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The Rock n’ Roll Therapy Sessions-Broken, Beat & Scarred.

Be careful in choosing your life’s theme song. Be very careful. It’ s like asking God for patience. You will get what you ask for, and it will be tougher than you can ever imagine.

I chose Metallica’s “Broken, Beat, & Scarred” as the theme song for my life in 2009. Take a look at the lyrics, then I will continue.

You rise, you fall.
Your down then you rise again.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
You rise, you fall.
Your down then you rise again.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
Rise, fall, down, rise again.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
Rise, fall, down, rise again.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
Through black days, through black nights, 
Through pitch black insights.

Breaking your teeth on the hard life a’coming.
Show, your, scars.
Cutting your feet on the hard earth a’running.
Show, your, scars.
Breaking your life, broken beat and scarred.
But we die hard!

The dawn, the death, the fight to the final breath.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
The dawn, the death, the fight to the final breath.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
Dawn, death, fight, final breath.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
Dawn, death, fight, final breath.
What don’t kill you make you more strong.
They scratch me, they scrape me, 
they cut and rape me.

Breaking your teeth on the hard life a’coming.
Show, your, scars.
Cutting your feet on the hard earth a’running.
Show, your, scars.
Breaking your life, broken beat and scarred.
but we die hard!

Breaking your teeth on the hard life a’coming.
Show, your, scars.
Cutting your feet on the hard earth a’running.
Show, your, scars.
Raiding your soul in a hard luck story.
Show, your, scars.
Spilling your blood in a hot sun’s a’glory.
Show, your, scars.
Breaking your life, broken beat and scarred.

We die hard
We die hard
We die hard


Little did I know that when I chose this song, I was in for one of the toughest financial roads I would face. “What don’t kill you makes you more strong” echoes with a tough guy, gonna kick some ass attitude. But, in order to kick ass, you must have your ass kicked. 

In order for me to truly understand and appreciate the words, “You rise, you fall, you’re down then you rise again. What don’t kill you make you more strong”, I had to rise and fall, then claw my way back up. And not in a “Fight Club” kinda way. Falling and rising again meant sleepless nights. It meant going yet another week without a paycheck, so that the employees could get one. It meant looking at my kids and thinking, “Do they realize their dad is a failure and a looser?” It meant looking at my wife and saying, “I an’t leaving, no matter what.” It meant I had to look like I had my shit together, while living in a nice home in a nice neighborhood, wondering if it was all going to disappear. It meant starting a family with no debt (after we worked our ass off to get out of debt) only to sink every available line of credit back into our business so that our employees didn’t lose their jobs. It meant laid off employees hating my guts (and my family’s guts) and thinking that we are nothing but a bunch of rich assholes because we had to let them go. (Sometimes cornering my wife at a birthday party and calling her a bitch.) It mean falling on my hands and knees, weeping, while my kids napped because I felt like such an asshole. 

But, the song goes on. 


Breaking your teeth on the hard life a’coming.
Show, your, scars.
Cutting your feet on the hard earth a’running.
Show, your, scars.
Breaking your life, broken beat and scarred.
But we die hard!

“What don’t kill you makes you more strong!” Do you know how your muscles get stronger? You see, when you exercise, you are actually tearing your muscles. That is why you’re sore the day after you workout. It’s your body repairing those torn muscles. That’s why they get bigger. Same goes with a broken bone. When the bone heals, it is stronger than it was before. Some martial artists hit a rock with their hands and knuckles every day. This causes little breaks in their bones. After many years of doing this, their hands are literal weapons.

Walking through this personal financial crisis has caused me to tear some mental muscle and break some psychological and spiritual bones. I’ve had to look at myself and face the inner demons that can tear a way a mans worth. I had to get my ass knocked down. Again, and again. I had to cry and beg for this to stop, while life kept kicking me in the ribs, cracking and snapping them. But then…I got up.

Life now has a gleam of fear in his eye. It knows it’s my turn to take a swing. The beat down it has given me has done nothing but increase my strength. The pain it inflicted was meant to break me, but it made me stronger. Life knows it has an ass kicking coming my way. And it is not because or my strength. It is because of my weakness. Christ’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. And I am a very weak man. This scares my opponent, for it knows that we die hard.  

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Scream 4

Ghost face is back. It’s been 11 years since the black hooded, white-faced hooligan graced the silver screen. And while the economy has been murderous over the past few years causing unemployment to spike like punch at an out of control teen party, Ghost face still has a job. This go around, there are fresh victims for a new generation to feast one. There are rules to be followed, as with any slasher flick, but the main rule…don’t f*ck with the original.

Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette are back as well reprising their roles.

I am not going to divulge too much, so don’t worry about spoilers here.

