Category Archives: Essay

To Emma

For my beautiful girl, I give you these words.

Well, my dear, it may seem this world was never meant for us, not the way it is now, not the way it has been.  But, my Darling, nothing worthwhile was made perfect from the start. Everything craved, lusted for, and containing real value started in someone’s dreams. It took molding and shaping and relentless perseverance on the part of some Great Creator to turn dirt into the smooth painted walls of the cliff.  The dust had to gather and settle and harden, the river had to etch in it it’s name.  That is what it takes to make true beauty and art and you, my precious darling, are art.  They’ll lie to you every day.  You’ll see these lies on television, in movies, on billboards, from sources deemed reputable by leaders and authority.  You’ll hear them in songs and out of the mouths of the ones you trust, but, listen to my voice, child.  Let it ring loudly each time you need it.  I’ll scream it into a jar for you to keep safe.  I will tell you the truth as I’ve learned it the hard way and I’m telling you now that this truth will not change.  You’re beautiful, that’s true, but what can that body do that will last more than a century?  Nothing more than a memory in the minds of those you meet will that body become.  But, your mind is your asset, your strength, your own source of energy and with it you will create poetry and think great thoughts that will be repeated endlessly by others who seek to feel your souls starlight.  Your strength and your will, your wit and your might will travel through time while your body will rot, but not the fruits of your mind.  Your voice will echo forever if behind it you place intentions that are pure and words that are wise. Your soul is sacred and eternal so let it be free and unspoiled, untainted and untethered by the fleeting expectations of a society that is only as valuable as a tear drop in the sea. If you let them smother you with their misguided truth and intentions, you , my sweet girl, will break your own heart.  No one can break it from the outside because, unlike man you are not made of stone but of gold, malleable and soft, precious and rare. As they try to break you, you will bend and stretch under the hammer.  You will sway as their screams of inequality create hurricanes of wasted wind, because some Great Creator that cannot be fathomed made you with a great purpose.  It is one that will remain unexplained until you are capable of understanding it and strengthened enough by experience to head into it without fear while holding His hand with a faith that no religion could contain.  You, my sweet one, are exquisite, far beyond the words of all languages combined.  There is no term for what you will become because they will coin one when you reveal what it is you were created for.  You are capable of creating the future we have fought for and the one you deserve.  The responsibility may seem too great and too heavy and you may falter and fall but never give up, never stay down.  Your spirit is a magnet and others will join you to help you carry the weighty load and together you will become more than the bearers of life but the creators of a world worth living in.  You, my little girl, can do anything and no one can stop you for you are magnificent in a way that transcends their realm of understanding and enters into one that exists to you alone.  You are a dancing and sparkling spirit, affecting change, fortifying the future with goodness and justice.  You are a gift to all mankind and should be treated as such, without exception.  They will try to lessen you and attempt to dull you down and this is the time to take out that jar.  Open it in front of them and the screams of those who’ve fought the battle before you will force them back and deafen them.  They will fall to their knees.  The strength is yours.  The wisdom has been freely given and rightfully earned.  Use it and never forget that your power requires no explanation, justification, or excuse.  It needs only an outlet in the form of a song, an essay, a speech.  Whatever you choose, if you use it well and with grace and love, it will live inside the souls of the ones you’ll save with it, for eternity.  You, my baby, can do anything.  Let no one steal that from you with noise and normality.  With these words I deliver into your hands your own destiny.  In your hands is where it belongs.  Hide it from no one so others may see you and seek you out.  Let them be fortified while taking shelter under your wild wings above.  Teach them to be strong.  You’re more than they’ll allow you to realize, so, I’ll tell you now and repeat it as often as needed.  You are the way forward, the answers, the truth.  Shine bright, little darling.  Be brave, teach others, stay true.  You are the future you’re wishing for.  The entire universe lives inside of you.  Use it.

Believe them

If a blind man tells you it’s difficult to shop for groceries, you believe him.
If a bmx rider tells you it’s hard to take a turn on a bike with mud in his wheels, you believe him.
If a dog breeder tells you that certain breeds don’t get along in the yard, you believe them.
If a soldier says it’s hard to be thousands of miles from their family, you believe them.
When a figure skater says that learning to do a double axle is difficult you believe them.
You believe them.
Every time.
Because you KNOW that you don’t know.
So why when a minority or marginalized demographic tells you what they experience do you stand in disbelief?
There is evidence of what they say.
Centuries of history.
Acts on camera.
Laws of old.
But you don’t believe them.
I can only draw one conclusion.
You have something to cover or something to lose
You have too much pride and can’t admit that you’re wrong
You’re misinformed or naive.
You don’t know.
They do.
Believe them.

When I ask people to be objective, they can do it in any area outside of race and religion it seems.

I have a dog and you don’t? Let me tell you about dogs.

I have a degree and you don’t? Let me educate you.

Those who attempt to discredit what the persecuted claim to experience don’t seem to give it a second of thought.

It seems simple.

The 60’s weren’t long ago.

We aren’t perfect.

In comparison to other countries longevity, the United States is a teenager.

Our rebellion for the sake of liberty brought us into being.

That spirit is dying in some of us.

Half of us have aged without wisdom and turned into a comfortable and fat middle aged man with a desk and health insurance.

To keep his job he has to obey. Fall in line. Forget his dreams.

Thank God (if you have one) for the rest of us.

We won’t let that fighting spirit die.

That brave spark that screams, “GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!”

And while you’re at it. Give it to my brothers and sisters as well.

Closed doors and closed minds feed the glutton and the bigot.

How can we stand for the anthem that depicts us as the home of the brave as we shut our doors to those who cry in desperate shrieks for assylum, all because we are AFRAID of a handful of terrorists that may resemble them.

That’s cowardice.

I love my country.

I love that flag.

That’s why we speak up.

Because only an arrogant fool could say we are perfect and have no need to improve.

We were once a world ruler on the basis of moral authority.

Equality.

Free speech.

Civil liberty.

Every one of those things is under fire.

That is why we rise. And, that is why we respectfully kneel.

This country isn’t what it was or could be.

So we let it be known that we are aware.

We are aware and loud so that our government might make a change.

No one is harmed. No one is dying for our protest.

Other than Heather Heyer. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Laquan Mcdonald. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Freddie Gray. Sandra Bland. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Terrance Crutcher. Or any of the 309 black people killed by police in this country in 2016.

Or the many mentally ill or disabled Americans who were fatally wounded because they couldn’t communicate.

Hate and prejudice did this.

But it lives in the hearts of ill informed men.

Inequality is not a myth. Or an excuse.

It’s a reality and just because you haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Many have seen it and been brave enough to stand against it.

What do they have to gain by protesting it?

Why would they make it all up?

More persecution?

More hateful words?

They aim for equality and Justice.

That’s all.

They want this country to be what that anthem dictates!

They want those words to be true.

I used to cry when I heard it played in an arena.

I believed that anthem when I was young.

Now I cry because we have strayed so far from those values.

We’ve become the antithesis of what we once believed in.

The day of the white man in charge has got to end. Others have proven to be just as valuable.

If you can’t play on an even playing field, that’s your fault, not theirs.

They want and deserve those inaliable rights.

Life.

Liberty.

The pursuit of justice.

Freedom.

