On purpose and ignoring what’s right in front of me

I’ve been trying to find my path forward.

Instinctively, I know that this is about finding my passion and purpose. I’ve been struggling with this for some time now.

My closest moments of coming to peace with this have been those in which I quieted my mind enough to explore the idea that it might not be as big a question as I’d like to make it. I once experienced a moment of truth that told me that maybe my purpose is simply to be a bright spot in the day for each person with whom I interact. My ego wants to reject this, because I want it to be something more complex, more grand. There is also the fact that this would require me to own all the ways in which I’ve failed at this so far.

As I try to heal, I keep arriving at the same truth. My greatest struggle is and always has been lonliness. I have a desparate need to feel connected. I’ve spent a good portion of my life seeking a place where I fit, someplace I can call home. My most devastating expreiences were those in which one of those places proved not to be what I hoped.

I’ve been spending more time on this and pushing myself harder to see what I need to see. This morning, I had one of those moments in which truth, like a freight train, plowed into me from the side.

The message is basically that I need to stop dismissing the simple truth that’s been sent over and over. That simple truth speaks directly to the thing I’ve been searching for all along.

I need connection. People need to feel loved. Maybe it is time to translate that bright spot from my truth to ‘beacon of love’. If I can become a channel through which everyone can be reminded that they are enough, that they matter, that someone cares, not only will I be filling my purpose, it would be difficult for those connections I seek not to start forming.

Of course this means truly bearing down a fear that’s driven the narrative for most of my story so far. I’m utterly terrified of what people will do to me if I let my defenses down. It feels funny admitting that thing about the defenses, because I’ve already come a long way in that regard. The me from ten years ago would hardly recognize me today. However, evolving means that there is always more work to be done and this is mine.

May your journeys be successful, may your soul be well cared for, and may we all find our way home.

blessed be

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Crash Landing

It occurred to me that I haven’t been on this site in ages. It is funny how I was posting something in gratitude every day and then my life started getting so great (house I always wanted became available, fantastic relationship) and then I forgot to be grateful. Things got a little off track since then. I think it is time to get back to gratitude.

My biggest thing recently is a crushing fear of loss. I thought that I had my biggest fear and challenge settled. I thought that I finally found companionship. When I wake up in the morning and remember that I’m back to start on this, it sparks a panic deep inside of me.

I find it kind of strange that I’ve started writing this and walked away three times so far. I think that some of the things I’ve been using to cope are counterproductive.

Why I Hike In Summer

Out of curiosity, I started tracking my hikes. The app also posts to facebook. This has triggered several people to ask me why I continue hiking in summer.

In short, I hike because I need to. Hiking is my most successful form of meditation. It provides rare moments when my mind actually becomes quiet. It is also great therapy. The mountain speaks to me.

I was close to total burnout after last week. I’ve hiked four of the past five days and each day I feel a little more like myself.

One thing that I’ve been reminded of is that I put way too much of my identity in my work. This is why I literally worried myself sick over something that wasn’t my fault and no one blamed me for in the first place. I simply couldn’t let go of the fact that something I was involved in turned into a nightmare.

The next question, of course, is what is my identity? I kept drawing a blank on this one.Eventually, it came to me that the reason this question is difficult is that identity isn’t a word or even a mental image. It is a feeling. Namely, true identity is that feeling when we know that everything is as it should be.

The funny part about that is that everything is always as it should be. We tell ourselves stories based on false truths that lead us to believe that things are out of whack. The real truth is that we’re each passing through a temporary world and everything that happens is just another chance to move closer to completion, wholeness, unity.

I just hope that I can get better at holding onto these bits of truth, without the need of constant reminders and difficult lessons. I want more of my automatic thoughts to come from a place of stability, unity, and compassion, rather than fear and reaction.

May your trails and mind be clear.

blessed be

The Holidays And Things I’d Rather Not Say

For some time now, ‘the holidays’ have not been a time that I enjoy. Partially due to the celebration of consumerism and the cultural assumption that it is time to collect and distribute more things that we don’t need. Maybe it is the stigma associated with admitting that this whole practice doesn’t appeal to me.

