Everything that has existed, lingers in the Eternity.
One Man’s Revelation
Spring Has Sprung!
The birds are singing and wildflowers magically paint the landscape with a lush array of vibrant colors, well at least here in central Texas. It’s pretty much my favorite time of year in this state, a time when a fair skinned fellow such as myself can comfortably soak up the sun without having to slather on toxic chemicals in order to interact with normal sun tolerant people. Honestly most springs fly by unnoticed other than the vast seas of color that envelope the hillsides, commonly caught up in childlike exuberance of “doing cool shit”, I never took the time to reflect on the significance of this time of year. Growing up a preachers kid I was exposed to the religious importance of this holiday from a very young age, due to the physical and emotional abuse of my childhood my ability to clearly see the beauty of this time of year was blinded by anger and resentment. Gratefully I have had the opportunity to reflect on a lot of things lately one them including Easter.
The Winter of my Soul
The last couple of years in my life have been crazy to say the least, I found myself trapped in an emotional blizzard of depression, one that left my soul with cabin fever clawing at my heart. The details can be spared for the sake of my sanity and your time but lets just say being an idealistic romantic can cause someone like me to invest way too much time and energy into people who don’t share the same definition of love. After it was all said and done, I found myself alone again in what is currently one of the most challenging experiences of my adulthood, with nothing but bittersweet memories and broken hopes. In the last month of 2015 I decided to quit a “comfortable” job in order to complete my education in massage therapy, mainly because I knew the psychological importance of showing myself I can complete something. When I started that journey it was with the illusion of support and love from someone very dear to me, someone I thought I could share my imperfection with and someone I hoped would see that this as an integral part of getting myself prepared for our future together. Needless to say that person did not share the same feelings nor desires. I soon found myself in the midst of an emotional whirlwind, buried under a schedule of trying to balance two part time jobs, full time school and the occasional band practice frantically running from the feelings of rejection and failure that all too often accompany the loss of a romantic attachment.
Spring Break! Spring Cleaning?
For most musicians in Austin spring break really just means SXSW is going to make your life crazy for the next week or so, though this one was very unique for me as I had not been in school to appreciate this time of year for over a decade. With my week nights freed up in for the first time in months I finally had the chance to let my feelings catch up with me, something I was literally terrified of, fearing those feeling might halt my momentum. I knew I was in need of a serious emotional catharsis, one that might help me better navigate the turbulent waters of my mind. A trip perhaps? Not necessarily focusing on the destination but more on the chance to get a new perspective, a journey that would help me remember a part of myself I forgot. My internal house was in need of some serious spring cleaning, a chance to knock down the cobwebs of old thought patterns and wipe the dust away from my long neglected inner child. The radiant sun illuminating the state of my life, I was starting to see the emotional importance of this commonly dreaded responsibility.
Resurrection… Metaphorically Speaking
Of course the religious cornerstone of Easter revolves around the death and resurrection of one the most incredible physical manifestations this realm of existence has ever seen, the act itself shrouded in wonder and awe as it appeals to a part of our soul we know to be absolutely true yet we have no way to comprehend. Mysticism aside most people can see that this story is a great metaphor for the end of something, bringing along with it a new hopeful beginning. The truth is we must sometimes go through intense emotional or physical pain in order to be motivated enough to make certain changes that our lives need. Occasionally we need to kill our current self so we can become the person we were meant to be, so I did, I made my peace and began to lay my ego based thought process to rest with gratitude and respect. That being said the ego does not go down quietly, investigating the root cause of your “suffering” is a messy business one that can leave you exhausted and quite emotional. It may sound strange, but I can say I feel a new version of myself slowly breaking through, like blades of grass growing through the cracks of a sidewalk. Even more strange than that is the fact that this new version of myself comes with a feeling of familiarity like when you reconnect with an old friend.