For starzki on her journey

I thought I’d have this eye opening experience where life and my purpose would just click and make sense…. but here I sit 2 months into the trip of my lifetime, in a random country, where I know no one, and I feel so alone. I have no purpose, no path and it’s utterly confusing.  What am I doing? Why am I here? What am I actually looking for? Did I make a mistake? I’m 100% free from everything I thought I wanted to be free from. Wandering the world like a true gypsy… I belong to no man or no city, yet,
it’s like I’m trying to feel my way through the darkness. Searching for my people/my tribe. The one place I truly belong. Budapest has been the closest I’ve come… and, it scared  me…. they were weird and strange and wonderful and hardly showered, all make love… they lived in an old ruined building that resembled a crack den…. still I ran. With the fear behind me I’d stay forever and miss out on something on that “feeling” I’ve been searching for… the feeling I have no fucking clue what it is or if it even exists. Maybe I just need to embrace that and run straight back into their happy family of weirdness. To the Dirty people who want peace. It sounds right to me! There are too many clean people who want nothing but war.

Still  I feel alone. This loneliness won’t seem to leave. I can never seem to escape it.  Maybe it’s my empathic nature and I’m simply absorbing the loneliness around me is this giant world of truly lonely people. As I look at the man across the room from me and my heart breaks for him. I can feel his feelings, his sadness like I’m drinking them down as I would a glass of water. Consuming every ounce of me. How do I help him? How do I help myself? Literally fighting my own tears back as I try to look into his life. The crows feet around his eye intrigue me. I want to know where he’s been, how old is he, what his stories are that made him laugh that made him cry. The stories behind what brought him here today. Sitting alone drinking a beer.  

Soaking up his energy is hard for me but also inviting and full of pure sadness. 

Andrea

My friends, this woman is one of the most magnificent specimens of selflessness and kindness on this planet. She is genuine and pure and unique. She’s my best friend. One I haven’t seen in years but, I don’t need to in order to know she’s still there. She and I are connected by something real and rare. We are bonded in a way that, unfortunately, i don’t think many will ever feel. She says soul sister. That’s very true.  I don’t know what a soul is made of. I don’t know who gave mine to me. But everything in me knows that hers and mine are very much the same and it kills me when she says things like, “This loneliness won’t leave me alone.” That is beautiful. It’s that kind of absurd irony that makes life so strange and beautiful.

We’ve lived very different lives but have come to the same conclusions on most things. Mostly we believe that there is an overwhelming need for kindness, love, and acceptance on this planet and that we have to work to do something to combat the people in this world who preach the opposite.

Let me tell you about my friend.

She and I grew up in the same area. It was a rural one and most people don’t leave there. We certainly did (although I’m back there for reasons). It’s a lovely place,  as all places are. It is typically the people that screw places up.

During our younger years she and I weren’t that close at all. We were friends but we had different best friends and we were often among different groups of people. When we were both still in high school it seems we simultaneously hit a wall. We each found our own vices to cope with the onset of awfulness that was our emergence into this modern society. I don’t know if she could pinpoint the feelings that drove her to destruction back then. I never asked. Maybe I should have. Mine were fairly clear but took a decade to dig out from.

“I’m not what I’m supposed to be.”

That phrase would ring through my mind over and over again. I spent time trying to conform within my own code of conduct but, none of it ever felt right. I went to college thinking I’d found a path I could live on. That didn’t really work out. She came to see me a few times as she attempted to escape the asylum the world wanted to put her in. That’s not my story to tell but, guys, it’s a good one.

Anyway, when the dust settled after the disastrous teenage years were behind us, we found we were closer than ever. She may have been a teenager still, come to think of it. I don’t really know. I know she’s younger than me but I can never remember by how much. Some reading this may think, “How can you not know how old she is if you call her your best friend?” Well, it never seemed to matter. In high school she was more mature than I was. By A LOT. She taught me the drama and standards of female friendships were COMPLETELY unnecessary. That changed me. Her free spirit punched my free spirit right in the gut with that. I remember thinking, “I don’t have to participate in this nonsense?” I was under the impression that I was bound to that code or I’d be left alone. I thank whoever created our consciousness that she showed me I was wrong. 

I guess you could say, as we figured out more of who we really were, our spirits came closer to alignment within our individual selves and then became closer to alignment with each other as they are so similar. 

I always felt her spirit was a good bit stronger than mine. I had a tendency to draw myself inward and she forced herself out into the fray. She has well developed social skills because of this whereas I hide in my head and behind the keys of a computer in an effort to riddle it all out. 

I had a family and a marriage and I moved away from her and everyone I knew just trying to do what was right and grow into what I thought I should be and what I felt I was being directed to become. She was in a serious relationship with a dude, had a real job, a house, and some dogs. We seemed to be finally fitting in.  

But, it still didn’t feel right.

She called me one day. She told me she wasn’t happy in that spot. The world was so small there. Everything is the same over and over again. The people and the places and the experiences are quite limited when you live in the Midwest. So, I told her to stop worrying about obligations to others if she knew she’d be miserable in those boundaries. I told her to live for herself.

I’m sure she had already decided what she needed to do. That conversation couldn’t have held much weight. She does what she’s compelled to do and it’s magnificent because she’s one of the rare ones who can be trusted to do well with that kind of power.

She moved to the desert of Arizona. I was in the deep south. We spoke on the phone maybe twice a year, but, in those conversations from thousands of miles away, I felt more of a connection to her than I’d felt with any other and in a way that made up for all of what I felt was meaningless in my day to day interactions. Speaking with her refreshed me and made me feel like there was hope for true happiness.

From Arizona her world has only gotten bigger as she’s joined with philanthropic teams to assist those in need. Her world, it just keeps getting bigger.

I can see why she’s lost. We don’t have what is required to travel the paved roads on the maps that seem so popular. Their way doesn’t fill us up. Also, doing what does come naturally and what feels right doesn’t garner us any praise. We are often scorned for our actions in ways that don’t make sense to us. We are asked why we would be kind to certain people. Why would you give so much for someone you don’t know? Why would you do this and that and the other thing? It’s like we are weird and abnormal and strange and, maybe we are. 

There’s a lack of appreciation in a life like that. A lack of acceptance, a longing for camaraderie and, let’s face it, we were taught to need those things. Shaking that bad habit is hard as hell. When you’re an empathetic soul it hurts to watch people hurt each other. When you see an end to all of the useless pain and you’re told it will never work because of old ideas and standards you start to think others refuse to see the future and it’s frustrating and unfortunately, the laws are made in their favor so, you are forced to bend to their will in a lot of ways. It’s a bummer.

Maybe we evolved too early. Maybe it’s harder for us to find the like minded in a crowd because we are a sparse group of folks. Or maybe we were born too late. That hippie culture lingered but it feels like it’s gone. 

Regardless, the answers you’re searching for, my dearest friend, they aren’t out there. They never were. Whatever made us all gave the plan to us when he/she/it made our souls. They were attached to us before we were born so they couldn’t be taken from us. So everyone had a fair shot at happiness and fulfillment. Who you’re supposed to be and where you’re supposed to go and what you’re supposed to do are things you already know and you, precious Starchild, you’re lucky enough to be one of the brilliant ones who doesn’t need to be directed. You’re soul is smart enough and loud enough to drive you there. If you get it wrong something will turn you around. If it doesn’t feel right, walk away. Or run. You’ve been so far and you’ve done so much good.  Your intentions are PURE and your motives are clear.  You’re exactly who and what and where you’re supposed to be. 

