Sunday, November 30, 2014

I get this on a decent level daily, but i wish I fully comprehended the magnitude that, today is a whole new day filled with unbelievable possibility. I've disconnected myself from hoses that kept attached to the stories of my life to a great extent, that honestly surprises even me. I don't think that fully take in the truth of the matter I still have hoses that tether me to outdated ideas.
The things I carry, from early experience, 20 years ago or 30 years ago limit me. I have more freedom of spirit than I could have ever comprehended possessing. My spirit knows there is even more freedom to be had and I feel a little like a greedy child because I want it. I've tasted the drug of Freedom and without apology, I want more. In order to get the "more" I seek, I've got to make room for it and that means more purging of stories that no long serve me.
When the neighboring town has the "Great East Texas Balloon Race" the word "Tethered" always comes to mind and it's such a great word for my life and my freedom. "Tethered" means- tie with a rope or chain so as to restrict its movement. I work toward an "un-tethered" spirit.
There is a line in 'Shawshank' where Red says "Red: [narrating] I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain."
I don't get to go that place of freedom for good until I find the tethers and sever them. I guess my prayer today is to be shown the hoses and tubes that still connect me to old hurts and stories that no longer serve my highest good. Let the story that has been told, rest in the place where old stories go when no longer relevant and be done with it.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

You are inching closer to becoming the intention behind the thought of you that I feel like God had for all of us. I'm thinking we all have a creative intention that breathed us into being and we feel best, we feel most whole when we are just being ourselves and following the passions stored up inside us like secret rooms to be explored only by ourselves.
None of us were afterthoughts. We were designed with precise intention and when I hold true to the fact that just by "being" I am enough, I really start to see some amazing things.
The designer's, Designer.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I have figured out that there are at least two kinds of gratitude. Like Patty and Cathy on the old "Patty Duke Show" both great girls but one clearly had a little more substance. I reiterate, both are great girls, but these days "hot dogs don't make me lose control".
There is "COMPARISON GRATITUDE". All the do gooders that flood the missions on Thanksgiving and Christmas that wouldn't dare set foot inside the mission walls during the year, get "Comparison Gratitude". It is like a contact high. It would be hard not to stand next to someone, for most folks anyway, who was missing legs and not think, "Gee, I'm glad I had to working legs". For whatever reasons , they are incapable of being grateful for those legs the rest of the year.
"Comparison Gratitude" works from the outside, to the inside. It provides temporary short form relief of self consumption.
What I have found and what has profoundly transformed my life, my spirit and my thinking is the way to produce gratitude, from the inside, to the outside. Growing up we had a pond down in the bottom land that was fed by natural springs. It never stagnated and turned to green thick soup like the other ponds around because it had a never ending force of life trickling into it at all time.
I came to Gratitude Springs, the hardest way possible. I lived the life of a hopeless dead man for decades. I had no tricking spring to refresh, revive or awaken my hopeless spirit. The story is long about what happened to change that, but I count myself the luckiest bastard on the planet because I got to return from the dead.
I've mentioned one of my favorite people before named Kay. She was terribly terribly ill and it didn't look like they were going to figure out what was wrong with her before she took exit. She said she promised if she ever felt well again, if she ever could move without restriction she was going to live at full force. She recovered and she lives and clocks in most days around 75 miles per hour. I can't keep up with her.
There is a color, shade, grade and level of thankfulness that permeates the cellular structures of humans when we are stripped down to raw spirit by circumstances or illness. The moment I realized I had nothing including any reason to go on or to hope, I got everything. A door opened and a stream flowed and I saw life as beautiful party that I was so happy and thrilled to still be invited to. Suddenly everything was something to be grateful for, full bodied, inside to the outside gratitude.
When I can't decide what I want to eat, I remember there are mothers on the planet that search all day, ALL DAY to find enough food to keep her children alive for just one more day. I'm aware of the bitter irony of my needs.
When I go to shower, I am often keenly aware of the people who have to be assisted or completely washed by another person.
I see the lost souls of Highway 80 walkers, with stained coats and plastic bag suitcases and I thank God, not that I have a place that's climate controlled and comfortable, but I thank God because I don't wander highways with no where to go to at all. I know the devastation of not belonging anywhere and I see it on the faces that can't make eye contact and it crushes my heart..
The person closest to me on the planet my whole life has lost both her parents and it makes me keenly aware that mine are only here on loan. I have the opportunity to call both mine up and just say hello, any time I want to and I do. I make those calls and the dinners with them , not because i particular need to see them but because they need to see me. I'm very thankful they get to witness me up and functioning in life. I accept them as they are today mainly because I got to the place I accepted myself.
Full on, spiritual and cellular gratitude to me is experience the breath of the god as I understand it. When I don't stop to think that every thing around me, everything thing I see and touch, every seed and every breeze, would have been missed by me had I not decided it was "time to get to living" I see the wasted opportunities.
My friend Kay and I, and millions of others benefit from being in a very exclusive club, we faced death and chose life. We are the bonded like those people who escaped Titanic in life boats. A feeling of overwhelming, indescribable joy to be present, alive and invited to the party, for me came the hard way. It made me work for it and I had to face the darkest dark before I turned and ran to the side of light.
I was fascinated last week by clusters of ladybugs on the side of the van at work. I'd never seen more than a couple. There were 30 or more. I was delighted in my spirit the way a child gets delighted the first time it sees the lights on the Christmas tree. I'm so full body, full spirit thankful that I have experienced "WONDERMENT" as an adult. I know what to look for and work for now.
I felt the humbling spirit of gratitude breath straight through me as I watched to polka dotted ladies move and take flight. It passed through all my mass and my essence and in it's trail it left gratitude. Simple beautiful, inside to the outside thankfulness to be here, to have one more moment to embody with my heart and soul. The most effective and complete prayer there ever was written:
"Thank You".

