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The Three Amigos.

Intro.

Originally, when I started posting on this blog, my walk on the Camino was the starting point and how it was so much like my journey of life.

Since then I have expanded on different happenings in my life without going into how those conclusions were arrived at. My last post entitled “Family Man” was much more transparent of my life experiences.

I did not post it.

I have been blessed in my life to have had two very strong ladies, my late wife Norma and my present wife Sandra. Both, have had no problem telling me what they think, regardless if it is what I want to hear or not.

I normally read what I have written to my wife. When I read what was to be my next posting to Sandra,

She said, “I don’t think you should post that, it is too personal.”

She also said, “If you were writing a book, that would be more appropriate.”

This brought to mind a book I self-published over a decade ago. The book was entitled the “The Happy Heretic.” While writing that book, I would read it to Norma, she gave me her thoughts on what I was writing, regardless if I was in agreement to what she said. I respected that input.

There was only one area that she did not agree with, the title of the book.

She said, “You are not a heretic.”

I would say “But I’m happy.”

She would say, “Anyone you want to read that book, are not going to, heretic is going to have preeminence over happy.”

She was right.

When Sandra said, “if you were to put, what was to be my next post, in a book, it would be more appropriate.”

The last paragraph of “The Happy Heretic” came to mind.

It was.

However, I’m still on that journey, and only God knows where it is going to lead. I understand where I’m told by God.

“If you understand all mysteries and all knowledge and have a faith that can move mountains and have not LOVE you have nothing.

LOVE is not relative, is is absolute.

For me that LOVE has not been manifested yet.

So the journey continues.”

Since that point, I have had to face and deal with death, not my own, but my wife of forty-seven years, it was very personal.

Two years later, I met Sandra, who is now my wife. I get her thoughts on what I write, regardless if I like it or not, she will tell me what she thinks.

I just read this part to Sandra.

She said, who are the three Amigos?

Norma, me and yourself.

I said, “no, this journey is my journey of life.”

You and Norma have been a part of it, but the central character is myself.

The three amigos are central to me, they are, “I,” “Me,” and “You,” neither have anything to do with anyone other than me.

I will title this book that I am about to write “One man’s search for LOVE.”

Now, back to my posting.

The First Amigo. “I”

That is not me, that is who I think I am.

Unless, you move to lateral thinking, explained in previous posts in respect to my journey of life. You will not understand what will be written about the three amigos.

For a good part of my life I always saw myself as, just that, “I” singular.

As I got older, after some of life’s headaches and heartaches and life’s experiences, it seemed to me that life was more complex than I realized. Some days there were more complexities than others.

There were good days as well.

As I grew older, and with life’s ups and downs, my desire to understand or know what was my purpose in life was, became more acute.

Much of that aspect in one way or another has been dealt with in previous posts, my searching and the results.

With my responsibility as caregiver to Norma, gradually “I” had to stand back.

My desire was to allow her the opportunity to be a complete person, even though she was confined to a wheelchair.

You may have heard, “We can be our best friend, or our worst enemy.”

It became more and more apparent to me that “I” was my worst enemy.

I was selfish, self-centered, greedy, selective, judgemental. I did not think I was, because I would go out of my way to try and prove that I wasn’t any of those things.

I began to realize I was blind to myself. When I was speaking, it was mostly to myself, not the person I was speaking with. What I saw in others, I was actually seeing in myself. That became a way for me to see who I actually was.

Thankfully, that was, as I said, not who I was, but who I thought I was.

Then, Who am I?

The Second Amigo.”YOU”

Whenever and whoever I spoke with, my greeting would always be, “How are YOU?

I thought of myself as “I” and any other person would always be addressed as “YOU,” that thought lingered with me, until one day talking with a friend, we began to discuss that topic.

I said to him when I address you, your wife or my wife I always address as “YOU.” Myself, I always consider “I,” this separates me from you. I stand by myself.

If “I” could change to “YOU,” it would mean me embracing all three, the four of us could see ourselves as you.

He said, how about if we saw ourselves as I, that would change things.

I said, No, my ability to embrace you would not change. My responsibility is not to change or try and change anyone. My responsibility is for me, to change to You.

My friend says, “How would that change take place?” “I is still the primary controller, so nothing changes.”