If you don’t feel appreciated it is only because most people don’t know how to appreciate you. You’re like one of those stipple paintings that looks like dots up close to people who don’t know well enough to take a step back. You’re just too big for their small views. And that’s ok. Because there are a few exceptional people out there who can see you for all of the glorious good that you are. Don’t be lonely. We feel you there. Alllllll the way over there.

One person’s appreciation doesn’t feel like enough sometimes. Especially when you give so much of yourself without asking for much in return.  Administering polio vaccines and helping to build water filtration systems.  Jeez, man.  You should never have to doubt your beauty and worth.  You should never have to search for validation. But you will have to.  

Some days you won’t feel any love at all. Then you have to look for it and, on the way, you’ll find something that’s going to change you. The next step. It always starts in a moment of discomfort or pain. You’re about to grow wings, you beautiful creature.  Soon enough, you won’t have to look for anything at all. You’ll have found it all inside of you. And you’ll find that there is so much in there that you need not fear sharing it with any and everyone you come across because, if there is one thing I know, people like you never run out of love.  

Love is what fuels you. Love fuels us all and a lot of people replaced it with something else. I’m afraid many have forgotten what it really feels and looks like in it’s many magnificent forms but, you have it in abundance and it’s not going anywhere. 

I imagine you’ve seen things that make your efforts seem small, as exhausting as they have been. They aren’t small. And neither are you. When you reach out your hand or extend your love with that brilliant smile, you plug into another soul. And they bring it to another and on and on and on and, before you know it, your smile improved the whole of humanity. How can anyone feel alone when they start seeing that? It may sound trite but, you’ll see it, if you’re looking for it.  

You’re strong. Smart. Capable. Diligent in an effort to make humanity more positive and pleasant. You’re important. Just because you aren’t “following the rules” doesn’t mean you’re off course. I’m sure there are kids in India who’d be dead had they not met you.  YOU are everything you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to do, exactly where you’re supposed to be. 

I love you.

P.S.

I miss your face

Love…  by Andrea 

This post was written by Andrea and I am honored to publish it here for her.

Love you, you wonderful wanderer.

   These feelings are always so strange and foreign to me, even though they are feelings that have constantly passed, like waves, through my mind. I can never figure out why they are always so hard for me to digest properly and why they return, over and over, no matter how many times I try to analyze them.  Like a lump in my throat I can’t seem to swallow. What is it about the constant pressure from society to settle down and procreate I can’t agree to, yet secretly a part of me longs for it?

   Maybe I have been designed to live a life most people don’t understand. A life that I don’t understand and that I can’t seem to figure out. A life of solitude with a  longing for things that simply no longer exist in the pure state I am looking for.

   So many days I wonder how it is possible that I can be surrounded by so many people yet feel completely alone. Searching the crowds of people for someone to hold me. To provide me with that sense of reassurance in life we are all looking for. Yet, I constantly struggle with the thought of being viewed as property.

   How can one be alone in a world filled with so many people?

  Is it me who simply chooses this and has driven myself to become accustomed to this life style? To driving those away who might actually be worth letting in? To not being able to accept the fact that, over time, love fades and what you are left with is a comfortable nothingness? And this is what love actually is – OR- is this where I belong in life? Is this how my path was written from the beginning? To travel this world alone searching for feelings  that aren’t real anymore? Seeking the true connection to another soul, never to find the one that was created solely for me?

   At times I am overwhelmed by the affection from suitors coming at me from all directions. Yet, I can’t seem to find that person whom I feel I share that desired connection with. Or the person whose affection I actually want to embrace and return as one “should”.

   Maybe this is because love doesn’t exist.  It’s a fantasy that from an early age we are taught to yearn for. Or perhaps it does exist and I’m just blind to it -OR- quite possibly I’m just a fool and can’t see it when it’s right I front of me. I’m so busy searching for a feeling yet I have no idea what the feeling actually feels like. Searching for this “idea” of love I have in my head. This “feeling”.

   How does one feel an idea, anyways? Is it even possible?  And then we come to the part of always wanting the ones that don’t admire us in return.  The ones that have no need for our affection.

   As I sit here, in the silence of an apartment that belongs to a man I flew 1/2 way around the world to to see, that I’ve spent the past 6 days with, yet we’ve barely managed to speak 6 full sentences to each other, I wonder, why is it I still merely desire his affection?

   The affection of a man who didn’t even have the courage to say goodbye to me when he left this morning, knowing that I’d be gone by the time he reached home, with no plans of returning anytime soon. A man who had no trouble expressing his desires with wandering hands in the dark of the night.  Yet, he is the one who’s affection I seek?

   I long to know how his day was spent. What he did. Who he may have met. Where he went. To sit and share a meal with him. To simply sit on the couch together letting the electricity of our connection bounce off one another’s skin. To hold his hand in silence or feel the protection of his arms wrapped around me in the middle of the night. To learn his desires, his passions, his dreams. To watch him sleep peacefully as my mind wonders imagining what he might be dreaming about.  To breath in the scent of his skin.  To keep the scent tucked away so I might be able to someday associate it to a distant memory in the far off future.  To do all that is necessary to foster a meaningful connection.  To know him and let him know me.

   The affection of a man who, to me, appears to be so lonely in life that I cannot understand  his unwillingness to return these desires or to acknowledge mine for him. To make the smallest amount of time for me when we only have a few short days together.

   Could it be possible his loneliness is contagious? Is this why, once again, I am struggling to digest these feelings that are flooding my mind? Filling my mind? Or maybe, as I stated earlier, maybe I am the lonely one. The one that is so lost in being alone that it is my feelings that are contagious. Trying to fit into the idea of a society that was not meant for me nor one that I fit into.

   There is never courage in running away, yet, time and time again, it seems like the best possible solution to me. Jump on a plane to a new destination.  Fill my life with new people and new culture. New experiences.  Maybe then these feelings will make sense? Maybe there my Prince Charming is waiting. Or maybe it is just another lonely place.

   Again, perhaps I am the one running from him. I do seem to be the one who is always running. The one unwilling to put in the extra work to make him see his importance to me. The one who is not capable of giving or receiving the proper affection and attention needed to sustain a relationship. Maybe, after being alone for so long, his wandering hands were the only way he knew to express his affection towards me and I didn’t give him a fair chance, rushing straight to judgement and rejection.

   On a side note, as I once again jet off to a new destination in search of something I am unsure exsists, the two beside me on the plane seem to be so madly in love with one another that I can’t help but have faith in a love like theirs, but for me.

   If love is to be seen in a spectrum, just as most emotions are, my empathy and experience have given me a broader view of the gravity and intensity love has to offer. I have seen heavy depths. The pressure in that dark sadness can truly turn coal into diamonds. I have seen humanity triumph from hopelessness, overcoming death and disease. Strangers raising forgotten souls from the dead. Children who were anonymous and unknown being given a chance at life from a person who grew up on the other side of the world using love to guide them to their good and philanthropic tasks. I’ve seen a variety and a vastness that many can’t comprehend and it has given me the burden of desire for a deep and heavy love. 

