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I’ve been inspired to write again, at least today by another blog post I came across on Facebook. It’s called Single Dad Laughing and I am responding to a post he wrote called “The Cure for Perfection” I was deeply moved the response to his post and have sent him an email requesting he share my blog post, but either way I want to share it here as I believe it to be the one true thing I have learned. I am also sharing the links I have sent to him that have provided me with the most amount of self reflection, self growth and self love, helping me move out of fear into a place better suited for the perfect humans we already are!

So with out further ado here it is:

Hi Dan,

I didn’t follow the rules or guidelines you suggested. I never do. I hate rules of any kind, but I hope that you will repost this message because I have been very drawn to share it with your readers because the most important thing we can know at this time is that we are already perfect in everyway. When we come from a place of knowing that we are already perfect and keep reminding ourselves of that we are freed up to look deeper.

Perfection is all that can exist . . .

Nothing imperfect exists . . .

And no, I am not a swami . . .

So what does that mean? Does it mean we are perfect in our so called imperfection, yes! Does it mean that perfection is our continual state of being? Yes! I am writing to tell you that you are perfect exactly as you are now, every little ugly spot or bad mistake or error in judgment or rotten word you cursed at the guy going way too slow in front of you is perfection at it’s finest. Yup, you are perfect, so you can stop worrying about being any more perfect and start focusing on what makes you feel uncomfortable, what makes you afraid and that which you choose to change about yourself. You see the thing is, perfectionism is not the enemy, it could be a symptom of something you don’t want to look at, like smelly feet or a rotten tooth, but more likely it’s about being afraid, because fear my friend is the enemy. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear that your pizza will be burned on the bottom. Seriously, think about it. What have you feared today? Good Lord, make a list and you will see that fear is the ultimate buzz kill, because without it we would just roll along taking things as they come and dealing with them as they happen, not before, because the other half of it is projecting the fear of what could happen without ever really knowing that it could. This constant thinking and all knowing voice in your head that says it has all the answers, but we know differently, don’t we? Every single one of us has had a situation or two turn out exactly the opposite of what we projected and we’ve said to ourselves, “Wow, I never thought it would turn out like that!” And you were happily surprised. We have seen horrible, terrible situations like child abductions turn into causes that have saved the lives of thousands. Open your mind for a minute and you will see the past does not equal the future and your future can change in a minute by simply asking yourself one question, what am I afraid of? If that answer brings up more fear ask another, why am I afraid of that? The more questions you ask the more answers you will receive and so on and so on until a solutions is found, a lesson is learned and a deep knowing that perfection is all around us is embraced. When we take a concept like being perfect and turn it into the enemy at the gate we never, ever get to the truth. We, all of us, are afraid and that’s perfect too, because when we see that it’s just fear that holds us we can shine a light on what is really making us uncomfortable, confront it and then deal with it. But we gotta look at the ugly before we can see the beauty, and I can tell you I have seen a lot of ugly in my life. I have uncovered a lot of what I am afraid of and faced it square in the face. It ain’t easy, it isn’t pretty and it requires constant examination of my own thoughts, my own fears and what makes me tick. I have learned that I am perfect just as I am, with all my flaws and fear of failure and fear that you might read this and think I’m crazy or long winded or horrible at grammar, but I had to face that fear and share this with you because I am awed by your courage to ask for others to help others in a world of seeming strangers and often strangeness, that I see now as perfect and beautiful and with wild, endless possibilities. There is nothing that cannot be solved or worked through or used for the benefit of teaching others, helping others and showing compassion.  I would like to applaud you and send you this note of gratitude for reminding me how far I have come and for allowing me to share with you some resources that have helped me along the way with the hope that your voice and exposure will be the vehicle by which others can find them.

Resources:

Journaling Resource: Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way: http://www.theartistsway.com/

Maia Berens an extraordinary life coach: http://allaboutlifecoaching.com/

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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These words came to me last night and I am sharing them with you. May they have meaning in your life!

