A View from the Other Side

Observations from the winged dude next door.

Archive for the tag “choices”

Have We Lost the War?

More senseless, maddening tragedy in the news tonight. Last night. Every night. People being slaughtered. People who are supposed to protect others murdering people in cold blood. People who are supposed to do something to prevent these things electing to do nothing. People acting on fear. Apathy. Racism. Classism. Misogyny. Privilege. Hate. Ignorance. Stupidity.

Nights like this, I really wonder if we’ve lost. The side of goodness, of the Light. Things seem so unbeatable and Dark and hopeless. Like it’s a tide of blood that never ends. Names. Faces. Gore. Bullets. Explosions. Death.

But we have to keep fighting. I have to remind myself, and you reading this, that the tide goes in waves. Ebb and flow. Dark and Light. I have to remind myself that this is all part of the change of the world. People choosing sides. Choosing between love and hate. Because that’s what it all boils down to, isn’t it? Do you choose to love other people unconditionally, even if you disagree with their life, their religion, their sexuality, their culture… or hate them because they’re different, and because you feel threatened in some way by that difference?

This is the moment. This is the moment where you choose what kind of world you’re going to make around you, because your actions ripple out. The butterfly effect. Every choice you make changes the world. Every choice changes you.

Please make the right choice. We can still keep things in balance and turn the tide. We can still push back the Darkness together. But we have to do it as a team, a force for good. Everyone makes a difference. Please do what you can.

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You’re the Hero

What are you going to do today? Are you going to play solitaire or watch TV? Maybe do some shopping? There’s always the email to go through, and the laundry… and that cat box, wow does it need……..

…That’s one boring as shit movie, you know that?

It’s tiny. Small. Hemmed in. Ordinary. Full of minutiae that, in the end, doesn’t accomplish much of anything.

Nobody fucking cares if the dog ate your pizza, and you shouldn’t either.

You’re reading this because you want to make a difference. You want to know the secret to doing that? To being a hero?

You go out and FUCKING DO IT.

YOU are the hero of your story. YOU are creating this book, this movie, this story, this life, every second of every day. The choices you are making, right now, is writing this story. Are you going to sit around and play Candy Crush, or are you going to get off your ass and go be somebody?

You’re the most badass hero there ever was… if you write your story to be that. If you want to get a black belt in Judo, go do it. If you want to learn Reiki, go do it. If you want to wash oil off sea birds, or be a paramedic, or go dig wells in Africa, or teach people to read, or plant trees, or run a theater troupe, or march in the streets over something important… you have to actually DO THOSE THINGS. Stop thinking about it, or marveling at other people who do it, and be that person.

It really is that simple.

Write. Your. Story.

Every second of every day you have the choice what to do with that next second. The next minute. The next hour. The next day.

What kind of hero are you going to be? How do you get there? What quest are you going on next?

Every single person’s life is a hero’s journey. Don’t waste all those chances to be extraordinary.

Another Encounter with Willful Blindness

covering eyes

Lest it be said that I like to exaggerate, I’d like to give another example of someone with HUA disease, or chronic Head Up Ass.

This person is well known to my avatar, as she used to live next door to her, so my avatar has seen the entire situation unfold over the course of about ten years. To make a long story short, the mother got addicted to painkillers and has been for most of this time. She is also a pathological liar and will stop at nothing to keep getting her drugs.

The daughter, now about 19 years old, refuses to hear one word about it, blindly defends the mother no matter what facts are presented, and goes on the attack the instant any of this is mentioned. We’re talking baseless, vicious, personal attacks if the subject is even touched on. It doesn’t matter that this drug addiction has destroyed the entire family–any and all blame has been placed on the husband who couldn’t handle the lies, theft, criminal activity, fraud, blackmail, and emotional destruction that this woman’s drug habit was causing everyone around her. He helped her and the daughter as long as he could, but, in the end, had no choice but to divorce her over it and get on with his life. And yet, in the daughter’s eyes, her mother is next in line for sainthood, and the father is just short of the devil himself.

