All it takes is one seed to plant a forest in your mind. Twenty-one years ago, I walked away from a steady paycheck and good benefits because of one seed. And ever since plans and ambitions have been ruined due to one seed. Over the decades verbal abuse and growing self-hatred planted seed in my soul. Seed that to this very day, ruin plans and cause avoidance for otherwise sound judgement.
None of this came about overnight, it all started with the verbal abuse I endured at the hands of my peers and the ignoring of the problem by my family. Call it being a product of that generation, call it what you will. But telling a child to “suck it up buttercup”, only plants more seeds of self-doubt and low self-esteem. Compound that what cognitive health issues such as low levels of serotonin. And you can see how the seeds of depression and anxiety bloom.
Over the last two decades I’ve spent the better part of my life searching for answers. Using a failing mental health system to just barely function. Being put on one medication, then another, like a lab rat in some nightmarish experiment. But I endured, until I found one qualified psychologist with enough wisdom and patience to put me on a course of medication and therapy that has worked for several years.
Still these are often no more than a bandage on a still open wound. Along with my course of treatment, I have used various forms of mindfulness training to search my issues. Having been raised in an Evangelical Christian home, the answer was to always pray your sin away. Unfortunately, I’ve seen more than my share of friends and family die waiting on those prayers to be answered. Through mindfulness and compassionate listening, I have learned that by giving myself the compassion I so desperately needed as a child, I am slowly becoming whole.
My point in all this is pretty damn simple. Don’t take what you hear as the gospel to be true, especially for yourself. I have spent nearly half of my life searching for relief. And while I may have stumbled upon an answer that works for me. There are still moments, such as now, when those answers aren’t doing a damn thing. You are your own best advocate, don’t give up no matter how bad you want too. There are answers, all it takes is your time, and a damn sharp ax.
Waking up as I normally do, I go through the living room, and into the kitchen, to get to the bathroom. Walking past the open windows I could hear the sound of crickets chirping outside. And for a moment the sound takes me back to a simpler time. When sitting around a bonfire, drinking beer, and watching fireflies dance, was the highlight of my weekend.
I hadn’t had many weekends like that in a good long time. Between struggling to make a paycheck, raising a family, and taking care of my wife; life hasn’t seemed as enjoyable as it used to be. Not that there haven’t been good moments. But when you’re plagued with clinical depression and whatever else. You tend to focus more on the struggles and regrets.
Right now, it’s still early in the morning. I had trouble falling back to sleep. My belly has been reminding me all morning of all the apparent bad choices I made the day before. Which ironically was a variety of fresh vegetables, tea, and very little meat. But it is what it is, and tomorrow I go back to my Gastroenterologist to hopefully get some answers.
Things never stay the same, no matter how hard we try to make it that so. Friends come; friends go. Kids grow up and move away. Loved ones pass and touches of grey begin to appear. But despite all the discomforts that come with time, the moment is still here. Fair or unfair, blessed or cursed; time takes its toll. All we can do is learn to survive, forgive, and enjoy the moments we are given.
Sitting outside listening to the bird’s fuss over squatter's rights, I hear my old buddy the barn owl saying goodnight across the way. Mr. Brown is in the garden picking a few squash, while Boot’s is learning to climb a tree. As for myself, I’m heading back inside, apparently the gnats have won this round. There’s nothing pressing on my mind today. Which means I should keep my mouth shut. Anyway, after pouring the dish water out on the plants, I’m here jabbering on for no particular reason.
While I don’t particularly worry about aging, I often worry about my quality of life. I worry about my wife and oldest son’s future and what kind of legacy I have left for my family. Although I’m pretty sure I’ll be nothing more than a faded memory in a generation or two. It still gives me pause about the legacy we leave others. I am by no means a saint, and neither were my parents. But history often paints a rosier picture then it should.
