choosing faith

Believe

butterfly on flowers

 

She told me to wish on a star because it will make my wish come true. Somewhere between stardust and sunbeams when dreams feel so real you can smell the rain, I almost believe. Then sleep falls from my eyes, and I’m hit with the starkness of reality.

She said that grown-ups can’t be happy because they’ve forgotten how to dream. In the fervor of her argument when her tiny hands fly up in exasperation while conviction invades every word, I want to believe. Then it’s time to come in from the chill, and I’m hit with the emptiness of silence.

She gave up on the little lost boy in a green hat when she turned seven. While I watch her scan the twinkling horizon for a hint of fairy dust in hopes that some dreams are worth holding on to, I begin to believe. Then her head drops along with those beautiful blue eyes, and I’m hit by tiny fragments of shattered hope.

She’ll tell you the greatest gift I ever gave her was life. Between the smiles and tears, hopes and fears, lost dreams and found things when I’m sure all strength is gone, I do believe.

I believe in her… and that is enough to make me believe in almost anything.

Is it possible to believe in something or someone so much that we live in the illusion of what or who they might become until reality catches up with our dreams?

In both writing and life I had embraced a type of idealism that dissuaded the possibility of anything save goodness and the best version of people. After spending far too much time in the bitter slice of what others accepted as real, I’ve chosen to return to a life that might resemble illusion or a dream land to those on the outside. As with my current relationship, this is a weighed and balanced choice because the purity of child-like innocence accepts the actuality of magic where reality cannot.

I believe in people, and their ability to do magical and creative and kind things in this world. What do you believe in?

Categories: angels on earth, belief, childhood, choosing faith, Drive by life, innocence, Rob Thomas, the universes we create | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Update: Living with Lupus, Publishing, and what life looks like when I live it

2320436-a-viceroy-butterfly-is-shown-emerging-from-it-s-chrysalis-in-five-shots-merged-together

Winter has been tough on everyone. Just ask the guy next to you. I’m certain he has more than one complaint – weather, money, illness. We’ve all been battered, and the massive shift in universal energy is throwing all kinds of crap in our face, but this isn’t a bad thing.

We all have illusions to break and walls to break down. This time has been good for that at least.

For several years my body progressively became more difficult to manage. Pain, constant pain I suffered through in silence, racked my joints and muscles, the winter being a particularly difficult time. But now I have an answer.

Systemic Lupus. Yay me! But not really.

The diagnosis came barrelling in with a lovely expiration date. That’s right, the docs gave my one remaining kidney 8-10 years at best. To make this a little more OMG, they said I wasn’t a candidate for a transplant. Needless to say I was shell shocked. I’ve since found other, less cryptic doctors, who have given me hope. Yes, hope! Combined with a steady ingestion of Prednisone, I’m feeling much better.

The lovely addition of two beautiful children and one of my best friends in the world to this too empty house has given us all a renewed sense of peace and joy. Little things, so very small, have been flowing together to ease the stress and inspire us all to love and support one another. For that I am eternally grateful.

Thank you, Universe, for having my back.

Next in line is publishing. Last month I pushed through a flare-up to put No Name Lane: Diary of an Angel up on Amazon Kindle. It’s a journey, part fiction, part personal, but all about breaking away the thought processes that keep us from joy. With any luck it’ll add a little more light into the universe, and we could all use more of that right now.

00 No Name Lane

To end this rather short update, I am coming back. Just need a little time to settle into this new joy. When someone tells you life comes with a time limit, it puts a lot of things in perspective. And I didn’t realize how much of life I was missing by wallowing in a pool of stress and obligations. Let’s face it, we’re gonna have bills and homes to care for and kids to manage. But those things don’t have to be a noose. We know they’re a part of being on this planet, so why not shrug, smile, and chase a three year old around a living room that’s covered with toys and blankets.

Those are the moments worth living. If we don’t truly reach out and cherish the people around us, then we’re facing this all alone. In the long history of our world, man has always banded together to share resources and support one another. It’s only been in the last several hundred years that we’ve broken away for it, and a progressive steam of hopelessness and loneliness followed.  Why we screwed with a good thing is beyond me, but I’m gathering a tribe, a group of incredible people for mutual love and support. Somewhere in there we’ll find a hell of a lot of joy as well.