Scream 4 did quite well in capturing the spirit of the original. There is humor, mystery, and lots of blood. Wes Craven and company did a great job of throwing curve balls to the audience, keeping me guessing who was the killer until the very end. That was what made Scream a classic to me. Not only was it a slasher movie, but a mystery as well. Scream 4 delivered this like a pizza to a hungry fat guy.

The opening scene is one of the best in the franchise. The audience howled with thrills and laughter as Ghost face made his come back. The movie does not take itself to serious, given the pitfalls of horror sequels and especially reboots to a franchise. It winked and nodded at what we expected to be cheesy acting, dialog and story lines. (aka-Don’t open that door you big breasted bimbo!) And this is what made Scream 4 brilliant.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a standard horror flick, complete with blood, guts, and big breasted bimbos. But it succeeded in taking the standard formula, and kicking it up a notch.

When the credits began to roll at the end, I felt like I was reaquainted with an old friend I have not seen in 11 years. It captured the delight and fun factor that made the original Scream a classic. Will Scream 4 become a classic? Probably not. No horror franchise can topple the original, but Scream 4 could become one for a new generation.

If you like the Scream movies, you will like Scream 4. So if you’re looking for something to do today, head out and see it. Get you a big bucket of popcorn, sit back, and watch Ghost face do what he does best. And if he asks you, “What’s you’re favorite scary movie?” , you better have a damn good answer if you want to live to see the sequel.

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The Rock n’ Roll Therapy Sessions-Every Rocker Has His Soft Side

Every rocker has his soft side.  My wife is the greatest. No offense to you married guys, but I have the best wife. I am constantly amazed at how strong she is. She has been by my side every step. No matter what.

Sure, we have our share of struggle, but she still sticks by my side. The stress caused by finances leads to the destruction of tons of marriages. But not this one. When all this shit started, I looked her dead in the eye and said, “I aint goin’ nowhere.” I took my vows serious. “For richer and poorer…” are not merely words.  They are truth. I don’t care where we call home. Home is where my wife and kids are.

She has been such an encourager. When I get in one of my moods, she gives me space. She doesn’t try to make things better. She knows when to embrace, and when to leave me be. Whoever said that women are the weaker sex was a dumbass.

We’ve been married for 9 years. I want to sing this song at our 10 year anniversary. Baby, this is for you. We’re almost there. Just a little more patience.

Shed a tear ’cause I’m missing you
I’m still alright to smile
Girl, I think about you every day now
Was a time when I wasn’t sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt you’re in my heart now
Said woman take it slow
It’ll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said sugar make it slow
And we’ll come together fine
All we need is just a little patience
(inhale) Patience…
Ooh, oh, yeah

Sit here on the stairs
‘Cause I’d rather be alone
If I can’t have you right now, I’ll wait dear
Sometimes, I get so tense
But I can’t speed up the time
But you know, love, there’s one more thing to consider
Said woman take it slow
Things will be just fine
You and I’ll just use a little patience
Said sugar take the time
‘Cause the lights are shining bright
You and I’ve got what it takes to make it
We won’t fake it, Oh never break it
‘Cause I can’t take it

…little patience, mm yeah, ooh yeah,
Need a little patience, yeah
Just a little patience, yeah
Some more pati… (ence, yeah)
I’ve been walking these streets at night
Just trying to get it right (Need some patience, yeah)
It’s hard to see with so many around
You know I don’t like being stuck in a crowd (Could use some patience, yeah)
And the streets don’t change but maybe the name
I ain’t got time for the game
‘Cause I need you (Patience, yeah)
Yeah, yeah well I need you
Oh, I need you (Take some patience)
Whoa, I need you (Just a little patience is all we need)
Ooh, this ti- me…

 

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The Rock n’ Roll Therapy Sessions-So Far Away

The song, “So Far Away” by Staind has become a rally song for me. It does not speak about how I feel, or what I am going through. It speaks of how I want to feel. It says every thing I want to say whenever we make it through the crap that we have been dealing with. It is a song of hope. When things get really dark, the lyrics will swim through my mind, reminding me that one day, all this crap will be far away.

We just got some good news today that puts this song closer to reality. I really want to perform this song at my church.

This is my life
Its not what it was before
All these feelings I’ve shared
And these are my dreams
That I’d never lived before
Somebody shake me
Cause I, I must be sleeping

(chorus)
Now that we’re here,
It’s so far away
All the struggle we thought was in vain
All the mistakes,
One life contained
They all finally start to go away
Now that we’re here its so far away
And I feel like I can face the day
I can forgive and I’m not ashamed to be the person that I am today

These are my words
That I’ve never said before
I think I’m doing ok
And this is the smile
That I’ve never shown before

Somebody shake me
Cause I, I must be sleeping

(chorus)

I’m so afraid of waking
Please don’t shake me
Afraid of waking
Please don’t shake me

(chorus)

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The Rock n’ Roll Therapy Sessions: Bipolar Faith

I have bipolar faith.

