Tree of Life

Our palace is built from lumber harvested from the Tree of Life. This tree is enormous, stretching through the earth into the underworlds and high into the sky to the heavens above. As we walk our road of life we spot leaves and sticks and collect them under our arm. When the world grows cold we pile them together to build ourselves a shelter. Over time this refuge becomes bigger and safer, fortifying into a fortress and one day becoming our personal palace. It is a place we all live, a place we all must build on our own, it is a symbol for how we see and think.

On this journey some of us turn toward the tree and tear it down. Others refuse to saw or collect the limbs, instead they seek safe-haven in another person’s palace. The best way to live is to pick up sticks here and there and saw off this or that without leaving the tree cut in half.  With the parts we will have the tools to build our perfect palace.

The tree if life represents the aspects of who we are and when we climb and play on its branches we can learn how to live to be the better version of ourselves.

Playing on the Tree of Life

  1. Digging in the dirt to see the roots that feed us.
  2. Climbing the trunk and feeling its bark
  3. Swinging from the limbs
  4. Exploring the flavor of its fruit.

Our life, like a tree’s root system spreads further and deeper when fed with rich nutrients.  The healthier food something is fed the healthier it becomes. Negative begets negative and positive begets positive.

Indulge the negative and like a disease it will worsen and spread.  Embrace the positive and you’ll expand and attract the same. Feed the soil of life with the energy you desire and you will experience it.  Look inward to find the answers you need. Exploring ideas with others can be great, but no one knows more about you than you do. Come with me and climb this tree to discover how to see the person you want to be.

Digging in the dirt to see the roots that feed us

Be your own life coach and dig into the dirt. It can be messy and muddy but if you look hard enough you will see we have two kinds of roots: Negative and Positive. The negative is comprised of denial, false perception, shame, malfunction, false validation, guilt and regret. The positive is made up of acceptance, wisdom, accountability, rationality, empowerment, forgiveness and harmony.

Climbing the trunk and feeling its bark

Our roots lead into the body of life, which represents the seasons we have endured and years lived. It is our life, our thoughts manifested and actions achieved.

Swinging from the limbs

From the body the Tree reaches out to the Limbs of Negativity and Positivity. The positive is our plans, adventures and dreams; the negative represents our stagnation, isolation and impulse. From the limbs our branches spread and grow to represent the action of these passions and pathos. It is at the end of these branches that we enjoy the fruit of our labor or suffer with its rot.

Exploring the flavor of its fruit

As I reaped the rewards for my hard work I took a bite and discovered a delicious delight. I saw the purpose to the pain, the truth of my terror and the reason for my existence. I am here to help, to show you the clues of what you must do.

To overcome who you are, you might have to split yourself open to observe how you work. Why do you do what you do? Why do you feel how you feel? These are questions anyone can ask, but only you can answer.

I address the dangers of life coaches, gurus and MLMs because they pretend to have answers for questions they cannot know. When it comes to the peace you seek, you already have the answers you need. The journey you walk has been paved by the life you’ve lived.  Look at where you’ve been to figure out where you want to go. The Tree of Life philosophy is about getting to know the true you inside yourself. I don’t have your answers and there is no one you can pay to do your dirty work. Change comes from within, this is the greatest truth I know. I cannot show you your way, but I can show you how I found my path to peace.

Take my hand and follow me as I explore my Tree of Life. I have chosen to open my heart to you, to see how I split myself open to understand how I work. To see how I discovered why I do what I do and feel what I feel. I am going to give your the greatest gifts I can, which are the questions I learned to ask myself to learn what I already knew.

 

Harmony

Harmony – Tree of Life

Harmony

Harmony is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s the act of accepting, succumbing and overcoming the past. Harmony is an experience unlike any other. It’s an abstract sensation, one of calm, of ease, of tranquility. Those who feed the roots harmony aren’t beyond the range of human emotion. Rather they aren’t haunted by it like others may be.

Living without regret is not the same as living with harmony. My proactive prevention of regret has never led to the state of peace I feel today. Instead that philosophy kept my insides from catching fire.

I regret nothing

Everything that happened has been a stepping stone to where I am now. I’ve spoken of the hardships and pain associated with being a stepping stone for someone else. Though it may have hurt, it had to happen. Some were blessings, so amazing it was an honor endure such anguish.

I’ve been in relationships with horrific and delightful partners, good and bad pairings. Though heart break permeates them all, I regret none. Even more so, I love them for what they were.

