Purpose

I have made such a big deal of this thing called purpose. Feeling it’s absence in my life, or simply having forgotten it, or having suppressed it – whatever the case may be – has left me feeling like something was missing in my life. That there was something wrong with me.

I defined purpose, when I started to look for one, as that thing I came to this world to do or to learn. But I am beginning to suspect I have bought into yet another illusion. Yet another belief structure of humanity and society.

If I do not believe in fate or destiny, what room could there be for a purpose? If I would not want to be confined to fate or destiny, why would I allow myself to wear the shackles of purpose? What if there is no purpose? No fate, no destiny – nothing.

Or what if the reason I am here, call it destiny, fate or purpose, is beyond physical understanding? Something I can only translate into insufficient physical terms, like Christians trying to define God, trying to stuff the creator of the entire fucking Universe into a box. Futile, pointless and potentially harmful. Certainly shortsighted.

Eckhart Tolle teaches me that this thing called purpose only exists in the future. It is a favorite ego fantasy. That my purpose is whatever I am doing in this moment, now. To put all my attention and awareness into whatever I am doing.

I just finished Millman’s “Peaceful Warrior.” The main character in that story learns a lesson so hard it literally kills him. Not sure how that works, the mind can not distinguish between an image it holds or something the physical body sees. He has a vision of his own death. Only I think it was more than  that. But ultimately, even that character found a purpose, to be a Warrior, a Teacher.

I am troubled by this, because if I go by what Tolle says, my purpose is to be here, living with my parents in their motorhome. To have no money, nobody to share my life with. To ultimately have no future. I see nothing on this path that leads me to believe it will carry me to a life I actually want to live. And I am to embrace this, accept it, and live each moment of this life as if whatever I am doing in that moment is my purpose.

Am I not allowed to define my life for myself? To choose a purpose the appeals to me and live that? Must I just accept things as they are, whether I like them or not? On the other hand, what good does it do me to complain, fight and struggle? To, as the Bible says,  “Kick against the goads?”

If I can not embrace my life as it is in this moment, if I can not accept it as it is, then I will suffer. Do I really want to add more suffering to a life that I consider to be far less than I want? No. So I will practice this, embracing each moment, accepting it, not wanting it to change or be anything else. I will continue to train myself through ACIM so that I may see things as they are. I will accept them a they are and see them as they are. This is my intention.

I am not sure if I believe this yet, but I will state it as fact and let it be weighed on the scales of personal experience. When you were born, it was without destiny, fate, karma or even purpose. Nobody was born to be a dancer, painter, teacher, or even a Warrior. You come into the world not only naked physically but also naked in every other aspect.

Does that mean your life is meaningless? Does your life have to have meaning? It seems to me that this is heavy burden to carry. If you have not found any meaning in your life, you will feel somehow lacking or missing something. I am not so sure things have to have meaning, and whatever meaning we assign them is a limited definition at best.

You were not born with a meaning, any more than you were born with clothes, or a destiny, fate, karma, purpose or sin. Yet you were born complete and perfect. Whatever your physical condition, you came into the world complete. It may not look that way on the surface, but every human comes into the world a complete package, lacking nothing and yet having nothing more than a physical body and that energy that gives it life, call it what you will.

Maybe this is a tough pill to swallow. But I am right there with you, trying to choke it down. Because I have come to understand that of all the things I understand, I know little, and all the things I know I understand little. But I am learning and coming to know these things that have, so far, remained merely intellectual constructs.

Embrace Uncertainty, Question Everything.

 

The Cage of Judgement

Since my return many things, including myself, have changed. I remember how I complained, how I looked down on my little room in what I thought of as Grandma’s Attic. I even wrote a short horror story inspired by it.

But since then I have come to understand how valuable space really is. The real estate market, at least here in Washington, has it all wrong. It is not the house that adds value to a property. I would rather live in a tiny cabin on an acre of land than in a mansion jammed in with other fancy houses, with only a strip of grass between each place.

