If you neglect to care for your inner self, everything that enters your heart will eventually eat you up. If you cannot guard what happens within, you cannot live with yourself truthfully and authentically. Dr. Kim Grimes sits down with Eric Ampadu, a Senior Pastor of Northside SDA Church in Miami, Florida for over two decades. Together, they discuss why you should stop comparing yourself to others to avoid building a prison around your life. Eric talks about the immense power of surrendering all your worries to God and never letting your bad memories get the better of you. He also explains why you must develop a spirit of gratitude and peace in this unkind and chaotic world.
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What It Takes To Live With Yourself With Integrity And Fulfillment With Eric Ampadu
I am so glad you guys are here with YAYU. YAYU is the acronym for You Are YOU, Unapologetically. I love it and it’s always a pleasure knowing that you guys have joined us. My gratitude goes out to each and every one of you who has taken the time to check out our show. I’m honored by it, and I thank you for it. The topic that we’ve been talking about, and has been for a couple of weeks now, is not done yet. It’s because you know how we do.
You guys know we like to have multiple guests come and discuss the same topic for diversity reasons. You’re different. I’m different. We all are different so we want to get different perspectives about the topic. That’s why we do what we do the way we do it. With that being said, let’s get started. Every day or every week we hear in the news, we’re overwhelmed with information. We have information overload. For those of you who don’t watch the news, you may watch it on the feed on your phone or your social media. It might even be in your feed that somebody was found out. That’s what I said. This person had a secret. No if, and, or but about it. They had something going on in the background of their life and now everybody knows it.
It’s been discovered that they’ve been living a double life. They’ve been lying to the people that depend on them, their family, friends, colleagues, coworkers, and the people in their community. Now, they have been found out. They’ve been uncovered. They’ve been busted because they’ve been harboring and living with a secret. We think, “How could they do such a thing? How could they live with themselves?” You might ask that question.
“How could they carry on for so long keeping up the charade? Can you see them showing up for dinner acting as if everything is normal and as if nothing happened looking in their spouse’s face or in their children’s eyes? How can they betray their family and friends knowing that one day, it may become public knowledge.” Once it does, it’s going to destroy everything. It’s going to destroy their family and their friendship. It’s going to undermine their career and their life. How could they or how do they live themselves?
We’re saying, “How could they,” but why is it so difficult for us to imagine how could they live with themselves? We do this because we put ourselves in the situation. We think that if we were in that situation, we wouldn’t do it and we couldn’t live with ourselves. We tell ourselves, “No. My consciousness won’t let me do it. My integrity will not even allow me to go there or do such a thing.” However, here’s the truth. You and I could. I could do the exact same thing. You could do the exact same thing and we can live with ourselves. Think about it.
If my current self is left unattended, who I am on the inside is left neglected, or I don’t do any work to my inner being, then I could live with myself because I’m not facing or not focusing on it. In fact, my current self will live with myself in spite of the unhealthy version I have become. Let me get to this point. My external self, what people see when it is so far away from what I truly am on the inside, it is easy for me to think, “It can’t happen to me. I can’t get busted. Nobody will understand and know.” It’s easy for you to think that it won’t happen to you, but it does because people think that way as well. They think that it can’t happen to them and we see that it’s happening because it happens.
In this series, we are talking about how to guard your inner self or your true being so that you can live with yourself. What we’re talking about in this series is you living with yourself and how can you live with yourself. I want to share scripture as a foundation for our talks. It’s because I’m a bonafide Jesus follower. With that being said, I use scripture to anchor my topic. Proverbs 4:23 says, “We should guard our heart with all diligence because out of it flows the issues of life.” I want you guys to know that this is my physical heart, but when I’m talking about the word of God, this is my heart, my head, and my mind because things come in and out of it as well. Yes, it is my heart, but this is as well. When I’m talking about my heart, I’m talking about this up here because they intermingle with each other.
