You Are Enough

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You and Your Perfection

You are enough. You are okay – you are more than okay.

I don’t mean that in an ACIM-theological way – like saying, yeah, the embodied egoic you sucks but the real you is enough.

I mean rather that when you’re out walking and pause beneath a tree, the tree is grateful. I mean that when you walk at night the stars shine brighter. Large bodies of water miss you when you are away from them too long, and the forest paths you walk are grateful for your feet.

You are enough. You are enough.

Nothing is missing in you; nothing is misplaced in you.

Nothing is forgotten in you; nothing is bereft.

Accepting this is the beginning of remembering God-as-Love. It’s not an intellectual exercise. It’s an awkward embrace of your own self – exactly as you are this moment. Nothing is missing – not even the nagging sense that something is missing is missing.

I love you – and you are perfect – because that is how you and the love forever extending itself in Creation are remembered in love. Not by finding fault, or repenting, or improving over time. Nothing to learn or acquire. Just a real, honest-to-God moment of self-love.

When we truly realize we are lovable – when we no longer resist love – then we have something to give to our brothers and sisters. Our lives become altars at which love is forever being blessed and offered. Right now this is so. In you, right now, it is so.

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10:03:21

There I was at my cabin in the Wahatoya. I was dreaming. I was at the front door. A figure approached. At first I thought it was my Dad who was coming back after gathering the ancient rocks of the region. It was a young man who approached. With a gentle smile. He was familiar so I invited him in. As he sat down and I turned off the DvD Lindy was watching, he aged. 
He spoke:
The Ancient Tribes are gathering. They are welcoming home their members. We are firmly now in the time of the dismantling. All tangles will find a straight line, a clear path, for all else will fall away. I have come to you, Yendys to notify you It has begun.

 

Brother Josias: The New Earth has been prepared. I have notified you.
Yendys:  So it is happening now?
Josias: Yes. 
Yen: What do I tell my people?
Josias: To follow their hearts. Let go of the fear, the knots, the guilt. Accept and surrender to the Light you see beyond the cave walls. Walk away from the chaos.
Yen: Will you listen and follow through this time, Lynn?
Sydney Lynn: Honestly, I don’t know. I will try. I miss you and Josias. I miss the cabin. I miss the peace. But the knots in others, am I not to undo them?
Yen: They must do that for themselves. You must not breathe in their chaos and sacrifice yourself. Accept and surrender to the peace of your Soul.
Sydney Lynn: Is that what I’m here for?
Josias: Yes.
Sydney Lynn: I will not leave myself behind this time.

An Opening

I tried to localize myself to my body, the bodies of my mom, my dad, my sister, my dog.  I tried to localize myself to my relatives, my friends, the girl scouts, the swim team, the dance troupe, the writer’s groups, the meditation groups. I tried to localize myself to my town, city, region, country, planet, star, galaxy, universe. I tried to localize myself to a lover, a partner, a god.  I tried to localize myself to my children, my grandchildren, my god children, my pets. I tried to localize myself to my race, my face, my sex, my mind, my thoughts, my culture, my beliefs, my books, my flower pots. I tried to localize myself to the sea, the mountains, the rivers, the valleys, the animals, the birds, the bugs. I tried to localize myself to my name then
I followed my feelings which were the only things left out through an opening into a breeze that bobbed me up and down, slid me, bounced me all around until gravity was all but gone and just a tinkling was left. Was it laughter?
And I was  everywhere looking at everything through an opening that pretended to be an eye that suddenly blinked and my “I” was gone.
A breeze is lifting what is left of me through an Opening.
 
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Then something caught what was left of my attention, something green and shimmering. Was it like seeing a shiny something at the bottom of a pool?  Floating in the opening I saw a cluster of greening fingertips lit from within. Like a curious hummingbird remembering the sweetness of nectar I zeroed in. An Angel with white skin swaying in the Huerfano Wind.  A lone Aspen Tree extending its limb. I am falling now into a nest of leaves, cradled now by the wind and the bark and the leaves. This place is strangely familiar. I settle into the knowing of this place, still, I have no name.  But laughing now, I nurse the first breath of my return. 

