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DIFFICULT TIMES.

MY THOUGHTS.

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

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

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

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

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

I have been no exception to that mindset.

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

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

THE PERFECT STORM.

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

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

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

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

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

MY STORY.

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

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

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

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

Now things were changed drastically.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE NEXT EIGHT YEARS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PAST TEN YEARS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He said are you lonesome, grieving or sad?

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

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

SINCE THEN.

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

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

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

I am so fortunate in having had two soulmates.

NOW.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MY CLOSING STATEMENT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MEDITATION IS A JOURNEY.

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We can’t see around the bend but the destination will come in focus. Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

WHAT TO EXPECT.

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

Mediation is getting to know yourself.

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

First and foremost “Have no expectations.”

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

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

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

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

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

We have to be brutally honest with ourselves.

HONESTY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meditation is getting to know that “TRUE SELF.”

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HIGH?

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

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

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

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

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

THE STARTING POINT.

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

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

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

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

IT WILL BE A WALK OF FAITH.

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

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

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

You will rise above the difficult circumstance.

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

ON THE JOURNEY.

Every day spend time alone with yourself.

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

TO HEAR, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When a person truly connects with themselves it is overpowering. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

That is the crux of this journey.

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

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

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

Have a great day, stay safe and stay positive.

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

 

 

 

 

MEDITATION

 

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MEDITATING with Nature is POWERFUL. Photo by Noelle Otto on Pexels.com

NEW.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

COMMUNING WITH MYSELF.

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

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

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

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

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

 

A VIRTUAL JOURNEY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRUE.

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

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

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

 

MY MEDITATION.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did this happen overnight? No.

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

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

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

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

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

The results is what counts.

I will leave you with this thought.

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

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

Enjoy your meditating.

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

 

 

 

 

Getting To Know Yourself. (Better!)

Knowing Who You Are.

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Life does not have to be a mystery.    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Thought Process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Looking For Truth.

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

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

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

 

Thought patterns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Directions I Followed To Get To Know Myself Better.

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

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

This all centered on someone or something, outside myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A Different Road.

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

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

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

Looking In The Mirror.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

The Women In My Life.

anniversary beautiful birthday bloom
LOVE IS LIKE A ROSE  Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Difficult Topic.

It took me a long time to realize how important two particular women in my life were. Both Norma and Sandra have had a tremendous impact on my getting to know who I really am.

My mother, of course, had a big impact, my four daughters also had an enlightening impact, but it was Norma, my wife of forty-seven years and Sandra my present wife of five years, that forced me to really look at myself and ask, “Who am I?

In my post Another Look At Love the three aspects of love in the
Greek Language was mentioned. The statement was made “we still have to go beyond that, I will explain later,” also the statement “our experiences are our truths.”

That explanation in respect to my experiences will give you an idea of how a number of incidents in my life, brought me to a point of better understanding of who I am, and the benefits that go with it.

Please don’t look at my experiences for you, your experiences are going to be different, but like me, those experiences have a purpose.  We have to listen to our inner voice, our own intellect, to discover the meaningful aspect of who we are. No one can tell us who we are, but we can find out for ourselves. Again, that is why this blog is called I don’t have the answer, but you do.

The Beginning Of A Journey.

In earlier posts I’ve mentioned the first time I saw Norma, I was fifteen, that was when my journey of love could have begun, but didn’t. (A year later I got up enough nerve to ask her on a date and three years later we were married.) There was no understanding of what took place, it was over fifty years later before there was a realization of what took place that day.

Both Norma and I had a fair amount of exposure to church, Norma was Catholic and I was Protestant, belonging to the United Church of Canada. Not a good combination at that time in our locality. My experience with church was one of,”made to be part of, by my parents.” Later, when I could make my own choice, I turned my back on the institution. Norma, was more faithful to church, was lukewarm towards the priest but liked the Mother Superior, even though she was very strict.

We did get back to church and approximately fifteen years later we were attending a Baptist Church. We had teen age children at that point. Because of some difficulties I discussed the matter with the minister. When I told Norma she was livid. She said “your the father, the minister does not know how to handle this, but you do.”

It was a couple of years later that I came to Ontario to study Theology and become a minister. This was a drastic turn of events for me, but the calling was so strong, in some ways I had no choice. But, did I ever get it wrong, I thought this was the beginning of my journey, but it turned out to be another side road, like many others I had taken, it led to a dead end.

After thirty seven years of marriage, Norma took ill and was confined to a wheelchair, her desire was for me to care for her. I was now out of the ministry and back into business. Norma’s request was stronger than the call of business, although for the first two years, I wasn’t sure. It was trying times.

I still needed to go to church and at that time was attending a Presbyterian Church. The church was not accessible for a wheelchair, so Norma was at home and if there was a problem she would phone me. Two Sundays in a row she had to phone, not because she wanted to , but had too. This made me reconsider leaving her each week, from that point on, I stopped attending church.

