Tag Archives: languish

kaboom my guts

It’s about a guy trying to hold it together while it all falls apart.

Truer words were never spoken. There is a panic. There is a desperation. Remember the scene in Forest Gump where Bubba is sitting there after being shot and he is trying to put his guts back in? Bubba does this amazing job of portraying the madness. He focuses on picking up his spilt entrails instead of the inevitable fact that he is totally screwed. His life is completely over, a moot subtext, a lost cause and he is trying to do the scoop and run with his alimentary canal.

I have felt that odd necessary sense of denial. IT is like the truth eludes you. It feels like at that very moment you have to believe in a unicorn because the horse is in the desert with no name. There is a scene in my life when I was shot. It was self inflicted, and more emotional then physical. I had a moment in time that I was holding all of my life in my hands. I was holding my career, my business, my wife, my kids, all of it, in my hands. I knew it was no longer part of me, but all I could do was to ask people to help me shove it back in. I knew in an instant that the horse that was wondering the desert was me. I knew I wouldn’t ever find my way back home and I had no idea how to move through the desert.

I asked many people. I begged for solution. I went to church, spiritual retreat, AA, talked to the guru, no one knew. I wondered and tried to bury myself in the sand. I remember the pain of losing my daughters. I can feel it anytime. It is devastating and humiliating. I want to fix it, I want to go back. I have this image of trying to put the pin back in the grenade.

It took my a long time to take any steps at all. I stood and peered into the distance in every direction. All I could see was absence. I couldn’t see anything.  I have friends that talk about the darkness. To me, it was blinding light. The heat was unbearable.

It has been years since that. I took cautious steps. I stumbled, bumbled, ran, walked, tripped, fell and got back up again to do it all over. Every once in awhile I get a reprieve. I get a text from my daughters. It is a moment of bliss as I trudge in the heat. Or I will get a kind response to an email, a friend reaches out. There are moments. Sometimes they are uplifting, sometimes remind me of the pain. However, I wouldn’t  ever not receive them. It is a blessing. Its a glimpse of the unicorn and I believe it.

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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in children, journey


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There were 2 babies in the parable about Solomon tearing the baby in half to give one to each who claimed to love the child. The first child was being torn apart. One parent had made a mistake. IT caused the disagreement and the ensuing war. Still, there was love and tenderness. he longed to be with his children. The other parent was wounded. Their pride was damaged and out of fear and pain, poison had been given to the child to confuse the brain and cloud the soul. The only way to understand the child would be to look at her heart. The child wailed in pain and torment. The poison worked and fueled the anger and dismay. Solomon was frustrated and confused.
solomon baby
Both parents feigned caring. Both parents seem to want the child. He pronounced custody. The child wailed as she realized the torment would continue. One parent dropped to their knees. hearing the screams, seeing and feeling the pain, he let go. For now. He knew the child might not ever come back, the poison had gone deep and wide. However, he could not bare causing the pain he saw. He let go.

The other child swang on the hands of both parents. Happy and joyous, she seemed content and untainted. She loved well and she loved without reservation. It would be some time later. The poison spilled from the first onto the second. The parent who took the first, celebrated her victory of winning the child, lauded it over the second child as proof of how she should let go of the hand. He felt the hand slipping from his and tried to hold on tighter. He asked for help, he shared, he panicked, and he loved. Standing before Solomon again, he remembered the nights of horrific pain. He recalled the tears and torment. He felt the pain of letting go. He couldn’t imagine living through that again. He smelled the poison on his child and saw the venom oozing from the serpentine teeth of his former love. He prepared for a battle. He came to fight and win. There was a glimmer from the face of his child. He quickly glanced, wanting to keep his eyes on the attack. There was a single tear on her cheek. Her eyes seemed not lost, not angry, but confused.
He knelt down and dropped his weapons. He cried and told the child that he loved her with all his heart. He loved her, her sibling, and even her mother. He would always be ready to welcome her. He just couldn’t cause more pain. He let go of her hand.



The pain was excrutiating. The noise deafening. The smirk on the parents face as they led the child of joy away was nothing short of evil.