When the lighted path grows dim
hold a candle against the darkness
then speak my name
I will be there for you

When the flame flickers and dies
feel your way against the darkness
then call out my name
I will be there for you

When you can not feel your way
remember the lighted path
and whisper my name
I will be there for you

When you can not remember your way
imagine the path lighted before you
say my name
and I will be there for you
I will be there for you like a foothold
Even in your blackest night
Like a hand to shake you
to awaken you
for even when you slumber
I am here

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Kentucky shurbs . . .  dark spots littering the field, their green matched the green in my shirt. And I wonder, always wonder about the beauty of this land, even in it’s desolation, indeed sometimes because of it. What isn’t there leaves room for the imagination. Plus the land may let you down, but you never take it personal, you know? When crops fail you don’t think the land is trying to hurt you, you just think it is what it is, or you try blaming it on God or the universe or something, but you know that can’t really be true. And just by looking into a field I figured out that man invented God to have someone to blame shit on.

Hmmm . . .

Man invented God so he could have someone to blame shit on. It’s a theory I came up with on the first day of the first week I spent with the man I thought I loved, on a vacation that would end our relationship. But, it being the first day I was still in creative spirits. I was still in a place where the freedom to roam that I desperately sought was bestowed upon me by him through the company he worked for, and while I don’t think I ever really admitted it to him I realized a lot about myself and the world and travel, well motion, while I was stuck in a Hum-V with him, driving and driving for miles. I realized too that he was simply a catalyst for my transformation the same way one needs to strike flint or tinder or whatever the fuck. I mean he was like an ingredient that was a requirement.

Now, none of this can be seen while you are in the midst of it. It can only be observed afterward. After the pain wears off. After you realize it was one tiny stop over on the map of your destiny. A tiny spot that seemed really big and all consuming at the moment and the deal is, it felt like love. I mean true love, deep love, love without limits, but that is fucking bullshit isn’t it? Everything has limits, conditions, restrictions, except knowledge, except learning, except passion and there is love in all of these but it comes from within it is not gotten from someone but it can be bestowed upon them, it is a gift to be given an received and there are limits, self imposed, but limits just the same.

But what I learned about love didn’t/wasn’t realized on the trip necessarily, but some months after during a dormant period and alone time that for me was so painful to speak of it hurts right down the middle like a hole in my gut. He would never understand this because he didn’t have too, has never wanted to, at least not yet. And that makes me happy because I would not wish this feeling upon anyone, well that’s a lie, but I’ll get back to that another time. See the thing is he held pain too, experienced pain too and kind of talked about it, but not really. Like I’m a big man who won’t cry so I’ll just bitch about every fucking thing and wait for someone to see it’s pain or there is pain and maybe they will make it go away. Yup he was that guy, the one who was constantly looking to make the pain go away through others, but who would never actually open up for the healing, cuz when it got too deep he would just move on to the next and the next, a surface dweller. And the reason I know this is because I was that exact same way too and so I was attracted to him like a magnet, a fucking guided missile and I knew nothing good, well nothing, well I knew nothing of what our entanglement would bring . . . Ah co-dependancy, Ah lust, Ah the beauty of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It just goes on and on.

No on can write about it while they are in it and while they are in it, it feels really good and really bad at the same time. And no one can write about it until they have closure (a term by the way that I despise) I’m not sure I’ve ever had it in my life, but as I sit here facing a fire, under the threat of encroaching Autumn, beneath skies more cloud filled than blue I know more than I did before he and I were introduced. I know more about myself. I know more about life. I know more about relationships than I ever did before and I while I was in Kentucky I realized that man invented God so he would have someone to blame shit on?