There is something to be gained from everything. If you can gleam love, a lesson or perhaps some lore it had significance.

I love everyone

It’s true, I do love everyone. It doesn’t matter if you hurt me, we never met or you’re a friend. It was a recent milestone that I discovered this, when your mile stone finds you… you will be awestruck by it.

My milestone was being cool with my brother, and letting go of the past with both he and my father.

Links

Regret – Tree of Life

Rationality

Rationality – Tree of Life

Rationality is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s the act of fueling our thoughts with positive energy. With it we make sound emotional decisions supported by reason.

That which conforms to principles of good reasoning, is sensible, shows good judgement, is consistent, logical, complete, and relevant. Rationality is a summary term like ‘virtue’ or ‘goodness’. It is manifested in an unlimited number of ways and depends on a host of principles. There is some ambiguity in it, depending on whether one considers only the logicalness and effectiveness by which one pursues one’s ends, or whether it includes the assessment of ends themselves. There is also ambiguity in whether one considers selfish ends to be rational, even when they conflict with what is just. Does a rational person have to be just or only skilled in pursuing his or her interests? Is it rational to be irrational in an irrational world? [1]

Throughout the years, I’ve watched the world become something other than what I thought it was. People doing things that don’t make sense. Their motivations are indiscernible. In a story, a character and their motivations must be believable, in life that is not the case. The only commonality I’ve seen is that people who hurt, hurt others. Some people hurt so much they become unbelievable villains. It makes you want to believe their only drive, the motive of their actions is to watch the world burn.

In my journey, I’ve blamed myself here and there. I’ve been convinced I was the villain, the destroyer of this relationship or that one.  That doesn’t make any sense, I am not solely responsible for the destruction of my past relationships. Just like you are not solely responsible for yours., but we are all partially responsible for anything that happens in all of our relationships.

If I were healthy…

When I was going through chemotherapy I was dating this lovely young woman. After we broke up I said that her and I wouldn’t have dated if I were healthy. I don’t know if that is true, because I was fond enough to fall in love with her. Truly in retrospect I think the statement was a coping mechanism.

The way it ended was terrible, perhaps more so than I anticipated. A lot of shitty things happened in the end. It made me feel like I was used. Used for all sorts of things and it made me feel like a tool, a weapon, a place holder and a stepping stone.

That’s life and its ok. I am grateful I had this beautiful young woman in my life when I was lonely and afraid. She was there for me in a way I needed someone to be in my life, she was my knight in shining armor. Spending time with me in that terrible hospital, holding my hand during chemotherapy and standing beside me as my lover. She eased the horror of staring down the barrel of death and I am eternally grateful to her for that.

So, what does all this lead into?

The positive root of rationality is more than accepting your role in relationships, it’s acknowledging and respecting their ebb and flow. We’re not always equally responsible at every moment. A wise man once told me this ebb and flow is akin to a seesaw. Sometimes you’re in the air and sometimes you’re not. There are times when we are more responsible and times when we are less.

[1] Paul, Richard, and A. J. A. Binker. Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2012.

Malfunction – Tree of Life

 

 

 

Forgiveness

Forgiveness – Tree of Life

Forgiveness is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. When we feed these roots,  a weight lifts from our chest and the world becomes easier to breath. Forgiveness soothes the angry bees in our belly, takes away the lightning behind our eyes.

The act of feeding positive energy into this root is more than just saying: “I forgive you.” You have to actually deal with the issues fueling the guilt. Face down the baggage you’ve been carrying and work through the puzzles. Life is filled with all sorts of games, its a matter of solving them and learning something along the way. The guilt we feel has a value, before we can allow forgiveness to take hold we have to understand the significance of the guilt.

Ignoring your responsibility is not the same as forgiveness. Negligence is an inherent flaw of negative energy. To refuse your responsibility is denial, a negative root of the Tree of Life.

There are moments when guilt can be healthy. If we have a relationship with this root, then we wont allow it to grow longer than it needs to be. Hold onto it long enough to keep us healthy and remain accountable for our actions.

Guilt – Tree of Life

 

Empowerment

Empowerment – Tree of Life

Empowerment is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. When our heart weakens and our blood runs thin we turn to others for guidance. We desire words to equalize and harmonize. In these moments there are two choices we can make, personal empowerment or false validation. We can embrace our sound judgement or give our power to others. Empowerment can be described with:”I am who I am, these are my opinions, this is my decision.”

When we walk the road of empowerment we choose to live life with our own thoughts. We push out the influences of others and we have the force of will to be who we are, who we believe ourselves to be, who we want to be.