A time of year that marks when the nights of winter are slowly giving way to the days of summer, leaving us in a brief window of solar and lunar balance. Then it clicked, our ancestors recognized this time of year as having incredible trans formative potential which is why so many different cultures have a spring celebration. With nature providing the perfect backdrop, its completely organic to feel that this time of year is a great opportunity for us to shed our less desirable aspects in order to allow new growth. This concept is illustrated through the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, the first part symbolizing the blood exchange meant to pay for our mistakes and the second part showing that we are born anew unbound by the limitations of our past. Relinquishing our attachment to the sins of our past enables us to continue growing in order to reach our highest possible potential. Various ancient cultures honored this with sacred rituals in order to acknowledge the lessons learned while encouraging the desire to continue learning. The equinox is a time of high energy that can be useful in purging our emotional trauma and propelling our spirits into the next chapter of our karmic journey.
So regardless of your spiritual beliefs this time of year is a unique culmination of spiritual sanctity, celestial alignment and seasonal transition that can be an incredible catalyst for change in your life. Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or all of them combined I hope you take this chance to achieve the evolution you desire.
Thanks for joining me on my journey and as always you are worth More Than Gold.
That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful.
Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?
I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.
You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
This entry marks the final installment in my series on the word LOVE. If you missed out on the earlier installments please visit the links below.
This subject is one of great value to me and I will be writing about it more in the future but no longer in the context of descriptive inadequacy.
The final LOVE I will be discussing here is not just one type but an all-encompassing version that really facilitates all other forms of LOVE.
What kind of LOVE am I referring to?
Under the descriptive titles i provided in the past this is best summarized as agape, what I am really wanting to highlight though is the importance of this type of LOVE for yourself.
Our opinion of ourselves really shapes the way we see and interact with the world we live in. When you can’t find any reason to LOVE yourself then it is really hard for you to truly LOVE anyone else. Some people might try to argue this sentiment because they can think of so many people they care about more than themselves. What is truly meant by this is your ability to accept all their flaws and ugly truths you may not like.
When you can acknowledge your own imperfection then it makes the humanity of others much easier to accept and even appreciate. Until you learn to LOVE yourself just as you are without judging or condemning then you will naturally do the same for everything else in your life. I can say from my own experience that as long as I was judging my own place in life I was consistently stuck in the same position, stagnant and floundering.
Throughout my adult life I have consistently had a very low self-opinion, mainly because I thought that appreciating things about myself could be taken as arrogance. This really stems from dealing with having a few very important people in my past telling me they hate how cocky I am. How I was perceived by others was misconstrued when I was younger due to my self-confidence mixed with a negative attitude and overly critical perspective that created a persona of an arrogant punk.
After a couple of years of pushing some of the most beautiful people I had ever known out of my life, I decided to reflect upon what was going wrong. It took quite a bit of time for me to wrap my mind around the recurring theme in the lessons of my life. Eventually it sunk in, like the foot of an elephant on the wet soft earth. I had a terrible opinion of the most important person in my life….me.
Why does this matter?
Almost immediately after asking myself this question, it hit me. If I don’t LOVE myself enough to allow all of the abundant gifts life offers then there is no way I am going change the things in my life I don’t like. My ability and intelligence could only take me so far it would require some of that extraordinary magic called good fortune in order to really see my dreams come to fruition. Being a man of idealism and romantic notions means that I had to fully embrace the beautiful potential of living this kind of life, meaning I had to believe that I was worthy of a life beyond my own limited ability to see.
Over the last few years of my life I have made a conscious effort to confront myself whenever I hear a negative thought start to surface. I started to use an expression that really fit my philosophy, police your thoughts for they can rob you of your joy. This does not mean I deny my negative thoughts or try to hide them, it means I recognize them and investigate what they are really saying when they arise.
Once you start watching your mind it becomes very easy to LOVE yourself, because then you can address the root cause of your negative thoughts. Everyone on this planet really suffers from very similar issues and after realizing this you will naturally start to recognize the things you don’t like about others in you. The transformation of your opinions of others will gradually change to one of acceptance and LOVE for you will start to see all people as a reflection of you and not some foreign entity.
I’m not promising you will have all the same blessings as myself but I am willing to promise you will have your own unique experiences that are specifically reserved for you. When you are ready to LOVE yourself enough to accept the gifts of life then you will find that they start arriving in an abundance.
