Reflections – Listen to this now or later. Let it take you where you want to be.
I am 44 years old, have many loves and interests, and only recently fully committed myself to being happy. You are saying to yourself, “WHAT?”
I am an artist. Have been aware of this, ever since I was 15 years old, writing poetry about girls I had deep feelings for. Those who know me can attest to the fact that I don’t hold much back. When I am with my friends the whole world falls aside and it is only in sight in mind. My focus is intense and my passion for life and nature is overwhelming at times. The wonders of life and my ability to recognize them make me unique in the world.
It has taken me most of my life to find my own personal acceptance, and I sit here writing, feeling sad. Sad because there have been so many people in the wake of my struggles all these years. I do not know how to change the past (truth is you can’t change it), all I can work on is bettering myself going forward.
Before I go any further, I must preface the rest of this article with the clear fact that I never physically hurt anyone nor have I emotionally scared anyone through my own personal struggles. What has happened throughout my life has been, all those who have cared for me have shared my burden. My pain has been my families pain. My struggles have been my families struggles. Not that they have been life altering but they have clouded the lives of those who have loved me. These struggles, the pains of my existance have been centered around what I believed was my responsibilities to my family; my wife, my children, my parents, brother and sister.
I grew up in a middle class, normal household. My father worked hard and financially supported my mother and his three children while my mother managed the household, raising the children. As I grew up I was influenced by a number of men/fathers who I believed were good examples of what a man should be. Wow, did I get it wrong, not to mention how much men and women’s roles have changed the past 44 years. I was imprinted to believe that I had to be a certain way to feel good about who I was. No one gave me guidance on how to be a man (isn’t that amazing).
My dad is a wonderful man but (the dreaded BUT), he lived his life as he perceived it should be lived. My father’s father passed away when he was 9 years old. When you have few role models and need to manage your own life, emotionally on your own (as he did), the challenges along the way to success become mountains. My father overcame all his mountains and today at 74 still has the ability to learn, change and grow. My father is one of the most amazing and wonderful men I know. I strive to improve on the model. What I am trying to express is that I wasn’t able to live my life like all those men I admired growing up, and because of this I felt less than a man.
This feeling of being less than a man has been redefined as, I was ashamed of my perceived failures. SHAME had, and I use the word had because SHAME had shaded most of my life. I have begun to shed this shame, my preconceived notion of who I should be, and am beginning to discover who I am. It may sound contrived but I had weighed myself down so heavily with what I hadn’t accomplished, what I hadn’t earned, what I didn’t provide for my family, I missed so many wonderful things. I wore a happy mask covering my shame for so long it became who I was, not knowing there was any other way to be.
It is frightening when you feel as if your in a room you can’t escape from. Eventually you give up and accept your self imposed verdict. NO MORE, NO MORE, NO MORE. I have to much to offer. I have to much to say. I deserve to be happy. I deserve to be heard. These ideas seem so simple, so obvious, but they aren’t. WOW. The discovery, that I felt I hadn’t earned the right to take what was mine, took me by storm. Could you imagine owning the world yet not being a part of it. In the process I damaged my relationship with my wife and burdened all those wonderful people who took the time to love me (and luckily I have had many) .
I AM SO SORRY FOR HAVING PUT MY HEAVY LOAD ONTO MY FAMILIES SHOULDERS, MY WIFE’S SHOULDERS. NO ONE WILL EVER UNDERSTAND HOM MUCH I LOVE THIS WOMAN. I DIDN’T GIVE HER WHAT SHE DESERVED (what we deserved). FOR SO MANY YEARS SHE TOOK CARE OF ME. I AM SO SORRY.
Ok enough of the sorries, now it is time to begin anew. A life far from over and now truly beginning. Shame melting away. A new vision of who I can be and what I deserve. For so many years, all those who loved me and cared about me, I say,” look at me now.” How far we have all come (man this would make a good song). As the weight is lifted off of my shoulders so too I am lifting it off my parents, my brother and sister, my children and especially my wife. In 2oo6 both my knees were replaced and SHE took care of ME both physically and financially. In 2009 I had a stoke, then had sergery to repair a hole in my heart and my wife took care of me physically, emotionally and financially. She has been compensating for me in so many ways for so many years. No one can understand unless you had lived in our shoes, her shoes. No judging and I am not asking for anyone’s advice or opinion. There is no room for judging and I am not asking for anyone’s understanding. It is a waste of time and does no one any good. Just being happy… this is what I want for all.
I hope this helps someone else find their way, for I have begun to find my. This journey will continue. A journey of self acceptance and renewed life.
Be at peace.
Be in love.
Hug all those people who have the ability to accept your healing powers.
Happy New Life, for everyone deserves to find happiness.
Additional writing added 1-15-2011
A Poem – Alone Asleep
I have seen it, stripped, bare and void,
I have felt it, shallow, clear and pale.
I can sense it, hovering, watching, clouding,
I can hear it ringing, constant and low.
To the depth of my soul yet far into the distance, it’s boiling low, masked, alone.
It’s presence known, it’s presence known.
No not me, not me, not for me,
Oh my, not for me, not to me, not to me.
It sees me, knows me, needs me,
Not for me please, not for me.
Awake once more as the memory fades,
Leaving the sensation, that feeling, I’m alone, been alone, so alone.
Breathing, hearing my heart beat, knowing the truth.
Wanting so much more; finally awake.