Distractions.

What’s In A Name?

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet)

Distractions may not fit what this post is about, but there is a reason for it. Webster’s dictionary definition of “distraction” is “the act of distracting or the state of being distracted” especially mental confusion.

When Juliet made that statement to Romeo, she realized the difficulty centered around Romeo’s family. He was a Montague, sworn enemies of Juliet’s family.

Two young people in love, but were separated by a name.

Names can be a distraction, behind every name is an object or person and so often a decision or assessment is made in relationship to the name and not who or what is behind it.

This is so unfortunate, values are missed or evaluated incorrectly. This can have a very negative effect on a person’s life or happiness.

In Juliet’s situation “Montague” was going to cause much pain for one or both. Either Romeo had to reject the Montague name or Juliet would have to reject her family name. There was no guarantee that the warring families would accept either decision. Both had to rise above the name to be happy.

In society today it is not much different than in Shakespeare’s day, a name carries a tremendous amount of weight and the value’s are missed.

Some of the topics covered in this post are names everyone is familiar with, yet can mean something different to different people.

Again, that is unfortunate, to receive the value you have to go deeper than the mere name.

First Name In This Post.

GOD.

A name that is worshipped, cursed or just downright ignored. A name that can cause a person to be accepted or rejected if they mention that name.

God Is A Spirit.

Spirit is another word that causes many people grief, because it is not understood. A spirit is an energy force, you can’t see it or touch it, But You Can Experience It.

Don’t take me to be an anachronistic oddball because of my belief in God.

God is a higher power, many people believe there is a higher power but won’t mention the name God. Again unfortunate, the name is not the energy force.

When we open ourselves up to that higher power we have to rise above the name, the name alone is not the power, only a way of describing the existence of a higher power, that can only be known to those who have experienced it.

Everyone at one time or another has experienced that higher power in a very profound way, yet may not have been aware of it.

Wind is a name, yet it is an energy force, we can’t really see it or feel it, but we can experience it. The experience may cause us to feel something, especially if it is a strong wind, but it still is an energy force.

Don’t get hung up on the name-GOD. The name is simply a method or way of describing someone. To get hung up on the name is what distraction is all about, Mental Confusion.

THAT SOMEONE, dwells within you, that is why in this blog my sub title is “BUT YOU DO.” That energy force within you is your higher power. It’s your intuition or as some would say “your gut.”

It’s the energy force or power we normally don’t trust. HOW UNFORTUNATE.

Another Name.

BIBLE.

Again, a book that is very much misunderstood. It can be worshipped or rejected. To worship it, is destructive, to reject it, is equally as destructive.

It is a book to guide us on a spiritual journey, that enables us to know that higher energy, that dwells within us.

Because we are dealing with an energy force that we cannot see or learn, but we can experience, it is imperative we rise above the names.

When Romeo and Juliet rose above their names, they experienced the manifestation of their love.

When we rise above the names in this post we can experience “TRUE LOVE.” because not only “GOD IS A SPIRIT” but “GOD IS LOVE.

Purpose Of This Post.

I urge you to take particular attention to this post, it seems very different from my previous posts, yet it is not. Everyone of my posts has a gem embedded in it. I can’t tell you.

You have the intellect to find it, your intellect is as important as any other persons, don’t short change yourself.

What you learn from books or other people, is their intellect, or something they learned from another persons intellect.

Take the time to think through what is said, it could be your opportunity to rise above mere words and experience the power within.

In the post SOULMATES. a promise of posts on family, work, church and children would follow.

This post was necessary before those topics are covered and why my urging you to think on what is said, because some of what those topics cover is going to be different from the way you may see it.

Rising above the names eliminates DISTRACTIONS and puts away mental confusion.

You can’t learn an experience, but you can EXPERIENCE it.

Until next time, stay positive and stay safe.

Comments or questions welcomed.

An Explanation.

Reflections.

When I began this blog it centered on my Camino Walk, after several posts I did a reflection post, reflecting on some of the high points of my journey.

There was a spiritual aspect to that walk for me. It was a journey taken by myself and a journey that, in many ways, reflected on my life.

All of the posts in this blog center around my experiences in life and what I have learned from them.

The idea was meant as an encouragement for anyone reading the blog to reflect on their own experiences, and the significances and lessons that can be learned about oneself.

Before I move on to other posts that I have in the works, I want to give you an idea of one of my companions that have been an encouragement or challenge on my life’s journey.

My mission was to understand my life and what could be expected from it. It has been a rewarding and enlightening experience to this point.

The journey is physical and spiritual, both intertwined, providing balance for me.

Physical.

A great help to me in understanding some of my experiences and what was going on or what had went on, was from Norman Doidge’s book “The Brain That Changes Itself.”

I’m going to use quotes from chapter four “Acquiring Tastes and Loves.” When I quote something from that chapter it will be italicized.

This book has helped me articulate on some of my experiences.

There is nothing to learn, but when you know what is taking place there is less desire to rebel against it.

In many of my posts “Lateral Thinking,” “Neurotransmitter,” Neuromodulator” have been talked about. I will expand on what those terms mean in more detail. For me there was a transition taking place and sometimes caused me concern.

Now, it is like peering through a dark glass, there is an idea of what is taking place and it is getting brighter each day.

I never really know what is taking place until after the fact, that was hard to comprehend initially.

Acquired tastes are learned versus tastes which are inborn. (Many tastes we think “natural” are acquired through learning and become second nature to us.)

We are unable to distinguish our “second nature” from our “original nature” because our neuroplasticity brains, once rewired develops a new nature, every bit as biological as our original.

The “second nature” is the primary nature we operate under, it is learned through our five senses. It is totally physical and is given to us by our neurotransmitter. We see it is a perception of who we are, because it has been given to us by everyone and everything we have come in contact with since we were born.

The “original nature” is who we really are, it is the nature we were born with. Almost from the moment we were born the transition from the original nature to the second nature begins to take place. The original nature is known through our neuromodulator. This comes from within a person and is much more powerful than the neurotransmitter.

Dopamine is called the reward transmitter. (It gives a surge of energy, exciting pleasure and confidence.)

The pleasure system that has to do with satisfaction.

(Its neurochemistry is based on the release of endorphins, which are related to opiates and give a peaceful, euphoric bliss.)(It is a use it or lose it brain, causing us to want it continuously activated.

We don’t really lose it, just as our muscles don’t go away. It’s dormant and at the right moment can come to the surface. It can affect our whole life, because it is buried deep in the psychic. (Example, an alcoholic who has been dry for several years, takes a drink and is back where they started.)

Falling in love in adolescence or later provides an opportunity for a second round of massive plastic change.

The transformation of taste can happen because we do not fall in love with looks alone. Falling in love triggers an emotional state so pleasurable, it plastically rewires our aesthetic sense.

These pleasure centers were found to be part of the brain’s reward system, the mesolimbic dopamine system.

When the pleasure centers are turned on, everything experienced gives us pleasure.

In some of my previous posts they refer to my connection with two separate women and fifty years apart, what the effect was. Not unlike what I quoted from “The brain that changes itself.”

Globalization is intense when falling in love and is, perhaps, one of the main reasons that romantic love is such a powerful catalyst of plastic change.

Because the pleasure centers are firing so freely, the enamored person falls in love not only with the beloved but with the world and romanticizes his view of it.

Globalization not only allows us to take more pleasure in the world, it also makes it harder for us to experience pain and displeasure or aversion.

Things that normally bother us, don’t. We love being in love not only because it makes it easy for us to be happy but also because it makes it harder for us to be unhappy.

When thinking about this, my thought was, is it possible for an outside force or another person to create such a change within me? If it is, I had to ask myself, who am I and why?

The brain waves for the romantic love and a person high on cocaine were the same. Yet, one was chemically induced the other appeared natural.

In the literal chemistry of love the stages of romance reflect the changes in our brain during not only the ecstasies but also love’s throes. It reduces shyness and depression, makes one euphoric, enhances his energy, self-esteem, enthusiasm and has an aphrodisiac effect. It is described as akin to “romantic intoxication.

This gives a big plus to falling in love, but there is also a negative side, or is there?

The pains of love also have a chemistry. When separated for too long, lover’s crash and experience withdrawal, crave their beloved, get anxious, doubt themselves, loose their energy and feel run down, if not depressed.

This seems like a very precarious situation to fall in love, it is put into the same category as high on cocaine. A cocaine high is chemically induced. Romantic love, or falling in love with someone, is dopamine induced when placed on that plane, it is shallow and most of all, because it involves the neurotransmitter, is relevant. The relevancy in this case makes it possible for a lot of pain and heartache.

Dopamine likes novelty.

If novelty can be introduced on a continuous basis, the relationship has a chance to succeed, but it’s going to require a lot of work. Long term relationships don’t always survive on novelty. It is difficult to trust a person who relies on Dopamine to keep a relationship alive.

Love creates a generous state of mind, because LOVE ALLOWS A PERSON TO EXPERIENCE PLEASURABLE SITUATIONS THAT WE OTHERWISE MIGHT NOT.

IT ALSO ALLOWS US TO UNLEARN NEGATIVE SITUATIONS.

A person’s neural network becomes efficient and self-sustaining and, like a habit hard to unlearn.

The neural network is the result of the neurotransmitter and is dopamine induced, it is impossible to unlearn it. The neurotransmitter can only send signals, it is unable to receive anything from the brain, hence the reason it can’t change.

Different chemistries are involved in learning than in unlearning. When we learn something new, neurons fire together and wire together, and a chemical process occurs at the neuronal level called “long term potentiation” or LTP which strengthens the connections between the neurons.

When the brain unlearns associations and disconnects neurons, another chemical process occurs, called “long-term depression,” or LTD (which has nothing to do with a depressed mood state.)

Unlearning and weakening connections between neurons is just as important, as learning and strengthening them.

It is important to note the next excerpt from the book “The Brian That Changes Itself.”

UNLEARNING IS ESSENTIAL WHEN WE ARE MOVING FROM ONE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE TO THE NEXT.

Falling in love means entering a new developmental stage and demands a massive amount of unlearning.

Without LTD, a person brings a significant amount of baggage to the relationship, and in most cases doesn’t recognize it because LTP is so powerful.

When people commit to each other, they most radically alter their existing and often selfish intentions and modify all other attachments, in order to integrate the new person in their lives.

Life now involves ongoing cooperation that requires a plastic reorganization of the brain centers that deal with emotion, sexuality, and the self.

Millions of neural networks have to be obliterated and replaced with new ones. (This is one reason that falling in love feels, for so many people, like a loss of identity.)

Falling in love may also mean falling out of love with a past love; this too requires unlearning at a neural level.

Unless LTD takes over, those changes never take place, the person deceives themselves into thinking things have changed, in actual fact they haven’t, only circumstance have changed.

If a man or woman’s heart is broken by his or her first love when an engagement or marriage breaks off, he or she looks at another but each pales in comparison to the one that was believed to be the one true love and whose image haunts the person. Or a widow who refuses to date cannot imagine she will ever fall in love again.

