Rhyme Or Reason!

tgif Maurina Rara on flickr

Image courtesy of Maurina Rara via flickr.com

Thought I would do something different for this post. Hope you have a fantabulous weekend!

 

Sense

Here a little and there a little

I slowly made the move

Exchanging wrong for right

Figuring out my groove

My feet were always dancing

Even when I had no shoes

A real act of balancing

To discover my personal truth

Tiny nuggets of liberty

On the menu of life events

Just beside the fallacies

Painful pleasures never make any sense

-Rick Amitin

 

The Past

I understand your desire

To stay with me forever

Every night and day together

Makes this difficult, however

It has come to my attention

You don’t have my best interests at heart

Devastation is your intention

Keeping me and completion apart

As a friend you’re an imposter

Caught with your hand in my cookie jar

In a time for soaring heights

You’re the reason I can’t get far

So I’ve made the tough decision

I must bid you a final farewell

If you try to follow me

You’ll be defeated by my liberated swell

Believe me when I tell you, I’m just as surprised as you

Becoming totally clear, of what it is I have to do

I’ve never even considered, what we had would fail to last

Until I realized, all you have to offer, is the past

-Rick Amitin

 

Fear

A smile can’t be found, trying hard not to drown

Uncontrollable emotions, multiply and abound

Driven to the bone, from this dictator’s throne

Thoughts refuse direction, acting out on their own

In a very specific way, in my life you have a place

Keeping from physical harm, is a definite gift of grace

Assuming to always be welcome, you really cross the line

Causing worry and trembling, tormenting in the mind

 

It’s an obvious battle, since you ignore demand for eviction

When it comes right down to it, the final word is conviction

With knots in the pit of my stomach, I rise to stand my ground

You’re just a phony counterfeit, no real power to keep me bound

I will continue to see you, as a fierce competitor indeed

Occasionally plucking your root, like any other weed

Life is ever so fragile, should always be handled with care

I have learned to never dismiss, the whisper of beware

 

To prevent my life from being, a tragic cautionary tale

I will have to face you squarely, letting the wind fill my sail

The call of a dream is relenting, keeping one up through the night

The worst thing that can happen is, to miss your life for fright

What we don’t know can be scary, play silly games in the head

Solve the many mysteries, take charge of your life instead

Even on the best days, this coward finds the means to appear

It matters very little, it’s just deceptive fear

-Rick Amitin

 

I would appreciate your thoughts, critiques, or anything you might want to share.

The Legato Effect!

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Image courtesy of Feed My Starving Children via flickr.com

Advantage of Defining!

Some people like variety while others resist all change. Perhaps we would do ourselves a favor by switching things up a bit. At the risk of utilizing a worn out statement, I offer the familiar definition of insanity; “Do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” To get something you don’t have you will have to do something you’re not doing.

In one of my life-changing exercises I identified my seven most defining moments. It wasn’t an easy task. My biggest complaints, as it turned out, weren’t all that defining. My complaints only provide an in-depth explanation of my response to defining moments, not the moments themselves. I discovered that in the absence of celebration I complain.

I learned that my attitude often caused me to dig my heels in. Which, of course, kept my feet from dancing. Some of those less than desirable life events, you know the kind I speak of, should never have happened. It took me a long time, too long by my own admission, to learn how to handle betrayal and being violated. Especially from sources that are supposed to be above such activity. You guessed it. I found myself doing things I hated. I did some things to others I didn’t want done to me.

What I focus on I become!

The Law of Attraction, what you think about you bring about, are principles that open us up to understanding the impact we have on ourselves. The American grand piano has three-foot pedals. The sustain pedal has the result of continuing the sound after the keys have been lifted. Constant pressure on the pedal resonates the sounds long after the strings were struck (legato). I have literally become a part of a perceived injustice by keeping the pain and disappointment alive with mental and emotional energy.

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Image courtesy of Tim Albano via flickr.com

Without knowing it, I created a legato effect. Keeping myself tied to the very experience I want to get over. Hence: moving on becomes difficult. In an enlightened way, it is completely pellucid to me now. My antipodal thinking wasn’t fertile enough to spawn transformation, let alone, miracles. In my case, my commitment to righting every wrong led me astray. Preoccupation with wrong made me wrong-headed.

Catch and Release!

Disbelief can be as paralyzing as faith can be mobilizing. Between the cradle and the grave, it’s reasonable to assume, we’ll have plenty of opportunities for chaos, incertitude, and perplexity. I’ve been on both ends of less than excellent human interactions. There are powerful and effective ways to shorten the lifespan of baggage that wants to stay alive.