   Why would I lay that load on someone who couldn’t hoist it? My search will be harder but, in the end, I hope it finds me in a love more worthwhile. Real. Pure. Grand. Having nothing to do with proximity and common interests and everything to do with a spiritual connection and the true admiration of souls that see each other through the flesh and bone of bodies. A love that lives. One that’s eternal. One that exists now because it always has, outside of the temporary anatomy I was born into, in the realm of the everlasting subconscious that has endured over millenia and shall exsist in many forms until the end. A love that is both effortless and exhausting. Both immensely thick and heavy but, also weightless. One that stays outside societal parameters so it can carry it’s meaning through all of space and time as all unending things do.

   Something like that is the love I seek.

   Indulging in what my body craves does not satisfy my soul it merely quells the hunger pangs. It tides me over as I wait for the thing that will truly satisfy what this vessel’s soul is in search of.

   I have a thirst for a love with a lack of worldly conditions but a need for godly ideals.  It is filling and smooth and immediately recognized.  I want Mana from heaven not mcdonalds.  

   I have the patience. I have the determination. I have the knowledge of what I truly need.  But, the question that always lingers is, do I have the time in this body, in this place?  Do I have the time?  I have the courage but I must continue to pray for the sight so it doesn’t pass me by.

The traveler. 

   This post has been a collaborative effort between my dear friend Andrea and I. Andrea, being the brave and selfless soul that she is, is currently traveling the world on a charitable mission. She and I have long known that we share a very similar set of ideals and perspectives so, when she approached me today with the idea of working on a piece together that could express what her soul has been screaming to say, I didn’t hesitate for a moment.  We wrote this today to convey a sense of sorrow we share for the path that many we have met seem to be on in the hope of awakening a dormant energy in the good people of this world that may act as a catalyst to the creation of positive change.

   As a traveler, exploring new countries, cities, and places is truly inspiring. Adversely, it has also saddened me deep into my core. As I sit here sipping my coffee, I look around and have realized that there are too many people on this planet that have never truly lived. 

   One day they are going to wake and realize they haven’t enjoyed life but, by then, it will be too late. They were too busy trying to “keep up with the Joneses”. They have spent a life time acquiring material goods to fill their homes instead of acquiring substance and experiences to fill their souls. It is my fear that they will leave this world with an emptiness as they have failed to do and see the things that actually make life worth living. To develop and fortify their eternal selves. To leave a spring of energy behind that future generations can draw from.

   I understand the logistics and necessity of money but it’s the constant consuming that society breeds into us from birth that I can’t seem to wrap my brain around.  Why do we not focus on teaching our children the more substantial, fulfilling, and worthwhile values of life? Such as meeting new people in strange places, however alien or odd they may seem, which enriches our love of human kind and adds to a sense of sameness that allows us to feel empathy, a deeper connection, and an ability to relate so that we need never feel alone. To be kind to one another including those we don’t understand or stand to gain anything from. To become acquainted with people unlike ourselves so that we can learn something from them and they can gain knowledge by knowing us. To not judge critically but rather embrace our differences and to search out commonalities we can use to unite. 

   Maybe it is me who is running away from society. Maybe I am searching for something that does not exsist. It’s a feeling I’m longing for that I’m unable to find.

   But, as I sit here, I can’t seem to get far enough away from where I am. 

   Every adventurer travels with a multitude of items that vary due to the individual needs of each mission or destination. However, there is one thing they carry with them as they travel to every location.  No matter where I go, there I am. And, so is the feeling that the people I have met could benefit from walking a slightly different path. This feeling and place I seek may not exsist yet but, they very well could.

  It’s not that I feel my way is best or perfectly suited for every soul on this Earth but, with a greater commitment to performing kind and altruistic acts, a deepened empathy and connection to all of humankind, an amplified desire to teach and elevate every population, and with a renewed focus on the aspects of life that are soul enriching and knowledge expanding as opposed to the superficial and meaningless things people seem to lustfully desire, we may be able to create that peaceful place in every valley, village, and bustling metropolis the world over.

  Perhaps the sense of fulfillment I have sought for so long as I have walked alongside so many empty spirits as they scratch for sustenance on the walls of malls and market places will finally overtake me as I successfully help to realign the human hearts I touch with a real sense of purpose.  Maybe my philanthropic deeds and toiling to teach a man to seek a sense of duty or a position in which he can lift another man up instead of exhausting himself in an effort to obtain a title, a place of power, or a societal status that only holds value in his office building while making him stacks of paper money that could easily blow away or burn, will bring me that sense of ease. 

   I wish to teach people to value the things that don’t fade in and out of style.  I want to show everyone the roads that I have found to happiness on a map that any and all can read and travel, despite their income bracket, race, or gender. Despite any affiliation of any kind.  I wish to pass on the knowledge I have gained through great difficulty, freely and to all who seek a well of limitless joy that is built with the bricks we create by being of service to others and is filled with the satisfaction of knowing that we have contributed to the positive forces, giving as much as we have taken.  

   I know that not everyone can see or experience what I have seen. I’ve witnessed a broad scope of the human condition and life on many levels.  I have seen the very poor, unable to feed themselves or seek necessary medical care. Children, homeless on the filthy streets of dangerous cities. Their stomachs aching with hunger and their hearts aching with the discomfort of abandonment and the weariness that comes with never having had the opportunity to feel at rest or at ease. They are in tears because of the pain with no one to console them. Alone. Without hope. Vulnerable, uneducated, unprotected, and cast aside to be abused and left to die.  

  I grew to maturity in the American middle class where I was freely given an education. I was afforded the food and shelter that these children consider to be luxuries. I was told I had the right to safety and health. Ignoring the ridiculousness in desiring statuses and stuff is impossible for me now. 

   No matter the country, race, or creed, people are people. Children are children. A smile is a smile and laughter and tears, worry and regret, hunger and cold, love and anger are endowed upon us all to let us know that, despite our differences, we are made of the same material. 

  We cringe as we watch others suffer because we are born with a sense of responsibility to be of assistance to one another. The borders of countries created imagined walls.  With those walls came the division of race, religion, and allegiance to governments that have seperated us for thousands of years.

Men created those things. 

Men make mistakes.

   I’m not seeking a Utopia, for that seems an unattainable dream.  I only dream of kind hearts and helping hands and minds that seek out similarities instead of the divisive differences. I’m in search of a more unified society that is comprised of a brilliant pallette of colorful faces and is driven by compassion, acceptance, and open mindedness. It is fueled with the warm and inexhaustible energy of love instead of this one that seems to be hell bent on stoking the furnace fires with hate while we fill our empty spaces with gold or plastic, closing our eyes and ears as people beg for help and shutting ourselves off only to wonder why we feel so alone. 

  If you would only try the way I found, grow accustomed to living with a little less, become used to desiring little but offering much, I am certain you would find that seeking fulfillment by helping and bringing joy to others is an everlasting source of contentment, and, the opportunities for entertainment and intellectual growth are never-ending if one becomes willing to look beyond what they already know.

