Reflections on life, truth, faith, love, introspection, and transformation.

Saying it without saying it

I like you I really like you I like you more than a friend I really really like you infinity times infinity to the moon and back and more I love how you make me feel I love who you are I love so many things about you I adore you I have to pinch myself Are you real? You send me songs that make me cry and laugh You remind me that life is meant to be celebrated You elicit profound feelings of love in my life You are a total babe You have brilliant intelligence and stunning wisdom You see me so deeply and compassionately that it makes it easier to love myself You are a source of light and joy You are an answered prayer You are the one for me I am falling in love I've never felt about anyone the way I feel about you I didn't think it possible for someone like you to exist I am enamored with your heart and spirit I look forward to when we say “I love you” instead of “bye” I want to share everything with you I admire your agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness Imagining a life with you warms my soul Being with you makes me smile from the inside out ...I love you!

When are you saying it without saying it?

Rest and Digest

Digesting reality with the opportunity and adversity therein Discovering what is authentic and what is fake Discerning between shallow patterns and deep truth Don't spit out your own calling! If you don't digest it, then into the zeitgeist it goes Dig your own hole if you need to Pocket it with your cheeks if you wish Just don't make the rest of us digest your calling, because you didn't digest it properly yourself We're here to help and love you, but not to do your work for you Facts or feelings, its all part of the process Take your time

Where are you being called to rest and digest?

GO. Stop. GO. Stop... Stop!

Ever heard of interval training? It's a great way to train your cardiovascular system. Sprint, rest, sprint, rest, etc.

Turns out it might not be the best way to life. A growing awareness of my tendency to perform in intervals is creating an opportunity to live differently.

Energetically, relationally, professionally, intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually: I am now praying for more of a steady state throughout my life.

A phrase that comes to mind is “spread the butter”. I tend to prefer dipping my bread in olive oil, but I still appreciate the value of bread with well-distributed butter from crust to crust.

Where in your life is your energy concentrated when it might benefit from being spread out?

Why, God?

Why do I wonder? Is it because I never know you fully? Why is there water? Is it to show me how to thirst for you? Why do I wander? Is it because you're both here and there for me to discover? Why is there wind? Is it to show me there can be energy without form? Why do I waver? Is it because my understanding is imperfect compared to yours? Why did I come from a womb? Is it a metaphor for your creation within yourself?

Why do I cling to the blade that penetrates me? Perhaps to be sure it doesn't move anymore than it has. That the amount of damage I have sustained is hopefully just the right amount. That one more inch would destroy everything. That if I just stay right here forever I might be suffering, but I will survive. That my survival in this circumstance is preferable over the risk of something else. How could I afford to risk something else when I'm already so wounded? I better cling tighter, until I am ready to let go.

What are you holding on to? Is it time to let go?

Moments and Memory-making

The most painful moments of my life have occurred in the last few years. So painful that they have reconnected me to my deepest childhood difficulties.

Perhaps it is all for the greater good. I pray that I might use the invitation of my current suffering to finally process buried suffering once and for all.

It isn't a conscious choice, but I've wondered lately... Am I avoiding making new memories and moments because I'm afraid that they will be painful? Perhaps I am. This awareness provides a pathway to change and freedom.

When it is time I will be making moments and memories with more joy than ever. I want this to be soon, but I am learning that patience is the way forward.

Where are you shying away from life because you've been hurt?

Goodbye Depression

Fare thee well my shadowy friend I will forever recollect Never fully remembering The bizarre blanket of helplessness held around my heart

I am leaving now. Thank you for this mysterious wisdom Not lessons. Not knowledge. Not growth harvested from above ground Wisdom. From deep beneath the surface Everything looks different from the bottom of the well

There was gold hidden in the darkness Each time I caught a glimpse it seemed to vanish Until I realized it was becoming a part of me Because it was beauty intended for me, yet hidden within me.

My roots look inward and upward, discovering branches and leaves. My stuck sadness begins to flow Breaking free from broken freedom As grief gives away it's precious child at the alter My tears have become rain. Thank you, old friend. Godspeed.