This scripture that I read implies that if we allow it to enter into our hearts, if not examined or properly evaluated, it will undoubtedly be expressed in our lives and in our actions. It will show up in positive or negative ways. No if, and, or but about it. There is an author by the name of James Allen. He wrote this book called As a Man Thinketh. It’s a good book. A small easy read book but it’s also based on Proverbs 23:7. It says the same thing. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
As I said, it’s a short and easy book but let me quote something from this book that I like that spoke to me and I wanted to share it here on the show. It says, “The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, and his power for good.” The calmness of the mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but unwilling to improve themselves. Even though I’m saying men, we’re talking about women as well. Circumstances do not make the man or the person. It reveals him to himself.
However you show up in that circumstance, it’s going to reveal to you who you are. As I said, we are interchanging. Your heart is your inner self and your inner being. I’m also talking about our minds. We all know that life has not and is not always kind. We all know that we don’t have to live a very long time for life to take a toll on our life and on our souls. Life can be hard on our souls. When I say soul, I’m also talking about your interior life or your inner being. You know that inside of you. Fears, worries, hopes, dreams, wishes, experiences, disappointments, and failures, while putting on a happy face or smiling are the part I’m talking about. Who do people get when they get you? Who do they get when you show up or go to work?
If you’re in school, when do you go to school? What do people get when they’re hanging out with their friends, interacting with loved ones, or spending time with their spouse and children? Who do people get when you show up? This is what we’re talking about here. Are you one way with a group of people and another person with another group of people? Is your person on the outside completely different from the person on the inside? Whether it is our appearance, our performance, or our reputation, we attend to those outward things much faster than we attend to those inner things. Why? It’s because we know people are watching us and they’re expecting us. Not only that, they’re competing with us for approval, acceptance, attention, and progress.
It’s natural to pay attention to your outside, to the exterior, and all the stuff that’s going on. Your earrings, your hairstyle, your shirt, your clothes, or whatever you’re wearing. We all have a public life that is on display every day but there is only one person who can be attentive to your soul. There’s only one person who can be attentive to what’s going on inside your heart and your inner being. My question is this. How can you live with yourself? What habits do you have that will ensure the self you’re living with is the self that’s on display? What convictions, values, and beliefs do you have that will ensure what people see on the outside is what they’re actually getting? Here is a fact.
Even if your inner being, your heart, inner soul, or inner self is healthy, when it’s super healthy and it’s left unattended, it will become unhealthy. If you don’t go in and check what’s going on the inside, it will become unhealthy and super unhealthy. Nothing gets better when it’s left unattended. The health of your inner being determines your capacity and your ability to live with a version of yourself that you don’t like. A version of yourself that you never desired to be. The health of your inner being determines how wide the gap is between who you are and who you pretend to be.
It also determines how far that gap is going to expand before you finally crack, confess, or break down and be found out, discovered, or uncovered. The health of your inner being, heart, or soul has very little tolerance for the lack of integrity. The health of your heart realizes when what’s going on the inside is not reflected on the outside and what is reflected on the outside is showing up better than what’s on the inside. The healthy inner being says, “We got to do some work.” We got to slow down. We got to get some work done because the healthy inner self is one. Their integrity on the inside and the outside are in sync. The health of your inner being, your inner self determines how far things can go before your conscient.
This won’t let you pretend any longer. The health of your soul determines how willing you are to lie to other people and how easy it is for you to lie to yourself. When you are no longer the self you used to be, the self you want to be, or the self you always thought you would be, the true you that people can see, you are truly neglecting the health of your inner self. Neglect the health of your inner being and it will ultimately come back and haunt you. It will come back and bite you. It will hurt you and more specifically, it’s going to hurt the people who are around you and most important to you.
Don’t fool yourself. Say, “I’m not going to fool myself. I’m clear on this. I have the potential.” You have the potential. We have the potential to become someone we despise if our inner beings are left unattended. We could become the unimaginable. Could you do the unthinkable and live with yourself? It’s because people do it all the time. It happens all the time because they think the same thing. That could never happen to me. I want you to know, don’t get it twisted because it can.
