Waving the White Flag

white-flag

 

Well, I’m back. Though I’m not sure what that means.

First, let me say that I am extremely relieved and thankful that hurricane Florence did not land as the expected Cat 4 even though it means I have no work because I would not wish that sort of devastation on anyone.

I have tried, unsuccessfully, to write about surrender many times now. It is a subject I have a difficult time with because as strong as my faith is and accepting as I can be I still have a hard time separating “surrender” from “giving up”

I don’t want to give up but I do need to surrender.

I have done my best in this last year to change my life and while I have been undeniably successful in many ways I feel I have utterly failed in others. I knew that changing my life would not be easy, but I did believe it was possible.

Now I’m not so sure.

I made just enough money in the week I was deployed to either hold on for another month or to move on. Moving on, in this case, actually means moving backwards, which is something else I have a difficult time with.

At this moment I am seriously considering taking the little money I made and heading back to the oilfield. Trucking has always been a sure bet for me. I can literally go anywhere and find a job driving. The problem is that I honestly despise that life.

My other option is to stay put, dig in, use what I earned to get me to the next storm. The problem is that there may not be a next storm and when the money is gone I will be left without an option. It will be too late in the year to expect to find work in ND and I won’t have the finances to make the move anyway. I will be left finding a driving job in Mobile, AL, home of the lowest driver rates in the nation. Barely above minimum wage.

So I have a choice between a known that I have been trying to escape for most of my adult life, a known that will pay the bills but likely make me want to withdraw again. Maybe for the last time. Or I can choose the unknown. Continue to place my faith in a desire for something better. Accept the possibility of it all falling apart at the last minute and leaving me without any options at all.

For now, in this moment, the best I can do is wave the white flag, retreat from the battle, accept that there are things beyond my control and maybe tomorrow I will begin to make new plans.

But I will not give up.

 

Fierce grace/fruitful darkness

 

I fear
one day
I will be swallowed by
the things that threaten
to annihilate
and obliterate
the man
I’ve worked so hard
not to be

that in accomplishing my
intentions
I will be left
only
with the mistakes I’ve made
along the way

that in attempting to
achieve
something I will never be
I will become
just a shell
filled with good intentions

that I will
through misdirection
mislead another
and make their life
worse
in my attempts
to make it better

that in attaining
by accident alone
all that I strive
to become
I will lose the chance
to reach higher
never becoming
all that I may ever be

and in that dark place
a place I’ve come to know
too well
I find solace
if I reach for it in faith
comfort
in the depths
a peace that envelops
with the utterance of
a single word
spoken with firm conviction
“Surrender”

I am
exactly
who I am
meant to be
exactly where
I’m supposed to be
going exactly where I need to be

I close my eyes and let go

all will be well


Video: “If I was a Warrior” by Trevor Hall

Life is a Journey

 

“People are hypocrites” she proclaims. “No one lives the life they want.”

I have said those same words myself, or something similar, though it probably contained expletives and self pity.

How do I tell her what I have learned in a single online conversation? How do I tell her that there was a time in my life that I shared that view? How do I explain that my change of view was both instantaneous and took many years?

I had the four bedroom house on an acre of land with a six car garage, a cabin on a private lake, a boat, motorcycles, off road 4×4, a recording studio in my basement, my own construction company, everything I thought I needed to be happy, and in a moment of human failure I lost everything.

Even though it initially brought with it a physical, as well was emotional, pain it also brought a proclamation of “FREEDOM!”, shouted in big screen fashion, it took many more years to understand that none of the stuff I gathered and lost over the years ever really mattered.

At the time of the “loss” it felt like I had been robbed of my entire world. Like I was condemned. Cursed.

Now, looking back with unclouded eyes, I can see that I was most miserable when I had everything I thought I wanted.

It took many miles to discover that what I was missing couldn’t be found on a piece of land or in a store or online or was anything I could carry in my pocket or drive or use in any way.

What I was missing was found inside and I found it only by enduring, surviving, and exploring with gratitude the journey that my life became.

I discovered is that the journey itself is life.

Not the prescribed “this will make you happy” copywriting on a box of sugar sweetened cereal or the dictated image of perfection programmed by hours in front of a screen that insisted I couldn’t be happy unless I owned the latest fashion or drove the newest car or smelled a certain way or walked a certain way or looked a certain way or spoke a certain way.

The struggles and joys and passions and pains and heartbreaks are each but a single step along the paths of our lives.

