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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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Zelda the psychotherapist

I think I might be Brittny Spears.  Well, at least I am channeling her songs. One in particular, “Oops, I did it again,” rings true. I don’t know if Id go as far as wear the cheerleading outfit she did in the video, but I am certainly humming the verse.

I mentioned that I think my VW bus is magical. I think Zelda is also a psychotherapist. She is more of a sit and listen patiently while you talk yourself into a hole or self revelation.  She seems pleased with either outcome. zelda

I took her on our maiden camping voyage this weekend and felt waves of realization and actualization pound against my brain and heart like a hurricane on a dingy. I discovered and uncovered truth after truth. I was diminished and rebuilt.

I have been reading about how our childhood traumas leave scars on our ability to relate. We never learn or forget how to be flexible with other people and even with ourselves.  I am not laying blame with anyone.  However, at some point in my childhood, I learned to get attention by crying, and to put on a false bravado would protect you from harm.  I carried that on for a long time. The disparity of who I was on outside and who I was on inside was cavernous. I begged to be told I was ok, good, attractive, smart, whatever. I needed it because I had lost my true self.  I had hidden behind my false self.  I think everyone does that to a certain extent. I had just done it completely.  As the cavern grew, so did the pain. I drank it away. I flirted it away. I laughed it away. For awhile.

I thought I had truly met myself and was emerging as my true self over the last 9 years. I reacted differently. I enjoyed life. I tried to be alive. I dug into my heart and soul. I was dumbfounded with my need to escape once again a few years ago. I needed to feel intimacy. The marriage I was in had no real intimacy. We had lost the ability to communicate and also the desire to want to grow together. The need consumed me and my world exploded.

Again, I thought I had worked through that in counseling and self exploration. But, oops, I did it again. I tried to become what I thought someone else wanted me to be. I was afraid of not being good enough. I was afraid of being less than.  Again, I ran and hid. My life changed. I retreated into my soul and mind.

Zelda the Wonderbus allowed me to see that I have been doing it all over again here. I wanted to be respected, but I wasn’t respecting. I wanted to be liked, but I wasn’t liking. I wanted to be accepted, but I wasn’t accepting. I didn’t ing anyone or myself. I was not allowing for Namaste. I wasn’t allowing for the God spark that is in me to shine and frolick with all the other God sparks out there. I didn’t know my spark was just as valuable, just as beautiful, just as worthy as everyone elses. Not knowing kept me in darkness, hidden and afraid.

That Zelda—she is a wonder.

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in journey, life

 

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Zelda meets the boy

zelda and meZelda the Wonderbus is magical. I knew it as soon as they unloaded her from the trailer. There was something special about her. I imagined adventures rivaled only by Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I jumped in and wheeled around the block. I got a few honks and waved proudly. The horn didnt work or I would have tooted gleefully. It was a few days later that I found out my brake lights and turn signals didnt work and decided the honkers were not waving at me like I thought. I had that fixed and got to work. I put in a laminated wood floor. I stained the cabinets and got new hinges for her. I put in a sound system. I bought seat covers. I sewed a new screen on her tent. We bonded. I think she cherished our time together. She always starts and she garnishes grins everywhere we go. She is even playful, once popping out of gear as I wrestled with the netting. She just wanted to be close to me as I had to scramble to the front to apply the brakes. Zany Zelda.

I have been in a quandry as of late. I find my self romanticizing the past and dwelling on love lost. I have oscillated between feeling like I should live out an 80’s movie and hold up a boom box or some other grand gesture or dive into self remorse and flagellation. I have been doing counseling and trying to learn about myself and why I function like this. It hasnt been easy. What I have found is that I have been unable to really relate to people my whole life. I have not been good at forming attachments or relationships. I, immediately, go to the needy stage and live only as others see me. I had no true self.

My long term relationship worked because she was all too happy to feed me an identity. After I got sober and started to come alive, it disturbed her. She withdrew and I panicked. I did not know myself and I did not know how to be in a relationship. However, I was tired of being dead and couldnt go back again. It crumbled and neither of us knew how to deal with it as evidenced by how nasty it became.