In my journey of empowerment I’m trying to remove phrases like: “What do you think about that?” …and other questions of validation. I’ve discovered that if someone has an opinion they’ll share it to you. We don’t have to ask, it wouldn’t be a gift if we did.

I choose to be my own person, I choose who I want to be. I have chosen to transform my root of false validation into the root of empowerment.

Links

False Validation – Reflections

 

Accountability

Accountability – Tree of Life

Accountability is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. This root may sometimes invite pressure and stress, but if these levels remain healthy we are embracing positive elements. Often we find acceptance before we become accountable, but this is not always the case. An example of accountability may be described with: “I respect you, I respect myself, I fulfill my obligations.”

Accountability is a root that is built over time.

We can transform a part of our root structure into accountability, but this “instant” transformation isn’t so instantaneous. It takes times and effort, actions that repeat over and over like a snow ball rolling across the ground. If the snow ball stops rolling its stops growing. We have to keep things rolling if we want to grow the roots of acceptance.

This root is built from our social contracts. These agreements are established between at least two people. They are informal (spoken or otherwise) contracts that define a relationship. The more we honor and obey these social contracts the stronger our accountability becomes. Following the social contracts is not enough though. If you feel shame when not honoring the contract then you have wrapped yourself up in arrangements you’re currently not healthy enough to honor. Unless you can quickly develop coping skills these relationships will fail.

Recently I had the opportunity to share and receive wisdom from another soul surfing the seas of sorrow. It was from them I gained an insightful look into shame and how it affects us. I learned that its presence is magnified the smaller our communities become. That our actions reverberate with stronger force because there is no anonymity.

I spent a bit of time contemplating this thought and I discovered there were two roots that exist within these communities. The first was shame, the second was accountability. In the instances that we feel crippled by the opinions of others we are embracing the negative roots of the Tree of Life. This causes us to water our soil with the stress water from our Tolerance Barrel.

When we are motivated to do what we feel is right and good and take care of our fellow man, we embrace the positive. Participating in activities that promote the community and maintain order that falls within the realm of accountability. Acting responsibly is a positive quality.

Links

Shame – Reflections

Wisdom

Wisdom – Tree of Life

Wisdom is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s the ability to see the world without illusion or delusion. To realistically interpret and understand who you are and your surroundings.  A comprehension that starts from the inside parts of our mind and stretches to the outside zones of our body. It can be described with the sentence: “My body is this, I believe this, I am this person, I decide who I am.”

Wisdom finds us when we embrace who we are. Accept the realities of our existence and transcend them. It tells us that we can become whoever we want to be and we are not defined by the opinions of others.

When we accept the root of wisdom we decide to no longer feed the negative root of false perception. It is the moment when your identity is decided by you and no one else.

Links

False Perception – Reflections

 

Acceptance

Acceptance – Tree of Life

Acceptance is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s what closed my gate to hell and reopened my heart. Resurrecting my passions and dreams pointing me in the direction of the incredible. The root has the ability to awaken our eyes to see the world for what it is. To let go and allow others in. To take off the boards on our windows and unlock our doors. It is a root that may be summed up with: “I am this, I have that, I don’t need you to love me, I love myself.”

Acceptance is a fascinating root, one that develops slowly. As we accept our circumstance we will shift out and back into denial. Back and forth we will go into anger, sadness and other uncomfortable emotions. This is the process of coming to terms with something and ultimately accept it.

A part of me wants to say I found the roots of acceptance when I saw the damage denial was causing. That I knew there was a fire but wasn’t able to see the source. I want to say that it took the loss of a lover and an attempted suicide to discover a laser that was destroying my life.

That’s not reality, there were times when I believed it to be true. Exploring my thoughts and writing out my feelings let me to see what was and what wasn’t. The relationship was important, but it wasn’t the catalyst, nor was the attempted suicide, it was a whole shit ton of crap smashed together into one really gross wad of bad stuff.

Life happens on a series of moments, we experience change from second to second, not all of it feels good or is good. We can do our best to make the best of it.  In the moments I thought I was spiraling, I wasn’t, there was no slide toward hell, instead I was climbing a staircase to enlightenment and peace.

Ultimately the greatest damage to my life came from denial.

When my lung was removed I convinced myself I was no longer bipolar. This idea dismantled my internal support systems and critical awareness.  I no longer looked for those inward parts of myself, because I wasn’t looking, I couldn’t see them.

