Thursday, June 18, 2015

the long kiss goodbye

This personality, this form is but a costume Consciousness wears and plays with in this divine theater production the mind calls life. I'm not dismissing or discounting our human experience or denying life's ups and downs, humanity's suffering and fear, or even my own. I'm not saying that because I see this life as a dream that it makes it unreal and that we should all just float on a cloud or live in a cave and that nothing matters, so why bother? Not at all. All I'm saying is that for me, now, fanning the flames of this delusion is no longer true for me or useful. 

All that said...since it's been a story all along, anyway, I thought for this last post, I'd go ahead and give it a happily-ever-after. Which works out because this "ending" happens to be true. But before I do, I just want to say one more thing:

In the grand scheme of things, this blog isn't all that important, I know that. For me, though...it brought me new friends. It gave me a place to make sense of things. It let me connect with people, honestly. My world was bigger and that much richer for the chance. So for all who've read over the years and led me to believe I had something worth saying... I thank you...I love you...I wish you well. Your reaching out blessed my life and will for all my days, believe it.

Anyone familiar with me knows I've never really had the best self-image or possessed the highest of self-esteem. Sure, I've had moments where I've thought, "Yeah, I'm pretty awesome..." - but for the most part, the running theme of my life's story has been the fight against my toxic, shame-based internal dialogue and the chronic fear that came as a result. For as long as I can remember, I've been walking around with the very painful sense that who I am is inherently flawed. That I'm too fat, that I'm a faggot, that I'm a loser, that I'm weak, directionless, lost...and that everything about me, inside and out - who I am, my natural talents, proclivities, my authentic way of showing up in the world is wrong...and...that if I ever did dare to honestly express who I honestly am, ridicule and shaming are bound to follow. That's a whole lot of bullshit for a soul to carry and believe in. And it lends itself to a very cautious, timid, hyper-vigilant way of approaching the world.

So terrified of how I come across to others and so certain that by daring to breathe and take up space in this world just as I am - looking like I do, sounding like I do, behaving as I do - with merciless judgment and ostracism the only anticipated outcome, I've hidden - in one form or another ever since I was a child. And still, deep at my core, is the impulse to connect, to love, to be loved. That's the reason I began this blog in the first place. I wanted to share what was inside of me, and at the time, via words on a computer screen was the best I could manage.

While I ultimately don't think Reality/God is ever out of order or that things don't happen precisely as they should, the fact is...if I hadn't spent so much time bowing down to fear I probably could have had a lot more fun. I've shied away from sleeping over with friends because I didn't want them to hear me snore. I've not gone swimming or soaked in hot tubs with people who love me because I believed my stretch marks and man-tits were a valid excuse. I have not returned phone calls, texts, invitations. I've rejected dates and sex. I've not hung out with, or even called on the phone, people I dearly wanted to see and talk to with every part of my heart, for fear I'm not cool, clever, sexy or wise enough. I have had beautiful people offer their hearts, inviting mine to sing and dance along - and so often failed to take that jump.

Whether it came from my home environment, repeated taunting from classmates, or fucked up messages from society at large, how this mechanism came to be, what set this pattern in to motion isn't important now. What matters is that as my devotion to the Lord has grown, my intolerance for living less than boldly the kind of life that Love would have me live, has also grown. Whatever the progress I've made these past few years, there still remains a propensity to hide, a lingering refusal to move past who I think I am and what I'm capable of and actually taking the steps to see what I could be. This past year thoughts of killing myself began to visit me, more and more often. Not because I've wanted to die but because every dream I'd have or step I felt soul-inspired to take and make real required facing some mental, shame-cloaked demon that convinced me it was just too much. What's a soul to do?

All I can tell you is what I did: I prayed. I put one foot in front of the other. I took it breath by breath, moment by moment. The grace of what happened next is nothing I can claim responsibility for; it's nothing that "I" did. My desire for Self-Realization started burning more intensely. The urge to be done with this ego-absorbed way of coming at the world came upon me. The inspiration came to finally deal with my fears and imagined trials - not in order to make myself more comfortable or happy - but because these are the very things that keep me from giving more to Life than I take and more worried with how I'm perceived by others instead of remaining focused on how I can be present and love others, in whatever way the moment calls for. I found the most brilliant, perfect-fit of a therapist I could hope for and I told the truth and am continuing to work with her, little by little, untying the knots that somehow found their way inside me, healing the shame, growing myself up as I go along.

