Your greatest frustration is a problem that you are here to solve.
One of the biggest challenges in our communities today is the breakdown of the family. Ideally, we all are raised in homes with loving parents who prepare us for every aspect of the journey we will face in life. They learn who we are, help us identify our talents, provide opportunities to exercise them, help us grow and develop as people, teach us how to take care of every aspect of our personhood, and facilitate the healing of the wounds we suffer. Over the last few years of my life, I've served as a coach, speaker, and workshop facilitator in schools, group homes, nonprofits, churches, a substance abuse treatment center, and prison. I’ve also had the privilege to serve as an emotional intelligence coach to leaders ranging from directors of law enforcement agencies to senior spiritual leaders. For the majority of people I’ve worked with, the common denominator is the brokenness of the homes in which they were raised. There was mistreatment, abuse, intentional neglect or unintentional neglect from parents who did the best they could but left areas of their children’s development unattended. That being said, parenting lessons are learned on the job. Unfortunately, parenting doesn’t come with a manual or a complete toolbox. When parents are not fully equipped, there are gaps in the well-being and development of the children they raise, which also speak to the gaps in the parent’s well-being and development.
Those gaps and deficits carry over into adulthood and affect nearly every dimension of life – relationships, economics, vocation and subsequently the community. There may have been career missteps, poor life and relationship choices, wasted time, and continued emotional and mental pain - all of which could have been prevented if the necessary tools were available. Many of us have learned these life lessons the hard way or never learned them at all and are living lost, confused, and disillusioned with life. If this is you, please have compassion for yourself because it's unloving and unkind to expect yourself to do something that you were never taught how to do. Many of us have never been taught how to live. We’ve been taught how to survive, how to get along without causing any trouble, and how to protect ourselves. But we’ve never been taught how to live wholeheartedly and abundantly. Fortunately, there’s hope that healing is possible and it’s never too late to heal, grow, and to reposition yourself to live your life wholeheartedly.
As a college student, I heard a quote that resonates with me until this day: Your greatest frustration is a problem that you are here to solve. Seeing talented people with great potential miss out on the opportunity to live out their calling and serve their community was and still is very frustrating to me. I wish I had a book like this when I was growing up. As a result, I've taken the time over the last few years to journal, reflect, and process all the personal experiences I’ve had from workshops, one on one conversations with people, and feedback from community leaders who work to help people build healthy and productive lives. Bridge the Gaps is the fruit of that work. I’ve received training over the years as a behavioral assistant and an emotional intelligence coach, but I would say that the most profound lessons came when I got close to people’s lives, heard their stories and understood their concerns experientially and not just academically. That’s one of the best aspects of being a coach – acquiring knowledge and information from people’s lived experiences. With this book, I want to provide a structure and a set of tools and resources that people can use to bridge the gaps in their lives. There are three areas that I’ll focus on - self-awareness, self-development, and self-care. Self-awareness provides a framework to develop a conscious knowledge of your calling, talents, visions, and values to allow you to organize your life to pursue your calling wholeheartedly and courageously. Self-development is geared to provide you with the tools needed determine your goals, refine your character, solve problems, make decisions and achieve progress in your vocation and life. Self-care is broken down into 2 parts. The first half addresses topics that are not the main things discussed when it comes to self-care. They are grieving, forgiveness, boundaries, shame, and assertiveness. The 2nd half highlights and provides resources for issues that adversely affect communities across the country. They are fatherlessness, colorism, sexual abuse, mental illness, and mass incarceration.
Pick up a copy today! May God Bless You.