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if it smells like a fairy tale, its poop

MY oldest daughter was called “Chicken” as a term of endearment from my ex-wife. hen she was a new born, she would wind up and cry when she was hungry.  She was very small and looked a lot like the bird in “Are you my mother”.  I don’t really understand the logic of how it became “Chicken,” but it did.  She now goes by “Monkey.”

I was thinking about that book recently. I realized that I am that bird. Not because I get hungry and wail an unhappy tune, but because I didn’t know how to form relationships. I still don’t, but I am learning.  It isn’t important how I missed the message of relationship as a child, but I did. There was just something about it all that baffled me. I wasn’t clear on how to express my needs or get the attention I desired.  I fell into the habit of crying and stealing. I wasn’t really a bad kid, but did seem to get caught a lot. I wasn’t very good at being bad. However, it did help me get attention. As I noticed that yelling, crying, and general mayhem wasn’t working for me, I ventured out of the nest. I also fell to the ground with a thump.  I didn’t know how to navigate this big world and wanted someone to care for me and help me.

I came up to the cow in the pasture, asking if it was my mother. In my story, this was girls. I wanted girls to like me. I tried to be funny. I had to, I wasn’t very athletic. I tried to be nice, because I was also conflict avoidant. I tried to be smart, which didn’t work because I was also a last student. I flirted and tried to get attention. Occasionally, I would have success. I could do all the right things and try and be the perfect boyfriend.  I developed the strange tendency to fall in love very quickly.  By the end of my adolescence, I could fall in love, run a life scenario, be divorced and depressed by the time I got back from the bathroom. I wanted the fairy tale. I wanted to be the Prince Charming. I wanted to freeze frame my life whenever it seemed perfect. But it was celluloid madness. In fairy tales and romantic comedy (adult fairy tails with brief nudity), the reality of life never seems to sneak in. The cow was not my mother.

I went to the steam shovel next. The steam shovel was alcohol. IT actually made me feel better for a short period of time. When I drank, I was 6 inches taller, gorgeous, and brilliant. It told me that I was wonderful and funny. It also said I was sexy and smart. I held hands with this pseudo-mom for a long time.

When I left the steam shovel behind, the cow reappeared. It told me that it was my mom after all. That in order to know if I was alright, I needed to have others, and women in particular, tell me I was ok. I sought it in my marriage first. It was exhausting for her, and she was unable to rebuild me. It was like having 5 million dollars to rebuild the 6 million dollar man. I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know how to really love. I had been putting on a happy face and trying to do it right for a lifetime. The cow bit.

I would like to say that I had the same happy ending as the bird. I didn’t get to find my mother in the physical sense. I did hear her voice telling me that I did learn how to love, I just don’t recognize it. My fear gets in the way. My low self regard got in the way.  My mom said I should stop yelling and crying and listen to my heart.

My head is confused with the songs and movies of the 80’s. I imagine that love is possessive and forever and grand gestures. I want to think that I will believe that every little thing is magic, and we will live happily ever after just like we are in this moment, and that all I have to do is hold a boom box outside her house before my kick boxing lesson.

IT wasn’t that I didn’t learn to love. IT was I didn’t learn to love myself first.

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Posted by on August 1, 2015 in journey, life

 

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Boris, Natasha– you un-rock

I needed to warn you about my last post. You see, apparently when you acknowledge the swirling spectors around you, it is the same as welcoming them in. Let me tell you how I discovered this. I decided to go on a bike ride after that post. I love to ride and consider it a meditation. I delight in the fatigue of my muscles, the pounding of my heart and the quickening of my breathing. I loaded up my bike and headed to the trailhead.  I am listening to a CD describing Buddhist meditation and mindfulness. The author spoke of recognizing your breathing. I had already been thinking how breath and spirit come from the same word, Ruah, which means wind. I thought of the swirling wind around me and saw it as breath. The exercise was to breath in naming a loved one and breath out asking for peace for them. I started with the name foremost on my mind, my ex girlfriend. I went through names, acknowledging them, their peace, and my own emotion.