It’s beyond sad. And it’s all about choices. She is choosing to blindly defend her mother, no matter how much her mother’s actions are destroying lives, including her own. She is choosing to attack anyone who tries, no matter how kindly, to point out the source of the problem so that it can begin to be repaired in some way. She is choosing to create a false reality that her mother is a saint and everyone else is an evil attack dog.

Her world gets smaller and smaller, and more and more fake, and it’s all of her choosing. Because she can’t face the reality that something might be wrong. She’s not strong enough to do anything about the situation. It’s easier and safer to play pretend and never pop the bubble. God help anybody who gets too close with a pin.

I can’t even imagine how difficult her life is going to be.

Flying Sparks

hand full of sparks

What does it mean? All this, this messy existence. The suffering and pain, the beauty and love.

None of us can ever know the full story.

Something’s drawing to an end, right as something new is beginning. That’s always the way of it though, right? Someone dies, someone’s born. But this is like the whole universe is dying and being born right now, and we’re all going through both. The universe, and stars, and people, and plants, and atoms. Everywhere, all around us, in the macro- and microcosm.

The king is dead, long live the king.

I get little hints here and there, little breadcrumbs, but I’m not omniscient. I can’t see everything in the past, present, or future. I can’t even remember most of my own twisting and forked past that flew off in a thousand directions like a firework.

tempest stone pietersiteI suppose this sensation of change I have right now is my own fault for wearing a tempest stone necklace today. It’s named that for a reason. It’s a catalyst, like I am, and trips things into happening just by being near it. That wild spark that flies off someplace you don’t expect and starts a brushfire. The red light turning green. The lightning ripping holes in the sky. Newton’s apple. The key that clicks the lock tumblers into just the right sequence so that the door can open.

Yes, this post is a little disjointed and stream-of-consciousness, but that’s where my mind’s at right now. Moving forward in this timeline along with all of you reading this, for the most part. For the most part.

I’m frequently asked what I see in the future, and I just answer, “which one?” Not to be a smartass, but because that’s my honest reply. How far out and away do I look? Six? A dozen? A hundred? A million? Trillions? It branches infinitely, and they’re all happening somewhere.

I do my best to navigate and nudge the one that I’m connected to the most.

Something’s coming. When you hear the call, what will you do? Will you recognize it, or will it get lost in a preconceived notion? Will it drown in a sea of mundanity, or will you be one of the sparks that pushes back the dark, starts fires, and leads others on?

The choice is coming. Maybe it’s here now. Maybe it’s a series of choices.

Are you making the right ones?

Choose the Future

create yourself

Who Are You?

We were watching the 121212 Concert, which was to raise money to help areas damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. There was a segment about Red Hook, a section of low income housing that, being right next to the water, was severely flooded and damaged.

The stories they showed were of people helping each other. Two young men pulling an elderly woman with hypothermia out of the flooded street. Young and old coming together in the aftermath to become a real community. Anybody who had something would give to those who had nothing in one big cooperative effort. This event changed lives. Some people didn’t survive it. They had a different path this time around. But the ones who did survive have a greater understanding of what a community really is, and will have that outlook for the rest of their lives.

Hurricane Sandy, in the end, will make their lives and futures better. They are better people for it.

A lot of people who go through incredible pain, even beyond death’s door and back again, will become better for it. Stronger. More wise. With a perspective others don’t have. According to a lot of spiritual traditions, you cannot become a shaman or true spiritual leader without having looked into the face of death. Soul trauma remakes a person.

But how? Into what?

That’s up to that person.

To choose their fate from there forward.

You can choose who to be, trauma or not.

You create yourself.

Sure, there’s parameters. If you’re paralyzed, you probably won’t be walking any time soon.

But think about every other decision you make every day. The foods you eat. The clothes you wear and what color they are. What you smell like. Your jewelry. Your shoes. What you buy with the money you have. How you keep your home. Who you associate with. Your job. Where you live. Your car. Your pets. What music you play. Who you vote for. What charities you give to. What you do for other people. What labels you take on and mold yourself with.

Pay special attention to that last one.

What labels have you put on yourself? Do they help or hurt you?

Who are you creating yourself to be?

Fighting Your Demons

Excerpt from The Kingdom, by John R. Mabry:

Without pausing to think, he blurted out, “I feel damned.”