Here, temporarily in my parent’s RV, I have no space, or rather shared space, and its probably smaller than my old bedroom where I lived for the last 8 years. I have few of the things I had then, and I no longer have piles of books I never seem to finish stacked by my bed.

Instead I have a few books that I read daily, and these are currently A Course In Miracles, Dan Millman’s, “The Peaceful Warrior” David Swartz’s, “The Magic of Thinking Big” and a big book of Kahlil Gibran’s poetry. I have a couple Seth books, two books of Japanese poetry, Shatki Gawain’s, “Creative Visualization” and “Psycho Cybernetics”, both of which I have barely cracked. I also have two fiction stories I am struggling with reading. Also Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.”

For the rest of this month I will be drawing primarily from ACIM and Peaceful Warrior. It is from ACIM I have learned about the Cage of Judgment most of us are trapped in, and it is from “Peaceful Warrior” I have just learned I need something I can immerse myself in to the point of Satori. This is the same space every artist or athlete enters where the “I” or sense of self fades, if not completely disappears, and there is art being created, or movements being performed.

I am in a bit of a quandary when it comes to that thing I can do that would bring me to Satori. Writing should be that for me, but some part of me would prefer to do something visual, like paint. Photography is my next best option, I think that is what Zen Photography may be all about. I don’t know how to deal with this schism in me, so I will pursue painting if I can, and gently, ever so gently, try to do the same with painting.

The Cage of Judgement is much harder to address. It influences the world we see and the reality we experience. To free ourselves of it is to take whatever happens as it is. I think this is what the Advaitist’s  refer to when they say becoming the ocean. It occurred to me that the waves are local, confined to a location and direction. But the ocean is everywhere, all at once. Fear and our judgements act like flotation devices that keep us on top of the water, tossed about by the waves. Releasing judgement means a release of fear, and a sinking into the ocean, to become one with it.

I guess this is what enlightenment must be. Be coming filled with light, free of judgments, able to experience the world as it is, not as it is believed to be. But I ask myself, what about personal preference? For example, will I really be happier seeing a skinny attractive or overweight ugly potential mate the same? Will I really be happier seeing a nice bed in a hotel or another icy cold night in a church side lot the same? There are things I do not understand, and could not understand, until I am in that state. But this is a case of jumping in and hoping there is water, because there is no going back once you have taken that leap.

My last journal entry may have left some of you concerned. But I am not finished yet! Working on getting a job, getting my own space, and if I can’t do that, better equipping myself and heading down the coast. I just hope to have a solid handle on what I want to do, that I have untangled some of the things that made my last trip so unenjoyable. But at the very least I understand some of the things I need to address at this point on my life.

The Road Ahead

I wake up, stiff and sore,
It is on days like this I ask myself,
Are you sure you can handle this?
Of course I have no answer,
Just as I feel I have no choice.

I am good at manual labor,
I excel at writing,
I have creative aspirations,
Yet little real skill,
Why am I not as good at,
The things I would like to do?

I am burnt out, tired of this work,
Tired of this life where it seems I have little choice,
But to continue living as I have, in worse conditions,
Or hit the road where anything can happen,
Or just put an end to my miserable life.

With these as my choices,
What real choice do I have?

Outside, the sun is shining,
The world continues to move and breathe,
The trees are not worried about their fate,
The flowers continue to bloom,
Even where they may never be seen,

I wish I had the faith of a flower!
I wish I was a fearless as a tree!
I want to be as warm and inviting as that sun,
But I fear all anyone would care about,
Are my supposedly harmful rays!

Why is it we fear those things,
That give us and our world life?
What happened to make “modern” man,
So superstitiously afraid of his world?
Why is it others can continually fuck everything up,
For the rest of us and get away with it?

I wish I could express how I really feel,
To these people around me I call family,
And to those others I interact with regularly,
But they wouldn’t be able to hear me,
And even if they did, they wouldn’t understand.

