Stand

Picture perfect beings peacefully kneeling in a vast wading pool.

Everyone is beautifully dressed in perfectly white garments.

The pool is calm and still.

We look upon our reflection in the placid pool.

We take deep breaths and fill our lungs with the clean, pure air.

We plunge our heads into our reflection now gone.

We no longer see our own perfect reflection but the distortion of everyone else’s.

Every one of our faces is distorted by the struggle with anguish and fear.

We all panic and flail in distress.

All we have to do is push with our hands and lift our heads. Instead, we continue the struggle.

When we can no longer stand the pain from the fear of Death do we lift our heads.

We look around and experience the same peace we all knew before.

We take another deep breath and go back under.

We all do. Over and over.

We again feel the pain of our lungs begging for air. We see the same pain in everyone else.

All around us is fear and desperation.

We lift our heads and do it again.

Under the surface, we recognize those around us. The same distorted faces with the same features twisted in pain.

We feel great loss for those that are no longer struggling beside us. We didn’t know the pain could get worse.

Each time we thrust our heads down, we forget why,

but we begin to remember.

We begin to struggle less, to be still.

We begin to stay with purpose.

Through our stillness, things become clear.

Our calmness spreads to those around us.

We now hear the voices clearly.

We calmly lift our heads and see those once with us. Standing among us. Calling out to us.

Reminding us;

We are not the distorted and panicked beings we think we see.

Lift our heads. It is not the end.

We should not fear what we have faced away from.

We have the power to save ourselves. Instead, we use it to keep ourselves under.

We lift our heads, take a deep breath and then do it again.

Our stillness comes sooner. Our experience becomes Peace instead of Pain.

We lift our heads and do it again.

We understand why. There is no convincing needed.

We lift our heads.

We stand.

We call out.

 

War with my Self

If only I was able to communicate to you, my enemy, sight unseen.

If I could immediately impress upon you my thoughts.

In an instant, you would understand my needs and desires.

Until I realize my true potential,

I can only be at war with my Self.

Either Way

I fight for fairness and justice,

You fight out of anger and fear.

You fight for fairness and justice,

I fight out of anger and fear.

Either way, we fight.

What if?

What if there was a way to translate my thoughts without fail?

What if I could translate my thoughts of fear and anger with great understanding,

So you could greatly understand my angers and fears?

What if there was a way to translate my thoughts of happiness and love?

Which way would I choose to share?

Name Your Passion

I’ve known for a while what my passion is. It’s who I say I am when I am asked what I do for a living. It is my release even though it has become my career.

I’ve often asked my wife, Jemma, what her passion is. I’m always met with resistance and the usual, “I don’t know. I haven’t found my passion yet.”

I was always disappointed with her answer. Everyone has a passion but it usually gets dismissed as a playtime activity, hobby, or retirement plans. We all often wish we could be somewhere else then where we are now.

Instead of asking the usual question, I decided to be a bit more specific. I came up with a question and several leading statements that could help her define her passion.

They helped. They are listed here;

If you could do something you love right now, what would it be?

When you do this thing, you are thinking of nothing but this.

When you are not doing it, you long to be.

When you are doing it, you are not afraid.

When you are performing it, you have no worries.

When you lace up your shoes right before you start, you are thinking of nothing but what is to come.

From the first step to the last step, the feeling is exactly the same.

When you do this thing, you are in the zone.

You are good at it. It is so easy for you, yet you still want to get better.

It is the only thing on your mind right now.

Say it out loud now. My passion is _______________.

It is one of the ways you experience happiness.

It is not an addiction, nor is it an obsession.

It makes you happy. It is your happiness.

Face it as often as you desire because it is what you seek in life.

Take a bird’s eye mental snapshot of what your thoughts are in this exact moment.

Your mind is there now.

You have happiness in this exact moment.

Happiness is possible for you at any moment.