Once I accepted my illness, I was able to find ways to deflect the laser. The light beam was going to do its thing, but if I could redirect it, my life wouldn’t be set on fire, I wouldn’t have to be destroyed.

With acceptance you can redirect the laser of your life, you can choose what it burns and when.

Links

Denial – Reflections

 

Guilt

Guilt – Tree of Life

Guilt is an emotion where we feel responsible for some action or inaction we believe had negative results. It and shame are split from the end of accountability. Our root of guilt can be good, but it has the tendency to be bad.  It may be experienced within a healthy range. In certain instances, it can prompt virtuous behavior, leading us to exercise restraint, make amends, help others and even aid in self-preservation.

It gets bad when we start embracing its negative aspects. It can be a gluttonous root, stealing all the life energy of our tree.  In the coalition of personal destruction, the negative root of guilt eats our emotional nutrients and starves us. If it isn’t trimmed it will sabotage our lives and destroy our palace.

How do end the negative cycle of embracing bad guilt? We achieve it by having a relationship with forgiveness. Forgiveness reminds us it isn’t meant to torture us, it’s designed to help us be healthy and accountable.

 

 

 

regret

Regret – Tree of Life

Regret is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. If I were sum up the experience with one word I’d describe it as terrible.  Nothing compares to the anguish of Regret, nothing. Regret can be summed up with the sentence: “I wish I could go back in time and do it differently.”

We can’t go back, nothing can be changed. I want to tell you to stop thinking about it, but that doesn’t work. We could use mind over matter as a method but that doesn’t work either. In my experience there are only two methods: a proactive prevention of regret, and by succumbing to it.

The philosophy I call a Proactive Prevention of Regret is to make decisions so you don’t experience it. This works until it doesn’t, as is the rule with anything.

The other method is to succumb to the experience. Things happen and it may be terrible, I’m not saying get over it, instead explore what happened and learn from it. Maybe discover how to prevent it from happening again.

In my journey I don’t regret anything.

There were moments when I did. A time when the stress and pain stole me away and I began regretting chemotherapy. I convinced myself that it transformed me into another person.

In some ways I was right, but it wasn’t the chemotherapy that was doing it.  It was a cocktail of all sorts of negative roots that were feeding into my Tree of Life. I was overwhelmed and there was nothing I thought I could do.

I crumbed under the weight of my own stress…

…and because of who I’d become my levy could no longer stand against the rising waters, and the flood destroyed my village.  All of this was my fault, I made this happen.

Once the village was destroyed I tried to commit suicide, but I want you to know that the suicide wasn’t a result of the levy falling. It was going to happen no matter, I caused that to happen, I know that now.  I am sorry that my actions hurt the people I love. Its hurts my heart zone to know that some may never forgive me for that. I hope that one day those love spots will heal.

My feelings aren’t of regret, rather love. I have transformed my roots of regret into the roots of harmony. My insides may hurt knowing that I hurt those I love, but I’d rather help them overcome those pains, than to wish them away.

Links

Harmony – Tree of Life

 

False Perceptions

False Perception – Tree of Life

False Perception is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life.  It’s the act of devaluing our significance, role or value.  Though it may be tied to self deprecation it includes exaggerated perceptions of self. Believing we are worthless is equally destructive as personal deification. False Perception may be easily summed up in the statement: “I am ugly, I am a bad parent, I am the best, I am the wisest.”

I believe myself to be a pretty positive and confident man.  I avoid jokes that belittle my significance or reduce my value.  One of my fundamental philosophies is that positivity begets positivity and negativity begets negativity. This philosophy permeates nearly all of my communication, anyone who knows me can vouch for the fun words I tend to use.  This is not False Perception, it is instead it is the act of positive reinforcement.

Life is not perfect, nor are the people who live within it.

There have been moments when I’ve fallen prey to the negative, wrapped myself with a blanket of destruction and rolled in its misery.  Sure, these moments may reflect the depression of some, but it is not how I typically experience it. Nor is it how my False Perception Manifests.

My False Perception takes hold during my manic phases, it makes me feel invulnerable and unstoppable.  Often my wisdom is robbed from me and I lose the ability to critically analyze and interact with my peers respectfully. There are instances where I feel the need to be right, refuse to back down and I push or pull when I need to let go and relax.

Though it can be troublesome it has opened the door to many magnificent journeys.  In reflection my inflated sense of self increased my deafness during a time when my inner scream was already incredibly quite loud.  It was a destructive time, a period when the nightmare of my existence dripped from my pores, ruining nearly everything that I touched.

