Spiritual Dividends

lighthouse c


Please don’t see just a boy caught up in dreams and fantasies
Please see me reaching out for someone I can’t see
Take my hand let’s see where we wake up tomorrow
Best laid plans sometimes are just a one night stand
I’d be damned Cupid’s demanding back his arrow
So let’s get drunk on our tears and
God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season and the lambs are on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?
Who are we? Just a speck of dust within the galaxy?
Woe is me, if we’re not careful turns into reality
Don’t you dare let our best memories bring you sorrow
Yesterday I saw a lion kiss a deer
Turn the page maybe we’ll find a brand new ending
Where we’re dancing in our tears and
God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season and the lambs are on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?
I thought I saw you out there crying
I thought I heard you call my name
I thought I heard you out there crying
Just the same
God, give us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season and this lamb is on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?
I thought I saw you out there crying
I thought I heard you call my name
I thought I heard you out there crying
But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?
But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?

 Lost Stars performed by Adam Levine

Songwriters
BRISEBOIS, DANIELLE / ALEXANDER, GREGG / LASHLEY, NICK / SOUTHWOOD, NICK

 

In my adolescence and early adulthood, I looked at the world in such a way that kept me from fully understanding my self-worth.  In the beginning I was shy, and so I learned to listen very carefully to others as to not make a fool of myself.  I eventually discovered that others like me did not have the world ‘all sussed’ out either and after years of my growing pains, I matured.

Since my own experiences were limited, I learned from others by careful observation, and this was of great value to me.  I think that I may have discovered something that has profoundly helped me at times during these years that exemplifies the cliche…”sometimes we make choices, and sometimes the choices make us”!

There were junctures in my life that on occasion would defy logic.  Events that would lead me into supportive and welcoming bonds, and impel me to choose wisely, but this would not be recognized fully until many years later in retrospect.  It is still partly unclear to me how I created these paths which later harvested favorable spiritual dividends in my life.  The “spiritual dividends” I reference can be seen in the positive reciprocity experienced in relationships and experiences.  It could be discovered in the present moment or it could be discovered in the memories from years past of people you have associated with.  Something about the friendship or knowledge learned helped you in some way to experience the world in a different way.  It’s when you see things from a different perspective that may open up new pathways for discovery that may not have existed before the influence of those people, or the influence of the knowledge from a book you read, or a movie you have seen.

This has not happened too often for me in my life, but when it did, I was immeasurably better off than my earlier self.  I can easily state that I have also struggled with my dealings with others from time to time and wondered just where that operating principle that I once drew upon and administered had gone to?  Did I disband it in favor of a growing appetite for ego?  However it may have operated, when it did, I’m not certain if the consciousness I experienced was revealed by an already preexisting awareness I embraced, or if it was some other perceptive discernment that sanctioned the pursuit I was now undertaking?

I think there was something extraordinarily happening in the manifestation of this dynamic because for the ages I discovered this ethereal wisdom, I recognized I was greatly more aware of the effects of my deeds and thoughts than some of my contemporary peers.  Was it an ethic I was living and did it collectively embody my attention?  I had spent years reading and researching people I admired who were living positive lives, reading about philosophy and psychology, and trying to understand what it was in this life that would embrace my heart and free my mind of unwanted burdens.

I don’t think it was an arrogance that operated within me at the time, and I was certainly no more psychologically or spiritually advanced than those I observed around me, but I was struck with a feeling that a ‘goodness’ was weaving its influence into the life I was living.  Strangely this dynamic is often indifferent for the sympathetic soul in search of a better life and the intellective attribute can be lost or misplaced if you are not cautious.  I think It has much to do with our subconscious thinking when it is present, but it also takes a conscious effort to enable its presence.  It is not always present, and after years of not experiencing this sensation, I have come to realize that it is a skill to be learned and to cultivate this zoetic principle, you must take an effort to actualize before any benefit will arise.

Oddly I have gone though periods that have eluded these earlier lessons.  I think it has something to do with gains I have made in self-confidence and ego, as well as possibly diminishing my ability of empathetic tuning by not attending to the ethic of reciprocity.  It is also possible that I just simply choose unwisely in my associations.