Name your passion…

 

The thing with finding your passion, it is often dismissed as a dream because you don’t know how to earn a living with it.

You don’t have to earn a living with it.

It’s what you live for.

It’s what brings you to life.

Don’t dismiss life.

We Are All Right

I used to be an Atheist. I am now a true believer. However, I am not a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or any organized follower.

Now that I am awake, I’m excited to share this knowledge. But with whom?

Herein lies the problem. If I went up to someone like who I used to be. The unaware me would have welcomed the debate and would have presented my usual logic to introduce doubt into what was being shared with me.

I was an atheist for over twenty-five years. I did not believe in God. A god, any god. It didn’t make sense to me and I often used scriptural evidence to create doubt in the infallibility of religious texts.

Through teachings using parables, metaphors, and other descriptions, the evidence describing God’s existence has been shared for the benefit of others. This evidence has been around since even before many of the current institutional volumes of God’s words were recorded. The Word’s true message has been lost in the description and dissemination of that very message.

If I describe a lobster to you, and I use the conventional methods of describing it to you, you will probably have a decent idea of what I am talking about. Especially if you have seen one. It makes sense. However, if you have never tasted one, no amount of words are sufficient enough to convey the flavor that your sense of taste experiences in that moment. You have the knowledge of what a lobster is. You might have even experienced the visual, tactile, audible, and aural sense of what a lobster is, but you have never experienced the complete sense of one until you complete the sensual and internal experience.

This implies that the purpose of the lobster is as food to humans. I am not stating that you cannot understand what a dog or cat is until you you have tasted one. What I am stating is that the experience of God is almost impossible to truly understand until you have felt it yourself. When your experience of God matches your understanding of God, only then is there a true understanding of the feeling God provides. In short, you have to experience God in order to truly understand God.

I am understanding God. It was eleven months ago. It was just a quick taste of it. It was brief but it completely rocked my understanding of my existence. Something was completely different in me. It was instantaneous, like the name on the tip of your tongue that you instantly recall hours later when you were no longer trying to recall it. It was a recognition of someone I hadn’t seen in decades. It was like remembering something that I had completely forgotten. It just made sense in that moment.

Since that day, I have been on a tear reading dozens of books on human nature including the classics we just didn’t want to read in school. The story was our story. The stories all have the common theme. Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces was one of the earlier ones that really got the ball rolling.

I had already been reading and listening to self-help gurus so the words were already there. The knowledge was stacking up in my brain. To complete the true understanding of it, I needed an experience of it and not just one of the many descriptions of it.

Everyone has the knowledge. Everyone has the answers. At least, everyone has a description of the answer. The description is where the division happens.

One morning just after my realization, I was having breakfast with my wife, Jemma. We were sitting at the table looking out the window. She pointed to the window and said, “The snow flakes look like feathers!”

I looked outside at the bare trees and the frozen ground and replied, “What snowflakes? It’s not snowing.”

She doubled down and emphatically pointed at the window, “Right there!”

She became frustrated with me and my insistence on what she could clearly see was not true. I didn’t see it snowing outside, and therefore there were no snowflakes for me to see.

At that point, she rose from her chair and physically poked the glass window pane and the beautiful feather-like snowflakes on it. The realization hit me and we both understood what had happened in that moment. This is how tricky having the knowledge before having the understanding is. It, however, is how it has to happen.

I was raised in a religious home. First as a Catholic growing up in Southern California. Then, after my parents’ short-lived separation, as a Southern Baptist in South Texas. My experience of both descriptions of God was a superficial one. I attended catechism and Sunday school and had heard their description of God. The Word. I heard the history of The Word. The Word came with rules and restrictions. I fiercely defended my freedom for the next twenty-five years after that.

I lived my life with the knowledge absent the experience. It’s what I had to do. It’s what we all must do. If you only experience the good, bad is just a concept. If you only experience the bad, good is just a concept. What is necessary is to experience them both to get the relative understanding. It took me a long time to piece the puzzle together.

