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when

I have a new question I am going to ask. “When?” or maybe, “How often?” I used to ask “what kind?” or “what does that mean to you?” But it has served to burn me. I will admit, it is because I have assumed and expected more out of people when they pronounce themselves “Christian. ” What I think that means has no baring on what they think it means. I have tried to understand what that means to them. I have spent time studying and considering. I have prayed, meditated, thought good thoughts, delivered to the wind, offered a sacrifice (no animals were harmed in the making of this blog,) and still I have been unable to understand the inner workings of the soul or mind of another individual. when

I have been amazed at the vindictive, child like behavior of professional people I have been around. They profess to follow Christ and it seems to be an after thought in dealing with the outside world. I know I sound judgmental, but I have been blindsided more than once. My question will change. From now on, when people speak about a spiritual journey, I am going to ask, “When?” Is this a journey that you carry on for an hour every Sunday and Wednesday? Is this a journey that you carry on only at work, and then kick the dog at home? Is this a fair weather Faith journey? When things are good, there is a God and when bad, God hates you? Is this a journey that feels foreign when you are trudging it or when you aren’t? I am not seeking to condemn you, but rather to understand. images

I also understand I can never see someone else’s True Self. I know we are born with a God Spark, a light all our own. We are born beloved children of God. We are a reflection of God who dwells in all of us. We shine through with God from within. However, our False self develops. It hides. It hurts. It protects. It survives. IT is the image we show. It is the smile that cracks, the laugh that strains. It is the tears un-shed. It is the wall. Most don’t ever expose their True self, even to themselves. Most don’t ever have the opportunity to be vulnerable with another individual and deeply trust. We don’t share our light un-filtered. We use our defenses as a lamp shade to shield the glaring light.

My question has changed. When? When will you be free? When do you share your light? When are you on your spiritual journey. When?

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in faith, journey, Uncategorized

 

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had a great fall

had a great fall

Well Poop, I am Humpty Dumpty.

stock-vector-humpty-dumpty-falling-of-the-wall-with-the-sky-and-clouds-behind-74904328

I was trying to figure out which Fairy Tale was most like my life. I really dont know why I was trying to figure this out, but it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. I have had great perseverence historically and I thought about Jack and the Beanstalk originally. I couldnt come up with a specific example for an analogy of the beans. Sure, I could have called them the false gods I seem so attracted to. They could be emotional escape, intimacy, alcohol, television, whatever. But I dont think I would climb that high without a harness.

I kept thinking of the squeeky clean exterior I wore as a mask for decades. My outward appearance was pretty shiny. It became impermeable to mild assault. It repelled and maintained its luster. Inside was gelatinous goo. I protected the vulnerable insides with a smirk and sarcastic wave. I was deft enough to avoid many a calamity. In fact, when things did arise, I would immediately call attention to them so that others could tell my exterior how wonderful it appeared. I kept hoping the kind words and support would make it through the impermeable wall I had set up. Nothing could get in or out. The goo had spoiled and had begun to stink, the shell held its ground.

I perched on a wall, far removed from other people. I went to meditate and consider my plight. I had been told that an egg was only half a life. What I needed was another half. I needed to be completed. I had searched and found someone willing to take on the job. My shell grew thicker instead of thinner. We both faked happiness as we clamored internally to the sounds and fume of rotting souls.

I had been told that success, power, women, money, recreation, even God…. would restore my soul. It would allow me to relax and direct my life. The shell held its ground. I knew no other way to protect my fragile insides.

Ever wonder what caused Humpty to fall? Was he pushed in an attempted murder? Did the wind blow and he simply lost balance? Did he jump? Was he staring into the future and longingly trying to grasp it? Did he scream to God that he could no longer continue on? Did the pressure of the fumes and gaseous emissions inside build up an unsustainable level? Was it all of the above?stock-photo-an-egg-is-broken-306767045

I hit the ground and cracked. I shattered. I felt the foul ooze seep on the ground. I watched as my shell splintered and scattered. I smiled. There was instant relief. I knew that the insides would repulse others. I knew that I was fetid and broken at that point, but I wasnt fighting to hide. Despite the relief and the freedom, I tried to put the pieces back together. It was a fantasy, but I thought if I hurried, no one would noticed. I could be decorative porcelin with age cracks. I struggled to imagine life without my shell. I was defenseless. I called upon others to help me. They were royalty in my mind, or near to it. I demanded they helped. I begged them to help. They tried, noses wrinkled. They tried to ignore the sticky goo. They searched for shell. They had creative substitutes for the pieces they couldnt find. I patched the shell with other false gods. I tried to be someone new with the same broken and now defunct shell.

