Appreciation, Accountability, A$$holes

It’s one thing when we do things so that others appreciate us. It’s another thing when we are able to do them and appreciate who we are. It’s yet another when we are able to appreciate what we are doing and still yet people fail to appreciate this life.

We are each so vastly unique, divine even, with the capability of changing the world. No one person is greater than another. We can say fate played a role in this or that but really if you think about it, choices played the main role and fate merely the assist. Howard Hughes could have chosen to invest differently. Johnny Cash could have chosen to not continue in music. Barack Obama could have chosen basketball over law.

Ultimately, we all choose this experience called life, how it unfolds, and what we choose to do within it. That’s the type of power we have. That’s how amazing we are.

I think it’s important that people start to realize this. Particularly those of us who are privileged. We pine over some really crazy shit when we could be out there making a difference. I’ll tell you what, I don’t need to see a dead baby in a dumpster in another country to realize that I have it lucky as an American. I don’t need to have my home destroyed in a natural disaster to realize that I am blessed even though I’m not a millionaire.

Which leads me to ask those of us who do have in this life, what have we done lately to try and make the life of another better? What have we done to strive to love unconditionally?

And if we have, how often have we stopped because it didn’t have the outcome we desired? How often have we pressed on to keep doing good for others because it was necessary regardless if they could appreciate it at the time or not?

I have fallen terribly short of serving others in a loving fashion many, many times and am as guilty of this as everyone else. But I am alot better at choosing to continue giving as fully as I can and trying to help as much as I can than most other people. People say I have a big heart. No, I’m just choosing to be loving as best as I can and choosing to try to help myself better so I can better serve others. We all have the same tools within us so it’s a cop out to say bigger heart or not. It’s a choice to be shitty (not that there aren’t reasons playing into that but still once those reasons are known, continued shittiness is an unhealthy choice).

In my opinion, people need to start being more accountable and not just talk because like it or not, we as powerful creatures, with the potential to create and destroy in the ways that we have, must be accountable in making this world a better place to live.

We fail to give our best more often than not. We fail to appreciate the moments we have. We fail yet we still have a chance to do something about that. We don’t have to keep sustaining the suffering of ourselves and others.

What am I saying? Why? To me it’s the same and has always been: Live and love life fully. Doesn’t matter what you choose to do because so long as this a core component of that, I guarantee the choices will be beneficially individually and collectively. If you live and love life fully, you appreciate being alive, you love others unconditionally though they kick you or don’t respect your gifts, you take care of this life because you know it’s all too short and wasting a moment not living in a healthy fashion is one foot closer to the end, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

And really, it shouldn’t take one part of us to die in order to live life a little better. Mistakes will be made but it really doesn’t have to be hitting our head against the wall is the only way to live. I learned the hard way. How will you learn?

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Listening to Your Heart

“My heart filled with love, flowing over with joy, my own little drum that I like to march by!”  ~ Gunda Fijnje-Nolan

What does it mean to listen to your heart?  According to the quote above, it sounds like a parade marching band with cotton candy or whatever it is you liked as a kid.  Point being, fun, alive, free, etc.

Something I have been pondering is as follows: “Truth is when the mind is in accordance with the heart.”  Now, I feel like I get that statement.  It’s the alignment of the heart and the mind.   The question I subsequently pose is how do know you when you are listening to the heart versus the chattering of the mind?

The mind, the old egoic mind, is a bastard, a dirty rotten bastard who sings songs of “woe is me” and “if only this, if only that.”  Well neither this nor that or woe has any place in the the “Truth” that is the balance of mind and heart.

Now in the past, I thought filling up spiritually is the answer. Well that opens up a whole bag of grey, albeit available in gluten-free and organic grey, but still grey.  Besides one might ask: How can I be filled if I haven’t even let go, relinquished control?

But I digress, so what does the beating of the heart say and how does one know if the mind is in accordance?  Pretty simple: tranquility, stillness, calm, etc. is the way to get there.