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All men seek some relationship to the Universal Mind, the Over-Soul, or the Eternal Spirit, which we call God. And Life reveals itself to whoever is receptive to it. That we are living in a spiritual Universe, which includes the material or physical universe, has been a conclusion of the deepest thinkers of every age. That this spiritual Universe must be one of pure Intelligence and perfect Life, dominated by Love, by Reason and by the power to create, seems an inevitable conclusion”.  ~The Science of Mind. Ernest Holmes

For as long as I can remember I have sought knowledge of the universe and have been obsessed with how things work within it. It’s been like a quest to figure it all out. I want to know why things happen. I want to control my own destiny. I also believe that in one way or another we all want the same things, some want some things more than others, but it’s pretty basic stuff, love, money, happiness, health etc. Some thoughts about the way the universe works tell us we create everything in our own reality and sometimes without knowing it we create situations we don’t like or that are seemingly difficult or painful. Some even say we create our own illnesses and this happens for reasons we can’t see yet. They say there is a bigger picture that will eventually reveal itself. They say we can find beauty in anything if we look hard enough. I suppose if you look for it you will find it. I suppose if you look for anything you can find it. I personally believe it’s about yin yang and that nothing is either good or bad it just is and this is what helps you decide how you want to view your life and the circumstances in it.

Let’s use the example of the flood that is still pouring into my house and has been for over a week now. On the one hand it has been devastating. I have lost a couple thousand dollars if not more in damage and repair fees. I have spent countless hours pumping water out of the basement and my back is killing me from lifting wet heavy boxes out of small moldy spaces. In fact I spent a whole weekend doing it and I am still not done. What’s the upside? Well I hate to admit this but I have been procrastinating for months about emptying out that basement and either selling the contents or throwing it away or donating a lot to charity and each week for the last several months I have religiously taken a big green garbage bag out to the trash. Well guess what? The process that I put into motion has taken a giant leap and now I will have it all taken care of by month’s end. If you ask my neighbors where they can find the good in this situation they might not see it the way I do, but it also has brought us all together and we are communicating and sharing ideas about how to prevent this happening in the future and these are people who might just wave hello in passing but would never really commiserate and I see this as a way of pulling a small community together and I think that is very important. Personally the whole experience is giving me a kick start in the pants to get moving with a long overdue goal and I didn’t see this in the beginning. I only saw the hassle of it. I guess I just didn’t see the big picture. This is not the first time something seemingly “bad” has been transformed into something “good” in my life. But at the same time it could all just be bullshit about me searching my mind on how to rationalize a painful experience so I can find a reason to get through it.

What are your thoughts? 

Have you ever had an experience that allowed you to see the bigger picture and if so did you think, everything happens for a reason? Or do you think these are ideas we use to placate ourselves during times of pain and stress?

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I don’t usually do Memes, but I was at Book Babie’s Blog and she had this really great idea, so I decided to participate and below is the full copy and paste of her post. I will still break the rules here, (as I usually do) and tell you if you want to do this please join in and link to me or her or yourself. I have to say this was really hard, and it was especially hard because I had a lot of them, but most sounded like instructions or advice rather than a six word memoir and some of the ideas came from quotes I had read so at the end of this you will find the one I settled on with a picture as well. This was fun and even if you don’t want to post yours try it and see what happens!

So here’s her original post:

As I read yet another book review of a memoir this weekend, my husband told me that I should write one. I said that my story would be much too short and rather boring so when I ran across the following book I decided it was just my speed. A six word memoir! Written by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Famous and Obscure is a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were- For Sale: baby shoes, never worn. There’s a video on Amazon with examples from the book, it sounds like a fun read! I’d like to start a six word memoir meme and here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere

4 .Tag five more blogs with links

5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Here is my 6 Word Memoir:

I’m A Stranger to These Parts

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But I didn’t exit the lot and before I was in arms length S came running toward me and gave me another one of those too tight hugs. The yellow was blinding. I closed my eyes. She felt so small. She was small, smaller than I remembered. She wouldn’t let go so I asked, “are you alright?”. She pulled my head towards her mouth and whispered, “I’m scared”. Then she released me. I announced, “Well you look great?” I scanned her throat and she grabbed my hand imploring, “Do you want to feel it?” 

No! God damn it! I don’t want to feel your fucking neck, get the fuck away from me!”