I also forgot to collect the insides. I rebuilt the shell, but left the goo. I was hollow. More importantly, there was nothing inside to rot, nor to heal. I had effectively allowed myself to not hurt, but I wouldnt be able to love. I had a body, but no soul. I had a structure, but no function. I was inert.

As I looked at the goo on the sidewalk, I wondered if I was an unfertilized half being. Did I need something to complete me? Was it the insides that mattered and the outsides were useless? I imagined trying to be just the amorphous blob sliding through life. I would have emotions. I would be open. I would be vulnerable. There would be nothing hidden. The carrion birds I had in my life began to carry away parts of my goo. The soul and the heart of who I was were pecked at, tormented, and assaulted. With wrinkled nose and a fake smile, I was urged to climb. I was urged to perform. My non existent shell was beheld and complimented like the emperor’s new clothes. It felt great to feel appreciated. It felt great to imagine I was loved. I think I knew it wouldnt last, but I held on to it. I wanted to be seen and accepted for my insides. When it was exposed as a scam by the same people that had imagined it, I was again defamed and left to rot.stock-photo-an-egg-is-broken-306767042

It came as a whisper. It came as the wind. It was a warm breeze and a chilling breath. I am not half. I am not inside nor outside. I am both and that is whole. I am permeable protection. I need shame resilience, and self regulation. I need to defend myself from the hate and hurt from others, but I also get to enjoy my insides. I get to grow and nuture. I get to cherish the stuff inside for its limitations and triumphs. I am a whole egg and a good egg at that.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2015 in divorce, faith, journey, life

 

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breaking the wind

I am a sucker. I believed the lie. I followed the wind and realized the wind was just blowing, not leading. The wind just makes it easier to get somewhere, it doesnt really lead you on a direction. I was biking the other day and thought I was just on fire. I was setting personal records and riding with tireless legs. It was glorious. I listened to my music and every song seemed to speak to my wounded and empty heart. I had answers to what to bring to a Dead’s Man Party or a theme song for a career as a Psycho killer. Then the dreaded turn. There is a 90 degree left turn that crests a hill on my ride. I rise out of the valley and turn this turn to head back to the trailhead. Well, another answer was there to meet me. The reason I was riding with such ease was the gnarly fall wind. It almost knocked me over. Only the deft skills I possess and David Byrne chanting, “Qest Que se?” Which loosely translated is “What the F$%^?” The wind hadnt changed to obstruct my course or to reward my legs with triumph over adversity. The wind didnt care if I was on the trail, off the trail, walking, riding, or falling. The wind was just blowing.

In the original text, the word for spirit, is Ruah or wind. The Holy Spirit could be translated to be the set apart wind. It occurs to me that the wind that blows seems to be the wind, the voice, the breath. We breath our wind to each other. Sometimes that wind is sweet and welcomed and sometimes it smells like onion and coffee. When that breath has love behind it, it is made to be received with joy. Even more than that, it is made to be given with grace.

I tried to let that Wind lead me. I wanted so desperately to be doing the right thing and felt like if I did it right, wonderful blessings would be bestowed unto me. The problem is that when you are standing in a wind storm, sometimes you get knocked over. Moreover, it is hard to get back up again. The wind becomes difficult. Even when you are tumbling along like a tumbleweed, it can be brutal. I dont think that is living life abundantly anymore. It is hard to be thankful and grateful for each moment and the day in general when you are tumbling along the dusty highway.

It is also tough to recognize what force is blowing. If you are in a wind storm and someone has a wind machine 30 degrees off the winds course and both are blowing, which is the direction you will go? If my bike ride was any indication, off the worn path and into some prickly bush. When the wind is calm or stale and the heat oppressive, any breeze feels welcome. Isnt that the reason we have so many gods with a little g: Money, Fame, Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll? I have been questioning the little g gods I have been blown by. I chased intimacy and connection and struggled to learn how to do it fast enough. I was directed to career and managed to derail that. I was lead to self actualization and ended up very lonely. I felt the breeze of possessions and ended up suffocated with objects. I even felt the wind heap shame on me, as if I could handle the load. I thought I was doing all of this for other, my family, my kids, my self, my God, etc etc. The truth is that feels like a lie. All of those answers arent true. If the Holy Spirit is the guiding force for our lives and we are made to hear the voice of God through the works of the Spirit, then it would seem that it would be directional. However, I fell for that lie. It isnt. The wind doesn’t really care about the direction, or the individual results, necessarily. God doesn’t say that He wants us to believe and then do whatever he says. What He says is, believe and follow me. He want us to do what we do in a new way. The wind is the breath, the voice to us. The Truth is that the air moves with us regardless of the direction. The Truth is that the why isn’t as important as the how.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in faith, journey, life