Such a heavy burden to bear!
No wonder I wake up like this,
I chose this hell I get to live in,
That may be anothers heaven,
I created the reality I get to experience,
The responsibility for my life rests solely with me.

I know biking around as I plan to do,
With no real budget, plan or preparation,
Is stupid by anyone elses definition,
But for me I have to try something,
Anything at all to change the course of my life.

I have to try so that, should I fail,
I can honestly say I tried, that I did everything I could,
That I have set out and experienced the world,
That I gave life a chance to show me another way,
To lead me to my tribe, my people,
Those who love and support me,
That place I can call home,
Where I find my passion,
Where I find someone to share my life with,
I have to swim upstream, even if t kills me,
Even if I find nobody there when I arrive,
Because only after doing so can I legitimately,
Claim there is nothing in this world for me,
Leaving me to leave it freely, with a clear conscience.

Why does that scare so many people?
Why is this so hard for others to understand?
You would think I was committing the worst act possible,
The most heinous crime anyone could commit,
But it is my life, my choice to loose or keep it!

So I am not prepared and I may not make it,
I could get mugged or killed, anything bad can happen,
But lets not forget that anything good can happen too,
And that it is up to me to define what happens,
As either bad or good. It is no business of yours!

I am choosing to take responsibility for my life,
I am choosing the best path I can see open to me,
I am choosing to experience the world for myself,
I am choosing to live my own life and walk my own path,
I am choosing to see the wold differently than you.
All I ask is that you accept my choice and support it if you can.

I have been living like this for most of these 40 years,
I can’t live like this any longer, and I choose not to.
Just as I choose to embrace that sun outside my window,
The breeze caressing my skin, and the hidden flowers,
That so few people see. Just as I choose to listen to the trees.

My aspirations are set so high,
They are like stars in the night sky,
I fear I shall never reach them!

Pedaling to Passion

I have started a GoFundMe campaign! For more information, or if you would like to help out, please click on the link below:
http://www.gofundme.com/pedalingtopassion

Thank you!

P.S. I have added a GoFundMe badge to a new sidebar, and moved my links section there as well. Please let me know what you think about these changes. Your opinion is very important to me.

My only other option would be to move the badge to the bottom of the screen, where, like the link to my DeviantArt gallery, it may be ignored. I am torn here between doing what I need to do to raise the money I would like to raise and providing a distraction-free reading experience to all of my followers.

So if it bothers you, just comment or reply here, and I will make any needed changes.

Passion VS Why

So I just spent a few hours looking for books or videos that would tell me how to find or restore my passion for writing. Also developing or finding passion in general. One of the last things I ran across was this inspiration video about finding your why. The video bugs me, let me explain.

In it you see people you are supposed to label as having it hard or tough. Learning how to walk, in wheelchairs. The speaker is really good, but the video is so fake, so phony. You are supposed to come away feeling guilty, because here are these poor souls struggling to even get on their feet, so what’s your excuse?

The assumption is that somehow their suffering is somehow more than yours. What right have you to complain about your life when that guy over there had his legs blown off by a landmine, and here you are, fully functional, able to walk around, yet you are sitting on your increasingly fat ass just watching TV? Look at them trying to learn how to walk in those prosthetic legs while you just sit there! Shame on you!

For the record this is not my opinion at all. I call bullshit. Some pain and suffering is obvious. If it is physical, viewable on the outside, that is obvious. But the real pain, the pain that makes you want to sit on that couch and is causing me to consider that maybe I am better off dead, that pain is deep inside. It is emotional, mental and spiritual. You may look 100% OK on the outside, yet inside you are struggling just as hard as that guy getting up out of his wheelchair. Everyday you go through a struggle just as intense, deep inside of you.

That’s why I call bullshit, why I say that video is fake. That’s why you and I both are struggling to get up out of our lives as they are now. It is easier to stick with the known, there is nothing that terrifies every human being, on some level, without exception, than the unknown.