Take your foot off the sustain pedal; you don’t want to hold that note. Release the stranglehold on your perpetrator; you’re cutting off your own oxygen. Dust yourself off; everyone hits the dirt sometime. Forgive yourself; your loved ones will thank you. Always remember, don’t let experiences define you. No matter how devastating! If you deserve better, and you do, prove it. Give yourself the rest of you life.

How do you get over things?

Twenty-Three Days

Enjoy some great photos.

The Jasmine Dialogues

Back from three+ weeks in Peru. First half of the trip? Putting together a 3-day, 80-mile circumnavigation fastpack of the remote, rugged Cordillera Huayhuash with Portland friends Willie McBride and Brian Donnelly. Second half? A solo trip through Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Arequipa’s high volcanoes. Art. Coffee. Craft beer.  Festivals. Dogs. Earth-shattering trip. Photo essay below; writing pronto.

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Why I Hate “The Giving Tree”–But How This Story Makes Us Better Writers

This is written by a friend of mine. Well worth the read

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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I’m going to say something possibly unpopular and perhaps a bit strange. I hate the children’s book The Giving Tree, even though oddly, it was my favorite book. I remember being five and reading the story and just weeping for the tree, feeling devastated. Understanding what she was feeling. I recall hating the boy and the self-centered narcissist he grew up to be. Taking and taking and never giving.

Why did the narcissist cross the road? Easy. She thought it was a boundary.

As a child I was obsessed with most of Shel Silverstein’s work, memorizing poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends. But maybe my early fascination with Silverstein highlights what good writers do for their audience, no matter the age.

While many people love The Giving Tree and hail it as a wonderful tale of unconditional love, there is also the other camp who finds the…

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The Phases of Arrival!

 Dependence is First!

Like it or not, if someone didn’t take care of us, we wouldn’t be here right now. Even if the caretakers did a lousy job, and we ended up issue abundant, we had to have help. The design is rather virtuous in nature. Innocence must be protected and nurtured. The first years have a great effect on the way we relate to the world. Attitude and perception is shaped like wet cement and hardens quickly.

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Image courtesy of Prachisurya via flickr.com

I have many stories to share about a difficult beginning to my life. I’m certainly not unique. I’ve met many people who talk about the alligators in their milk bottles. The silver lining is that we made it. Surviving challenges we weren’t prepared for. There seemed to be just enough compassion and empathy to get us through. We didn’t die. We might have defects but, there are cures, if we want them.

Independence is Next!

Blame has a very short shelf life. Support for persons with unfortunate circumstances are readily available. There are plenty of willing hearts, ready with life strategies, to advance us in the direction of a productive life. Resources abound for the individual wanting to overcome adversity. When tales of woe, are more important than progress, inspired people will fade from view. Other people, sporting brokenness, will show up to wallow with you. Liking the familiarity of despair. 

Nobody is coming to save you. The world only owes those who can’t help themselves. It owes nothing to those who won’t. I do work for an organization dedicated to assisting blind persons. Many don’t accept their disability as disqualification to living. They don’t spend energy on what they didn’t get in life. What they should have been given. They’re interested in, what they can do, with what they have. Overcoming, an undeniable deficit, they fight for independence.

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Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

The whole idea is to raise children to not need us. Refusing to cripple them by making them dependent adults. I know people who overcame poverty, racism, violence, and abuse to gain nobility. Hell bent on a better life. Independent people are confident, self-assured, and determined. They don’t look for an unfair advantage. They figure out how to beat every system designed to hold them back. Independence is the main credential needed to flourish at whatever you choose.

Interdependence as an Encore!

This group has secured what it needs. They may not be affluent but they are rich, fulfilled, and well rewarded. They’ve made their mark and now they want to make a difference. They collaborate to solve problems. Working on things that will outlive them. They’ve discovered the secret of giving. Generous with their time, talent, and money. They’re addicted to humanitarian endeavors. They rail against corruption, stand for civil liberties, and demand to be heard. They’ll be remembered for what they left not what they took.

They’re experienced, some walk with a limp, and many rose above their own failures. They refuse to let calamity and tragedy define them. They create enough force to maintain balance in an otherwise out-of-whack world of wrong thinking. Listen closely to what they would do differently and do it while you can!

What phase are you in?

 

 

 

Identity Theft: An Inside Job!

identity theft by Taylor White

by Taylor White

Someone has taken over your life. Panic sets in. You lose your breath. You have fallen victim to criminal activity. Your bank account is bone dry. Credit cards are maxed out. You’re ashamed. Like you did something wrong. How will you explain it? How will you survive? Where do you turn? Your identity is gone.