Do you remember the Rocky and Bullwinkle show? In with the bad air, out with the good? Natasha and Boris didn’t really have it backwards as the voice over suggested. The opposite is obviously the goal, but it doesn’t always happen like that. The deep breath we take at pivotal moments in our life can cause two different reactions. It can suck in the distasteful and painful or it can begin the healing. The spirit of memory isn’t good or bad, it is how we react.

As I rode my bike, I pedaled as hard as I could. It is very hot here today. I was tired and sweaty. I am also afraid of snakes and had my attention on the brush, hoping I wouldn’t get bit. That isn’t completely true, I spent some time thinking about what I would do if I got bit. I imagined telling those in my life that I loved them. I imagined the hospital. I even imagined that the shock of me being near death would awaken the love from my daughters and ex-girlfriend. Part of me wanted it to happen just so I could be reunited with them. As you can tell, my mind wonders quite a bit when I ride. My breath quickened, heart pounded, and body sweat. I imagined the wind moving in and through me. I have been consumed with memories and regrets as of late. I am practicing acknowledging them and letting them go. I think that sometimes we let the ghosts in and then try and wrestle them or forcibly kick them out. It remind me of an internal greased pig capture. You cant hold on to it and it just runs faster as you chase it. When you are exhausted, you have spent all your energy and time and resources chasing the uncaptureable. I was imagining breathing in the spector and then letting it flow out. The problem in my ever-wondering mind, was that I thought since I was going so fast, breathing so hard, that I was catching up with my expelled breath. Self torment seems to be a hobby of mine.

I breath in and breath out. I try not to label the memories as good or bad. They just are. I let them in and let them out. Sometimes I imagine that I am Boris and Natasha, self sabotaging my breathing. I remind myself to just breath. I opened myself to the wind, and the wind infused. Not sure I was prepared for this. Breath  Sure hope this works.

 

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2015 in journey

 

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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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closer to fine

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
And we go to the doctor, we go to the mountains
We look to the children, we drink from the fountains
Yea we go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival, we stand up for the lookout
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
(The less I seek my source)

Closer I am to fine
(Fine)
Closer I am to fine
(Fine)
Closer I am to fine
(Fine, yea)

Indigo Girls – Closer To Fine Lyrics

I love the Indigo Girls. My favorite concert was at the Albuquerque Zoo when they played. It might have been the company, might have been the atrocious opening act. Might have been the strange juxtaposition to jungle animals in tiny habitats. I don’t know, but it was great. I wonder how much of my life I hear in Indigo Girls songs. I haven’t listened to much of the new stuff, but the 80’s and 90’s songs echo in my mind, recalling and calling out parts of my journey. They mark time, they encourage growth, they speak to me about not living in the past and being present for my life. Currently, this song is ringing in the hollow halls of my brain. I have been on the warpath to healing for several years now. I have been trying everything I could think of. I have be to counselors, doctors, spiritual guides, sponsors. I have taken trips to sacred places (ok Moab, Utah might not be sacred to you, but it is to me.) I have tried to be light hearted like a child, tried to be youthful forever, dated younger women to prove I was young. I turned back to church and small groups. I tried to get a view above everyone else. Tried to stand back. I have prayed, questioned, beckoned, heralded, and begged. I want an answer. I want comfort. I want peace and serenity.

However, serenity isn’t the absence of the storm, its peace within it.

I just want to be ok, I just want to be closer to fine. When I stopped focusing on the answers or the problem and just live…I am closer to healing. I am closer to God. I can hear the birds, see the colors, appreciate the moon. The less I beseech, beckon, herald, beg…and expect the final answer, the better off I am at living.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in journey

 

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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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click three times….

I am the scarecrow.scarecrow2 I walk funny and have very little fashion sense. I also really want to be smarter. I keep getting myself into hurtful situations by not thinking it out. My dad used to say that I was thinking, just with the wrong head. My life in BD (before Dorothy) was not very exciting. I fumbled along looking for a purpose. I analyzed myself and could tell you all my shortcomings and faults. As I wondered around aimlessly, a smart and wholesome woman suggested I would like to be of service in the fields. She described how it would make me a good Christian to protect the food source and be of service. She suggested it was my calling and I could do it for a lifetime. I hoisted myself on the cross and hung there. I beamed at her and she at me. I had found love and a purpose at the same time. The woman grew to resent me. She wanted to control and for me to be in control. She didn’t like taking care of me. I grew to resent the woman. I tried to wiggle out of the victim role, but didn’t know how. I just hung around. The woman left and I stayed on the cross, lamenting. Dorothy came along and invited me to share in the journey. She wasn’t going to do it for me, and made no promises. I fell off the cross and learned to walk all over again, resuming the stumbling journey. I wanted a brain.