In neuroplasticity terms, if the romantic is to begin a new relationship without baggage, they must first rewire billions of connections in their brain.

That involves LTD and as we have seen LTP, for the most part has the upper hand, because the neurotransmitter can’t receive signals from the brain. So, deception becomes the name of the game, not as much deception of another person, but deception of oneself.

THE SPIRITUAL.

This is where lateral thinking is required. In this instance going to the spiritual as the unknown.

The spiritual is an energy force, it doesn’t fall in the category of the relevant (or of our five senses) but it can be experienced. It is our experiences that carry the most weight.

It may not be relevant to anything, but no one can take it away from us.

The physical (neurotransmitter) cannot access the spiritual, that is why many people say they don’t believe in the spiritual, because it represents an unknown factor.

Yet, most everyone at one time or another experience the spiritual, but attempt to rationalize or explain away the experience or in many instances never consider it or what the meaning is.

Walter J. Freeman, professor of neuroscience at Berkeley, was the first to argue that THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN LOVE AND MASSIVE UNLEARNING.

He has assembled a number of compelling biological facts that point toward the conclusion that massive neuronal reorganization occurs at two life stages: (1) When we fall in love. (2) When we begin parenting.

Freeman argues that massive plastic brain reorganization-far more massive than in normal learning or unlearning, becomes possible because of a brain NEUROMODULATOR.

My first job was a radio announcer, the transmitter and modulator and what each meant, was very much a part of my everyday work. This was certainly a help to me in understanding the effect of both in respect to my brain.

Neuromodulators are different from neurotransmitters.

While neurotransmitters are released in the synapses to excite or inhibit neurons. Neuromodulators enhance or diminish the overall effectiveness of the synaptic connections and bring about enduring change.

Freeman believes that when we commit in love, the brain neuromodulator oxytocin is released, allowing existing neuronal connections to melt away, so that changes on a large scale can follow.

The neurotransmitter is dopamine induced and is subject to circumstances that excite or make a person feel good. The neuromodulator is oxytocin induced and allows a person to unlearn and let the past go.

The neurotransmitter because of its inability to receive signals from the brain, can’t unlearn, so it buries the past. It looks or seems ok but it constantly rears its head, especially when it is not needed.

Oxytocin is sometimes called the commitment neuromodulator because it reinforces bonding.

Dopamine induces excitement, puts us into high gear and triggers sexual arousal. Oxytocin induces a calm, warm mood that increases tender feelings and attachment and may lead us to lower our guard.

If a person did not give away control of the neuromodulator, life would be so much different. The way society works, the neurotransmitter is given pre-eminence, thus destroying the positive effects that emanate from the neuromodulator.

Oxytocin also triggers trust, it makes us commit to our partners and devotes us to our children. It works in a unique way, related to unlearning.

Unlearning and weakening connections between neurons is just as plastic a process and just as important, as learning and strengthening them.

IF WE ONLY STRENGTHENED CONNECTIONS, OUR NEURONAL NETWORKS WOULD GET SATURATED.

Evidence suggest that unlearning existing memories is necessary to make room for new memories in our networks.

Oxytocin’s “ability” to wipe out learned behavior has led some scientists to call it an amnestic hormone.

Freeman proposes that oxytocin melts down existing neuronal connections that underlie existing attachments, so new attachments can me formed. Oxytocin, in this theory, does not teach parents to parent. Nor does it make lovers co-operative and kind; rather it makes it possible for them to learn new patterns.

If we think about this statement, it is not learning sending us in a new direction, it is a new direction that augments learning. An amazing way to learn from oneself according to the need, respecting ones individuality. Not learning from someone else and trying to adapt it to ourselves.

Freeman’s theory helps to explain how love and plasticity affect each other. Plasticity allows us to develop brains so unique-in respect to our individual life experiences-that it is often hard to see the world as others do, to want what they want, or to co-operate.

Unlearning in love allows us to change our image of ourselves-(FOR THE BETTER.)

GETTING OFF THE MERRY-GO-ROUND.

Hold that thought “unlearning in love allows us to change our image of ourselves (for the better.)

In the beginning of this post the second nature and the original nature was mentioned.

Almost the moment after I was born, my parents put me on the NEUROTRANSMITTER Merry-go-Round. I had no say in that, but it did shape what my life was going to be.

My first opportunity to get off that Merry-go-Round came when I was fifteen. This was mentioned in one of my previous posts. The NEUROMODULATOR would have taken me off.

The Merry-go-Round has stopped for me to get off a number of times during my life, but it wasn’t until approximately ten years ago that I got off.

In this post we have talked about falling in love and how it can be such a wonderful thing, yet at the same time it can be a curse.

When we fall in love the neuromodulator kicks in. If we recognize the one we are falling in love with is actually OURSELVES, we get to enjoy all the positive effects of the neuromodulator. Old things will go and it will be replaced with new. The unlearning can take effect so the new can become effective.

When we were put on the Merry-Go-Round our second nature began to grow and it became so much a part of us, we did not know the difference.

The one we fall in love with is our ORIGINAL NATURE. That is who we really are.

When someone says, “you have to love yourself, before you can truly love someone else,” is a fact. We are excellent at deceiving ourselves because our neurotransmitter is only giving us something from other people. We are cloned.

The neuromodulator introduces us to ourselves, that is why the euphoria. Not only does it introduce us to ourselves it gives us the ability to unlearn everything and see life with a different set of eyes.

If we apply that euphoria to another person or thing, the neuromodulator is disconnected and the neurotransmitter is again in control.

It takes time for this transaction to be complete. For me the past ten years have been an eye opener. The euphoria when you find TRUE LOVE does not last. It is a picture of what it is like when you complete the journey.

When I got off the Merry-Go-Round, it did not seem as if I was off. The problem, I had been on the Merry-Go-Round so long, my head was still spinning. It took time for my head to stop spinning before starting out on this new way.

It signifies the start of a new direction, it takes time to get rid of the old (the second nature) and bring in the new (the original nature.) With the neuromodulator in control, it has the ability to balance out between the physical and the spiritual.

The physical does not change, the way you see ourselves and those around us changes.

The “Unlearning in love allows us to change the image of ourselves for the better.”

We began to love ourselves for who we are and not for who other people say we are.

Though my parents put me on the Merry-Go-Round, I could not blame them. I was given a choice and blame was not part of it.

That was essential in getting off the Merry-Go-Round, I could take nothing with me, none of my old ways.

Now you know why my blog says “I don’t have the answer” but you do. Because you do.

Have a great day, stay safe, stay positive.


Questions or thoughts appreciated.

SOULMATES.

Priorities.

We all in some way or another, regardless of what we work at, have to prioritize, to accomplish anything, in work, family or otherwise.

Prioritizing is not as easy as we might think, at least for me it wasn’t. Every time I focused on one thing, I ignored another of equal or more importance.

In a way, I was like a bulldog in a china shop, to accomplish one thing I would destroy another. Whatever I did, I put my heart in it. Looking back, the saying “hindsight is twenty-twenty vision” is not all bad, if we learn from our mistakes.

It has the potential to improve the future.

I had four main responsibilities for a good part of my life, there were many other lesser responsibilities as well, but four I focused on, or tried to. The four were my wife, children, work and church.

When I think about it now, I realize every time I focused on one aspect of my responsibilities, I ignored another, so I was constantly changing gears to facilitate the task or responsibility that I was working on, and not doing justice to either.

What ever I went at, I PUT MY HEART IN IT, this gave the project or responsibility passion. when I put my heart in it, I gave it life, this is where the passion came from. I have come to realize, not only did it give life to something it also took life from something else, or someone else, that was of great or greater importance.

If I did not put my heart in whatever I was doing, it was mechanical and I was not good in that department. To succeed was the million dollar question. Did you notice the one I ignored was MYSELF. My thought was if I succeeded at those responsibilities I succeeded as a person. More than I realized, I was what I did.

My previous post ““SOULMATE” (singular) was necessary to launch into “SOULMATES.” (Plural) For me, everything began with me mating with my SOUL, yet I did not realize or know at that time what was happening. My parents had not prepared me for the experience, nothing or no one had prepared me for that experience.

Priority One.

In my post The Women In My Life, how I met Norma and Sandra is pretty much dealt with.My first notice of Norma came when I was fifteen. I had attended school with her, but until that amazing day I had not been very much aware of her. But this day everything was different.

I fell in love.

I could not get her out of my mind, a year later I began dating her. I thought I had fallen in love with her, so I did what was normal. I gave her my heart. I attributed the euphoria that I felt to Norma.

A couple of years after Norma passed away I met Sandra, there was a similar euphoria. Thinking back, a number of times with family, work and church there was a euphoria, sometimes for no apparent reason, other than this overwhelming feeling.

There may have been other instances as well. However, I always attributed the euphoria to something or someone. This was the mind taking control of the situation. When that happened the value of what happened was immediately lost. I had this tendency to put everything in the world of relevancy.

When I met Sandra, there was an awareness of the journey I was traveling on. I did not understand it, yet I knew so much so, that I said to Sandra, I’m on a journey and would like for you to travel it with me. She was Ok with that.

It may have been because of the similarities between my connection with those two women, who were different and over fifty years between those incidents, that caused me to really look for an answer.

This is where I communed with myself, looking for an answer to this euphoria that centered, for me, around two different women.

In the book “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge in the chapter on love he mentions the difference between Dopamine induced love and Oxytocin induced love.

What became apparent to me the Dopamine induced love was like Fool’s Gold, it looked like the real thing but had very little value. Whereas Oxytocin induced love was the real thing and had true value, it was TRUE LOVE.

Oxytocin love was centered on the energy force within. It was loving myself in a positive way. This made sense to me, if I was able to love myself, it would be easy to love others and at the same time be fair to myself.

Over the course of forty-seven years with Norma we had our disagreements, but managed to work out those differences, sometimes through compromise or other.

I was never big on compromise not for myself nor for Norma, it meant in one way or another one had lost. I always felt both should win. But how was that possible?

I was fifteen when I fell in love with Norma. I did the accepted and normal thing, I gave her my heart. She did the same and the relationship followed it’s normal course, we were married.

Now, my understanding is VERY different, that understanding of giving each other our heart was the problem. We gave each other a part of our life, leaving us incomplete and going after each other, trying to retrieve or complete ourselves.

That was the cause of disagreements in our marriage, although neither of us attributed to that, we always centered it around the effect, not knowing the cause or placing the cause to some childish reason.

Norma, took back her heart a couple of months before she passed away, things changed. I was aware of a change in her attitude, it was two weeks before her passing that my heart was restored to me, but it was a year or so after her passing that the understanding of what had taken place was real for me.

When I asked Sandra to marry me, I said “I don’t want you to give me your heart and I can’t give you mine.

THE BASIS OF MY RELATIONSHIP.

Some of this may seem strange to you, for me it is very real, because it is part of my experience, hopefully it may be an encouragement to anyone on a similar journey or looking to find more answers to life.

The understanding that I now have, still limited, but that is changing almost daily, was helped along by understanding Dopamine and Oxytocin induced love.