   My benevolent spirit was cultivated from the same materials that every one of us is made from and the world seems to be in need of an adjustment. If even a small portion of this planet’s population of over 7 billion beings would make even a small shift in a more selfless direction, millions of lives would be improved and millions of minds would be grown. All of those good things that we millions of changed souls do would become the seeds, planted in the newly fertile soils we have enriched and made suitable for growth with our new philanthropic mindsets, that will grow into the crops that feed the next generation of kind and hungry souls.

Forgiveness is easy for the emotionally invincible.

I often thought myself a fool for forgiving so often because people thought I was naive, or full of self doubt, or even that I had been dishonest about events that I claimed had caused me to separate myself from those I chose to leave behind.

It seems to me when someone such as myself refuses to trouble themselves with self preservation-spawned explanations because my self worth and value don’t rely on outside opinions, people tend to fill in the blanks in my silence with their own assumptions.

Their assumptions are often very wrong.

They see a weakness in my forgiveness because they can’t understand how I could do it. 

Until a few years ago I didn’t even understand how I was able to do it.

How is it so easy to forgive?

First I had to understand that forgiveness doesn’t mean I’m unworthy of justice for the harmful things that have been done.

I just don’t have a need to seek retribution for myself.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean things go back to the way they were. 

Some broken things can not be fixed.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the bad things didn’t happen.

I remember them clearly. Vividly. Painfully.

Forgiveness is a tool of freedom.

It allows me to empty the tightly packed spaces in my mind and spirit where resentments and anger grow and thrive like bacteria, infecting my consciousness with bitterness and hate.

Bitterness and hate are like poison. They infect my attitude, actions, and mentality. They pour out in words and behaviors on everyone and everything I encounter.

I choose not to allow that type of sickness to live inside of me and I certainly won’t allow myself to harbor it and infect anyone else with it.

Not even by accident in the form of displaced anger.

I don’t forgive because people deserve it. I forgive because I deserve to be happy, joyous, and free.

It helps to see people as they really are.

Making monsters out of men makes the world a scary place.

I don’t believe in bad people and I have never met an evil baby. Most of the “bad” people are just badly broken.

Some will die behaving badly, though.

Some really don’t change.

But I won’t deprive someone the benefit of the doubt.

I won’t deprive someone the opportunity to learn and grow.

They don’t need to do it with me, near me, or at my expense. But I try to avoid an attitude of judgement at all costs.

I was lost once.

I found my “self” was always in me. 

That’s the one thing that never leaves and being okay with who I really am is what made the world worth living in and made me worthy to live in it and be a part of all of its beauty.

Some people are never going to be okay with who they are. I won’t make it harder for them by being hateful or holding grudges.

I truly believe most “bad people” are just in pain, in fear, or lost somehow.

Something I picked up in my religious studies is an idea that no one’s life or sense of comfort is more valuable than another’s. This is why I must set limits while helping others so I don’t allow myself to be destroyed because my life and comfort is valuable, too.

I’m really strong, though.  

Damn near invincible when it comes to spiritual fortitude.

Indomitable.

I also have an incredible sense of who I am and what my value is.

So, forgiveness is easy.  

I feel no need to make people like me.

I feel no need to save face.

I feel no need to be vengeful.

I feel no need to repay suffering.

I feel no need to be right in the realm of public opinion.

Forgiveness is easier for those reasons, too.

Religious philosiphies and spiritual teachings often repeat themes throughout centuries and sects.

One of these is that it is an enlightened person’s spiritual responsibility to teach others the path by showing them the way with their actions. 

The Dalai Lama said, “We should not seek revenge on those who have committed crimes against us, or reply to their crimes with other crimes.  We should reflect that by the laws of Karma, they are in danger of lowly and miserable lives to come, and that our duty to them, as to every being, is to help them rise toward Nirvana rather than sink to lower levels of rebirth.”  

So I forgive them for their harms.

I move forward on my journey toward enlightenment, fortified by my good deeds.

I show them kindness.

In my kindness they can breathe for a moment. 

In that breath they may find rest or peace.

In that moment of calm their chaotic mind may unfold.

In that clarity they may find the way forward.

I forgive because it is my duty to myself and to the world.

I forgive because it strengthens and soothes my soul in the way that vengeance and anger briefly satisfies some who may not feel connected to their spirit, or their consciousness, or whatever it is that they believe it was that created them. 

I forgive because forgiveness is helpful.

I forgive because forgiveness is good.

The power in personal accountability.

A man builds a bench. 

People sit on the bench.

The bench breaks.

The man blames the nails and builds another bench using different nails.

People sit on it.

It breaks again.

This time he blames the wood.

He uses different wood and nails to build a new bench.

People sit on it.

It breaks again.

Nothing left to blame for the injuries that occured than his own craftsmanship.

So he takes a class.

He builds another bench with the original wood and the original nails.

People sit on it.

It stays strong. No one falls. No one is hurt.

He’s proud of his work and people compliment his skills.

When he offered up excuses no one trusted his abilities to craft any object.

As they sat in every chair they were aprehensive, on guard, nervous.

When he blamed their weight for the collapse they were hurt and offended.

They wouldn’t return to buy his goods.

When the man owned up he was able to build strong seats. Craft quality products. He gained a new clientele with these goods. 

Word spread. 

Old clients heard and became less skeptical. They gave him a chance again. His new skills and well built furnishings were proof of his newly developed talents.

The old customer told people he was better now. They bought furniture that proved to be worth what he charged. 

They had faith in his skills because it had proven to be reliable and the changes he made were obvious.

Proof was given in real things, not empty promises and hollow words.

His business was now thriving because he stopped blaming the variables and improved himself.

This is the best example I could think of to describe the power that lies in personal accountability. Full personal accountability. Blaming no other variable for things that occur.

There are reasons for almost everything. But justifications hardly ever help someone to grow.

Sometimes life requires an explanation. But there are rarely acceptable excuses. None that actually mean anything, anyway.

When someone insists upon looking outside of themselves for these reasons, justifications, explanations, and excuses they become too distracted with everything that exists in a realm outside of their control and begin to ignore what they are capable of creating change in; the things inside of themselves.

No one is perfect. Mistakes are made. Even a person who takes full responsibility for their actions in most occasions can find fault in the external from time to time.

No growth occurs in these situations.

I crave growth.

I crave wisdom.

I crave accountability that paves way for positive change.

I learned long ago what enabled me to make these changes and I grew up.  Not all at once. Quickly, though.

When my mother died I felt very weak. She had always been so strong. She was so strong that no one around her had to be strong within themselves.

If something very difficult occurred I would call her. She would either help me find the solution or listen quietly as I worked it out myself, only interjecting her opinion to nudge me in the right direction.  Always letting know I had her support.

When she died, I felt lost. A lot of people did. She was a force of nature.

The best thing she did for me was to allow me to absorb her strength by being an excellent example for me.

The moment I realized that her strength wasn’t gone from this world but, instead, had been given to me like a priceless type of inheritance, I grew. I grew more in the following year than in the decade before.

I learned to rely on myself and I learned that I was, indeed, strong enough to face any obstacle I encountered. I was strong. A certain amount of strength is required in order to face failure without folding.

I also found a great deal of strength in recognizing my own limitations. By seeing my capabilities with honesty I was no longer exhausting myself by carrying too heavy a load. I learned to ask for help from qualified individuals because it’s easier to maintain a healthy spirit than to rebuild one that has been neglected, broken, and overworked. I realized my limits, pushed slightly past them to strengthen myself in order to grow somewhat stronger, then let others help me when it was necessary so no permanent harm was done.