The difference between those who avoid becoming the unimaginable and doing the unthinkable is the health of their inner being, soul, and heart. They have the willingness and the ability to pay close attention to what’s going on inside of them. That’s the difference. Let me ask you. Do you pay attention to what’s going on? If not, how can you live with yourself? If so, how do you and how can you live with yourself? I’m so excited. Thank you guys for hanging in here as I went over the intro of this topic. I am so excited to invite you to introduce my next guest. I have to say that we have truly booked this amazing person. I believe that we go out and find people who are living in their purpose and also, those people who are serving others.
We look for those because they’re clear in the discussion. We also look for those who are struggling as well, so that they too can come on and have a conversation with us. Let’s dive in. Our guest is phenomenal and I mean it because he’s in the business of serving others. Our guest is the Senior Pastor of the Northside SDA Church in Miami, Florida. He’s been in pastoral ministry for many years. He is currently in the Army of the Lord and will continue his service as he transitioned from serving civilians to serving Army personnel. He’s not only in the Army of the Lord, but he’s going to be in the US Army as well.
He has been married to his beautiful wife, Elta, for many years now. That’s a double wow. The Lord has blessed their union with three magnificent children. Truly, our guest is a man of God, a servant leader with a huge heart to serve God’s people. Please welcome Pastor Eric Ampadu to the show. I am so glad that you’re here, Eric. Welcome. Thank you for being on the show and saying yes. We’re so excited that you’re here. What I want to do is the question that I ask all of our guests and our readers to know the connection between us. The first question I always ask is, “Can you share with the audience how did we meet?”
Dr. Kim, I love your energy. The synergy that you bring to this platform and this space is so contagious. I feel it all the way from the Sunshine State and that is Florida. I’m right here in Miami and this is great. I met you through my lovely wife. She’s a grief therapist and she has great individuals, men and women of God, within her circle. She was able to connect me to you. Not only that, when she met you and she was like, “Eric, I need you to meet Dr. Kim’s husband Lionel. You all will get along so well.” I’m like, “Are you for real?” When I met your husband, it’s like I knew him for many years and we just clicked.
I love your husband. I thank God that you and your husband found a struggling person like me to invite on this show. This is my resume. As a matter of fact, I believe that my resume disqualified me from being on this show but I thank God that he’s a god of a second chance. I appreciate how you were able to use technology to be able to bless and change an individual’s repertoire. I love the fact that you were bringing it home. You hit a home run. I love baseball. You made a statement, “Do you pay attention to yourself?”
That immediately sparked within me. I love cooking, Dr. Kim and every now and then when I’m in the kitchen, my wife is like, “Did you pay attention to the dish? Did you pay attention to what you cooked, the seasoning and all that? Yesterday, the food was so delicious, but now, what happened? It’s so good. Can you tell me the ingredients?” Oftentimes, she’s reminding me when I’m in the kitchen and I make something good. She says, “You need to start paying attention to the recipe because you used the same recipe to make the same meal for me.” I’m like, “I’m old school. I learned from grandma. There are some things you don’t write it there.” I appreciate you, Dr. Kim.
I’m so excited that you’re here and thank you again for saying yes. You and your wife have such a huge heart. You guys know Lionel and me. We travel a lot. When we were down in Florida, we flew in, they catered to us. They hosted us. They let us stay with them. We felt like royalty. Lionel and I had such a wonderful time spending time with you guys. That’s when I said, “You need to come on my show.”
Readers, I want you guys to know his wife Elta was also on the show. I can’t recall off the top of my head what episode she was but when you go on and you do a search, look for Elta Ampadu and you’ll find that she’s phenomenal as well just like her husband. Let’s jump into this conversation we’re going to have about how can you live with yourself. Before we do that, I want you to share with me and our readers what it means to you, Pastor Eric, to be you unapologetically. This is the name of our platform, You Are You, Unapologetically and that’s what the YAYU stands for.
Once again, I love the vibe. As you gave me the ball now, I can dunk. Even though I can’t dunk, I can put it in the basket. You started off with a biblical passage and I love that passage because right there in Proverbs 23:7 where it talks about, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” I was trying to also think of another passage in Proverbs. I have to go back and rewind a little bit. I thought about Proverbs 4:23 because this is what your show is all about. Solomon talks about, “Be careful what you think because your thought can run your life.”