This euphoria I experienced when I met Norma was Oxytocin induced love, when I gave her my heart, I attributed my love to her and reduced the Oxytocin induced love to Dopamine induced love

Dopamine is the lowest form of love, from the Greek language it’s “Eros,” whereas Oxytocin is the highest form of love it’s “Agape.” My next obstacle to overcome in my relationship with Sandra was centered around my religious beliefs. She was not a religious person, which eventually became a blessing for me.

Moving away from religion is not easy but essential.

There was a fear that she would take me off my journey, although she said she would follow, no doubt not understanding what I was alluding to. At that point my understanding was limited as well.

Meditation and communing with myself has allowed me to better understand what is taking place.

My fear related to my study of the Bible in respect to David and Bathsheba, Samson and Delilah. Both Samson and David were taken off their journey with God by Bathsheba and Delilah. That was my fear, the same would happen to me.

I tried explaining the spiritual journey to Sandra and this caused problems, so much so that I began to doubt our going ahead together, Sandra also began to have reservations. When Sandra said say she was ready, I hesitated. I went to my inner self for answers. There was no doubt that she was my Soulmate.

Finally, she said “Don’t tell me, show me.” I realize now trying to explain spiritual things, (it is a spiritual journey) is not difficult, it is impossible. It is a journey taken alone, taken by faith, making it very personal. The Bible can be a great help if it is used as a guide book, it becomes comforting, rather than challenging. The understanding comes from within. Trying to learn it takes you off that journey. It is not a journey of interpretation but a journey of revelation.

The choice is allowing an inner energy force or higher power to guide you on this journey or undertake it on your own. I began to realize that taking it on my own, I did not need a higher power, I was the higher power. Me being the higher power had let me down too many times. The choice to allow the inner higher power to guide me has been my greatest blessing.

I began to talk less and less to Sandra about spiritual things, meanwhile my journey was moving in a positive direction. She is very positive towards my journey and encourages me daily,

To put my journey into a scientific perspective my journey was taking me from a dopamine induced love to an oxytocin induced love.

To put my journey into a spiritual perspective my journey was taking me from an “Eros” love to an “Agape” love.

To put my journey into a religious perspective my journey was taking me from being God to choosing to have God guide me.

God is a Spirit, making it a spiritual journey.

In between love on the “Eros” level and the “Agape” level is “Philia” this is more of a family love. Eros is more self love, “Philia” a higher plane, is more family love and “Agape” the highest plane encompasses both Eros and Philia.

LOVE IS OUR STRENGTH.

I always knew Norma was stronger than me, she was the glue in the family. She experienced and maintained “Philia” love. I experienced a similar love when our children were born, but quickly gave it away, not knowingly.

I’ve come to realize why women are stronger than men and the negative effects it has on a relationship. The man is always trying to prove himself, in one way or another, that he is stronger than a woman. Deep down he knows the woman is stronger, although most men will be reluctant to admit it. This can be subtle or sometimes very pronounced.

The way our society views men and women and the strengths of each is wrong and can only cause problems. In actual fact, the woman is and always has been in most instances the stronger of the two.

The woman has “Philia” love, this is a physical love, the focus of that love is the children, it is a female instinct even without children. The man’s basic love is “Eros” which is also physical and the focus is himself. However, for me, there was an instinct something was incomplete or missing, this may be a thing for men and is different then for women.

Most men will also experience a significant change when their children are born, however, because of societal direction, like me, he gives it away. It could have been a journey into “Agape” love. It is a spiritual journey.

PLEASE, don’t equate spiritual with religion, there is very little if any bearing between the two.

It’s a personal thing and has to do with choice, rather than requirements to perform. It is a growing period in another dimension and it takes time.

With that transition the man actually becomes the stronger, the woman becomes the beneficiary of this journey that he has to take. There is a laboring involved to transition from dopamine to oxytocin induced love, or from Eros to Agape love.

As I said before, Agape love embraces both Eros and Philia. This completes the man and makes him well rounded out as husband, father and what ever other responsibilities he may have.

Though I was content with myself and my surroundings after Norma’s passing, when I met Sandra, it did complete me in another dimension.

We are SOULMATES.

My last few weeks with Norma, we were SOULMATES. I didn’t fully understand and Norma may not have either but there was a fulfillment for both of us and there were no words.

When Sandra said to me “Don’t tell me, show me.” it has become a relationship that is built on something much stronger than words, it also reminded me of what Norma and I had. It may have taken forty-seven years to really come to enjoy it, but it was worth it. Norma enjoyed that relationship for a couple of months and she was instrumental in putting me on the right path.

It’s so easy to say “I LOVE YOU” but to show that love is a whole different dimension.

Words can change, but actions are different. One picture is worth a thousand words.

SANDRA and I are SOULMATEs, and I love it.

I can’t speak for her, but I don’t think she would be overly negative about our relationship. Unless it is when I try and explain to her something that is going on. Her eyes glaze over and I shut up.

I mentioned my for main focuses wife, children, work and church. This post the focus is wife or the wives in my life. In future posts I will have one for children, one for work and one for church.

My previous post “Soulmate” is really a look into how I have come to handle each of the four and still be my own person. Each post will deal with some of the things I have had to deal with in getting to this point.

Unless you open yourself up to LATERAL thinking this post will not mean much to you. Lateral thinking opens up a whole new world.

Until the next time stay positive, stay safe and stay healthy.

Any questions or comments appreciated.


SOULMATE

INTRO.

yellow bee on white flower on selective focus photography
We are a part of nature. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There was a subheading and short write up in the post The Women In My Life on soulmates. In my last post I promised a post on “Soulmates.” To understand Soulmates, it is necessary to begin with the singular “Soulmate.”

What is most important, if you will gain anything from this post, is the necessity to believe you have a “SOUL.” The soul is our inner self, our higher power, you could say it is our spiritual side.

This is an attempt to provide a more comprehensive and detailed account of soulmate, from my perspective, based on my own experiences, and things I have read that helped me on that journey.

While my understanding of “Soulmates” may still be somewhat incomplete, it has brought me to enough of an understanding to allow me to articulate on what has been my experience.

My desire is that you might glean from this post something that will enlighten and lighten you, on your journey of life.

I know from experience this journey (the journey of life) is not all sunshine, however when we realize that the rain is there for our growth as much as the sunshine, the journey becomes much easier and enjoyable.

SOULMATE.

Soulmates is plural, the plurality will be dealt with further along, but to grasp the full and complete meaning of soulmates, it is necessary to understand soulmate. It is impossible to fully appreciate, and to a degree, understand soulmates without the understanding of “soulmate.”

The challenge for me to understand soulmates may have begun in earnest on reading the book “Eat, Pray and Love.” by Elizabeth Gilbert. In the post “The women in my life” there were three aspects of soulmates that I gleaned from that book when soulmates were mentioned.

First, was “a soulmate (singular) is probably the most important person you will ever meet.” I agree with that WHOLEHEARTEDLY, because IT IS the most important person you will ever meet.

To grasp anything from this post, it is necessary for me to go in a different direction for a moment, we will get back to the topic momentarily.

For me, it is easy to articulate on soulmate because it has been an experience or a number of experiences, and as you know it is easy to articulate on an experience (good or bad) because it is real. For you, it may be necessary to consider what is been said in this post and come to your own understanding

To evaluate what I say or what anyone says for that matter, you have to reason through what has been said. REASONING IS WORK. “However, it is work that will pay off.” In some of my other posts “lateral thinking” has been mentioned. Lateral thinking is thinking outside the box, this is where you go to the spiritual.

The brain does the reasoning, when we rely on the mind, it can’t be reasoned, because the mind is unable to receive a message from the brain, it can only send messages to the brain. It’s a “one track mind.” In essence it leaves us at the mercy of what someone else said.

The soul can send a two way message, in other words it can send a message to the brain and receive a message back. THE SOUL IS OPEN MINDED, allowing you to reason things.

There is always two sides to everything for it to have value. Think of a one-sided coin. Valueless. except to a collector. Can a judge make an informed decision, hearing only one side of an argument? Not really.

You see why it is necessary to think laterally, you can now listen to both sides and come up with an informed decision. It’s thinking outside the box.

Now, back to soulmate, “the most important person you will ever meet” and the second part of that statement, “they tear down your walls and smack you awake.” Also, very true.

It was quite a distance into my journey of life before I recognized the soulmate that was necessary for me to meet was myself.

Sometimes we never think of the obvious, it is so easy to overlook. If anyone is to build an honest, loving relationship with anyone, would it not start with yourself?

If it was with anyone but yourself, you would always be beholding to that person for your love and friendship.

To try and build a relationship with someone without having built an honest relationship with ourselves means there is very little passion, the relationship functions mechanically.

When a relationship functions mechanically, the functioning comes from what we have learned from other people, from books and what society deems natural or normal.

Again, if the second aspect “tear down your walls and smack you awake,” is applicable. Would you not eventually resent that person?

If it is yourself, that is different, now comes a very difficult decision, you are forced to take responsibility for yourself. Have you not heard, your worst enemy is yourself, or there is a dark side to people.

Our actions may seem acceptable to society, but what about our thoughts. We are also responsible for those.

YOUR SOULMATE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON YOU WILL MEET, BECAUSE IT IS YOU. THE DIFFICULT PART, THE NEGATIVE SIDE OF ONES PERSONALITY HAS TO BE DEALT WITH.

The blame game is gone out the window.

It is so easy to blame someone for the negative things in our life. The down side of blame, we never get to see ourselves for who we really are.

To deal with the negative aspects of our life, we have to move to the SUPERNATURAL, ohh, that sounds scary, not really, it’s lateral thinking. See the post on Natural and Supernatural .

One thing we all have in common is “CHOICE” and we are responsible for every choice we make, whatever the consequence may be.

That is the journey we all take, to become our own soulmate, or to MATE with our SOUL, or with ourselves.

There are so many roads to travel the journey of life, most of them leading to a dead end, no pun intended.

The road less traveled, may be the best road, after all you are moving away from the natural to the supernatural.

Another of the three aspects of a soulmate was “People think a soulmate is a perfect fit.” That is so true, when we realize the soulmate is ourselves and we build a genuine relationship with ourselves, what can be better? A friend for life.A Friend Who Will Never Let You Down.

The third aspect of the soulmate, “a soulmate comes into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then leaves.” Again, that is true, but it is imperative that we see ourselves for who we really are, that is what this statement is all about. The one that leaves is the negative part or the dark side. This leaves a person with peace, happiness, contentment and confidence. What more could one ask for?

THE ANSWER.

This is certainly not the way I thought for the better part of my years. I would have been in complete agreement with the statements made in “Eat, Pray and Love.”

This is where “Lateral Thinking,” (thinking outside the box) opens up a whole new world. It allows one to reason things through. It allows one to pick out what is needed and throw out somethings that are not needed.

Lateral thinking moves us to the spiritual aspect of ourselves. The mind can’t go there, as we said before it is a one way street.

THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A FAITH JOURNEY.