All the crap started in January, after a very uplifting church service. Jessica and I had a very real encounter with God that Sunday. A word was given to our church that God was going to move over finances and set people free of debt. The message hit home with us, so I wrote down all of our finances and debts that we owed and left them down at the front of the church, where we had gathered to pray.

Later that week, everything went to hell. More financial problems hit us. Sick children and no insurance makes the bills add up pretty damn quick. Then my father and I got into a disagreement. Then my grandfather took a turn for the worst. It had seemed that what we heard at church was nothing but a joke.

This lead to many shouting matches between me and God. I have always tried to do what is right. As a manager, I have always tried to treat everyone fairly and with respect. In my business dealings, I have always been ethical. So, this lead me to the question of why?

Damn, that is one dangerous question to ask oneself. Dangerous in that it will lead you up, or can totally destroy you. But it is a question that has to be asked from time to time.

So I would ask, “So, God, why is all this happening to my family? Why do so people who are just down right dirty bastards, make a ton of money and have no suffering? That makes no damn sense to me?”

Most of the time there was silence. But what could I do? I can not turn away from my faith. Why? Because there is no place else to turn.

I am one anylitical motherf***er. I am always trying to figure out everything. What sin is God punishing me for? Is this a test of faith? Am I that f***ed up?

A song that best describes me is, “Take a Look Around” by Limp Bizkit. Or, the Mission Impossible II Theme song. Check this out.

“Does anybody really know the secret?

Or the combination for this life and where they keep it?

It’s kinda sad when you don’t know the meaning,

But everything happens for a reason.

I don’t even know what I should say,

cuz I’m an idiot a looser, a microphone abuser.

I analyze every second I exist, beatin’ up my mind every second with my fist.”

So over the past few months, I have had turmoil and peace. I have yelled at God in one breath and praised him with the next. That is why I think I have bipolar faith.

So where does that leave us? I think what my family has been walking through has been part test of faith and part shit happens. As I continue to walk this road, I think I am realizing that there is a balance between turmoil and peace, and that God can bring total comfort and peace and rest, in the midst of the shit storm.

I ain’t got everything figured out, far from it. But I do know that the dog eats the crumbs that fall from the masters table, and I ain’t ashamed to sit under the table and beg.

k

“Cuz I don’t know what I should do. Life is a lesson, you learn it when you’re through.” LB

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Rock n’ Roll Therapy

So here we go again. I have a lot to say, and what better place to say it than on the interweb. Welcome to “Rock n’ Roll Therapy”. Don’t worry, I’m not the doctor, I am the one on the couch. So what is this all about?

I have been going through a lot of crap over the past few months. I mean a lot. So much so, I feel like a roll of Charmin, if you catch my meaning. So, I decided to let out my frustrations, fears, questions, rants, and melt downs for you, and the rest of the world to see. I am going to be honest. Brutally honest at times. I have decided to let it all out.

The oxymoron part of being honest  is, I have to be discreet about the particulars of what is going on. There are other people, places and things involved and, out of respect, I will keep somethings from public view.

But, as for me personally, I will be honest. Be warned, it will be ugly. I am sure there will be profanity. But, like with any surgical procedure, it is ugly and messy and nauseating, but is needed in order to make the sick well.

So, what is Rock n’ Roll therapy? Over the past few months, I have found a solace in music. As some of you know, I have always had a love affair with music. And this love has helped keep my stable and sane. Especially hard music. Bands like, Limp Bizkit, Metallica, Godsmack, Guns n Roses, Mortification, The Showdown, Chevelle, Motley Crue, Tool, (I think you get the idea.) These bands have become very therapeutic, they have become my shrink.

Hard, heavy music has helped me walk through some emotional shit. (See, there’s a swear!) There are times when screaming at the top of my lungs with thunder-crunching guitars and pounding drums kills some of the inner demons. Metal has always asked tough questions and dealt with emotional pain, but not in victimized, emo bullshit  fashion. No, metal has always been about “Things may suck, but I am still going to kick it’s ass!”

So over the next few days, weeks or months, I am going to invite you with me. I am going to introduce you to songs that have helped me. Songs that have become very close friends of mine. Hell, you may even need to sit on the couch next to me.

Above all else, you will see a very rough spiritual side of me. I am a Christian, and desire to live a life that is pleasing to Christ, but sometimes, a lot of times, I don’t. At least in my mind. I have been learning a lot about grace, and the fact that there is nothing I can do to make God love me more or love me less. This is humbling. I have also learned that God can take whatever I throw at Him. And I have taken Him up on his offer. God is never afraid to back down from a fight, nor back out of a wrestling match, just ask Jacob.

So that’s pretty much it for tonight. Stick around for a while. Tonights blog has been brought to you by:

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I’m Back.

Going to start blogging again. Gonna be brutal. Gonna be honest. Think you might like it, then you may not. It’s time to blow their minds now baby. Hope you like the new layout.

 

k

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