Your why is something that you know. Your passion is something that you feel. Your why requires a reason. It is itself a reason. But your passion requires no reason. By nature it is free of intellectual entanglements. You do something for the sheer love of doing it! Your why may be a part of your passion, the two might end up getting blended together. But with your why you follow your head, and with your passion you follow your heart.

It is the feelings that are the most powerful, and least honored in modern society. If given a choice between knowing and feeling, choose feeling every time. Knowing can lead you astray. It can talk you out of things. For example, it can tell you that your passion for dancing is ridiculous, you weigh nearly 270 pounds and you don’t have years of training. All valid arguments, all will keep you from dancing.

But your feeling will lead you into expressing yourself with your body through movement, learning to trust it, and even though accidents and injuries happen, that ecstasy, that joy and happiness you feel while you are in movement is priceless, and you will miss out if you listen to your head, all those whys, instead of your heart, with its singular passion.

I would rather die in my passion than in my why.

Passion

What is it you are passionate about? What is that thing, when you do it, that brings you ecstasy, happiness and joy? What is that thing you do which requires dedication, effort, hard work and practice, driven by your love, your passion for it? What is that fire in the engine of your heart that animates your life and gives it meaning, maybe even a purpose?

Until tonight, as I watched the first Step Up movie, I never asked myself these questions. Or if I did I didn’t really ask, to the point of deeply looking into myself and identifying something possibly lacking or missing. I think we go after others we perceive to have whatever its we believe, feel or think we lack.

I think one of the reasons I became so enamored of someone I will not name is because of her passion. This individual is portrayed as being very passionate about dancing. I think that’s what drew me to her, at a subconscious level. I think perhaps a man without passion will place himself around or with others who he sees as having it. A man without passion may pursue a woman of passion, for example. Some part of us realizes that something is missing, that we are incomplete or lacking, so we seek it outside of ourselves.

Can passion be found for something we excel at? Can it be regained if lost? Can it be developed? Is there a time limit for passion? Before you answer that one think carefully… Everyone who I can think of that has ever lived and been passionate about something started doing it as a child. Everyone, without exception. Maybe they dropped off doing it for some period of time then returned. But there was always a time in their childhood they doggedly pursued it as much as they were allowed. The tendency is to start young. How many dancers, singers, painters and programmers do you know who started after 40?

If it is too late, and I am not assuming that, but I think it is a valid question, then another question immediately follows. If I can not find something to be passionate about on my life, and by all appearances it seems too late to start, should I continue living? Again before you answer that, think about it. A person without passion, without that fire in the engine of their heart, has no ambition, no drive, no meaning and no purpose. They probably don’t even have a dream. They are just a shell, a zombie. They will do little more than remain in the same life situations they have grown accustomed to. If they are currently on the couch watching TV, that probably won’t ever change. If  person is faced with that likely future, wouldn’t it be better for them to just off themselves now?

I am not saying people can not or do not change. In fact I am the last person on earth who would ever believe, feel or think that. Also I am speaking from personal experience. I am 40 years old and living with my parents. I was doing the same sort of things 20 years ago as I am doing now. Only in my case I have grown desperate, tired of it. That is why I have consigned myself to hitting the road. I want to get away from my parents, find my tribe people of higher frequencies, higher vibrations. More support for me on my spiritual path. The possibility of physically present friends and lovers. I don’t see how I can find that here.

I was thinking earlier today that my parents are trailer park people. They started out in a trailer park, and now that the house is sold and they have a month to move, they have settled on moving into a trailer park again. They did look briefly at houses, then dismissed that. There is nothing wrong with being a trailer park person. But, at least in my parents case, it shows how they limit themselves, how they will not allow themselves to dream. There is no ambition, they are at anchor on the sea of life. They assume there is no better option for them. I catch them making these assumptions all the time, and I keep telling them, over and over again, to exhaust all possibilities.

