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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Its not you, its me

"You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own. Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures that fact that you believe them to be yours..." -ACIM

I've spent some time lately letting go of a lot of things. (This post really is just a continuation of the one from 10/22 since this is still on my mind. That post was mostly about my internal restlessness, this one more with outward projection as it relates. Keep up dear reader! We're not playing around here. Just kidding. Do what you want.)

One of my issues in life is my perceived inability to relax in my life, or to be comfortable in doing nothing. Do nothing? What are you crazy!? I have to be 'doing something' all the time otherwise... what?

The quote above can be seen as: what you hate in another or see as his/her faults is what you fear about yourself. I fear being perceived as lazy or not fulfilling my potential. That's right dear reader, I live (have lived) with that fear. Whenever I see someone or perceive someone as lazy it triggers in me a sense of anger or judgment. What a lazy bastard that guy is! Look at his life! Oh man, if he would just not be so lazy he could... what? Nothing. He/She isn't lazy. Its merely my projection out onto that person and a reflection of my own guilt over my own self-judgement of being lazy.

What's Now?
Here is what's now. I went to a good college, got a degree, traveled the world, learned new languages, cultures, I helped people, I learned a lot, and I checked off a lot of boxes that the world would consider to be "successes." Now, I'm 34 years old and working at an inn talking to tourists all day. According to the world, I barely make a living wage, I work at a service job that could be done by a high school kid, and I've "squandered" my checked boxes by not "working hard" and "living up to my potential." Oh my, how my life appears to suck from their perspective. How lazy are you? You could have "done" so much more!

Now, I laugh at that because I know that I am where I am supposed to be. I am comfortable in my life. However, in my internal search and in my digging into my path in life, there is this notion of laziness that has been nagging at me. I discovered that I was unable to even enjoy a day off from work because I needed to constantly be "doing" something so as not to appear lazy. Sunday off? Well I need to clean the bathroom, do laundry, go to the store, there's that project I've been meaning to work on, I really should go get the oil changed in the car... What happened to my day off? I might find sometime to meditate and relax, but even that had to be scheduled. What the shit is that? What happened to being able to sit on the couch, eat some popcorn and watch some football? What happened to being able to turn off the tv, the computer, the phone, the kindle, and everything else and just being?

Sorry, that last paragraph got a bit rambley there. I don't edit these as you may know, but rather just let stuff come up and then out... moving on...

I am not lazy. The inability to 'do nothing' that was present in my life in the past is slowly fading away as is my fear of being perceived as lazy. I've stopped projecting laziness out onto others and have stopped seeing that as "my brother's sin." The funny thing about it is that the more and more work I do on myself the more and more I enjoy it. The more I identify my "issues" the more and more I like looking at them rather than shying away from them. Laziness is just one of them. Relaxing, doing nothing, being present in the moment, these are not aspect of laziness. The only person the ever judged me for that was me.

Anxiety and fear are the things that come with this constant need to be 'doing something.' Better do something or you're lazy! But as I dig this up more and more and let it go, the more relaxed and comfortable I feel. The more relaxed and comfortable I feel the more I allow things to happen. I need do nothing!

I've stopped hiding. There is nothing that I want to hide anymore. Not from myself, God, my teachers, my friends, anyone really. I want to share. I want to share because I want to love. I want to accept because I want to accept love. Laziness was one of the first things to be tossed aside. This week, with a some help, I found another aspect that needs to be dug up and let go of... Abandonment.

So, tune in next time dear reader and hear all about it... in the interim, I'm going to 'do nothing' except my own work on myself. I have a lot to discover, uncover, look at, let go of, and a lot to forgive.

Hey, if you've made it this far, I just want you to know something... you are loved.
Smile a sincere smile today knowing that.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Goodbye Memaw

Yesterday I got word that my grandmother passed away.

Every parent or grandparent will tell you that they don't play favorites when it comes to their children or grandchildren. Not my Memaw. (That's right. I called my grandmother Memaw. Deal with it.) I was her first grandchild and she never really hid the fact that I was her favorite. Neither did I. She was, is and forever will be my most loved Memaw.

Death teaches us all a lot. I've come to learn that it is only a part of life and that we all only really move on to a greater understanding of ourselves and God after we leave our bodies and "die." We never really die. We are all just released from this reality and graduate to a greater understanding. That knowledge offers a great deal of comfort to those still behind who may be left here, still a little boy, missing their Memaw.

Those who play a large roll in our education and upbringing also offer us a chance to reflect once they pass away. And, my grandmother is certainly an example of that. Looking at it last night and again today I've been really appreciating the things that she taught me in life:

Unconditional Love.
I have never in my life met anyone who offered up so much unconditional love to everyone she met like my Memaw. "Andrew, everyone has something good to offer in this world." I also believe she is the first person I ever heard speak the universal truth of, "Our job is not to judge but to love." If only I could have truly learned that lesson from her.
Love is all you ever got from her. Always loving, always forgiving.

