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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

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Don't be a kill joy!

As many of you know here at 'What's Now' I like to take quotes sometimes and disagree with them. This one however popped up twice for me this week "randomly" and both times I was reassured by it that I'm moving in the right direction.

This week my theme seemed to be: Get back to the basics and I'm the only person that I need to or want to impress. Start small and move forward... celebrate your success... don't worry about what anyone else thinks.

I was triggered several times this week by small 'insignificant' things that brought up a lot of anger in me. Each time I lived in those moments was hell. Each time I was not in a present state of mind and each time I either did or said something that was not loving. However, each time those situations got shorter and shorter because I kept catching myself and asking, "Is this who you want to be?" Am I upset because that person said something about me or did something to me? Or am I upset for another reason? 100% of the time the answer was because I was putting something into the situation that caused me to be upset. I was the one choosing to get angry or "offended." I was the one who was comparing how I thought I was to how I thought I should be. How I thought the other person was treating me versus looking at the situation as it really was. I wasn't taking responsibility for my own emotions and reactions.

Where does that leave me then? Well it leaves me nowhere, because I'm here. However it does lead me to forgiveness. Self-forgiveness. Real forgiveness. I got so forgiving the other night that I damn near cried. "It's okay man. That's not who you are now. I forgive you. Yes, that happened, yes you did that or said that. So what? Is that who you are? Is that who you want to be? Guess what? You don't have to do it anymore. You aren't that. That doesn't have to be that way."
Now schizophrenic duel voice aside, some real shit got shifted for me in that. It felt like I was just talking to my past self and telling him that I was okay and he didn't need to feel guilt about it anymore. Past me is forgiven because what he did or didn't do doesn't affect me anymore. "I release you!"

Hey! I came here to read about comparison... you say.
Well I'm getting there... Comparison is the thief of joy because comparing myself to how I am and how I think I ought to be just sucks. I'm not there yet. I am right here. Today I take a step, tomorrow maybe I'll take another or who knows, maybe two. We'll get there when we get there. Comparing myself to my past self sucks too. I may feel better, I may like now more than then, but I can't compare because I can't crawl back into that mindset and I can't judge my past self when I'm too busy forgiving and letting all that judgment go.  Wait? What do you mean you can't compare to your past self? Well... okay, there will be times when I go, oh wow... I used to ______ and then think: 'Man I'm glad that's not part of my life anymore. I'm so much better off.' However, I'm not looking at past me and saying what a shitty place that was because I'm not going to project backwards any judgment or pull into the present any guilt over any of that. Sounds kind of douchey, but really it's not since forgiveness is weaved throughout it all.

Insert segue here

Ever had a happy day? Just clipping along and loving life, not sweating the small stuff like your bank account balance, the laundry that needs doing, or the week of work ahead. Just floating and enjoying it. I love those days. But in those days are where comparison kills joy most of all. You then see a post somewhere about Bill Gates and his billions being used to help
people while he's chilling by a pool somewhere and you think... damn, I may be well but I'm not Bill Gates well. Aaaaaand, there goes the good day. Now you're comparing. Now you're seeing yourself as less than because you've started putting things on ol' Bill and his billions. You think about your wish for billions or heck just $20 more to get a good lunch. You feel less somehow and you've just comparison killed your good day.

Flip that comparison around and in the same happy day you see a homeless many who is dirty and weak looking sitting under a bridge while it rains. Now you say to yourself, 'Well at least I'm not wet under a bridge depressed.' Um... who said that guy was depressed? Did you go talk to him and ask? Or did you just project that onto him? You're day just slid into comparison and then guilt over your "higher position" on the happiness ladder. See? Thieving joy all over the place.

Where this plays into my life right now is that I'm trying to compare myself to not only others but to my own expectations. I was getting down on myself for "not getting it" or "not being able to shift" or "not understanding how to change" or "not knowing what I want." I was thieving myself of the joy of my days. I was stealing my own happiness by not just forgiving and letting it go. I was not concentrating on myself and doing what I want to do and being what I want to be... right now! Not then, not next week, right now. Right now I want to type a blog. Wha-la! A blog is being typed. Randomly and all over the place I'm sure, but we're getting there.