I haven’t found my ultimate answer, what it is that I have been seeking, my “Truth” if you will.   I see it in the distance. I can smell its aroma. But I haven’t quite found it… Yet, but I Am getting closer.

How?  Peace.

Finding ways to create peace in myself and extend the energy around me (Insert Love for Peace if you’re Christian and put the stone down because I love Jesus and think he had it right,  his later homies not so,  but Jesus for sure).

Now, perhaps it is a bit premature to share this.  But I am very open and I know someone else might be at the threshold ready to cross through the door and reading this particular blog could be what helps them to take that step.

And why might that matter?  Because we aren’t alone friends.  We aren’t alone.  That’s why I have more peace now than I have ever had.  And were it not for the messages left for me in the wind I would be struggling more than I have.  That is why I write the process out.

Because the more light we shine, the easier it is to see the Way.  Besides, listening to the wind is an entirely different and more complex matter.

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart.  I am.  I am.  I am.  ~Sylvia Plath

Only Love

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love.” ~ Mother Teresa

This passage makes total sense to me today.  Had I found this awhile back, I don’t think it would have been as profound as it is for me now in light of how my life is unfolding.

A few weeks ago, I was taken by surprise when my love broke up with me.  I had my time of intense pain and shock.  I still have moments of great emotion well up inside.  But rather than be spiteful or act the fool to her, I can only love.  I realize that is all that there is to do and that is the gift I choose to give.

My Grandfather passed within a day of the above occurrence and again more shock at the all at once-ness of it.  As I stood in his house with my Grandma, I felt his presence, felt his love for her.  As she spoke to me of fond memories, I heard her love for him.  Great sadness is there, they spent 63 years of their lives together.  But above that, only love.

As I found myself amidst intense pain in two different scenarios, I felt the presence of God.  I see how loved we truly are.

Every day, I see and feel love in the signs of confirmation in my life, in the eyes and hearts of others.  So much so that all I can do is have faith and share the love I feel, share it freely and without condition.

It is so simple.  LOL.  It is so simple, it’s hard to understand and actualize. So simple people fight it and refute what another says because it’s not spoken in the same language or recited from the same book.

Mother Teresa had it right.  This saying sums up exactly what Jesus was about and what Buddha was also teaching, what other faiths of years past said and those today say.  Beyond pain, beyond all things, there is only love.

Hilo…

I find myself in Hilo, where I spent my formative years, at the start of an adventure and new chapter. The last chapter ended abruptly with a whole lot of loss. This loss has spurred a renewed faith in God and life. And no matter how much I am shocked, this is a journey that I meant to go on alone.

But first, a couple things about Hilo, Hawaii…

Where can you fall asleep to a tsunami (Hilo rains extensively) and wake up to the sun shining bright? Hilo and I’m sure I’ll find a few other places in the coming months.

Second, how cool is it that I can drive down Komohana Road along side a goat sauntering on the shoulder? Pretty cool and I bet I’ll see that more than once in my travels.

Point being, and this is something I know in my heart, I just can’t say I’ve experienced it in too many places and as a result stumble when I try to explain, life is really the same and pretty simple.

I met a monk a week and a half ago and he told me something similar. He told me: “You see this flower, it is the same as any other flower. You see my skin, your skin, it looks different but it is made of the same thing. Our blood is the same color.”

As I go down this path, I find that I am digging deeper in myself, sorting through the piles of things, and seeking something. Some would call it “soul work” and for lack of a better explanation that’s what I’m doing.

I cannot fully articulate it but I feel it. If anyone is anything like my now ex but new special bff, this vagueness is driving you crazy. Don’t worry, I’ll be able to tell you what I mean in a few months. There is something inside that I feel must be shared and I will find it.

Thank you Hilo for giving me many of the greatest things about me and for being the start of this new chapter in my life.

“Hilo is just a rainy old town and at night I listen to the rain… fall.”

Aloha ke Akua.