The next attribute that helped me benefit from what I was personally responsible for in order to affect positive change was humility.

When I lived inside of myself I lived in my own ego. Often times it wasn’t the type of an egocentric nature that made me feel better than or above others. Quite the opposite. I felt unworthy and unlovable.  I hardly had the motivation to do the work that creates growth. I felt low and small and as if I deserved the bad. So much so that I didn’t even bother to attempt to live in the good.

Or, even when I felt somewhat worthy of good things, I would doubt that my comfort or well being was worth anything more than another person’s. I often had an unbalanced measurement, one that worked to my disadvantage, that made me believe the discomfort that would befall others if I did what was necessary to keep myself healthy was unfair to them and this often caused me to accept negative treatment that I didn’t deserve.

Other times I felt that because of what had been done to me that someone, somewhere, owed me something. It felt like a good excuse for my bad behavior and that mentality kept me feeling like a victim every moment of every day.  I stayed in that mentality too long because it was easier than doing the work necessary to make a real positive change.  

There was absolutely no benefit in these excuses. I stayed stuck. I stayed sick. I stayed the same. I was in pain but had an explanation for it so I thought it was OK. It wasn’t and I needed to grow up and out of it or I was going to be that way forever.

When I began to see myself as an equal to others I saw that I deserved no more and no less. I was no longer humiliated I was humble. I was no longer complacent and living in justifications, I was right sized and ready to change and correct bad behaviors.

I don’t take credit for things I don’t have a right to and I try not to place blame on others unless I have to, even when they deserve it. I typically don’t run around gossiping about others bad behaviors but when I’m asked to and feel compelled to be honest I won’t lie for them. I won’t lie for anyone. It isn’t constructive or conducive to healing and personal improvement or advancement. 

I own what I have a right to. I take responsibility for what I’ve done because being equal to the rest leaves me no room to attribute myself with more or deny myself of the rest.  I don’t take undeserved punishment and I won’t inflict it upon another to benefit myself in any way. 

The depletion of prideful nature allowed me to make real ammends. No excuses attached. No offerings of justification or explanation to deplete the sense of honesty that came with my apologies.  My survival wasn’t dependant upon their acceptance of my apology, either. I had gained strength to thrive without them. I had gained self worth and that came from doing good. 

I proved to myself I was worthy of a good life by living one.

I had gained the ability to practice a healthy sense of humility that made self awareness possible and non destructive. When I stopped feeling I was owed something and stopped focusing on what had been done to me, I stopped feeling like a victim. I took the power from the hands of those who had hurt me and decided to hold the reigns myself.

I realized who I was, what I was capable of, what I was responsible for, what I needed to improve, and what I had power over.

When I could look at myself and my actions instead of focusing on the affect that people, places, and things I had no control over had in the circumstances I faced, I was finally able to take hold of a dormant power. I could change things. I could grow. 

Strength, humility, and self awareness were the attributes that made accountability possible for me. I can truly focus on what is beneficial now. I can see what I am capable of creating change in. I can grow.

Of course I had to be willing to do the work. I had to accept whatever came my way.  A lot of unexpected changes occured and I had to be flexible and open  minded.  

Attributes cannot be strengthened if strength isn’t put into practice. Defective personality traits can’t be changed or lessened without humility and the awareness that they exist and belong to you entirely are realized and put to work.

There is no excuse for bad behavior after these principles are put into practice. There is no sincerity in an apology heavily laden with excuses.

You can tell someone you love them every day but they won’t believe it, not even one time, if your behavior proves otherwise. They won’t believe it one time if the words “I love you are followed by the word “but…”. Then your love has become conditional. I don’t believe in conditional love.

Accountability moves us forward while denial only keeps us stuck in negativity, losing people who have heard the excuses too often.  No one will know who I really am if they’re always running away or being replaced and I want to be known. I want to be known for who I am.  

Accountability makes me better and paves the way for long lasting and real relationships, truly fixing the harms done and making wrongs right. It creates trust and respect. It is an action of integrity. 

It is necessary in my life. 

The man building the bench wouldn’t have succeeded had he continued to blame the variables. 

He would have lost everything he worked for and he would have had to start over completely had he made the decision  to give up.

Persecution 

The mentally ill or those who are assumed to be, have suffered under unfair persecution since they started diagnosing people with mental defects. A good portion of them are just people who think in a way most “normal” people couldn’t hope to.  Or folks who feel emotions in a way that your typical person doesn’t understand. It takes a good bit of time to learn how to harness that kind of power. Warning, you’ll probably get locked up in the process. 

A friend of mine was recently put into an asylum because he said some things on social media that his paranoid parents didn’t understand. He had been in mental health units before so, each time they attempted to put him back in, his previous visits made it much easier to accomplish that.  Unfortunate. This is how most get trapped.

Google a list of reasons someone can get locked away in the state you live in. I did. What I learned is that we should basically all visit a behavioral medicine unit to be evaluated at some point. We are all absolutely insane based on the lists I’ve been browsing. And, if at any point in time you have taken an anti depressant or any type of psych med you are GOING IN THE NUT HOUSE. All it takes is one person to do it in some places and they require absolutely no proof of their accusations to stick you in there. What. The. Hell. Man?

I had depression when I was younger. It was trauma based, situational, never a chemical imbalance. I was too young to understand what had been done to me and what I had been through and what is still happening unfortunately. One doctor said I was bipolar for a minute. Turns out that, according to most psychiatrists I’ve spoken to, it was highly unethical for him to drastically change my previous diagnosis from years before just a few weeks after my mom died.  F****d my life up, big time.

 After seeing me for as little as five minutes he decided I needed to take handfuls of pills that my brain didn’t really need. I didn’t lose my mind, though I should have, after having someone stomp on it with pharmaceuticals for nearly a year. As it turns out he is known around town for being the “go to guy” to get benzo prescriptions. 

Why did this happen?

Plans. Plans I didn’t understand until now.

Some were drafted by men while other plans were typed up by God himself. I’m just gonna go with it.

Some people won’t let you escape some situations. They’ll do everything they can to drag you down with them. I don’t understand these people.  I don’t understand modern psychology. It’s no mystery at this point in our evolution that, we as a society, REALLY like pills. That’s enough of that now, people. It’s been said out loud by millions of people billions of times and it is still happening. 

Compare it to this scenario if you will; suboxon and methadone don’t make you not a drug addict. They make you addicted to suboxon and methadone.  

I understand folks with severe mental illness do need a little chemical leveling with the help of some of these medications but, holy hell, how did every bored housewife get a prescription to Ativan and Xanax? What is happening?

It’s become the answer. It is far from the solution. Especially in young ones. I was 16 when I was diagnosed with depression after I met 3 requirements on a vague 10 question checklist. They put me on Prozac. That was one of the only prescriptions the medical doctor who prescribed it knew of. Ahhhhhhhh. Run away, young me! Run awaaaay!

In all honesty I was struggling with childhood trauma. And I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t mention a word of it to anyone until I was 17. It spilled out of me when I was drinking. Had I just been honest about the issue and open to discussing it I could have avoided years years years of misfortune. Most recently at the hands of some people who have decided to use the unfortunate incidents of my past to make themselves feel better about some stuff. I won’t go into detail about them. They aren’t important.

