Monthly Archives: September 2013

Reach For It

ReachForIt

There are those that propose that all one needs to do is think happy, then happiness will follow. Sounds simple. The fact that it’s near impossible has never escaped me. But what is possible is to think the best thought within every given situation. Even when doing so is difficult, doing so is not impossible.

Granted there are times when the best thought one can think is to think no thought at all. I had very few thoughts while my son was in brain surgery. I could not reach for happiness. The best I could do was to refrain from thinking the worst. And that’s what I did.

I don’t think its a wise thing to run from life, even when it gets ugly. Even when numb, try to be present. It’s my belief that any situation that has found its way before us, is one in which we are meant to be present. Maybe we won’t handle it with fluid ease or with the level of grace for which we’d like. But it is our life and ours to sink our fingers into. Sometimes it gets sloppy. But don’t run. And if you do, run toward life, not away.

And if you are afraid of making a mistake, I understand. Life is a serious endeavor. But it is also the playground for any happiness you hope to find. It must be lived. Storms do subside. But rarely do they pass over if we do not lift our head and give them our gaze. Live the moments given unto you. Own even your tears. They are yours. Some moments are rotten. Move through them. Don’t dance around them. Walk on. And while you are walking keep your head held high, reach for a better thought. You do not need to think of clowns and sunny skies. You just need to think of a better thought than the worst. Move up the ladder of thought from there. Do this not to trick your mind. Do this to bolster it and help it to fall into line with your soul.

I know fear. As do you. Most often it speaks the loudest during the night. Not because it holds more power during darkness but because it has more of your focus. There is nothing that can be solved by holding yourself prisoner to the orchestra of fear. It has your attention not because fate has struck you down, but because you are tired and you are scared. You’re scared that tomorrow might be worse than today, and you may not be able to handle what lies ahead. We all get tired and scared sometimes. Tomorrow is a new day, and with it comes your ability to reach deeper into your resolve.

If you are to let your thoughts rule your life, think well. Think the best thought you can. Tell yourself that maybe, just maybe, this time things will be better. And if they aren’t, there is always the time after that. Please understand that sometimes the best in life comes first by way of the worst. Know that. Make it your truth and it will diminish many of your fears, because you will view the storm as the possible precursor to better days, not the harbinger of your undoing.

Do not demand perfection from yourself, nor wait for it from life. If you are to demand anything let it be that you find joy in the little things; that you dig your hands into the makings of your world and shape it so that it pleases you. Try not to let fear control your clock. And if you are to wait for anything, suspend yourself and wait in the moments that make your heart smile. Those moments are the flowers along life’s road. Smell them. Make them your own. Now walk on.

Sane

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Having Tea With Me

TeaWithMe

Dear reader, today I complete my forty-fourth year. I spent Saturday night with eyes cast over the water, a gentle Pinot Noir in hand, and my mind settled onto the contemplations of the road behind me, and the road ahead. In that still, private moment I talked to God in the same way as always – with reverence, vulnerability and honesty. I cried a bit. I smiled a bit. I released what was on my heart.

I mentioned that I feel a bit displaced at present; tired. This house that I know I’m meant to occupy at this point in time is not my home. I was freed from the place I called home; freed from the memories held within its walls. I am thankful for that. But now, everything about me is in transition. I am acutely aware that this is how it needs to be – for now. But it unsettles me, just the same. I am where I need to be, while writing what I am meant to write. But its not an easy time.

Police sirens, car alarms and the sound of constant hubbub fills the air while my thoughts travel the furthest they’ve ever gone inside myself; corridors and passageways that I have long since locked away. It’s easy to feel alone during the process, especially while here. I whispered those words to God.

During any time of expansion, there is a bit of displaced energy; an uncomfortable void while new truths develop and harden into place. I thought about this the other night. Right now, the only certain thing in my life – is me. My words to you, here and in my book, come from this solid place. I own my greater truths. I own this road that has been mine, complete with every twist and turn. I own this walk I have with God, as unique as it may be.

As a small child I prayed desperately for God to talk with me; for Jesus to sit down on my bed and tell me everything would be alright. That never happened, not in the way I had hoped. God has its own way of speaking with me. And as much as I would like God to sit down and have tea with me, looking back, I can’t say I would change a thing. I own my joys. I own my pain. And I own each time God has whispered words to me, even words I’m not prepared to hear.

The next morning, I had a moment to myself. I returned to the same spot as the night before. This time with tea in hand I looked back over the water. I looked back over my life. I also gave some time to looking ahead. I admit dear reader, that at times this process causes me to feel quite alone. So when I speak to you about these many things, the trials, the triumphs, the aches of life, the victories of life – they are truths known deeply by me. I thought a good deal about this odd little curve in my road, and how it has me sitting on the shoulder, reflecting back. This time out is also forcing me to make thoughtful decisions about my future. I’ve been given this curve for a reason, so I’ll respect it as such. It is also for a reason that I’ve been given each of these forty-four years – each one led to a greater, deeper expansion of my soul; opportunities to either step away or step further into my authentic self.

