In my last post, Back With The Boys, I mentioned that I will be sharing how I overcame during a personal crisis moment in order to give you an idea of how to approach your personal crisis and overcome by calling up the Power that lives and breathes as you.
I mentioned 2 occurrences – one involving loss (the theft of my laptop) and the other rejection (being asked to leave someone’s home).
First, let me just say that it is my belief that everything that occurs in life for us is an out-picturing of our internal beliefs, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and interpretations. The ‘outer’ world of manifest experience is a product of our ‘inner’ world of perspective and possibility. The life we live results from the life we create by observation, choice, and will.
The other night I was speaking with my mother who expressed her heartfelt pain and disappointment that I am still living in my car in Oregon. She envisioned me being reunited with my sons and their mother. I am in the vicinity of where my sons live but their mother and myself have a dynamic going right now that is fraught with coldness, anger, bitterness, resentment, and broken hearing and speaking. And we both are responsible for it.
I told my mother, ‘Don’t feel bad for me Mom. I’m in my current situation because this is the life I created for myself. No one else is responsible for what I’m going through. I’ve made my choices, I’ve wasted opportunities, and when you waste time, waste a life, then you end up living in your car like I am right now. In fact, this is how life SHOULD work. No one should be rewarded for wasting a life or wasting potential. If you commit a crime you ought to be dealt with appropriately, like going to prison. Life is working perfectly and beautifully, working just as it should work and that’s why I am living in my car right now. But even though I’ve wasted time and opportunity I still have today and tomorrow (if I live to see tomorrow). All I have is now. And that’s what I work with to rebuild my life, my mind, and my opportunities.’
Shit doesn’t just show up; it follows ingestion and digestion, it results from choice and process.
Karma can be one nasty bitch but she’s always fair and right….believe me, I know from present and past experience. And no one gets out alive from the karmic crematorium. And if it’s true transformation you seek you must pass through the death (ego) and the hellish fires of transformation and your light will be as bright as your shadow was dark.
There is no other way to go about it on this planet. No matter how many lifetimes it will have to take (if indeed that’s how it works….I don’t know).
I started to learn the art of personal disclosure years ago through a relationship with a woman in Missouri (I actually started doing so years before that relationship, though – it started when I was married to my beliefs, to my god, my savior, and over the years began to shift from religiosity to a more personal, intimate, mystical way of relating to Spirit and the spiritual) when I was her student in a Science of Mind class. She is smart, insightful, intuitive, and very frank in her communication. She could read me perfectly even before I understood certain things about myself at the time. But her greatest asset was her love and her support of me so that she helped me feel safe even as I felt very exposed and vulnerable. And she didn’t end it with critical analysis of my character and personality; she also reminded me of my greatness, inspired me to pursue photography (which had been a longtime, unfulfilled wish), inspired me to start writing again (I had ceased writing years before due to my fundamentalist religiosity), exposed me to the idea that I am a healer and offered suggestions on how possibly to pursue learning and expressing it, taught me meditation, science of mind, and inspired me to begin to feel comfortable with embracing the idea of the Sacred Feminine in my soul.
As I learned to open up more and more I was relieved of the feeling of hiding from others what I was ashamed of within. I learned to do so consciously, with awareness that I was risking the exposure of the facade that I began to realize was not me. Not incidentally, this period of my life followed one of the most, if not the most, painful periods of my adult life when I, through a sequence of devotion, inquiry, prayer, more inquiry, prayer and much internal torment, had come to reject the Judeo-Christian bible as the literal word of ‘God’ and rejected the god of that book or any other book. When that god came crashing down so did my world, my world-view, my personal identity which was defined by my adherence to this belief system and my marriage at the time. Everything fell apart along with the self I had constructed agreement by agreement.
Anyway, as I reflect on my life in light of where I currently am with the mother of my children, I ask myself, ‘Was my relationship with the mother of my sons a lie, an illusion of sweet emotions and relational laziness? Was there ever love, respect, and open-heartedness between us? Were we living a lie?‘
Maybe we were….but then, maybe not. Unresolved personal issues, unresolved issues from one’s individual past will always rise to the fore of consciousness and play themselves out in relationship and circumstance. And they rise to the surface to disrupt and destroy the status quo in order to open the door to greater, higher possibilities.
Here’s a painful confession: I feel now, as I reflect on my life and past relationships, that I’ve never been a good husband. I’ve never been a financial provider. I’ve never been a good partner to any of the wonderful women I’ve been with, including and especially to Caroline, the mother of my beautiful sons. I feel as if I’ve never been a good son or a good friend or neighbor. This is painful to admit but this is how I see it right now in my process.
I always wanted to be taken care of by the women I’ve been with (while also wishing to be a provider and protector), to mother me and nurture me. And for sex. I used to be very promiscuous, trying to sleep with every woman I was ever attracted to in order to stroke my ego, heal painful memories and maintain a self-image as a good lover. I thought sex, and religion, would heal my pain. I never sought to nurture these women – except maybe where it served my purposes? – even though I have a rich, nurturing soul. I was never present for anyone yet always wanted everyone to be there for me.
(And I say this while knowing that THIS IS NOT ME, NOT ALL OF ME, it’s a past, a story, a specific pattern in the multi-patterned quilt of my life and soul; it’s not my essence nor what defines me. We can never be reduced to any one thing nor to any known narrative – the mystery and mysterious wonder and beauty of us have more to say than what we know and can say of our damaged selves and eternal souls).