I have encountered this story before, though. I recognize a few familiar faces in the stories I find myself relating to during this trying time. They are out there in great numbers. Most have good intentions but, some don’t.  They use your history of mental instability to keep you unstable. To get out of trouble by making a case against you to cast doubt in a judge’s eyes or in the community opinion pool and make you look insane. They do it to gain control. Sometimes they want control because they are legitimitely afraid of you. Sometimes they overreact and fear that because you are capable of feeling strong emotions that would topple and cripple them that you will hurt yourself. Sometimes they just want to get out of trouble and your imagined insanity is a pretty good excuse.  No amount of evidence after the fact would do once they have painted a picture of you as a crazy person. Not when what you’ve been through is seen as a defect by most. Guess who was crazy. Van Gough.  Dude cut his ear off and stuff. He died poor and now he is seen as a visionary genius. I know that isn’t commonplace. I’m not saying I am him or like him. I don’t think I have what it takes to cleve off my own body parts. Ears are important. I’m keeping both of mine. 

Sensitive and traumatized folks need to be careful of the company they keep, though. It’s no mystery that a good portion of the people we meet are up to no good. I’m not being paranoid. I’m not an idiot, though. I see them. I avoid them. Or I fall in love with them because apparently I’m an idiot. I’m gonna save them! Ha! Nope. Doesn’t work. Moving on.

Some will use your supposed weakness to try and keep you weak. They don’t realize how much strength you had to have to make it out. 

Some are burned by the fire while others are fortified by it. 

Mental illness of the past just became a weapon in someone’s hands. Good thing I made it through that “illness” because I gained a very special skill set and strength that folks like them will never know. They couldn’t hold the weight of what I’ve learned if they raised an army to help them hoist it.  
Show me your army. My two marines and myself should do just fine against them. Ooh rah.

Huh?

Rah.

My friends used to call me Rah. Makes sense now. 

I dislike the injustice. Guess what! Justice doesn’t truly exsist here on Earth. We developed systems of order. We did that. Humans. Those systems are made up of people. Peopley people. There are some REALLY peopley people out there. Depending on all of the variables, sometimes those people fail to see the truth. Or they do and they can’t do anything about it because of the way the system that people made is designed and the limitations of the people in charge of it or the circumstances and quality of the people who represent other people. Etc. Blah blah blah

 People.

They’re fallible.

That means they make mistakes.

Good thing this isn’t the plain of exsistence I’m concerned with. My spirit has much further to travel. I fear for those who limit themselves by conducting themselves in a way that the really humany humans have told them they should. It’s like they can’t even feel the souls they carry anymore. They certainly don’t hear them. 

Don’t call me crazy for speaking of talking souls. Some call it your conscious. I have my own ideas. Having my own ideas and having a place to speak about them without being told I’m insane before I can explain is really nice.

I like it here.

I wanna live in this blog.

People like me fear our emotions and our thoughts like that. We have to carefully monitor what we do and say. We know how easy it is for you all to stuff us in a padded room because we make you uncomfortable. Or because it is just easier to ignore us. Or because you want something and if you make people believe we’re insane no one will listen to us.

I never had a desire to kill anyone or myself. But my emotional capacity scared people who weren’t capable of withstanding the emotional currents I had to force my way through. Those stormy seas were difficult to navigate and to survive. 

People like me are taught not to trust. They call our avoidance of people “social anxiety” or something like that. Pfft. Honestly, hun. I was usually just afraid of many of you because of what many others have done. 

“Normal”. Yuck. “Popular”. Eeewwwww. “Sane”. Like anyone even knows what that means anymore. 

I didn’t like to run with the herd. When you join a mob of anything you’re not allowed to use your brain anymore. You have to start thinking and doing and eating and wearing and talking about and WHATEVER WHATEVER WHATEVER! Not my thing. I gave it a good try but that crap got me in trouble. I wasn’t in the “wrong crowd” either. All crowds are the wrong crowd for me, to be honest. Too many rules that don’t make any real sense. I like what I like. I like who I like. If I get fat at some point I can hide until I’m cool with my new skin and adjust to my newly super-sized and awesome self and no one misses me in the meantime. It’s pretty awesome. 

We learn to live without flocks of friends and followers. We don’t need approval. We don’t need to be told we are right. We develop clear and powerful internal moral standards and compasses. We stand alone often because mob mentality doesn’t make any man or woman right. And it is downright dangerous, historically speaking, to think like that. So, we avoid the mobs. They ask us to think like they do and we can’t. I won’t.

When a person like me finds their way out of the pain that once pinned them down in an overwhelmed and panicked state, getting through things that would cripple most humans seems easy and almost effortless.  Just allow me a moment alone to let myself feel what is natural. Let the waves roll. I don’t fight against them anymore, I ride them to safety.
Then it’s done. The pain is there in a smaller sense but it’s not as bad as pain I once lived in for years on end. It’s not as bad as it was when it began. Shortly, it goes away completely because, at some point, I realized that pain does pass

When I was younger I didn’t know that. When people kept telling me I was sick I thought the pain would last forever. 

“I have what now? An invisible disease in my brain that may or may not require medication that could possibly make me want to kill myself even though the only reason you’re prescribing it to begin with is because I’m sad? What? The f**? Sense? My brain wants my body to die? What? This person says my brain wants my body to die. There’s a demon in me. This book says that’s basically what’s happening here. I drew that conclusion. Yes. That is a summary of my own, but, you read the literature and tell me that’s not what they’re saying, friend in 10th grade. We will figure this out together. We are soooo much smarter than alll of the adults. There is some type of mythical beast inhabiting parts of my brain that doctors and scientists don’t understand and it’s possibly gonna be there until I die. Soon probably. Based on these statistics. F***ing gnomes up there or something. Sh** is unbelievable. I thought I had PMS but apparently I was mistaken because the medical doctor who knows very little about brains wants me to take a pill that could possibly make me want to kill myself. I guess if it’s one type of beasty up there it gets weaker with the pills but if it’s the other kind of beasty it is going to, like, hijack my synapses and do some type of pod people sh** and I’m gonna wake up covered in blood and have no idea how I got to the couNtRY OF CHINA! WHAT THE LITERAL F***.”  

El fin. That was fun. Thanks for playing.

I was a child. A traumatized one. The trauma was my secret. Then ALLLLLLL of that pubescent nonsense rattled around in my immature brain like a barbed bouncy ball, ripping squishy magical brain bits to shreds.  I wanted to give up but I never could. Today I learned why.  

People are people and they’re not perfect.  They make mistakes. Sometimes it isn’t fair. Sometimes you suffer and no one seems to care. Even if they do care, sometimes, they just don’t have the power to do anything about it. 

Most people are afraid. Mostly of what they don’t understand. To protect themselves they pretend to know everything and only listen to those who agree. Such is life.

I’m not focusing on fair anymore. It is absolutely exhausting. And what people think is of no concern to me. Those who do know me, the important people, they know what’s real and what’s not. 

