Category: Spirituality

Through the Fabric of Time

6361796709723034612039581096_time-7Time – in some instances referred to as the fourth dimension – but whatever our understanding of its concept, luxury seems an invariably, non-existent trait.  Unyielding hands on the clock counting seconds; minutes falling in line as the hours turn into days and weeks – years. A blueprint of past occurrences etched in stone; where dwelling in regrets or offering up heartfelt apologies still cannot alter the path we have walked – future interests that promise no guarantee; no donation or sacrifice can brandish an extended life warrantee. Breathe in this moment; capture its essence; catch sight of its elegance accented over a distinctly dismal backdrop – perhaps through the haze, it heroically outshines the viciously mundane.  Time is as simplistic or complex as we choose to make it; boiled down into a series of present moments that either amplify merit or deduct from its worth.  Constant business in the realm of the spirit can prove to be enormously depleting; an implication of encompassing stillness can effectively replenish a withering morale – resulting from the chaos is a distinctly unique art from a time-weathered heart; the mission is to find ourselves ultimately settling into that ostensibly unattainable, yet perpetually sought-after balance. 

But where does passion end and obsession begin? I sense an overwhelming correlation – where we find passion, obsession lurks and when push comes to shove, time will be spent. I passionately write about the tribulations I have endured; I can only write about what I know and I can only share my perspective on topics which have gravely affected my life. Over time, perceptions can change even though the factual events or situations in and of themselves do not – it’s simply my reality and whether I was in or out of touch with said reality at the time does not alter the experience. But these words that spill out over the page render me madly obsessed – addicted to the perfect stream; infatuated by the romance of choosing optimal words; perfection in their phrasing – love for the prose; a puzzle’s inception intricately interwoven amidst a sea of black and white anarchy; ideas that collide causing a subsequent consummation; carried to term and birthed from a mind interminably maneuvering misconnections. I grow consumed by their rhythm; possessed by the beat, tormented by rhymes ‘til my riddle’s complete. I reach deep within, for in crafting my words, an alliteration alternation authoritatively forms.

time-machine-5Do you feel what I feel when my words breach your eyes? Do you see what I see? Does my pain seep inside? I seek satisfaction in the emotional punch, when it splinters your soul and seeps deep in your guts. It’s merely meant for no more than a clarification; to spare the experiential eternal damnation.  So, the choice of my words with their cadence and tone, provide voice for the ones who feel most alone; transcribed for the ones who go on reprimanding; displayed for an ignorant world’s understanding – and after my words have pummeled your soul, I know that my story was rightfully told. But don’t be misled, because ingrained in the madness, is a message of hope rising out of this sadness – no, don’t be confused by this story of mine. I’d tell you much more, but I’ve run out of time.

So, can we conquer without sacrifice? Can we truly gain mastery of our craft without the derangement of fixation? Is greatness always achieved at a price? I find inspiration in tale after tale of prominence throughout history, but the underlying facts of achievement are almost always formed from the mayhem of obsession – no backup plans, no fail-safes in place – it’s that all eggs in one basket approach; an all-encompassing do-or-die mentality fueling the spirit to accomplish what no other has before – something original; an exclusive imprint on the fabric of existence; something brave – sacrificing what few others were willing to sacrifice; pleading for that sacrifice to make a difference in the greater good. Obsession can absolutely live without ultimately attaining greatness, but can we ever achieve greatness without entering into the ugly world of obsession?  

Storm of the Century

6021b919fdbb70ace0dd3da86819e3b0Consistently rising tides breach the banks of destitution, freeing a spirit from being engrossed in depths of total darkness; as if a storm surge of clarity finally saturates a consciousness deserted – delivered from unabridged ignorance and robustly thrust into a thriving enthusiasm to embody virtue; to actively hunt what is honorable and heed what is noble whether or not that lies in the face of adversity – disseminating the region masterfully concealed within where brute, unrefined strength of character is essentially derived from; to finally comprehend and pledge adherence to respect these convictions of the heart – the most grueling but scrupulous means of gaining entry into the expanse of genuine inner peace; to unleash an authenticity that has been extinct since undergoing the digressive transformation which paved a course for total corruption; existing solely in the duplicitous – to commit premeditated murder on the complete and comprehensive interest to satisfy self alone. 

