Note to Self

Recently, I was introduced to the term “imposter syndrome” which is defined as “a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.”

Since I don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything yet I argued that it really doesn’t apply to me (“that’s the point” she replied in silence). I am, however, quite intimate with the “fraud” part.

There’s so much I want to say. So many things I want to write about. I have a passion in me that has been ignited in a way that is impossible to extinguish. Nor would I want to extinguish it.

But the words won’t come.

Instead all I hear is:

“Fraud!”

“Charlatan!”

“Liar!”

“Pretender!”

How can I write about those things I feel and the lessons I have to share if I am unable to create and maintain them in my own life? Why should anyone listen to me? Why do the people I know continue to come to me for advice? I have had no success in love (or in life, really) to point at as an example and what I have learned I have learned painfully.

Rather than expose myself as that fraud I have written nothing but in doing so I prove that sense of failure because what I write about most often is hope and gratitude.

Some time back I read an article in the Buddhist review “Tricycle” by the Zen monk, Shozan Jack Haubner, who says:

“The only thing worse than trying to look younger than you are is trying to look wiser than you are.”

So I remind myself that my only failure is in thinking I’d be wiser by now and forgetting that I am only as wise as I allow my experiences to make me.

It is the suffering that has taught me the things I write about and though I don’t write about them in a “woe is me” manner does not mean I am pretending, it simply means I am learning.

Today I recommit myself to sharing what I have learned and to expressing the fire that burns in my soul because to hide it, or to hide from it, would truly make me a fraud.

As Shozan says, “…we all must commit wholeheartedly, moment after moment, to the life we have…”

This is my life. I will live it to the fullest. Even if that means pretending a little.

Giving Thanks

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I have so much to grateful for today that I don’t even know where to begin.

My life has gone through some changes over the years, from horrible to not worth mentioning to wanting to shout from rooftops just how good it is. It may sometimes feel like those changes are unique to me, but they are not. We all go through these changes. Our lives are marked by periods of unrest and beautiful pauses. All of us.

So today I am grateful for the knowledge that I have never been alone on this journey. Even when I was most lonely, and those times were plenty, I was progressing through life with an entire caravan of others. People I will never know sharing exactly the same experiences. All of us moving toward some desert oasis where the promise of life draws us. Calls to us.

Not everyone hears that call or can envision such a place. So I am grateful for that as well. The ability to see that the promise is always within view. Always within reach.

Mostly, I am grateful today for the ability to love and be loved. Even when I had neither I always had that ability and it is that ability that has led me to this place where emotions are as sweet as tangerines, the sky as bright and clear as my intentions, and my heart more full than I ever imagined possible yet has unlimited room for growth.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. You are loved!

 


 

Image: “The man that dreams to fly” by Mary Cimetta

I am not alone

hive

I wonder; will I ever become the man I have tried so hard to be? Will my past ever let go of me? Can I ever truly break free from it? Move beyond it?

I don’t know. I really don’t.

Most of my successes have been built on the back of my failures. I didn’t learn to be the man I am by getting it right but by screwing up, epically, and then learning from my mistakes and becoming proactive instead of reactive. To always be mindful. To listen to what it is I am feeling, understand it, then express it productively.

I try.

There are times when unexpected reactions bubble up and I become toxic. Reaction takes over. Erupts.

Is this failure? While “failure” is not a word I often apply to anything, it can be considered a failure if those reactions affect those I love.

It happens. I wish it didn’t, I wish to God it didn’t, but it does and when it does I can not help but feel as if it is the last mistake I am allowed.

Then I remember something I told a friend of mine, “It’s not the last fight until it’s the last fight.”

In treating one of those volatile reactions as the final act that drives the nail into whatever it is I am doing I literally provide the nail, and the hammer, and the force that drives the nail home. I manifest my fears by believing in them.

What I am doing is worth the effort. Where I am is worth the time to adjust to. Who I am with is worth loving and believing in. We are worth believing in.

I will not believe in anything but those things which further my path, our path, and our place in the world.

Yes, I will make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes. There will be times that the events of my past, a past I have spent so much time learning will come back to haunt me. The reason for this is simple; I have dealt with those things alone.

I am not alone. Not any more. I have a whole new set of lessons to learn now.

I look forward to the learning with the knowledge that it never ends.

 

Change

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Change is the only constant. Change happens. Which is just a nice way of saying shit happens. But change itself is neither “good” nor “bad”. It is simply change.