I didn’t say that! Oh I wanted to. It’s like those people you meet one time at a party and they think you’re their best friend, but she wasn’t my friend. I gave her my number she never called. So what was all this, her whispered proclamation, me touching her neck? But my hand was already there, guided by hers to the bulls-eye, a tumid rise below her right ear that could be felt but not seen. “Does it hurt?”. She said it did, sometimes, but mostly she just knew it was there. 

A few agonizing moments passed. I wanted to feel for her, but I could not. S was glowing and it wasn’t because of her shirt, it was something else. It was the spotlight, a concentrated beam of concern focused on all of us when we receive a diagnosis. I am not saying this to be callous. I am saying it because it is true, but I am saying it in hindsight because I did not know about the spotlight that day in the parking lot. I found out about it much later in my own way, but that’s another story. I will say this, when something catastrophic first happens you realize how much you are loved. You are showered with a kind of attention you may not have experienced since childhood. It’s intoxicating and devastating, Yang and Yin. 

S was facing the possibility of death and we stood in a crooked circle discussing her treatment options like four mechanics trying to figure out the best way to replace the fuel pump on a car. K said the most fool proof way to get rid of the tumor was to cut down through her chin, open her jaw and go into her neck. He demonstrated the procedure on his own chin using his index finger as a faux scalpel. This option would leave her horribly disfigured. Her alternative was radiation. K didn’t have to demonstrate that. A voice inside me said, “She will never have her face cut open” and an image of that monster from the movie “Predator”, flashed across my mind screen, you know the scene where the creature takes off his helmet and the bottom of his jaw opens out both ways from the middle? Yuck! When I looked at her again the voice said, “She isn’t going to make it!” These are not premonitions you announce in mixed company. So I just stood there, listening, while K held S close to his side. 

It was twilight by the time we left the credit union parking lot and it was also the last time I ever saw or spoke to S, but it wasn’t the last time I spoke of her. In fact the next day I called my good friend, the one who hosted my engagement party? Much to my disgrace I related the events of the previous night much like a stand-up comedian and she reacted in kind. It was the kind of gossip you only share with best friends because you don’t want anybody else to know your dark side. We were cruel though, terribly cruel. We concurred that S would become the ultimate damsel in distress and K would be her knight in shinning armor. And so it was for a long year I heard on and off from K who told me S had opted for the radiation and he stayed at her side nursing her while she took all her meals through a tube in her stomach. I admired their love from afar while I went through some life altering events of my own. One day I found out that S was better. She had survived it all. She had made death her bitch! I didn’t see that one coming, but I was glad the voice was wrong. 

Soon I started getting phone calls from K, infrequent though they were, all of them had to do with his unhappiness in his relationship. He said they kept breaking up and getting back together. Her regular litany of questions took the same course every time. 

S:  Do you love me?

K:  Yes.

S:  Tell me you love me.

K:  I love you.

S:  Are you just saying that because I told you too?

K:  No I do love you, you know I love you.

S:  If you love me, why can’t we be together?

K never had an answer for that particular question and she believed that by asking it over and over again, but in different ways he would find it. This was the same contorted dance I did with him and for as many years. 

One night in late December, K called to ask me how to spy on S. I am an excellent spy. I asked him why he wanted this information and he said he thought she was cheating on him. In lieu of our previous conversations I said, “Wouldn’t her cheating on you be a good thing?” He said yes, but that he had to prove it. I can not count the number of times I have heard this line, “If I can prove it than I have a valid reason to break up with her/him.” I know this was a stupid question, but I asked just in case, “Isn’t wanting to break up with her a valid enough reason to break up with her?” (This is just a side note, but 2 forty-year-olds using the terminology of high school students ~break up~ with someone is just sick). He said his wanting to break-up wasn’t reason enough for him to do it, so I told him what to do if he wanted to catch her cheating. 

When I spoke to him again he told me that S had not been cheating on him that night, but instead had gone alone to a motel room with a bottle of pills, but she didn’t do anything she stopped herself, called her, mother and came home. I didn’t hear from K after that. 

