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I just sparkle

There is a great song. I think it is by Shawn Mullins. It talks about being born to shimmer and born to shine and born to radiate. I love that idea. I love the idea that we are meant to reflect the light of our creator. I love the idea that trapped inside of each of us is a spark that ignites who we are. I like that our fires can join and rage. I like that our candlelight can become a firelight.

I mourn that we dim our lights. I dimmed my light in judgement. I dimmed my light in rejection. I dimmed my light in low self esteem. I tried to drown it with alcohol. I dimmed my light in faking that everything was ok. I let the clouds roll in from the lands of conditional love and performance based relationship. I hid in the dark shell, trying desperately to warm myself by the thin waning light of my soul. The flame sputtered and choked. MY heart screamed, my soul cried. IT was just as cold inside as from the stern stares as outside.

I began to weep. I began to shiver in the cold. I whispered a small prayer, “Help me.” And He did. The shell cracked and I began to grow. I began to honor my light. I felt the warmth and I began to like it. I let God call the light, “Good.” I let the scales fall away and let Him began to rebuild. He comforted. He quieted. He ignited. He loved. I sparkled.

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Posted by on August 8, 2016 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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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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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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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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scarecrow, courage, and the red brick road

KABOOM. My own personal Big Bang was when one world ended and new one began. I am almost 3 years into a new life circumstances. I lit the fuse on the bomb that would catapult me into a new dimension. It did not disappoint. KABOOM describes it pretty well. My wife was gone, my kids would be assaulted with the shrapnel and would eventually need to shield themselves from the pain and reject me. My business would be assumed by my ex-wife. My career would end, I would be moving 7 times in the next three years in three different states. When I went and had my taxes done this year, the tax person said, “Wow this is going to be complicated.” I would be lonely, isolated, scared, scarred, in love, in fear, accepted, and rejected.

One person described my journey as akin to Job in the Bible. I don’t remember the pox, but the other stuff seems to have metaphorical equivalents. However, I prefer to think of it as I am Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Well, Dorothy with facial hair and negative self talk.

I had run away from home. I felt unloved and a loss of intimacy. I had never learned to ask for what I needed. I didn’t know how to restore the intimacy. I tried “The Love Dare,” counseling, and even marriage retreats. It didn’t work, but in all honesty, it was too late. I had been away for a long time. I had started to change for the better. I was actively working on my journey, my connection to God, and keeping my side of the street clean. It was supported in words, but not in action. I didn’t want to go back to the old me and walked the journey alone. I was told the storm was coming. I couldn’t make it home, and the journey ahead was daunting.

My house began to shake, the windows begin to twitch, the sands began to shift. Woosh. I was flung into a new world. I hung out with one group of munchkins that cleaned the royal carriage, but in my world they looked like golf carts. The lollipop guild and I took breaks together as I drove a school bus. We skipped along a path as I taught math.

I ignored how comfortable I was around the Scarecrow. I will miss the Scarecrow most of all. She walked shoulder to shoulder with me for a long time. I slid into the victim role and wanted her to solve my problems. I let the flying monkeys rip her to shreds. I then needed her to save me from the witches tower. And then I followed the Red trail instead of the Golden one and left. I wish the tornado would work backward.

The difference from my story and Dorothy’s (besides the obvious…monkeys cant fly) is that I can’t go home again. Things wont ever be the same. My journey seems to be unidirectional. I wouldn’t go back to that life anyway. I am thankful for the tornado. I have hurt a lot, but I am a much better person. I have been given a brain, a heart, and courage. The Wizard paid in spades. I will always be thankful and remorseful over leaving my companions on the other side of the rainbow.

I miss the Scarecrow most of all.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in journey

 

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intimacy burn

I am an intimacy addict, I think. As I trudged through this time in my life, I have been treated to some introspection. I believe we all have a God Spark. I think we are all given a Spark that set the foundation of who we are. IT is warm and attractive. It glows and seeks to unite with other Sparks. Its job and function is to relate to others, ourselves, and God. As soon as we are able, we start to hide it. IT makes us feel vulnerable to have it exposed. People seek to extinguish it. It is fragile, but real and so we protect it. WE hide it under Shame. We bury it under Hurt. We choke it with Fear. WE escape it with addiction.

I had lost my God Spark. It wasn’t ever out, it cant be, but I couldn’t see it. I didn’t think it existed. I had hid it so well, escaped it so thoroughly, lied about it so completely, I didn’t recognize it anymore. And since it didn’t match what I had lied about, I didn’t respect it when I saw it.

However, the Spark was there, clamoring to relate. It wanted interaction with its true self. I lied about what it was and sought interaction. I wanted intimacy and affection, but had no idea how to get it. MY ex-wife had learned to relate to my mask with her own mask. When I tried to take mine off, I broke the rules of our interaction and the rest is history. I texted women outside my marriage. I rationalized hat it wasn’t physical, but it was still cheating. I have no real excuse except for I just wanted my Spark to feel warm again and I hadn’t learned that I was actively trying to snuff it out by holding onto my Shame and Fear. I had been working on my escapism and didn’t have that defense mechanism anymore, and so was left confronting my heart and soul and mind. I found them freezing to death for lack of the Spark.

I pray for connection. I work on intimacy issues. I avoid addictive relationships. I am learning to be intimate with myself and to really love myself completely. I am up to a strong like.

My prayers were answered in a very different way recently.
I saw what it feels like to learn that someone you love is working on affection to another person. I needed to know how that seems to lessen the honesty of my words.
I felt the pain of knowing that I might not be the last good night or the first good morning. I needed to know that connection to a loose wire is difficult and exhausting.
I understood that I am not more wonderful, but just as wonderful. I need to remind myself that I am not too big or too small. I am just me. We all have a God Spark and mine is one just like everyone else, but also wholly different.
I felt the loss of deep intimacy for a lesser version. Not any less real, but less central to my core. I needed to know that connection is a life force. It is who we are and who we are meant to be. The connection is more important to protect and honor and respect. I needed to know to give it away delicately and with purpose.
I learned I am not special and that I am special. I am not the end all be all, but I am uniquely myself. When I uncover that Spark, I connect very well. I delight in me and in the Spark I share space, time, and warmth with.

I hurt and I am lonely. I am growing. Melt me, Mold me sounds painful, but wait until you experience it. I am tired. I am lost. I have learned a multitude of lessons in the last few years. I am being prepared for something wonderful, I hope. I wont let myself get stuck in a mask tete a tete again. I seek intimacy…true intimacy. With me, With God, and with another.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in journey

 

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