I wonder if a part of me, a vital part of me, died in childhood? Innocence died, yes, but something more, something vital to full self-expression died – it was the idea that life was nurturing and that I was safe, not ‘alone’, within family and community. My childhood was beset with poverty, chaos (in the South Bronx in the 70’s and 80’s), fear, severe bullying and horrific assaults and abuse by others from the neighborhood (not in my family). I mention this not to excuse my personal failures but to explain how my self-image was constructed, a self-image programmed under the strains of p0verty, survival, and despair, and thus ripe for the religious world that promises heaven and rest to the soul lost in hell. And I say it because I know some of you have been through your own kind of hell and are working to create heaven. I bless you.
I had family that loved me but did not know how to nurture me and build me up. Daily survival proved too distracting. I remember having an advocate, a neighborhood friend, Pepino, who defended me when he could from bullying and abuse. And I had a blessed awareness and intuitive connection with the Spirit World which began to manifest through visions I saw before having my first church experience at age 5. I also have good but spotty memories of growing up in the beautiful Bronx around beautiful souls – Puerto Rican, Black, West Indian, loud, lustful, and alive! – who etched my memory indelibly with their unique ways of expressing their flow, their soulfully rich personalities. My journey is richly blessed because of all of you.
Yet, I feel now that maybe I’ve been living a lie…..and maybe my search for truth was compensation for the lie I’ve lived. Or maybe it was a quest for liberation from the lie; a quest for transformation.
And somewhat bizarrely, the truth and the lie seem, in hindsight and present sight, to be the same. In may case, was the truth of me the fears and the insecurities, masked by the pretense of all being right and well and the appearance of having my shit together? Or was the truth that all was right and well with me, whole, holy, and complete and that I really did have my shit together but which I masked with fears, insecurities, and the pretense that all was wrong and woeful with me to avoid responsibility for my life and the duty and discipline demanded? In the soul, truth and lies become interchangeable, defined and distinguished by context, intention and circumstance.
Most of you are living lies, too. I know because I am you and you are me. This stuff is universal, folks. No use hiding. And I share my shit so you can witness and learn from it so that when my shine shines through – and it does and it will! – then you will know it’s real, too, because I was real about my shit. Am I not shining even now, even as you read this?
Most of you hide your shit – you dress it up in pretty colors and sumptuous fabrics, spray perfume on it, add sweet flavorings to it – in an effort to present your best face to the world in order to gain love, approval and admiration. You make superficial adjustments in public and in private you fall apart until your private hell manifests as circumstance for all to see and demonstrations for all to witness. I know you do, because I’ve been doing it.
That’s why I respect most those individuals who can be open, honest and humble about their shit. And then they inquire within as to what is authentic, how to be present and what it means to be whole with the determination to complete the work of personal transformation.Then they show up, still faulty, but made whole by owning their shit….and thus their shine.
That’s what the healing voyage is all about.
And that’s why I love and venerate Malcolm X. My beautiful Brother Malcolm, in whom Creator became a god, was open and honest about his past and made it publicly known. And why? To inspire so many of our beautiful Brothas and Sistas to reach beyond the brokenness of the mind and soul damaged by personal adversity, systemic enmity most notably expressed as racist ideology and policy, and societal rejection (except maybe as servants, entertainers and sexual fantasies).
It was Malcolm’s personal honesty and integrity that kept his mind open as he traveled to Mecca and other parts of the world so that in the end he was able to realize and acknowledge that WE ALL ARE ONE.
It was then that he realized, with great clarity, that the source of the world’s troubles (war, economic deprivation, colonialism, etc.) was the result NOT OF AN AMERICAN POWER STRUCTURE BUT A WESTERN EUROPEAN POWER STRUCTURE (FDR also made a similar statement to Colonel E. Mandel House, founder of the CFR, when he wrote, ‘…the real power behind the Presidency is located in the financial centers of Europe…‘ [London, Paris, Hamburg]).
The financiers of Western European have funded both sides of numerous wars and impoverish nations, destroy economies, and rape the Earth and her resident nations of natural resources (read: Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins and Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins).
And when Malcolm X rightly drew attention to Western Europe’s criminality and declared that we are one then he became a grave danger to this power structure as he sought to unite the dreams and struggles of all peoples on all continents.
Then they killed him. White minds and black hands killed him.
But his Spirit lives in me. Does it live in you? Will you, will I, redeem our integrity, our honesty, and resurrect and express the fullness of the Life and Power that lives within us, as us? Will we?
Anyway, my point here is that when we get real with ourselves, about ourselves, we remove the scales from our eyes and can then see things in a new and true light. We see new possibilities in expanded fields of vision that were always there but hidden to us by our egoic myopia. We see ‘problems’ with clear insight; and see the solutions with even greater clarity.
And this is the key to transformation – brutal, cutthroat honesty about our shit. To strip ourselves naked for the world to see. For by doing so we liberate not only our own selves (and the Self!), we also make it possible, and safe, for others to do the same. Safe because when others see and hear us get honest about ourselves and yet not be consumed and destroyed by disclosure (in fact we prosper personally and spiritually as a result!) then others will know it is possible to do the same and be fully alive because of it.
And that is inspiring to the soul seeking to breathe free.
Look for my next post in which I will share details of how exactly I overcame, and overcome, in times of personal crisis.
You will benefit greatly from it if you choose a similar approach, or choose to go about it along a different path, for by doing so will come to know that within you is the Life and Power to liberate your soul, free your mind, and transform your life.
Just beware, it looks a whole lot scarier than it actually is.
And if you are blessed by reading Healing Voyage then share the blessing!
Share it with as many souls as you can.
Why keep it to yourself?