Norma and I had another ten years before she passed away. After, I got into the caregiver routine, I have to say that ten years were some of the best years of our life together, even though there were many hills to climb.

The last couple of months, there was a distinct change in Norma and it was the last couple of weeks that I recognized, or began to recognize. It came to a full realization after she passed away, when I realized how things were changing for me as well.

Another Chapter.

We were operating a B & B for the last few years that Norma was alive. I continued on with this. I enjoyed cooking and the people that came to the B&B. In a way this was the first time I was by myself and I was thoroughly enjoying it, I was meeting many people thorough the B&B.

A couple of years later one of the couples that were regulars at the B&B invited me to a Sports Bar where he was playing. He was a musician, the plan was to introduce me to a friend of thiers. That is when I met Sandra. I danced with her that evening and on the way home I thought about how I enjoyed dancing with her.

Friends visiting the B&B that weekend encouraged me to call her, after I mentioned to them about the previous evening. I was to meet Sandra on Tuesday for lunch but got cold feet. I called to let her know, she was not overly busy at work, so we chatted for a while and I called her at home that night. We spoke every evening that week and Saturday Night we went to a dance.

We were late coming from the dance and I had a two hour drive home. Sandra had a spare room and invited me to stay for the night. The next morning she was going cross country skiing and I was going home. Sandra was making my breakfast and I was making her lunch. This was our first time together, when I was leaving, I took her in my arms and said “I Love You.” That was as much a surprise to me as it was to Sandra.

I said, “I won’t call you this week, to give you time to process what I just said. If you wish you may call me.” She called every evening.

A year and a half later we were married.

Soulmates.

My experience on meeting those two ladies was very much the same, yet it was two different people and approximately fifty years apart.

In both instances, I was completely overwhelmed and was so happy. It was later when reading “The Brain that changes itself by Norman Doidge” that I recognized it was the Neuromodulator controlling the brain that gave a person that type of a feeling. Actually, he said the brain wave pattern was the same as a person high on cocaine, I wasn’t, but I knew the feeling.

He described it as “Romantic Love.” Norma had been my soulmate, she was gone, now Sandra was my soulmate. I am a very lucky guy.

I had to get this romantic love aspect understood. There were three factors that were completely different, two different women and fifty years apart, I didn’t understand the romantic love aspect. This is when lateral thinking allowed me to think outside the box and go to my inner self for an answer. It took a while, then I realized the love was with myself.

In “Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert” soulmate popped up, this time I was challenged. Three quotes from this book, “people think, a soul mate is your perfect fit.” “A true soulmate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.” “But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soulmates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.”

The first part of the second statement ” A true soulmate is probably the most important person you will ever meet.” was no problem, the part where “they tear down your walls and smack you awake” was a problem. To be completely honest I guess at one point I may have accepted that second part, now it was different.

I again went to my innerself for an answer or some sort of understanding. My innerself is my soul. There was my answer.

The Journey Begins In Earnest.

Life is a journey, when I was fifteen I could have begun my personal journey in earnest. It was two weeks before Norma passed away, that my journey begun in earnest.

There was a lot I didn’t understand then, now it is much clearer, enough that I can articulate somewhat with confidence and encourage others to get on their personal journey, if they are not already on it.

It is so easy to convince ourselves we are on our personal journey when we rely on others, what we see, hear and learn, anything associated with our five senses, that is not who we are. It is other people saying who we are. To know who we are comes from our soul.

The world is awash with knowledge of how we should live, what we should do and on and on, but you don’t learn life you live it. A good part of my years, I worshipped death and took life for granted.

When I met Sandra, I had been on my personal journey for a couple of years. I told her I was on a journey and asked her if she would like to come with me, she agreed. I’m sure she didn’t understand, because at that time there was much I didn’t understand. I tried to explain to her, but got no where with it. It is difficult to explain something succinctly to someone when your own understanding is not clear.  It was my personal journey. Finally out of exasperation, Sandra said “don’t tell me, show me.”

I realized then, it is not your better half that has to deal with a tear down, I had to face myself and allow my inner self to do the tearing down. I could not accomplish the tear down myself, when that was  fully realized, my expectations of other people was nil. If I could not accomplish it myself, how could I expect it of another person.

My journey has been, and is, “A Journey to Love,” to love myself. After all, we are ninety-nine point nine per cent the same. If I could truly love myself, it would not be too difficult to love others. My journey has and is a “Pilgrim Walk” I am A Pilgrim journeying through this world, I hope my blog speaks to you as a Pilgrim. One Pilgrim to another.

Norma’s anger with me about being the father of my children, her condition that caused me to forfeit going to church and Sandra’s “Don’t tell me, show me,” forced me to look at myself and what I was doing. Those two statements and one incident helped in many ways to get me on the correct road to my destination.

“Don’t tell me, show me,” is about walking the walk and not talking the talk. It is so easy to find the right words and know the talk, but I have found and you will as well, if you have not already found, “that walking does the talking for you.”

Remember, one picture is worth a thousand words.