Don’t equate faith with religion, equate it with yourself. AN INNER SELF.  You may know it as your instinct, (you know the part you seldom rely on) or you may refer to it as your “gut.” It matters not what you refer to it, as. The important thing is building a relationship with that force within you.

Because the mind has to connect with something, is the reason we have a desire to equate everything with someone or something. WITH THE MIND EVERYTHING IS RELEVANT. If you can’t see it or touch it, it’s not there as far as the mind is concerned.

The SOUL is able to go to the ABSOLUTE. That is a domain the mind can never go to, that is why we have so much problem with things pertaining to the soul, we rely for the most part on our mind.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for (Love, Joy, Peace, Contentment) if you have the evidence of things hoped for (Love, Joy, Peace, Contentment). Are you going to be at odds with anyone, or will you have any desire to try and prove yourself to anyone, when you enjoy those attributes.

That evidence, you can’t learn, you experience it, it’s ABSOLUTE.

We all at one time or another experience the realm of absolute or the realm of the soul.

Have you not sometime or other understood something, that you did not think you did? Have you not put something away for safe keeping and when you went to get it, you couldn’t find it, when you stopped looking, all of a sudden it came to you?

Those are small examples but nevertheless realities of another power or force at work in us.

YOU can experience this type of living on a daily basis. We are part of nature and sometimes, our HIGHER POWER allows us to see the impossible become the possible in nature.

Think of the Caterpillar becoming a Butterfly.

For that Caterpillar to morph into a Butterfly, the metamorphosis starts from within the chrysalis to eventually emerge as a butterfly.

It’s not exactly the same for us, but the most important aspect “it starts from within” so it is strictly on faith.

With the mind, it always starts from without because, it has to connect with someone or something. Our mind can’t conceive connecting with ourselves, because the mind wants us to believe we are already connected with ourselves.

The one thing the mind is unable to give us, is love, joy, peace and contentment, unless circumstances are correct. Still forcing us to believe everything is OK. It is OK if circumstances are OK.

I have found that in the journey of life circumstances are not always OK, and that I needed something more in the difficult times.

When it comes from within, we are not at the mercy of others or circumstances.

IT ALLOWS US TO BE OUR OWN PERSON.

It starts from within and takes care of the negative aspects of a soulmate that are mentioned in Eat, Pray and Love. Like, “tear down your walls and smack you awake” and “reveal another layer of yourself to you and than leave.”

This journey of transformation takes time,those negative aspects have to be dealt with, they are real, but you will find comfort from within, during that journey.

It is a journey we take alone, and forces us to be honest with ourselves, there is no one to blame not even ourselves. We take responsibility for ourselves. When we blame someone or something, we are avoiding responsibility for ourselves.

Some aspects of the negativity may be dealt with in dreams, but it is a journey of enlightenment.

TO OURSELVES.

My next post will be plurality of soulmate, for me that was a somewhat tumultuous and at the same time exciting part of my life.

If you have any comments, questions or thoughts please feel free to leave them and I will attempt to answer them.

Stay positive and stay safe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BIBLE-Is it a Rule book or a Guide Book?

INTRODUCTION.

black bible
Our Guide book. Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

In my last post I gave the title to this post and also mentioned that some would hate it and some would embrace it. It doesn’t have to be either, it’s up to you.

What we experience, good or bad, it is our truth. It is the result of a choice we made in our lives, the result is the consequence.

The Bible is a sensitive topic, some worship it, others don’t want to hear the name. To both, open your soul to this post, your mind already has determined where you sit on that topic.

Take control, and move past your mind. The mind is a one way tract to your brain but is unable to receive anything back. The soul, is able to send and receive from the brain. The brain does the reasoning, for proper reasoning to take place, there has to be two way communication, hence the soul versus the mind.

This post has been awhile taking shape. I have no desire to offend a person or to lead a person down the garden path.

You have to consider what is said and come to an understanding for yourself. Your experience may be different than mine, but it is yours and only yours, no one can walk the journey of life for you. The destination will be the same as mine.

Over the years, my experiences, are personal and are therefore considered anecdotal. Anecdotal evidence is casual or informal and relies heavily on personal testimony. Consider this, no one has my DNA, so my anecdotal evidence holds significant value for me, because it was experienced by me. SO SHOULD YOURS.

On the inside of any organization or situation, we always get to see what really goes on. My experiences vary from self-employed, manager in a national organization, minister in a church, CEO in a multi-national company to a caregiver, in that order. Nothing was what it was perceived to be. Perception is not necessarily reality, it may be some other persons.

To get information from someone other than ourselves, for the most part is just meaningless platitudes, however never completely discount anyone, take the time to reason it through, there may be something there that will help you on your journey.

The posts in this blog always have a gem, but never an answer for anyone, YOU are able to find the answer. That is why I called it “I don’t have the answer” but you do.

AS A RULE BOOK.

My daughter said to me a while back, “Every self-help book either directly or indirectly refers to the Bible.” I found that to be so, although initially I didn’t, not being familiar with the Bible.

When I began studying Theology, the main book of course was the Bible. I was in my late thirties when I began studying theology. Having been heavily involved in business and service clubs before this new undertaking, there was on my part a need to understand. I am not good at understanding purely from an academic perspective, things have to be practical for me.

When I asked questions of something I didn’t understand, rather than give me an answer, I was told it was a paradox. This never did it for me.  In Seminary I found it was not good to ask questions, after I was called a heretic. So I kept my questions to myself and pondered them in my heart.

I studied the Bible, to be honest with myself, it gave me more questions than answers. However, with my unanswered questions and doubts, I never rejected it. I was faithful in reading and studying, but for the life of me, I could never remember verses.

My desire was to be a good person, but this never did it for me, if my actions never condemned me, my thoughts did. I could control the actions but not the thoughts. That did not sit well with me, “As a person thinks, so a person is.”

For me there were times I was lonely, yet my family was with me. There were times I was fearful, sometimes depressed. I kept it all to myself, not even discussing it with my wife. I did not want to burden her with my doubts. I had asked a lot of her, when I left a good paying job and moved away from home to attend college with our seven children. I was very much alone.

The question that I could never bury, if there is one God, how come there are so many religions or religous denominations, each proclaiming to have the truth and yet if we look down through history and see some of the things that has been done in the name of God, something does not make sense. I had also learned, while in the ministry, some christian people could be extremely mean. There had to be an answer apart from this.

CHANGES.

My attitude towards church, God and anything spiritual varied, from forced by my parents, to rejecting, to hate and than total embracing.

There was no middle ground, I was either completely against or completely in favor.

Looking back, it wasn’t as much being against or in favor, there was more, there was something that drew me and I knew nothing, except what I was told religion was and that didn’t fill the gap or emptiness that I felt.

When I became a minister in the Baptist church, I thought that was my calling, however on the inside of the religious institution my searching was even more pronounced, there was more, so my quest continued.

Some of the thoughts that came to me seemed so out of place with what was required for me to believe. One thought that I never shared with anyone and this maybe the first time, I’ve expressed it. I wondered if the Bible was a good thing?

I never doubted the Bible but for some reason it never answered any questions for me, as I said before, it gave me more questions than answers.

I returned to the business world for another decade, than my wife got sick and she wanted me to care for her, so the next decade I’m a caregiver. This time may have been the most valuable time of my life.

My wife, Norma had a stronger faith than me, different than mine. My belief centered entirely around the Bible, she had a spiritual faith, is perhaps the best way to describe it. Attending church was for me a necessity, for her, she preferred not to go and when she got sick, was now an excuse not to go. She changed my mind, not by talking but by an experience.

SPIRITUALITY.

It is difficult to describe this aspect of life, it is sort of similar to the wind, you don’t know where it comes from or where it goes, but you know it is there, because you experience it.

I had a difficult time with the spiritual, I wanted to see or touch or taste or whatever, it had to be relevant. I understand now, the mind can only grasp what is relevant, it has to touch one of our senses.

When I went into the ministry, it was the result of a very vivid experience. Over the years there has been different experiences that have strengthened my faith and continued me on my quest for an answer.

I realize now the Spirit can come to us and we not know it, we can rationalize or put it off. The predominant thought, anything spiritual has to do with religion, in one way or another.

That is so far from the truth. It can happen anywhere and in the most unusual way.

My tendency was to think along traditional ways or if I did not understand it to think critically. Neither gave me an answer, it was only when my thinking moved in a lateral direction into the unknown or spiritual that things began to change.

Things that never made sense to me, began to now make sense. It was truly thinking outside the box and it was a whole new world.

MY THOUGHTS.

Definition of Faith. The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I had “hoped” for a long time, but if we only have hope, it makes us miserable. Evidence of things not seen is what makes the spiritual real, it was my experiences. If it is my experiences, it is personal, how can it really impact anyone other than myself, but the impact was in a very positive way.

Try the Spirits.

This was a command John gave. I slowly realized there are two spirits, one was my nemesis, the other my strength. One got me in trouble, the other got me out of trouble. It was my choice. It took time before it was possible to distinguish between the two. When that was understood, my expectations of myself diminished, as did my expectations of others.

God is a Spirit.

A spirit is an energy force. When the word God is used in the Bible, it is an attempt to show us that we can only experience God, we can’t learn God. Yet, what has happened, God has been used to personify that energy force, putting us on an equal footing with God or telling us we have the opportunity to be our own God if we learn what the Bible says and live our life accordingly. Everyone has that energy force or higher power within them. It is the Inner Life.

God is Love.

Everyone in one way or another is looking for love. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. That’s the Higher Power within us, our soul. We are only capable of having one love, that makes us monogamous. When we truly love ourselves, we are never alone. The amazing aspect of that, when we love ourselves in the purest sense, it is so easy to love others.

That is our instinct or as some would say, their gut. Is that not the most ignored part of us? We don’t trust ourselves, I didn’t, but it’s changing, there is still a ways to go to finish the journey.

AS A GUIDE BOOK.

When I walked the French Way Camino, it had not been a bucket list item, or something I planned to do. It was so far from that. It came as a surprise to me in some ways. There was an inner draw to do it, I wasn’t sure if I could. However, because of that compelling, I was expecting something to happen on the trail. There were some amazing happenings on the trail, but it is since returning I have received the greatest blessings.

As I have mentioned in this post I found it difficult to understand the Bible, somethings did not seem right, considering what I saw in myself and other Christians, no matter how hard I tried.

Keeping nine of the ten commandments, did not cut it. Basically it is all or none, if I was guilty of one, I was guilty of all.

The guide book I had for the Camino, helped me considerably, but it could not walk the trail for me. I began to slowly realize, the Bible was my guide book for a Spiritual walk, it is a totally different path that what I was familiar with.

That Spiritual walk is the walk of life, as I said before you can’t learn life, you can only live it. The understanding comes through revelation not interpretation.

When the understanding comes through revelation, it is personal. For me that seemed so fair, it treated me as a person and allowed me to be what was possible as a human being. Revelation gave me respect for myself and at the same time, others.

Through this revelation it has allowed me to love myself, have a similar love for my soul mate and to love others, and most of all not judge others. This did not happen like the flick of a switch.