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Walking until Somebody gives a Damn

by John Roedel
 
Hello new friends! On Sundays, I usually post longer unedited pieces that I’ve written. Here is one from a group of essays I’m thinking about putting together into a book.
*** Walk Until Someone Gives a Damn ***
“Your grandmother’s gone walking again!” my mom shouted from outside the thin barrier of my bedroom door that shielded my teenage heart from the world.
That announcement was always my bat signal – it meant that it was time for me to jump into action and try to convince my grandmother to quit her walk and go back to her home.
I immediately hid the JC Penny magazine that I was pursuing (translated: looking at the pictures of older women in bras) under my pillow and sprung off the floor. I opened my door and met my mom’s gaze.
“I wish you wouldn’t close your door all of the time,” she said.
“What is the point of a door if we don’t use them?” I asked.
This was the usual banter we had about my constant need for privacy. I don’t think she actually had a problem with me shutting myself in my bedroom because she knew that as a moody 13-year old boy I needed a daily dose of isolation to feed my soul.
Her outward resistance to me being a hermit was merely for public consumption and to fulfill the requirement of what she thought a good mom would say about the whole situation. We both had an unspoken truce about what the consequences would be if I didn’t have my quiet time to listen to The Police, write some lame poetry and take in a couple of catalogs that featured numerous models sporting the seasons latest fashion in brasseries.
The bedroom that I occupied as a teenager was the womb where I developed jokes or comedy routines that I would use the next day at school. I would pace around my bed working on the timing of and cadence of my various bits that usually were just jokes I had stolen from Robin Williams that I bent to fit the needs of my peer group.
My bedroom served many roles in my life. It was my center of creativity, my chapel, my brothel, and the place where I first began to feel the initial bangs of depression that I refused to ever give a name to for 25-years. My bedroom was the bunker that I hid in whenever I became overwhelmed with all of the complexities of life – which ended up being most of the time.
My room was where I retreated to when I didn’t understand what the world wanted from me.
My mom knew that my bedroom was my cocoon and when I had the door closed she knew that it was probably for a good reason – besides I was later told there was a certain rancid odor that emitted from my room that could render a perfectly healthy adult incontinent. My mom only demanded that I come out of my bedroom for a few reasons:
1) Food. 2) School. 3) She found my D riddled report card that I had balled up in the trash. 4) Church 5) My grandmother had slipped past her in-home nurse and gone on a walk again.
“You need to help bring your grandmother back home,” my mom said.
“Let’s go,” I said trying to close the door behind me.
“Put on some pants first.”
I looked down and saw that I was still in my glorious tidy whiteys. I always took advantage of my bedroom’s “pants optional” dress code.
“How long has she been gone?” I asked.
“Only about ten minutes, but nobody is G-D sure which way she went!” she yelled impatiently. My mom used the initials G and D as a way to fake blaspheme without actually having to actually do it.
For some reason, I was always more offended by her half attempt at taking the Lord’s name in vain. I thought you either committed to the whole G-D thing or you stayed away from it altogether.
After I slid into some of my patented tan corduroys I got into my mom’s 1980’s Mecury Sedan to begin our search for my elderly grandmother, Isabelle.
Isabelle was my Dad’s mom who had for years been slowly descending down the heartbreaking escalator of dementia. Eventually, it had gotten so bad that it caused her to have to move into a house across the street from us where she had a live-in nurse to help her out.
I was fortunate to get to know my grandmother for a few years before her mental capacities began to fail her. We could not be more different from each other but we had a strange connection that had formed between us.
Isabelle was a tough frontier woman who had grown up on a real old-time western ranch. In her prime, she was a formidable woman who had the ability to render people into ash with a single gaze. Before her downfall, she had always reminded me of a female version of a Clint Eastwood gunslinger character.
Isabelle was born with an allergy to nonsense and suffered no fools – which made our close relationship all the more mysterious. I was The King Of Fools and never shyed away from acting like that in front of her.
My grandmother would often respond to my behavior with loving quips like “John, you are a special sort of idiot, aren’t you?”