This journey has given me a different vision of myself, those around me and my responsibilities as a father and husband. Some things were so different then what I had perceived, but then it is a Pilgrim walk.

Next post will be a continuation of that “Journey to Love.”

Your comments or questions are always appreciated, have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

EQ or IQ?–Why Not Both? (part 2)

person on a bridge near a lake
CONTEMPLATING THE BEAUTY THAT SURROUNDS US.  Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

Introduction.

The last article posted was a segue into this article, why not EQ and IQ together. We believe that is the reality of our thought patterns, but in most instances it is not. We  have a strong tendency to operate on separate wave lengths.

This article will explain why we do not operate with EQ and IQ together and how we can change the frequency to balance between the two.

Lateral Thinking.

“The solving of problems by an indirect and creative approach, typically through viewing the problem in a new and unusual light.” (Oxford Dictionary)

Lateral thinking is essential for creativity. It can be accessed by chance, or a willingness to open oneself to lateral thinking can be the path to a productive, creative and balanced life. You may have difficulty with this article unless there is a willingness for lateral thinking.

It means opening oneself to a new and unusual light, the spiritual side of oneself.

For many when spiritual is mentioned the mind is closed or it has a particular meaning that keeps a person stuck in a particular mindset. Spirituality is a broad concept with many perceptions.

In this  article we shall not go into any or all of the understandings or misunderstandings pertaining to spirituality, we shall consider it an “ENERGY FORCE.” That simplifies the whole process and allows us to get to the task at hand.

Our body is a vessel sustained and moved by an energy force. That energy force in many ways will determine how we are going to live and move on any given day.

The Mind.

Contrary to what we may think the mind is not part of or attached in any significant way to the brain.

How many times, in a day do you find your mind racing to someplace other than where you are at the moment? Yet, you will agree, your brain is where your body is. If the mind is running around somewhere other than where we are, we would conclude it is an energy force.

It is the transmitter to the brain. To transmit, it has to have material to transmit. That is where the five senses come in. The mind gleans information from the five senses and transmits it to the brain.

Sounds good, but there is a catch, we don’t know if the information is accurate or if it is complete. We may have to reason further to get the whole picture. There is another catch, the brain does the reasoning but the mind can’t receive any signal from the brain.

Have your heard the phrase ” a one track mind” or a “mindset” well that is not just a saying it is a fact. The mind can send information to the brain but can’t receive anything back.

For example–a courtroom scene, the prosecution states the argument against you, but there is no defense. Is the judge going to make a good decision? I think not, he has only heard one side of the argument, the negative side. Let’s reverse that , the defense states your case, but there is no prosecution. Can the judge make a good decision? Again, I think not, he has only heard one side of the case, the positive side.

That brings a reality to an everyday occurrence, if someone praises us (defense) we feel great. If someone says something negative about us (prosecution) there can be a tendency to feel down or try and rationalize it.

The mind relies on outside information good or bad and we have no way of defending ourselves, because the mind is unable to receive a signal back from the brain. We are at the mercy of other people, it may be what someone said, what we read or what we heard. Our only defense is to fight back and defend what we believe.

With the mind in control, everything we know or do is relevant to someone or something, other than ourselves, leaving a person in a somewhat precarious situation.

How is it possible to go through a day without a certain amount of fear, doubt or anxiety when we are not in control of all the facts? How can we be creative when we only have one side of the equation? How can we make a decision, with confidence, if we only have one side of the problem?

The Soul.

The soul is an energy force, it is our higher power and many will accept the fact there is a higher power, it dwell in us.

This energy is able to send and receive signals from the brain, it allows a person to benefit from reasoning. You are able to analyze or look at both sides of an argument, enabling you to make a better decision on a given subject.

It is necessary at this point to look at spirituality to bring this article into perspective, we are still dealing with an energy force.

“The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” (Oxford Dictionary)

That definition recognizes the soul as spiritual as opposed to the material or physical which for the most part is the mind. The mind also is spiritual but relies on the physical for information to send to the brain. The mind is so dependant on the brain it wants us to believe they are one.

The mind does not recognize the soul or will question it. That is normal because the mind cannot move into the absolute realm, it has to connect with something or someone. It does not respect the spiritual.

Whereas, the soul can deal with the absolute as well as the relevant. It respects the physical. How often do you find yourself in a situation where you recognize you have a bias towards someone, this is the mind controlling. The soul has no bias.

When the absolute is in play we have the ability to be creative. We are thinking outside of the box, the box been the known.

Have you not at some time, perhaps realized, that you knew something you didn’t think you knew? It maybe a lightbulb went on for you. That is your creative side, your intellect. The mind relies on other people’s  intellect and causes us to ignore our own.

Intellect.

We will look at the definition of “intellect from two different dictionaries. It is amazing the difference between the two dictionaries, of the same word.

“The power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and to will: the capacity for knowledge.” (Webster’s Dictionary)

That is a definition that deals strictly with the mind. I would call that knowledge rather than intellect. This could be IQ or EQ but not both.