I don’t know where you are. You may be at the ballpark or you just got home and you are reading this. I believe that this show is going to transform and revolutionize. It’s going to give you an upgrade. As a matter of fact, if you want to be wealthy and healthy, if you have been reading your Bible, you might have to go ahead and say, “What did the preacher say? Be careful of what you think because your thought can run your life.
That’s why I want to talk about your show because I believe that when we talked about the inner soul and what your show is all about, it’s disturbing the individual’s anatomy of, “I can choose to get healthier.” If you can choose to get healthier, that means that you are literally and totally in control of yourself. To go back to, “What does it mean to be you, unapologetically?” I’m a preacher. Maybe you all didn’t go to church on Sunday or wherever or Wednesday night but I’ve got to be honest with you.
I don’t even use an alarm clock. I’m a Bible believer so the Lord woke me up. Wherever you are, you ought to thank God. When the Lord wakes me up in the morning every morning, my mantra is that God is not finished with me yet. The fact that he’s not finished with me yet, in order for me to be me unapologetically means that this question here is very important because we are living in a society. Dr. Kim, one of the main challenges in life is the amount of influence we allow other people to have over our lives.
Also, because of the lives that we have been told by other people, many of us believe that we are undeserving of love, forgiveness, and even a second chance. I love this platform because living unapologetically says that I don’t deserve compassion. I don’t deserve kindness from other people that I have mistreated but as a Christian and as a believer, what gives me the passion to live every day is the fact that the Bible says, “God demonstrated his own life for us while we were still sinners.”
It means that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. That means that when we least deserve it, when we were not worth it by any earthly standards, that is the very time that Christ made his greatest sacrifice. He showed us the most powerful act of love in all of history. That is why when you talked about what it means to be you is that I don’t deserve it because I’ve hurt people in the past. Maybe some days, I hurt people.
I don’t deserve it when we talked about the standards of men, but I thank God that with his compassion, I deserve it. Dr. Kim, I know you look beautiful. I love what you have on. I love the color. Your boo is taking good care of you and when your boo is taking good care of you, you can enjoy yourself. I know you love me but thank God for your boo. What I’m trying to say is that whatever mistakes you or I have made or whatever pain that I have caused, I’ve learned that we have to leave it at the altar of God. Let go of our guilt and accept God’s forgiveness. The reason why many of us are unable to live and thrive in life is that we haven’t learned to forgive ourselves. We haven’t learned to accept God’s forgiveness because God’s forgiveness is not predicated upon your perfection.
You have been a 00000. His love is not predicated upon that. I love God so much and he says, “Son, you can still be you and live to be you, apologetically every day because every day, you accept my forgiveness and you are able to love the unlovable.” That’s why I love this platform here. I want to thank you for bringing me on the show.
Here’s something that we can dive into even deeper. Can you share if there were ever some incidences or situations that caused you not to want to live with yourself because of something that you’ve done or how you’ve acted? Has it ever occurred in your life where you had such incidences or situations where you weren’t godly?
Absolutely. I like the way you say godly. Can I go back to the past a little bit?
Please share. This is a safe space.
I’m not a prisoner of the past, but I thank God for my past. I’m not where I want to be, but thank God, I’m not what I used to be. Going back to the past, I grew up in the ‘80s when rap music was clean. One of my biggest icons was Public Enemy. I used to love Public Enemy. I grew up in Montreal, Canada. In the late ‘80s, being a soccer player and with the influences of my boys that the inner crowd and the inner circle, we grew up wearing fashion back in those days. It was not hand-me-downs. You couldn’t wear those hand-me-downs.
Back in those days, I would wear those cool Michael Jordan shoes. That was the fashion. Now you got to be in style. I lived with a mindset of I was not content. As a young teenager, I was never happy and not content. I believe it stifled. It put a dent and interrupted my purpose because whenever I find myself with my inner circle, I looked around and I was not content with myself. I believe that one of the biggest issues with the world is that we live in a space where it feels that you can peek into someone else’s life. Everything about their life seems better than the life that you have.