Sometimes that change is small, easy to deal with; a fender bender, a missed appointment. Other times it is larger and affects us in unforeseen ways; the work season, already too slow, comes to a sudden halt leaving us worried, possibly near panic, about how we will survive. Sitll other times it is dramatic, profound; our home is blown away in a hurricane so massive it clears the land, burned in a wildfire so out of control that the smoke covers 5 states.

Though change itself is often out of our hands, where those changes lead us is almost always up to us.

Do I give in to the panic? The rage? The fear? Do we rebuild our homes? These are choices. The choices lead to decisions. The decisions, if based on intentions of love and gratitude rather than fear and panic, can lead to unexpected new places. New lives. New love. All of them of our choosing.

It’s okay to be angry with the Universe for these things, She’s used to it. No one wants their home destroyed or to lose their job after barely scraping by, but it’s important to look beyond those events to the possibilities and opportunities they open. New choices. New paths.

I am leaving North Dakota soon. Change has opened new doors for me. Opened my heart and my mind to a new life. I’ll be damned if I sit here and worry about what I don’t have when what I can have is so much more.

Know that whatever change you are facing, we all face it at some level, all of us. In that simple knowledge you are assured that you are not alone. Know also that no matter how insurmountable that change may feel it is simply the Universe saying “I love you. Time for something new.”

What that something is, is entirely up to you.

This change will be good because I will make it good.

 

not broken

I know you
I know why it is you cry at night
How you believe there’s no one who’s right
For you
No one at all
No one who loves
No one who cares
No one you can share
All your pains and sorrows
Your joys and your dreams of tomorrows
No one who answers
When you shout with all you soul
“Where are you?!”
I know you believe you are alone
I know you feel empty
Isolated in your empty home
I know the words you say
The prayers you pray
Why it is you feel this way
Why it is you keep believing
You are not good enough
Why it is you continue seeing
You
Unwanted
Unworthy
Imperfect
Rejected
I know your insecurities
How you feel you lack maturity
Your shame
Your guilt
Your silent threats
Spoken in times of consuming darkness
How you think your life is hopeless
How you think that you are broken
I know you
I know you better than anyone
I know
because I am you
We are the same
You and I
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried
How many times I wished I’d died
The intensity of the pain inside
The loss of self
The loss of pride
The stories I’ve told myself
to keep my Self in line
with what I believe to be true
but I’ve learned
they are all lies
All of them
Lies
You are worthy
You are so very worthy
You deserve to be loved
You deserve to be loved
You deserve it, Love
You should be treated better
Who you’ve been
Doesn’t matter
You should be treated better
by You
You have nothing to be ashamed of, Love
Nothing to take blame of
You are not unclaimed, Love
You have nothing to be sorry for
Nothing at all
We all make mistakes, Love
We all feel that ache, Love
Sometimes
some of us,
myself included,
(no one is precluded)
keep making the same mistakes
over and over
feeling like we’re never getting closer
So many times, in fact
we think it’s “normal”
and spend our life performing
the parts we manifest
instead of just being our best
and forgetting
our best it always good enough
Always good enough
You are always good enough, Love
The one you see
The one you think you’re being
when you see You broken
isn’t who you’re meant to be
even though it’s all you see
it’s not who I see
you are much more
more than you believe
so much more than you believe
more than the life you lead
more than what’s been handed you
more than what’s been forced on you
more than you know
but I know
I know
That person isn’t you
Those are just things
Things that happen
Things that happen to us
Things that happen to all of us
We are not defined by them
But by how we respond to them
So forgive yourself
Please forgive yourself, Love
You are not broken
Not damaged
Not broken
Not useless
Not broken
You are perfect
In your imperfections
Just take a look
at that beautiful reflection
You are perfect
I love you just the way you are;
not broken

August 21

Today we enter into the final moments of what I truly hope has been an incredible season of change for each one of us.

I have been working on personal growth and change for a long time now. Years. What I am doing here is just the beginning of the task I have set myself.

As the eclipse passes keep your intentions, the person you want to be, the person you know you are, close to heart. Know, without a doubt, that during this sacred time we are closer to the Divine than we will ever be. That She is listening. That She knows our hearts. That She will listen to every single one of us. That this is as close as we will ever get to truly choosing the direction of our path. To choose who we really are. That the Divine will help us because She want us to be those people. Because She loves us.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the outer edges or nowhere near this event because it’s a global event. Literally. Our moon blocks the sun and our planet lines up behind the moon.

You can not say you weren’t there.

We will all be there.

I’ll see you on the other side.