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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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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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break the ice

Do you remember the game, “Don’t break the Ice”? It was a stage and there were maybe 25 plastic ice cubes wedged into it. There was this red man in a chair that you would put in the middle of the ice. The goal was to knock out ice cubes until someone let the guy fall through the stage. And then you’d laughingly set it all up again and the guy would be perched, unfazed, on the ice once again.

I have this terrifying thought that life is like that. We are set up a foundation for our life, based on expectations, beliefs, emotions, etc. They fit together nicely and fill the stage. The world then chips away at our ice, piece by piece refuted or humiliated. We back bite, cheat, steal, lie, injure. It is a game of chip the other guys ice before yours is broken. We are sanctimonious and rationalize why we chip at the other ice.  “IT is for their own god.” “It is God’s Will.” “I injure you to protect others.”

The ice breaks and we fall. However, unlike our placid friend, we feel the cold water. We plummet in the depths. We struggle to breath as the water and the cold engulf us. We sink or swim. Sometimes the decision isn’t clear and we gulp water as we try and surface. Nearly drowning in the icy water. We crawl to the surface and laughingly rebuild the ice. We perch in our chair, grinning to face another round of the maddening and sickening game, shivering in fear, cold, and isolation.  Never bothering to question why we are out on the ice.

The ice feels solid. The ice feel real. Even though it is cold and cuts the fingertips. Even though it is slowly eroded by the water underneath and the chipping from life on life’s terms, we trust it. We believe in it. IT is tangible in a world of intangible. It is solid in a world of icy water. And so it lends comfort. It lends the illusion of safety. We can even imagine we are warm. “At least I am not in the water right now.” “I have more ice then that guy.”

Stand up, walk off the ice. IT isn’t easy. IT isn’t safe. You will be called back. You will be taunted. You will be told of expectations and rules and limits. You will be told that the rules cant be changed for you. You will be exposed. Its lonely because few people are ready to trust, honor, share, believe in anything but the ice and the water. Few people will ever take this voyage. Most who do, return to the chipping, to the sitting. Most sit in the chair of discontent, waiting for the ice to break.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in journey, life

 

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sweet chariot

I have started this post several times. I have written it in my head countless times. I hesitate because I don’t think the answer is as clear as the question. I am not sure it measures up to expectations.  However, in the end, its the expectations that hurt me the most. It was trying to live up to my self expectations that I fell short. “Expectations are pre-meditated resentments,” I was told. I held these expectations and resented myself when I couldn’t live up to them.

I was asked how I have changed on my journey. I was asked how I am different and how my outlook has evolved. I spent a long time trying to come up with an answer that makes sense. I tried to list my character defects and how they have been eradicated. I tried to come up with specific examples. In the same moment, I had a bump in the road that made me feel rejected. I don’t even really know the background or outcome, but my reaction was to feel hurt. I could feel all the rejection I have ever felt all over again. I felt teenage loves, jobs, schooling, loves, and losses. I felt friends who turned their backs and hurled insults. I felt the pain. My character defect of low self esteem reared its ugly head once again. How could I speak to how I removed my character defects when here was the largest one laughing at me again?

Do people really change? Can redemption really occur in this life? Is a loving God loving only after we die? IS suffering a choice?

I decided to not write this post. I had nothing to say and couldn’t see myself lying again to make myself look good. I had spent so much time lying to myself about who I was, how I was, that it became routine. I couldn’t even tell that I wasn’t growing or changing. I was lost in looking good and looking together. I just didn’t want to do that again.