Most importantly, I know.  Every moment of excruciating sadness served a purpose. A sense of self without limitation or expectations. Without the need for approval or a single soul to agree.  My goal is not as near sighted as it once was. I can see into the distance now.  The world is HUGE. The universe is even bigger. God only knows what is out there and beyond all of this. I feel strongly that a true judge is watching. He/she/it knows. Knows every damn thing. Men are too easily fooled. By men I mean humans and not specifically things with penises.

 Every single thing mattered. I absorbed it all with my eyes, heart, and mind wide open and humility and awareness to help me accept some facts about the world that taste bitter and feel cruel.  Can’t taste the sweet without the salty, though. 

Ah, the yin and the yang.

I’ve been pinned down for some time now. The struggle isn’t over. Most of the pain I felt earlier today was selfish and naive. It took only hours for me to heal my wounded heart by recognizing the true source of my emotions and allowing myself to feel what I felt was appropriate under the direction of my moral code.

 Writing this has helped. Talking at my sister always helps.  Being reminded of what is in the distance helped. Realizing my strength helped.

Perspective. Hard earned maturity. Conquer over greater tragedies strengthened me for this.  It doesn’t take long for me to find order in chaos. Mostly because I refused to give up when many would have, and many did. Knowing myself well enough to give my good qualities the steroids and to tell my bad qualities to sit down and shut the hell up has become extremely useful. 

I knew I would have to fight harder. I’m outnumbered. My history has scars on it. I don’t catch breaks.  That’s exactly what made me strong enough to do this. 

I long for the day when the science of psychology improves. When they realize that medicine makes some people worse and that therapy isn’t enough for some and all of that helpful stuff that lies in the middle somewhere. 

Etc. Etc. Etc.  

For now, we are guinea pigs. How could anyone take a face like that seriously? I got off of the wheel and out of the cage, though. I’m just trying to find a way to safe pastures before a snake eats me.  

I’m a woman with faith in action.  My Higher Power will get me where he needs me and I finally have the self worth and sense of self to be confident that I know what I am and what’s best for me.  I fought through a lot to gain that knowledge. I’m keeping it because I earned it and I deserve it.

 I’m sure this post will be widely misinterpreted by a few lawyers in particular and entered into evidence, too. Hi there. 

If you don’t know me and you are reading this, I’m writing this for you, not them. 

The one thing that helped me out of the cage was realizing my true nature, accepting it, owning it, building up the good and working to turn the bad into more good.  

I know my super power now. All of us “crazy” people have one if we live long enough to develop it.

Mine is my protective nature. Anyone who really knows me knew that about me before I was able to admit it. I wandered along looking for someone to protect me for too long. Instead of giving me what I wanted, my Creator taught me how to protect myself and reminded me again today, when the man in the black robe did what he was required to do by giving someone he didn’t know the benefit of doubt. I was swiftly reminded of who I am really here to protect. And it’s not myself. 

Justice for me doesn’t really matter. I don’t need it. I was upset at first but not because of the obvious. My brain doesn’t work like that. I hated the smug illusion that was created at that moment.  But, I was quickly reminded of what was really important. That something isn’t me either.

I’m important. Don’t get me wrong. But I matter to a larger thing now that I don’t limit myself to accepting and craving the Itty bitty thing a lot of people are obsessed with fitting into and obeying. That infinite thing showed me we’ve all got a cozy little spot somewhere. We all matter. At different times, different places, different ways, etc. That won’t make sense to some. Those of you who do understand it have probably seen some sh**. And I’m glad you made it out. Keep going.

I started writing this to work out the clutter. My mind is like an enormous library. At one time all of the books were on the floor. They’re on shelves now. I’m still trying to organize them. This is one section of my life’s collective knowledge that I have dusted and alphabetized. 

With every word I write here I explore another chapter and I let you read it too. I hope you benefit from it.  If I had read words like this when I was young things may have been different for me. 

There were no blogs back then because I am, indeed, a dinosaur according to you young people. 

Just kidding I’m 32. So I’ve seen some really cool stuff happen. Really bad stuff too. When I was originally diagnosed with depression the internet had only just begun. Encyclopedias gave clinical definitions. I didn’t relate much to the elderly male psychiatrists I encountered so I didn’t trust them to know the whole truth which is why I’ll say what bears repeating. 

My struggle is something I will continue to share with any and all of you. Every bit of it will come out in time. It would be selfish of me to keep it all hidden in fear or shame as I know that all I needed when I was young was something to relate to. 

A word, a face, a poem, a book.  

Something happens when you feel unusual, outnumber, overwhelmed, and alone.  In those times we are most likely to give up. People have a lot to learn about folks like me.  They could learn a lot FROM folks like me too.  

We’ll get there. You’ll get there. Maybe I’ll get there too.  In the mean time, my faith is in myself and my Higher power because people are full of faults and often fail.  We’re made that way so people are just a silly thing to have faith in.  

 I stopped asking them to save me long ago. No one will fight harder for me than I will. At one point I just didn’t care enough about myself to do that but now, I do, that has made me unstoppable. 

There are bumps. BIG ONES. That sh** will HURT!  I learned today that as long as I don’t turn those bumps into mountains I was meant to climb and not carry, I will make it to the other side. 

I heard that saying for the first time this year.  “These mountains you were carrying, you were only meant to climb.” Najwah Zebian

Today it made sense in every possible way that I am currently capable of understanding. 

I hope I can explain what I mean by that someday but I need you to take from it what you need to go further.

Someday people who call themselves normal and sane and even the ones who look good on paper but behave like beasts behind closed doors or when you get in their way will have as little power over you as they do over me at this point in my life. 

The battles are long, exhausting, and you will lose sometimes. You will also lose people you really love. But, if you give up at any point it takes longer. If you give up completely you won’t get there at all. 

Don’t let it all out in front of anyone you don’t trust. Don’t trust anyone that you are suspicious of because your intuition knows things and somehow sees beyond the lies they tell and walls they’ve built. The key to that particular super power lies somewhere in the magical squishy brain bits that haven’t yet been explored and defined. Maybe. Or maybe that’s what our appendix is for. Who the hell knows really?! Not me! That’s for sure.

Someday we’ll know more about the brain and trauma. Mostly because they experimented on us. Some of us have had to pay dearly, over and over again. Some of us lost our lives.  

It is getting better out there, though.  I can see it improving even within my own limited lifetime. I think it’s because we aren’t hiding anymore. 

They have to feel they understand us to be comfortable. I feel safe airing it out now from here, on the other side of the pain. If you’re still in it, anonymity is necessary at times but in the safety of a legally bound psychiatrists office let them know every piece. I wish I had.  

I hid for too long. Gave one doc a bit, another got a different portion, etc.  By denying a trusted and qualified and intelligent professional the whole picture I only prolonged my sadness. They wouldn’t have thought as negatively of me as I did of myself. They wouldn’t have called me crazy like I had feared they would. They would’ve known the problem and the way to help me through it.  A few moments of discomfort at the beginning would have remedied and prevented decades of discomfort and desolate pain.

So.

That’s done.

Bye
 

 

Light in the darkness

A very small light shines brightly in the night. 

It is never overwhelmed by the dark.

One small flickering flame fights effortlessly against miles of black. 

It’s all anyone can see.

Their eyes are trained on it.

They forget the sorrow when they see their hope alive.

One small light.

In comparison and scale it seems unimportant and insignificant.

But, the light, it shines anyway and it is all anyone can see.