I said, “Suppose my inner self, “YOU” is more powerful or stronger than I, it could be accomplished.”

He says, “How is that going to be accomplished?”

I said, “By Choice.” It requires me to make a choice between “You and I.”

He said, “That don’t make sense.”

I said, “Exactly.”

The Third Amigo. “ME”

I have left “ME” to last, yet in some ways me is in some ways the central character, yet has very little input.

ME is going to be governed by either, “I” or “YOU”, it is a choice we all have the freedom to make. The fact that we have the ability to make a choice, indicates the importance of “ME.”

You see “I” and “YOU” are energy forces or we could call them spiritual beings. Both those energy forces need a physical body to exist.

In this post “I” was number one purposely, because for most and at some point all, “I” is number one. For “I” not to be number one, a conscious choice has to be made to hand over the reins to “YOU.”

The “Second Amigo, You” writing, ended with my friend saying, “That don’t make sense.” and me saying “Exactly.”

“I” is unable to make that change, but “You” can, if the choice is made to give “You” the control.

IT BECOMES, A WALK OF FAITH.

“You” is able to make the changes that need to be made, that I can’t. “YOU” is the more powerful energy force.

Conclusion.

The changes I’m talking about is primarily “LOVE” not love you can garner from someone else, but “LOVE” that you can have for yourself. Love you garner from someone else, leaves you at the mercy of whoever that might be, leaving you not your own person.

“Lateral thinking” allows a person to open up to the spiritual side of themselves, my reason for the admonition at the beginning of “The First Amigo, I.”

“I” is an energy force that relies on our five senses, that makes everything relevant. There has to be someone or something in our life that we can relate our love too. When you think of it, because we are relying on someone or what we learn, it makes us mechanical in nature.

“I” is our mind, it is only capable of sending a message to our brain but unable to receive a message back from the brain. Making it impossible for us to reason things through properly. Our mind is “One Track.” Love in this dimension. because it relates to someone or something is “conditional” that’s not true love.

“You” is our inner self, the friend who will never let us down. It is our powerhouse. When we connect with this “INNER SELF” we experience “true love” It comes as a result of faith (faith is the evidence of things not seen) you know it, but you didn’t learn it.

“You” is our soul, it has the ability to send a message to the brain and the ability to receive a message from the brain, making it possible for us to “reason” things through.

Because the soul connects with the brain and the heart, it becomes possible to have emotion and reason at the same time.

We than don’t take sides for or against. We listen, take what we want, or don’t want, and leave it at that.

It is “unconditional love” if we can love ourselves unconditionally we will have no problem with anyone. We will respect everyone even if we don’t agree with them.

Because that love comes from within us, it is not mechanical, it is organic.

Life is organic. We don’t learn it, we live it.

If we learn it, it’s mechanical and that is not who we really are, it’s only a perception.

The choice for every “ME” is “I” or “YOU.”

If “You” is chosen, over time “I” will be put down.

Then life becomes so much simpler.

You will no longer be looking in all the wrong places for “Love.”

IT’S IN YOU!

Have a great day.

Until next time, stay safe and think about choosing “YOU.”

Any questions or comments appreciated.

This Journey.

Knowledge Based or Experienced Based?

For some time now, what has been foremost in my thoughts could be summoned up in this statement.

“We live in a knowledge based world but we are an experience based people.”

This is the reality of the times we live in, we are bombarded with information through books, social media and the many ways we have access to information.

Is this a good thing?

That thought and question stays with me. I’m not sure it is always a good thing and will attempt to explain why.

The word “spiritual” immediately causes a person to conjure up a thought. To many, it’s avoided, others will try and explain it, many others will simply ignore it, having no interest, as if it will go away.

It can’t be avoided, can’t be explained and won’t go away. It is part of our daily existence, whether we believe or can’t explain or want to avoid it.

In some respects it is somewhat like the air we breathe, it is difficult to explain or avoid, yet if it were taken from us, we would quickly realize, it did have a purpose.

A spirit is an energy force, you can’t see it or hold it, but like the air we breathe we can experience it, hence my reason for saying we are an experience based people.

So what if we can’t see or explain the air we breathe, we can experience it and for most people that is good enough. Why not the same for the spiritual aspect?

Experienced Based Journey.

When it comes to spiritual, we are dualistic. Those two spirits are sort of contrary to each other. One leaves a person relying on outside factors for its existence, the other is within the person.