As I see monuments fall down and history definitely needing a rewrite. We should all bear in mind, no one is perfect. But still the truth should be told, the triumphs celebrated and the injustices learned from. Forgetting the past is allowing it to be reborn. Our lives are often scrutinized and forgotten. But if future generations do not learn from us, that my friend will be a true crime.
Saw my first cardinal in the yard today, it was a female gathering groceries for her young. It’s a little cool outside this morning, if you consider 77° cool. But the humidity is apparently low because I’m not sweating like a pig. But thankfully the gnats haven’t found me yet. So that means I’ll just sit here and enjoy this small taste of decent weather for now.
Life is far too short to dwell on the bullshit we hear every day. I mean it would be easy for me to over obsess about my health or this crazy pandemic situation going on around the world. But at the moment I just want to focus on what I see around me. The call of the birds, the sweet fragrance of the garden flowers, and that determined woodpecker tapping out a winter home behind me. Just being in the moment as nature intended.
Now this isn’t to say we should ignore the pain we see around us. Quite the opposite, this moment should make us more aware of the pain around us. More aware and compassionate towards ourselves and those we see. Life is a crap shoot at best, and to continually focus on the negative or the positive doesn’t create balance. It only creates hostility or worse yet disappointment, especially within ourselves.
Since misery loves company, I might as well tell you, today has not been a good day. My insides are a twisted mess and I am definitely feeling it. But strange enough I’m not overly upset or mad about it. I guess that’s because I realize it is what it is, and despite my discomfort, I am being proactive in finding a solution.
But often we don’t put actions to our words. It’s like we enjoy the complaining more than creating a solution. Frankly, I’d much rather solve a problem than constantly bitch about it. Not to say that I don’t have the occasional rant. But after all the brouhaha, all your left with is frustration and that same problem just sitting there.
If you take a moment and think about it, all of life can be summed up that way. If you’re happy in your current situation, great! Work to maintain the momentum that you’re carrying. But as we all know, life ain’t perfect and problems will arise.
The thing is where do you want to be. With so much anger and stress around us. It’s a wonder we can think clearly at all. In some way you have to find a way to pull away from the stress and frustration. Rather through exercise or simply walking, prayer or mediation, hell maybe just turning off that damn idiot box (TV). Still we all have to eventually face the music and make a choice, to either live with the situation or work to make things better.
I got up feeling alright, but as the day wore on my body’s been finding new ways to bite back. I avoided eating for as long as I could to keep the digestive system at bay. But once I ate all hell broke loose. Which has left me here for hours with a heating pad on my belly and an ice pack on my head.
It’s not like I’m complaining, I mean it’s been like this for over two years. But hopefully within a couple of weeks we’ll finally get a handle on this little mystery is and finally get some definitive treatment. Emotions, fear, and disappointment are aftereffects of a troubled soul. Rather by your own hand or some outside forces, we are all slaves to our conditioning.
For a few of us, breaking the cycle of abuse is a daily thing. No different than addiction each day is a struggle and a victory. There are some days when the victories come easy. But then there are days when victory seems a million miles away. Like I told a dear friend this morning, sometimes all you can do is your best. Well this is my best today. Broken down and struggling just to even make it the bathroom. But it’s okay, because this is the best I got today.
Yesterday morning I had to go through a series of protocols just to step into the hospital for my test. Once inside it looked nearly deserted with only nurses and techs suited up occasionally walking by. Just a few chairs remained in the lobby, while the Fox News Pandemic Deniers Network droned on across the TV screens. There were a few of us spread out across the vast lobby waiting for our appointments.
But even as all the propaganda was pouring out across the screens, reality could plainly be seen around me. People old, young, sick, healthy, all afraid. But then through all this dread came an enchanting sound. A quiet lullaby playing over the intercom. It’s a sound I knew all too well having heard it several times during my stays here. It’s the tune they play announcing the birth of a baby. Beneath my mask I had to smile. Because it reminded me of the times that tune played for my grandkids.