After considerable reflection I have overcome this False Perception, putting it back into its dark hole.  For now, until the mania returns I can walk through life fed with the roots of wisdom, instead of the roots of False Perception.

Links

Wisdom – Tree of Life

 

Malfunction

Malfunction – Tree of Life

The curtain twisted to a gentle breeze, dancing to the ceiling fan’s melody. I sat on my bed with my back to the wall feeling my heart begin to fall. Shadows stretched and moved in malicious manners as I tried with all my might to find a purpose to the pain. My heart was broken, my body shattered, I was a mess of fractured bits and bones. I felt alone, in pain and devastated. My journey walked me through so many terrible times, tonight it tossed me into a ditch of despair. Tears streamed down my face as my sanity melted away at a steady pace.

My mind was melting under the stress of my duress. There was so much agony and so little sensation. My body burned with the hell of neuropathy. It felt like a flower of pain blooming across my back, like a creature had crawled into my soul and was gnawing at my spirit, it felt like I was at the end of what I could take. It was too much.

With the rhythm of my heart’s pulse, streaks of fire shot through my mind. Each fiery bolt burned flesh from my fingers till my grip started to slip.

Wrapping my hands around a rusty orange pill bottle I twisted it open. Sliding my finger in I pulled out one of those pain-killing gems. I held it in my hand in quiet contemplation till the fire hammered again. With a flip of my finger I felt it on my tongue and like a sad old song I swallowed it down. With each thundering pulse my world would spin until I no longer knew how to make it end.

Pill after pill the darkness closed in and my eyes grew heavy, till it felt like there was nothing left of me.

Malfunction is Irrationality

Malfunction is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. Its the verb of irrationality, the moment when our dark spots push our buttons and insanity fills the void. This root destroys everything we hold dear and the relationships closest to us.  Its says: “I want to hurt; I want to cheat, I want to lie, I want to die.”

What does Malfunction do?

My malfunction manifests in self-destructive tendencies. When this mean monster pulls against its leash it drags me toward annihilation. Fenris is my malfunction and when he gets hungry he tries to kill me. Sometimes the only way to stop him is by feeding him my arm.

Look inward to find what your malfunctions are and how they hurt you.

Be the master of your Malfunction

Having a relationship with the root of malfunction allows us to see where it sits. We can feed it what it needs so it doesn’t eat us. We can ensure we are the ones leading it by the leash and no one else.

The first goal of reigning in malfunction is to protect ourselves from our own dark tendencies, this is achieved by knowing where it is, and feeding it with healthy food. The second goal is to protect ourselves from the dark tendencies of others, we achieve this by holding and hiding the leash from the prying eyes of monsters.

It can feel great to confess our pains and tears with someone we trust. Sometimes the ones we trust are monsters sneaking into our lives from the shadows to latch onto us like leeches. The monsters in this instance are abusers, people who want to take and never give. We exist only to serve them, and they do the minimum to get the maximum from us.

How do we protect ourselves from these people?

Be careful who you entrust your inside heart zones with. When you do share never let them hold the leash to your malfunction. Once an abusive person sees how we malfunction they will use it to make us malfunction. The more irrational we are the more pliable we become. The only person who has the right to mold your identity is you.

Abusers have all sorts of tool boxes to seize control.

Not all abusers harness the power of our malfunction, some latch onto our other negative roots to seize control. Malfunction is the purview of the Pea Weasels of our life. They are people who question our mental stability, influence our judgement at critical times and attempt to shape our identity. This often requires commitment and dedication. It is a process requiring a considerable amount of conditioning, time and trust.

 

Rationality – Tree of Life

 

Artifacts

Artifacts

Artifacts are created by infusing negative or positive energy into something. The energy we give it returns to us each time we interact with it. In application, it’s like a beer bottle in the presence of an alcoholic, your significant other in a toxic relationship, a blade to a cutter. On the other side of the spectrum it could be the bracelet your mother gave to you, a wedding ring or the grave stone of a lost love.

We decide Individually the significance of each artifact. This decision doesn’t always happen consciously, but it’s always a result of our interaction or reaction, this response determines how it’s emotionally charged.

Some artifacts are unconsciously created, others are built as a symbol. We infuse it with purpose to remind us of a lesson, moment or idea. I do this through the medical bracelet that I wear around my arm. It reminds me of several things, its energy is there to remind me of what I have done, doing and will do. For example, it serves as a ward against shame. I have freaked out a number of times, afraid that I’ve shown too much of myself. As soon as I look at the bracelet I’m reminded that I’m doing the right thing.