I believe that our odd kinship was formed because I was able to make her laugh. I think that this was a feat that no person on Earth, aside from my grandfather, (whom I never met) had ever been able to accomplish.
Isabelle would tell me tales of what it was like to experience the unforgiving winters of Wyoming while ranching as a little girl, and I, in turn, would share with her my Jimmy Carter impersonation. My grandmother and I would sit in her parked car and suckle down Jolly Rancher’s while we traded her stories for my jokes.
The revelation that she was suffering from dementia came to me suddenly, but for my parents, it had been a slow boil development. There were probably a hundred clues that I missed (aka: willfully ignored) that her mind was fading away – but I had never allowed myself to pick up on them.
It wasn’t until I was in eighth grade when my grandmother had gotten into a major car accident that I was forced to come to grips with what was going on. Isabelle had gotten into her forbidden car and driven outside of town looking for her long-abandoned childhood ranch.
She had been going about 30 MPH on the interstate and was plowed into by a semi-truck. It was a wreck that sent her to the ICU and allowed her mind to accelerate into full system failure.
Once Isabelle got out of the hospital it was clear that Isabelle could never live alone again. That was when it was decided that she would move in across the street from us with life in nursing care. This fact alone is cause enough to probably have allowed my mom to enter straight into heaven upon her death almost five years ago.
Isabelle and my mom had the typical mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship. My mother feared no person on the planet – with one exception: Isabelle. Here were two fire-tested women who had more standoffs than The Duke Boys and the local authorities of Hazard County with my poor dad caught in between these two titans. When my grandmother was rendered mentally incapacitated it was my mom who came up with the idea that Isabelle should move in across the street where we could all keep an eye on her.
Post-accident Isabelle was far more combative than her pre-accident version. This was mostly because she was confused about what was going on – but I’m convinced that there was still enough processing power in her to know how to get under my mom’s skin. We would have her over for dinner a couple of times of a week and my grandmother would spend most of the time just letting my mom have it.
“This place is a messy disgrace,” Isabelle would declare about the state of my mom’s housekeeping – which was impeccable. Our house was always museum clean; a fact that my mom always prided herself in.. Any suggestion of it being otherwise would obviously cause my mom’s blood to boil in her veins.
“I’ll try to clean it later,” my mom would say while most certainly uttering several hundred G & D’s in her head.
Isabelle would go after everybody with a barb or two – except for me. Even though all of her haze and cognitive scar tissue there still remained a connection between us. I was dubbed by my mom as “The Isabelle Translator” and it was always up to me to be the one to tell her that it was time for dinner or time to start getting ready to go back to her home across the street. She would listen to me when she wouldn’t for anybody else.
My grandmother lived across from our house for years and my mom selflessly helped care for her without ever allowing us to see her complain about it. I have no doubt that she would vent to my dad behind their closed doors – but it was never a moment that I was forced to witness. The amount of money and emotional cost that my parents paid to help care for my grandmother without bitching about any of it remains one of the greatest lessons they had ever taught me.
As time went on Isabelle got more and more confused and unstable. She would wake up in the night and believe that she had been kidnapped by the nurses who were living with her. I could hear her screaming from across the street while her caregivers would try and calm her down.
At least once a month she would find a way to sneak out of her house and go on a walk. The nurse would come running frantically over to our front door and explain that “she had just stepped into the bathroom for a second and when she came out Isabelle was gone!”
Driving around our neighborhood looking for my grandmother was not an uncommon practice for my mother and me.
Eventually, we found her shuffling in her nightgown down an alleyway. My mom knew that it would be pointless to try and talk to Isabelle herself. That’s what I was for. I was the “Isabelle Translator” after all – it was my only real functional purpose in our family.
“Tell her that she needs to get in the car and come back home,” my mom said. “It’s almost getting dark.”
“Okay.”