When a mutual friend of ours called me I asked him about K and S. He said he couldn’t figure them out, but thought K was just staying in it because S threatened to kill herself if he left. We both agreed that manipulating someone is not a way to keep them in the relationship, but we were wrong it did work. It worked for a long time, until their final end a year after I last spoke to K

It was that same mutual friend who called me to tell me that S had killed herself. It was K who told me what happened in the final days of her life when he broke up with her in the parking lot of the apartment complex where she lived with her mother. He said, “When I told her it was over once and for all she told me she was going to kill herself”.  I said, “That I would not be responsible for that if she did do it and she told me she had a gun, I asked her to show me the gun, but she refused, so I didn’t believe her.” Then he said if he had known she was serious he would have sat with her while she did it, just so she wouldn’t be alone when she ended her own life, and I thought, you would sit with her while she ended her life, but you wouldn’t fucking sit with her through it?

S didn’t leave a note, but before she checked into that motel she made several frantic calls to K imploring him with the same questions she always had. He told her he was busy and would call her later, but he never did. 

I think about S a lot and although I have known two others who committed suicide, what happened with her bothers me the most. I think it’s because on a deep personal level I know what she was going through, with K with the cancer and with the wondering. How could someone love you enough to take care of you and then leave you once you are well? You see the cancer still got her in the end, not the disease but the care that came along with it, because knowing someone loves you can sometimes be more important than living.

 

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Cancer? 

Gulp . . . 

My conversation with myself went something like this, my friend Alice died of cancer. My second mother died of cancer, (it’s complicated), everyone I knew who had gotten cancer didn’t survive. No wait, my friend M got it and she has been well for over twenty years. Yeah, but she didn’t do traditional treatment. 

What kind of cancer is it? I asked. “Throat he said”, pointing to his neck. Was that concern or sadness I noticed when he looked at me? “When did you find out?” I asked searching his eyes for something I had never seen before. They were cold and blue and bulgy. Like a frogs eyes rimmed with red, but not from crying. He spit and looked at the ground. “We found out today.” He crushed out what was left of his cigarette and stuck the remains in his back pocket. 

They way he said we, reminded me of the way some couples announce a pregnancy. We’re pregnant. We have cancer. I remembered the first time I had seen them together at my engagement party. They sat off in a darkened corner of the room feeding each other sushi with chop sticks. ~Gag~ It was their food, they brought it to feed each other. We eat sushi. They were snuggled down and this surprised me because K had confessed his troubles with her to me on more than one occasion, calling me up, out of the blue to ask my opinion. He said he wasn’t happy and he wanted to end it, but he stayed because the sex was so good. Now there’s a fucking surprise! His confessions were bad reruns of the times I spent with him, only now I actually learned what he must have been thinking and telling our friends about me. But this night, at this time, I noticed that he was a fake and that S was a fake too, because from the moment she laid eyes on me she rarely left my side. 

When K introduced us she threw her arms around me in a tight hug that lasted too long. After she let go she said, “I’m so happy for you! I know how long you’ve wanted this!” I thought, “Snap out of it bitch, you don’t know anything about me, except for what he’s told you and I bet you’d pay good money to hear what he says about you when he calls me!”

Up close she looked old, she was almost 10 years his senior. Someone else said it first and they said it best, they said, “She looks like a mannequin.”, yeah a Macy’s mannequin with a boys haircut and a red O for a mouth. By the end of the evening I actually felt sorry for her and in the dark hallway I passed her my phone number, just in case she wanted to talk, but she never called. 

K was opening the car door, inviting me out. “Come over and talk to S, I think she’d really like that.” His voice was soothing me now. I like men with radio show voices, he had one and he knew how to use it. He used it on the phone too. “Are you sure she wants to see me?”  He didn’t know about the phone number, or did he? “No, no S really likes you I’m sure she would love to see you!” He was leading me by the elbow across the lot to where she was, talking and laughing with R. Still the fact that he answered my question by starting his sentence with the word “no” was not lost on me. 

You see I also think too much. I read into situations too much. One thought led to another and then another forming an endless loop of screaming voices that culminated into one loud thought, “GET OUT OF HERE NOW!”

To Be Continued . . .

 

 

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