I've come to respect the fact that my time on this planet in this particular body and mind-stream will, sooner or later, come to an end. Whether it be through illness, floods, tornadoes, fires, accidents, random acts of violence...nothing in this world is lasting; nothing is spared. The circumstances that we find ourselves in are so fragile and so ever-changing, and just because something may be so one night as you lay your head to sleep, it's not the least bit guarantee that it'll be waiting for you come the morning. I've come to accept that not everyone is going to understand me, or even like me. I've come to accept that I'm not always going to get what I want and that when I don't, it's for my very best good. I've come to see that nothing in itself is good or bad, that the wisest course in any situation is to rest in peace, letting the Universe move on its own course, balancing things out with its own time and intelligence. This is Nature's ship to steer, not mine. I've come to accept that my path looks different from other people's and that there's a reason for that. I've always felt down on myself that my life doesn't look like the lives of my friends, that I've not found some great lover to call my own, that I've not made any sort of career for myself. But at the same time, I know things and see things in a way they don't, in a way they can't. I have my gifts and they have theirs - and I see that it's okay to be different, to have a different speed, a different timing, a different walk - and way - through this world. It's meant to be that way. Ordained even. I've come to see that I've been making it needlessly hard on myself. I've always believed I needed to have some big, important vocation, that I had to to have what others have in order to matter. Over the years, I've turned to psychics, mediums, astrologers and the sort, looking for guidance on who I should be and what I should be doing - when I was exactly where I should have been, living the life I was meant to be living. I've always prayed for a purpose. And the great jewel, the answer I've been waiting for is so remarkably simple it makes me laugh inside when I think of how hard I've searched and worried and made myself sick. My purpose is to embody Love as best I can. It is to gently house that Divine power I've invited to infuse and take over my life. And how do I do that? By being honest and by acting with kindness - in every moment, in every thought, word and deed - to the best of my ability and understanding, period. How that ends up looking to anyone else - even those closest to me - and what they do with that is not up to me; it's none of my business. Fear and all its minions can come. I welcome them now. It can put up its best fight and still I will do what I'm called to do - which is to stand in who I know I am.

As I've sat with these things and felt them to my core, the relief I've felt is impossible to put in to words. The ache in my heart I've always held is melting; a simple calm contentment left in its place. There's nothing I have to do, nothing I have to be, as I've always imagined. Instead...what feels right - to me, inside? What feels true? These are what guide me now. And if the lack of restlessness and anxiety over the past and future are any indication, then I'm on the right track - because so far, so good.

I recently started working out with a personal trainer. I've drastically changed my diet and rocked every single workout. It's a huge change for me, considering how sedentary and overweight I've been. I'm working muscles that probably haven't been used since the day they were formed, lol! It's hard as fuck - and I love how that feels! It's new to me, this pushing myself. I'm so practiced at retreating in times of challenge, I don't know what to make of myself anymore. Every time I do another rep - hell, every time I show up at the gym at all - the story of myself as weak and incapable loses a little more steam; the proof that's held it in place just isn't there anymore.

As I came out of the gym this afternoon, though there were clouds in the distance, the sun was shining full-out and the wind was blowing, both drying up what was left of the morning's rain. As I was walking to my truck, like I've done each time before, I spoke out loud, thanking God over and over again for getting me through the session. Really, it's a gratitude for getting me through All of This. Any strength I have, any wisdom, any ability I have for anything good comes from God's grace alone. Every time I've walked out of that gym I've been in tears. I'm not even sure what it is that I'm feeling when it happens. Maybe it's that I'm working out long-held toxins, ancient fears, repressed emotions. Or adrenaline, maybe. I don't know.

I wonder if perhaps they're tears of Life Itself, God crying tears of joy or gratitude, as if to say, "YES! I finally got through to this one - at long last! At last I am able to move and breathe and live as this one. This one is finally going to let me shine. This one is gonna let me do my thing! This one is gonna let me LIVE!"

I am.











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