She nodded as if expecting this answer. “By whom?” she asked.

He opened his mouth to say, “By God, of course,” but he knew before it had come out that that was not right. Damn her, he thought, she always knows just the right questions to ask.

He knew what the wrong answer was to the question, but not what the right one was. “I don’t know,” he finally breathed.

“Bullshit,” she said with an  affectionate smile. “’I don’t know’ always means, ‘I don’t want to say.’”

“But I really think I don’t. It’s just a feeling.”

“Okay,” she said, “Why don’t you tell me how you feel using other words?”

His gaze wandered off and became unfocused as he rooted about inside. “I feel completely fucked up inside.”

“That’s more like it,” she said. “What feels fucked up? I’ll make a list.” She held up her clipboard in a gesture of helpfulness.

“I don’t deserve to lead this order.”

“Why not?”

“I feel like a fake, an imposter. Like I’m just playing at being the Prior. I feel like a friar – I just don’t feel like a leader. I’m not… holy. I’m fucked up.”

She bent her head and scribbled with hands misshapen by arthritis. She looked up. “What else?”

“You aren’t going to try to talk me out of it?”

Her eyebrows shot up. “Should I?”

He scowled at her. Her methods always took him offguard.

“I hate being bisexual.”

“Why?” She looked at him with real affection. It unnerved him.

“Because I don’t know who the hell I am. I don’t understand myself. I can’t seem to commit to men or women. I feel…”

“Don’t say ‘damned,’” she warned.

“Okay, I feel…” but there wasn’t another word. “Set up? I feel set up by God. For failure.”

She wrote. “Good, good. This is all good. Anything else?”

“What–?” In what way was this good? he wondered. He teetered on the brink of exasperation with her. But he gave in and continued to play it her way. “Yes, I drink too much. I worry about myself. About being an addict.”

She looked up from her clipboard and Richard could see the emotion in the corners of her eyes.

“Let’s pray!” she announced, grabbing his hand.

Richard resisted inside, hating at that moment the roller-coaster ride that every session with Mother Maggie turned out to be. Yet for being such a workout, they were almost always transformative, and it was with great effort that he tried to get his ego, fears, and resistances out of the way. Not that there was any way to stop her. She had already turned her face to heaven and parted her hands, her misshapen palms held upwards in entreaty to God.

“Lord of Heaven, we give thee joyful thanks for the gift thou has given Father Richard, thy servant, in the form of these icky feelings. We thank thee for his feelings of damnation, for because of them he will never presume himself to be superior to anyone. He will not think he is special, or elect, or somehow favored by thee over another. We thank thee that he feels like a fake, for then he will never assume that he knows what he is doing, and will never make bullshit pronouncements about what you allegedly want. For these gifts of humility we give you hearty thanks–”

Ouch, Richard thought.

“We thank thee for his bisexuality, for his confusion and struggle, for thou hast given him the special gift of being able to love all peoples, regardless of their genitalia–”

Richard winced painfully but restrained himself from interrupting.

“And finally we thank thee for his troubled relationship with alcohol, for the longing for transcendence it represents. We thank thee that he can empathize with all those who fight against the unseen forces of addiction, and that he is brave enough to speak it aloud to himself, to me, and to thee. And we thank thee for Richard’s vulnerability, that he is fully human, even as the rest of us are, and we ask thee to comfort him, to see himself as the blessing to the world thou hast made him to be, even in the midst of his petty afflictions. Amen.”

“Fuck you, Maggie. Sometimes I really hate you.”

“The truth is often painful.” she patted his hand lovingly. “But it’s good to take everything to God in prayer. Do you want some advice?”

“Do I have a choice?” he asked.

“This insecurity of yours is a form of arrogance–”

“What are you talk–”

“Shut the fuck up and listen to me, you little coward.”

Richard sat up as if he had been punched in the gut. Maggie continued, smiling beautifically. “If you think your puny sins – or even your worst ones – are powerful enough to invalidate or overpower the love of God, then you are as full of shit as my composter.”

She leaned in until her red and pudgy face was almost touching his. “You can choose to love yourself as God loves you,  or you can suffer. Your choice. But as long as you fight your demons you Will. Be. Fighting.”

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