To top it all off, you’re part of it. Yes, YOU! Why? Because I’ve seen your heart, the joy and pain, and no one should have to live either alone because, like I told a little seven year old the other day, we’re better together. Yes, I went Jack Johnson on you. ~winky smile~

Love you bunches, and look forward to talking again soon. Mwahhhh!

Categories: allowing the positive, angels on earth, breaking illusions, children, Choice, choosing faith, love, separation and society, spirituality, the universes we create | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Lesson of the Mirror

00 brunette

 

People were complex bits of total awesomesauce and hotmess. We all had baggage no one would ever see because people could also be very judgemental. So we rarely opened up to them, preferring to live a somewhat detached version of ourselves to remain safe. While I understood the desire to be safe, I’d found opening up could be an amazing experience, even if I risked momentary damage to the softer parts of my soul.

A good friend of mine had someone in his life I’d grown very fond of. She was a bit on the extreme spiritual side, but her perspective often caused me to look at situations from a completely different angle. I cherished her wisdom, even though I didn’t connect the dots the same way she did because my experiences were unique to me.

When she and I first met, my friend warned me that she could be a meddling busybody and ultimately only cares about herself. He said she was superficial and judgemental. While this may have been his experience knowing her, I’d found her to be honest, direct, and insightful.

Over the years, I’d run into this time and again. One or several people denounced someone else, which led to some invisible, unspoken line of separation. But we often forget…

“The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to

every man the reflection of his own face.

Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon

you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind

companion; and so let all young persons take

their choice.” ― William Makepeace Thackeray

 

 

When you found that elusive inner peace, you saw the world through a different eyes. No enemies, no judgement, no invisible foes intent on causing you pain. Instead, you’d see the goodness of all men. And let me tell you, there’s a hell of a lot more good in people than anything else.

When people constantly saw an enemy in the face of what otherwise might be a friend, it was a reflection of something within them. A part of themselves that usually was their own worst enemy. Lets face it, no one could put us down the way we could, right?

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Can you do it without turning away? Is the reflection the one you hoped to see? Can you look in your own eyes and see love looking back? Or do you glance away quickly so as not to be forced to face all the things you can’t stand about yourself?

Many years ago a dear friend had me do an exercise I’ve started again, and one I’d like you to try.

For the next thirty days, stand in front of the mirror close enough to look in your eyes directly without distraction. It’ll be difficult at first, you’ll want to look away, but resist the urge, and say…

“I love you.”

“You are precious, and I’m here to keep you safe.”

“You are an incredible person, and I’m so thankful to know you.”

“You…” get the idea.

Say all the things you’d wished a friend, parent, lover, or spouse might say.

At first, you won’t believe it. Your mind will contend this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, and that idiot who wrote this post is completely insane. Why? Because we’re not used to loving ourselves, we’re not used to saying good things about the person we’ve become. We listen to all the people, who were just seeing a reflection of themselves in you, as a repetitive stream in our heads of why we aren’t worthy.

“The beginning of love is to let those we love

be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them

to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only

the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

~ Thomas Merton

 

How many times a day do you twist to fit someone else’s image of who you should be or what you should do? How often have you tried to reflect back what you think someone wants to see, then find they no longer want to be your friend?

I’m far from being a saint, but I do cherish the teachers who come into my life. And recently I met one who reminded me of the lessons of the mirror, and that when I’m at peace and my intentions are focused on love, don’t twist anything about myself to make someone more comfortable. Because ultimately, people only see in others a reflection of what is inside themselves.

During that brief span of weeks, I couldn’t face myself in the mirror. Now I looked without turning away and saw exactly what I’d hoped to see once again.

Categories: allowing the positive, angels on earth, choosing faith, conscious choices, magic, peace, relationships, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Cerise Dawn

0 red dawn

* * *

Cerise dawn,
lawn still fresh with dew.
She withdrew to uncover
spades large enough,
their rough watercolor edges,
and smooth ledges worn by love;
all scenes she could not see.