Even though all the panic and fear, life simply moves on. As humans we label things with such question and emotion. Often asking why, and how unfair. And I ort to know, I do it all the damn time. But you know what, life continues to move on. Listen, our emotions have value; our pain has value. But to live in fear or completely denial is stupid. Life continues on and so should you. Don’t let one emotion completely overtake another. Find your balance and just do the best you can.
Apparently, I’m paying for my sins this morning. Over the weekend I treated myself to some fresh boiled peanuts. I know, but I have so few vices left, that the ones I do have can get a little out of control. The logical side of my brain would tell me, you are just compensating for something missing in your life. But my less rational side says, but they are soooo good!
Listen, we all have appetites that are not good for us. Some we proudly admit to and some we would rather not. Life is about finding that happy balance, somewhere between contentment and let’s not go that far. I suppose recently I’ve been heading towards the “let’s not go that far” side. I mean I meditate as much as I can, but the heat and illness have keep me away from my temple. So I’m left listening to the shit coming out of my own head.
The thing is, we all hit bumps in the road. The first step is to recognize what those bumps are. The next thing is to offer ourselves a little forgiveness. But that still doesn’t make you unaccountable for your sins. Listen right now I realize I was stupid gorging down whole bag of boiled beauties. But no one put a gun to my head and forced me to eat them. Understand we all have our faults, learn to forgive yourself, but hold yourself accountable and do better.
Another 3 AM wake up call. Another get up out of the blue for no good reason. Oh, sometimes it’s because of an upset stomach, or a panic attack; hell, even a few times it’s been an actual heart attack. Whatever the reason, here I am just me and the cat and a head full of shit. Tension and stress are my consist companions. Rather they are screaming out loud or being keep to a quiet roar, they’re never far away.
But like most anything you get used to it. Like the consent grinding I do with my teeth. In a way I’m a little like this cat, always on standby. Never far from the panic button. The irony is if you hit that damn button enough, it just gets stuck. For the last several years, every time I’m close to that button, it does a little more and a little more damage. Used too I could recover fairly quickly from a panic attack. But with each passing day, it gets a little harder to turn the volume down.
Oh I have my mediation, my breathing, and my medication. But at some point, the damage is done. Considering all the health issues I’m facing; I’d think one of my medical doctors would have figured this out; and had me checked out by a therapist. But I’ve come to the simple conclusion, that doctors are only human and can only see as far as their training. So what’s the moral of this tale, you ask? How about breathe in and breathe out. Also to be aware. But remember with awareness there needs to be a certain amount of compassion and forgiveness for yourself. For healing is often nothing more than finding peace within yourself.
After a day of fighting with my insides, I return to my outdoor sanctuary. The gnats aren’t too bad today and there’s a slight breeze blowing from the West. Along the way I smell the petunias near the garden. My neighbors at the EMC are particularly quiet this afternoon. Unlike the usual chaos you see from them getting ready for the next day’s work.
Even with the clouds overhead, my skin is hot and dry. Just another unpleasant side effect of my daily medications. But I suffer through for the sake of survival, even in a world gone crazier than a bedbug. While my outward mask presents itself as satirical and calm. My insides often churn like a cauldron of fear and disbelief.
But I have the evening breeze and the call of a distant barn owl to comfort me. I have my personal and virtual friends to rest upon for words of comfort and truth. But what good is any of this if the house is on fire. Can one source of positive energy ever be enough? Still if just one person would reach out to another or better yet ten. How much sweeter would the world be? So, what kind of outlook do you carry? One of selfish survival or one of sanity and a positive voice? Because right now, the world needs you.
It’s after 4 in the afternoon, and I just got outside. Me and Lisa have been running around helping our daughter get their new house set-up. But at least I got out of the moving part, but I will miss out on the drinking beer while moving someone. You see, I’m retired, at least from beer drinking, dope smokin', and chasin' ugly women after the bars close.