 

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blind, blind, blind, BLIND

“Turn left”

“forward”

“less forward”

“arms out”

Blind Man’s bluff. Remember this game? Also used as a group building, communication exercise. One person is completely blindfolded. An obstacle course is set out with a myriad of traps and knee-busting barriers. At the end is some flag, or medal, or prize of some sort. Your partner stands aloft and yells instructions to you that, frankly, never make any sense. Everyone has a great laugh as you stumble through the course. They giggle as you pick up the items meant to disguise from the real treat. The caller begins to get frustrated at the communication gaps and yells more forcibly. Many times it dissolves into verbal altercation. On Survivor, I’ve seen it get physical.

Take the same people. Blindfold one and let the other walk beside him through the course. The voices remain calm. The giggling stops, the laughing ceases. The fake prizes are moot. The seeing friend alerts to the misdirection, shares the experience with their friend. They walk shoulder to shoulder or hand in hand to the goal together. They share in the journey. They partnered rather than ordered. There was companionship through the twists and turns of the course, rather than frustration and yelling.

I feel like I have been playing a cosmic version of Blind Man’s Bluff. thYM006QUTI have been lost for some time now. I am totally blinded to the course and the prize. I have stumbled around and did my best to hear the soft voice above the cacophony of jeering or cheering voices. I was frustrated, discouraged, and unsettled. I clung to one base, knowing it wasn’t the final prize. It was safe and comfortable. Walking away would be scary. I wouldn’t ever be able to cling to it again. I wouldn’t even be able to find it again. I would try. I was afraid. I would have a false bravado at resuming the course. I’d hear the whisper and begin to move again. I’d leave the security. I’d take a few steps and the voice would quiet.

I clamor for a partner. I felt it as a need. I felt like I couldn’t do this alone. I needed someone to help me. I needed someone to depend on. I found someone for a brief moment in time. My need suffocated them. I felt more alone after they left. I was lost, and now, lonely.

I drifted above the maze. I saw me bumping into different objects. I saw my knees and shins bleed. I saw the giggling, the condemnation, the judgment. I watched my pained smile. I saw the tears and the fears. I saw the loss. I ventured to the whisper. I got to glimpse the design of the game. The purpose. The real prize. Both people were blindfolded. The prize was not the prize, but sharing the journey. Helping each other towards the end, growing and changing, laughing and crying, is the point.

I know something is on the horizon for me. I have stumbled and listened. I have tried, failed, and succeeded. I have loved, lost, and lived. I have been knocked down and gotten up. I know it is there. I can feel it. I call it HOPE. hopeinfieldI call it LOVE. I call it JOURNEY. I am frustrated as it feels so distant. It seems as I travel to the horizon, it never gets closer.

“Trudge forward, my friend.”th3AJM7KLS

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2015 in faith, journey, life

 

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sucking chest wounds

I am made of Velcro. I seem to let fear hump my leg like an annoying dog, then attach itself to my chest. It is almost like I believe that if I have fear, at least I don’t have pain. Its a lie I tell myself.

thP3MIVBJH

I have spent a huge amount of time over the last 8 years, and more so over the last 3, digging into the muck and filth of my heart and soul. I have surveyed, considered, addressed, dispensed of so much pain, so much turmoil, I had thought I was done with it. About 3 years ago, I discovered some more pain and more filth. The fear that hid it from view was tenacious, a yellow eyed, heavily armored demon. The implosion and explosion of my life and soul was just barely able to shake it loose. It left me with a sucking chest wound.

The sound was deafening. All of the horrors I had dispelled came back with such force and such glee. It was a homecoming of terror, bewilderment, fear, and despair. The yellow eyed demon of fear scampered back to cover the wound. I had learned to use it to protect myself as I grew up and hid. It was only then that I recognized it as holding the pain inside, not protecting me from more. The noise of the inner turmoil, the cacophony of despair was louder than the sucking chest wound and felt comfortable. It was something I knew.