When I reminisce, I often think about times in which I was happy.  Not just content, but excited about my life.  I was either accomplishing something, setting goals and meeting them, or the people I valued influenced me and gave me something that is sometimes hard to verbalize.  The friendships of those people who give you worth and make you want to be a better person are of special importance for me.  It gave me motivation to excel.  My only positive emotional outlet were the good friends I had since I did not have an equally supportive family.  If you lose these kinds of relationships, you can lose the motivation to grow.  That was a lesson I did not plan on having to learn the hard way, but such is life.

I place value on these kinds of friendships because lets face it, we need others to turn to at times, we need others to support our endeavors as they need our support.  We are not pillars of virtue, and must progress in our lives by the help and influence of others.  Much of my struggle growing up was dealing with a family that had diminished emotional capacities.  I could not share my feelings with them let alone identify and express my feelings to them or to myself.  This was something new to me.  I learned very early that I had only myself to rely upon when I was a kid.  I think it had to do with how well adjusted I “appeared” to be, even though the truth was far from that assessment.  The youngest of two sons, I was the quiet, behaved, and studious one.  I think because of this appearance, I was not given the emotional support I would have liked.  I must admit that I probably would not have accepted any such support at the time because of my ambivalence to my parents and brother due to the estranged dynamic that was part of the family I was born in.  Thus my starving for some kind of emotional connection began very early for me.

Fortunately I did not project any maladaptive behaviors at an early age to others, and I learned to just see all that unfolded before me without presenting any judgement partially because of my naiveté.

 

I was emotionally hindered in my expression of feelings to others because of the emotional ambivalence I grew up with.  I did not learn that my feelings were important for my well being.  I did not learn until much later that the validation of having feelings and integrating our minds together with our hearts is crucial to becoming a whole human being.  But something about this handicap helped me later in life as I grew out of those harmful times.  Having an impoverished emotional outlet can be excruciatingly lonely.  But I somehow sought out for answers my family could not provide me with, I secretly questioned and I observed those people around me hoping to find the void that was filling my heart and mind.

Quite frankly I focused on how I would like to be treated, and on how I should treat others as well.  Yes the golden rule!  If you truly embrace this edict, you will authentically see into the hearts of others that can have an extremely powerful transformation of spirit within you and within others.

Of course not all people will follow in kind because they have not opened their hearts or are ill-bred and plainly deficient people.  Obviously the biblical verse here gives an account that this problem has been part of the human condition for some time.

Matthew 7:6 King James Version (KJV)

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

So if you feel that there is some operating principle in the universe that has some karmic end, I can only say what has felt right for me.  Sometimes when I think about it, it is the simplest of things that can make a huge difference in your life and the lives of those you love.

 

❖❖❖

 

Eleanor Roosevelt

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

Aristotle

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Aristotle

John Lennon

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”
John Lennon

Confucius

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
Confucius

Lao Tzu

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Confucius

“He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.”
Confucius

Leo Buscaglia

“Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”
Leo Buscaglia

John Lennon

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
John Lennon

Leo Buscaglia

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia

 

 

One Foot in the Grave

It was a surreal experience, as I drifted in and out of a conscious state. I eventually found myself in the office chair and had no memory of how I came to sit down, or even the memory of walking to my office. I can remember bits and pieces of what seemed to be happening to me, and only in the fragmented segments of my memory. I was later told that I was fading in and out of consciousness for about an hour but I do not remember much at all with the exception of having the taste of orange juice in my mouth, and I do recall hearing people asking questions, but could not quite make them out clearly, or who was even saying them. The Juice in my mouth tasted good, but I don’t remember buying any orange juice, or even lifting any container up and drinking it. I don’t remember who was around me, where I was, or even the time of day it was. My situation seemed very unclear as I could not appear to process any information with any detail at all. I later found out I was resisting those trying to help me, and was uncooperative to those that were desperately trying to bring me back from where ever my consciousness dwelt. I heard other people’s voices asking me questions that I could not completely make out. I was in a dream like state, not knowing if I was sleeping or if I was dreaming.  My body was functioning enough to stand, walk, speak, and appear to be conscious, yet my memory of this event has little or no rendering of the reality of how I was perceived.  Thinking back on it; the last thing I remember was talking to another company member at the end of my day. I vaguely remember saying that I was feeling a little funny, tired, and from that moment on, I slowly sank into a daze.