Select your artifacts wisely, know them, love them and be at peace with them.

Links

Defining Negative and Positive

 

False Validation

False Validation – Tree of Life

False Validation is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. It is when  our thoughts, opinions and perceptions are traded for someone else’s.   Typically the person transforming us isn’t aware of the influence their words have. They simply answer our question we ask them to the best of their ability at that moment. It isn’t their answer that affects us, instead its our lack of confidence that allows us to be affected. We are the poorly anchored boat being blown by the wind. The wind is doing as nature has requested, it we who failed to keep ourselves true.

If we anchor ourselves, take claim and responsibility over our lives we can pull the negative aspect from this root and transform it into the root of empowerment.

Links

Empowerment – Tree of Life

 

When we Malfunction

When We Malfunction – Tree of Life

When our emotions are running around all wild and such they tend to do some pretty terrible things. They create something I call malfunctions. They are what happen when we let our emotions influence how our thoughts process information. When this occurs we take action that conflicts with what a rational person would do or understand.

  • When we idle we spin.
  • When we spin we repeat ourselves
  • When we repeat ourselves we malfunction
  • When we malfunction we hurt

In the moments we are spinning our world doesn’t make any sense. As it spins we try to solve the problem, we think and feel our way through it. Then as we try to fix, we malfunction. When this happens, we try to do something to alleviate ourselves of the pain. But it never works and we hurt. We really hurt.

Then it starts again, until we can break the pattern.

The manifestation of a malfunction could appear like this:

I’m tired of her pestering me about the bananas. If she wanted to have them that much she should have ordered them herself. If she wants those damn bananas, I’m going to really let her have those bananas. See how she feels. Let her feel how I feel.

This person does something to the bananas. For a moment, it gives them pleasure. They feel power over the lady. We hope they can catch themselves before they give the bananas to her. If they do then they will prevent the cycle from beginning again. Most of us don’t catch ourselves and we begin to spiral.

Links

Malfunction – Tree of Life

Shame

Shame – Tree of Life

Shame is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. It is often confused with guilt because the two intertwine. This root is ferocious and nasty, it is more than long strips of wooden fiber, it is a tentacle covered with gnawing mouths filled with diseased teeth. This tentacle slithers through the soil to the base of our tree, chewing and chomping at our body of life. Slowly it nibbles and tears us apart, leaving infected wounds that rot us from the inside out.

When we feed this negative root, it grinds us into mean strings of ground meat. Shame tells us to avoid asking for help, it kidnaps our quality of life and destroys our dreams.  Shame says: “Men don’t cry.  Suck it up.”

Everyone feels shame. We are more than cartoons, characters and stereotypes. Live your life by your terms, not by the will of others. The only acceptance and approval you need is from yourself.

There is the argument shame has a value in society, claiming it is used to maintain law and order. However, the negative promotes the negative, if we want the world to be a better place we must promote accountability in others. Reward the good and rehabilitate those who do bad.

Denial

Denial – Tree of Life

Denial is one of the seven Negative roots of the Tree of Life.  It is what opened the hellish portal leading to the end of my romantic relationship.  This root stitches blinders to our eyes, placing us in eternal darkness, hiding us from the world. In summary Denial may easily be summed up with the statement: “I am not this, I don’t have that.”

My denial manifested after my lung was removed in July.  I desperately wanted to believe I was no longer bipolar.  This desperation influenced my research and lead me down the path of pseudo science.  I wasn’t completely aware of it at the time, but I stretched science to convince myself my manic depression was cut out with the enormous tumor in my chest. There were subtle tactics I used to convince myself it was gone, repeating that reality over and over until I believed the falsehood.

I’m not entirely sure I completely believed the idea. The signs told me that I hadn’t cycled for so long it was impossible that it was still with me. Though I saw this pattern and the science felt like it didn’t match up there was a lingering itch within me.  I believe that I secretly knew it wasn’t gone, but wasn’t willing to accept it.

Truth be told having cancer was a large enough disease.  

The idea of having two chronic illnesses simply was too much.

It took a long time, but I am no longer in denial.  I am so far away from denial I have embraced the reality of the disease.  Now I have accepted it, I have removed the root of Denial and replaced it with the positive root of Acceptance.