According to the US Postal Inspection Service, and the FBI, identity theft is a major problem. Affecting millions of people every year. To the tune of billions of dollars. You will probably live through it but you will never be the same. Besides the monetary loses you can’t get back, trust is going to be an issue. You may be hindered to function normally. Your way of life may be altered forever.

After a slight decline, identity theft is on the rise, again. Major retailers like Target and Home Depot have suffered huge data breaches. Medical information thievery is now a mounting concern. All of this illegal brokering has spawned the multi-billion dollar Identity Protection Industry. And we are still vulnerable. But there is another kind of identity theft. It’s been around for a whole lot longer.

This one, is more than the loss of a bank account, or credit score. It’s the loss of affirmation, a sense of worthiness, and clarity. These things are rightfully ours. We’re born with them assigned to us. The loss might have been instant or it could have come later. But if they were stripped away, we have suffered. Our emotional displacement offers the scars to authenticate our losses.

brokenheart by deviant art

by Ashe Emerson at deviantart

The heart aches. Many types of addictions can follow. The wounded spirit limps through human endeavors. The mind may be tormented. Every achievement leaves you wanting more. You can’t be satisfied. You keep chasing what you believe is missing. Things never feel right. When you think you’ve found what you’re looking for it falls apart. One relationship after the other. One job after another. You move. And move again. Ever aware, none of this makes sense.

It should be simple. Life should be abundant. Rewarding. Exciting. When you don’t know who you are, where you belong, and what your purpose is you can wander and wonder. You can do the next thing because it’s what you’re suppose to do. What everybody’s doing. But if you do the right thing, for the wrong reason, virtue can be absent. You can hobble away in disaster. Ready to give up. You tell yourself, that’s it. I’m not going to try anymore.

You can become callused. Withdrawn. Isolated. But that little notion inside won’t go away. You know there is more to life. You sense your destiny. You know you have a gift or talent and it longs for wings. It’s what keeps us all going. External forces can get inside us. Immobilize us. Fill our eyes with sadness. Our words with disgust. And cause our tempers to flare. We breathe. And breathe again. Because we know, we are in there, somewhere.

We are innocent. Precious. When we take our first breaths. We will die without water, food, and shelter. But we will live, without being alive, if we are not loved.  The feeling of being wanted causes us to grow and flourish. If we feel like an interruption or inconvenience we will stagnate. We attend our birthdays each year but, that part of us we need in order to celebrate our lives, has been removed.

Thoughtless words of criticism creates inner turmoil. When pushed aside we feel we don’t matter. The absentee parent that willfully abandons, distorts perception. The neglectful parent that’s present, teaches self-doubt. We enter the playgrounds and school classrooms and encounter more perplexities. Adult relationships lack intimacy. We write stories about the events of our lives. These emotionally charged hyperbole’s are often more crippling than the actual infractions. We tell these stories, so many times, they form walls we don’t want. We unknowingly build excuses. Justifications. Do harm to ourselves. And those who try to love us.

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by magalibobois

Since we are slightly off-centered we lean to one side. Bumping into characters just like us. Unable to admit it, we struggle with the habits we’ve formed. We attract people based on what’s in us. What we have isn’t lining up with what we want. We can’t understand why we oppose ourselves. We might function well in the fury of activity. But when the commotion subsides we don’t want to be alone with ourselves. Someone took who you are away from you.

We can be so desperate for love and acceptance that we sale-out to get the best version we can. No matter how deficient.  But clinging to whatever gets you through the night might mess-up your days. When we settle for less we meddle with our ability to connect with the best.

I have to be willing to re-write the story. It’s hard work. Giving up blame and taking responsibility can be scary. But if I want to recover my identity I will have to take the steps necessary to get there. To financially recover you have to contact the bank, credit card companies, and mortgage lender. You will send letters, make countless phone calls, and talk to credit reporting agencies. You will explain over and over again, this isn’t me. I didn’t do these things.

Maybe it was one or more of the many forms of abuse that ripped you off. Or perhaps it was molestation that left you devalued. Abandonment? Rejection? Ridicule? Does the poison you drank matter? That depends. If you want to stay, lost in translation, it’s all that matters. But if you want, your life, it matters little. Wrong thinking, dysfunction, and self destructive behavior isn’t you. You didn’t do these things. This is all about the person who isn’t there. These patterns are made possible because of your absence. The real you has been stolen.

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by Ashlee Martin

It might take many letters and countless conversations with yourself, before you convince you, of your self-worth. The FICO scoring system, first used in 1989, was established to determine risk when extending credit. It’s designed to be sterile, cold, with emotion removed from the equation. It doesn’t feel you. To get your true identity it’s all about feeling. The only scoring system that works is the one on the inside.