Isn’t that the concept of the grass looks greener on the other side?
Absolutely. Whenever I was within my inner circle, I was never content. Why? It’s because I look at the clothes that they had on and I’m like, “How come I can’t have that? Your house seems to be bigger than my parents’ house.” I looked and I said, “Their relationship looks happier than what I have with my boo. What’s going on?” I live with this mindset until finally, I was able to understand what it means. To be honest with you, living with the disposition of not being content with yourself, you can find yourself living in prison.
There are a lot of people now that when they look at their marriage start comparing their marriages to a lot of people. They start even comparing their houses. “The Joneses’ houses seem bigger than theirs and their marriage looks happier than theirs. Their friends seem better than theirs.” The list goes on and on that, if you are not careful, you can spend hours scrolling through the life of complete strangers looking funny. You think, “What’s wrong with me,” and you can be depressed.
Exactly. You know that our mental health and all of that is off the chart. You’re definitely on point. Not being content with yourself can lead to depression and a lot of other things. Let me ask you this. Knowing that we’re in a world where not only our young people are struggling. I’m going to say people are struggling and they’re struggling with their inner beings.
You have peer pressure. You have information overload because of the internet and all of that kind of stuff. What I want to ask you is what advice would you give someone whose outside is different from their inside? How can you help them to begin to work on their inside and to help their inner being become healthier than what it is?
Here’s a simple illustration of how I can help that person or someone. Supposed Amazon driver, UPS, or FedEx person comes to your front door. Just because the Amazon, UPS, or FedEx driver shows up, rings your doorbell, and says that they have a package for you, it doesn’t mean that you have to sign for it. You and I can’t stop the Amazon person. We can’t stop FedEx or UPS truck from pulling up in front of our house.
You can’t keep them from ringing your doorbell but when you open the door, you can choose whether you would accept the package in the same way we can’t stop people from doing and saying some stuff that is hurtful and ruin your reputation. The advice that I would give to someone whose outside is different from their inside, they have to learn to practice contentment and learn how to accept peace. It’s not the external peace, but learning how to be at peace with themselves and with God.
It’s one of the keys to manage you because once you are at peace with God, you got to become at peace with yourself. It’s because now, you have developed a spirit of gratitude. Once you develop a spirit of gratitude, it will help you to eliminate envy from your life. It will help you to eliminate resentment and anything that is unhealthy in your heart. You then begin to focus on the tremendous blessing that God has given you. That’s how you’re able to create a healthy being permanently. That’s the advice that I can give to somebody.
That was good. It’s having the contentment and the peace of you and God but also having that spirit of gratitude. It’s because that spirit is going to help you see that you’re more than that, you have what you need, and you are who God created you to be. Thank you so very much for the wealth of knowledge that you shared with us. Here’s what I know our readers like to get in contact with.
Going back to Proverbs, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” It’s the fact that I can choose what I think about and that means that yourself is created by your memories. We have the amygdala, which is part of the brain that stores bad and shameful memories. The memories of shame, guilt, anger, condemnation, and all that. We store all of that and you could never be who you are. You could never be a happy you if you’re not willing to choose to trust God because the more you store those bad memories and you are able to retrieve them every day, you start writing a bad narrative of who you are.
That is so powerful and you’re so on point, Pastor. Here’s what I wanted to ask you for. Our readers love to reach out to our guests. Please provide our readers with a way of getting in contact with you. Before you do that, I also would love for you to give some closing remarks. You know what the topic is. How can you live with yourself? We know the scripture verse that we use to anchor this, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Please, give our readers something to take away from this particular discussion. You shared a lot. What do you want them to know that they need to know? Please share how to get in contact with you and then give some closing remarks and we’ll go from there.
If anyone would like to reach me, they can go ahead and call me at this number (859) 388-0036 or you also can reach me via email at PreachEA@hotmail.com. I know it’s old school.