Dug in,
she begins the task
to unmask stalemates
that bind her heart.
Another start, but no falter.
She’ll halter the opines
until the job is done.

Letting go,
walk slow to keep from tripping.
The ripping no longer sounds
like bugle calls at twilight,
No night to halt the day,
these memories stay intact,
but lack the shadow
pain once cast.

* * *

Healing for the mind… and heart… and soul. 🙂

Categories: behind the words, certainty, Choice, choosing faith, heart, hope, journey, lettng go, rebirth, scars, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

First Steps

“And  the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the  risk it took to blossom.”
~ Anais Nin

* * *

Pain.

We suppress it. Look for any possible means to avoid it. Some people choose drugs and alcohol, others throw themselves into love, while still others are addicted to chasing after it as a completely different type of escape.

I did everything I could to avoid feeling the pain of losing that relationship—threw myself into writing, created the entire illusion of a life, including temporary relationships that would dull it for a time. Sure, they were all very nice, and the life I’ve created is less of an illusion now, but the truth is I needed to feel the full unbridled emotions of loss in order to move forward.

We all need to mourn. For many, they never get the chance to say goodbye. The long slow transition from lovers to friends hadn’t allowed me the closure I needed to let go of the first to fully embrace the second. I do blame him for part of that. My repeated attempts to say, “This is the end of the romance we had” were met with opposition because in some ways he was never ready to let go either. But, and this may sound harsh, his selfishness in not allowing that final moment, that final kiss prolonged what should have been a faster transition.

There would have been pain either way, but at least there would have been closure too.

After lying in a puddle on the kitchen floor, trembling and sobbing, the white-hot stabbing pain in my chest became a dull ache. It’s not over completely, one day of mourning isn’t likely to bring finality to anything, but it’s a start—one that was a long time coming to bear.

Happiness and bliss are wonderful, and I’d like to say that we grow more from love than anything else, but we’re human. So I’m not going to lie to you. Pain, loss, grief, anxiety, fear—they’re all a part of the cycle of growth and life. We must dig deep to find the tools to deal with them, instead of burying everything in an endless cavern for fear we won’t survive. We’re stronger than that, and built to withstand the successions of death and growth that face us. It’s a fact of our existence that everything eventually ends.

We are then confronted with another fact—The Next Step.

Where do we go after challenging our demons? Up?

Do we wake to another sunrise, drag out of bed, and then fall down into slumber to start again? Yes… and no.

Well, after a bout of compression (down cycle) we then move into expansion… or at least we’re supposed to. Some people get caught in a Bi-polaresque growth/death scenario because they have yet to fully deal with the pain. It’s rapid and destructive and tends to pull people back repeatedly. As long as we’re imprisoned there, we’ll never reach the expansion (up cycle) part of the journey.

Now, I’m not saying that up cycles are all giggles and laughs, but what’s important is the emotional and spiritual growth that happens because of the new tools we learn. Better ways to tackle anxiety, facing a loss instead of hiding from it, accepting failure as a part learning a better way to do something, creating long-lasting relationships built on a basis of love and trust, living in a daily state of happiness because you’ve seen the darkest days and know that the sun will eventually rise. All of these build a foundation. In them, we find that life can be as remarkable or ordinary as we choose to make it.

Ordinary is fine. However, most people choose it not because they desire a generally calm state of being, but because they’re afraid of facing pain, loss, grief, anxiety, and fear. Hiding ourselves from the world won’t stop any of those things from finding us, and can actually contribute to extended compression cycles in which no growth occurs.

Remarkable takes less work than most people think, but requires greater risk—risk of heartache, of loss, of failure, of everything not turning out in a precisely calculated way. But some of the best things, the greatest blessings in my life happened by sheer accident. I didn’t seek them out, but was open enough to let them in when they appeared.

That’s the way the universe works, it’s random and beautiful and calculated and spontaneous all at the same time. We may not know what lies in wait around the next corner, but after facing the darkness and coming out alive… what do really have to fear and what can we gain by risking it all?