Monday, November 24, 2014

I had a teacher,a spiritual tour director of sorts jokingly give me the nickname of "Filler of Gaps With Words". It was funny because I do love words. I love descriptions. I don't want to know that something was red. I want to know the shade and the intensity of red it was and then give it a comparison to other great reds I have seen.
I LOVE WORDS, but.... He also pointed out to me, that silence appears to make me nervous and I start a word spill like a giant oil tanker flooding the Gulf of Mexico. If it is quiet, I'm compelled from bad learning in my history on the planet, to fill the quiet. Part if me thinks if I am talking then I am in control, complete control of the uneasiness of the moment. Part of me likes the sound of my own voice. If there is one thing a drug addict likes move the drugs it's the sound of his voice filling a room. Part of me is in fear of the chaos of quiet in my head and my spirit.
I have to practice the willingness to be wordless, to let the stillness over take me. My experience is that God speaks anytime I listen, but it is easiest to hear when I allow the breathing moment to stay still and quiet. Be still.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Someone knew my name at the new AA meeting I have been going to for a month or so. It was a mark of progress. I've been on one of my first two off days and it's been lonely. I picture an art house film following a man around who goes through his day connecting with no one.  We see him buy a gallon of milk alone, and pick up two ribeye steaks, a twin pack. We see him cook them both and eat them both alone. He picks up his apartment and washes the dishes, even though no one will see any of it. He watches the clock and wait for the time to come when his phone friend 200 miles away might be home from work and willing to talk. He straightens up the comforter on his bed and puts his shoes away even though no one is coming. No one is coming and he knows he has to keep going to meetings and meeting people if the hope of every having companionship is ever going happen. The camera closes in on the finger on the phone pad and he dials his friends number. His friend says hello.
One of my favorite quotes is "What the caterpillar calls the end, the world calls a butterfly". As humans we go through metamorphosis dozens of times in a lifetime. The death of one version or understanding of myself gives birth to the improved version of myself. Unfortunately I don't get to do my changing in a safe little cocoon hiding the awkwardness of change. We not only grow up in public but we change form completely while the world watches. Every time I emerge from my from the dead self, I have manifested a new more purposeful human with more colors on me than I had ever dared hope for. The very nature of life is change. If we are not evolving we are not living.

Unlike turtles and crabs that leave their shells and form new ones, the butterfly has transformed into a whole new and different creature.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Surrender has an under tow. Many times the moment you surrender something you feel a rush of relief and freedom but sometimes, not. Some times when you surrender something you are left with a gulf of emptiness.
The only way past the gulf is to feel it. Struggle will only wear you down and cause more pain when we try to fill the emptiness. You can "unsurrender" the thing you surrendered but we never get past the things we need to grow beyond if we chicken out at the first symptom of " The Gulf of Empty. The the "Tao Te Ching" clearly states the the emptiness of a bowl is what makes it a useful tool for storage. The moment it is filled up, it is no longer useful.
We hold on to things at of habit, even though they have long surpassed the expiration dates of purposefulness. When we hang on to that that has served it's purpose it is most of the time painful for us. It can be a job, a husband or a mind set. We are in a dilemma, endure the pain of holding on or face the fear of the Gulf of Emptiness. Only one of those choices holds the key to new possibilities.
I've surrendered a lot of things of the last two months especially. The silence and depth of the "Gulf of emptiness", is un-nerving. It feels like depression, but it isn't. It's me getting use to emptying of the bowl to make me useful in a whole new way. I like feeling useful. It's great freedom to feel like there is purpose to your being. Frankly, I like to feel good. The "Gulf" doesn't feel good but I have had enough experience of my own to know that I will come back eventually with a fabulous upgrade in style, function and capabilities. That is my experience thus far.