Links

Acceptance – Tree of Life

 

The Body of Life – Tree of Life

The body of life reflects our coping skills. It is a symbol of who we are, what we’ve experienced and how we interpret reality. The rings of our tree are the hardships we’ve faced and how we handled them. When we build our palace our tree’s rings determine the quality of the lumber. The more we learn from each hardship the stronger our foundation becomes.

We don’t have control over what happens or how we feel, but we can try to make the best of the bad. Every hardship is a gift granting us an opportunity to help people with our hurt. Sometimes its impossible to improve our perception in the moment, but in reflection we can encourage it.

The bad finds us no matter where we hide. Discovering I had cancer was a long and torturous battle. Eventually I learned others had a similar story as mine and I vowed to help end this terrible cycle. Now I work to guide the newly diagnosed find a different way, one with less horror and confusion.

My experience in the hospital after my thoracotomy was horrible. There were times when I had no painkillers and the agony was excruciating. In moments like those there is no way to see anything but the bad. Later I learned there is good in every moment, especially our worst. It gave me insight on pain, the medicine used to mask it and how fear can make it worse.

Existence is a collection of incredible experiences. It is equally good as it is bad. If we stare long enough at the terrible we might miss how terrific life can be.

I believe it is especially important we look back at all the good. Our past sweetens the present. Often, I return to how my mother celebrated her children, she did a wonderful job making holidays feel magical. If I could see her today I would thank her for giving me all those treasured moments.

These experiences are just a few rings of my Tree of Life, what are some of yours? Look inward and find the seasons you’ve endured and the lessons learned.

Reprieve – Body of Life

For nearly two years before my diagnosis I felt sick. It was an uncertain kind of sickness, an icky acid like irritation in my veins. There was a slow lethargic tug in my muscles and a teary pain behind my eyes. I was given a reprieve after my surgery. That break ended once I started the insightful experience of chemotherapy.

Now as I sit here I can feel that acid yuck crawl back into my body. My soul parts are clean and my mind is right, but I can feel the old pains return. I’ve earned a clear, healthy mind and with it I realize the constant state of pain that is my existence.

In reflection, I realize it’s this pain that’s incapacitating me. I’ve spent countless hours analyzing my malfunctioning parts and now I understand where it’s coming from. The problem is my body is in a great deal of pain. I’m trying to offset it, but no matter what I do, I can’t.

The sensation is akin to little fires burning on a cellular level all throughout my body. It’s a subtle pain, slowly over drafting my bank account of agony. The sensation seems to access a different kind of Tolerance Barrel.

Lately I’ve attributed the sensation to dehydration. After observing my liquidity levels I realize this isn’t the case. There have been several moments where these sensations have pushed me to nearly passing out. I move about bracing myself against objects in case I lose consciousness.

Like right now as I write this, it feels like there’s a chemical fire just under my flesh. If I hadn’t traveled through the lands of pain that I have, the agony would make me want to throw up.

Now that I know where the problem is born from, I can meditate, succumb and become one with it.

The Body of Life

When the universe gives me a reprieve, I use it to reflect on my existence.  This reflection grants me an understanding about the source of my malfunction. The origin is permeating pain.  It doesn’t matter what the actual source of the pain is, simply that it hurts.

 

The Body of Life – Tree of Life

Malfunction – Tree of Life

When We Malfunction – Tree of Life

The rings of christmas

The Rings of Christmas – Body of Life

Silver and gold garland wreathed around the needle-sharp Christmas tree. An array of glass and plastic ornaments fell from hooks like stems of fruit on the pine branches. Spiraling luminescence gracefully undulated from a string of rainbow lights.  A sparkle caped angel rested atop the lush tree, but it was the brilliantly wrapped gifts tied with bows that were the culmination of excitement.

Hundreds of cookies rested in old popcorn tins. Homemade fudge, pies, cakes and all sorts of scrumptious treats were in abundance. The house was a Christmas treasure land, my mother made sure of that. Each year she made everyone’s favorite, mine were fork mashed peanut butter, snicker doodle and chocolate chip cookies. The experience was one of love, a memory I am still able to treasure to this day.

These lessons, memories, moments are the foundation of how Me-of-the-Past and Me-Now romance life. I desire for my relationships to show love in the same way my mother showed how to make holidays special.  Find the beauty in the world around you, and you will be filled with it.

When saturated with beauty, we accept and nurture hope. We can take this small gift and place it into the palm of those we love. By passing this a spark we can ignite a great fire and inspire a conflagration of joy, peace and harmony.

All actions may have great return, so invest in the positive ones. The love shown to me, expressed by my mother, has, continues and will always enrich my life.