If nothing changes – nothing changes; I trust there is general agreement that insanity can be defined as repeatedly behaving in the same, old fashion, but expecting a different result each time; when priorities waiver off course, the fundamental motivations for seeking self-transformation will find themselves floundering – lost again in the shadows; misaligned with the objectives and misdirected away from original intentions – intentions to ultimately lead a fulfilling, purposeful and, at the very least, manageable life – in every accord; substituting one unhealthy escape for another unavoidably mutates into the solution – what holds value in the heart or the mind inevitably takes charge and transcends to rule as a life’s higher power – whether or not this is deliberately calculated; sooner or later these seemingly harmless coveted comforts convert into law of the land, all the while sinking sturdy, deep roots in the process and re-emerging with force as the newest form of chains binding the soul, resigning peace and tranquility to serve as no more than ideals to be desired yet again.  There is no shortage of stories, including my own, where people abstaining from the use of substances are still finding conclusion in angst, torment or flat out misery.

Who or what is coveted and sought after for influence over our personal lives sheds light on an enormous treasure trove of information, pin-pointing the current residence on our respective spiritual journeys – or lack thereof – it’s knowledge just waiting for harvest, if we tend to the field; if we consciously make the decision to incorporate practices of self-awareness into daily living.  As substances are wiped out from the canvas of our being, we are undeniably left to sort through the rubble and sift through the remnants of a storm that ravaged the landscape – we are chartered with the task to rebuild; how well we reconstruct and fortify our defenses will fundamentally measure how well we are able to weather the next one – so on and so forth.  Are we striving to stand up and be an example of what we feel the core of our being instinctually believes to be right?  Staying true to ourselves?  More often than not, do we give in and go along with the antics of the crowd because that overwhelming threat of fear or disapproval sinks in, that we will not be understood or accepted?  That we will be labeled as different?  Do we engage against our better judgement and adopt ideals in calculated cruelty, deliberate dishonesty and voluntary vileness if that’s what is required for us to fit in or fly under the radar?  Are we going to remain firmly planted or are we going to crumble and falter under the raw power and the sheer strength the next storm manifests?      

usedI feel for the sad state of our culture where a steadily increasing amount of folks are so morally and spiritually bankrupt; where insecurity and disconnection run rampant; where flaunting arrogance or cultivating money and power as a frontline defense suffices, all the while deriving any semblance of invalid self-worth by ensuring others feel less than; where disrespect for people, places and things has become par for the course – where we can just use or abuse each other as if the human race as a whole has digressed merely into disposable objects to be tossed aside after ultimately deceiving ourselves into believing we have been satisfied.  If we truly desire change in our life, simply taking drugs or alcohol out of the equation is not enough – continuing to exist as undesirable miscreants that perpetually deplete healthy resources rather than replenish them, or each other for that matter, is unacceptable; if the spiritual malady or characteristics of irritability and discontentment cease to depart our disposition, we might as well sustain the fraudulent solution found in mind-altering substances and preserve their pre-established position, allowing them pass to remain flowing freely through the dead, arctic veins of our spiritless corpse.

There is a favorable medium in all of this; an even balance to be found – we can sing along to the lyrics of our favorite music without the words necessarily reflecting our personal views – a song cannot persuade us, nor be used as an excuse, to objectify women or shoot up a school; the reverberations of pleasurable sound can simply be a powerful tool to embody the upward flow of spirit; we can enjoy the creative craft of film or television shows without having to impersonate the characters we identify with and behave in a way that disrespects the world around us – we cannot rob a bank or go on a killing spree because Hollywood’s influence has glorified violence; there is a time and place to joke around with our friends, just as there is a time to be aware of our surroundings and act as a responsible, respectable member or society.  We were entrusted with the gift of freewill, it is our responsibility as individuals to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

7-deadly-sins-1Whether or not we find it advantageous, human beings as a whole have evolved into a civilized entity over the ages.   Civilization demands law and order in spite of feeling these strong pulls or natural effects of the animalistic instincts ingrained deep within us; but there is some method to the madness as to why we have these instinctual necessities directly wired in – we need to feed, rest and procreate as a means to continue on as a species.  However, we do not need to participate in any of these inherent tendencies at the expense of our neighbor – sadly, more times than not, that appears to be the case; there is no shortage of testimony related to the crown prominently worn by the seven deadly sins.  Still, we don’t have to wait for the scales to tip in the other direction – some of the largest, most influential trends throughout time have begun with the actions of few.  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