It has been a journey, with hills to climb, valleys to go through, sunny days and rainy days, but for me it has certainly been a journey worth taking.

This is what the Bible means to me. In the beginning Adam and Eve were given a choice between knowledge and life, they chose knowledge. They were told, if knowledge was chosen, they would die. They did, Spiritually.

That was my condition, dead spiritually. My mind was in control, and as I said before, with the mind, it is a one way street. Information is fed into the brain, but nothing can be received back. I had to be either all for or all against, the brain could reason it but the mind could receive nothing back. I was ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth, which would set me free.

The Old Testament was a picture of me with my mind in control, constant failure in respect to the ten commandments. Looking forward to the soul having control, think of some of David’s writings. The twenty-third psalm in particular. The people were going to the temple and having a priest intercede for them.

The New Testament is a different picture. Old things must pass away and ALL things become new. For me it has been a transition, it is difficult to let go of the old, for me it was impossible, until there was a realization that except my inner self did it, nothing would ever change.

Now it came to choice. It was possible to choose between the old and new, but the new was a Spirit that would make the changes I couldn’t. I no longer had to go to the temple and have a priest intercede for me, my intercessor was with me. This brings me to the last chapter in the Bible, Revelation. John was in the Spirit for that revelation. It was the revelation of Christ.

I had a very succinct understanding of God, Christ and the Devil. My understanding has changed in many respects. Everything has a name, to allow our mind, in some way to  grasp it. The reality, for me, there is a higher power and a lower power. The higher power is my soul and the lower power is my mind. Because there is no two way communication between my brain and my mind, I am at the mercy of what I learn. When the soul is in control I am able to reason things, I don’t have to reject or accept what another person says, it gives me freedom. Freedom to be me.

The intensity of this journey for me has been on going for the past ten years. I am no longer a student of the Bible, I haven’t read it for over ten years. My problem wasn’t I didn’t know enough, I knew too much.

I was relying on what I knew, rather than who I was. I did not know who I was. Thankfully that has changed. It has allowed me more freedom than I thought possible and the best is yet to come.

Everyone has that HIGHER POWER with in them, it comes down to choice.

Chose YOU this day whom you will serve.

Your comments or thoughts on this or any other posts are appreciated.

My next post is Soulmates. Again from my experience, two soulmates have blessed me.

 

 

Aging For The Over Sixty-Five.

a person in pensive mood
Thinking about the past or the future? Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

THE WAY WE THINK.

An interesting article in the March third edition of the Toronto Star by Christine Sismondi entitled “Is the way we think about aging wrong?” prompted me to write this post.

Being in my seventies, as you can imagine, has prompted some thought on this subject. Rather than being a (and I don’t use this word lightly) VICTIM of this over sixty-five generation, I found the article gave me a desire to expand on my thoughts and why.

For some time this subject has been of interest and some of the opinions that comfort me, others may find unnerving. Rather than find it unnerving, I would rather you would consider it thought provoking and lay aside your mindset on  this subject.

We all, whether we realize it or not, have a mindset, that in most instances doesn’t allow us to enter into new gardens of thought.

SYNOPSIS OF CHRISTINE’S ARTICLE.

She built the opinion for her article from two books written by David A. Sinclair, Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, entitled “Lifespan, Why We Age-and Why We Don’t Have To.” The other, a book by neuroscientist and Professor Emeritus at McGill University Daniel J. Levitin, entitled “Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives.”

Levitin urges us to stop seeing everything after sixty-five as a bleak slow decline.

Instead, he says, we should start to view those years as a distinct phase of life and human development, like adolescence or infancy, which poses both challenges and unique opportunities. When it comes to cognition, for example, aging is often thought of as a steady period of inevitable decline that sees people lose their memory, reason and ability to pay attention.

Levitin explains that neuroscience has established that, although the aging brain might not be as good as it used to be at some tasks, it’s actually getting better at others.

The terrifying signs of decline are actually the result of the brain shifting gears from focusing on the external world to focusing, increasingly, on our internal thoughts. Most people lose some short-term memory, but the trade-off is that we get better at things like synthesis and pattern recognition.

The big take-away is that cognitive changes in healthy seniors can be more about trade-offs than decline, which represents a whole new way of thinking about aging, that in itself is a pretty profound rethink.

David Sinclair’s bold new theory that aging isn’t inevitable, is even more radical.

Sinclair’s research supports the idea that we should start thinking of aging as a diseaseand develop treatments for it. What more, he says we’re not far away from that being a reality.

A big piece of the puzzle has to do with the proteins that pull double duty-repairing DNA damage and simultaneously, “controlling genes” and keeping order.

When they get pulled away too many times to put out the fires of damaged DNA, they lose track of the “paperwork” at the office, which involves telling cells how to behave. He goes on to say, “You see this is why we should never multi-task.”

Sinclair and his colleagues tested the theory on mice by having them multi task “breaking” their DNA. When the mice aged prematurely, they decided to pursue this research aggressively, reasoning that, if they could “give” mice aging, they could also take it away.

Levitin is invested in increasing health span rather than lifespan, meaning that the number of years of healthy living is more important to him than numbers on the tombstone. For Sinclair , it is really the same thing since, if we cured everybody of aging, our bodies would be healthier, which would, as a result, increase our lifespan.

Sinclair makes the case that an army of optimistic people with vitality and wisdom (not to mention a talent for pattern recognition) is exactly what we need to solve the world’s problems. 

EXPERIENCE VERSUS THEORY.

My interest in this article came more from my own personal experiences and reasoning through different scenarios. It is not as farfetched as one may think.

I mentioned at the beginning of this article my desire, that you would lay aside the mindset that you have. You will get nothing out of this post unless you do that. It will come across as my son would say as a “Brain F–k.” It’s not meant to do that, but it could open a whole new world for you.

To do that, you are going to have to accept some different meanings and understandings and realize the difference between theory and experience.

Theory is a perception of what something is or could be, experience is the reality. That is a whole new world, but it is PERSONAL, so it can be different with each person, yet each will reach the same destination. That is why I named this blog “I don’t have the answer.com” “but you do.”

I’m going to give you an example that I found interesting to illustrate the difference between the two and the importance of both.

A couple of years ago I walked “The French Way Camino.” I had a book by John Brierley detailing the journey from Pied St. John to Santiago de Compostela. I did read some of the book before taking the trip, in an attempt to familiarize myself for what lay ahead, it didn’t work. It was an account of John Brierley’s walk but for me it was still in the theory stage.

When I was walking the Camino or experiencing it, the book became very important to me. Many of the things John Brierley talked about in the book did not interest me to any great extent. For me,  when I arrived in a town or city I could look in the book and find a place to stay, a place to eat and some quick facts about the town I was in. Each evening, I would plan the next day’s walk from that book, how far I would travel, towns I would go through,  what elevations were ahead the next day and plan where I would stay the next night. The book was a constant companion.

What I could not get from the book was the thrill of the experience. Each evening was finding a place to stay, new people I would meet during the day and in the evening at the Albergue. In the morning, planning what I would wear, if it was raining, hot or cold. The blisters on my feet that I had to be careful about. The climbs I would have to do today, each day was different with new experiences.

THE EXPERIENCE WAS REALITY. A different world from reading about it in a book.

I could have discounted that book, but that would have been a mistake, it was my companion along with other companions I met or saw, on the way to my destination. It made it easier for me. I could not speak the Spanish Language nor had I been in Spain before. Without the book and the other companions I may have reached my destination and again I may not have. Whatever, it would have taken me much longer, because of wrong turns and traveling to dead ends.

When we rely on other people’s account of something or anything, we deny ourselves the joy or pain and in most instances both joy and pain of the experience. (Most don’t enjoy pain, but pain is a way of letting us now there is something wrong and gives us an opportunity to correct it. Also, it helps us to enjoy the joy more.)

That example should give a picture of the difference between learning and experiencing, yet the importance of both.

My desire in this post, is to challenge you and at the same time encourage you, yet your journey will no doubt be different from mine, but we can still reach the same destination.

THINKING.

To think something through, we have to understand ourselves and more importantly be honest with ourselves. We generally accept what society has placed upon us, and our mind is set.

But, YOU ARE DIFFERENT, from everyone else,YOU ARE UNIQUE, YOU HAVE YOUR OWN DNA and no one else is as SPECIAL AS YOU.

To hear and reason things through, it is necessary to open your heart, listen to other than yourself, but it is your journey. Don’t discount what others say, but remember this is your experience, you will meet companions along the way but no one can walk it for you.

If you don’t want to hear what someone is saying, it is because your mind is set. If your mind is set, nothing will be reasoned, not because you don’t want to, but because you can’t. The mind can only send information to the brain, it can’t receive anything back, making it impossible to reason.

It is necessary to see ourselves as a duo personality. It is not uncommon to hear someone say, “I can be my best friend, or my worst enemy.” That is true, but it is necessary to distinguish between the two. (That is why at the beginning of this post, I mentioned, you have to be honest with yourself.) In previous posts I have expanded and in some instances been repetitive on the subject of distinguishing between the two. Each post has a gem to sometimes encourage, sometimes challenge, but always to point you to you.

I do not and will not apologize for being repetitive, it is all part of the journey and we need to be reminded on occasion.

VICTIM.

At the beginning of this post I wrote, “Rather than being a (I don’t use this word lightly) VICTIM of the over sixty-five generation.”

It is my intention to expand on that statement, so it does not cause confusion or misunderstanding.

Three years ago I was part of a writing group, here is an excerpt from an article I wrote entitled “Seniors.”

“When I became a senior citizen, it had a two-fold effect. In that I had arrived to the great age of sixty-five and still in good health, was something to be happy about and proud of. To be put into a category did not sit well with me. Society has a tendency to categorize, I always felt that was a disservice to an individual and had a certain stigma attached to it.”

Further on, I wrote

“As seniors we are given respect to a degree, but we are also marginalized. In a way we become what we do and that is so unfortunate. The person is the most important, not the senior, the child, the woman or the man, each is a person and each in their own way contribute to society.”

The victim aspect is the mindset, “we become what we do” or in some instances what other people say we are. In this instance the senior. We accept that and what the connotation means, we are no longer a contributing aspect of society. If you are not an asset than you are a liability.

That has become somewhat evident in some of the dialogue regarding COVID-19 and if the medical system becomes over whelmed and a decision has to be made, as to who will get treatment and who won’t.

It reminds me of George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm” and the fate of the horse.

Society considers seniors expendable. Is that respect?  Not all society feels that way and not all seniors will agree with me. It is human nature to accept what society says and not think it through, which is not fair to any individual, whatever the label.

How COVID-19 is playing out in long term care homes for seniors, illustrates to a certain degree, that the government talk has been strong, but care has been weak. The manifestation of past performance now show us what reality is.  It is easy to talk the walk, but more difficult to walk the talk.

MY COMPANIONS.

On my “Camino” journey, I mentioned a close companion, the book by John Brierley. There were others, the Camino shell, the yellow arrow, the people walking with a back-pack and the Spanish person that recognized me as a pilgrim. When there was a difficult situation, where there was no help available, my inner self was always with me and on several occasions it was necessary to draw from that companion. I was never alone, even though it was a solo undertaking.

