Here is an excerpt from my new book. I found myself reflecting on an experience that happened back in 1983.

In our second year of marriage, I was having a cookie bake off with some newly made friends. Cheri was at home and would join us later after our cookies were baked. My opponent on this day was Michelle, who fancied herself as an excellent baker of chocolate chip cookies.

We both worked in her kitchen and during the course of the conversation the set up phrase for an unsolicited opinion or some constructive criticism came out in the discussion.

Michelle:               Rich, can I be honest with you?

Rich:                        (thinking, man what have I done this time? And then smiling) Sure.

Michelle:               When I first met you and Cheri, I felt so sorry for Cheri!

Now you may be interested to know that this was neither the first nor the last time I heard this comment or observation. I’d be dishonest if I said this kind of banter didn’t bother me. It did, but I didn’t know how to be different than I was. I also didn’t know why I carried a chip on my shoulder and frankly denied it during that time frame. My immaculate perception of me was that I was well-rounded, happy, productive, positive, open-minded, and a life-long-learner.

Many experiences, beliefs, and behaviors have transpired since that day. The gift of getting re-takes in life cannot be overstated. Every experience is perfect. Perfect is defined as an event or experience that is exactly what we need at that time to come closer to God (integrate). My life has been perfect and every day I get to experience more perfect things on my path of growth.

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