Categories: belief, certainty, Choice, choosing faith, heart, hope, journey, lettng go, loss, love, moving forward, relationships, taking risks, the fear that binds us, the next step | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Melody, Stars, & Golden Barley

*

The golden tips of the barley grass now reach above the old worn fence posts. In the evening, when the sun shines just right I swear it looks like spun strands of honey. Even the bees buzzing around them seemed confused, but they flit through them trying to catch the sunlit treasure anyway.

I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

The fire licks the log. Though resistant, its smoldering edges eventually succumb to ancient embers, still showing signs of life from the burning man she created the night before. The ash of which circles the old wheelwell in gray-white reverence.

And… I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

When the sun finally falls beneath the misty mountains, a milk sky of stars begin to form. Their twinkle is no map to some distant land. No, they’ve already led these weary travelers to their final destination. We lay beneath them, pointing out the constellations… or making up our own… because this sacred land can only be found by those who know the stars never move, but stay constant and fixed even when the largest of their kind come out to greet the day.

Still… I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

The soft melody playing in the background dronws out a passing train. Its clickety-clack reminds us that adventure is a steel track away and waiting for us to venture down it. The knowledge soothes us, but fails to move us because we’ve seen that world. Its hustle and bustle isn’t suited for hearts that find more beauty in the twined flight of hawks overhead than the patchwork of cars roaring by.

Did I mention…? I can’t imagine a more peaceful place.

He gets the laundry while she sits next to me sketching another masterpiece. Soon he’ll find the words to describe his latest adventure. I wait patiently, watching the his long distant gaze into the now dying flames. I know he sees something hidden within them, but he’s not ready to share those secrets. So, again I write of the melody, and stars, and golden barley, and passing trains.

A more peaceful place I can’t imagine.

*

“What with all my expectations long abandoned
My solitary nature notwithstanding…”

I said it, I meant it… then, now and always.

 

Categories: answers, belief, certainty, choosing faith, contentment, found, patience, relationships, secrets, the universe, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Purpose

Some people search their whole lives for it. Few see a glimpse; fewer still, will find it.

Even as a child, I knew my soul purpose in life was transition. Whenever a friend was going through a life-changing event, somehow they always turned to me for advice and support. As I moved into adulthood, the trend continued. The more I fought it, the more pain I felt until, one day, I stopped fighting.

I would say it’s a gift, an honor to help people, but honestly it’s not something you ask for. Not only is it completely draining, with that unconditional love and support, loss usually follows. Even if you become lifelong friends, which typically doesn’t happen, you have to let go in order for them to spread their newfound wings.

It’s similar to letting a child go out into the great big world. You want to hold on because you invested so much energy into the relationship (and you love them), but you understand that they need to take the next step. Eventually, everyone must stand alone, strong and heart-ready to face the world.

This is where I typically falter.

When you create such strong connections and watched so many people take that step, you don’t want to lose them. Sometimes you fight, sometimes you cry, and yet other times you lock yourself away in a cabin for the weekend aware that you are better for having known them.

Eventually, you’ll regain balance, make peace with the loss, and find renewed passion for this blessing the universe handed you.

I’ve met some incredible people in my life: writers, poets, artists, musicians, racecar drivers, pilots, architects, engineers, politicians, professors, rocket scientists, and everyday hardworking people.

The one thing that will never change, no matter how much pain I experience, is that I’m thankful… no… honored that they were part of my life.

 

*   *   *

“…try and see my heart…”

Categories: choosing faith, contentment, heart, lettng go, pain, purpose, relationships, the next step, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

My Hope for You

*

I once wrote that a heart is like the universe; an expanse so great that it never fills. You can place the stars, the planets, and the sun within it and still there’s room for more.

The stars are those people who have touched our lives. Some remain, while others pass through like a dream, but each has left a stardust trail in our souls.

The planets are the people who live in our everyday: mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, companions, and friends. They are large, ever-present forces revolving around us with evolving love. They laugh, cry, and sit with us through every solar storm ripping our universe apart.

The sun—well now, that’s an important part of our universe. It helps to light the darkest parts of our souls, though few have found that elusive unconditional love.

Make no mistake; the sun isn’t always a boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, wife or husband. No, the sun is that one person, who—even in their worst moments—still has light to share with you. They can put aside pain and frustration to share their light of wisdom and knowledge with you. We all need a sun.