“And make sure she puts on this G-D coat!” my mom commanded as she handed me Isabelle’s coat that she had kept in her car for moments exactly like this. It was October and in Wyoming, that meant that as soon as the sun went down it would go from 50 degrees to Hoth in a matter of moments.
I got out of the car and jogged up to my grandmother. Her bare arms were beet red and her hands were shivering. Isabelle’s wrinkled face was bewildered and had tears streaming down it.
She looked exhausted – and it looked like she would collapse on the hard concrete at any moment.
“Grandmother,” I said while wrapping the coat around her shoulders. “Come on, it’s time to go home.”
“That’s not my home!” she barked. “Those people are trying to kill me and steal all of my things!
“No, they aren’t. They are trying to help you.”
“Bullshit. I think they are poisoning me so that they can bury me in the grave they have dug for me in the backyard,” she said with her eyes still blankly looking forward. I had no response to this. What could I possibly say to an accusation like that? I thought about arguing with her but I knew that she wouldn’t believe me.
“Where are we walking to?” I asked her.
“The ranch. I can’t wait for you to see it,” she said.
“Me either,” I replied. “Maybe we should go there tomorrow when it wasn’t so cold out. Besides, I think it would be better to see it during the daytime.”
“No! We are going now! Now quit your bullshit and let’s get moving!”
Usually, I would have already been able to have convinced Isabelle to turn back around, but there was obviously something more going on with her on that particular day.
She had already dropped two “bullshits” on me in a matter of seconds. I looked back at my mom who was trolling us a half-block behind in the car. I flashed her a look that indicated that I was perhaps in over my head.
She unrolled her window and shouted “Tell her that we need to get her home right now! She is going to break a stupid hip!”
I knew that I needed to get her to agree to get in the car herself. The alternative would be us trying to physically move her into the car without her consent and that would be a nightmare and probably end up with my mom and I being arrested for abducting a senior citizen.
It was then that my grandmother grabbed my hand. Her fingers were so damned cold. Her knuckles were already turning a shade of blue. She stopped walking and began to sob.
“I just want to go to my ranch. I just want to go to my ranch. I just want to go to my ranch.” she repeated through her crying jags. Her voice sounded like a child. It instantly unnerved me.
“I know,” I said.
“It’s all gone, isn’t it? My ranch is gone? she asked me. This was the first time that she had looked at me since I had joined her on the walk. I remember how flush her face was with mucus and tears.
“Yes,” I replied.
I immediately wondered if I should have lied and told her that her childhood ranch was still up and running. I worried that perhaps my honesty would send her further down the rabbit hole.
It didn’t. Instead, Isabelle just squeezed my hand uncomfortably tighter.
“I wish you could have seen it. It was where I became who I am. It was where I was safe. I could be anything I wanted to there.” she said in a brief moment of absolute clarity. Isabelle had just described my exact relationship with my own bedroom.
“I wish I could have seen it too,” I answered honestly.
“Everything back then was ahead of me. Now…everything is behind me,” Isabelle said – her freezing hand clutching mine even harder now. I didn’t say anything in reply. There was nothing I could say.
“Well, if it’s gone let’s not go there. It would be a waste of time,” she said. Her drying eyes gave me a once over and then she asked “Where in the hell is your coat?”
“I left it at home,” I said.
“Aren’t you a special sort of idiot?” She asked rhetorically.
“That I am,” I said – not being able to help to smile at the revelation that underneath all of her suffering and mental torment that the same old Isabelle remained.
“Where shall we walk to?” I asked her.
“How about we walk until somebody gives a damn?” my grandmother suggested.
Perfect answer – I didn’t know what it meant – but it sounded so G-D cool.
We walked hand in hand for a couple more blocks with my mom tailing us like the worst undercover cop ever. I told Isabelle jokes. She told me about the random memories of her childhood.
Under the fading fall Wyoming sun, we had our last real conversation before her mind finally fully took her away from me.
These days whenever I take my evening walk I always think about what she said.
“Walk until somebody gives a damn.”
I still don’t know what it means, but that shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. I am a special kind of idiot after all.
~john roedel
~I hope somebody like John finds me if I start walking until somebody gives a damn~ Syd May be an image of one or more people
 
