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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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so, how long you been dead

I was the dead person the little boy saw. It was a long day, being dead and all. I wasn’t certain that I was dead at first. That made for some awkward moments. You may not know this, but when you are dead the living are not so polite to you. Its really criminal. I have started a petition for the equitable treatment for the living impaired, but that’s a different blog. My first encounter with this was with my ex-wife. Apparently, once you are among the soul less individuals, treating people as people is no longer required. The first step to separate yourself from the recently dead is to send an email to everyone you have ever had contact with. What you need to do is taunt the newly dead and point out all the things that have strangled the life out of the departed. IT is like a game. If you overshoot the victim role, you end up squarely in the perpetrator role. Its the balance beam of subterfuge. The next step is to turn to the family. This is a much more delicate operation. There is more history with the relatives. They understand that the loved one was once living and , in the living, had some very alive moments and some near dead moments. The way to circumnavigate this is to isolate them. You make sure there is no contact with the dead. Changing the locks and having the loved ones refer to the dead by a foreign name helps. Don’t worry about your own soul or about being honest, the dead aren’t welcome in courts and if you slid yourself into the victim role, the departed are now the perpetrator. Make sure that you are caustic and over dramatic each time you interact with the dead. You must keep up appearances at all waking moments.

The second experience was with a woman I dated.  I still had not recognized I was dead and was actually feeling much better.  Maybe I was only mostly dead. I enjoyed a new living with her. I loved very deeply. We played. We laughed. We cried. It was like nothing I had ever experienced in my former life. It scared the living shit out of me. A few months into the relationship, I started to feel my spector self. I recognized my death through counseling and some new friends I had made. The stink of death had not completely left me. I wanted to address it, but it is overwhelming. The spector weaved in and out of my new life. The taunts and humiliation of the past weaved through my being. I tried to talk about it, to address it. The living don’t want to hear from the dead. She pulled away and I panicked. I tried to re-engage in life and living. I feared the return of death. I died all over again. I didn’t like being dead, but I had not figured out how to be alive completely. I have only now recognized my re-death and progressed to live again. However, I am dead to her.

The fascinating thing I learned while dead is that our memories and unresolved traumas stay as ghosts. They are like the wind. The swirl around the living, blocking them from connection with the other living. IF the dark memories, traumas, and insecurities aren’t dealt with, they grow and multiply. The swirling becomes violent. They are isolated from the next step, the light of the world. The living cant see them. They grow slowly enough that the choking is subtle. You grow accustomed to it. The living wonder through a half existence in the midst of a swirl, a dermish. At variable intervals, part of the swirl dives into the corporeal. The ephereal infuses the body and mind. It taints and taunts. The dark diminishes the light. It confuses. IT misdirects. For my new life, it cost me love. IT always costs the price of the moment. IT seems real. It seems like a tangible force. IT feels like being hit by a truck. When it leaves the body, the ghost droppings remain. It stinks up the living. It has to be found and cleaned. Sometimes, the recently departed become part of the swirl. The pain and hurt and other emotions that accompany the memories are darker when compared to the light that was present days, months or years before.

Be Still and know I am God. These words to me quiet the swirl. It recognizes that the swirl and the turmoil are inevitable.  Letting the swirl torment you is optional.  Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. The wind has to be recognized. It has to be addressed. If the pain is too great, too violent, it will be there when the living is able to deal with it. It will infuse eventually, the swirl is constant and unpredictable. Being aware of it, addressing it deliberately, honestly, and compassionately is the key to knowing God.

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in divorce, journey

 

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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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scourge

“How do I get over her?”

“You just do. You allow yourself to feel the feelings. You recognize the good things and the less good things. You look at what you have learned and how you have grown. You don’t ignore it or rush it. You live through it and into it. You may never really be fully over her, but you will always be able to let go of the pain, someday.”

“Part of me doesn’t want to let go of the pain, its all I have left of her. We don’t talk, I don’t see her, and she has moved on.”

“Another emotion you will have to live through.”

“I really screwed it up. I let go of her. I was afraid and needed to prove myself unworthy, I guess. I have fed into the idea that if I reject myself or if I run away, then I wont be as hurt. It was self-sabotage and now I just ache to hear her voice, see her face, watch her blow kisses at the moon and birds.”

“Sounds like you did mess it up, now ask yourself, “Why?””

“I was afraid. It wasn’t perfect and I was scared. I was moving away and knew I’d be isolated and lonely. I thought I wasn’t good enough to want to move with, so I pushed away so I didn’t have to feel the pain of her saying she didn’t want to be with me. I knew she needed to stay and I knew I needed to go.”

“Sounds like it was a choice. There isn’t a right or wrong, just different kinds of pain.”

“I don’t know how to live into this. I am an escape artist. I hid behind beer for 20 years, and calmed my rejection feelings with flirting and pseudo-connections with women. How do people do this?”

“You just do. You allow yourself to feel the feelings. You recognize the good things and the less good things. You look at what you have learned and how you have grown. You don’t ignore it or rush it. You live through it and into it..”

“I heard that somewhere before.”