Within the person is the experienced based journey, that is the journey alluded to throughout this blog. The spirit that relies on outside factors is knowledge based, that is why throughout the blog, all of the posts are designed to encourage you to get to know “The You” within you. That is where you actually get to know yourself.

Knowledge is not a resource for our intellect, our intellect is a resource for knowledge.

For a moment, think of some of the classics or books with deep insight to complicated or complex questions and answers. Those authors received most of that information from their intellect, all original material comes from one’s own intellect.

Yet we have a tendency to rely on other people, rather than our own intellect.

We have to shift our sense of identity to a more permanent and deeper part of our existence, than we are able to realize that our intellect is an amazing tool of communication, initially more with ourselves than others.

The Spirit doesn’t imprison the physical it releases the physical.

Relying on our experience based spirit is drawing from our own intellect, it sets us free because we know the information is factual, we have experienced it.

When we know something we didn’t think we knew, science says it comes from our implicit memory. It comes from the spirit or energy force within us.

This knowledge is absolute, it came from within not without. This substantiates to a degree that “our intellect is a resource for knowledge.”

Knowledge Based Journey.

Relying on the outside spirit for information actually imprisons us, we are held hostage to the knowledge we have.

When it comes from an outside source we have no way of knowing if it’s factual. In actual fact we are at the mercy of that outside source.

The world we live in is demonstrating knowledge, yet at the same time the world we live in, is demonstrating the denial of knowledge all the time.

The world as we know it, is governed by fear, the fear of death, the fear of rejection, the fear of loss, the fear of losing our health, the list is endless if a person is honest with themselves.

When we rely on knowledge as a resource we are cut off from our true selves, in a way we go into isolation.

When we rely on knowledge we have no security, there is no intrinsic relationship. For knowledge to be effective, it has to be reasoned through and see if any is applicable or helpful to us.

We take refuge in the world as an individual, we develop an intellect to navigate the world because it is a difficult and unpredictable place. On this stage we are captivated by the world and by our own internal fantasies and fears, our internal conflicts, our unforgiveness and our attitudes and fixed beliefs.

That is our imprisonment.

To have an intrinsic relationship it is necessary to shift our identity to a more permanent and deeper part of our existence, here we rely on our intellect rather than knowledge.

In the realm of knowledge everything is relevant and when we thing of relevance it has to be relevant to someone or something.

The Revolution.

To return to this intrinsic relationship, a revolution takes place.

A place that few people want to go, even the religious leaders and those who claim to be religious are far too reliant upon their beliefs and ideas, which means they have not traveled far on the greater spiritual journey that each person must take, for this revolution to be reality.

When we think of a revolution we sometimes associate it with violence. There is no violence.

What we will experience is not a body of information that we can learn, it is not a philosophy or a theology.

It is the movement of the spirit within us.

It is intellect coming to us, that is why we know something we did not think we knew.

For me over the past ten years, books, people and different things have challenged me, excited me and encouraged me, but none of it has given me the answers that would give me peace and happiness.

The challenges were making sense of something that did not, excitement was meeting someone who was traveling the same path as me. Encouragement was encountering someone who had traveled the same path.

The revolution is not something we bring about through external knowledge, it comes from the knowledge within.

We do not get it on our own terms, it has to be revealed and for this revelation to take place will require an openness to our inner self and patience.

The patience that is necessary is within us. It is a journey of faith and the reality of faith is the evidence of things not seen. The reality of things not seen is our experiences.

The reliance from outside factors to intrinsic factors is a gradual process, we could not face it all at once.

It is important to realize that the revelation that is reveled to us is unique to us. We are treated as a person and not grouped into a large conglomerate of people.

As we advance on this journey it allows us freedom as a person and with that freedom fear begins to dissipate, we become more expansive and more inclusive of others without neglecting ourselves.

The revolution is actually with ourselves and has nothing to do with others.

So often and especially today internal turmoil is pointed at others and there is a necessity to realize that every time we point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at ourselves.

The home page of this blog invites you on a journey with me. THIS JOURNEY is how it is unfolding for me. There is no sequence to what is written in each post, it is an unfolding of my journey.

There are things mentioned that are future posts, some have been partly completed and are waiting for further revelation.