“The faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, especially to abstract or academic matters: he was a man of action rather than intellect.” (Oxford Dictionary)

This is a definition that deals with the soul and the mind, the brain is able to reason objectively, discard what is not necessary and bring a solution to the problem. This is kinesthetic learning at its finest. That is the IQ and EQ working together. The soul is our modulator.

Combining the soul and the brain, we are able to access our own intellect and not have to depend on someone other than ourselves. After all, everything we hear or read came originally from some person’s intellect.

This does not mean we will not listen to anyone, other than ourselves, quite the contrary, we will listen more attentively to others. What we hear from others through llistening or reading will challenge or encourage us on our journey of life.

Always remember it is your journey and no one can walk it for you.

Self-Actualization.

Most people’s views change with age, the mind and ego are intertwined, but as we grow older the ego doesn’t have the same power it had when we were younger.

You may have heard someone say “I am my greatest enemy,” so true, the mind is our enemy, it constantly  gets us in trouble. Our soul is our greatest friend.

It is possible to transition from the mind to the soul, there is a starting point and then a growth period, it is not possible to learn the way of the soul.

“Give your soul control and follow along.” That is what I have done for the last ten years.

It has nothing to do with age, it is just that the ego has less control in later years. Transitioning to listening to the soul can be done at any age, it is the path way to self-actualization.

Self-actualization leads to comfort with yourself and the people around you, productivity, creativity, work-life balance and the opportunity to excel in what you do.

DOES THIS INTEREST YOU?

Questions or comments are appreciated.

 

Authors note: This article was published on Linked-In. I decided to put it here to help explain in more detail why I constantly say “I don’t have the answer”  but you do. Follow your soul, you will be taken into new and exciting lands.

 

 

 

EQ or IQ? Why Not Both?

backlit beach clouds dawn
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE  Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Intro.

Finishing my last post, the intention was to write, “the women in my life,” that has been more difficult then I anticipated, however, it will be written.

My next two posts will, in some ways, explain my thought pattern in previous posts. I did post them on “Linked In” and am reposting on this site. The posting is in two parts, today is part one.

This will explain the importance of EQ and IQ together.

Why This Topic?

A few days ago I was having coffee with my son, who is a realtor. He mentioned how important EQ is in selling real estate. We had a discussion on the topic and our views were somewhat similar. I did agree with his thinking, but felt inclined to give it more thought, especially in light of some things I have been reading in the business section of the news of late.

This brings me to some news articles I have read lately.

A major technology company has developed an algorithm they use and are selling to other companies. This algorithm can show, with ninety-five per cent accuracy, what employees will be working with the company twelve months hence. For employee retention it allows the company to be proactive. This algorithm was developed from their experience with previous employees. My thinking, what about creativity? If the future can be ninety-five per cent accurate based on the past.

A major technology company that has spread its wings significantly, over the years, has purchased over seventy companies. My thinking, they are purchasing creativity. Why?

An innovative technology company has developed an AI  program for writing advertising copy. A major American bank has just signed a five year contract to use this program, to write most of their copy write, because in  market surveys, they found copy written by AI was much more effective than the human production. AI created by the human brain can be more productive than the human brain. Why?

EQ.

This brings me back to the discussion with my son. I decided to do some quick research on EQ, and as you know, with Google, research is not necessarily time consuming.

“Emotional Quotient is the capability of individuals to recognize their emotions, and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behaviour and manage or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve ones goals.” (Wikipedia)

It appears that emotional quotient or emotional intelligence first came to the forefront in 1964 through a paper written by Michael Beldoch, though I am sure there was emotional intelligence long before.

Daniel Goleman brought EI more to the forefront in 1995, by a book he wrote, by that title. EI and Goleman’s analysis have been criticized in the scientific community. I have not read the book, but the criticism from the scientific community does not surprise me.

Emotions are personal and so often deals with ones experiences. This would be considered “Anecdotal Evidence” and science, for the most  part, does not accept that type of evidence.

What caught my attention was a book written in 1983 by Howard Gardner entitled “Frame of Minds: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.” Again, I have not read the book, but what caught my attention was “Intrapersonal Intelligences” the capacity to understand one’s feelings, fears and motivations. That has been the thrust of my writings in my blog ” I don’t have the answer,” tagline, “but you do,” it is about knowing and appreciating yourself.

Every person is unique and special, you have to find it, to really enjoy oneself and life in general.  

I also found that Howard Gardner among other things defined “Kinesthetic Intelligence” which you could call hands on experience.

I never was good at storing facts, but if I had a passion for what I was learning and understood and could apply it, I could hold my own with anyone. One of my sons had a similar situation. In elementary school he was considered a slow learner, teachers wanted to put him in a slow learner class. We would not agree to that, perhaps because of my own experience with school, especially math. My wife and I did not understand Kinesthetic Intelligence at that pint but we knew our son could learn. We worked with him at home to get through his grades.