I went back to work, allowing God to remove the fear. I sorted, surveyed, considered, addressed and asked God to dispense the character defects once again. I thought it was over. I felt relief. I seemed to feel the warmth of the Spirit of the Universe working in and through me. I started to rejoin life. But Fear and Pain are like a foreign body in a wound. It isn’t really going to heal while that is present. In fact, the wound festers. Eventually, all the healing is for naught.

th5CKMUA0U

When my fears laughingly deflated my life again by ending the relationship with my girlfriend, the wound opened and festered. The wound opened and sucked in the Panic and Despair. The wound roared a horrible roar, and gnashed its awful teeth. As I saw the relationship deflate, and I heard the whirlwind, I knew the Pain would return. It did. I have been trying to work on it again, and thought I was approaching the feeling that I could pray for her to just be happy and content with or without me. I prayed the same thing for my ex wife and my estranged daughters. I felt the emotions. I allowed healing.

I was getting better, but the final blow on parental alienation. I am having to make a decision to let my daughter go and not pursue the legal wranglings that would just reinforce her resistance. I am having to accept that this is what my ex wife wanted and has attained. The wound opened. The sound returned. The fears, the pain, the insecurities attached to me like Velcro. They were gone. They were removed. But when I felt the rejection and pain, I invited it all back again. I let the Velcro adhere. I panic and try and cover the whole. The closest items are fear and the hurt. It makes it worse but dulls the noise. I scream in pain. I ask God for help. He is there, he begins to pull the fear away. He strips the despair. He whispers and it is louder than the wound.

JesusvsDemons

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in children, divorce, faith, journey, life

 

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wear the mask or forgive

The boy was dirty. He smelled bad. He had rolled around in the gutter of life and ate from the trough of despair. He cowered and was skittish. If you could bare to watch him for any length of time, you could see intelligence in his eyes. You could feel the desire to be loved and to love completely. Inside, he knew this wasn’t how he wanted to be but had no idea how to change it. He had grown to believe the taunts and hurtful rantings of others as they walked by, giving a wide birth. He was not worthy. He was a waste. He was slime.

“Oh, you will be a wonderful Christian soldier.” “You are a boy who is a leader.” “Come, and be with me and we will have a picture perfect life.” “If only you could see you as I see you.” Oh, the words she said. They felt good. They rang so different. They felt like someone was actually speaking his language for the first time. It almost didn’t matter what it was she said, he was ready to absorb it all. He felt as the lepers must have felt when Jesus touched them. Finally, someone told him he could be redeemed. All he had to do was become what this girl told him he already was. He wanted to be the person she saw. He wanted to be loved for filling that role. He wanted to see himself through her eyes. He wanted to not have to eat from the trough. He tried to fill the role. He wore a mask of beautiful white because he thought that spoke of the innocence he would need to be a Christian leader in a perfect life. mask3 He tried. He knew he would be unable to fully live up to expectations. He understood that the mask had to be protected and secured into place. Without it, he was not that person and surely would be unlovable. The mask was stifling. The mask burned his face. The mask began to crumble and the boy wanted to let it go. He was resentful at having to wear it. He was afraid of not wearing it. He cried behind it. The mask fell. The woman rejected what she saw and he walked away.

“You are so strong.” “You are so kind, so good.” “I love you so much for who I see.” “If only you could see yourself as I see you.” Oh the words she spoke. Certainly, she must be right. He was strong. It took strength to keep living. He was kind. He wanted desperately to see himself as she saw him. He started out just being himself. She seemed to respond and he was gloriously happy. “I don’t think you need to remember your days of filth.” “I wonder if the language you speak is true.” “I wonder if I see you.” He panicked. He worked harder at being the man she saw. He climbed, he searched, he held secret the pain. He hid behind a new mask. mask2IT was bright colors and fun. He tried to smile to match it. The pain he felt overwhelmed him and he had to drop the mask. He didn’t want to and it took a long time to fully let go. He loved the fun. He loved the woman. He wanted to be the person she saw. He just wasn’t. The mask fell.

“I wish you would see yourself like I do.” “You should be doing your life in this way.” “When you finally figure out the right way to do things, I will love you like you should be loved.” IT had been a long time since he had felt anyone really wanted to be with him. She wanted to make him a better man. She wanted a companion that could live up to the ideals she had created. He had struggled and fought to find out who he was without a mask. He thought he was equipped to be that perfect match. She echoed the sentiment. The mask was utilitarian.mask1 It was slate gray. It had little life, but followed all the rules. It wasn’t comfortable or fun, but it was exactly what he expected. He wore the mask, but his feet kept dancing and he shuffled right out the door.