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Posted by on May 7, 2015 in children, divorce


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umm, one more thing…

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Someone mentioned that book recently. I really like Shel Silverstein’s books and this was no exception. I felt a little superior to those in the room who hadn’t read it. I am a renaissance man. They unfolded it with several different interpretations: the boy was selfish and a taker, the tree an enabler, the boy was direct and could ask for what he wanted, the tree freely gave in sacrificial love. There were many others, but I was horrified and stopped paying attention. For some reason, my relationship with God kept nagging in my brain. Was I in a relationship or was I simply taking and expecting? Was I allowing God to relate to me in the moment or was I denying Him when things didn’t go my way?

In my journey, I have adopted the strategy of not merely apologizing or asking forgiveness, but making amends. I strive to mend the relationship by asking what it is that I need to do to make it right, or to make the person feel whole or in the direction of whole.

Quick side note: If you decide to do this, you will need to explain what you are doing almost every time you do it. I’ve had people ask me to please just say I am sorry.

I have been selfish with God. After my divorce, I was at a real low spot for some time. Our friends felt a need to choose sides, and I lost most of them. My pastors stopped responding to emails. Many of my patients were told elaborate and, most times, embellished stories about me and turned away in public settings. Her family reprimanded me and then blocked me on phones and email. My kids were told horrible things about me and told to call me by my first name rather than Dad. Not a single person asked me my side of the story. I had lost my career and my practice as well. I would apply for 500+ jobs in the next 2 years. I worked cleaning golf carts and driving the tractor to pick up golf balls. (That was really pretty fun.) I drove a school bus. I got 2 advanced online degrees. I bought a house by cashing in some of my retirement money and crossed my fingers that a job would come along. I begged God to help me find work and moaned about Him not getting me a job. I didn’t recognize the amazing gift I was being given. I was being granted a life vacation while I got my heart and head organized. I didn’t see it or take advantage of it the way some people would. I spent time growing and learning, but never went to the alps, finished my book, or created wonderous works of art.

I made new friends and meet new people. The friends I had stood by me, shoulder to shoulder. I also had the opportunity to see who I was independently. I got an opportunity to meet and greet myself. I grew to like me again. I was given the chance to see what true friendship is and true forgiveness could look like. I was held accountable, and loved. I lamented the loss of people I called friends and family. I felt isolated and alone. I still ache at the separation and alienation from my kids. I forgot the God had made sure I wasn’t alone. I had friends and family that supported me, that held me, that held me up.

I realized the other day, while riding my “temple bike”, that I have been blaming God for His followers. I have been upset that Christians gossiped about me, judged and condemned me, ignored me, would not forgive me, moved to the other side of the road as they passed by me. I could not understand why all this was happening to me. I was hurt, lost, scared, and felt alone. I was angry at God. The Truth is that I made the choices that led to my downfall and isolation. The Truth is that despite my actions, God stood shoulder to shoulder with me. He allowed me to breath and regroup. He allowed me to understand myself and to grow. He allowed me to open my heart and mind to live more fully into who He sees me as. The Truth is that God didn’t gossip, judge, condemn, ignore, or pass me by. God forgave me, even before I did it.

“God, I have been selfish, dishonest, and insincere. How do I make it right?”

“I already did.”

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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in journey, life


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time flies, time lies

time. time out, times up, wasting time, killing time, spending time, counting time, time to go, on time, more time, hurry up time, time heals, time flies….time lies. Tick Tick tock, wind me up and ring my chimes…

I have been apart from my daughters for a stretch of time. The times have changed since I was a teenager in this town. It has been some time since I divorced, moved, started a new life. It has been a short time since my ex remarried. It seems like a long time away that my life will settle down at all. New job, new career, back to school, buying a new house, new surroundings. It seems like a long time before I will see my daughters again. tick tick tock

Time doesn’t seem to heal very quickly. It does it in its’ own time. And I think it lies about the past and makes a dream out of the future. The past is corrupted in its true vision. It is either rosy or very dark. Things are either great or awful. I blame flashbacks in movies, but it is really Time. Time demands to be attended to. Time demands to be lived each moment or the moment is gone. Time is a persnickity bitch. Time creates those waves that used to be used in 70’s sitcoms to represent flashback or future visions. Those waves distort the past and future. They can be spider webs of consciousness. We can get stuck in the distorted views of past or future and ignore the wailings of Time. tick tick tock