Religiously Spiritual

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I’m walking now; exclusively powered by instinct and muscle memory; life has momentarily transitioned into a state of tranquility, shifting back and forth between bouts of conscious rumination and subliminal stillness. This unworried feeling is foreign to me; remarkably unlike the artificial, bottle-fueled abyss I have so often been self-destructively hurled into time after time.  I welcome it; a rare condition of mind I can only compare to winding up enthralled in an episode of lucid dreaming, but rather than feeling awake actually locked in a dream, I’m actually awake feeling locked in a dream – a role reversal I ungrudgingly usher in – a breath of fresh air readily embraced.  Satisfying warmness inundates my face as the sun locks me in its crosshairs, firing the rays of its life-bearing light into my soul; its glare creates a prism effect as I gaze down the beach; the blur of distant objects; these metaphorical indications of what’s to come vehemently scream warnings not to be concerned with what the future may consist of; procuring the blind faith to accept that everything is blurred out in a condition of ambivalence for a reason – acceptance is key, staying locked in this moment is not only enriching – it’s vital.  

Invigorating sand sneaks up through the divide of unsheltered toes – a tender and rugged euphoric fusion yielding to my presence and giving way to every step; if only each aspect of life was so accommodating; if to the exclusion of everything and everybody else, my wants and needs were habitually met without question while concurrently encompassing absence of shame or guilt – not the case however; those narcissistic thoughts only intend to lead towards supplemental suffering and the means to conserve my sickness.  This place is my constant in a world overrun by variables; right here I am free; an authentic solitude unaccounted for back on the mayhem occupied streets of society; streets which persistently lie in wait a couple hundred yards away for my assured return – I retreat here in the surf to charge a worn soul, revamping my spirits in order to survive when I set foot there once more.  Flashing a quick glance behind me, I catch sight of the tide gently over flowing impressions left by my feet; footprints of my past washed away into nothing but a recollection – evoking a subtle truth that what took place back then is finished; it cannot be modified or revised; it’s gone now; so I stay the course; trudge on; press forward – a happy destiny still awaits; magnificence obtains its majesty over the duration of the ride.

FreedomFor me, meditation isn’t practiced in a dark, candle lit room, burning incense and playing music to the tune of Kumbaya in futile efforts to clear out all of my conscious thought life – it’s a stroll along the shoreline, being mindful or connecting with the texture of the sand and the sounds of the ocean; it’s hiking up to the peak of a mountain and overlooking the valley below or walking a trail through the woods, searching out the stunning sight of a secluded, jaw-dropping waterfall.  The sole purpose of meditating is to engage in contemplation or reflection for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness – the beauty is, there are no set guidelines or boundaries – it’s ambiguous, it’s personal; we are all free to customize meditation to how it best suits ourselves – something religion can and will never offer us.  Spirituality, for me, is simply an assessment of my interior being – the life, power, and energy in my mind and body; I have the ability to honestly conduct this assessment in a meditation style customized to my personality.  Adopting this is so pivotal for my journey due to its genuine cleansing of my soul; when the tank is empty, I require fulfillment; as long as I’m replenishing my spirituality tank with positive vibes, I’m not being permeated with the desire to escape.

I think the word “meditation” itself can initially come across as off-putting or threatening, immediately turning culpable folks away in contempt prior to investigation; its uninviting, pre-determined ritualistic nature or religious connotations supply enough reasonable doubt to justify these conclusions in the eyes of skeptics.  Although there are many religions that embody meditation as a part of their rituals, it is by no means all encompassing – at least not if we are able to open our minds up to the innate differences separating religion and spirituality into entities completely independent of each other – and they are, no doubt, quite different.  Every religion around the globe incorporates specific traits or qualities which make it just that – a religion.  This includes a definitive god (i.e. Jesus, Allah, Yahweh), a creed (i.e. rules or belief system), rituals (i.e. communion), prayer (i.e. The Lord’s Prayer) and organization or hierarchy’s (i.e. priest, pastor, parishioners, church buildings, etc.).  The saying goes, at least around the rooms of twelve step programs, “Religion is for those who are afraid to go to hell; Spirituality is for those who have been to hell and never want to go back.”  The spiritual aspect for me is, as I stated earlier, simply the assessment of my inner being, which meditation allows me to complete – no rules or guidelines or hierarchy’s; no definitive god, at least not in the sense that major religions of the world are concerned; just connection, self-awareness, and mindfulness; that’s all, plain and simple. 