But I am just like them. I have consigned myself to living on the road for an indeterminate amount of time. I have decided that I can do no better. I have little ambition, my dream is artificial and manufactured. I have no passion, no fire in the engine if my heart, other than to get laid (my apologies to any women I offended by admitting this.) I can’t come down on my parents when I am doing the same thing, in a different way, to myself. I do have good reasons to go, and it is not as easy for me. They can call a number and ask questions, I have to find the people to talk to if I want to go to college, move into a dorm so I can get out on my own, etc. And I am not sure it would be a good thing for me to move into a trailer park with my parents as I try to claw my way into a college, assuming I could find some subject that compels or draws me to it.

The one thing I do well, writing, if it could be transformed into dance moves, would be one eye-popping routine! At least as good as anything in that movie I watched. And their dance moves, if transformed into words, would rival my best writing. But the difference is that those characters love to dance. It is their passion. I have no passion for writing at all. If I could trade it for dancing, drawing or singing, maybe even programming. I think I would trade it without hesitation. I am good at it, but it holds no interest or value to me. I am sure as I write this that someone, somewhere out there, is disappointed in me. Maybe even offended by me. They would do anything to write even slightly as well as I do. Or I could be deluding myself and nobody cares about writing at all. Not like dancing, drawing or singing, to name a few things that somehow hold more value to people.

I don’t know what to do about this. I am pretty sure, and becoming more and more convinced, that I need that fire in the engine of my heart. That I have to find that thing I will devote myself to, practice and work hard at to develop and grow. That thing which will drive me, cause me to want to continue living my life. That thing which, when I do it, I become ecstatic, happy and joyful. That other love of my life. I think I need this, and I think I have always sensed it, but this is the first time it has entered my conscious awareness, this is the first time I have trapped it in a cage of words so that I can identify it.

I do not love myself, not like I should. I do not love life or living. There have been times where, briefly, I was enjoying being alive. Where I came close to ecstasy, happiness and joy. I may have even experiences these at various times in recent years. But nothing has stuck yet, I am like a yo-yo, I come up, and all-too-soon, I am drifting down again. I have not learned how to remain unaffected by my circumstances and those in my life. I have not been able to shut of the influence of these various factors. So I am tossed about on the waves of life, as I have not yet learned how to be the ocean.

I do not know what I am trying to say here. Getting lost in my writing. Still mulling over these recent revelations. I feel and I fear that if I can not find a way to love myself, my life and the moment-by-moment living of it that it would be better for me to give up, quit and throw in the towel, so to speak. Just exit this world, stage right. I have this “grass is greener on the other side” belief and mentality. I believe, feel and think that whatever it is I need or want, I can not and will not find it here. I have to leave my parents and their trailer park mentality behind, in order to change my own deeply ingrained trailer park mentality which I adopted and inherited from them.

But what if everything I need is here, and maybe also inside of me? What if there is nothing to find “out there?” What if I take the blindness I may currently posses with me wherever I go, so that I never see the opportunities standing just on the other side of the door? How can I believe in myself, believe in my body? How can I believe that I can have those things I need and want? That I can have nice things, like my own house and someone to share it with? How can I plug my ear to the specter of doubt whispering into it? (I have wanted to use that line for a few days now…)

I don’t have any answers. I don’t think fighting for whatever it is we are passionate about is the best way to go about things. But I do feel that if we are truly passionate about something we should abandoned ourselves to it, apply ourselves to it, work hard at it. That we would want to, if it is something we deeply and truly do care about. But at this moment, I can’t put my finger on what that may be for me.

If you are passionate about something, pursue it. I think this is the essence of what it means to, “Follow your heart.” Let your passion light the fires of the engine of your heart, driving you to its attainment, expression, mastery and realization.

3-30-2016 – My Failure

I have just watched the season finale of Mythbusters, and the AMA special with Adam Savage on YouTube. He quotes Jon Kabat Zinn as saying, “You wanna know how your life is gonna turn out? Look around you because it’s already happened and and this is what it’s turned out to be.” I can’t find the original version of this quote, I suspect this is paraphrased because I would be surprised if Mr. Zinn would use words like , “wanna” and “gonna.”