The real you knows your true value. You forfeit instant gratification for the prize of you. You shed the people and systems that leave you pampered in your condition. You recognize the way you have lived down to the messages sent to you from empty places. Wholeness is never lonely. You’re comforted by discovering who you really are. You stand tall in light and love. Everything you ever wanted shows up, because the universe knows, you get it.

Other people affirm you because you affirm yourself. You cancel the affects of failure by understanding your worthiness. You see the difference between what is, and what is suppose to be, and you act. You surround yourself with people, who have bit into the prison bars, and gnawed their way free. You’re willing to let the darkness fade into the night. You’re not afraid of the present Light.

You’re open to the possibility of you. You see the love and grace that has been there all along. You employ resources. You invest in yourself. You don’t run from the clutches of despair you, run to the arms of bliss. You’re not about to neglect yourself any longer. No need to compare yourself to the path of others. Competition only exists if someone is willing to lose. Your mission is completion. At any stage. And any age.

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by Anita Pelecanos

You have recovered your identity. And you like it! You announce yourself. Introduce the real you. You want everyone to meet you. You throw yourself a party to celebrate your arrival. You express what you’ve found in a painting, a song, a dance, or your writing. Not everyone claps. All are not willing to let you go free. There will always be those who want you to pay. You accept the momentary sadness. Embrace the real you. And, walk deeper into your truth. You see clearly. It feels good.

Welcome home! Nice to meet you.

 

 

 

 

Things That Begin In The End Zone!

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Image via flickr.com

Few things will matter more than our own definition of success. 

Standing on the sideline, helmet in hand, I dreamed of being a star. I wanted the coach to call my number. I was eager to be in the game. Baseball had come easy to me. I had established myself as a top player. This was the first year I would experience the gridiron. I was among the smallest on the team. I wanted to be a running back. In my mind I had moves. I played them out in my head. Twisting and turning, avoiding tackles. In my imagination I was fast. I could see myself blasting through the line of defense and breaking into a wide open field. I would cross the goal line untouched, spike the ball, and do the dance. Teammates celebrating, fans cheering!

Opposition!

It was amazing, down right disgusting, how many people wanted to spoil my dream. We were losing badly when the coach called me over, sent me in with the play. I was to get the ball and run straight up the middle. The two defenders I was supposed to run between had to be criminals. They were way too big to be legal. How they looked from where I stood off the field was quite different from how they looked up close. I immediately changed my mind. My imagination betrayed me. My mental pictures of jubilation had been tackled by fear. I just knew this would be the last thing I ever did.

How could I trust knees that were shaking, palms that were sweating, and a coach that was willing to offer me up as a sacrificial lamb? There were plenty of people on the field, lots of people in the stands, I never felt so alone. Time moved so slow when I stood watching others play. Now that I’m on the field, things were moving way too fast. Before I had a chance to call my mommy, to ask if she could come and get me, I had the ball in my hands. I took one step before those behemoths smashed me into the ground, laid on top of me, and took my breath away, literally.

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Image courtesy of Raphael Love via flickr.com

Choose Wisely!

We aren’t meant to do everything. Even if we are good at many things there will always be things we were never meant to do. Doing something because we think it’s the way to affirmation, acceptance, and inclusion can put us in the worst possible place. We don’t have to be limited to just one thing. But, we should only do those things that emanate from authenticity, those things that bring us life. What brings someone else life might kill you. Or, at least, prevent you from living the life you were meant to live. In football, you can make fantastic plays. Astound the crowd. Gain yard after yard. But, if you don’t get into the end zone you don’t score points. Without enough points you don’t win!

Know The Score! 

I’ve seen teams make, more yards than the other team and, lose. I’ve watched as a team is beaten up. I’ve seen them fumble the ball, throw interceptions, fail miserably and avoid losing. No matter how horrible they were, how many mistakes they made, when they got into the end zone they celebrated like nothing bad ever happened. It didn’t look pretty. It certainly wasn’t text-book. Yet, they still found away to win!

Life is just like that. It has its own end zone. Sometimes we fumble the ball because we’re trying to live the dream someone told us to have. We get intercepted by an unplanned life event. There are times when our play can only be described as messy. Confusion reigns when we can’t break through what holds us back. Replacing a non-working game plan, with a new one, is a good way to change the outcome, in the game of life.

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

When you let go of failure, get over the past, you begin to move the ball down the field. The end zone is where an ugly process no longer matters. Mistakes, ignorance, poor performance aren’t explained in the score. You enter the zone where negative thinking, self devaluing, and not knowing who you are, ends. Despair yields to triumph.  You stop chasing pretty rainbows and pursue the crown of your own clearly defined destiny.

I think a good definition of success is: Winning in the End! 

Many things begin, where other things stop,  in the end zone.

What’s your End Game?