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fascinated

It has been 5 years. 5 years since I consented to leave my house and wife. 5 years since I have had a thriving relationship with my daughters. 5 years of seeing the faces of former friends and heard the clicks of tongues. 5 years since the goal to humiliate and decimate me was paramount. 5 years since I heard the thud of hitting rock bottom.

It has been 5 years since I planted a new seed. It has been 5 years since I had to be an adult and learn to take care of myself. 5 years since I began to learn how to like myself. 5 years of learning to get back up after being knocked down. 5 years since I was given the gift of seeing who around me was really a friend. 5 years since I hit my rock bottom and bounced.

I cant believe it has been that long. It seems like such a short time ago that I was desperate to be liked. It was a short time ago that I craved intimacy on any level. It was a short time ago that I needed someone else to state my worth before I could see it.

I cant believe it has been so long. It seems like the pain should be over by now. It seems like my journey since then has been a million miles. It feels as though I have been in a sprint for the entire time. I scramble and collect. I trudge. I regroup. I stand firm and I waiver. I still hear the echoes of the clucking tongues. I feel the angst from my estranged children. I feel the thud of rock bottom.

I will trudge another day.

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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in journey, life

 

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ghosts

I’m sitting here alone in a much too big house, starting yet another year, watching the snow fall on a foreign and unfamiliar place. Ive done this a lot over the last few years. Nothing has been familiar or trustworthy. I have tried to find a solid to hold onto. I find myself grasping air, ghosts, at the best, liquid. When particularly afraid, I try to hold on tighter, which just makes me tired and more desperate. Ive been chasing ghosts, spectors, illusions, dreams, and lies.

It started a long time ago. I have always wanted the dream. I wanted to be happily married. I wanted to be popular, successful, brilliant, and tall. I led a façade life. IT was play acting. I was a good actor, well good enough to believe my own performance. I thought that was me. I pretended I was popular, successful, even brilliant. I never did get to be tall. As the turmoil of not being who I really was began to rip me apart, I ran. I was in full flight from reality. I hid. The separation of who I was grew from the truth. I chased the illusion of becoming what I wanted to be. I believed I could be what others wanted me to be. I kept running. I kept grasping. The wind ran through my fingers as I sank more and more into despair. The ghosts haunted me. They teased me. The pointed out how I failed. They showed me who I really was. Over 10 years ago, God spoke to me in a church basement through a group of people that also ran to ghosts. HE told me, “Find me or die.” He said I had a choice to keep moving away, or to stop and change directions. I have tried. I wanted life. I wanted to be whole. I wanted to be a real little boy. I learned. I clamored. I sought. I keep trying. But it feels lie chasing ghosts again. I feel the presence of the Spirit. I can see His hands, feel His love. When I try to hold it, it vanishes.

Since the original message, I chased several ghosts. I tried to chase the ghost of love. I asked for a time to heal my family. I sought real connection I was rejected and tried to seek heart through different ways. IT failed. The host turned on me, biting and hacking. IT was nasty. IT reminded me of the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when they open the Ark and the beautiful angel turns into a ugly spector. It kept getting worse. My screams and pain only fueled the vengence. The venom, the hate would leak from my wounds. I would lose my life, my kids, my illusions. I would be erased. I held onto the ghost of love, hoping that the love of the kids would outweigh the hate and hurt. It didn’t. I keep sharing my heart. I keep putting the whisper in the wind. I speak love. I speak connection. I speak truth and solid. MY wind is not as strong or present at this point. It aches.

I chase the illusion of success. I have struggled to rebuild a life and a career. I make decisions that I think are the right ones. It all seems to fall in line and then crumble. The illusion is maddening. It taunts me that the success of being who I am is not as important as what I do. I know it to be a lie, however it would be easier to give in to the lie. It would be easy to surrender to the false self again. Chasing the ghosts has worn me out.

I search for the ghost of love. I panic when it eludes me. I open myself to its wind and am met with cold and heartless breezes. The breeze hurt, it leave icicles on my ribs, shielding my heart from the warmth. I close myself again, deciding to not open up again, only to find myself aching once again. The world is so worried about being hurt, we cant open, we can no longer love without fear. Again, I am confronted by the same condition, “Find God or die.” I can fight for that connection to God’s Spirit or die, existing for chasing ghosts. The same ghosts that my heart and mind crave, desire, ache for.

I’m sitting in a foreign land, watching the snow fall, covering the world in ghosts. I’m afraid.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in divorce, 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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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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change, change, change…change of fools

” I AM OK.” I scream at no one in particular. I don’t feel ok, and all I am doing is trying to convince myself. Somedays,  it works for awhile.