gi-letting-go-butterfly11I’m not religious; far from it actually, but feeding the spirit inside me through how I exercise meditation and incorporate it into my life plays a large role in why I can now achieve so much acceptance and feel so much peace, even considering all I’ve been through and all I still face – it allows me to take a step back and realize I cannot “play god” in an attempt to control how I believe things should be; that everything will fall into place as it should, which is perfectly fine – and that is enough.  Now don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t bother me in the least that there are people practicing or taking part in any of the multitude of organized religions either – millions do, so who am I to say there is not any validity to it whatsoever – that would be insane or at the very least, intensely egotistical; I believe people should follow their own paths and partake in what works on their own individual playing fields – it’s just not my path and I know that now – I’ve tried it and my experience was fueled by deceptions and contradictions that render it highly unlikely for a return – but that’s just me.  By the way and in case you are wondering, yes I do have a higher power, but that, my friends, is a tale for another day.

In a Perfect World

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What I Want: A healthy connection to my commander and chief, the power I seek which oversees my life; away from the pain, and the torturous strife.  The thoughts floating through my head are not devilish lies; they’re straight from the heart lacking harmful disguise.  Words from my mouth don’t deliver a sting and my self-centeredness doesn’t ravage a thing; it doesn’t cause hurt, mayhem or disgrace, instead it brings much needed love in its place – it’s merely by fortune of association, that the sensation of elation brought translation of salvation.  The isolation I crave isn’t turning deranged, certifiably anti-social or forever insane.  My world is just as I left it or perhaps improved when the power has approved that I be removed.  And as I valiantly return from my latest sabbatical, the home-coming parade isn’t gloomy nor fallible.  Irresponsibility exterminated; unaccountability extinct; undependability and distrust have entirely collapsed; and sole author of the anarchy will no longer relapse.  It leaves me genuinely fulfilled and authentically content as I consent to prevent the next tragic event.

How I Get There: Humility and Grace.

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What I Want: A queen by my side; a best friend – accepting of my darkness; walking hand in hand towards the light; validation as a man, as a human and companion; my quirks are accepted, I don’t feel rejected; I’m just being me, no mask or façade, no – just being me, tender and authentically odd; she sits with me in the silence, the stillness, we’re free – vitally in tune with emotions, she sees what I see – she doesn’t give up; she’s all in ‘til the end, a fighter, a lover, and best of all, she’s my friend.  She gets all my humor, whether fair or off-color; she fires it back and that’s just why I love her.  This queen is no stranger to the struggle of suffering at great lengths, but as we rise from the ashes they formulate into strengths; trudging through the valley was a necessary journey, and although it was stormy, it began to restore me; it prepared me for my predestined ascent to the peaks, where I’ll look back below discovering why I was weak.  Our bond is real, stronger than steal, foundation reinforced, it’s built solid of course – I treasure the value of her mind, her body, and her spirit; love, I embrace, and now choose to revere it – the three become one which cannot be undone.  She’s perfectly balanced; perfectly made – I’m never alone and no longer afraid. 

How I Get There: Honesty and Patience.  

What I Want: Washboard abs and olive-toned skin; soul-piercing eyes and a chiseled, strong chin.  To be a powerhouse standing six feet or taller, not down here at five-six – which is quite a bit smaller.  I’d stroll with a swag up and down the main drag; I’d give a high-five to all those I pass by; steering clear of the fear would appear crystal clear – persevere my dear because our year is here.  A contagious smile keeps me safe for a while; the words that I speak are wise and unique.  They come, far and wide, to confide in my pride; departing alive with a drive to survive, thrived when arrived – refreshed and revived.  I assist, I lift up – provide aid to the needy; selfishness executed and no longer greedy.      

How I Get There: Acceptance and Gratitude.

What I Want: To be happy, joyous, and free.

How I Get There: Honesty, Open-Mindedness, and Willingness.