I’ve spent 30+ years being a good youngin, raisin’ a family and working hard to pay Uncle Sam. But I did get four pretty decent youngin’s out of the deal. And an old woman that ain’t killed me…at least not yet. But there ain’t no point in her trying, I’ve been doing a pretty good job of that myself for a long time now. That’s because no man is always a saint, and most man aren’t always sinners.
I just do the best I can. Learning from my f*ck-ups and having to live with the consequences. Hopefully I’ve been honest, and at least once I’ll take someone at their word. Now I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I sure as hell can speak for myself. I’m hell bound and spirit filled, I’m a prophet and a whore, I’m all those things and more. If you don’t like me saying that, well then cast the first stone.
The twists and turns of mental health, complicated by physical limitations. Can cloud ones thinking, elevate already high stress levels, and frankly cripple your soul. Years of self-abuse, as well as, abuse at the hands of my peers. Took a heart and mind more than capable of doing the job and break them into a thousand tiny pieces.
In the quiet and reasonable calm of the night, I listen to what my soul is telling me. That things are not okay. That beneath this veneer of calm lies a terrorized child, afraid of living through the stresses of the day. I am afraid and it shows, in my actions, my speech, and in my isolation.
There are no easy answers to any of this. I’ve spent the better part of 20 years meandering between medication, therapy, and enlightenment to solve this riddle. But through these moments of struggle and literal pain, at least I’m trying. That in itself can be a comforting fact. So as you, I, and millions of others move through this life broken and hidden. The least we can do is try.
Another breeze is blowing from the East, while cotton ball clouds circle above my head. Behind them sits pale blue sky, as the scent of fresh mowed grass fills the air. Last night was sort of a confessional for me, in that I felt the purging of some hidden truths. Hoping no one would feel any less of me, to my surprise the reaction to my words has been positive. I suppose words are all in the eye of the reader. Their interpretations differ from mine or even yours.
I do my best to plant good seed, but despite the sainthood often bestowed on me; I am very much the jackass. Given to fits of verbal rage and indifference to those I’m around. That’s why my preferred medium is the written word. It gives me time to pause, to let words marinate into one another. Instead of hastily being stewing around in a mess of emotion.
For what benefit are kind words if the vessel is untrue. I am not in total control of reactions. I am often impatient and even cruel. But at least I acknowledge that fact, which hopefully will lead to my redemption. So don’t take your words so lightly. The sharpest of blades leave the most lasting scares. Think before you strike. Don’t let your anger ruin your heart. All have of us have emotion baggage and all of us carry emotional scares.
I sit here telling stories that no one really ever reads. Asking questions that no one can answer. Spinning truth into whatever justification I can make. You hear me from a distance, crying the same tears. Hiding behind the same make-up I apply every day.
But where is the justice? When do my good deeds mean something? How much longer must my soul toil beneath these chains? For I want to be selfish. I want to break free. Yet the moments of pain that would inflect are simply too much to bear.
So I keep telling stories, I keep living the lies. For what do I want more than to be true. To build a perfect life, out of shear imperfection. For I am nothing more than that innocent child, that lost boy. Stumbling through love like a bull in a china shop.
I can no more predict tomorrow, then I have predicted today. To ask what I think is just conjecture. Nothing more than a random set of thoughts swirling in a sea of ideas. I used to be so controlling, now I just see life as what happens. I was a planner and an organizer by trade. Now I find the whole business nothing more than a chore. Centering myself on just breathing from one minute to the next. Remaining grateful for each moment I’m given.
I allow the words I write to speak for me. For the words I say are often clouded by self-preservation. For nothing is more freeing than letting go of perdition and embracing the quiet order of nature. Made up rules and moral code may bring order, but often they bog down ideas that otherwise free the soul.
Therefore, I ask no more of you than I ask of myself. To take things as they come. For hiding in the shadows is usually an agenda that’s far beyond our control. We live in unpredictable times. For the hearts of men grow desperate and unforgiving. But if you look into the trees and see the light of the sun reflect upon their leaves. You begin to understand that there is an order to things. An order that apparently men do not understand.