This post is what we are up against on this journey. Do we rely on the known or the unknown. It’s a matter of choice, your choice.

Out mind cannot let go, it needs something to hold onto. Our soul opens us up to new and exciting things, the unknown.

For me many times and more so now, there is a realization that there is much more to life then I thought. I can’t take credit for much of what has been posted in this blog because I didn’t learn it. Much of it has been through revelation, not in some strange and mysterious way, just day by day.

Each day increases my confidence in myself, not in an arrogant or egotistical way.

The greatest thing learned from this, while there is a uniqueness to me, every other person has a similar uniqueness, the reason for writing and saying I don’t have the answer but you do.

THIS JOURNEY is an amazing journey.

Until next time stay safe and stay positive.

Questions or comments appreciated.

Another Reflection.

Changing Times.

We always live in changing times, yet it seems that things are moving faster now than ever before. That may be because of my age, but I would rather think it is because of how our world is wired, through technology.

In a matter of seconds we can be watching what is happening on the other side of the world. It gives us a global community, putting the world on our doorstep.

This has a positive and negative aspect to it, like most everything.

The wise thing to do is focus on the positive. It doesn’t mean the negative will go away, but we are in some ways, more tuned to a more productive frame of mind and fear is not so prevalent. In this frame of mind things are not as bad as we think.

If we are tuned more to the negative aspects of things, fear is always prevalent. Fear has the capacity to incapacitate us, then things become actually worse then we thought.

Change can be reactive or responsive.

If we react, in most cases we will be against change that is taking place.

If we respond, it means we will take the time to reason out what is said or happening, weigh the facts and decide what can beneficially affect us.

Change is not all bad, neither is it all good. To adapt in a positive manner, it is necessary to consider the whole.

To be one hundred per cent against what someone said, means your mind is set. If that is the situation it is impossible to accept change and by the same token impossible to effect change.

To accept one hundred per cent what someone said, also means your mind is set. By the same token it is impossible to accept change or to effect change.

For me to be all things to all people and controlled by no one, has been and is my goal.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion as well as I am to mine. If all people respected the other persons opinion, it would be a different world.

That has been the thrust of this blog from day one and in some ways reflects the evolving of my journey over the past couple of years. My journey will not suffice for you.

The idea is a challenge for you to set out on your journey of discovery.

How You Can Respond To Our Changing Times.

Change is not an easy thing for anyone, regardless of what they say. It is so easy to continue along a familiar path.

Change is similar to breaking new ground, uncertainty and hard work.

The heading “how you can respond” is meaningful when you stop to think about the difference between respond and react, which was dealt with earlier in this post.

Responding means you will not necessarily reject or accept all of the change. It means you will reason it through and arrive at a balanced position that suits you and eliminates or reduces a significant amount of fear.

What will help in a response is knowing, to a degree, what you are up against.

One of my first jobs was working at a radio station. In preparing a major newscast, the news was always headed up with the most negative news in the broadcast area, and graduated down from that point. Any good news was filler for the end of the news cast, if there was enough negative news, filler was not used. This was done to get and keep listeners. It kept the ratings up and gave the station the ability to increase advertising rates.

Have you noticed, if you are going east on the highway and there is an accident in the west lane, the east lane slows down. There is no accident in the east lane, but the interest in the west lane, grabs the attention of the east bound lane.

With those two examples, you can easily see what you are up against. We have a tendency to gravitate to the negative without even thinking about it.

To think positive we have to be conscious of our thinking, when our guard is down, the negative is back in control again.

If we gravitate to the negative, it becomes necessary to stop and think about what is been said and evaluate it.

If we react to what is said, we are controlled by it.

We noted that change is hard work, to respond to change you have to think and that is hard work.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is why so few engage in it.” Henry Ford.

Here is a note of caution, the mind will not, because it cannot, reason anything. It either accepts or rejects what is said or read.

Every post in this blog points to one thing, the ability to actually know yourself. Responding to any situation is much easier because you will think it through.

Changing times will be more of an adventure centered around anticipation and new and exciting challenges.

That is much more exciting than fear and doubt.

Closing thought, the mind or the neurotransmitter flourishes on the negative, the soul or the neuromodulator opens you up to the positive and opportunities.

Stay safe and gravitate to the positive of our changing times.

Any comments or questions appreciated.

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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