A Meditation Translation Dispenses Some Sense

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Eyes closed, sealing off the spectacle of mayhem in pursuit of hostile takeover; a defense of flesh firmly fastened to fend off foreign infiltration.  Embark on a voyage inward and happen upon a scant solitude amidst the arena of darkness, void of demon or beast hell-bent on ravaging the remnants.  Drift deeper inside, straightaway towards the everlasting springs of utopia where corruption and depravity have no function or role.   Subliminal signs direct the way; they lead into this secluded, spiritual space off the beaten path – a lengthy distance away from the disarray of a society lost in the fog.  A desire for development in elements of the essence can evolve all things known or perceived; the extraordinary is etched in the eye of the beholder – catch no glimpse of iniquity.

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Withdraw from the noise – set forth to phase out the expendable; abandon all racket and commotion; utilize sole power of mind to relinquish the aura of lies that cling on like a flea to its host, increasing intention to sicken the soul – those tall-tales transformed into an authentic perception as a result of letting distractions execute a mutiny of sanity or reasoning.  Striving for spurious sound waves never to sublet space inside this spirit of the psyche; no freedom for falsehood to flow or apprehend transmissions of a sympathetic heart.  Attacks from all angles attempt an auditory assault; do not divulge to diminish these deterrents of peril; it is ceaselessly unsafe to subside sound security – of all in existence throughout this world and beyond, sitting still in the silence serves as celestial sanctuary; centered and composed – heed no words of wickedness.    

Blistering heat crashes into pale, delicate skin; emitting diabolical perspiration which had taken ownership of weary remains; a departure of the vile once coursing through veins of a life-force destined for disaster; it’s a cleansing of the vehicle that carries on in pursuit of redemption; where majesty and opulence are commonplace among peasants; where the touch of death is overpowered by the contact of compassion.  Swooping in are favorable cool breezes, gleefully grazing the skin and providing pleasant relief – even an oppressive heat from hell cannot rid the exultation from this encounter; lost in the winds of elation. – feel no wounds of malevolency.

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Scorned lips stitched and sealed; no necessity to snatch back sinister words from mid-air, slipped through the cracks of an untamed mouth – everyday daggers that fly out in all directions, wounding those in their path.  Compulsive and unfiltered; obnoxious and unsavory; the ultimate weapon of mass destruction is launched from an ill-tempered, twisted tongue.  Perhaps the most detrimental damage arises in things spoken straight into the soul rather than physically inflicted – domesticate it; let it rest for a time; allow a calm mind to tame the tongue that has slayed the unsullied – innocent victims of the wraith of wicked words spoken; language of tenderness and passion rise from cleansed ashes of aversion; let them spread wings and fly – tell no tales of atrocity.    

Serenity found; a clear mind all around – freed from the shackles ever holding me down.          

Clearing the Cloud of Confusion

 

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“I got my own self by my side

And mentally we gotta be free

I see the wickedness coming full speed

But I hold together like the ball needs the seam

I’m trying to do something not nothing,

You’re trying to hold me back and that’s fine

Nothing you say or do is worth my time

Good day to you, I respectfully decline

And now I’m coming stronger than ever

You say I’m a fool I say whatever

I’m in it for the good vibes together

And the love lasts forever

No time for the wicked, If you’re in my line, I’m a go around the side and still bring it

Sky is the limit, Out of my way, You can’t get me down”

-Rebelution, “Sky is the Limit”

An unusually brisk, overcast morning befell us for what was a normally bright, sunny, and vibrant environment – even in late January – even in the cloudy, emotional wake of my recent relapse, where I came to, in the middle of the desert, in a motel somewhere between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, with virtually no clue of what, when, why or how this could have happened again. Other than finding out it had been a week since I checked in, the rest is and will remain a mystery other than what I learned about through third party accounts and following a rather confusing and nonsensical paper trail. This particular day, my treatment center had made arrangements for us to venture out on a hike; part of the physical aspect of resyncing mind, body, and spirit; in my case, a personal attempt to honestly harmonize them for the first time. The expedition started with a steady descent, accompanied by my latest rehab battalion, into one of a plentitude of canyons located along the Southern California coastline.

