The Upside of Dysfunction!



Maybe dysfunction isn’t the white elephant in the room after all. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a not the horrible thing you think it is. Dysfunction is not a factory defect. Nor is it an incurable disease. But until dysfunction is understood, it will continue to disrupt order and stability.

I didn’t want people to see my frailties. I thought, if people really knew my weaknesses, they would abandon me. Fear of the fraud label paralyzed me. The decision to hide turned me into a judge. I hid because I judged myself unworthy. Judges judge. Entertaining myself with the imperfections of others is a diversion designed to protect me. If I can direct your attention elsewhere, you won’t see me, right?

How could I ever liberate my best self with part of me locked in the basement?

Disapproval can be painful enough to make an honest man lie. Who wants to be ostracized and denied affirmation? To be singled out, for even the most insignificant shortcoming, is the kind of discomfort I like to avoid. So, I opted for perfectionism. A practice that works every time– as long as you don’t stay in one place very long, and you don’t mind being unhappy. The language of dysfunction is destructive and separating. It doesn’t lend itself to acquiring wholeness. Peace of mind doesn’t follow perfection — it precedes it.

If my only hope to control criticism, is to remain underground, I’m hopeless. The energy I use to survive is the same energy I need to thrive. And I only have so much energy, to go around. I had to make a another decision. In order for me to celebrate my life I had to be willing to stop tolerating it. Hiding never set me free and it never will.

peaceof mind monkey

by bonify

Attitude affects outcome and I had a wrong attitude about my dysfunction. I tried to ignore it, silence it, and deny its existence. I saw it as my enemy. It threatened my peace, my joy, and my contentment. I put the good parts of me on display, wanting that to be enough, for inclusion and acceptance. My gifts and talents could get attention, but that didn’t put to rest, the parts of me that needed attention. I excelled, I achieved, and I hid…

This caused inner havoc, a manufactured reality, synthetic at best. But authenticity crouched in my extremities. It screamed in a demanding whisper, “Let me out!”  It squirmed, kicked, and refused to be silenced. It beckoned for me to give the world a chance. “Let the world see the real you,” it howled.

Did I dare think that every piece of me mattered?

The conflict of disharmony raged within. The battle oozed out of my pours. I couldn’t form a complete identity. I knew my fault line, my limitations, and my perceived handicaps. I knew my strengths, abilities, and drive. But I failed to realize authenticity’s’ friendship because I granted dysfunction top billing. I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it. It occupied me. I became bitter toward myself.  Ah, but the story doesn’t end there.



When I pause, embrace stillness, and allow the Light to do its magic, I understand the power of being real.
Dysfunction is not my disqualifier. It’s not my humiliator. It’s not my house of shame. Dysfunction is my birthright, my distinctive DNA. It is my ticket to the dance. It has a purpose. It’s a classroom, a lesson outline, and a teacher all-in-one. Dysfunction is a mentor of what is good and bad, what works and doesn’t work, and what I should keep and what I should throw away.

Dysfunction has no design of mastery within it, and can only rule by default.  It proclaims it has power to permanently disable, render a life destitute, and that its damage is irreparable. But I have always been suspect of its veracity. Dysfunction bites until you bite back.

It appears that dysfunction is related to growing pains.

My daughter cried, “Daddy, my legs hurt.” I messaged them in the middle of the night. It is her muscles that ache. According to, there’s no medical evidence that bone growth causes pain, and joints are not generally affected. Most likely, her discomfort was brought on from running, jumping, climbing, and playing. Just normal pain from normal living. There’s no cause for alarm, no actual medical condition, unless the pain is the result of natural growth not occurring. That would be cause for great concern. Her bones (structure) and her joints (mobility) are intact. Her discomfort will pass and she can continue to participate in life.

The parallel between the tangible and intangible is eye opening to me.

A bit of rejection, betrayal, and misunderstanding occurs holistically. Just everyday pain from everyday life. A little maturity, wisdom, and time and I’m back in the game. No need for intervention. It’s the beefier stuff; the violations, the molestations, the abuses, the manipulations, and the intimidations that enter like viruses. Without immediate remedy, which seems to rarely happen, natural growth is stunted and dysfunction is born. The earlier emotional trauma happens the greater the dysfunction manifests later in life. Left unattended, it assumes a pseudo identity.

My fictitious persona and arrested development blocked the emergence of my authentic self. My family of origin, my extended family, and my earliest social networks contributed heavily to my lack of well-being. And I have lived in competition with my dysfunction.  Once I knew that my authentic self was trapped inside me, I set him free. I took dysfunction from a calling card to an ingredient. What happened to me…didn’t have to remain dominant…in me.

I  got introduced to dysfunction through the dysfunction of other people. We all do. What I experienced, and what I’m familiar with, became accepted as normal. Common (what is) and normal (what should be) are sometimes two ships passing in the night. Not every family trait is a keeper. Some life experiences taught me what I don’t want in my life. Whether it’s bad blood, or bad love, I have to deal with inconvenient truths.