Later in life, when he worked at something he enjoyed and understood, he found he could excel, but the teachers did have a negative impact early in his life. He found out for himself that he could excel, if what he was doing made sense.

IQ.

IQ is more accepted in society, how intelligent a person is, this will determine how far they will go in life, believe it or not. Society is a worshipper of knowledge.

When I was in school, that was a long time ago, I had a problem with math, I enjoyed math, but come exam time, it was difficult, to the point, in sixth grade I failed. I was supposed to repeat the grade because math was compulsory, my mother intervened and the teacher allowed me to go to the seventy grade, if I took an IQ test, to supposedly determine if I was capable of passing. I did very well on the IQ test.

Wit the acceptable IQ, I still failed seventy grade math. This time I had to repeat.

My mother intervened again, this time I had to change schools and had a different teacher who promoted me to the eighth grade. He took the time to determine if I had a good foundation, I didn’t, he got to the basics and made certain I had a good foundation.

That year in the eighth grade I passed, with a score of 100%. It may be a long time ago, but now you know why I never forgot that mark, it may have been the only time I got 100% on an exam.

An article by Phil Cooke entitled “Why are the ignorant so confident?” went on to say, we’ve all met them–people who are abysmally wrong and yet incredibly confident. He mentions an article in the Pacific Standard magazine written by David Dunning on research into why we are confident idiots.

Also, seven lessons about human ignorance from David Dunning’s Reddit AMA. David Dunning of Dunning-Kruger effect fame, discussing his article on competence, moral character and self-deception. In his own words, “I ask how close people’s perception of themselves adhere to the reality of who they are. The general answer is: not very close.”

A “perception” is exactly that, a perception relies on our sensory powers, which are all relevant to someone or something other than ourselves. In effect we are allowing outside forces to determine for us, who we are, what we do and what we think. It is little wonder the answer to how well we know ourselves in “not very close.”

Summation.

My purpose is not to put either EI or IQ on a pedestal or on trial, but to point out some thoughts from different psychologists and the news media, about those two important subjects.

EQ and IQ need to be balanced. EQ only, can be devastating and painful. IQ only, makes us robotic, and makes us replaceable. Think about the copy-write example, where the robot is more productive than the human brain.

The second part of this posting, “Why not both?” is what I found to be a balance between the two, a happy balanced person.

Another Look At Love

orange tabby cat beside fawn short coated puppy
Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Intro.

In June, two thousand and eighteen, I posted on this blog a post entitled “Love.” Also, in that post I said, “there are three words in Greek that better explain the depth of love, however, we still have to go beyond that, which I will explain later.”

My last two posts on “Coming of Age,” was in a way laying the ground work for this post, although that was not the original intent. This photo is a picture of unconditional love, albeit between two animals, this post is meant for unconditional love between two people.

Many of my previous posts have been vague or as some will say “deep.” That was never the intention, each post is meant to get a person thinking, “about themselves.” There is within me an acre of diamonds, if the time is taken to mine them. The same applies to you. 

Each post writtten in the past has a diamond, the diamond will vary in size and clarity according to you, just has mine has for me. A promise was made in my first post on “Coming of Age?” how what is written came about, that puts pressure on me to be transparent on my experiences. It is our experiences that is our truth, because naturally, we have experienced it.

For me, there is very little looking to the past for nostalgia but rather to learn from. There has been good and not so good and bad experiences from the past. All were related to the choices I made, if I didn’t like the experience, it was because I made a wrong choice. All was not lost if the experience helped me to grow up.

The Three Aspects Of Love.

While the English language has one word for love, Greek has three, each describes succinctly the love we can experience in day to day living.

In the post on Coming Of Age? (contd) the fact of growing up began in my sixties but could have begun, when I was fifteen. That was my first experience with Agape Love, but I did not realize it. It was many years later before I began to understand it from the aspect, where it began to bring about a ripple effect in my life. At that point my understanding was coming from the fact of my experience, which is powerful.

Mine and Norma’s relationship was built on a relationship with each other. Eros, quickly became the foundation of our relationship, especially for me.

Eros is the lowest or weakest form of love, it centers very much on sex.

With the arrival of children, Norma’s love elevated to Phileo which is a higher love that centers more on family. This left me on the outside.

Later in life I would sometimes say to Norma, it feels to me as if you are in a room with the children and I’m on the outside looking in. She did not get that or even accept it, in many ways I did not get it either. I was expressing a feeling I had, without understanding it.

In the early years of our marriage I had the distinct feeling that Norma was stronger than me and I was suppose to be the strong one. This caused me to bury myself in my work and set about to prove myself, by being a good provider for the family and getting involved in all kinds of community activities.

That was not a bad thing, but there was still a void. Some people are seekers and some are not, as for me I was a seeker. I was trying to reconcile, I did not know what, with myself, those activities kept me from dwelling on this seeker mentatlity.

I helped in the home when I could, was fair at cleaning and cooking, but never really rose to the occasion as Norma did.