Through a song on a station I’ve never before listened, God spoke to me the other morning. God did sit down and have tea with me. And this is what was said…

Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

I am not alone on this journey, and neither are you. Things may seem unfamiliar to me as I embark on this second half of my life, but I am not lost. I may not have a place to call home, but home will soon find me. And that is what I needed to know.

It is for each of us to seek out, acknowledge and own the way in which God speaks with us. If you haven’t yet found it,  keep searching. Keep allowing. Keep believing. Its there.

Sane

And if you are curious, here’s the song through which God spoke to me: Phillip Phillips – Home

Clear Vision

ClearVision

I’ve been meditating a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about what it means to be human, and how it is these souls of ours are carrying out their destined task. I have to wonder if with each life the soul lives, another layer of camouflage is released.

I believe so. Whether I like it or not I believe I am living this lifetime without too many layers left. And when I look at others I not only see their layers, but I can feel the thickness and emotional makings of those layers.

In one respect it seems as though life would be easier, carrying it out while buried. Those layers, I can only assume, provide some level of protection. But what works to protect us inwardly can also shield us from the depth and most exquisite aspects of life. Those who feel the most pain, also feel the most joy. Life is set up that way, I feel. The dichotomy is ever-present. One can not tap into one aspect without tapping into the other. They may choose to focus more predominantly in one direction, but the contrast remains just the same, hovering in their peripheral.

At times I wish I could curl under a thick, heavy covering that guarded me from all that troubles me. Depression brought me close to such a thing, and yet depression is a type of disease to a soul that wants only to live in full health and with full expression. Every now and again, I feel myself close down still to this day. Its my psyche’s way of trying to blur my awareness. But once aware we can never become unaware. The best thing, the smartest thing, one can do is to step into that awareness even if that of which we are aware is not what we want to see. It is our job to seek out a clearer lens, and to create a stable framework that hold the lens.

I have to imagine it has taken me many lifetimes to come to the understanding that my perception is not always shaped from truth or knowing; but instead from fear; times when the frame holding the lens through which I see has been cast into shape by the past. It takes courage to break such a mold as these parts within ourself sit at our core. They have become who we are, or more accurately, who we have chosen to believe we are. It takes strength to choose differently. Some days I have that strength. Some days I do not. But the awareness that it is my choice as to what I choose, and the mold is that of my own creation, never escapes me.

So here I sit today, working on writing the book the tells my spiritual story, all the while examining if the lens I’m using to view my life is providing me with clear focus. Or, if I have outgrown it and am in need of choosing another. Or is it more serious than that. Do I need to break down the mold that creates the frame that holds the lens. If like me, you have noticed that things are becoming blurred. Step back. It may be that you are trying to see your world, or something within your world, and it is not as you want it to be. Or perhaps the problem is with you. Look at your lens, test out another. If the problem remains, go deeper. Visit the part within you that holds the lens in place. Keeping working at it. Don’t give up. Eventually things will become clear.

Sane

In God’s Image

annferrar.com

annferrar.com

If I had only one sentiment to say to everyone, those I see before me, and those whom I can not, it would be: Learn your journey. Discover your purpose.

I can’t imagine living my life without purpose. Although I study religion, I do not need religion to tell me anything about myself, including my purpose. Nor do I need it to provide me with guidelines as to how to live. I understand and appreciate those who do, and fault them not. I can’t judge anyone, for if I do I am bucking against one of the core principles on which I base my life. If I am cast in God’s image, then I intend to remain that way. And God does not judge. I slip up from time to time, but it pains me when I do.

For me to cling to religion would mean that I no longer feel confident of my connection to all that is and my inner compass; through which the energy of all that is spins most fervently. I don’t want to deviate from self acceptance and acceptance of others; so religion will remain a study of mine, but not my spiritual home. But many veer toward certain philosophies because handling the dichotomy of the human mind can be daunting. True, the psyche can flop with wild abandon, yet the compass does not. Listen to it.

In a world where we so often feel alone, we look to dogma as it represents rules that represent structure, and structure feels like unity; a group believing somewhat the same, even if the beliefs aren’t always the best, or God-like. It is for many their tribe. And we humans want a tribe. We want to belong. Belonging begins within; it will forever elude us if we fail to start there.

Perhaps it’s because, when young, I would often feel so out-of-place around others that I sought out God in nature. I too needed a tribe. But now, older, confident of my place on this planet, I see God in all things. I see God in the eye of the one who has violated their inner compass as much as I see God in the eye of the one who never causes theirs to spin. Most importantly, I still see God in the eyes of my own even when I am acting out not from a place of truths and knowing but from a place of weakness. God doesn’t abandon me for being human. God is experiencing life through all of us, at all times. God is. Always.

