When a man finds himself over 30 and asking the question “What am I gonna be when I grow up? That man better sit down and give life a really close look. Hence...
...“Error of my Ways”
You can’t become somebody of character without looking at the errors of your way? When I turned 30 I looked at where I was, with honesty not pride, and found a mountain of shame staring down at me. It took me awhile to traverse this mountain, but when I did I was able to look at that which was most important to me. Identity, spirituality, relationships, career, beliefs, meaning... The reality of life sinks in quick, and when it does it’s not easy to focus on that which we discover to be important. Many times I’ve looked back dumbfounded at the consistent breath of progression and regression. And despite my best efforts to let go and grow, I find the struggle to live by the standards I’ve intellectually embraced quite impossible. The greatest blessings in my life came about as a result of looking at the errors of my ways and then seeking to do something about them. I guarantee that anyone willing to look at the errors of their ways will find the confrontation of a fearful and beautiful choice to let go of those errors, and when they let go the inevitable consequences ensue.
The consequences of letting go reveal fear and its origin. Fear for me came when I asked how I was handling letting go of certain things in my life? And what I did with the results is a book in itself? It took very long and hard days, months and years to learn from the results. I believe if I didn’t make an effort to learn from what came out of letting go then it would’ve been completely pointless.
I used to have an incredibly pessimistic outlook on life. I believe this in part was due to the constant struggle with my flesh and spirit. As I grew to face the reality of life and death, becoming more aware of the inevitable fate of my flesh, I gave my spirit a closer look. Which is interesting cause I always considered myself spiritual. Honestly I had no idea how unsearchable and enormous the spiritual realm is. You know it’s harder than I thought, to ask myself what kind of man I’ve become especially when starting to look through the lens of spirituality. I mean how does one be honest with themselves when the consequences of their actions face them every single day. The foundation I rested on started to materialize right before me and I was not comfortable with what I was seeing. Coming face to face with the reality that even what I do in secret affects people. Even if they never found out. They didn’t need to find out, because what was happening as I gave in to that which my soul hated was affecting the eyes of my soul blurring the connection that makes me human giving in to seeking a feel good and comfortable existence. After so much time I found it harder and harder to care for people and my soul starved and starved. Weakened by the actions I took to satisfy my impossible cravings, I broke.
I remember looking in a mirror one day just disgusted with myself. Disgusted with my lack of control. I had lost so much time, hope, peace, love, relationships... You name it. Anything good, I was losing it fast. There was no hope. I remember being downstairs in my bathroom and looking in the mirror and I couldn’t take it anymore. I embraced the hope of death. A death to end the pain of which I was causing myself and so many unknowing family and friends. The shame was paralyzing! I got in the shower fell to my knees and wept. For how long I don’t know. In the darkness of my mind I cried out. Help! Help me please!
Who was I even crying out to? It was crazy that amidst so much hurt and guilt and shame I was still thinking about the almost silly scene I was making. Here is a full grown man by himself in the shower crying out and simultaneously questioning who he is even crying out to. Did something happen? Oh yeah something happened. Did I see a light? Nope. Did I hear a voice? Nope. Nothing happened other than I became very aware that I was no longer alone. What I became aware of was that someone was in the bathroom with me. And to be honest my heart ache was so intense that I didn't even raise my head. I remained on my knees with my head on the shower floor weeping. My heart was doing something interesting, it was allowing the moment to happen. I didn’t try to stop my tears. I didn’t try to buck up and be a man. I just let the moment wash over me the whole time aware of the presence of someone. The moment lasted a good hour maybe more, I’m not sure. I let my mind and my heart converse. Slowly my heart quieted and my mind eased up, and I sat there in silence listening to the water, feeling it wash over me. Just silence and water.
The person never left and I never looked. And when I finally raised my eyes to get up I was as a new man. I was still very aware of my actions. I was weary and tired but I had a resolve and it was to stop trying to be somebody by my own strength, and I would now start looking around me and acting upon what I saw, not just what I craved. What I felt from the person in the bathroom with me was nothing but love. No words spoken, no touch to calm me, no scare to change me. What I felt was an incredible peace and longing to get to know. An initiation of relationship I guess. I had to know more. I felt love and it was good.
What is it that will move a human to love and joy and meaning? I believe the answer was beginning to reveal itself in the realm of little to no attention. The answer revealed itself in pursuit? When we begin to consciously observe that which we pursue we begin to understand the value of becoming? What we seek to become requires following. When we follow we become exposed to and progressively aware of the inevitable errors we’ve made. And as we look at the ones we follow we find the answers to questions of change, strengthening and empowerment. Whether we’re learning what not to do or what is good to do is determined by the amount of wisdom we obtain in understanding that which we seek and whom it is we are motivated to follow.
By looking at the Errors of our ways, free of condemnation, we are able to build upon the foundation of life with a growing hope and confidence. I’ve come to realize that the greatest leaders became great only because they followed someone worth following. They listened and they obeyed those whom they chose to follow. My greatest hope is that you see value in facing the pain and struggle it takes to become someone of worth. Becoming someone of value is a long hard journey that requires selfless sacrifice and a God like humility to often go unnoticed. Integrity is not natural to us, but it is attainable.
...Next time I will be touching on the creation of the song “Golden Eyed Man”. This is the journey of revelation to worth and discernment. I knew the value of following a good leader. Now I had to find someone worth following.
Thank you so much for spending the time to read an old man's tale. I love you very much and hope to spend some time with you. Please reach out if you are at all interested in carrying on a conversation over a beer or coffee or a nice long walk.