Apparently old habits die hard. I woke up around two o'clock this morning. Went to the bathroom, crawled back in bed, only to discover the kitten peed on my side of the bed. Now my wife feels bad for bringing the kitten to bed. I feel bad because I don’t have a dry place to sleep. But most important of all, the kitten fell gently back to sleep. Seriously, how could you get mad? The vaccinations had made her lethargic all day. Anyway, what’s life without an accident or three.
Yesterday started out pretty good. My blood sugar was fine, my pills went down without a hitch, but then all hell breaks loss. Without going into vivid detail, my gut decided to “carpe diem”. After nearly a week of reasonable digestive health, I suppose old habits die hard. As you may know I had three biopsies done a few weeks ago (negative). In two weeks, they go down the other end for a pipe inspection, and then I get an abdominal MRI. Not that I don’t enjoy a good mystery, but after two years, this book getting a little old.
I suppose I could just lay here and whine about all this shit (pardon the pun). But after 21 years of living with the paralyzing fear of death. You get used to it. I don’t mean to sound so blasé about it, but it is what it is. One of the most interesting side effects of my first Panic Disorder medication was diminished emotional response. While now that most of my emotional responses have returned, I wonder if a little of that Paxil still isn’t buried in my brain? Either way, life is still important enough to fight for, even if it means forgiving a few kittens along the way.
I awoke this morning to another disturbing dream. One of conflict and mayhem and total lack of control. It took a few moments to shake the cobwebs out of my head. But the dream itself remains firmly planted in my mind. But I can hear the faint sound of a robin singing outside my window. A subtle reminder that in this life troubles eventually fade.
But my mood of discontentment hasn’t totally gone. I’m looking at life as a vicious circle, not as if the head is eating its tail. But more like the tail is doing its best to escape. We want so much to live forever, but the grand experiment seems to be running out of steam. Making us willing to do anything to hold on to what we go.
Since I have nothing, I suppose it’s easy for me to just let go. But with absolute power comes a certain amount of arrogance and an unwillingness to let go. It is my wish that we all learn; this too shall pass. That life and its priorities are not cast in stone. Leaving little room for the eventual and much more room for evolution.
Having been raised in a Charismatic Christian home, I was a little ahead of the curve of today’s modern Evangelicals. Many would think my mind is still drowned in the emotional dogma that makes up that sect of faith. Unfortunately, my attitude changed many years ago. Not so much because of teachings of Christ, but because of dogma and convenient truths, its followers cling to.
Without getting into a holy war with the vast majority of my family and friends. Let’s just say, we agree to disagree, so continue to pray for me if you must. The skies are clouding up, not unlike the world in which we live. Tribalism is run amok, and each clan has scurried to its respective corners. Still I sit here under cloudy skies, apparently ignorant to the fact I should choose a side. Which apparently makes me a dreamer, or even worse a new age snowflake.
I don’t mean to sound so cynical, but old habits die hard. My mind recalls the sermon on the mount, in which Christ blessed the peacemakers and the meek among us. Funny how those words ring so hollow from the pulpits, when our actions say otherwise. I am a realist by choice, but I am also an optimist through example. Don’t let paranoia and fear steal your peace. Cling to the words of truth that ring true from whatever Holy Book you read. Life’s too short for this hatred, life’s too short for all this fear.
Gotta steady breeze blowing out of the east. It might be 89°, but with this wind it’s mighty comfortable in the shade. I see some thunder clouds off to the north just other pop up shower on the way. I’m still kinda getting used to being retired at this young age. But the limitations and barriers I face make normal life a faraway dream.
But an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and often my mind drifts to that place. Where hours and days melt into one long continuous nightmare. So I push my mind beyond where I am. Staying in touch, allowing myself to become a muse, a cheerleader, and a friend. But so many of us get so caught up in living, that we can’t see beyond the next task or appointment.
