Regardless of the reason a person joins, many give up their health or life as an indispensable pawn in a power struggle that has lasted for eons. Their death or their wounds do count. They count because the “enemy” this time has to be assured that the battle will continue regardless of the casualties.

This country is far from perfect but there are men and women out there who are the reason we can still go forward and not backwards. Whether they joined for the adventure or for a hundred different reasons, they are the wall that protects our progress. Every time one of the bricks in that wall crumbles, another takes its place, thank God.

How do you thank a soldier who died or was wounded? You exercise your freedoms. You vote. You volunteer. You help. You send a prayer to his or her family. You live in gratitude for that wall.

There is no such thing as Happy Memorial Day. There is only Memorial Day, Thank you.

(c)2015 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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May 18th, 2015

This weekend I was in Los Angeles for the graduation of my youngest. He graduated Magna cum laude from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. What is amazing is that he switched to the business school in his third year and managed to do four years of an incredibly difficult business school in two years in some cases getting special permission to take introductory courses and advanced courses in the same subject in the same semester, a herculean feat but he did it and he did it with the highest grades.

I am immensely proud of Michael and I told him many times over the weekend that he could do anything he wanted to do with the rest of his life. I told him that all he had to do was set a goal, any goal, and he could attain it. I absolutely believe that is true.

As I sat down to write to you this morning I started thinking about you and I. Do I believe we can still do anything we want? Do I still think that you and I can set a goal, any goal, and reach it? My answer is a giant, unequivocal YES!

I’ve been writing Sundrops for almost nineteen years now and the overriding message is that by loving ourselves and believing in ourselves we are unlimited.

Granted, Michael is way smarter than I will ever be but his chances of happiness and fulfillment has less to do with his diploma and more to do with what he repeatedly says to himself. And the same is true for us.

Michael and you and I have a future. Whether that future is one minute or many, many years only a Higher Power knows. But how our future unfolds is going to depend on what goals we write down and how we talk to ourselves in each and every moment.

If you woke up this morning it is a commencement, a new beginning. Are your goals written down? Is your thinking, your self talk heading you in the right direction? I know I have work to do on this and I figure now is a pretty good time for me to start. How about you?

(c)2015 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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May 11th, 2015

Where does the sun go on a cloudy day? It goes exactly where it always goes. It doesn’t suddenly stop shining because there is no one at the beach or because the clouds block the clarity of its view. It doesn’t lessen who it is because this day is different.

Who you are should be a constant too. It’s easy to shine from your warm, caring, loving heart especially when there are grateful recipients of your kindness.

But what happens to your love when the clouds roll in? What happens to your understanding when someone betrays you? What happens to your compassion when someone you love cuts you off without an explanation? What happens when sickness, debt and fear come round like dark storm clouds?

Most likely you change. You stop seeing the possibilities. You stop seeing objectively. You pull back. Let’s face it, you stop shining. You feel justified in not shining after all, look at all the stuff going on. No one in their right mind could feel better than you right now or could they?

YES!!!!! You can love even when hurt. You can look for better possibilities. You can feel centered and powerful. You can expect a fortuitous outcome. You can see everything in a better light. In other words, you can shine no matter what is happening.

It is not the common response. It is not the accepted response. It is not the response that engenders sympathy BUT you can feel better, even a little better than you do in each and every moment of your life no matter the circumstances.

Remember, your hand is always the only hand on the volume controls of your well being. Turn it up even just a little and you will feel the empowerment. Ignore the clouds and shine anyway.

(c)2015 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride

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May 4th, 2015

Imagine that you went to see a movie at the movie theater and after you sat down comfortably, the manager came over and said that if you wanted to see the real movie you would have to go to the projection booth and see it on a very small screen. “What’s going to be on the big screen?” you ask. “Oh, just something loosely based on the real movie in the projection booth. It’s pretty hard to understand.”

“Absurd, ridiculous!” You yell. “I’m not going to go through all that trouble to see the real movie!” And you get up and leave, cursing that you wasted so much of your time and got nothing in return and vowing to have nothing to do with this place in the future.

When we enter into a relationship with someone they are expecting to see the real us. They are not expecting to see some mixed up rendition of who we think we should be or who we think they would like us to be.

They don’t want to climb inside of us and see what’s truly in our heart. They want our heart and our persona to be in harmony with each other. “Just get to know me and you’ll realize what a nice person I really am.” Poppycock! If it ain’t showing on the outside, it ain’t with the trip to find it inside!

Be authentic. You know you are caring and loving and good. Be that way. Loving is not weakness. If you are being you and someone cannot handle your loving energy, DON’T CHANGE for them. Be strong enough to move on.
​ To those who project a persona that is inconsistent with what you see in their heart, DON’T FIX THEM because you can’t.

Project the real you and accept nothing less from anyone else and then enjoy each other. Popcorn optional.

(C) Patrick McBride
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