My teacher has a cool analogy that he uses a lot that has been super helpful to me this week as well. If you're a second grader and you're talking to a senior in High School, then you're not going to understand what they're talking about when they discuss their calculus homework. (Side note: I never took calculus and didn't even know how to spell it just now). Anyway, the second grader can't get frustrated about it because that's not where they are! It's going to take a lot of time and a lot of lessons in life (school of life) to get to c-a-l-c-u-l-u-s. Okay, got it.
The point is if I'm siting here in second grade, then that's where I am. Let's enjoy it and move on to recess and art class. I'll get it and take in a few more ABCs and then move on to third grade. If I learn them well enough then who knows, I may be able to skip a grade, or two, or seven! If not, then hey, back to math class and move on. The point is, I can't compare myself to others who have been at this longer or who are opening up faster, forgiving more, forgiving less... because, that'll take all the fun and importance out of MY lessons. I've got to be the best second grader I can be. (sips juice box) I can't compare, one because I don't know enough about who or what I'm comparing myself to and two, it will take all the joy out of my lessons and my journey.

Bottom this line of thought out and you get to this: If you're busy comparing yourself to others, you're not spending that time looking at yourself; you're looking at others and practicing projection. Focus on yourself. You have only you to impress.

Back to the basics. Sitting here in whatever grade I'm in and learning the lessons as they come. I'm not trying to go after it all at once anymore. I'm just taking it as it comes and taking the pressure off. That whole "get it right or else you'll be punished" mindset is fading away. I'm saying, "Nah. I'm good. I am happy, and I'd like to stay that way."

Thanks for hanging with me this week dear reader. I know this wasn't the most eloquent of posts, but I did refrain from saying fuck this week, so... ooops. There was one. Ha! You're welcome!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sometimes being where you are...

...really fucking sucks!

Dear Reader,
I don't know who the hell reads this since I can only name about three of you, but the numbers say that dozens of people out there read my posts. Why? Who the fuck knows. And, after this post, that number may drop a bit. Or a lot. But you know what? I don't give a fuck! In fact, the numbers may swell. People do like watching a burning building and can't resist looking at a car wreck, so maybe you'll enjoy what's to come here on 'What's Now.'
There I said it. It's not that I don't like you guys, it's just that you may not like me a lot; and that's okay. I'm me. You take it or leave it. Accept it or reject it. I'll be fine (eventually) either way.

I say that to get to this. I fucking hate where I am right now and it's high time I make some changes around here. One, more F bombs! There's a voice in my head that says it's base and not really a great choice of writing styles. I'm choosing to tell that voice that I'm done playing by any fucking rules.

First (although this is about the third point), an update. I'm once again finding myself in an unfortunately familiar place. Another version of a long relationship has come to an end. Why? Me. There. That's it. It's me again. Fucking me. The emotionally withdrawn, defensive, stoic, role playing, role assigning, rule creating, rule following, master of his own illusion, asshole that is: Me! (This is not self-pity but calling it what it is. Don't try to sympathize with this version of me either, he's about to die a painful death).

Put yourself here: Your relationship ends... again. Your partner says they've done everything that they could do. A third party (who knows both sides of the story and can be trusted here) says that I'm not the one that got "dumped" because I am the one who ended it by withdrawing and not shifting. So, who's responsible here? Me! That's who.

Daaaaaaamn! (Insert Russian novel length diatribe on self-loathing, guilt, sorrow, and bleakness here). Fuckin'-A-Man; really? How in the hell did I allow this to happen? Again! What in the fuck??? I can type a thousand blog posts on lessons I'm learning, I can do forgiveness on whatever comes up, I can listen, I can pray, I can be patient, but for some fucking reason I can't get out of my own god damned way and be vulnerable, open and available to the people closest to me. I can't just fucking be me! I'd rather dick around and act the part than drop it all and get real. I'd rather watch all my closest relationships end... than get real. Ain't that some fucked up shit there now?!

And, you know where that has left me dear reader? Do you? It's gotten me to right the fuck right here. So wrapped up in self blame that I can't even allow myself to forgive myself for my mistakes. Mistakes! Fuck it. We all make them, we all get the chance to start over, we all get to reset and retry. So there's your optimism. I get to retry and get to restart! (fade).
Shit. I didn't want to be back here though! I certainly didn't intend to "let down" those that I had hoped to grow closer and grow older and take this journey with. But now those doors are closed and I'm left with finding an exit out of this shitty mental and emotional state that I find myself...again! (Have I mentioned that this has happened before? No need to beat myself up over it right? We get the lesson till we learn the lessons).