Friday, November 7, 2014

My uncle who is in his 80's had bladder cancer which resulted in the loss of his bladder. They built him an artificial external one. When he wakes up in the morning and gets out of bed, he is attached to several several feet of tubing which follows him as he begins his day, attached.

When I got sober several years ago and did the work the step-work of the "12 Steps" ask me to, it enabled me to "wake without hoses attached". For the better part of my adult life the first thing I did when I woke up was attach myself to the stories i told myself. I attached to the broken child. I attached myself to the misfit of society tube. I attached myself to the lonely brokenhearted lover hose". I attached myself every morning to stories that had already been told, I had no chance of experiencing anything new.

When I woke this morning I was thinking about the small clear, multi-foot long tube that attaches to my uncle. I don't have a single tube or hose attached today. I've managed to sever those attachments and it leaves me free to experience this day in my life, free from the heavy bondage of my past, free from the stories that have already been told in my life.

If you know me at all, then you know I love the power of words. I love to tell a story or paint a picture with description. I cannot adequately describe the rush and sensation of being un-tethered. Picture a hot hair balloon that is aching to take flight, yet it has one rope still attached to the ground. That one rope, that it can't shake loose from is stubbornly denying it, its place among the clouds. One story, one attachment to a tale that has already been told can keep us from the magic of a brand new story trying desperately to unfold for us in the moment of "now".

Color me "tube free" and grateful as I know how to be.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's odd we as a society would rather here you admit, "i'm horny" rather than "I'm lonely" so society won't be uncomfortable. We would rather hear you say "I"m an alcoholic and I'm going to rehab" rather than "I have clinical depression". Peculiar what is acceptable to share with the world and what is too personal that makes other people bristle in their seats. People were fine with Robin Williams talking about booze and cocaine problems but no one wanted to hear him talk about the monsters he dealt with daily called "Depression" and "Low Self-esteem" exact same thing for Whitney Houston.
I rarely ever, ever talk about having the diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. I don't partly because everyone claims to have that disorder and a "diagnosis" of it themselves or someone they know does. It's also partly because it's easier to not talk about it rather than having to qualify my illness with examples of mania that are in no way shape or form associated with drugs or alcohol addictions. It's part of my character to not want to make people uncomfortable, so I don't talk about a lot of stuff except for a couple of trusted confidants and even they sometimes would rather hear me say "I"m horny" rather than "I'm Lonely", because they don't have solutions to "lonely" but can easily tell you to "go get laid".
People don't like to hear things they don't have the possibility of offering solutions up for. They don't like to be reminded that in many circumstances they are unschooled and powerless. "How dare you make me look at my own inadequacies!", Sharing the truth as I have mentioned low these many times, either brings out the truth in others or sends everyone running to the fucking hills away from you and your "truths". lol "I love that your honest with your feelings, but can you take them over there please because they might make me take a long look at my personal shortcomings and deficits and I'm just here for the free nachos."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Heard a kid the other day basically saying he failed to keep his mother safe from herself and it was tearing him up. It made me think back to half my life ago when I thought I had the skills or power to will someone to live who didn't know how or want to. I looked at him and told him flat out. You are 15 years old, you are not suppose to know how to save someone that doesn't want to be saved. It was one of those head scratching moments when the moment I told him that, I told the 15 year old in me that to and I was the one who got freedom. I don't know if he heard me or not but I felt a shift inside my spirit and I understood my self a bit better.
I've mentioned before what a novel concept it was when it dawned on me that just because we are born human, in no way shape or form means we know how to be human. Computers have to be programmed in order to perform task and humans have to be taught how to be human. We have to see what forgiveness looks like in action, what loving someone one even while they are letting you down looks like. We have to learn how do you talk to those you love, what tone conveys that you adore them. I think it's important for kids to see their parents or elders screw up big time and fall apart at the seams, then get to see real life people get up, dust off and try again.
I am responsible for what I know, I am not responsible for what I've never seen or been taught or have no reason to even suspect. There came a point where mercifully I found a way to let myself off the hook for being terribly ill prepared for life. I let myself of the hook and took responsibility for filling in the broken cracks of my coping and functioning skills.'
Why we hold ourselves in contempt, for failure when we weren't even properly prepared to thrive is a very sad mystery. The ratchet it up another painful notch. Parents can't teach and parents can't pass on what they themselves do not know. We cannot out function the level of of learning or our programming.