I don’t like being this way. I read an article recently that was talking how some people just don’t let themselves be happy. It suggested that they feel unworthy of good things happening and so they sabotage them. Or they dread being happy or content because it means something bad is going to happen. It has been a long time since I felt truly happy for any duration of time. Decades. Am I want of those people? Am I incapable of living in the world letting water flow off my duck like back?3523448240_77823295a9_b I have enjoyed many moments in my life. I have laughed. I have triumphed. I have loved and lost. I have failed and persevered. But, I cant seem to be content.

“I DONT WANT TO BE THIS WAY.” I screamed at no one in particular.

“change,” he whispered back.

“how?” I blubbered.

“Be and Do differently.”

There was a time that I just felt at ease. I drove a school bus for 18 months or so. One morning, the Sun was rising as I checked over the bus. The air was nippy, but not cold. I took a picture and sent it to my girlfriend at the time. It was only a fraction as beautiful as I think she is. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of contentment. I had no money, no real prospects at the time. The love of my life lived 500 miles away. But I was safe, I was warm, I was loved. It lasted all day. I relished the feeling and didn’t want it to ever go away. I held on too tight. It slithered through my fingers like squeezing play doh.squeezing-playdough I didn’t see that I was sabotaging myself and my happiness by being desperate. I lost it.

“It hurts.” I whispered.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in journey, life

 

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be your own Alice

Ever feel like Alice in Wonderland?

I was hanging out in the shade of my life tree a few years ago. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. I wasn’t particularly growing, learning or progressing. I was just there. As I considered my circumstances, my consciousness slipped out. It wore a wonderful little suit and carried a pocket watch. It looked much like the rabbit. In my thoughts, I knew that a life without growth and change wasn’t really a life at all. I wasn’t living, I was existing. The Rabbit knew that I would get bad sores, or rather ground sores hanging out by the tree. He felt the pressure of time and the need to spring to life. As he ranted about time, and then scurried down the rabbit hole, I paused…

I didn’t know how to stand up anymore. I had let life flow by and let the tree tell me what I felt and thought for so long, I had no idea how to be myself. I didn’t know how my brain, heart, and muscles worked anymore. I had been deadened and mostly embalmed so slowly, I had hardly recognized it. I was startled. I was even more startled when my brain, heart, and muscles united in a burst of strength. I stood up. I was hurky jerky at first and made mistakes as I learned to walk again. In concert, my essence encouraged me to be who I am. I stood, jerked, and then plummeted after my consciousness into a tiny little whole left from dreams gone by.

The dream enveloped me. It was really a dream about me. It was living from the inside out. I had hid and covered and been shameful about my insides for so long, I forgot who I was. I no longer existed in whole, just leaks of me that would stain the ground around the tree, being held as examples of how I didn’t measure up.

I separated from the shaded area and went to discover the land of me. To understand where the Rabbit lived. There were a multitude of people I met. I met people who were mirrors to my soul and didn’t tell me how my soul should be and act. There were some odd encounters and people I left more confused then I went in with. The smoking smiling cat on a mushroom showed up in a teacher, a cosmetologist, and a few others. As they became invisible, I did get to see how I was pretending to live in the land of the tree all over again. As the smile faded, I was left with the smoke and fog.

I met the Mad Hatter as well. The Mad Hatter in my story was fun to be around. I enjoyed the company. I learned about myself and I learned I took myself too seriously. The Queen of Hearts had set up all kinds of rules I couldn’t follow. In order to be with her, I had to obey and remember all of them. It was exhausting. She was beautiful, and I liked the person inside, but the outside had become 2 dimensional and rigid. I met the Rabbit down there. Well, a close approximation. I thought it was the Rabbit. I loved it, and I cherished it. I would lose it, but not before I tried too hard, leaned too much, depended too greatly. I had been in repose in another shade tree, deep inside my dream.

I drank the potion and felt myself shrink. I gulped humility. I shrunk. I clamored for help, and tried to accept my diminuitive size. I left the inflated self and grew content exploring the child inside. I was tranquil with who I was. I brought me to drive a school bus every day. I accepted myself and grew to enormous size. I felt like I had triumphed. My humility shrank and I needed to recapture some of my status to feel whole again. I went back to my old career to prove I could, and to feed my growing ego. I didn’t fit in my small world and had to move locations. It required leaving me behind. I didn’t recognize that I liked be the best I ever had when I was there. I connected with the other Rabbit. I didn’t need to inflate or deflate. I was comfortable in my own skin. The problem with being bid is you have to maintain big. Or so I thought.

As I grew into my loose fitting ego, I tried to call on the past to come with me. I wanted to like myself and be proud of myself. I needed the accolades. I had already blown living in that world, and that world needed me to go as much as I needed to go.