It was years later, studying Greek and looking at the three aspects of love that I began to realize that my natural gravitation in love was Eros and for my wife it was Phileo.

I can now accept and appreciate that my wife was stronger than me when it came to love. This made her a stronger person. This also took a load off me, because now I did not have to prove myself, just accept the fact I’m weaker. That opened up a new set of questions that I wanted answers too. Love is the strength of any person and it centers in the heart.

I knew that I did not have too, nor could I, prove to her that I was stronger. The moment I tried to prove to her that I was stronger, my weakness was exposed. We are energy fields and what we do speaks volumes, what we say is like sounding brass and tinkling symbols, just a lot of noise.

So I head down another path, the religious path, that proved to be a dead end as well. It was a necessary path for me, all the paths I travelled were necessary. It was the result of those dead ends that got me on my Camino in my sixties.

For me that journey of growing up began when I experienced “Agape” love and rather than discount or rationalize, it was embraced by me.

It took time communing with myself and asking questions, but gradually the realization mostly through experience of day to day living and the understanding of the “power of agape love” and the impact it had on me and my relationships became more of a reality. It changed how I saw myself and how I saw others as well.

The understanding of “Soulmate” took on a whole new meaning.

Eros centers on the sexual side of love, it did not mean with Agape love there was no sex, there was better sex, this time considering the woman as much as myself. In a recent survey of women it was found that eighty-five percent of women never experienced an orgasm when having intercourse. When Agape love is the predominant love, sex becomes a journey rather than a destination, if the destination is not reached there is always another day. It also became important that the woman reach the destination as well.

Phileo love is the family love, this allowed me to see the strength of family and why Norma was stronger than me. Phileo love is more unconditional whereas eros is more conditional. My helping in the housework and doing things around the house did not give it the Phileo energy, that was still conditional. We both had a responsibility on the phileo side, again because it is an energy it had very little to do with what we did but the greatest impact was with who we are.

The basis of Agape love was myself, my inner self, my higher power. It meant embracing myself and setting out to grow up in that love, that is what happened in my sixties, and is not complete as of yet. However, the questions I had are no longer there, it is time that will finish the journey. It has enabled me to truly love myself without being arrogant or self serving.

Agape love is unconditional love.

artistic blossom bright clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It centers around the heart, that is why we never give our heart to anyone.

My next post is “The women in my life.” will expand on the heart relationship more than in previous posts.

If you have questions or comments,  I am happy to respond.

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Of Age? (contd)

Why “Coming of Age?

You will notice “coming of Age?” ends with a question mark, for a very good reason. When does a person come of age? Simply put, it is when the transition is made from childhood to adulthood.

This can garner more questions than answers, is it different for a male than a female, is it different in different cultures, what age or is it some event? We could go on and on with even more questions, but this would only create more questions.

My desire is not to create or bring into play more questions but rather answers.

This brings me to me, what I have found from my own experiences and exposures over or during my years. My number of years you can determine for yourself as some of the events unwind and the time involved.

Contrary to what we might think, it is not the flick of a switch or a person saying “I’m an adult now.” There is much more to it than that. Some will say I never want to grow up and others will never grow up. Growing up is a process and every person sometime or other will take their knocks.

I thought when I was eighteen I am now an adult. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that, while I thought I was adult I wasn’t. In years, according to our society I was an adult. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was in my sixties before I began to grow up.

You may ask, “were you backward, or what?” By societies prerequisites I wasn’t. I have worked, married had a family did all the things normal people do. Then you may ask, what is the problem? No Problem.

Most of my life I have been, what you would say a traditional thinker, so I follow the crowd and do what any normal person will do to be accepted by society, to be a good person.

But, there was a problem, deep within my psychic, something seemed to be missing. For a while I covered it over or perhaps avoided it by working. However, I was constantly reading self-help books, I think I may have read most of them, I can’t say it did much for me. I would think, this is the answer but after a short period of time that inner gnawing would began again.

In previous posts I’ve mentioned about being a lateral thinker and explained what it entails. Now, I am very much a lateral thinker. I don’t think I ever became a critical thinker and it is easy for that to happen, if you have a feeling something is wrong. You began to critic everything to find out what is wrong. I never was interested in finding out what was wrong, I was more interested in finding answers, than knowing what the problem was.

The Beginning.

I have recounted this in previous writings, but for this post I will recount again.

I was fifteen years of age on a foggy Friday afternoon in August, I was walking home and met this girl that I had attended school with the previous year in a four room school. So, she was known to me, plus the fact it was a small town and everyone knew everyone.

This was a different situation, I became acutely aware of her and my face felt as if I was blushing. It was a year later before I got a date with her and three years later we married. I experienced a euphoria within myself.

I gave my heart to Norma and she give her heart to me. We were married for forty-seven years before her passing. We had our ups and downs during our marriage, this most will say is normal.

Her final ten years was confined to a wheelchair and I was her care giver. It was during that time, hind sight being twenty- twenty vision, that I realized and to a certain point Norma realized as well, this was the best time of our marriage. It was difficult and trying on times for both of us, but it brought us closer than we had been anytime in our marriage.