I am the tin man.tin-man I have been frozen in time by my ill timed tears. I have felt hollow and empty. I have longed for love and to be loved. I have felt like my heart was taken and destroyed. I have lived a life pretending to feel. I faked not having pain or despair. I have run away in fear from love because I was worried I had nothing to give in return. Dorothy came along and suggested a voyage to my heart. They would love me until I could love myself and then I could love someone else.

I am the lion.The-Wizard-Of-Oz-Cowardly-Lion I put on a brave front. I was a bully and fierce protector. I humiliated others and used my false bravado to intimidate. Inside I quivered. Inside I fled. Inside I screamed. I was afraid of life. I was afraid of risk. I was afraid that if anyone could see my insides, they would reject me. I set out to prove them right and rejected them or made them reject me. I was cowardly. I couldn’t state my needs or wants for fear I didn’t deserve to have them. Dorothy came and rejected only the exterior. She denied the bravado and slapped my nose. She loved my interior. She acknowledged the good in failing and getting up again. She encouraged journey, rather than destination.

I am Toto. Clueless and yappy. I offered little to the story but comedy relief. I existed and wondered, but didn’t really live. Dorothy didn’t help me at all, I got nothing from the Wizard. I didn’t change or adapt to any situation. I refused to grow, and just kept wandering, pointing out the flaws in everyone else’s story of magic.

But of course, Dorothy and the Wiz didn’t really give me anything I didn’t have. I had the brains to know how to survive in a loveless marriage, and the brains to get back on the path when that fell apart. I had the love to love again. I hurt not because I have no heart, but because mine works. I didn’t need a new heart, just to heal my own. I had courage. The courage to protect myself the only way I knew how, and when shown a different way, the courage to change. I had the courage to arise once again. I am not clueless or a clanging cymbal. I have experience, strength, and hope. I also have boundaries. I wont believe something or follow something just because everyone else is. I insist on reality and honesty. I desire relationship with authenticity.

and then I clicked the third time…

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2015 in journey, life

 

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are you dead, or just sleeping

Its a Dead Mans Party…who could ask for more?

I have been all worked up about the small groups I go to. It seems to me that the job is to share experience, strength and hope. You tell about who you were, what happened and what you are like now. Its really simple. However, I have been going to groups that allow for more of a group counseling approach. I have heard stories about brothers diabetic feet, some 2nd cousin who might or might not have a problem with porn. I have heard more at an hour meeting than I heard all day at work with psychiatric patients. I am a little annoyed.

Its a Dead Mans Party

IT came to me today. The group dynamic lends itself for being a dead mans party. The whole idea of trying to be authentic with your journey beckons to be melo-dramatic. It becomes a competition on who has it the worst. The one upmanship of being downtrodden. It is the idea of stripping away life and allowing for the rebirth. In order to be reborn, you have to die first. You die to who you were. You have the option of being resurrected or resuscitated. You can be fully dead and move onto your new self…resurrected. Or you can hold onto the past and resume how you were-resuscitated back into the same old stale life. You get to live like a zombie. You get to join the dead mans party. You get to leave your body and soul at the door. You are without substance.

Its a Dead Mans Party.

I also had another idea of the dead mans party with relationships. I am scared to death of being in love. I lived my former life behind a mask. I hid from authenticity. I manipulated. I lied. I would tell long stories about how miserable I was, and how I needed someone, to put them in a hero role. I could then be the victim. It manipulated relationship into a duty. I have changed. I see now the only way to resurrection is absolute vulnerability. The concern for me is that vulnerability seems like leaving your body and soul at the door. I feel exposed and transparent. It hurts, like an open wound. If I stay in the mode of fear, I join the dead mans party. I can allow myself to shed the corporeal. I can shed the past. The vulnerability doesn’t have to hurt this bad. It takes practice to be exposed and still live. I want to live. I want to love. Do not resuscitate. I want resurrection.

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2015 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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