My lessons for the day could not have come at a better time: "I am determined to see things differently. I can escape from this world by giving up attack thoughts. I do not perceive my own best interests. I do not know what anything is for." -ACIM WB 55.

I do not know what all of this (or anything for that matter) is for. Amen to that. I don't know why I'm in this place in life, I have no idea where it's going, and I have no idea how I'm going to get there. However, I am determined to see things differently, and I am not interested in attacking others in my thoughts or my words. I am willing to see things differently, and I am not perceiving my own bests interests. How could I be? This whole time I thought I was serving my own interests and look where it's gotten me. Once again, by myself and emotionally torn up and in tears.

Dear reader, if you've made it this far, one thanks, and two, so far I have only one solution for us. Go back to the basics. Look within, find out who you are, what you want, and go be that. Go to God and give it all over. Give over the pain, the guilt, the anger. Go back to the basics.

Kurt Cobain once said, "I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not." That's true. It's also true that he must have hated that shit himself since he took a shotgun to his head. I don't know what the fuck that has to do with anything, but the sentiment he was going for is what matters here. I've got to go back, not in any linear sense, but go back to the basics, I've got to figure out who I am, and I've got to start to love that person. Because I'm not about to live where I am right now in life. I'm not about to wallow in my own self loathing. I'm going back to the ground floor and I'm starting over once again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Real Raw in Haiku

This is me right now,
Afraid, conflicted, real scared,
This is my real face.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Have You Tried Turning It Off?

And back on again?

My Internet modem fried on Thursday night. Couldn't get a replacement till Sunday morning. So, I just finished spending almost three days without it. Wow. Wonderful. Really. It was kind of cool not having Google at my fingertips to answer all those random questions that pop into my head throughout the day. P.S. Tangier is in Morocco, but not the Capital City just in case you were wondering. You probably weren't though.

But that modem was pretty much a metaphor for my life right now. It's fired. Just done with it all and needing a fresh start. So, once again, I've turned it all off and am now sitting quietly as I wait on it to reboot. My power light is still on and I'm uploading information, but I'm just sitting here waiting on life to start streaming in again. Now, I have a fresh access point, some new hardware, and while a lot of it is the same, a lot of it is different.

My lesson this morning reminded me of just that:

God goes with me wherever I go.
"[This] will eventually overcome completely the sense of loneliness and abandonment which all the separated ones experience. Depression is an inevitable consequence of separation. So are anxiety, worry, a deep sense of helplessness, misery, suffering, and intense fear. [God is with me wherever I go] has the power to end all this foolishness forever. And foolishness it is, despite the serious and tragic forms it may take. Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world." -WB 41.

Yes. That. No matter the circumstance, whether the modem is running along or being reset once again, here I am and here God is also. It's tough to admit sometimes that I may have too much spam and I may stream one too many cat videos and blow out the modem myself, but at least I've gotten past the point of blaming others or God for my connection problems.

That's right dear reader... it's not you, it's not God; it's me. I've fried out another round of life and once again need to turn it off and back on again. Thankfully I know that I'm just a power cycle away from another opportunity and another chance to create life along with my creator. I'm just me and just rebuilding after another storm and another realization that this life is just about learning, just about growing, and just about figuring it all out... by letting it all go and getting out of the way.

Some things never change? Bullshit. Given enough time, everything changes. Looking back at the last decade of my life I am in serious awe of how much has changed. From who I was, to who I know, to how I think, to how I feel; everything has changed. Looking back over the past year of my life I am in serious awe of how much has changed. Looking back at the last week... I may not be in awe, but seriously impressed by how much can shift and change... that I am. There is the one ever present constant however; God. I may not see Him with my eyes, I may not hear Him with my ears, but I feel Him here and I can see him in the wind, the trees, the table, the chair, and the modem of my life. I can reach out and know that despite the circumstances that I've created for myself in this life, I can find God wherever I go.

"It is quite possible to reach God. In fact it is quite easy, because it is the most natural thing in the world. You might even say it is the only natural thing in the world. The way will open if you believe it possible." -WB 41.

The way will open and life will go on. With or without what you call or thought was a comfort to you, with or without people or things, life will go on and God will be there. Be you! Be open! Don't say no to possibility right now. Nothing is impossible and nothing has to (or will) stay the same. Make your choices, make your mistakes, make your successes, walk your road. However, despite what you may try to tell yourself, never believe that you walk it alone.