Mostly though, this time of year makes me feel extra lonely.

It is hitting me particularly hard this year. I think this is because I’ve put a fair amount of time and energy into myself this year, trying to exercise those hidden bits that make me unhappy. I’ve made a good deal of progress. The funny thing about making this kind of progress is that there is often a bigger challenge around the corner.

Right now, I find myself struggling a lot with situations in which what I feel is right conflicts with what I think is right. It is every bit as confusing as it sounds.

I believe it has its root in something that comes back to haunt me in a number of ways. Basically, something in me still feels that I don’t deserve to be loved on my own basic merits, so I try to earn it by being useful.

The idea of breaking a promise or being less than impeccable with my word fills me with a near paralyzing dread.  This becomes a bigger problem because I’m also a bit of a pushover. I have a hard time saying no. I might express concerns about something or even say that I don’t want to do it, but then cave into pressure. I then feel trapped, because I said I would.

I believe this is why I sometimes feel anxiety about making plans in the first place, something in me equates it with being trapped.

I don’t like admitting this as it exposes a part of myself that I really don’t like, but I think that I have to name it is step required in letting it go.

So, there we are.

blessed be

On taking one step at a time

It’s been a hard day, but perhaps the best hard day so far.

Few people who know me today knew the version of me from ten years ago. That me was isolated and lonely. Below that shell was anger, anger that I didn’t even know was there. Anger is tricksy that way. It convinces you that you’re only protecting yourself, preparing for life’s next assault.

I’m still lonely. I suspect that overcoming true, soul-crushing loneliness is always a long term recovery. The difference is that, now, I work every day to overcome my tendency toward isolation. While I still find myself frequently confused by human behavior, I’ve come to accept that this experience is shared by nearly everyone. Most just don’t take it personally.

I’ve been making an effort to enjoy experiences for what they are, rather than comparing the current experience against what was expected or could have been. This too is an uphill battle, but in those moments when it clicks, it is pretty great.

There are these moments, now and then, when I actually notice myself becoming the person I’d like to be. In the quest for more of those moments, I travel on.

May your journey be pleasant, but perilous enough to get you to your true destination.

blessed be

On shedding Masks

When I starting writing things here, I assumed that it was just going to be notes to myself. The site only really serving as a means to hold myself accountable. I didn’t use my name and posted a Simpsonized picture.

My posts quickly went from Tarot notes to writing down the things that I would normally just think through while running, or talking to myself. I’ve found it therapeutic. Then, I wrote a thing or two that I liked, things that I wanted to share with a person or two, but didn’t feel comfortable sharing at large. For example, some of what I write here might make some of my Facebook friends uncomfortable.

While meditating on the cards of the Major Arcana, I’ve been consistently reminded of a truth that I know, but always struggle to live. Everything is connected, it is unhealthy to try and partition parts of yourself. Presenting one side of your personality here, another there prevents you from being fully present in any environment.

In parallel, I’m constantly being reminded of the same truth at work. After spending so long in toxic places where I didn’t share anything that wasn’t directly related to the project at hand, I now find that the more I allow people to actually know me, the better it gets.

I also remembered that I’m not that important. Most will never click the links, even if I do share them. Those who do are likely to cut me some slack.

In an effort to get more of my wolds aligned, I’ve added my name and intend to start sharing more.

May it not offend.

blessed be

What makes you feel loved?

Someone asked me a profound question today. What makes you feel loved and appreciated?

I appreciate a heart and soul question when I hear one. Sadly, they are a rare gem in this quick fix, instant gratification world of ours. So, I spent some time with this one.

Here’s what I came up with:

I like physical contact and I don’t get enough of that in this stage of my life. Also, listen. I tend to be the listener for most people. In most of my interactions, I barely say a word. I like listening, so this works out. But, with someone special to me, I will come with things to SAY. These things are not trivial to me. I’ve been saving them. So when I try to tell you a story, let me tell it until it is done. Don’t interrupt, because I assume that means that you don’t want to hear it. (I’ll do my best not to let it show, but when someone I trust enough to share my stories interrupts a lot, it kind of breaks my heart.)