On my “Journey of life,” my companions vary as well. Sometimes I recognized the direction I was getting from another person, many times it was after the fact and as I journeyed through life, the impact of what a person said or did hit me. Other times, usually when I had no one to turn to, my comfort came from within.

The Bible has been an important book in my journey, NOT AS A RULE BOOK, on how to live, but as a GUIDE BOOK, guiding me on my journey of life. A journey with a Higher Power.

Science also has been a big help. Norman Doidge’s book “The Brain that changes itself,” has challenged me. Freud’s writings are challenging as are Abraham Maslow’s writings. Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” was an interesting concept. I always thought the top of his triangle “Self-Actualization” should have be at or near the bottom. If we know how to live we will know how to make a living.

My observation of science and religion. Science controls the mind and Religion controls the soul, and never the two will meet, regardless of what is said.

Obviously that has not always been the case, but disagreements between religion and science has amended the understanding to the following meaning. Psychology is the science of the mind and behaviour. (Webster’s) It is interesting to note that in the seventeenth century Psychology was the “Science of the soul.”

My thought, if we disregard the soul (spirituality) we do ourselves an injustice, likewise if we disregard science (mind) we do ourselves an injustice. It is sort of like “connect the dots.” Science can put the dots in place, the Soul can connect the dots.

It is impossible to determine the picture, until the dots are connected.

THE WRAP.

When a person reaches sixty-five, the majority of people are ready for and retire. Retirement is a time to do the things a person enjoys. For those with the means, there is travel, time for more volunteer work and leisure time.

There is very little vision, just the inevitable. Society has set out what a senior should be and the majority accept it. So it is not as much societies fault as it is for a senior to accept that designation.

Sinclair and Levitin both seem invested in health span more than lifespan. Seniors now have a longer lifespan than a few decades ago. I wonder sometimes if it is not the result of medication that has given some of those extra years? Extra years with little or no medication is much more attractive.

For me, Sinclair and Levitin’s studies are interesting, however, I find Sinclair’s studies the most interesting. In a nutshell, from his studies , stop multi-tasking and things will change.

When our mind controls we are always multi-tasking, the mind races in a dozen different directions on any given day. What I gather from this if we were not multi-tasking our DNA would be much stronger and easier to be repaired, giving us a longer healthier life.

To have the SOUL control daily activities we would not for the most part multi task, we would dwell in the present, we can only be in one place at any given time.

Sinclair makes the case for seniors, as an army of optimistic people with vitality and wisdom(not to mention a talent for pattern recognition) is exactly what we need to solve the worlds problems.

THAT WOULD MAKE SENIORS AN AMAZING ASSET TO SOCIETY.

The plus side to Sinclair’s studies were two fold.

First, THE WISDOM THAT’S BEEN ACCUMULATED, wisdom far exceeds knowledge. Wisdom is feet on the ground, in the trenches. Whatever a person’s vocation has been, if they have reached sixty-five, something has been learned. The reality of experience “I’ve been there and done that,” speaks volumes. Very few people get through life without weathering a few storms.

Second, A TALENT FOR PATTERN RECOGNITION. Rather than look at pattern recognition from a technological perspective, let’s take a look from the psychological perspective, since we are dealing with a human being. “Recognizing patterns allow us to predict and expect what is coming.” (Wikipedia) Pattern recognition requires repetition of experience. Semantic memory, which is used implicitly and subconsciously is the main type of memory involved with recognition. (Wikipedia)

Over the years we build up an amazing amount of practical information from our interacting with the world around us. If we were to rely on our SOUL (subconscious)(neuromodulator) rather than our mind (conscious) (neurotransmitter) we would be so much more intuitive.

Sinclair’s assessment, in a certain aspect, runs parallel with the Bible, if we look at the Bible as a guide to a higher form of life, rather than a rule book on how to live a moral and upright life.

Instead of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” for the horse, it could be more like the movie “The Cocoon.”

The article that prompted this post “IS THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT AGING WRONG?” The answer is most definitely “YES.”  We as seniors have accepted the categorization put on us and are not willing to think outside the box.

THINK FROM WITHIN AND WITHOUT WILL CHANGE.

That is the message portrayed in all my posts in this blog. There is a gem in every posting.

YOU are greater than you think, Age doesn’t matter.

Comments on this or any other posts are appreciated.

My next post will either be hated or embraced, I hope neither, but consider the post with an open mind. The title “The Bible-Is it a Rule Book or a Guide Book?

Stay safe and stay positive.

 

 

 

 

DIFFICULT TIMES.

MY THOUGHTS.

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That is my prayer for you. Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

When I posted my last post, my next post was “Aging for the over sixty-five.” It is almost complete, however, this post may be more relevant, considering the challenges we are facing on a global basis. The aging post will be posted after this one.

Since starting this blog I have not went into much detail about myself  and some of the trials that faced me nineteen years ago and why I write this blog.

I have continually made an issue in most of my posts that I don’t have the answer but you do.

In our society today, more so than years ago, there is reliance on knowledge. There is a desire to learn and find someone who will give us the answer to living and any problems we may have.

I have been no exception to that mindset.

I have read most every self-help book published and reached out to spirituality, so much so that I took a course on “Spirituality.” All to no avail.

Sometimes we hit a brick wall and are unable to find anyone who can give us the answer. Then, where do we turn?

THE PERFECT STORM.

You may have heard the expression “Sometimes things come in three’s.” This could be something good or something bad, for me, at that time, it was bad. “Behind every cloud there is a Silver lining.” I didn’t see it at that time, it took a while.

For a long time I did not share this experience with anyone, I was ashamed of myself and considered myself a failure. I have had difficult things to deal with in the past but this was more than I could cope with.

In two thousand and one, my wife Norma was diagnosed with MS and confined to a wheel chair. I went from being a multi-millionaire to personal bankruptcy and for number three I was charged with fraud.

I lost all my coping skills, fear had taken control.

At the beginning of the year my wife had to finally resort to a wheelchair and she wanted me to care for her. She wanted it no other way.

MY STORY.

I was one third owner and the operating partner of a business. One of the partners sold to a conglomerate. The new owners did not want to be part of our type of business. We had a Dutch auction shareholders agreement.

The new partner wanted out and had the president of the company that was sold, sell their one third. He offered it for two dollars. I being the operating partner had the first option to buy out both partners for two dollars each.

Because the third partner had made an equity loan of a million and half dollars to the company, I also had to take that out. I had seventy-two hours, I’m in the middle of trying to adjust and care for my wife.

The year before I was attempting to raise money and buy out the two partners. The value of our real estate was fifteen million dollars, our liabilities was seven million, giving us eight million equity. It went on hold because of my personal problems.

Now things were changed drastically.

I did not discuss this with my wife, I had a decision to make that would have affected her, but I knew her preference, but this was different. I sold my shares for two dollars.

My reasoning, I still have a fair size transportation company that can provide me with a living. My wife’s health was more important than the money. If I had bought out my partners, I would, without a doubt, have been busy at the business.

Myself and the manager of the transportation company were fifty-fifty partners, I remained president, though not active.

Things were put in order at home and I was getting settled into my new role, as care giver, when I get a call from the office, there was a problem. The transportation company went into banruptcy and I had a million dollar personal guarantee. I again had to make a choice, work through this, and neglect my wife’s wishes or declare personal bankruptcy.

I choose personal bankruptcy, which was the most difficult decision of my life, it took away any pride I had left. For me it was the failure of the person and brought into full view, to me, of how dependant I was on what I did and what I had. Where was the person?

To add to this because of supposedly irregularities at the transportation company and me being the president, I was charged with fraud. It was almost a year later after forensic audits, the charge was dropped.

I had the care of my wife and all this extra to deal with. It was as this was coming to an end, while in our vehicle, with my wife in the wheelchair, when I stopped and began to cry. I was a broken individual.

THE NEXT EIGHT YEARS.

There is a saying hind sight is twenty-twenty vision. I learned from experience how fear incapacitates. Could I have better decisions? I’m sure I could have, however one thing after another was clouding my ability to focus on one particular thing or event and make a clear decision.

I began to gather myself together and focus on survival and the care of my wife. I did not discuss my financial position with anyone, some members of the family were a great help, but my needs were not put on display. My feeling was, it was something I had to deal with. Later on this proved invaluable.

Over the next eight years I now had the responsibility of been the provider and the caregiver to my wife.

How to care for Norma and see that her individualism was protected and at the same time care for myself, was a whole new world. I had to be OK for her to be OK, she was depending on me. I was also depending on her, not in the same way, but she was always supportive of me, she became my strength just as I became hers.

After the first year or so behind us, the next eight years became , over time, precious. We actually got to know each other.

She passed away in two thousand and ten. It was a peaceful passing. In the morning she had her liquid breakfast and later in the morning we chatted and had a coffee. In the afternoon around three her soul bid good bye to this world.

THE PAST TEN YEARS.

It was after Norma’s passing, I began to realize some of the things that happened in the last couple of months before her passing. It was a precious time, perhaps more so for her than me.

I began to realize how blind I was to myself, although I never thought for a moment I was blind.

My blindness was perhaps more to my spiritual condition than anything else, but it also blocked my view of what was happening around me.

After facing death, not for myself, but someone who was very close to me (we were married for forty-seven years,)  the realization of what death really is, began to become real and has changed drastically how I see things now.

For the next couple of years, I was on my own, the only time that I was ever on my own, and I actually enjoyed it.

I began an early morning walk, which is when communing with myself began to take on meaning. There were many questions, as a result of the past ten years in particular. I began to get an understanding and answers to those questions.

I became very sensitive, in a different sort of way. My son would call me each day to see how I was doing. We would be talking and all of a sudden I would break out in tears.

He said are you lonesome, grieving or sad?

I said “no” and I wasn’t, I felt great, the communing was almost like opening a whole new world. I journalized each morning, calling it my five K walk. About a year and half on my own and beginning to understand more about myself, I made my final entry into the journal.

The entry was, “Thank you for the things you have allowed me to see, I don’t want to understand anything else. I want to live that life. I’m ending my journal, good-bye!”

SINCE THEN.

I have never journalized since that time, however things have changed so much and in a very positive way.

I continue my morning walk and still commune with myself. Three years ago I walked the French Way Comino. A popular question was, “When did you start walking the Camino?” My answer was, “I began my walk seven years ago.” This garnered questions.

I consider myself very wealthy, not in money, although I’m comfortable in that area. I have remarried to a beautiful lady, Sandra, we enjoy each other immensely.

I am so fortunate in having had two soulmates.

NOW.

Out of all this has come an amazing understanding of myself and the realization that as people we are all the same, yet different.

I would talk about things that were happening, which was a mistake. One of my sons called some of my conversations “Brain f–ks.” It was never meant in that way. I have since learned to shut up and not say much about what is happening, it was for me and only me. It was my journey.

As things began to come into focus for me, is when the blog “I don’t have the answer,” subtitle, “but you do,” began.