I talked to a trusted friend about it. They are a new friend and I had to explain my story all over again. I explained what I did 10 years ago to change a direction. I described how I tried to change but wasn’t able. I explained how I didn’t even see a large hole in my soul. It gathered moss and a fetid smell as it corroded my heart. It culminated in feeling rejected and scrambling to cure my ache. It was the match for the fuse that blew up my life. Nothing would ever be the same. The tower of Babel I had built tumbled. The dust settled slowly. I explained how I had went on a voyage inside first. I dissected my life, my emotions, my reactions, my pain. I did things differently. I asked for help. I admitted weakness. I embraced the pain as a message. I humbled myself and spoke honestly about my mistakes as well as my victories. As a result, I got to be free of the shame. I got to experience a new kind of freedom. A freedom from the bondage of self. I had told my story so many times that it felt like just words. I had finally got to the point that I didn’t need to explain or justify, I just spoke the journey and the hope of tomorrow. Many times, people would tell me how hearing my journey touched them and helped them. They mentioned the truth and honesty in what I spoke. I explained to my trusted friend that I felt afraid and rejected again. He smiled. The arrogant jerk just smiled at me. I stared at him with disbelief. And he started to chuckle. Did I say friend? Maybe I spoke to soon. He spoke through laughing eyes and asked, “Ever been called truthful and honest in your previous life?”

I hadn’t. I think the biggest change for me is being ok with change.  Sometimes, I go through it kicking and screaming. I have gotten to a point that I know that I will be ok in the change. I have been tumbled like tennis shoes in a dryer and come out wrinkled and fluffed to trudge another day. I know that God is in this and has been in this. I know that when I get knocked down, I get back up. I have learned to trust myself. More importantly, I like myself. I genuinely, love myself. When I mumble the words to myself, “I love myself,” I can ask myself if the current actions or thoughts are being loving to me or not.

I don’t know how to answer the question of how I have changed. I have changed a lot in some areas and not so much in others. I can wax philosophic about grandiose words such as trust, love, honesty, and change. I can speak to journey or to God’s Grace. I can share pages and pages of introspection and a pretty impressive healing resume over the last few years. I can talk about my journey or responding rather than reacting .I can speak to time. Time wasted, time appreciated, time spent, and time lived. I could mention that I had to change everything and allow God to rebuild me.

IT is all true, but over-expansive. I have simply learned to pause when agitated or doubtful.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2016 in journey

 

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walk about

I have gone walkabout. Yes, I am quoting, “Crocodile Dundy”. I am a product of the 80’s. I ponder the question, “What IS so funny about peace, love, and understanding?” I secretly hope that a mullet will once again be in fashion, and I can break out my white sports jacket and hang out with a guy named, Crockett. I am not embarrassed to say that I have put a message in a bottle. It was only this year that I figured out that Sting might have been a Sage and the message in a bottle is internet dating. Everyone does it, and everyone who still does it is still lonely. I ponder keeping my knit ties, just in case. I think “Every girls crazy about a sharp dressed man,” and wished I wanted to dress nicer.

Back to the topic. I have gone walkabout. I was in a mope. I couldn’t see any of the positive surrounding me. I was melancholy about the past and my obvious failures. I had morphed into becoming the failures rather than having them. It had become apparent to me that I was destined to living life as “The Dude,” and my soul purpose was to have my rug not peed on. Beck sang in my head, “I am a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me.” I had lost my smile, my joy, my love. I hadn’t lost it, I gave it away.

I had a few experiences, recently, that bitch slapped me awake. I had a patient complaint filed. Sounds odd, but it was sort of a nuisance complaint. Complaining about a doctor giving you medication and when you filled it, took it, and 3 days later had an unrelated side effect, isn’t all that sound. Still it bothered me. I like being a doctor, just not being punished for being a doctor. Our current system punishes medical people for trying to help. Nasty system. Then, I had more than one person tell me to choose my path. I just needed to decide where I wanted to be headed, they proclaimed. Novel concept, choose to be happy or growing. Then finally, my ex girlfriend told me to leave her alone. I miss her and love her, always will. However, her setting a boundary made me aware that I had slipped back into the idea that it is all about me. I could only see my side of things and had gotten so lost in the darkness, I had forgotten to enjoy the light. I had to let it, and her, go.