 
 
 
 

 

The Face of your Soul

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com
by Sydney Lok
Pain,
It doesn’t matter
what kind it is.
Mental, emotional, physical.
It’s all the same.
It strips you of everything.
It scrubs you of everything
you are not.
Everything.
Ego, excuses,
lies, labels,
illusions, fantasies
masks,
mascara.
It excavates completely
leaving you un-spelled
like a word careening
meaningless
off the tip of a tongue.
It excavates completely
leaving you
with the Face of your Soul
reflecting in a single tear
falling off
the cliff of your face.
I follow the tear into
the brilliance of its release
finding a shimmering peace
beyond all pain in
the Face of your Soul.
 
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Exactly

I cannot help but post the poetry of John Roedel. Each poem opens a window in my heart and I cannot help but share. The poem below is so important. It reminds me that God shares our road through life, experiencing it with us. 

Me: Hey God.
God: Hey John.
Me: I can’t get over how sad I am feeling today.
God: You aren’t ever going to get over that.
Me: What? I’m not?
God: Nope. You are just wasting your energy trying to avoid your sadness. Your emotions aren’t a wall that you can just climb over or dig under – they are a tunnel that you must pass through. You don’t get over how you feel, you go through it. There is a big difference.
Me: Will I survive?
God: Of course. Just cross the threshold of your heart and walk right in. However, while you are going in you must keep moving forward. Be careful to not get stuck in the doorway. It’s easy to just stop in your sadnesses and not move. Let it come. Experience your sadness. Embrace it. Listen to your heartache. Learn from it – but keep moving.
Me: Ok…
God: I’m proud of you. Being vulnerable to how you feel takes tremendous courage. Exploring your heart is a feat of courage. It’s an epic undertaking. Be bold. Charting the unmapped wilderness of your heart is your life’s odyssey. Don’t be afraid. Go through your sadness. Go through! Your emotions are a door – see what is waiting for you on the other side of heartache and sorrow. Don’t get over…go through – and you’ll br standing in the sun again. It will be a great adventure!
Me: Will you be waiting for me on the other side of my sadness?
God: No.
Me: Why?!
God: Because I will have been holding your hand the whole time. I will meet you at the door and we will walk through together. This doesn’t have to be a journey you take alone. Your sadness is My sadness. Your tears are My tears. Your sorrow is My sorrow. This is our journey. Take My hand. Come on. Let’s go through the passage of you heart together.
Me: I’m trembling….
God: That’s just how any important journey is supposed to begin, isn’t it?
~ john roedel (johnroedel.com)
May be an image of one or more people, people standing and outdoors
 
 
 
 

Below the Timberline…

by John Roedel

The timberline is the point
on a mountain where
trees and vegetation
can no longer grow
due to the inhospitable terrain
and the lack of oxygen
The higher your climb
~ the lower the chance there is
for life to exist there is
The better the view
~ the worse the conditions
are for growth
That is how my journey
to understand
God has worked for me
The more I have sought “higher” enlightenment
the less I have ever found
The higher I have climbed
the harder it is to breathe
I have followed the trails
I have scaled the face of the mountain
I have clung by my fingers on a clifftop
I have climbed
and I have climbed
to get to the place where I believed
God had set a home for me
but when I got there
~ when I reached the peak
~when I finished climbing the mountain
I found nothing but small rocks
and snow up here
what a fool I have been
I have been chasing God
up this steep mountain
for all the wrong reasons
I wanted to dangle my fat
toes off the edge of everything
and then tear into the lingering clouds
like they were birthday presents
filled with the answers to every
question I’ve ever had about
my existence and my place
in the cosmos
I wanted to look down below
at the sprawling world underneath
me and feel like I’ve graduated
into some sort of exclusive club
of self-righteous understanding
I think I wanted to climb the mountain
in order to feel like I accomplished
one thing in my life
I outclimbed any thunderstorm
or predator that wanted to destroy me
I climbed to a place
where nothing could touch me
I spent the last two decades
plodding my way up this peak
only to run into the timberline
of my faith
nothing is growing up here
I can’t catch my breath up here
I don’t feel connected to life up here
turns out that the answers aren’t up here
enlightenment
is down there
in the valley
where I was
if God exists in the way
that I want God to exist
then it isn’t up among the
chapel I carved out of
granite and boulders
God is down among the
rivers, dandelions, predators, cheap wine,
hate crimes, thunderstorms and sweet midnight
kisses that I abandoned on
my pursuit to join the angels
that I thought lived among
these jagged mile-high peaks
I believed that enlightenment
was about climbing a mountain
where nothing could hurt me again
it turns out that true
enlightenment I sought
exists below the timberline
in the dirt of the
earth I was trying
so desperately to escape
it was always down there
down there
where the paths
become overgrown
with the vines of
both good and evil
down there
where the earth
grows both rosebushes
and brambles that
cut my skin
down there
where there is a
kingdom of people
who are both
bitter and sweet
down there
where life is
both heart filling
and heartbreaking
down there
in the land mines and the
golden corn fields
I was never going to find
God above the timberline
of where anything can grow
I was never going to find
God where nothing could
cut me
in order to find enlightenment
I needed to be where I could
be hurt
in order to breathe again
I need to lay among the
cottonwoods and the
roaming wolves
what was I thinking?
it is so lonely up here
it is so cold
I have not heard a bird song in months
fine
start the coffee
scramble the eggs
get my comfy shirt out of storage
I am coming down
I will meet you under
the timberline
where God
exists in the
mud and the
wildflowers in
equal measure
I cannot wait
to see what comes
next
I cannot wait
to dance with
you in the valley
again
~ john roedel
May be an image of nature