After her passing, I began doing a five k walk early each morning. For me it was a time of meditation, I would journalize after I returned each morning. I called it “My Five K Walk.”

I was not sad or lonely, even though I was alone, matter of fact it was the first time alone in my life, neither was I grieving. I began to feel a strong emotion that I was not familiar with and many times would bring me to tears, it was so overwhelming. It was several years later I began to realize that this strong emotion was a connection with myself, it was a euphoria that brought me to tears.

On my five k walk I was communing or meditating with myself. I had many questions about things. I am now into my Camino journey, in earnest, for approximately one and one half years. I was questioning, in my communing, about life in general and my purpose. I had found my morning walks very exhilirating, this particular morning in July, I realized that my life had been a Merry-Go-Round. I asked, “how do I get off?” the answer came the next morning “say, I want to get off?” and the Merry-Go-Round will stop. I did.

A few mornings later, communing with myself, not quite understanding exactly what was taking place. I questioned the fact the Merry-Go-Round was still spinning. The answer came back to me “that I was actually off the Merry-Go-Round, but my head was still spinning, because I have been on it so long, it feels as if you are still on it. In actual fact your feet is on the ground, but give it time.”

There was such an overwhelming feeling of knowing about myself and what was happening, knowledge wise, that I said to my innerself, I don’t want to know anything else I want to live what you are showing me.

I went home, wrote in my journal what had happened and signed off, saying I have nothing more to say. I love you and good-bye.

All this may seem weird to you, I admit I did not understand, in the slightest, what was taking place. Now, nine years later, it is much clearer to me what was transpiring and how during that nine years I have actually began to grow up and in so doing, many things have been reconciled with myself.

My Camino Continues.

Seven months after signing off in my journal, I met Sandra, the euphoria I experienced with Norma I experienced with Sandra. This is over fifty years later and two different ladies, but the same experience.

Communing with myself, you know the question I was asking. Why a similar experience for me, with two different ladies and so much time difference between the two. It was a while later it came to me, the connection was with myself.

A year or so later Sandra gave me a book to read by Norman Doidge entitled “The brain that changes itself.” I became enthralled in the chapter on “love” not the sexual part but the part of the neurotransmitter and the neuromodulator. He explained the characteristics of the neuromodulator and what took place.

What I understood was when the person experienced “romantic love” there was a euphoria and now because of the advancements in technology the brain waves can be measured. High on cocaine and romantic love, the brain waves were similar. Because of my experience I realized the connection with myself was actually the neuromodulator activated.

The Wrap.

I mentioned earlier that I was told my head had to stop spinning when I got off the Merry-Go-Round. I later realized that was my growing up, the very intense emotion that I experienced during my five k walk was love, love for myself. Not a self centered, selfish love, but a love that allowed me to forgive myself, not have any expectations from myself and very little disappointments in myself. This in turn began to manifest itself in my experiences with others, easy to forgive others and very little, if any, expectations from others. The most difficult has been having no expectations from my off spring, but that also is changing.

This has been a process and has indeed been a growing experience. I have come to realize that Norma was my soulmate and Sandra is now my soulmate. My experience with Norma when I was fifteen was not understood. It was two weeks before her passing that we both understood, however at that point there was much growing to be done by me, before it was revealed what actually was happening.

Another realization, or revelation, was keeping my heart to myself. When I was fifteen or sometime later I gave my heart to Norma and she did the same for me. We let go of each other two weeks before her passing, that was when my journey began.

It was almost three years after Norma’s passing that I proposed to Sandra, I told her, “I was on a journey and I would like for her to come with me.” I also told her, “I couldn’t give her my heart and I did not want hers.” I’m sure at that time she may have thought to herself, what is he talking about or what is going on, but she was agreeable to it. We celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary this month.

This time I had a much better understanding of love for myself and others, the better the understanding of myself, the better I understood human nature, after all I am a part of human nature.

Life for me has been like my physical walk on the Camino. I was walking through the Pyrenees for much of the journey. There were steep climbs to the top, but always when you reached the top, you now had to descend into a valley. My life has been ups and downs. The greatest difference over this past ten years, the hills have not been as high and the valleys not so deep.

Like my climbs and descents on the Camino, it strengthened me, the climbs used one set of muscles and the descents another set of muscles, all part of balance so I could complete the journey.

It was sixty-six years before my growing began, it could have started when I was fifteen, but no one told me, I could blame my parents for not telling me, but if I did that, I would not be taking responsibility for myself. I have also realized, one thing we have in common is “choice” and choice brings consequences. If I make the correct choice I receive the correct consequence and vice versa. If I blame anyone other than myself there can be no healing. Growing up in who I am is when the healing began and it continues. The journey brings peace, comfort, love and healing.

Everyone has their experiences, just as I have had mine. They are our opportunities to grow up, there are hills and valley’s. You may think some of what I have said was a bit weird, but I’m really not a weird person, just ask Sandra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming of Age?

