Hands down, that was the most interesting thing you’ve said all day!

Hands down, that’s the value add…

Where does the saying ‘hands down’ come from?

Apparently, I’m not the only one to wonder this.  A quick search reveals pages of explanation all saying the same thing.  It comes from horse racing.  In a race, or while racing, the rider, called a jokey, keeps a tight rein, literally, on the horse’s reins, in order to encourage the horse to run faster.  I’m not sure that a bar of metal in my mouth roped to pull my neck and head back would encourage me to run faster.  Having said that, if, and when, the horse and rider are far enough ahead to unrefutably win, the jokey can put his ‘hands down’, aka relax the reins because he has already won the race.  Therein creating the expression ‘he won hands down.’

It means:  without question. It is done.

Here is my hands down:  hands down, the most incredible thing about Jesus and the spiritual philosophy (religion) that arose as a result of his lifetime on Earth is his ability, willingness, and power to defeat darkness. 

Hands down.

I am a wildly imaginative and creative person.  I’m not sure the number of times I won ‘most creative’ at school. Thankfully, luckily, I never got yelled at for having my head in the clouds.  Somehow, I instinctively managed the balance between this world and that.  I dipped into the clouds enough to pull out some wild stuff but had my feet on the ground enough to translate that onto paper, or canvas, or perhaps, in an argument. 

“Molly, where do you get this stuff?”  my mother would say.

I would use ‘this stuff’ throughout my academic career.  I did well.  I wrote some bang up papers.  My first creative writing professor, Beverly Conner, a woman at the time in her 60s or 70s, ‘got the biggest kick’ out of me.  “Delightful!” read one of my stories in red ink at the bottom.  “Molly this is heartbreaking.  I’m so sorry.  Though, it’s beautifully written.” said another, blue ink. 

This continued into my professional life.  A client once wrote a referral for me detailing how I would ‘close my eyes and a minute later, open them and announce the solution, earning (their) respect time after time.’

Where do you get this stuff? 

I’m not sure my answer when I was a kid.  An early memory is me holding my mother’s hand, which was above my head so I was reaching up…that’s how old I was…and I announced that I could hear God.  Or that I talked to God.  Not sure on my exact wording here.  But I’ll never forget her reaction.  She jerked my hand and said, “don’t say that!”  Boy did that leave an impression.

You cannot blame her.  The world teaches that talking to God, hearing God, listening to God is stupid, bad, silly.  Or worse….crazy.

I’m half a century into this. I lived for years mildly worried that I am crazy…whatever that means—not right, off kilter, not ‘normal’ like everyone else (who are also worried about begin not normal)…and I can honestly say if my belief in the spiritual realm and the fact that I hear a voice guiding me, keeping me out of trouble, offering creative solutions, and telling me the next right step is crazy…then I’ll take crazy. 

No one wants to be crazy.  Actually crazy…which is a word that should never be used to refer to someone actually dealing with a mental health issue.  I’m all for saying ‘wow!  That was crazy!’ when you get off a rollercoaster and promise yourself to never do that again. Here, the word crazy means wildly exhilarating and just a little bit sketch.  This is the type of crazy to which we aspire and desire.

As a veteran life coach, I can vouch that the fear of being ‘crazy,’ whether real or imagined, is a very real fear for many of us.  It was for me.

Adolescence on, I felt fearful that I was crazy.  Or going to be crazy, at any moment.  At any moment, the shoe was going to drop, as the saying goes.  (I’ll look that one up later.)  Because in my family, it did drop.  Frequently.  You never knew who was next.  Until one day, it had dropped for all of us, except me. 

In the mental health world, this stuff shows up somewhere between 14 & 22, plus or minus a few years.  In my late teens and early to mid 20s I lived wondering if there was a time bomb on the back burner in my mind.  I continued to get good grades, win races, and perform like crazy (a very appropriate use of the word in my opinion).  Such performances seemed to answer the question:  no, you’re not crazy, you’re fine.  But always there was the lurking fear because something was talking to me.  Something that I kept a secret for years.

It’s no easy street growing up with people who can’t discern reality from time to time and thus use drugs and alcohol to mitigate that confusion.  Even when drugs and alcohol aren’t used, it’s no picnic. This is a tough balance, tough equation…one that you can’t make funny.  Acute mental crisis, whatever the diagnosis or degree, is sadly the new norm, if majority wins.  This is one of the harsh sides to planet earth as so many of us fall victim to it.  I had an uncle who was the topic of great family debate:  did the drugs come first and cause the mental illness, or did he have mental illness and thus start using drugs?

The two go hand in hand.  Hands down.

I now get paid to be crazy, whatever that is.  For decades I was afraid and now it’s a paycheck.  My bread and butter.  Because if you need someone to close their eyes and announce “kelly green!” with total confidence and it turns out to be wonderful, I’m your gal.  If you need someone to say “that’s not true, that’s a lie, that’s darkness…” I’m your gal.  If you need someone to nod their head and smile and totally get you when you sound crazy, I’m your gal. 

It’s taken me half a century to give you the correct answer:  my head is in the clouds, where I like to be, where everything makes sense, and works and is balanced and pure and peaceful, where there is only love and acceptance and gratitude and peace.  Peace be with you. There is no better feeling on earth, than peace.  Somehow, I am directly wired to something not here, not visible and / or not seen by earthly eyes.  Something that I didn’t create, or mantra my way into.  And this is true for many of us.  For some, this still seems woo-woo.  For others, it’s life here on planet earth, as it should be, as it could be, and as it will be. 

Hands down. 

Jesus didn’t come here to restrict you or shame you or control you.  He came to give you the manual, so you can get the appliance to work correctly.  I dare any of you to successfully use an instapot the first time without any instruction.  No one plugs it in and gets it.  What the hell is pressure cooking? Why is it beeping!?

If you have mental health issues (and if you are alive on planet earth you have mental health issues) do not pass go, do not go around the board one more time; stop, and get yourself some help from Jesus before you buy another motel.  It will save you A LOT of time and money.

Hands down.


Thank you Father.  For this writing.  Be a light unto the world.  Amen.