Instead, I used all the bad in the world to convince myself that there could be no god. How could there be a god when there was so much suffering, including religious discrimination and strife, throughout the world and in my own life. It was an ordinary beach ball that helped me understand the confusion.

I visualized myself sitting on the beach. I was looking at a beach ball sitting on the ground and there was a person on the opposite side from me. The thought entered my mind about the snowflakes on the window and I imagined how I would describe the beach ball to the other person. I also imagined how they would describe the beach ball to me.

It went something like this;

I explained from my position, “That beach ball is red and white.”

The person looked at me with confusion and explained from their point-of-view, “I also see a a beach ball but this one in front of me is blue and white. It is different from yours.”

“What do you mean?! I see it right in front of me and it is red and white!”

“You are mistaken. It is also right in front of me and it is blue and white!”

“Are you calling me a liar? You must be blind! This beach ball is red and white!”

Along comes another person between us.

“Hey, whose yellow and white beach ball is that?”

This is what the confusion is. Every religion has true believers that understand the true nature of God. They know that the experience of God is the same to all true believers, regardless of their religion’s description of it. The method in which God is experienced is as varied as there are descriptions. It doesn’t change the fact that the beach ball’s true purpose is to have fun in or near the water.

God’s purpose, as written in the various religious texts, is always the same. The description in how to achieve the experience is usually different. That should excite everyone.

Why?

Because there is more than one way to experience God. There are an infinite number of ways people around the world experience God and guess what? They are all correct.

It’s when the descriptions don’t jive with the knowledgeable but unexperienced “believers” that everyone gets their panties in a bunch over why the “non-believers” just don’t blindly accept their beliefs. In actuality, you just cannot accept the others’ description of their beliefs.

Why?

Because your own experience of it is different.

We Are All Right.

Message to My Enemy

Oh My God

What an incredible gift we have in the Internet.

We have a connection to everyone in the world.

We can communicate with the entire world through the entire world.

We have the complete ability to send a direct and immediate message to anyone also connected with just a few clicks of the keyboard.

At this moment, we have to ability to make peace in our world with this one thing.
___________________________________________________

Right now, I can send a message to my enemy.

Right now, I can send a message to someone who has hurt me.

Right now, I can send a direct message to someone whom I deeply distrust.

Right now, I can send a personal message to someone I just cannot forgive.

Right now, I have a direct connection to someone whom I see as a threat.

Right now, I can send a personal message to someone whom I have wronged.

Right now, I can tell this person, this group, this country, this;

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

This message is true.

You may not know me.

My name is __________________________.

I am not my parent and I agree that you are not your elder.

No matter what I think I know about you.

No matter what you have done to me.

No matter what you can do to me.

In my mind, I CAN think of a good thing about you.

I’ve hidden thinking about it. I didn’t even want to know it. I’ve even forgotten it.

But I remember it now.

You are a human being.

Just like me.

Since we are both human beings, we both seek happiness.

We both experience joy and we both experience pain.

We both seek to experience happiness with family and friends as often as possible.

We both grieve when we lose either family or friend.

Neither of us leave our homes each day to willfully or intentionally inflict pain on someone we know or do not know.

We would both rather be with our loved ones.

We can do this now.

I am going to start by saying this;

I respect your right to defend you and your loved ones.

I respect your right to defend your honor and theirs.

I respect your right to have personal beliefs that provide you peace in times of turmoil.

I respect your right to life, freedom, and the experience of love.

Along with this stated respect that I give you now, I desire for you to know my sincere belief that we both share a common desire for happiness.

If you saw the love that I experience here and I saw the love that you experience there, I believe that we both could accept each other as seekers of happiness.

As seekers of happiness, both our hurt and fear can be gone if we each direct our energy towards that experience of love. Any love.

I offer you this.

I am sorry I have wronged you.

I wish you peace.