The Intro

My apologies for not having posted during the last few weeks. I was in Portugal for a few weeks and must say it was a very enjoyable trip, I really enjoyed Portugal. This gave me time to think and reflect as well as see, experience and enjoy new places.

My plan earlier this year was to walk the Camino from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela and continue to Finisterre. Things didn’t quite work out the way I had initially planned, I tore the meniscus in my left knee and had to give it time to heal. It is completely healed now, but to be on the safe side I chose not to do the trek.

I still walk approximately a hundred kilometers per week. Sandra knew I was planning on Portugal, since I was not going to walk the country, she decided to gift me with a trip to this beautiful country. We had a wonderful trip.

While in Porto I met a few Pilgrims who were enroute to Santiago and talked with a lady from Germany who had just returned from Santiago after completing the Portuguese Camino walk.

I mentioned it gave me time to think and reflect, well, I was thinking and reflecting to a certain degree on my Camino walk from France to Santiago two years before. On that walk there were two predominate questions. Why are you walking the Camino and when did you start?

I really did not have a bona fide answer to the first, but to the second my answer would always be “I started walking my Camino, in earnest, seven years ago.” This always garnered a certain amount of curiosity, knowing that I had not been walking in Spain  for seven years.

My plan was to do the Portuguese Camino next year walking from Lisbon to Santiago, however while in Portugal or shortly after returning home a decision has been reached that I may not go back to walk the Portuguese Camino. I may go back to Portugal again, but most likely, not to walk the Camino.

Camino means “way or journey.” Life is a pathway or journey, I travel on that path every day. The French Camino was an exciting journey, a challenge, that I found to be very rewarding. The trip was enlightening, but so was my time before walking the Camino and since walking the Camino.

After I completed the French Camino, I was in Santiago for a couple of days. Before leaving, I was downtown doing something I enjoy, shopping. I met a couple that I had met on my Camino walk. We stopped and chatted for a few minutes and when we were parting I said “Buen Camino” which was a common salutation on the Camino. There reply was ” we are not on the Camino now.”

I gave much thought to that statement and again while in Portugal. This may have been the catalyst  on my decision to scratch the Portuguese Camino.  My Camino is everyday wherever I may be. It is my life journey. I don’t have to go anywhere to walk a Camino, I am walking it everyday.

My Camino

In the last post I promised to expand on teamwork, whether it was a family, company or a sports team. The importance of knowing yourself and how it would enable you to function to the fullest in that arena.

The five areas that I was going to expand on was value, belief, independent thinking, teamwork and care for others. I am still going to do that, but later down the road.

Giving it much thought and from feedback, it has become apparent that I should perhaps expand on how, what is written, in my previous posts came about.

My greatest desire is that something I write may challenge, encourage or comfort you in your Camino.

I will expand on how I arrived at some of the statements I have made in my previous posts. Some say it is too deep or I don’t quite understand what you are saying. I get it, but my desire was never to give anyone an understanding of what I was saying but rather to challenge YOU on your journey.

I am sure you have noticed the title of this blog is “I don’t have the answer” and my tagline is “but you do.” That is not a desire to have a catchy title, it is exactly what I want to portray. A blog for your benefit from my experiences. You see, your experiences are as profound and meaningful to you as mine are to me.

My writings have not been an academic experience, it is the result of my personal experience and how they have impacted me in knowing myself and becoming my own person. I have not rejected academia, in some instances it has helped me understand things that have taken place in my life that I did not quite understand. I have not rejected what other people say, again in some instances I have found answers from the most unexpected people under the most extenuating circumstances.

What I am saying, any questions you may have, answers can come from the most unusual or usual places. Don’t discount anything or anyone, there is a purpose in every moment of our day, in every situation and in every person we come in contact with.

An important thought, You have two ears and one tongue.

Todays Wrap.

In my next posts after this one, I am going to expand on my experiences and my reasoning and meditating that gave me the understanding that I have and most importantly the reality of a very happy, complete and comfortable life that has left me with an inner peace that no one can take from me.

The same can be yours, there is nothing to learn, it is exactly according to the blog title “you have the answer.” It is necessary to tap into it and realize it is a process. I mentioned walking the French way Camino two years ago, “that I started my Camino walk, in earnest, seven years ago.” I am now going into year ten and the journey continues.

If you would like to continue or come on this walk with me, ask questions, make comments. I will attempt to answer everyone. If you enjoy this blog share it with someone who you think may have an interest.

Your experiences are yours and positive or negative they are guideposts to reach a destination that will excite you, but the journey itself can be pleasant and enjoyable. It is really about “YOU” finding your way through the maze of this world.

I began “coming of age” almost ten years ago. I was in my sixties. I am not going to expand on this now, I’ve been to verbose getting to this point. Until next post, later this week, where I will continue on “coming of age” have a great day and week.

Thank you for reading this post, I do hope you can glean a gem, for you, from it.