Today my journey brings me back to the acquisition of “stuff”, but not in the way it did back then. Today my intentions guide both my needs and desires as they apply to others. They tell me that the life I have led these past years, paying off old debt, finding myself and being true to that Self, exposing my underbelly to the entire world, ready to feast on it, without fear, was necessary. Essential.

Each step I have made has led me here to this place of love and gratitude.

Now, in complete surrender to, and acceptance of, a grace that I work to prove my worth of receiving, I push forward with plans left by the roadside long ago.

Plans to live. Fully. One step at a time.

Because life isn’t a destination, it’s a journey.

Travel far.

Timeless

timeless.by.Moe.Shirani.jpg

Time is as often friend as foe. It flows steadily. Never ending. We can tell ourselves that it is an illusion. That only “Now” exists. But that’s a half truth. Now is the only place we exist but we live in a progression of time. In our human form we have a beginning and an end. We are born, we live, we die. What happens in between is a combination of circumstances and events guided by will or careless indifference and interpreted by intention and understanding or misunderstanding.

I chose to embrace that knowledge some time back. To acknowledge that I had a beginning. That this body will at some point fail. That how I live now is entirely up to me. Not everyone gets that choice. Some are born into short and brutal lives. Some never get the chance to live at all.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I see glimpses from time to time. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the arms of my Beloved. Compassionate days that flow into passionate nights. A flow of energy between us that builds and shares and expands. Perpetual. Timeless.

I want those things.

Time, however, often chooses the pace and, thus, can affect the quality of Now… if we allow it to. Plans made need to be shuffled again and again before they can be implemented and even then I must remain flexible to last second alterations.

This is where I am now: Making the best of unexpected changes. Unexpected changes making the best of me. Guiding the future with intention and understanding with one difference, mutual desire.

Not the base and often destructive sexual or sensual desire of immature love, though certainly that exists, how can it not? I do desire the physical connection of my lover. Intensely. More than that, however, is the desire to give and receive love. Physical. Emotional. Psychological. Spiritual. To create something together under the guidance of those intentions of compassion, connection, union, care, growth, and so much more that I so often describe as simply “love and gratitude” and through those intentions build something lasting. Eternal. Timeless.

Today the flow of Now across which time passes and at the edge of which I exist is both friend and seeming foe. It prevents immediate satisfaction of our goals. Blocks access to the woman I love. But every second that passes brings me ever closer to her and to Divine Union with her. In this it can only be considered friend.

I could focus on the obstacles or focus on the goal. The choice is made easy by these facts:

The obstacles are temporary.

Love is timeless.

I choose love.

 


 

Image: from the “Timeless” series by Moe Shirani

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

Surrender

leonardo-i-viktorija

 

When I first set myself upon the path of change I’ve walked for some time now, I knew the way would be difficult. That it would, at times, be impossible. That life would throw up roadblocks and obstacles. Life has not disappointed me in that regard.

The harder I try to become who I am meant to be, to fully realize my birth right to peace and happiness and love, the more life throws up these detours. I have worked with them, carefully gone around them, changed course as needed.

I now find myself at the edge of a high ledge overlooking a dark expanse. I have travelled to the farthest reach of this path. In that dark expanse lay either all that I’ve worked for or something unknown or unwelcome or nothing at all, and the only way I will know which of those will be my future is to jump.

So I surrender.

To surrender means to accept that I have done all I can do. That I have done my best. That my best is all I can and always should do. That my best is always good enough.

To surrender doesn’t mean that I give up hope or that I stop doing my best. It means that I relinquish control because control is an illusion. I can guide my life through my intentions. I can choose how I respond to the things that happen in my life. I can not choose those things.

In maintaining that false sense of control I create conflict both internal and external because the two are intertwined. Connected. One.

What happens in my life affects me internally and how I deal with those things affects me physically. There must be harmony between the two. Balance. That balance is maintained through my works and deeds and practices and also through hope and faith.

The faith comes from a lifetime of experience which has taught me that even when the outcomes were less than optimal the Universe has never once let me down. She has always been there to catch me when I fall, to set my feet upon the path, and to lead me with her loving light.

I will follow. I’ve come too far to stop now. I have prepared myself as best I can for whatever lay ahead and though I am afraid I am fearless because I know I am ready for whatever lay ahead.

I will leap into that dark expanse and new paths will be revealed in the fall. New directions. New life.

So I surrender to the Universe. She has gotten me this far. She will not let me fall into darkness.