Whatever the original form, however this may have been intended. I felt a stab of pain (and am still feeling it now) when I heard this. Because what I see when I look around is absolutely, completely worthless.

I used to be able to console myself by thinking of my work here, at this blog. But certain recent things have happened to cause me to doubt my authenticity as a spiritual person, which throws the entirely of everything i have written into doubt. Besides, a few years of blogs and websites? That’s what I leave the world, should I die right now, in this moment?

A few moments ago I thought back to when I was a kid. I still remember him, the “ladies man”, my shirt unbuttoned, no fat anywhere on my body. I had 3 girlfriends in the space of a few years. Hell I have a scar on the back of my head from when they fought over me outside the restroom, girls on each arm, as I struggled to escape, before they let go and I struck the rough brick wall.

Things went downhill around the 6th grade, the two girls I liked the best moved away, one right after the other, and I fell out of touch with the one I did not like so much, because when we kissed her lips were all prickly. It was the weirdest thing! Still I should never had treated her like I did, ignoring her, she was there the whole time, as each of the other girls left. Why is it we ignore the ones who have always been there for us? What the hell is wrong with us?

The thing is I can’t think of a single hero I had as a boy. A single man or woman I looked up to above all others. A single role model. A single thing I really wanted to be or do. I am thinking back, remembering to listening to music on the radio, but I am drawing a blank. Either I killed my dreams early on in life and blocked the memory of them from my mind, or those who raised me killed them. I do not criticize or judge. I lay no blame. I bear no bitterness or resentment.

If what I learned recently about myself is true, I have carried the burden of bitterness, hatred and resentment long enough. I have decided to act as if what I have learned is true and let all that shit go. It’s like a homeless person’s cart, being so attached to this thing I have to push around everywhere I go, afraid my stuff will be taken or worse, thrown away, always fearful, trying to protect things that, in all likelihood, only have value to me, and are garbage in the eyes of everyone else. I see no difference in that than in locking an iron ball to my ankle and walking around with it.

But it still makes me sad, as I look around at the life I am living, and really, I am just a step or two above that homeless person pushing their cart. The only difference between us is that I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my belly. That I can lock my door at night and feel safe. That I can sleep somewhere warm and comfortable. But very soon, in just a few months, I won’t even have these things, and I won’t have a shopping cart either. Just a bicycle, my bags and whatever I pack into them. Just the clothes on my back and in my bags. For as long as I have them.

I have had to manufacture dreams as I have forgotten my own, if I ever had them. I am alone in the world. Outside my family and friends I can count the number of on one had, I have no one. I have done nothing of any lasting, real value with my life, I have contributed nothing of any lasting, real value to the world. Maybe people will treasure my poems hundreds of years from now. More likely I will be forgotten in physical time.

Whatever dreams, ideas or visions I had as a boy they are as lost to me now as a balloon carelessly released in my childhood. It is unlikely I will ever find them again. Whatever words I have written here in this blog have to be questioned and scrutinized, tested in the forge of each reader’s individual experience. I hope I played the role of spiritual teacher well enough that some gold remains after these words have gone through the refiner’s fire.

The plain and simple truth of it is I fucked up. I can’t get back any of those early years. I have between 30-50 years left on this planet, and I can’t think of a single, solitary reason to continue living them. I can’t think of one thing to do with my life. The one dream I can remember, developed later in life as a teenager, was to work in the video game industry. I went to college and tried to learn how to program, and hit one of the first walls they put into place to weed out weaker students.

I failed, completely and utterly. In fact failure is the one thing throughout my life I have done, to use one of Adam Savage’s favorite words, “Spectacularly!” You don’t believe me? You doubt it? Well as additional proof let’s just say I and a certain movie that came out some years ago about a 40 year old man have a lot in common. I will let you use your imagination as to what I mean. I don’t have the courage to come right out and say it.