Time lies. The waves of past and future are lies about what really happened. They are a limited view of a much broader story. IT feels real as we join in the retrogressive groove. But it is distorted and in its distortion a lie. It tells us the future or past is better or worse than the current time. In reality, it will be what it will be and is as miraculous as we make it. wind me up

Time will tell. Unfortunately, it is when time is ready to tell when it will finally tell. Time hangs out with Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda, and Oughta. The regrets and the false hopes. Time uses them to screw around with our brains and hearts. We feel guilty or apprehensive. We feel wrong and inadequate. I cannot change what happened with my marriage or my daughters. I can’t go back and erase the past, no matter how hard I try. I don’t know if my daughters will ever call me Dad again or give me a hug again, but all I can do is live in this time. Time will tell.

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Posted by on June 24, 2014 in journey


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Fall rides

I needed to find you, to ask you questions. I tried, but the noise of life stifled your response. I prepared for my bike ride, thinking of you. I slipped when using my tools and was bleeding from my fingers. I was frustrated, I was in discomfort. I didn’t seem fair.
I finally got underway. I rode the 5 miles on pavement to get to the trail. The air was cold. I pedalled steadily. My knees turned red, my breathing quickened. I was losing my mind in the ride. Despite my bandages, my fingers bled through my gloves. I am only with me. I had glimpses of you. I could see you wanting to hide, but I caught the glances and the longing. I cried some. The sunglasses hid my tears. Any passerby would think I was tearing up from the cold, I figured.
I arrived at the dirt. 20 miles of dirt to meditate. 20 miles to be free. 20 miles. I thought I saw you up ahead. I surged to catch you. I chased you, caught you, even passed you.  I methodically considered you. I thought about what holds you down. I considered your self-imposed condition. I dreamed your dream. My legs cramped. My heart beat. My breathing rapid. I felt your pain. I see you. The more I rode, the more I wanted to be with you. The faster I went, the sooner I wanted to melt into your heart and mind. The miles went quickly. I came, I saw, I conquered. I was ready to let you know, you are what I am going to fight for. You are worthy, and beautiful, and special, and free.
I rode home the 5 miles. I pedaled smoothly and steadily. I cried. I had come to find myself. I had found myself. I miss me. I need me. I want me. I love me. I do like a good ride.


Posted by on January 5, 2014 in journey, life


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stinkin thinkin

I am going to beg. I am begging for me, for your kids, for your ex-spouse, for myself. I am begging you to stop parental alienation. I completely understand how it starts. You are angry and hurt. You need to feel supported and “right”. You need to put distance between you and your ex. I understand feeling betrayed. I understand the frustration. However, you are not hurting only your ex. You are spreading that foul stench on your beloved children. You are killing them with the shrapnel. Please stop. Your children deserve the love of both parents. Your children deserve to be out of the field of battle and place in the neutral zone. Get a friend, get a puppy, get a worry doll to gripe and complain to (far away from the eager ears of your children). Let them heal from their hurt and don’t pile yours on top of it. Please.

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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in divorce


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My muscles ache.
My heart beats too hard, too fast.
My eyes are strained.
My head spins.
I hurt.

I am a child and I am growing. As I grow, my bones cry out, my muscles scream. I try to drink more water, eat better.  I try tylenol or ibuprofen. I take hot baths. Still my bones moan, my muscles strain. I dream and long to be ‘Big’, but the growth hurts. It is agonizing waiting, and it is agonizing not waiting. I am searching for who I am and how I fit in. There really isn’t a concrete answer, but it is all I will settle for. My head screams, my heart moans.
My muscles ache.
My heart beats too hard, too fast.
My eyes are strained.
My head spins.
I hurt.

I am a beloved child of Christ and I am growing. As I grow my soul cries, and my heart screams. I try and drink in Salvation, eat up Grace. Still, my soul bellows, and my heart thunders. I am searching for me and how I fit into God’s plan. There isn’t just one concrete answer, but I won’t settle for less than that. My heart moans, and my head screams. I want to draw closer and I am afraid to do so. I want to be used in the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth, but I fear I am sitting in a whale. It is agonizing.

My tears fall and I am held.
My heart nutured.
My thoughts quieted.
I hold onto the God around me ferociously.
My heart slows, my eyes relax.
The scales fall from my eyes as I murmur, “Help me.”