I may put little gasoline in my car but it will take me home. I want to help and bless someone. To go back to our anchor text, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” I want to share this with you. This is my advice. If you want your life to go in a different direction, you are going to have to direct those thoughts in a different direction. That means that you’re going to have to learn to confront your issues. You cannot postpone it.If you want to change your life, direct your negative thoughts to a different direction and learn to confront your issues. Click To Tweet
It means that if your boo or somebody, a coworker, or anyone does something to you, you have to confront the issues immediately. Don’t wait until next year. Go ahead. Also, you’re going to have to learn to deal with your issues. It was Maya Angelou that said, “If you don’t like something, change it.” Not only that, you’re going to have to let God fight your battles for you. I believe that’s a good word for somebody.
When you learn to let God fight your battles for you, what happens is that you are going to have to focus on your assignments because when you are focusing on your assignment, God’s gradient he has given you and you are able to say, “I will praise you, God, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful.” I want to be able to bless someone. I thank God that Dr. Kim is able to invite me to this platform. As the Bible says, “A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it.” It’s great stuff. Reach me via email. You have my cell phone and I’ll be able to help that person. Thank you so much, Dr. Kim. I appreciate you.
You are so welcome. Thank you for saying yes. We truly appreciate you. We appreciate everything that you shared. I know that those who are reading will walk away full and fully blessed. Thank you, Pastor. It’s an honor to work with you and to know you. Thank you for being here again and again. Let me share this. As we were talking about, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” I want to share this with you. It begins with a thought and that’s what the pastor said. You have to pay attention to your thoughts. This is what it says. Let me read this to you. It says, “Paying attention to your thinking can change your life.”
Your thoughts affect your belief. Your belief affects your expectations. Your expectations affect your attitude. Your attitude affects your behavior. Your behavior affects your performance. Your performance will change your life. You want to be careful because of your thoughts. Be careful of your thoughts for your thoughts become you. Be careful of your words for your words become your action. Be careful with your actions because they become your habit. Be careful of your habits for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character because your character becomes your destiny.
Let me ask you this. How many decisions would you say you are away from totally wrecking and screwing up your life? Here at YAYU, we know it’s easy to lose yourself. In this day’s clashing ideas, conflicting beliefs, and the flood of information that overwhelm us every day, we know it’s easy. With society’s rigid expectations and endless opinions, self-expression and self-appreciation can feel challenging.
With that, most of the time, when we feel challenged and it’s daunting for us, we push it away, dumb down, or run high. We are and we go with the flow but you are you unapologetically. That may mean being true to yourself and to who you were created to be and not allowing people’s opinions to affect how you show up in life. We all know people are going to talk. They’re going to talk and talk, but you have no time. I have no time. We have no time to be intimidated by the presence of others and what they have to say and how they think so little of you. We don’t have time for that.
When you show up without pretense, hesitation, or being fake and phony, the world can’t dull your light. They can’t dim your glamor at all. Most importantly, you’ll be inspired to shine your light, share it, and help others to tap into their own brilliance. Let’s all agree to put an end to this despairing mindset that we have and begin to own our authentic selves. It’s about being true to yourself. It’s about your truth. What is your truth? That’s what it’s about. That’s why we are here.
Please join me again here in this safe space where I initiate an influential conversation with our amazing, phenomenal guests about you being you from different perspectives because here’s what I know. You are you. You are you unapologetically and no one is better at being you than you. Thank you again for hanging in with me for this episode and we look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thank you so much for your support. We can’t do it without you. You guys are so amazing. For now, thank you again. Bye-bye. See you guys.
About Eric Ampadu
Eric Ampadu is the Senior Pastor of The Northside SDA Church in Miami, Florida.
He’s been in Pastoral ministry for 22 years. Wow!
He is currently in the Army of the Lord and will continue his service as he transition from serving civilians to serving Army personnel.
And He has been married to his beautiful wife, Elta, for 21 years. Double wow! Wow!
The Lord has blessed their union with three magnificent children.
Truly a man of God, a servant leader with a huge heart to serve God’s people.