Dysfunction became certain when I misinterpreted life events. The negative energy from wrong thinking created a limp in my gait. I had to choose to break or wake. There isn’t anyone to give me the life that only I can create for myself. Once I determined the nature of my dysfunction my instinct spoke to my value. And value never changes. Dysfunction doesn’t address who you are it only addresses what you’re doing. When I aligned with my value my dysfunction became an obedient child.



Dysfunction isn’t my failure—it’s one of many instructors. It has awakened me and showed me a better way. I put dysfunction in it’s place. I rewrote my story to reflect my value. I moved from competition to completion. The cataracts have fallen and I have vision. I have cleared my throat and found my voice. I’m upright, whole, healthy and happy. I’ve taken what weakened me, brought me to my knees, and scattered me to the winds; and I re-purposed it all. I found out dysfunction has a shelf-life and expires when I finish with it.

The upside of dysfunction is when you make it work for you!!! 


Adventures in Marty!

ngc_6326_by_hubble_space_telescopeShe is relieved as her husband leaves for work, and closes the door behind him. She turns off all electronics and spills into a chair at the kitchen table. Pulling her knees up to her chest, she folds her arms around her legs, and places her head on her curled up body.

Except for the pitter-patter of falling rain, she manages to capture the moment of silence she craved. Is it that big of a deal? She wondered. Am I being selfish? She asked herself. They both want children but can’t agree on the time. She spoke to herself without words, and grappled to understand the real source of her emptiness. Would a child solve her problem? Would a baby make her feel satisfied?

Looking up with wet and puffy eyes she acknowledges, she has a good life. Even an envious one. Several friends from her inner circle often shower her with compliments. She shakes her head, as if to answer the unspoken questions. She’s ashamed at her inability to be thankful. She’s where she dreamed of being and never imagined feeling this way.

They were young and just getting started. There were difficulties— you know, marriage changes things. They began in-the-hole, with school debt and credit card balances, but had more than most to start with. Tears run down the length of her face and hold steady at her chin. She isn’t aware of the invisible presence surrounding her, but Pantokrator is there. A tear departs the edge of her countenance. Pantokrator catches it in his hand . He will hold that teardrop until he can wipe all her tears away.

Pantokrator is as unique as his name. He’s a know-it-all, with a kind of humility seldom seen. Knowing her thoughts, before she chooses them, he directs the traffic in her mind. Standing beside her in her anguish, he sees her, feels her, knows her, and understands her. He can’t help himself. He’s concerned with her plight. With a translucent touch he strokes her hair and caresses her heart. Taking a deep breath, she exhales slow, and deliberate. She sighs in absolution, not knowing where her comfort is coming from.


c/o Vineet Radhakr

She rises from her position of exhaustion, mesmerized at her sudden strength. Pantokrator smiles. He gets a kick out of being, “Johnny-on-the-spot!” Assured of a desirable outcome she’s determined to strengthen her resolve. She walks straight to the stereo and selects the song already at play in her head. She turns up the volume and set her feet to dancing.

Since she didn’t realize she had accepted Pantokrator’s request for a dance, he dances along with her, in secret. And he’s got  game- moves better than Jagger. She’s only suspect now, but he knows the joy forming inside of her. As she spins and twirls, his enthusiasm almost got the better of him. He has to restrain himself to hold his announcement, until the time is right. For now, he’s content for the two of them, to just dance in the Light.

While he is fully present with, Leelee Wintonia-Handman, Pantokrator is taking care of business elsewhere. It’s just the way he rolls. It’s part of his magic. Marty has been waiting in the wings for his next assignment. And when he gets the call, his entire community erupts in euphoria.

As Marty dances in the street, without restraint, he’s aware of the importance of his appointment. He understands the family business well. It’s about kids, always, about the kids. Whether its a newborn or a senior citizen, Fatherhood is the name of the game. And Marty is eager to get started.

He’s already packed and ready to go when he thinks of a few more questions. He approaches Perfect and Complete to inquire if he is forgetting anything, but answers his own questions before he asked them. Must be pre-conception jitters, he quipped. He knows – everything he needs, is already inside him.


c/o YouTube

Standing at the edge of eternity, bag in hand, he awaits the call to board his flight. He fastens his seat-belt  in  preparation for takeoff. He removes both shoes, and opens his magazine to the first page, when the voice over the intercom says, prepare for landing. He thought to himself, I didn’t go anywhere. He takes his first step from timeless and pauses to identify all the foreign matter he senses. His natural warm light is greeted by cool darkness. Recognizing the squishy substance he is standing in, from biology 101, he takes in the grandeur. So this is what a womb looks like… Having no experience with the five senses, he pauses a minute, to explore each of them. Familiarizing himself with his new digs, Marty settles in, still feasting his eyes. Breaking the silence, with his all important whisper, he releases his first words; let the adventures begin!

Adventures in Marty will return next Friday!