 

Healthy Relationships – Body of Life

Healthy Relationships

So much has changed since I began this journey. Many of the thoughts I wrote are no longer what I believe now. A good number were force fed to me by Ino. Spoonful’s of his hurt jammed down my throat into my heart. I have a peace-love relationship with my time with him. My heart has found peace, I no longer suffer with animosity or anger toward Ino. I love him as I would any person. The hurt he fed me has been spat out and the sour taste washed away. This peace has opened the pantry door for me savor the experience of healthy relationships.

From Ino and the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing I’ve discovered a quality I look for in others. True Empathy, the kind where hurt spoken is investigated before being dismissed. I want a friend in my corner who will listen to me, before they cast out my feels on this or that. The same is what I want to give, and that is exactly what will be given.

I’ve always believed that your lover should be your friend, your best friend. They should be your partner in crime, your battle buddy, your advocate. In my last relationship, I didn’t have this. It was a clear parameter set by them, a line I wasn’t allowed to cross. Healthy Shawn White would have ended the relationship then and there. Me-of-the-Past and Me-Now are a lot stronger than Chemo-Me, or Post-Chemo-Me. I was in too deep, too much in love during a troubling time to let go. It was the right thing for me, it was the affection and attention I needed. There is nothing I regret about that relationship. It was, as it was, and everything it was meant to be. I’m at peace with it and have moved on.

Every Relationship is Different

I believe that every relationship is different, each with its own social contract. Though different, all are similar in that they’re defined by the personal boundaries of at least two people. I dig love, life, adventures and dreams, but without personal boundaries none are possible.

 

 

 

horse

Horse Emotions – Emotional Creatures

Emotions do things, make noises and move around. Like a little creature or a horse, we go to them and embrace the moment. Often, we mount a saddle and start riding. These creatures do all sorts of stuff, especially if we don’t know how to reign them in. We let the horse go this way and that as it tramples shit and runs amuck. After a little bit, we figure it out and look back at what we’ve done. We say crap, what have I done and we try to make things right. We beg and plead, we demand and yell. We pester and poke. Eventually we get off the horse and walk away. We have to just hope others know what it’s like to be stuck on a horse as it moves through our life.

Links

Never-ending Journey – Relfections

Emotional Creatures

 Like mist on wind, streaming violet light floated alongside swirling smoky circles. This spiraling purple luminescence twisted like ivy into twirling portals of light. Opening into doorways these portals brought a gathering of faeries, emotional creatures dancing and singing. One fey creature moved toward me, alone, with divine grace. Walking, dancing, prancing across the floor, her little feet created magical waves in her wake. There was a certain sadness to her, though her walk feigned a joyous heart, tears hid behind her sad eyes. Though her curly blonde hair bounced as she neared me, there was stillness to her spirit, a sorrow to her soul. Her friends remained at the entrance, through the fog of their peaceful presentation radiated discord.

With a half broken smile her lips mustered the strength to speak.

“Daddy?” The little Fey looked toward my eyes. “I’m lonely. Will you be my friend?”

Tend to your emotions

The Tree of Life is home to all things that are, and are not. It is our home, the person we are now and who we desire to be. Without it we don’t exist and to deny it is a fate worse than death. Our temple is our tree, we must honor, love and respect it. It is an Artifact of our lives and we must decide whether it is a positive or negative influence.

Living on and around our tree are all sorts of creatures. Our emotions are creatures of all sorts, from little pets to wild animals, from brownies to totems, from Seelie to Unseelie. We have a responsibility to them, they are our children. To be a proper parent we must tend to their needs. Sometimes they come to us crying, begging to be loved. Other times they demand attention kicking and screaming. It is up to us to discover the needs of each of our creatures and to give them what they need.

Horse Emotions – Emotional Creatures

 

Negative and Positive

Defining Negative and Positive

Positivity isn’t candy smiles or sunshine happiness nor are frowns and sadness a representation of Negativity. These fundamental concepts are beyond the scope of these momentary experiences, fleeting emotions and passing seconds. To be positive is to be harmonious, accepting and being at peace with oneself. To be negative is a state disconnection, disorder and intolerance. Indulging negativity is a freefall into the pit of suffering. Suffering is pain without purpose.

To be positive is to accept the harmony of life and death, pain and pleasure, that there is purpose to everything. All action has significance, when we embrace negativity, we embrace discord. Discord blinds us. It strikes away our ability to see the significance of our experiences.

Links

Equal and Peaceful – Poem