So I went walkabout. I decided to just disappear for awhile. I got books on tape and got in my little car and headed out. I decided to visit a friend from high school. We were glued to each other for years and years. I drove down from Idaho to California. My overnight stop was going to be Las Vegas. I had visions of the Rat Pack and figured the people would be the same as 25 years ago when I had last been there. They would scream my name, a la Norm from Cheers. I would have some funny quip and then win so big at the 2 dollar black jack table, I would get comped a room. Umm, not so much. I stopped and watched the slobbering drunks try and stay perched on the bar stools, smelt the cigarettes and alcohol, and recoiled. I hopped in the car and head on down the road. I stopped in Baker, California. I was pretty tired and pulled into the first hotel I saw. It seemed safe, and the rooms were cheap. I was handed the key to room #7. Yep, the key. I pulled in and opened the door. I was transported to the Caribbean, and not in a good way. There was a bed, an 80’s TV, with a cable line attached that draped over a bare wall. The tile floor was clean, but dingy. There was a bed and a chair, that in 1983 must have been brand new and very nice. There was that round table that you had in your first apartment next to the bathroom. The bathroom had a bare bulb and pink tile. There was a mirror that I could see my chin in if I stood on tiptoes. It was the lap of luxury. I laid down on the most uncomfortable mattress I have ever been on. I wondered if the bedbugs would carry me off the bed in the night. I giggled for 30 minutes as I fell asleep.

I got up in the morning, luckily unbitten by the bedbugs and rats that haunted my dreams. I headed down the road and stopped at a 50’s diner in the middle of nowhere. It was great. Campy as all get out, but great.

I watched my friend with his new wife and their baby. We hung out and did nothing. We talked. We just were. Today we will go to a beach, strolling around A town in California. I will go and meditate on a beach North of here for a few days tomorrow. I am not bad, or lost, or “less than.” I just am. I am the guy who giggles at cheesy hotels. I am the guy who rejoices in the campy. I am peaceful and loving. I am the guy who grows and learns. I am the guy who can weather the storms. I am me.newport

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2015 in journey, Uncategorized

 

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forgive the cactus

“What time is it?”

“Now”

“Where are you?”

“Here.”

“Who are you?”

“This moment.”

Those were lines from the movie “Peaceful Warrior”.  I really loved that movie. It has a message of accepting yourself and living each moment fully and aware.

I have poor self esteem.thAA2DX6AT Hiding my insecurities has been the bane of my existence. I have tried all kinds of absurd things to appear confident and stable. It is as useless as painting a turd.

I tried to fake it, but the color of the turd started to wear through. I tried to ignore it in relationships, but the smell permeated and she ran. I tried to pretend it wasn’t there, but I stepped in it and made it worse.

I have been on a journey of deep introspection and self improvement. I have persevered when others have failed. I have been humbled. I have been faithful. I have been honest when I was told to lie. I have changed when others said to stay the same. I have learned to respect myself, like myself, trust myself. I just hadn’t learned to forgive myself. That unforgiveness has haunted me. It causes me to focus on my weak points, my character defects. It feeds my mistakes until they become characterizations. It swallowed me in darkness.

I am a mountain biker. I was riding in Fort Collins, Colorado once. I started riding in New Mexico and seeing cactus there was routine. You got used to it and learned to just avoid them. However, I rarely saw them in Colorado. I had just climbed this exhausting hill and noticed a cactus on the right side of the trail.thTC0IRUY8 I said to myself, “Boy, I will avoid that.” Then I said, “I wonder why I have never noticed that cactus before.”  Soon there were a multitude of odd thoughts about the cactus: size, color, uniqueness. As I crested the hill, I rode right into the cactus. I stopped as my tire went flat and stepped off the bike—into the cactus.

I think that is what is happening to me. I have spent so many years focusing on the cactus , that I forget to see the great weather, the wonderful day, the exercise, the path, all the good things about me and my journey. I forget that everyone has a cactus and few deal with it. The idea is to address it, and not dwell on it or in it.

Lord, help me forgive me as I forgive others and as you forgive me.thJFHP2U7U

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2015 in journey, life

 

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anguish

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.
child-tears
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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


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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