How sad it is to just be a cog in a wheel, where even meditation has to pigeon-holed between meetings and obligations. Don’t get me wrong, we all have our jobs to do. And who knows, maybe if I would apply myself a little more, I could be successful at this, whatever this is. Let your soul be your guide. I’ve watched a lot of friends grow from one life to the next. Because if you allow yourself to get trapped, all you’ll ever do is pace inside this cage you’ve created for yourself.
This must be one of those quiet days. Ain’t a whole lotta traffic riding by house other than the semi's on the highway. Sitting here I assume the gnats haven’t noticed me yet, or they’d be swarming around my head. But I must have woke everyone up, cause they’re now all heading to the courthouse. I watch what’s happening to the world, and I’m sad and empathetic. As an old white guy, I guess my opinion doesn’t matter much. But I do emphasize with the injustice and frustration the young and persons of color feel.
As I’ve said before, we all live in our own reality. We all see the world through a different set of lens, that were shaped by our own experiences and backgrounds. I can’t sit here and judge the actions of another through experience, but only by the common law. But when those laws are unequally imposed then we have a problem. In quiet reflection I see and hear the cries of a minority. The words of anger, frustration, and protest.
Should we be so blind to their words of frustration? Are the words equal rights for all simply window dressing? If so then it’s time for change, a recommitment to the words once for a choose few, but now quoted for all. Life is more than just our tiny world’s. More than just this plot of land, the square footage I see around me. It’s time to open our eyes and hearts at the bigger picture. That freedom and justice are only as strong as their weakest link.
Woke up with a bit of a shout this morning. For whatever reasons my panic meter was turned up this morning. I got up a little short of breath and my was heart pounding. But being the professional at this sorta thing I talked myself down and I’m feeling a little better. It’s almost humorous at times after 20+ years, how this stuff still affects me. But I grin and bear it taking it all in stride.
You’d think by now I’d run out of ailments to talk about. I like to think these things don’t define me, but for some long they have done exactly that. They limit my movement, limit my physical and mental activity, and in many ways limit my potential. But as we always say, we are not defined by our limitations. A nice sentiment, but not exactly true.
Potential is measured by our ability to take what we have and mold it to our will. As I learned last weekend, I’ll never work construction again. Or will I be able to multitask vast amounts information across to different subordinates. My life is more sentient through my calmness, enabling me to pick up on things. Now maybe I’ve always been able to do that, but through the stillness of my life it’s more amplified.
We each have our gifts and limitations. The thing is either one has to specifically define you. You are a free person, even when bond in chains. It all depends on how your mind wants to define you. Now I could easily wallow in self-pity as many do, but I honestly don’t see myself that way. Life is balance, it’s good times and bad. Acceptance not rejection creates true change.
Monday morning, I got a reminder that I had lab work to be done Tuesday morning. It was odd in that I got no telephone reminder from PCP office on Friday. I assumed was from the labs in had already done my last visit. Away this morning I called just in case and sure enough my PCP wanted me to have more blood work done to check on a something she noticed from my last lab results. Long story even longer, I drove over to the clinic for another round of poke and stick.
When it comes to your health, more often than not “the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand’s doing”. So I try my best to keep up with the five specialist that I see. Making sure each of them is aware of what the other is doing. But I can only imagine what it’s like for an older person or someone with diminished cognitive issues to juggle.
I bring this up to say, life is a precious gift. To squander that gift due to pride or ignorance, shows little regard for yourself or those you love. And yes, I know, I know the cost of healthcare is outrageous. Believe me, I know. But despite my laissez-faire attitude towards death, I’m not going down without a fight.
The thing is treat yourself with respect. Eat foods that don’t come out of a bag. Don’t have time? That’s why God gave us Crock Pots. Don’t spend your entire life hiding behind four walls. Get a hobby that does not require watching TV. It’s fairly simple if you just try. I know most of you are half a paycheck away from ruin. Hey, I live on the same block. So stop being angry and be more proactive. Accept the situation and go from there. No lottery ticket or killing yourself for the man is going to solve the problem. But you can.