He moaned that he couldn’t seem to become what anyone wanted. He was just himself. He was hurt and bruised. He ached to love and be loved. He knew the past would haunt him forever. He had made such monumental mistakes that no one would ever see past them. He felt lower than when he wallowed amongst the pigs. He looked to God and yelled, “I wish you could see me as you see me.” He cried.

God whispered back, “No, you don’t and you can’t.”

“Oh great, even God can’t get over my past.”

“No, to see you like I see you is both glorious and heart wrenching. I see your good and your bad. I see your heart and your fear. You don’t want to see the disparity. You don’t want to see the whole. You focus on either the good or the bad, never both. You can’t see you for who you are until you forgive yourself like I do. You won’t ever stop hiding and running behind the next mask until you are able to embrace ALL of you. My wish for you is that I wish you could forgive yourself as I forgive you.”forgiveyourself1

“I can try.”

“Let it happen, it is already there.”

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2015 in faith, journey, life

 

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am I serious?

Today is my 48th birthday.

I am 8 1/2 years on the road of Happy Destiny.

I am 3 years out of a bad marriage.

I am 6 months into a “do-over” on my career and life.

I am about 3 days into the recognition that I take myself too seriously re-struck its disharmonious chord with me.

I have had a tumultuous few years and have had to start my life all over a few times before I could gain purchase. I even fell in love since the divorce, but was so panicked about loosing it, I lost it.

When I did a week at a counseling center in Arizona, the counselor suggested to me that I was way to serious and had lost touch with my inner child.  I had never been told I was too serious before. It was odd to me. I had lost my smile and the joy in little things. However, I thought I had been getting them back. I had moved and started teaching. I felt like I would be ok even though I was unsure how. This was one of the steps to get a license in Idaho and restart my medical career. Things were looking up. Serious? me? She thought so and suggested I go to Build a Bear and design my inner child.

“Ummm, really?”

“Yes, you need to get in touch with it and you aren’t.”

“I will, but I sort of think its stupid.”

“All the more reason why I think you should.”

Big T

I did. He rides around with me in my car. This is his, “Are you serious?” look.

Still I have been feeling lost and separated from myself for some time now. I am unsettled and lonely. I have gotten stuck in the quicksand of my past. I have screamed and hollered. I have begged and pleaded. I have not moved on. I couldn’t let go of what I knew for the unknown. I was scared of my life and of myself. I didn’t trust me or God. “You just have to know that God is protecting you, you are safe,” she said. “You will be ok,” my old life said.

I forgot to enjoy the present. I forgot to enjoy me in the present. I am not that miserable guy. I like to laugh. I enjoy to have fun and do silly things. I remembered in an unusual way. I set about the task of making my new house my new home. I was dismantling the shoddy shelving the previous owner built and was holding a jigsaw. I dropped it on my wrist and opened a gash in my arm. I stopped the bleeding and started looking for a needle and thread to sew it up. At one point, I looked at the wound and felt faint. I had to lay down. As I regained my composure, I giggled that I was thinking of suturing myself and I cant even look at it without feeling lightheaded. I called a friend to take me to ER, but said to wait about 5 minutes, so I could eat a sandwich. She giggled and said, “Are you serious?” I took pictures of the wound and posted it on Facebook so all could guess on number of sutures. I had fun in the ER, actually.

When I got home, I was going to hang those tennis balls to know how far to pull into the garage. I didn’t have any, but I did have all these Snoopy toys that I couldn’t figure out where I wanted them to go.  So…

snoopy chain

I giggle each time my windshield taps these.  You will notice that I also hung my old kitchen lights in the garage to spruce it up.

I was feeling lighter somehow. I felt like I recognized me. I had begun to trust that I would be ok. I recognized my perseverance. I recognize my character. I felt hope. On Sunday, in the education hour, we talked about Romans 5:3 and Romans 8:28. “From suffering comes perseverance, from perseverance, character, and from character, hope.” I was comforted and felt the hope. So I went to the mall and rode a motorized dog (it looks suspiciously like my inner child, Big T says).

dog ride

I am serious about hope. I am serious about life. I am serious about God. I am serious about hoping to have fun with my life and with my God.

Wanna race?

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in faith, journey, life

 

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