All of my grandparents were Depression Babies. They all grew up dirt poor in the rural South. For the most part my grandparents carried that with them throughout their lives. That sense of lack and always fearing a future of less. Not Memaw. She was the ever optimist. Things will always get better. Even after she had a stroke several years ago, had broken a hip, my grandfather had died, and she was in a wheelchair, she still believed that she would rehab, move out of assisted living, get a job, an apartment, and start living on her own again. Most people laughed this off, but you could see that she really just had a spirit of optimism in her eyes that despite it all would never fade.

Be Thankful for the Small Things in Life.
If love was number one from Memaw, gratitude was a close second. She was always so grateful for everything in her life. I was always amazed at how excited she could get over the smallest things. For her, everyday was like a CrackerJacks box; there was always a prize to be found in it. Never forced, never fake, genuine. There are several stories I could share to back this up, but trust me; she was always grateful for everyday that she lived on this earth.

The Christmas Spirit!
There was never a better time of year as a child than being around Memaw during the Christmas Season. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve Christmas and Memaw. For her it was a time of year to celebrate Jesus first of course, her family, and the wholeness of everything Christmas. Trees, lights, gifts, cookies, reds, greens, golds, Santa, elves, stockings, singing, and anything that made you think more and feel more about Christmas. Her love and her optimism grew ten times during Christmas and everyone around her could feel it. There has not been and never will be a Christmas that comes or goes with out me thinking about Memaw. She was one of the greatest gifts I ever received.

I cried a lot last night. I'm crying now. But only at the loss of the ability to be with my Memaw in this place. She has not left me. I heard her voice last night as clear as if she were in the room with me say what she had said a million times, "Andrew, sweetie... I love you."

I love you too Memaw. I love you too!

Mary H. Huldow

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Frustration is just Restless

We all have times when we're restless. Some people describe it like an itch, a drive to do something. We're taught that we get what we want in life by working hard and doing all we can to achieve that goal.

I've challenged a lot over the past couple of months and one of those things has been my constant urge to feel like I'm doing something to not appear lazy. If I'm doing something, working on something then I'm getting closer to my goals right? If I'm doing something then I can't be judged as lazy or not doing my work right? If I'm doing something then I'm in control of my path right?


I can get frustrated in my personal development because I sometimes don't feel like I'm doing enough. I judge myself for not doing enough or asking the right questions or reading enough, or forgiving enough. I judge myself as not doing enough. This restlessness causes frustration. But what about my past experiences has ever proved to me that my perceived control and my busy doing has worked? Nothing. Otherwise restlessness and frustration would never appear.

What if surrendering and doing nothing were the answer I've always been looking for. What if allowing rather than forcing was a better path. Strength comes from lack of defense right?

“I need do nothing”is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation, or of struggle against temptation. -ACIM

More than a century of contemplation? Wow. Um... sounds good to me. In searching myself, I've found that allowing, accepting, and relaxing have in the past proven to be difficult for me. Now, I'm trying to relearn life. Reevaluate my life. Relax. Accept. Do nothing and be safe in that holy instant. Live in that instant.

One meditation that has proved helpful to me I will pass on to you dear reader here:
Think about this exact moment. Look away from the screen you're reading this on and think about right now. What problems do you have in this instant? Not rent being due next week, not work later today, not dinner that needs to be made, nothing from the past, nothing from the future. Right this second, what problems do you have? None! Everything is as it should be. You are where you should be.

“A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans that it receives through listening to Wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done, and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it. It is secure in certainty that obstacles can not impede its progress to accomplishment of any goal that serves the greater plan established for the good of everyone.” (W-pI.135.11:1-5)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Blog is back with a brand new edition

Something grabs a hold of me tightly pulls like a harpoon daily and nightly. Will this reference ever stop? I don't know.

Well dear reader, the blog is back. I will make no promises how long this will go on for, but there are as you may have seen just a few changes. Title among them. No longer am I going to look at What's Next but rather What's Now. I don't know what the future holds for me nor am I even concerned with that. I can and am only focusing on what's going on with me right now.

So in the coming days and weeks I will from time to time be coming here to express some of my thoughts and emotions and just using this as a place to get those, "out there." I doubt anyone is really reading this anymore since I haven't posted in so long, and that's fine too. But, if you do happen to stumble across this well, you may just be in for a few nuggets of wisdom, a few laughs, and maybe even a few tears. Who knows.

No college football commentary though. Sorry to all my past college football faithful. One realization that I came to about football is that it is divisive and can breed a lot more negativity than positivity. Think about your own "fandom." There is the team you love, the teams you sort of like or tolerate, then there are a whole group of teams that you just hate! Why? Because that's what football fandom creates in all of us. Anybody but the fucking Cowboys! Fuck them! Yaaarrr! Right? And if you don't agree with me, well then screw you too! Divisive. Not for me.
Now, I will still watch some football. But I certainly am not engaged with it like I used to be. It is what it is, I am what I am. We don't need to define or identify with one another. Football will be fine without me and I'll be fine without it.

This is what's now. Hopefully, I'll be back soon.