As with the physical universe, everything within the heart can be considered matter.

The thing about matter is that it eventually breaks down. Never completely leaving, matter reorganizes itself to become something new. Sometimes, its energy filled with emotion that allows us to grow. Sometimes, it evolves to become an entirely different organism. In some instances, matter journeys on to other universes where it enriches everything it comes in contact with, but the impact of its stay with us will never dissipate.

Whatever the orbit and time with us, we are forever changed by the people who enter our lives. We can mourn their absence when they move on. Or we can celebrate the light and love they introduced into our universe; becoming better people, whether we know it or not, for the time we spent together.

My hope for you on this Valentine’s Day is that you celebrate love—past and present—with an open and unconditional heart. Let go of the pain and frustration of lost loves; and know, that the universe is an ever-expansive, never-filling space within your heart. There’s always room for one more star, one more planet, one more step towards hope and love.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day & *Heart Hugs*

Categories: belief, certainty, choosing faith, heart, hope, relationships, stars, the universe, unconditional love, Valentine's Day | Tags: | Leave a comment

A Message of Love

*

It’s an illusion, the glimmered mirage reflected in watery eyes doesn’t dip past the surface, but the rocks you skip aren’t meant to sink. They skim in rippled jumps, each barely tapping the water as it reaches for the other shore. Exhausted from the journey, they eventually succumb to the pull and sink.

Before you watch them disappear beneath the waves, another rock is hand ready and held tight.

The breeze carries a message through a flowing curtain of willows. They weep for a world-weary heart hardened by time and a touch of life. Desperate to catch your eye, the branches wave frantically, whipping just above your head. When the rustle grows, you glance in annoyance cursing the disruption. The branches, drained from the effort, release the call to let it settle back along the wind.

But life is persistent; it turns to the nightingale, hoping that the sun-brushed melody melts past the iced prison walls surrounding your heart.

The nightingale sings, on the water’s edge, fighting past cellophane wings to catch your ear. His little heart beats a foreign rhythm of love. The song drifts past an unwilling soul wrapped comfortably in its loneliness. As he prepares to expend his final breath, you turn to throw another stone and stir the water with a splash. Off he flies in search of new ears to capture.

If you paused, the absence would be glaring, but the urge to continue skipping overwhelms the senses. So you throw another stone, hoping this one will make it to the other side. The frustration builds as each one falls faster beneath the deep indigo waters than the last.

Realization has yet to take hold, but life is persistent.

It compels the lazy clouds to gather. A flashing blanket of white extends across the sky. When it begins to cry, you feel the first drop roll across your cheek. You brush it away without a thought. The first drip safely in hand, you return to task. Scowling at the heavens, you warn them in brief sharp glances.

A deep voice rumbles across the hills. It grows to a deafening roar as you scream out for silence. Undeterred, the sky opens. In typed drips on the water’s surface, it faithfully sends the message of love. As it soaks through, you feel the warmth dip past the skin.

Your face turns skyward letting each one roll down rose touched cheeks.

It continues to flow as the stones drop down into the moss-covered soil below. Finally, the words pool right below the neck, through brittle walls, into that space emptied by loneliness.

…because life is persistent and all it needs is time.

Categories: answers, belief, choosing faith, heart, life, messages, pain, patience, purpose, scars, unconditional love | Tags: | Leave a comment

Reborn

*

Hush the sky, my dearest

let the cracks fill

with a soft blue of the reborn

 

Listen to the memory of rain

tap down storm drains

like a train on iron tracks

 

Tempests do not follow

down paths of light

where darkness dare not dwell

 

The damp ground

with its aroma of life

reawakens to thoughts of spring

 

We do not travel lightly here

heavy with burdens

lost to blinded eyes

 

Still, the blue of horizons

not yet conquered

await our footsteps

 

So, hush the sky, my dearest

the cracks fade in footfalls

and in their echo, we are reborn

Categories: belief, choosing faith, freedom, heart, journeymen, love, memories, messages, patience, purpose, taking risks | Tags: | Leave a comment

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