Forgiveness – Defining moment or lifelong maintenance?

In life we have many defining moments. Our first sporting match. Our first stage performance. Our first friendship.

Yet in between, and particularly following these defining moments, our lives are filled with maintenance. Our first sporting match leads to a life of enjoying that sport. Our first stage performance leads to a passion for theater. Our first relationship prepares us for what relationships might follow.

Forgiveness is no different. One might say it comes in fits and starts. I would prefer to say it comes in defining moments and maintenance.

Defining moments of forgiveness are beautiful in that they provide opportunities to breakthrough old patterns. One might struggle for 50 years to connect with their parent, and then have a moment of reconciliation that changes everything.

But it turns out that everything doesn't change at once!

These defining moments are beautiful, but over-estimating them to be complete and all-encompassing is a dangerous trap. The truth is that defining moments of forgiveness, just like our first sporting match or stage performance, are limited by their singularity. They are single defining moments. The maintenance that follows is where the practice builds, where the forgiveness lives, and where the truth lies.

Defining moments of forgiveness are sparks. It is up to me to find the tinder and fuel to convert such a spark into an ongoing flame.

Do you tend toward investing more time and energy into defining moments of forgiveness or into maintenance? Could shifting your focus help you to forgive in a new and more successful way?

Emotional self-righteousness + narrative of everything is OK + belief in automatic forgiveness = trigger for me. When I experience this trifold combination, which is most often perceived as an imposition on my time and energy that threatens my emotional and spiritual self-awareness, it terrifies me. I judge it to be manipulative, unsafe, and inauthentic.

I know fear and anger to be secondary emotions to sadness. I feel fear, which triggers anger, which is intended to prevent me from experiencing the sadness of loss. I fear the sadness of loss and respond with some form of defensive anger.

Socially, especially to a 3rd party observer such as the parent of two children or the referee in a sporting match, anger tends to demand control and repulse empathy while sadness tends to demand empathy and relinquish control.

Thus if I am anger and the other is sad, then I am cash as the aggressor and the other is cast as the victim.

The longer I stay in anger the longer I am seen as the aggressor.

More importantly! The longer I stay in anger the longer I stay stuck defending that which I am afraid to lose. The longer I stay in anger the longer I avoid feeling sadness and letting go of my attachment.

Thus it is critical to know what I am defending. What is my attachment?

If the attachment is worth defending, then the fear of losing and the anger in feeling threatened are both valid and righteous. Valid fear and righteous anger are signs that something is unacceptably wrong. Abuse, harm, etc. If one is truly under attack, if someone vulnerable is at risk, then fear and anger exist in truth and with noble purpose.

If the attachment is unknown, then the work at hand is to get to know the attachment before defending it.

If the attachment is not work defending, then the anger becomes a (difficult!) invitation to let go and move further into truth through sadness and release.

Where in your life are you defending something with anger that you could let go with sadness? What are you afraid of that keeps you out of sadness and in anger? Is your fear valid? Is your anger righteous?

Declaration of peace between free will and discipline

This morning I realized I've been lying to myself for years. I've been perpetuating a war between discipline and free will.

When I was young I tried to train myself to have what I thought to be discipline. But I did not know what that meant. So I created a system where my present self would make agreements for my future-self to do certain things at certain times, in certain ways, or at a certain frequency. I unknowingly lied to myself and called this discipline.

I gave away my free will by choosing to live without free will! My false discipline became an idol to polish. My own ongoing ability to presently chose a future of autopilot. A story that such sacrifice of my own free will would generate the life I was meant for. A way of living that kept me from being present and authentic in the moment.

True discipline is the act of choosing what I want when it is not easy. When I am tempted or distracted. When I don't have a clear plan. When I actually have to choose.

True discipline isn't living by my own strict rules. It's living by my own abundant values.

True discipline is choosing to wake up and exercise and meditate today as I live in the moment. Not forcing myself to work out and sit in stillness every morning for a month through fear and consequence.

Turns out discipline can unlock free will instead of sacrificing it.

Where is your discipline false? Where is it most true?

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