I am not sure what I am going to do now. I can’t find any acceptable painless ways to kill myself, and I don’t want to be even more of a looser (which I would see myself as being) by just giving up when I have not yet exhausted all other options. I would like to at least get out and explore the world a little. So many people around me just do not understand why I want to take this crazy, maybe even insane, bicycle trip down the Pacific Coast. They just don’t get it.

The only way to get anywhere is to move. It doesn’t matter in what direction, moving (or action if you prefer) is the key. I have to get out there and experience what out there is for myself! I have to have this direct experience of the world, see what happens, what I learn, and then I will be in a qualified position to make a final decision about my life, continuing it or ending it.

So many who would call themselves my friend, or say they care about me, do not like it when I talk about this. They refuse to respect my decision. They refuse to help me, consigning me to only painful ways of seeing it through, if that is what I choose to do. Maybe I could leave, as my legacy, these words as a message from everyone currently considering suicide, or who may consider it later. If you truly love us, let us go! Respect our decision and help us out so we don’t have to suffer through the process of death as much as we had to suffer through life.

Note that these words are spoken from the heart of a broken man trying very hard to superglue himself together. A man who is putting on a brave face for everyone who is concerned about him, who smiles and will try very hard to get you to laugh. Who wants everyone he cares about to be happy, who understands how much it would hurt them if he decided to take his own life.

A man who has weighed the pros and cons very carefully, and has been considering this, thinking about it, for 20 years or so. Someone of whom you can not say, “He didn’t think it through!” I have thought it through more than most anyone else in the history of mankind who has chosen a similar course of action, as far as I know. I don’t think many people take even 10 years to think about it. The act, by its nature, is somewhat spontaneous, driven by pain so great the only way out is death. One of my few gifts is a very high tolerance for pain.

These words I write here, and any words I may write in the future, are not written by the same man who started this blog. I suspect, I think I may even believe, that man was bitter and resentful at his parents for taking him out of school. He was playing a loving son role, but his sole motivation was to punish them for what they did. That man was also bitter and resentful at himself. He probably hated himself, and at least secretly hated his own parents. He punished himself by putting himself into the life he is currently living, and the physical form he is currently using. He drove people away, even his own friends, and isolated himself. He blamed everyone and everything else, even God, for his problems, and never took responsibility for the role he played in all of it.

That man died the day he opened his Nook and found the Tarot card Death. He realized that he needed to change, he had taken something that allowed him to see where he had gone wrong, and was already in the process of initiating the needed changes. This man, writing to you now, is the result of those changes.

When people tell you that, “People don’t change” never, for a single moment, believe it! That is complete and utter horseshit, and for whatever reason the media seems hell bent on making us believe this most terrible of lies, second only to the lie that we are not already perfect. People change all the time. Some people may choose not to. But change is inevitable in everyone’s life, without exception. Things happen all the time that cause us to have to change. I don’t think there has been a single human being in the history of our race that managed to live a full life without changing a single aspect of themselves.

If I leave one more thing of value, let me leave that. People can change, but only if they choose to. Change can not be forced, it must be chosen. Forced change will never stick. Marrying someone thinking they are some project you can work on, to make them someone else more compatible with you, will not work. It will end in failure and a lot of pain on both sides. It is perfectly OK to want someone to change. To desire them to be different or other than they are. Nothing wrong with a desire, any desire. But to try to force that change, or make that change occur, is not OK.

If you don’t like what you see in another person, instead of trying to change them, love and accent them exactly as they are, and work on yourself. Change your perspective of them and the story you tell about them. Tell the story of how they are the way you want them to be, not how they have never been or will never be what you wanted. That will create the space they need to change, if they choose to. But more likely, as you change your beliefs, feelings and thoughts about someone, you will begin to see them differently.

Always remember that you have all the power you need to change yourself, and no power at all to change anyone else!