As I was preparing this, I realized that I’ve spent a majority of my life as a seeker. This is how I would best describe myself. A twisty, swervy, bumpy, pounding, hilly road of seeking. I have by no means been angel-like, although I have known all my life how good feels. I just never knew it was acceptable, or enough, for me to be that way. I have felt a constant throughout my life of this need to understand who God is and where I am in relation. I mostly grew up feeling I was never enough and thought everyone was better than me. I learned early on, the precious gift of stuffing feelings and it afforded me to be who I wasn’t for so long, I no longer had the capability of knowing who I really was.
At 12 years old, my father told me I had to toughen up. I didn’t know to ask what he meant, and he didn’t know to be clearer. Immediately after that conversation I began practicing getting red hot angry. This initiated me to spending my teen years fighting. Fighting against anyone for anything. I lost a lot, which inside, I was glad about, because I felt I deserved it. To date, I’ve never punched anyone in the face without feeling the pain I caused. Back then, I thought this showed me as being weak. Today I see tears as the spark of who I really am. Over time I realized what my Dad was telling me back then. That I was too sensitive. Today… I ask questions! Lots of them!! One of my favorite sayings is “there’s never a bad question”.
Although I’m not proud of everything I’ve done in my life, I am honest about it. Mostly because it’s brought me to here… Who I am today!
I spent a lot of time confusing fear with respect. My idols were characters like, Al Pacino in Scarface, Rocky, and The God Father. I felt respected when people feared me. It’s taken decades of work to see this correctly. What’s funny is, through all this I knew there was this opposite person within me. I just, for some reason thought he wasn’t good enough, and was too afraid of what would happen to me if anyone ever found out who he/I was. I didn’t know it then, but I kept up this ‘tough guy’ persona, to cover up how deeply, painfully afraid I was.
As a child I was afraid I couldn’t “do” enough. Later it became a fear of not “being” enough. I spent a majority of my life afraid of authority. It’s just been over the past several years that I see them as being on equal footing as I myself. In relationships I was opposite from my fighting. I was the savior. It makes sense, since it readily offered the self–sacrifice that I so needed to feel. I was so afraid of not being loved, left or of being alone, I attached myself to anyone that would let me. I was the kind of guy that sacrificed all of “me” for “you”, no matter what. You know the type. The person that gives everything they have and everything they are to a relationship, and then beat myself up, as I got my heart stomped in the other person’s departure. I spent so much of my life not knowing who I was because I was too tied up figuring out who (I thought) the other person wanted me to be.
My first insight into self-awareness came from individual counseling. What sparked this willingness was a complete inability to feel a sense of accomplishment or happiness. I guess being as close to suicide as I hope I ever get, my heart became open to another direction. Between the counseling and program, my eyes began the slowwwww process of opening. Overall, I’ve learned a plethora about myself and mankind in that time. I’ve spent a large portion of the past 18 years working on, studying and growing spiritually, emotionally and physically. I have read so many great books and I love it when I’m reading different books, by different authors, at the same time, and they are delivering the same message. It’s an AWESOME natural high!
I am a true work-in-progress! I incorporate reading, studying, meditation and recovery into my life on a regular basis. I try to live healthy; body, mind and spirit. I am active in all areas of my life today. Because I get a lot out of meditation, spend time working with a teacher, to help me understand and experience higher levels of awareness and vibration. Over the past few years I seem to be drawn to inventorying my beliefs. Events keep happening that cause me conflict between what I’ve always believed, and what I am learning and want to be. My life has gone from suicidal, to homicidal, to acceptance, in a lot of areas. I can say NO and be OK with it. I can not meet every expectation placed before me in a relationship and still feel good about myself. I’m able to feel good about my yes’s today, because they are my choice. They are not out of guilt. I have the ability to end unhealthy relationships. I feel enough self-esteem to tell a person who I am AND THEN stand by what I said. I am an active participant in my life and with my decisions.
All of these miracles and insights are not based on things someone tells me to do. They come not from thought, but from feelings. I continue to learn to close my mind and open my heart. I attribute the discovery I’ve had in not just reading and studying, but application!! I love doing things like watching a sunrise while I’m in prayer. If it’s cloudy, I get a laugh out of telling God, “You’ve had better days”. Or walking into the woods deep enough to no longer hear traffic, or see houses and just be.
Today, I work on feeling who I am, not thinking. Being, not doing. All the great teachers I follow speak of this. Shutting off the mind and feeling direction. Typically when this happens for me, it comes from my chest cavity and it comes in the form of a feeling, with a slight direction. That’s the best way I can describe it. From where I’ve been to who I am today is amazing to me! It excites the hell right out of me and I want so much to share this and be in community with others who are on this journey. This is the purpose of me creating lifes-lessons.com. I hope to hear from you on “What I Learned Today…” and who knows where this will lead. I know it will be exactly where it is supposed to!