Category Archives: acceptance

Banning Cruelty

And then, finally, anger. Not the pound-the-table with your fist anger, but the center of your soul anger. Anger provoked by cruelty. The kind of anger known to lift the veils of denial, confusion, doubt. 

Cruelty deserves no presence in any life. You betray no one but yourself if you fail to ban cruelty from your life.

Home with no name

Home with no name, this charcoal deep airy lost place. Cut bonds and cords flit in the wind, a thousand tentacles. Sad hearts stand in quiet corners, lost, trembling, cold, bent, buckled, they weep – they weep – they weep.

Now, stumbled to standing, I’ll split the heavens for you, snare the brightest sun. Across the pond out of reach your heart glistens warm gold love. I am now, finally, bound by nothing but me. If I could only cleave the pond in two,

find myself lost no more.

for jch

What will not be

I have reached the time in life when I am beginning to understand and accept some things will likely never be. I have come to believe, quite firmly in fact, that by accepting what will not be we are freed to accept what is and what will be.

Certainly accepting some of the things that will not be means experiencing sadness and, in some cases, loss, neither a particularly pleasant experience; but life is not ended by these experiences, nor is its value diminished. I accept, for example, and have accepted for some time now that I will never again have a relationship with family. Although I did not realize it nor see it coming at the time, my relationship with my family ended the day my father died. I was 15.

However, I have a friendship closing in on 40 years with Michael Sulsona; we are actually brothers at this point. His sons, Vincent and Philip, grew up calling me Uncle Peter and in my heart and soul they are my nephews.  And while I would have weathered the storms of life, Michael’s presence and the presence of his boys have made managing the storms a lot easier. I love them with all my heart. I am blessed.

I have come to believe too that at this point it is unlikely I will ever have the relationship with a woman that I’d like to have; one deep-heart committed under the same roof sharing the daily strides of life. There are few gifts in life more wonderful than waking up next to the person you love. But love and relationships have many forms, they are not cookie-cutter made, even though we are raised by well-intentioned misguided folks to think so. Once we gently disengage from that myth we are free to love in ways we  never thought possible.

And then there is my writing, the part of myself I am closest too. Getting a book published is not all about quality writing. What gets published proves that. Hell, while The Da Vinci Code had a good story line, it was some of the worst writing I’ve ever encountered; the only cliché the book left out was It’s quiet, too quiet.

When it comes to my writing, my job is to  write one piece of work at a time, send them out when they are complete, and then get to work on the next peace.

Life is good, not always easy, but good. Remember (please) that accepting what will likely not be will free you to experience what will be. And hey, when you notice you’re there when you wake up in the morning you know things could be a helluva lot worse.

The Perplexity of People

People baffle me.

What makes us believe the things we do? Or, what makes us unwilling to accept the realities that confront us, even when we know (or do we?) accepting them is what we must to manage and get free of  life’s more debilitating and, at times, deadly challenges?

If you find yourself hoping this essay will offer definitive answers, forget it. Honest observations for sure, but answers? Definitive ones? Not likely. Not from this pen.

While this is not a political column, some of the more baffling aspects of people show up in their political choices. Take Sarah Palin. First, she is blatantly dishonest. She resigns as Alaska’s governor to fight for Alaska (a confusing rationale to say the least) and takes a job with Fox News. The woman comfortably lies from sea to shining sea, says God told her to run for VP (I thought he liked us!) and yet millions adore her.

Let me switch gears now, or, better put, terrain.

Why, when so many recognize their opponent, I am thinking of alcoholism or addiction, brain injuries, along with other maladies, do they not choose to accept the reality of what they are facing (acceptance does not mean giving in) so their lives will grow the level of independence they deserve?

Let’s face it, when, on some level, you choose to surrender control to an addiction, injury, eating disorder, anger management issues, or similar maladies, including the wounding components of your history, the very last thing you are is independent.

The answer to the proceeding question may revolve around the person’s belief that they do not deserve their independence and, in some cases, their life. I’ve seen cases like this end in death – real death. Not the death of an idea or the death of a dream – death – end of breathing death. And, it is wrenchingly heartbreaking.

By the way, if you manage life by using dishonesty, you lose. Dishonesty breeds carnage in all forms and on all levels.  It is moral poison.  Without question, honesty is the most powerful weapon in accepting and managing life’s challenges.

Being honest requires stepping up to the plate and taking accountability for your own life, for managing your own life. Many use dishonesty to manipulate those around them, to get others to manage their lives for them. The tragedy is, when these folks reach the end of their days, it may or may not dawn on them that they never got to live life as themselves.

I wish I had the magical gift to help people recognize and believe, or dare to believe, that they are now and always have been valuable and worthwhile. That their independence rests in their willingness to accept and manage their own lives.

Independence is a state of mind, not a physical condition or physical level of functioning.

I’ve known and  know people resistant to taking medication or going to psychotherapy because they mistakenly believe if they do they are not handling things independently. Were that misguided belief accurate, then it has been many years since I’ve read a book independently because I wear glasses.

Wearing glasses is independence because by wearing them I am controlling the poor vision rather than allowing it to control me (and, by the way, rob me of my favorite pastime, reading). Taking medication or going to therapy or get free of some of wounds or abuse you suffered in your history is independence. Why? Because you are taking charge and you are managing your life, not the ailment or your history.

Now I am going to get some sleep. That would be me managing my fatigue, being independent, if you get my drift.

Just ‘Round the Bend

It’s been many years since I’ve had a good relationship with August. We just don’t get along. I never wronged August, least I can’t remember if I did, but I must’ve. After all, August contains some of the biggest wounds of this man’s life. Shot on August 24th, mother commits suicide on August 12, and the biggest wound of all, my father dies on August 16 when he is 55 and I’m 15.

Now don’t be whipping out any sympathy violins for me, that’s not the point here. I am alive and well and happy and testimony that things can be survived and grown from and while wounds leave their marks and shapes, they don’t mean to stop your life, ‘less you hand’m more control then they deserve. Life happens to us whether we like it our not, it’s how we manage it that makes the difference, our living breathing relationship with it – that’s the point.

Suicide’s anything but fuckin’ painless and the same goes for getting shot and your father dyin’ when you’re fifteen’ll fuck your world up too. But you know what? Sunsets are beautiful and the same goes for sunrises. Friendships and family are precious and Springsteen songs make my heart soar and the sound of children laughing will lighten the heaviest heart and have you seen the flowers blooming lately?

Old wounds don’t stop life. Old pains don’t slam doors. Old scars don’t close your eyes or shut your ears. Open wide your soul and breathe. Lift your hearts up by the fuckin’ bootstraps if you have to. Open your eyes and ears, love people, love life. There’s life gifts in front of you and there’s life gifts ‘round the bend. You might not see’m now, but they’re just ‘round the bend. I know it’s scary, but don’t let it frighten you.

We all got our Augusts. You got yours and I got mine. You keep living now – and I’ll be seein’ you ‘round the bend.