Side Effects

Joe Gallagher Jr.

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An array of style and emotion.

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  1. 1 Thunder 04:28
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  2. 2 Allyson 05:02
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  3. 3 Broker's Blues 02:38
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  4. 4 Cannons 03:32
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  5. 5 Fugitive 04:52
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  6. 6 Paralyzed ft. O.B. 03:37
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  7. 7 Indian Giver 02:45
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  8. 8 Happy Medium 03:12
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  9. 9 Stone House 03:35
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  10. 10 Holy Water 02:34
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Reflection  

The seasons are an excellent comparison to the fluctuations of life.  There’s times where our winters are dark, bitter and frosty with emotion.  Isn’t it great that spring follows winter?  There’s rebirth, new found energy, sparkling creativity that had been dormant during the barren months prior.  After spring, the opportunities to grow start to flourish and thrive and the personal crops we’ve been nourishing sprout and bloom into summer.  Summer is where our hardest efforts become apparent by bountiful blossoming and the creations of our productivity come to life.  Then fall comes and we harvest what we’ve worked so hard to maintain and take care of in previous months.  We watch our abundance wither down to prepare us for another winter.  How can we change how we feel during trying times ?  How can we stay grateful in the face of grief, sadness, loss and depression.  It comes down to balance and self forgiveness.  Awareness also comes into play.  Things happen to everyone but everyone doesn’t change what they do to themselves. 

Pain 

Pain is the greatest motivator.  People don’t change themselves till they’re hungry enough or they’re in enough severe pain that they just can’t take anymore.  That’s why they say, “Pain is the touchstone to all growth” or “Pain is the mother of invention.”  I know pain gets us down and it could keep us down but if we don’t lie on our backs, look up, then we can get up.  The dream you have or the person you are meant to be aren’t just going to arrive one day while you’re waiting. We have to take action and more action, right now, towards those dreams and goals.  Whatever puzzle piece doesn’t fit into your perfect picture, throw it out.  It belongs to another puzzle.  Don’t spend too much time analyzing the pieces before you sink into analysis paralysis.  Simple tasks like watching a sunrise or sunset, take a pretty picture, foster a homeless dog, be in nature somewhere to absorb the earth’s energy and believe that what and who you are is your choice.  Keep that fire lit by adding more knowledge and awareness to it.  Someday it will all make sense.  Pain is necessary but suffering is optional.

Indian Giver 

When Chris Cornell suddenly passed away last year we were all very saddened by such a big loss.  His brilliance had been shining for decades for us to witness through his music.  The day the world found out of his passing, I felt compelled to write a song in a tribute to him, as well as to others like Kurt Cobain and Prince.  If you dissect the poetic lyrics that I wrote you will see pieces of these artists throughout the song.  They may be vague glimpses of them but they are there.  “Platforms for princes, soaking in the heat, black hole sun, the curtain is drawn”. Those phrases come from the verses.  “Didn’t you say you came with gifts? (me speaking to God, the poets and singers are the gifts) Didn’t you say you wouldn’t take them away? (How could God take them from us).”  I know that may sound harsh to ask God such things but what happened to these legends was sad, to say the least and I’m sure many people were angry with God like I was.  Looking back on what I wrote that day I realized, God put them on this earth for them to leave an eternal mark.  Their lives may have been cut short but did they not influence and make a huge impact on all of us still living?  So the song “Indian Giver” is selfish in a way and I’m glad it is because it shows that humans can be wrong about His plans for us.

Master Mentor 

Mentoring is a subject that can be broken into two perspectives.  One as the teacher and one as the student.  They say when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  I’ve found this to be true.  I’ve had many mentors throughout the years.  Some I was outright defiant towards and some whom I could never get enough of.  It all serves its purpose and to remain teachable is a gift in itself.  I’m never going to graduate from life’s university.  However, if I want to keep the precious and knowledgeable gifts that I’ve received, then I must be willing to give it away to some newer person. The hard ass mentors I’ve had came to me at points in my life when I needed a good shake.  I needed a drill sergeant. I needed to be taught truths about myself that I didn’t like hearing.  Those relationships didn’t last very long but they were absolutely necessary in the building of my character and foundation.  Other mentors have been there consistently along my way into success.  They gradually left little breadcrumbs for me to follow.  Some mentors give musts to their students to get through thick walls of denial, others merely make suggestions and easily walk with me as I face difficulties.  The point is to always be searching for more.  Find ways to have more integrity.  It’s when we stop learning that we die.  I’ve almost died numerous times by not taking recommendations and trying to figure things out for myself.  I’ve accumulated so many wrong ways to do things in my experience that I now have the ability to teach others.  Even if it’s teaching them what not to do, I still reap the benefits because I am willing to give away my experience, strength and hope.  Don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions to very smart people.  When you have the courage to ask for help, you’re actually helping the other person more than they are helping you.  I’m constantly, seeking, experimenting and exploring.  If I didn’t have at least one guide during my trials and tribulations I would’ve failed way more than what is required.  Will Smith says, “Behind every success story there are thousands of failures.”  He’s right.  Fail to succeed and surrender to win.  They sound like oxymoron cliches but it’s just the disguise.  They are principles that are very difficult to implement.  Don’t make things harder than they have to be.  Change yourself when change is the only option.  If success was easy, there’d be a whole lot more successful people in your life.  Les Brown says, “Look at your 9 closest friends.  If all 9 of them are broke and miserable, you are probably number 10.”  Surround yourself with winners and you’re more likely to win.  If you’ve put all your physical, mental and spiritual effort into a specific thing and it still ain’t happening for ya, you may need to change directions or just let go of the wheel and have faith that what’s supposed to happen, will happen.

Managing Expectations  

Managing expectations.  This topic was brought up and requested that I write about it for my weekly Wednesday blog.  Well, what can I say?  People are fallible.  They will most of the time, disappoint us.  We can’t rely too heavily on the promises from others because 9 times out of 10 they will let us down.  Sometimes I feel like I could have the right stars in alignment, the situation or task should come together seamlessly and then BAM!  Someone drops the ball and the whole project goes to shit.  It happens way more often than I’d like to admit but not only am I guilty of the same thing, there is a solution.  If I accept others as being just as they are, human beings who make mistakes, just like I do, therefore lowering my expectations of them or having none at all; I leave the results ultimately in God’s hands.  If I put all my physical, mental and emotional effort into a project and it still fails, it’s obviously not God’s plan for me and I need to change my mind about it and seek something else.  It really is a tough principle to practice and it’s incredibly tough to make progress in this area but as Les Brown says, “It’s Possible!” He’s correct!  All my dreams and wishes are possibly going to come true.  If I’m hungry enough and persistent enough-and if it be God’s will, it’s all possible!  Some might ask, “At what point do you give up and try something else?” When you have absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, done everything you can and then have done even a little more, and it still fails?  Time to change your mind about it and get into something else.  “It’s my actions that will either save me or kill me” -Robert B.  I encourage any comments, questions or criticisms so feel free to let me know what you think.

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