I really don’t have the answer for you, but just as in a very difficult time in my life, there was an answer for me, you also have an answer for you, but in mine it had to do with me, the same goes for you. There has been companions along the way, but it has always been my journey.

The purpose of this blog is to be a companion to you, if you decide to take this journey.

More so, over the past ten years I have recognized that it is my journey and no one can walk it for me.

Nineteen years ago, was a “life changing event,” for me. I did not forget what took place and have allowed the event to put me on a completely different journey. One that makes me happy with myself and with people around me.

MY CLOSING STATEMENT.

I have been very transparent in this post. I don’t want you to see me or my trials. It is meant to encourage you, nothing is as difficult as it seems.

With what is taking place in our world today, you no doubt have your own trials to deal with.

This week in “The Globe and Mail” newspaper there was an article by Dr. Anita Tannis, a physician who is well on her way to recovery from the COVID-19, the coronavirus that is creating an upheaval in families globally.

She says her friend Val reminds her that, “when you have a life changing experience, let it change your life.

Life changing experiences are for a purpose, find what that purpose is and follow that way.

Life’s difficulties are meant to make us BETTER not BITTER.

Please remember, above the dark clouds the sun is still shinning. The dark clouds may bring rain, but the clouds will clear. Enjoy the sunshine when it comes but don’t forget, it was the dark clouds and rain that made you grow as a person and appreciate the sunshine.

Stay safe, stay positive and have faith that the sun is still shinning above the clouds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MEDITATION IS A JOURNEY.

gray concrete roadway beside green and brown leafed trees
We can’t see around the bend but the destination will come in focus. Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

WHAT TO EXPECT.

Expectations can very easily lead to hurt or disappointment or both. You were expecting me to get this posting out earlier, again I’m sorry, and I hate apologizing, I like to keep to a schedule. I do not have a schedule for my postings on this blog. However, I am going to be more frequent in the future.

Mediation is getting to know yourself.

In the previous post we covered much about meditation, now we shall look at the journey and what it entails.

First and foremost “Have no expectations.”

This journey is not about what you will have to do, but rather what you will gain.

As in any journey, usually there is a starting point and a destination. Like “The French Way Camino,” the starting point is Pied St. Jean and the destination Santiago De Compostelo. In between those two points is joy, pain, rain sunshine, peaks and valleys, good days and bad days, but all necessary to get to the destination.

The journey of life is like that as well. The purpose of meditation is too take a different route, than is normal.

It is so easy to get lost on the journey of life, there are so many side roads that look so well traveled that, you think, it would be impossible to get lost or reach a dead end.

How do I know that, I travelled most of them and came to many a dead end.

We have to be brutally honest with ourselves.

HONESTY.

Honest with ourselves, not others, when we reach the point of being honest with ourselves. It is a given, we will be honest with others.

In my previous post MEDITATION, you will notice that it is mentioned several times about getting to know yourself. This is what meditation is all about.

The first response that comes into a persons mind, “But I know myself.” the next response should perhaps be “Well, there may be some things about myself that I don’t know,” that can be a help.

We are an “ENERGY FIELD,” we have the option of getting energy from others and giving energy to others in return. That sounds good but has its drawbacks.

When Rhonda Byrne was researching for a film entitled “The Secret” and later she wrote a self-help book entitled “The Secret,” she was amazed how many people knew the secret, many people that had accomplished much in their life, which they attributed to the secret. She came upon the secret because of a very difficult time in her life.

The key in “The Secret” is “The Law of Attraction.” We attract to ourselves what we think about. We can attract good or bad, have you ever heard “Be careful what you ask for.”

We have two energy fields, one is good and one is not good. It is so easy to look at Robert Louis Stephenson’s Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as being the two persona’s of a person. Actually HIDE (note the spelling) is the real person and Dr. Jekyll is the FRONT, the person that performs for society, he tries to be a good person so people will like him and allow him to be accepted. The two are one in themselves.

Freud spoke of the “Ego” and the “Alter Ego.” he also touched on the “Super Ego.” Hyde was the ego and Dr. Jekyll the alter ego. The “Super Ego” is our TRUE SELF,  the good energy field.

Meditation is getting to know that “TRUE SELF.”

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HIGH?

In the book “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson an authorized self-titled biography, he mentioned of being high once on cocaine. It was such an amazing experience that he thought everyone should experience it at least once.

In the book “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge he mentions when a person experienced “romantic love” the “Neuromodulator” kicked in, now with the advancement of technology, the brain waves are able to be monitored. The brain wave for the Neuromodulator was the same as a person high on cocaine.

The difference, one is chemically induced the other is organic or natural. The organic is the one we want to have control. That is the purpose of meditation to get to, not only know about that energy, but have that energy control ones life on a continuous basis, we can be sure of always attracting good energy and we are in a position to be a giver and never a taker.

If you have experienced a sort of “Euphoria” sometime in your life, it may have been a person, thing or a church experience, that could have been a connection with your inner self, your good energy power. It may have been a time when you came to a dead end in your life and had no one or nothing to turn too and you found comfort within yourself, again a connection with your good energy power.

Those times could have been your “STARTING POINT,” to start building a relationship with yourself.

THE STARTING POINT.

The expectation that comes with this “Euphoria” is that it will last for ever, it doesn’t, this is a taste of what it will be like when you finish the journey and something to look back on and encourage you along the way.

If the expectation is for that condition continuously, it can be disappointing or even make one angry, it did me.

This is the starting point with a higher power controlling the day instead of one’s self. We always have “CHOICE,” we are not pushed into this.

Instead of our mind controlling we give our self over to a higher power within us.

IT WILL BE A WALK OF FAITH.

You may say I don’t have faith, that’s ok, you have more faith than you realize. If you will stop to think about today, you are already practising faith. This is the same road with a different guide.

On this journey the normal up’s and down’s will have to be dealt with, there will be rain and sunshine, great days and terrible days.

The difference, you will always find comfort, whatever the circumstance, as you get closer to your destination, your comfort level will increase, fear will begin to desipate, no matter what the circumstance.

You will rise above the difficult circumstance.

Life will become more organic than mechanical. In other words life will be more natural and not driven by circumstances.

ON THE JOURNEY.

Every day spend time alone with yourself.

Ask questions of your inner self. Be willing to wait for an answer and don’t determine where the answer will come from. Sometimes it comes from the most unexpected area.

TO HEAR, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN.

In listening, listen as much to what is not said as to what is said.

I’m an early riser, most every morning, before breakfast, I walk, approximately ten kilometers, sometimes through a wooded area, that’s my preference, other times along a sidewalk.

This is my alone time, yet I am not alone. I commune with my inner self or my higher power.  On an especially difficult day, I will discuss whatever is bothering me in my communing and the comfort will come, sometimes not immediately, but most times not long after.

I mentioned in the beginning of this post, being honest with myself. If I’m angry about something, fearful, disappointed or discouraged, I recognize it is my problem and I will pass that on to my inner self, my higher power, who will deal with it for me.

It does not take long and whatever it was that was bothering me begins to dissipate.

The most profound aspect of this communing is the ability to love, especially myself, but as I love myself more, I find that my ability to love my soulmate increases proportionately.

woman in black tank top and black leggings bending her body
 It is amazing what we can do when we come in contact with ourselves. Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

Yoga, is another avenue to meditate. When we focus on the breathing, our brain is at work and the mind cannot get to it, so we are brought into the present. Communing or meditating is all about the present.

I have seen, especially in a new person to yoga, begin to weep, for no apparent reason, this is the person connecting with themselves.

When a person truly connects with themselves it is overpowering. 

Church is another area where a person can connect with themselves. It is necessary to go with an open heart.

In essence, when a person connects with themselves, it is open heart surgery.

The most important aspect of this connection, don’t give it away. The first thought is to give the credit for what happened to someone or something or to rationalize it. If that happens, you have just lost the ability to start that new journey and gone back to the old way.

This journey is going to put down the old way and take you on a new journey. You are letting the higher energy force lead you instead of the lower.

As I said in the beginning, “This is not about what you have to do, but about what you will gain.

TRUTH will set you free, you can’t learn truth, but you can experience it.

That is the crux of this journey.

I would appreciate any comments, in this difficult time that we are in, hopefully you may find an inner peace in this posting. A peace that will pass understanding.

In my next post, which will be in a day or two, it will be especially aimed towards seniors with something for younger people to think about as well.

The title is “Aging for the over sixty-five.”

Have a great day, stay safe and stay positive.

If you find this post positive to you, please pass it on to a friend or loved one.

 

 

 

 

MEDITATION

 

photography of a woman meditating
MEDITATING with Nature is POWERFUL. Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

NEW.

 

Hello, I’ve been away for a while, however, I’m back. Happy New Year!

It’s a New Year and a new decade. The last decade has been challenging, painful,  enlightening, exciting and rewarding and I’m sure this decade will be no exception.

You may say challenging and painful does not fit in with exciting and rewarding, you will notice enlightening is between the two.

Not every day are we blessed with sunshine, some days we have rain or storms, all are meant to balance out nature, and grow things.

We are a part of nature, albeit supposedly the more intelligent part. Most people look at sunshine positively and rain in a more negative stance.

In our day to day living we have positive and negative situations, like the weather, it is meant to balance us out and grow us up.

When a New Year begins, many people will make a New Year’s resolution, according to statistics, very few actually keep those resolutions beyond thirty days.

This is day two of February, most all resolutions are over, now lets go to MEDITATION.

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

The definition of meditation will vary with different people, with different understandings. What I will attempt to do, and it will be an attempt, which I will explain later why, is to give you what meditation means to me.

Webster’s Dictionary has two definitions. (a) a discourse intended to express its authors reflections or to guide others in contemplation. (b) the act or process of meditating.

To me, neither of those definitions are over enlightening. Matter of fact, it tends to create more questions than answers.

If I zero in on “meditating” the definition is “concentration on spiritual things as a form of private devotion.”

This opens up a whole new avenue to travel. I said at the beginning, I would attempt to explain what meditation means to me. This opens up “spiritual things” which, there is no problem with, except it is difficult to explain “spiritual.”

To me “spiritual” is indeed “private devotion” and if it is private, it has nothing to do with anyone other than myself.

This is where the word “attempt” comes in, if it has nothing to do with anyone other than myself, it is absolute. My mind is not able to accept absolute, it can only deal with relevant, it has to connect with someone or something.

My understanding of spiritual is “an energy force,” like the wind it is difficult to explain, but not difficult to experience. BUT, an experience is personal, exactly, herein lies “private devotion.”

If it has nothing to do with anyone other than myself, it is absolute. But I am a person, so how can it be absolute? My very being makes it relevant. That is why it becomes so difficult to understand because the understanding moves away from relevant and into the realm of absolute.

This brings me back to spiritual. Is there more to me than I think or more to me than meets the eye. Yes, we have two spirits, one relies on our senses, the mind, the other is our experiential side, the soul.

We could go into more dialogue on this subject, but rather than do that, I want to direct you to a previous post Natural and Supernatural

My intent in this post is to examine mediation as an exercise.