I spend some time trying to understand. I stood strong with my daughters and against some of the slings and arrows. I didnt crumble. I got knocked down a lot and always got back up. Things kept getting worse. I kept soberly moving forward. It started to brighten when I reconnected with an old friend of mine. We dated on and off for about a year. Looking back, I wasnt ready. I still had no idea how to be in a relationship. I had no idea how to love. What needed to start from the inside wasnt there. I quickly saw myself only as she saw me. I wanted to be that guy and was willing to try and be so. When I fell short, I would run away. It became too painful for either of us. However, I still cherish the time we spent together. I did better in that relationship than I had ever done before.zelda with seven

Zelda and I went camping this weekend. She is spruced up and full of style. We decided to stay close but go somewhere I hadnt been before. I have been really pondering who I am and how I fit into this crazy world and taking a break from that would be awesome. Zelda is magical. Not in the fortune telling way like the machine in, “Big”. Or in the fantasy way like in the video game way. She is magical as she just wanted to be with me. She trudged her way up the hill at 60-65 mph (impossible many VW owners say). We found an unoccupied free camping site right next to a stream. We parked and I set up the site. Really, I unfolded the bed and put my memory foam topper on it. I sat with her and read. I listen to her sounds. She listen to me breath. I will neither confirm nor deny that I spent some time talking with her. The magic part is that she allowed me to see what had happened to me and what was happening now. She opened my eyes to the fact that I had isolated all over again. I was afraid. I have ben afraid since I was a kid. I am afraid that someone will tease me. I am afraid that I wont be liked. I am afraid I will be called a coward. I am afraid that I am “less than.” When the bottom fell out of my life, I didnt have to be afraid anymore. I knew that I could survive and be ok with next to nothing. As friends, collegues, family turned their back on me, I saw the truth of who was left. As I scrambled financially, I saw the truth of wants versus needs. As I felt unforgiven and judged by the church universal, I say the loving and forgiving Grace of God. I felt the comfort of Abba. What Zelda showed me is that I am afraid again. I moved to an unfamiliar state, took a different job, left a love interest, set up house in a place 8 hours from anyone I knew. I went to meetings that have a different style and felt wrong. I agreed to restrictions I found silly and misdirected. I was over my head, alone, and without defenses. I was scared. I didnt think I was. I had fought hard to get here. I figured I would just keep fighting. The meetings got wierder, the job prospects unsteady. I wanted to go back to where I was before. I needed someone to tell me who I was and that I would be ok. I was addicted to avoiding my inner self, my true self. Zelda showed me. Under the fear, behind the locked door of my heart, hidden in the corner is that scared boy. He wants to relate. He wants to love. He wants to not be afraid. His arms are outstretched. I hugged that boy this weekend. I told him he was very brave for trying so hard. He was very smart for figuring out a way to get his needs met for so long. He is “just enough.”

Zelda started right up when I headed home.zelda front

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in journey, life

 

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dig dug

He dug deeper.

He really didn’t know why, but felt a need to dig into the rich soil. He had a question about what made up the ground. He stared at the surface for a long time. He thought if he understood everything from the outside, the inside would also be clear. He admired the outside, and showed it to everyone else. He garnished praise and applause. He thought that made it more valuable. The surface was very well defined. It had absolutes and margins. It was clear what was and what wasn’t. There was no gray.dig

He dug deeper.

He asked the question, “What is under the surface?” The answer seemed obvious, but he hadnt thought of it. “Dig deeper and find out.” There was a sense of foreboding. Trepidation filled the air. Anticipation. He dug. He used his fingers and scratched the surface. There were no more answers, just more questions. The tiny crack was a window beyond and ,in it, he saw the much larger world. Fear and longing. He couldn’t ever be the guy who didn’t know there was more through that window. He was afraid and consigned. He dug around the crack. He climbed through into the vastness of the deeper world. The edges seemed to blur. There were hints of grays. The questions lined up. He tried to relate to them as he had on the other side of the crack. It failed and the answers laughed at him. The questions taunted him. He learned to handle some ambiguity. He learned he couldn’t learn it all. He became more open to less absolute.

He dug deeper.digging

He opened another crack, crawled through another window. The answers were more ambiguous. The margins less defined. He kept digging and the more he dug, the less the answers were clear. The questions mounted and became overwhelming. He felt lost and lonely. He screamed and cried. The pain was excruciating. He crumbled in uncertainty. He cried out, “What is the answer?”

There was a whisper, a wind, a sound. It spoke in breathy absence. There is no “the” answer. The answer you seek doesn’t exist. As you dig deeper into the foundation of yourself, of your world, it grows in wonder and amazement, but also in ambiguity and margin-less freedom. You are free to ask and answer and question again. The answers are accepting the lack of “the” answer.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in journey, life

 

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