A dear friend sent me some pictures last night of one of my many homes. She told me she just needed to get away for a few hours. I messaged her back a thank you for the pictures and that sometimes you have to go back to your roots to find yourself. For me that meaning is multi-layered. I have my more recent roots buried in my recuperation and mental healing. Deeper still in my going back to school and discovering my potential. Still deeper in the years I spent “wondering the desert” trying to find myself. The whole time stumbling through life trying to be a father, a mother, a husband, and a caregiver.
Writing that makes me feel like I’m tooting my own horn. But in reality, no one is many more important than anyone else. Life’s experiences make us who we are. I live in a culture of “my four and no more” of “take no prisoners”, and “herd mentality”. I am truly a round peg trying to fit into a square hole. Because while this shit was being stuffed into my head. The words of my families God tell me to be selfless, to be giving of myself, and to love my neighbor. Interesting where those words ending up going in this selfish, paranoid, xenophobic world
But this is a story about who we were and where we can actually find ourselves. I often mention, “you can’t live above your raisin' “, and Lord knows that’s true. Didn’t someone once say, “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”. I give up trying to change minds years ago. I believe what I believe and I’m sure you do too. But at the root of it, does your heart really believe in hate and superiority? Life is so much more than world domination. It’s about love, discovering your potential, and being kind. Maybe it’s time to cultivate around that root a little more.
Well I’m outside swatting gnats, I’d sit on the front porch, but my wife keeps the TV so loud. But anyway, a little breeze has kicked up, so really shouldn’t be complaining too much. I earlier this morning I was talking to my father-in-law, just to see how he’s doing. We certainly don’t agree on everything, but he’s pretty good at making daughters. I also spent some time editing some work for a friend. I don’t mind doing that, it ain’t like I got a hundred people knocking on my door anyway.
There’s a certain serenity in being left alone. I used to never understand why my old man seemed to enjoy his own company over talking. But every once-in-awhile, he’d crawled out if his shell and talk up a storm, but just not much to me. Oh, don’t worry I’ve pretty much laid those issues to rest. Plus, as I’ve grown older, I’m beginning to see the benefits of isolation. It’s apparent my social skills are lacking (of which I’m constantly reminded.) But that’s either here or there, because apparently, I ain’t changing, just ask my wife.
I suppose my point is, “Ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself”, thanks Ricky. Anyway, we waste so much of our lives worrying about what others think. We often sacrifice ourselves, for the sake of acceptance. While giving of one’s self is a noble truth, so too is taking care of yourself. Most people I know are either so wrapped up in themselves they have no empathy or compassion for others. Or they give so much of themselves, there is nothing left for them. Listen balance is the key, love and give as much as you can, but leave a little for yourself.
I woke up around 1:30 this morning, even for me this is pretty damn early. But I fell asleep early and for those few hours I slept pretty well. A lot of people worry about my sleep habits. But after years of working crazy ass shifts and taking conference calls at all hours of the night, I’m kinda used to it. I guess you can say I have a restless mind. You would think with all my practice and studying of mindfulness; I’d be a little more “chill”. But it’s that very mindfulness that clears my head and sharpens my focus in the wee hours of the day.
For so long fear and anxiety stole so much of my life. For decades my true self lived beneath the shades of a character I played. I filled my days in servitude putting others ahead of myself. Drowning my own dreams in a sea of self-hatred and self-doubt. But after nearly killing myself “by a thousand tiny cuts”. It took the lessons I learned from achievement and letting go to make it through the last few years.
But even now even in this pandemic, I find myself in a strange and unusual place. A place of peace. For so long I struggled with the responsibilities of life. Now that the kids are grown, and my wife and special needs son are in a comfortable place. I find myself more focused on my writing and giving back to a world that is still hurting. Now maybe it’s a bit vain of me to think I could change the world for the better. But in reality, it takes just one seed, then another, and another to create a forest. Don’t let circumstance rob you of potential. Don’t let fear rob you of your dreams.