Almost immediately, I got the distinct feeling that this slide down into the foggy, gray canyon was metaphorically speaking to me; representing where my life plummeted to yet again by a series of bad decisions, disrespect for the power of this disease, and becoming complacent in my program (or lack thereof by this point); the seemingly never ending downward spiral that, when all is said and done, undeniably requires a decision to be made, if I even survive the whole ordeal in the first place. The first is to continue on downward; just give up altogether and succumb to the almighty power of Alcohol, slowly fade away into misery, despair, and ultimately concede to its mastery over me. The other, to admit defeat, fully surrender, and start the ever increasingly difficult backtracking; laboriously forcing myself into the uphill battle to regain some semblance of self-respect, dignity or, at the very least, an ability to look myself in the mirror without filth and disgust staring back at me.

At a certain point, we happened upon a fork in the trail; yes, a literal option to go one of two ways; not referring to a metaphorical, “fork in the road”, ladies and gentlemen. As a unit, we chose the way to proceed and our pilgrimage continued on to wherever it was we were going to end up. I’m rather confident in my belief that nobody really had any idea as to where this path led; we could have been marching towards the cult-like initiation ceremony featuring some insanely bizarre chanting and a human sacrifice for all I knew, but hey, wouldn’t that be quite the story to tell, huh? Fortunately, for whatever imaginary person being sacrificed for the, “greater good”, of some looney belief, we never came across such an event; I apologize to all you sicko’s out there for not having a tale of human sacrifice to share today.

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(The Abandoned Barn we Came Across)

After a while, a clearing in the forest presented itself; lingering fog remained settled in between the range of hills that towered over us. A strange sense of uneasiness flooded over me; like I was in the presence of something mysterious or experiencing an infrequent phenomena of sorts. Off to the left of the trail in the field was an old, abandoned barn surrounded by chain-link fence and topped with barbed wire; a spot where graffiti artists and taggers would come to create and express their art; a form of art that I have always found fascinating and different; an entire subculture devoted to it in fact – one of which I am not nearly knowledgeable enough or qualified to comment on, but I have met a few people and made some friends in recovery that were involved in the scene.  Whether it be considered criminal or not, in my opinion it’s one of the coolest and most creative ways to be rebellious if those were the cards you’ve been dealt as an individual. It was, however, also a place where junkies and alcoholics would come to become isolated from society, in the darkness, traveling through time and space with no purpose or direction – just a needle, a bottle or, perhaps both.

(A Glimpse Inside)

Amidst my fascination of this whole experience, which was starting to feel very spiritual and meaningful for me, I envisioned myself seeking shelter in a place like this if I continued down the path I’d been traveling; one of relapse after relapse – loss, loss, and more loss; pain, suffering, misery – to the point that, where from a societal and legal perspective, I’m technically homeless – the address on my driver’s license is that of my treatment facility’s main corporate office because I had nothing else to put; I’m no different from those folks hanging in that abandoned barn that suffer from what I suffer from, except in the cases where other serious mental illnesses are in the mix, of course. I went from living with my wife and kids in a household pulling in around $120,000 a year at one point, to being technically homeless, and it all happened pretty quick. I feel like I’m already living on borrowed time; time that is going to expire. I’ll be given no more chances to get it right; just a six-foot hole in the ground with a stone on the surface; name, dash, and some numbers; a dash that I really don’t want representing a life wasted or purposeless – but my fear and reality of the situation is that’s exactly where I’m headed if I don’t fully give myself to this thing called Recovery right now.

As we made our ascent from the canyon that day, rays of sunlight started piercing through the clouds, burning off the layer of fog down below; healing that dismal, gray environment. Coincidence? Maybe, but what I really believe is that the God of my understanding has been with me all along, and that day, was showing me He has not left my side and does not ever intend to, no matter what I do or how many times I fail, as long as I keep trying; I can’t say that about many people here on Earth, that’s for sure – at some point, most give up on me, or are embarrassed by me, or don’t want to acknowledge who it is I am in the interest of protecting their own interests or reputation and that’s just how other people are. I’ve made promises that I have not kept; there are those that have made promises to me that didn’t keep them, there were mutual promises made between myself and others – whether they were in the presence of God, of family, of friends, between friends or family, or even with employers. I guess in the end we are all just human and we all have our own struggles; I have to be okay with that – all I can really do is eventually clean up my side of the street and accept whatever it is that happens from there. The important part is that I have to be okay with me; with loving me. I have to be okay believing something, whether or not I call that something God, is bigger and greater than myself.

I threw my shades on and coasted the rest of the way back out of the canyon, enjoying the comforting warmth and essence of connecting with nature and feeling an authentic gratefulness to be alive.