I do not speak of Nacolepsy, having no control over the sleep functions of the brain is not the subject I am directing my thoughts about. Rather, a much more common condition that effects approximately 24 million people. When I finally came back from the bewilderment I was in, I was sitting in the office chair with two I.V.’s; one in each of my arms. There were at least four paramedics around me trying to revive me out of the potential diabetic coma I was heading for.

The paramedics were telling me as I slowly came to my senses, that I was very uncooperative and that I became “salty”, and was giving them grief about some of the procedures they were enacting upon me to revive me. I guess I amused them during the revival attempts, and that they understood my condition and that they were used to these types of reactions from other Diabetic’s undergoing an insulin reaction. It is an extremely odd occurrence for someone like me to act in this manner. I was not my normal self, and I apparently get upset when others are imposing themselves upon my personal space, despite the lifesaving attempt they are trained to do no matter what the perception I had at the time. I find it fascinating that even when others are trying to help me, my own perception, or altered perception under such conditions, is that they are intrusive to my personal wishes. I do not yet completely understand what is happening to me, and what the reasons they have for working on me as such. I do not even register that I am in a potentially dangerous situation, and they are trying to help me. Yet I continue to refuse help, or I would strongly disagree with the decisions that are made without my full consent, not fully appreciating the potentially dire circumstances I was not cognizant of in the first place. When your glucose levels are low, the content of your thinking can be greatly effected but such an event. This can be a very bad circumstance if you do not react fast enough. When you do not realize just how close you are to passing out, or going into a “dream-like” state before you can make that decision to remedy a potential insulin shock event, the probabilities of not again waking increase dramatically.

This is not the first time such a situation has occurred in my life. I have been under the care of paramedics reviving my near comma experience a handful of times in the past 20 years. I have only had the disease since the early 1990’s. Early adult onset Diabetes struck me when I was in the prime of my life. Quite literally I was diagnosed during a time when I was in my prime physically, the best shape of my life, having my optimal weight, an optimal fitness level, and BMI measurements that were in the top 10 percentile of my age. I exercised with weight training frequently at the gym, and additionally had plenty of cardio workouts. My eating habits at the time were stellar, yet the irony of the having the disease mock’s my existence day after day. At times the disease has brought me down on several occasions to a level that concedes a near death experience, and shows me just how precious our lives can be and truly understand the mortality of our human forms. I would say that I do not have a death wish, but have almost met my maker on several occasions due to the poor management of my disease. I must admit that at times I have struggled with depression which has a strong correlation to the disease of diabetes, but I suggest to you that it is most likely a partial bi-product of having such a condition in conjunction with my personality type and coping skills. Diabetes is ironically the most controllable disease we know about.

The bulk of my thought about this matter is precisely more about the very strange state the mind ensues when this occurrence happens. The bio-chemistry, the spiritual implications, the mind/body dilemma, the fragility of our existence makes a very nice conversation piece after the fact, but the reality for me is that the moment one looses the control over one’s conscious thought, the moment one entertains the idea that one can possibly cross over to some other semi-conscious state. I do not remember that alternate conscious state if indeed it is possible to remember, but I do have these haunting fragments of memory that play back the split second episodes of consciousness I did have during my lapses. My blood glucose level was around 31 mg/dl. I believe I have even been at a lower level in previous times. Why I survived such an event I may never know, but I am thankful for the paramedics for giving aid to my need. Life is a precious gift, and I believe I am here on this earth for a reason. surviving such an event makes you think a little harder about what changes you may make in your life, to better understand your role in the world. I for one am grateful for getting this chance to serve others that may one day need my help. I do not know how much longer I will be on this earth, but I do know my existence here can make a difference in somebody’s life. I do not fear death, but I do appreciate and I am thankful the the life I do have. This is a very mysterious and wonderful world and I have some unfinished business that I intend to accomplish before I leave it.

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“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”
Bob Dylan

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore.
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore.
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door.

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door