The nice news is that I didn’t know anyone in this world. The largeness wasn’t required. The growth was limited by requirements that seem to force humility at first. Later, I recognized, it offers humility and personal growth, rather than external. I could live without the old definitions and preconceptions. I could just be me in every circumstance. More so, I only had me to see me and define me, and recognize me. I had emerged from the dream as my ego became smaller. I left the tree behind. I left the too big and too small me behind. I get to know what kind of person I am. I get to know I can handle growth and change. I am simply my own Alice.

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in journey, life

 

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LET GO

“Dating is like crossing the monkey bars, don’t let go of one until you have grasp on another.” I was told this by another prepubescent boy in 5th grade. It made sense to me. I had just been dumped by Sharla and was feeling crushed. We had “gone out” for almost 3 days, a record in my short dating career. We were meant to be forever, or so said the scrawlings on my notebook. And when I tallied the letters in our names as they added up to the letters in True Love, it was supposed to be inevitable we would be together. Now three days later, I was picking up the broken pieces of my heart.

I was never all that good at dating. I was a bit chubby, had low self esteem, and didn’t like all the things the jocks (who seemed to have all the girls attention) liked. I repeated the “Sharla cycle” frequently through my adolescence. I rarely, if ever, dumped someone, I was always the dumpie. That isn’t meant to be a pity thing, looking back, I would have dumped me too. I was needy and fake. I tried to be whatever the girl seemed to want. I was in love instantly. However, I was so worried about being dumped, I couldn’t talk to them. It is tough to “be going out” and never say hello. I had a chance in 6th grade. In a moment of incredible courage, I asked Kristi to the dance. She was new at the school and was (and still is) one of the most beautiful people I knew. We got to the dance and the macho guys met her and I felt about 2 inches tall. I slunk away.

I continued this trend into college. I started to date and hold back my feelings, or decided beer seemed to be the ticket. It seemed to work. I fell in love still. I got hurt. But I just ignored the feeling or drank them away. I didn’t seem to be able to perfect the aloof. I couldn’t be totally detached. I would want to be, even pretend to be, but it still seemed to result in pain. I used to wish I could just be the Fonz, and drift from woman to woman. But I would get over attached and needy. I believed the lie of someone completing me or needing someone else. So, I kept loosing more of myself and feeling more and more empty and panicky with lost loves. My 5th grade playground profit echoed in my head. I started to serial date. It was rare that I was without someone. I never allowed for healing. I never allowed for growth. I didn’t break up with dates, I just sabotaged the relationship or became less attentive until they broke up with me. It allowed me to not have to be honest and to play the victim role and feel sorry for myself. It was the beginning of my self victimization role play.

In medical school, I met a wonderful woman. I still faked who I was and tried to be what she wanted. I changed my religion, I didn’t have sex with her, I drank less, and changed my friends. I even stopped being so judgmental, well I stopped talking about it out loud. I would marry her. A few days before I proposed, I tried to flirt with my resident. I told myself that if she wanted to date me then it was God telling me this wasn’t the right move for me. She didn’t and so I asked to be married. I was still in the mode of not letting go of the cold steel bar and kept flirting with other women. I even asked one to a movie. I was still wearing my wedding ring when we went out. She figured it out and ended the date early. I had a one night stand in our first year of marriage. I told my wife about it, half thinking and hoping she would ask for a divorce. She didn’t and we did counseling once or twice. I recommitted to the relationship and flirted continuously with other women, explaining that I was just outgoing and nice. I see now it was “coat checking” the next Monkey Bar, just in case. I am disappointed that was me at the time. I have forgiven myself for the craving for intimacy. I wanted it, feared it, and didn’t know how to do it or get it.

As the need resurfaced when I stopped hiding behind alcohol, I was more frustrated at not knowing how to do it. I felt desperate and more lonely than I had ever felt before. I felt lonely and isolated in my marriage even when we were right next to each other. I tried to fix it. I remember the day that my ex wife told me that she didn’t feel intimate to me anymore. We had just returned from a marriage retreat weekend. In hindsight, I panicked like I had done as a 5th grader. I went into full “Sharla mode”. She repeated it a few years later and I reacted by trying to find another monkey bar. It was weak and panicky. I know it was dishonest and creepy. I wish I could take it back, but I cant. All I can do is tell that scared, lonely boy, “Thank You for doing the best you could do.” I tell mid-schooler, “You are good enough and thank you for doing the best you could do.” I tell me as a high schooler and a college student, “Thank you for doing the best you could do with the tools and knowledge you had.” I tell myself that I did the best I could do, I made mistakes and caused pain. But I have addressed myself honestly and compassionately. I accept me. I am intimate with myself. I love me right where I am, but too much to leave me here.

I will learn. I will grow. I will accept. I will communicate I will love. I will be accepted.  I will be loved.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2015 in divorce, journey, life

 

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