Mediation is the art or experience of communing with yourself, assuming we are willing to accept the fact that we are two dimensional beings.

 

COMMUNING WITH MYSELF.

Communing is sharing one’s intimate thoughts or feelings with (someone), especially on a spiritual level. (Dictionary)

We have already determined private had to do with ourselves and does not encapsulate another person, so communing is with myself. MY INNERSELF.

If we were sharing our thoughts or feelings with another person, we would communicate. Communing is totally different, if we were communicating with ourselves, we would be speaking out loud, or talking to ourselves. You know what others would think?

But this is not about others, this is about “You.” YOU is our powerhouse, where we can actually find an answer to our deepest questions, our fears, our doubts and can find a comfort in our deepest and darkest hour.

Most every person, in one way or another, has experienced a connection with “their REAL SELF” one time or another, but in most instances do not recognize it. The experience is immediately transferred to someone or something, this takes it out of the realm of absolute and puts it in the realm of relevant.

 

A VIRTUAL JOURNEY.

It is difficult to explain the reality of communing and meditation, it is so personal.

How this blog came about is the result of my own experiences, some of them go back over fifty years and in some ways make what is taking place today relevant, at the time that was not so. I was in the dark, to what was taking place, and no one told me anything different. It has been a long, and on times, lonely road.

I was a teenager when I met this girl I had attended school with. I knew her, but on this day I was smitten by her. I wanted to date her, a year later we began dating, three years later, we were married. Norma and I were married for forty-seven years.

A couple of years after Norma’s passing, I was introduced to a lady. I was suppose to meet up with her for lunch, but got cold feet. I called and apologized, that I could not make the lunch date. Our conversation went well, we talked every evening that week and on Saturday I took her to a dance. I had a long drive home, it was late, she invited me to stay the night, she had a spare bedroom, I stayed. The next morning she was going cross-country skiing and I was going home. She is making my breakfast and I’m making her lunch. This was only the second time we met each other. When I was leaving, I took her in my arms and said “I love You.” Sandra and I celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary this year.

My experience with those two very different ladies with over a fifty year time span was almost identical. It created, for me a question, without an answer. Communing with myself and posing that question, the answer came to me, the connection was with myself and those two ladies were my soulmates.

You have no doubt heard, “be careful who you give your heart to. THAT IS SO TRUE. If you give your heart to someone, you give away an important part of yourself. In this instance it is necessary to give your heart to yourself.

Before you discount what you will read next, think on the statement. “You give your heart to yourself.”

Your first thought maybe, that is selfish and self centered.

TRUE.

But if you have connected with your inner person your growth will be positive.

I found it was necessary to be honest with myself and take full responsibility for my actions past, present and if need be future.

I began to know myself, the side that got me in S–T more times than I can relate to and the other side of me, that allowed me to actually love myself, not arrogantly or egotistically.

 

MY MEDITATION.

When I realized that I was duo-dimensional and had a starting point my meditation was with my inner-self. My communing was with my real self not who people said I was or even who my parents said I was, or who I thought I was.

I began to find myself. I thought I knew myself, boy was I wrong.

I began to actually love myself and it made it so much easier to love others and especially my soulmates.

To love myself, I had to forgive myself and there was a lot to forgive.

My expectations of myself became less and less and hence my expectations of others grew less and less.

With less expectations there was less opportunities to get hurt by myself or others.

Did this happen overnight? No.

At first I struggled with the whole idea. I was entering into a realm I was not familiar with. In essence, looking back, I was moving from the realm of relevant to absolute.

When nothing is going your way, your disheartened, lonely and hurting and with no effort on your part what so ever you find great peace, it’s not natural.

It’s the SUPERNATURAL side of us and we all have that side, that is who you are MEDITATING with.

Freud called it our SUPER EGO. In neurology it’s called NEURMODULATOR.

This has taken me a long time to come to this point where I can even attempt to articulate on my MEDITATING and the results.

The results is what counts.

I will leave you with this thought.

When we make a statement, we think it is real. Because we say something is a certain way, does not mean it is the way we say. It is so easy to deceive ourselves. In reality I am five feet ten inches tall, If I say I’m six feet two inches tall and believe I am, does that make me four inches taller. NO. Reality is my truth.

I was in the habit of looking at myself with dark glasses and others with a magnifying glass. It had to be reversed, I could not do that but meditating with my “YOU” and asking YOU to make the changes, gradually it began to change and is still changing.

Enjoy your meditating.

In my next post I will expand on my meditating and how it has been accomplished.

 

 

 

 

Getting To Know Yourself. (Better!)

Knowing Who You Are.

abstract art awareness branches
Life does not have to be a mystery.    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Much of what I blog about are the results of experiences in my life journey. This post could be an extension or expansion of the introduction to this blog (Introduction) the purpose, which I am hoping you realize is about you and only you, is designed to put you on the path of asking questions of yourself and getting answers from yourself.

While my journey is unique, in that it is my journey, everyone has their own personal journey. It is as unique as mine.  We are all as different and unique as our DNA, there is also a generic aspect to us, regardless of custom, colour or creed.

Getting to know yourself better will certainly allow you to recognize and appreciate your uniqueness, and in turn allow you to recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of others.

Sharing some of the lessons learned about myself, which has become so important to finding out who I am, can be a catalyst for you in asking questions of  yourself. The idea is to get you on the path of becoming your own LIFE COACH.

It is necessary to be mindful of everything that happens in your life, there is a purpose and reason for everything.

 

The Thought Process.

It is easy to convince ourselves that we know who we are. I did for many years, but there seemed to be a missing link or something missing and I wasn’t sure what.

My life was made up of good times, not so good times and bad times. It seemed that whatever the circumstance, reflected how I felt.

Gradually, I began to realize and recognize that circumstances were controlling me and dictating how I felt and in many instances, how I reacted and interacted with people. I wanted to change that, the question was, how?  There were many self-help books available and I may have read most of them. It did not fill the void or answer my most basic questions.

I had a certain mindset and that was not going to change. I began to look at mindsets, what may have got me thinking more than anything, was a sign in front of a dry cleaning establishment. The sign read “Mindsets are like cement, all mixed up, and set.” No doubt it was there to catch people’s attention and perhaps for a laugh. It caught my attention.

My thinking, I live in a knowledge based society, yet I am an experienced based person, this was evident by my reaction to circumstances. It also gave a certain reality to the sign outside the dry cleaner establishment. My mind was dictating to my brain and, more than I realized, I relied almost entirely on what I had learned.

I was failing to capitalize on my experiences. Like the sign, I had a lot of knowledge from so many different sources, which was what I was relying on. It was no wonder my mind was set and was mixed up. I was defending other people’s truth

Then this epiphany, life can’t be learned, you can only live it.

 

Looking For Truth.

My experiences for the most part has shaped me, who I was at that time and who I am now. Those experiences were my truths. Everything I had read and learned was another person’s truth. This explained, for me, the lack of confidence I had in my mindset.

A lot of information came from other people and I had not reasoned it through, to see what, if anything, was applicable to me, and if so, in what way. Because it came from an outside source, I wasn’t sure of the accuracy. Not being sure of the accuracy of what I was learning, caused me to defend this knowledge, if questioned.

It was never necessary for me to defend my experiences, good or bad, they were accurate, it was my experience and it was a part of me. It was my truth.

 

Thought patterns.

Certainly, for the most part of my life I was a traditional thinker, so I went along with the societal mindset.  I was a visual person, this caused me to analyze things to a certain extent.

I was never much of a critical thinker, although it is used very often to arrive at a truth. I am not sure it arrives at a truth, because it is still part of an original mindset.  It may be a truth, but it is another person’s truth and has limited value, if any, for me.

I began, without realizing it, becoming a lateral thinker. This changed a lot of things and opened up a whole new world.

The dictionary definition of lateral thinking is “the solving of problems by an indirect and creative approach, typically through viewing the problem in a new and unusual light.”

Viewing problems in a new and unusual light was definitely the direction I took, although I never considered whether it was lateral thinking or some other way. I really never gave it any thought.

The approach taken towards problem solving and understanding mysteries about myself and the world I live in, took an entirely different direction. This was not planned or thought about, it just took a different direction. (I will cover that direction in detail in a later post.)

Hindsight being twenty-twenty vision, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. The reason I bring in lateral thought at this point, is to articulate in some small way, how I arrived at most of the material on the posts of this blog.

All the posts to this point and future posts will have a gem for you. You have to find them, if I give you the answer, that is not self-help, this is about “YOU.”

 

Directions I Followed To Get To Know Myself Better.

There was a void I wanted to fill, at one point it was very intense. I buried myself in work. I began reading many self-help books. I felt there was more to life than what I was experiencing. though I had no idea what it was.

I was involved in community, church and service clubs, looking back, it was more of an effort to fill that void. I was relatively successful in my own business. I had a loving and supportive wife, seven beautiful children that I was very proud of and lots of friends.

This all centered on someone or something, outside myself.

The question was me, and the question I was asking myself, who am I? Finding the answer has taken many years. I now realize, it need not have taken all those years.

It is an accepted fact that seniors view things somewhat different than when they were young. Experience, from the years lived, begins to change a person’s attitude towards life.

That attitude can be experienced by a young person, if there is a tendency to reason each and every experience. Experience does shape us and help us find out who we are, no exceptions.

Negative experiences have the greatest value, that is when we ask questions. It is not necessary to wallow through life with pain and loss, it doesn’t mean we will have no pain or loss, those experiences can be used as catalysts for growth.

I studied different religions and the Bible, all of it was to no avail. If anything it gave me more questions than answers. In my late thirties, I left my job to further studies, this time in Theology.

I asked questions, and quickly realized that wasn’t allowed. When no answer was given, I was told it was a paradox. This didn’t satisfy, although I was not negative in my question asking, it was deemed unacceptable and I was labeled a heretic.

 

A Different Road.

Communing with my spiritual self, is where the answers needed, came from. That way it was not necessary to rely on others to tell me what to do and when. Remember the lateral thinking, “viewing the problem in a new and unusual light.”  that was my new and unusual light and it certainly was taking a creative approach.

This is why getting to KNOW MY SELF BETTER  made me realize that it was possible to be my own enabler. For that to happen the blame game had to go out the door and it became necessary to take full responsibility for the good and bad, until the comfort and peace that had eluded me for so long, became a reality.

Communing, gave me an ability to examine everything with an open mind, some things I agreed with, somethings I didn’t. But I was not responsible for other people’s choice, my responsibility was for my choices.

Looking In The Mirror.

When we look in the mirror, we see only one person, that is the person who can be our best friend or our worst enemy. It is the person who gets us in trouble (can’t blame others) or can be our best friend ( become our own person).

Capitalize on your experiences, reason things through, don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box. Know and rely on your truths, that’s your reality.

The only LIFE COACH who can coach you, is yourself, it is your life, but you do have to know yourself better, enabling you to be a good coach.

This post may bring questions to your mind, feel free to ask any questions you may have. I will expand on this topic more in future posts.

We each have to walk our own Camino and no one can walk it for us.