Transistion and growth is always difficult. I am in a Saturday experience and I feel very lost and alone. I have often spoke of how I think all events in our lives are akin to the Easter weekend. We are going along in our life, either trusting God or pleasing God. If we trust God, we are living that out in our daily life, leaning when things are good or bad. Exploring and growing in relationship. If we are pleasing God, we are faking it. We are doing the right things, saying the right things, looking good, but there is no depth to the relationship. Then our metaphorical Friday hits. It is a life changing event: it can be good or bad, big or small. It is just something that changes us. We have to die to who we were. It is the child birth, the divorce, the job change, the move, the lottery winner, the missed flight. After Friday, we are place in a tomb. That tomb is the time of change. It is the process of leaving who you were and becoming who you will be. I like the image of Jesus sitting in the tomb, considering his wounds, lamenting and forgiving Judas, smiling at Peter, sore and healing. If we have been pleasing God, we end up asking, “Why me?” We delay our own healing. We cant see God with us, even in the darkness. If we trust God, we aren’t alone in the tomb. We can heal and grow. It is only through trusting we get to be resurrected as something new, rather than resuscitated back into our misery.

I didn’t trust God. I wanted to. I even thought I was. I was self seeking. I was willing to give up on myself and my journey to not have to go to the tomb. I was afraid of the cross. I was afraid of the scourging, so I ran. I hid. I gave up on something wonderful, on someone wonderful, in order to not be hurt. It took me quite awhile to get to where I saw I didn’t trust God. I have know been scourged with the chains or despair and loneliness. I have been nailed with the reality of my situation. I have been hung to die. I was carried to the tomb and buried. I am in a Saturday. Sundays coming!

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in divorce, faith, journey, life

 

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growth, and worry not

Stretched my mind a bit. I was pondering the belief that there are infinite realities. If every decision we make has only 2 choices (usually there isn’t just 2 choices, but follow me here), then each time our realities would exponentially increase. The decision I make today has 2 choices today, but each of the choices I made 2 minutes ago would also have the same choice right now, thus increasing my realities 4 fold etc. It gets big quick.  Then if my decision now is eliminate by the alternative decision a few minutes ago, then that choice would have its own decisions to make. It is a little mind boggling.

I have been told, “Abandon all hope of a better past.” I have been reminded of it often, as I tend to get stuck in the past wishing I had made a different decision. Or imagining what my life would have been if I chose differently. I wonder if I had not gone to Starbucks the morning my life blew up what it would look like now. I would still be in a loveless marriage, beating myself up over my inability to ask for my needs to be met. I would have continued to lose myself and stunt my growth process. I would still be hiding. However, I would be with my kids, in a town I really enjoyed. I would be nearer to family. I wouldn’t have been through a few years of shame.

I got started on this imagination tour thinking about past relationships. I have gotten to the point that although I would never have chosen the course of how our marriage ended, I am thankful it did. I am not thankful for the pain I caused. However, I am learning to forgive myself for it.

I think about the “what ifs” with the relationships I had since then. There was a period of time that I was thinking I was trying to date, when really I was just looking for companionship. I was aloof and not emotionally connected. I wanted to be saved and to be loved, but I wasn’t ready to be honest and clear in my goals and direction. I thought about some of those. There was one woman who was a hair dresser. She was funny, smart, and very good looking. I really liked her and there could have been something between us. I was in a cycle of dating many women at the same time and after leaving her favorite flowers for her at work, I got back onto a dating site, where she had set up a false profile and felt that getting on and flirting was inappropriate. I wonder if I had been able to be honest with my feeling towards her what would have happened. It would have ended when I started teaching for sure. And I would not have been able to have my first long term relationship as a newly single man.

I knew I would fall in love with her the second I met her 28 years ago. I knew it would be soon the minute I heard she was going to get divorced. I knew it might make me “transistion boy” to date her right after the divorce, but I feared not getting to be with her if I waited. We dated and I learned so much about myself. I learned I feared and craved intimacy. I learned of my shame cycle and drama triangle. I learned I am loveable for me, faults and all. I learned that I can love. I learned that I am a good guy who has made bad mistakes. I learned to trust and lean. Unfortunately, I also learned that I can lean so hard that I slide into the victim role. I learned that my fear self-sabotages me and hurts others. I learned that loss when there is still love hurts much more.

I imagined what it would have been like if either of us had been more secure in our post divorce self. I wondered what it would have been like if I knew my intimacy craving and needs before we dated. I wonder what it would have been like if I was able to express how afraid of loving as strongly as I did. I wonder if I was more relationship able what would have happened. What if I was more secure, more knowledgeable, more loving, more ready  etc etc? I wasn’t and now we are not.

The difference in me? I am focusing on the good. I remember the times I felt free to be myself and loved for that. I remember the fun and laughter. I remember the feeling of physical intimacy engulfed with emotional connection and love. I also try not to over romanticize it and remember some of the difficulties. At the time, I felt like spiritual journey needed to be the same or it would cause friction. I understand now that it is in the different journeys we learn our own. The idea is not understanding or same, but respect and growth. I also felt like I needed to break up with her when I moved out of state. I was worried about being lonely and isolated. I forgot how simply talking to her on the phone or an occasional text makes my heart soar. I thought I needed her to solve my problems. I became the victim, whining about the horrendous things I had been through. I forgot to share and rejoice at the moment of being with the woman I truly, deeply love. Fear strangled me again. Worry.  There is another definition of worry. It is when a larger dog grabs ahold of another dog by the neck, teeth bared, and hold it against the ground. It bites and waits for the other dog to submit. When I worry, I let life circumstances hold me to the ground by my neck. I feel the fear teeth, the panic teeth breech my skin. I fight and the bite gets firmer. I forget to accept life on lifes terms and submit. In my futile wimpering, I lose out on being free. I trap myself by my own worry.

As I submit this time to the life circumstances, I am accepting the lessons learned. I am a better person now than I was even yesterday. I am preparing myself for me. I want to soar. I am hoping not to change the past, but to rejoice from it and live more fully into today with the lessons learned.

I love.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in journey, life

 

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