Please know that one of us is not better than the other. Nor were we brought into being with the intent of spending the remainder of our years righting a wrong. We are here so our soul, the off shoot that is among the many off-shoots of God, can expand, experience and become that which it has not already been. There is a reason why we all see the world a bit differently. Each perception; each turning of a phrase; each mingling of words and nuance of speech; each creation; each skill; each song sang in a singular voice is evidence that we are beautifully unique; like leaves from the same tree. A soft look shows us as similar, yet upon closer inspection distinction is seen. Its meant to be that way. Combined it’s what makes the tree beautiful.

So look at your journey. Think upon your purpose. Your  life is more than a series of minutes clumped together forming a day which form the many months and years of one’s life. Even your struggles have purpose, as do your joys. For some it takes many lifetimes before realizing they are to look inward equally as much as they are to look outward. Of course, having read this, you now know. You needn’t waist one more day.

Sane

Putting Out Fires

There’s no escaping the fire that burns inwardly. These damaged areas within ourself require our focus and dedication. Tending to the flames is a fruitless endeavor. And turning a blind eye will only result in a wild-fire that not only burns the house down, but takes with it those we love, as they stand close by. I know attempting such a feat may seem overwhelming and frightening, but I am here to tell you that you are stronger than you know. So run through the door of your inner being, head to that fixed point where things became inflamed. The fire began there. The fire will end there.

Over the course of the last few days I watched as an errant flame burned another, and two fires that are burning still today. Two I watched. One I felt.

Unresolved issues within the mind, heart or inner being, may seem almost insignificant as we often fall under the misconception that if tucked away, hidden from the world, no one will know, no one will be harmed. Rarely does it work that way. Instead, the broken pieces within us form scar tissue, misalignments within our being, and warped perceptions of our world. We begin to see and therefore shape our world based upon these unhealed parts within ourself. That which is left unhealed eventually becomes infected. And the infection spreads like wild-fire.

My father harbored many broken issues within himself; about which some he was in denial, some he was not. Those things that he chose to overlook found ways of expressing themselves through skewed actions and unbalance. I know, because I spent the greater part of my life having to heal from issues that weren’t mind from the start. Due to his issues, I had my own. Unless stopped, issues are passed down. The fire spreads from generation to generation. In the end my fire was engulfing, and I nearly lost my life. But one day I found the courage to walk into the fire of my own being. I walked out with my soul cradled safely in my arms.

I understand why we try to ignore these broken parts, no one wants to believe that they will ever adversely affect another. But adversely affect them they will. There is no other way. Even when we think our broken spirit that is painfully burning inside has been contained; it’s heat will be felt by all those we touch. It’s there, ever-present, burning down the house. A house will not stand for long, if the foundation is on fire.

At times within myself I feel a fire erupt. Some turbulent thing will blow my way, and stir up a small ember that still remains. But no longer do I turn a blind-eye or run from it. Instead, I turn toward it. Long gone are the days when I would sit powerless, watching myself become scarred. And long gone are the day where my home is uncertain due to fear of being burned. I’m not afraid to stomp out my own fires, and neither should you. But wisdom taught me that it is easier to deal with a small ember, than to put out a raging flame. So don’t ignore what’s going on inside.

Sane

 

Pushed

Often I feel pushed to the brink of what I can handle; times when my normal calm has been stripped; leaving me to wish privately for the moment to vanish or that I be allowed to run away. Generally, I am granted neither.

Instead the moment pushes harder as if demanding my attention, and that I flex a muscle within myself I haven’t yet strengthened. Although I’d like to say that without fail I dig deep and rise above, matching the demand brought before me, I don’t; not always. In fact I’ve caught myself more often than I care to admit muting out the words of another due to the soft backward fall I take into myself wanting to escape.

I do not begin each day perfectly aligned with my higher self. I do not end each night always confident that I can meet the challenges I know I must face upon waking. I haven’t risen to that level of sage-hood yet, but I’m working on it. And that is the whole point of this walk we’re all making – to work on these parts within ourselves that require expansion. I have many. Some days I’m convinced not that I’m an old soul as much as that of a young one, held tight within a ball that is too small and too weak; therefore constantly pushed to expand and muscle-up. Perhaps its a blending of the two: An old soul within the tight confines of a mind that struggles to blend logic and knowing. Either way, pushed often I am.

Once alone; once removed from that which tempts me to speak or act out impetuously, I breathe deep. I refrain from the urge to beat my head against the wall, and choose instead to look at the moment and see it for what it is – a push to develop yet another part of myself in need of strengthening. Sometimes it is patience. Sometimes it is tolerance. Sometimes it is unconditional love. And surprisingly, sometimes it is the strength to fight; all of which have their time and place.

As the autumnal equinox makes it way toward us, showing signs of its approach by way of the color guard of changing leaves, know that change is inevitable. Change means life. The oak that seems so predictable and slow to move, has within it constant change and expansion. The leaves on a tree are not dropping simply to end a cycle, but so that the tree may begin anew when ready. The energy within the tree pushes it to grow. So although challenging at the time, the energy within me pushes me to do the same. And most likely, the same is true with you.

Sane