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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in faith, journey


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Hope, hope, wash your mouth with soap

Somedays hope feels like a 4-letter word.

I think in the ‘America’ song, “A horse with no name,” the name was “Hope” but he abandoned it.

How many times have you let the horse run free on the third day? Me too. hope</a

I had a good friend comment on my post, "Abandon all hope of a better past." She stated that she didn't agree and pointed out that only by not abandoning the past can we repair it and make the future better. I totally agree. I really meant to stop trying to change the past to be a better reality. What's done is done. Learn from it and move on. That hope of changing the past is riding that horse in the desert without a direction. I get nowhere and the horse gets tired and loses its' name.

I have spent over a year in a free fall. Each traumatic event, each hate message, each dirty look, each disappointment, I continued to ride the horse, Hope. I was nearly knocked off hundreds of times. Fortunately, the horse righted me. Hope was all I had. Hope and I were buds.

Sometimes, horses bite. The problem with riding a horse is sometimes you are clinging too hard or riding too fast for too long. Hope wears thin. Hope without action or direction is a dream. The dream is a unicorn. It looks pretty but very few people get to ride one. The desert is vast and direction is difficult to determine. When wondering in a desert, the wind storms, the sand, and the sun torment you and it is easy to lose what you think is a direction. Hope wears thin and sometimes horses bite

Do you remember the anguish when you set the horse free? You know that it is your only chance at survival, but can’t hold on anymore. The pain in your head and heart swell. You can barely breathe. The bridle you were using in an illusion of control over Hope slips over the ears. The bit slides between the yellowed and bared teeth. The worn saddle collapses from the heaving back. Sweat glistens. Excitement is palpable. You lament the loss of Hope. You feel abandoned. You can suffocate from the heat. You feel the weight of the desert. You reel from the wind. Do you feel it? desert

However, the horse doesn’t run off. Hope bit because I was trying to control it. Hope stays with you if you welcome it and refrain from abusing it. I had gotten comfortable wandering the desert on a tired and sweaty horse. I steered the horse, I whipped the horse, I manipulated the horse. So, Hope bit me. Hope can’t take me to a destination, but it can partner with me to get me there.

What’s your horses’ name?

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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in divorce, faith, journey, Uncategorized


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href=””&gt;huddled“Why aren’t you writing?” I haven’t been here much and there is much to tell. That question was asked of me three times in one day. I am not sure I have an answer that makes sense. I guess I really don’t know. Suffice it to say, it has been a difficult year for me. I don’t say that to whine or get sympathy. I say it so that you understand that I have been working diligently to process a downhill slide in a shit storm. I have been exhausted and beaten and unable to process out loud. I think I am ready to begin the exploration of my heart more closely. Feel free to peek.

In AA, our topic today was based on Bill’s story. Bill talks of the need for faith 24 hours a day. Seriously? That seems like bullpoop to me. I cannot imagine the discipline it would take to say you are plugged into God all the time. I have heard there are no atheists in foxholes, do you think there are man of faith sitting on the toilet? I don’t buy it. I was in church last evening. I sat and listened to the pastor talk about our need to do this and that. He spoke of a list of should do’s and repented about his shortcomings. After he said what I needed to do for the 20th time, I left.

I pondered what I was being whispered. Could I be missing something? I don’t believe in coincidences, so why was I being reintroduced to the need for faith? I went back to the foundation. What is Faith? Can you really have more faith or is it all or nothing kinda of thing? I am told that faith the size of a mustard seed is all I need. What about 1/2 a mustard seed? Will God like me more if I have 3 seeds? If faith is that small, is it possible to have it 24 hours a day?

It occurred to me that I have been defining Faith as following a religion, rather than a relationship with God. What is seems to me is that both sources were mistaken about faith. Faith is not something that has to be worn around like a Miss America banner or that should be accompanied by a list of ‘have to’s’ or ‘need to’s’. scream<a "Religion is for people afraid of going to Hell, Faith is for those of us that have been there." Anne Lamott. Faith is the realization that you have been saved from yourself, and you didn't do it. Faith is leaning into God, it is nothing more than a shift of weight. When your heart aches. When you don't think you can take another step. When the storm moves in and all you can do is huddle into yourself. When you scream out at night. Faith is when you scream out to someone and know there is someone<a

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Posted by on August 18, 2013 in faith, journey


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