I really must clarify LOVE for oneself does not mean delusional denial of your faults or short comings but a kind acceptance of your humanity. To LOVE the self in this context is not ego stroking more like ego removal through a balanced approach of acknowledging and appreciating the being who resides beyond the “conscious” mind.
Let’s just summarize real quick, LOVE yourself, because you are worth it. Then you will start to LOVE others unconditionally and you will find peace in your life . The surest sign of a healthy self LOVE is the ability to graciously accept the gifts of life whether it be from a person directly or just a stroke of “luck”. The basic foundation for all forms of LOVE must start with agape of yourself.
As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.
THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU,
A well-spent day brings happy sleep.
Leonardo da Vinci
This entry marks another installment in my series on the word LOVE. If you missed out on the earlier installments please visit the links below.
As this subject is one of great value to me I will be writing this subject in installments over the next few weeks that way I can keep a little variety to my content. Hopefully by the end of these entries you will understand why I think that the word LOVE does not do justice to the wide gambit of emotions that we are trying to express through its use.
If you have been following my posts on this topic, then you would probably be asking about the LOVE I haven’t spent a lot of time discussing yet, Eros.
This LOVE is normally referred to as romantic LOVE.
The strange thing about this LOVE is, humans have a funny habit of confusing this LOVE with the instinctual desire to procreate. A unique combination of powerful hormones and societal programming can occasionally lead perfectly logical people to do some rather illogical things. Sadly Eros has gotten a bad rep due to it being confused with lust which is not LOVE at all but a selfish fixation that exists to provide one party with a fictionally derived sense of validation through the control or possession of another party.
Well I am here to say that this self-gratification does not qualify as LOVE and should never confused with Eros. Let me clarify some major differences.
First Eros is not to be confused with strictly physical attractions although the name is similar to erotica it does not only pertain to sexual arousal. Secondly this form of LOVE is non possessive and does not derive its strength from its ability to make another being conform to your desires. Most importantly this LOVE is not based on any specific criteria but more of a culmination of deep gratitude and desire for the others well-being in life. Well-being of course defined as emotional, physical and spiritual harmony in one’s life.
When it comes to the carnal passions of people in Eros that does not mean they don’t exist it means that they are balanced with a sense of understanding and appreciation. What this means is that you are physically attracted to your partner not just solely because they maintain the status quo in their physique but mainly because you know you enjoy the intimate interaction with that individual just as much as the rush of post coitus endorphins that flood your brain.
As for the possessive controlling side of infatuation, Eros is a state of complete surrender and acceptance. LOVE of this type has no expectation or preconceived notions, it strictly enjoys the absolute uniqueness of the other individual and revels in their true nature. What this means is that Eros does not find is sense of definition through how the other person reflects upon you, as you are completely content with letting them be themselves regardless of how it might be perceived.
The last defining difference is a little more ambiguous and is really why people need to be able to listen to their heart in order to effectively practice LOVE. You can’t look at the relationship with the other person and say well it no longer provides “butterflies” or contains the characteristics of the earlier phases. As this relationship is like most other things on the planet it must grow and change in order to continue to exist but if you can appreciate just being with that person at that present moment not for what they have done in the past or could potentially do in the future then you are in a relationship of real substance.
Additionally you have to be interested in doing what is right for the other person regardless of how much you may not enjoy or desire to do it. This area really provides a lot of confusion because there are plenty of things we know would benefit the individual of our affection, but really would require us to be taken out of our comfort zone or may involve us having to learn about something that we are not truly interested in. Once you are willing to take on this change you will find that your relationship grows from it and most of the time you enjoy it because it is something new for you to do with your partner.
One major word of advice I can share is don’t measure your relationship based of off other people’s, this is a sure recipe for insanity and disappointment. It’s pretty simple actually all you have to realize is that just as every person on this planet is unique the same goes for relationships. Now there are all kinds of place you can go to search for advice on LOVE but I’ll tell you the honest truth is you have the wisdom you could ever need living with in yourself. Stay in touch with your feelings, be honest and communicate those are the building blocks of any healthy relationship whether it be Philia, Eros, or Agape.
As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.
THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU,