This is essentially a cut-and-paste from a journal entry. It was a thread I began to pull based on re-examining and/or re-wiring some relationships. These relationships include with God, my life partner, money, my body. And my relationship with life. I am posting this because I feel called to show my work rather than deliver some polished and refined post. As I post it, I acknowledge a sense of terror — that I will be rejected, judged, mis-understood. Which are all signs to do it anyway.
Old system: Appointed time with God (going to church) to cope with my human-ness and conditions. Ritualistic prayer and reading of Bible. Followed this system because it was the only guaranteed system I knew.
New practice: Talk with God every day, multiple times per day. Time in nature. Connections. Reading spiritual texts. Meditating.
Old system: Seeing God as a dispenser of correction and punishment for being the way I am. Seeing Jesus as model that I found very difficult to follow and who I did not understand. Seeing the Spirit as something that is given/taken based off of my behavior. Tying failure and struggle to my indulgent behavior and my perceived lack of faith.
New practice: seeing God as a loving Father, seeing the Christ within, seeing the Spirit in everything — including myself.
Old practice: Lynna as a rescuer, soother, subsidizer and safe harbor to cope with my human-ness and emotional damage.
New practice: Loving her unconditionally as she is, not what I project her to be. Unfiltered truth. Freely together. Not looking to her (or anyone else) for affirmation of my worth.
Old system: Identifying with groups (church, Republican party, being an entrepreneur) to have a sense of belonging and meaning — although I felt like an outsider in all three.
New practice: Completely unaffiliated; belong to no groups. Focusing on connections, freedom, creativity.
Fitness (working out and eating) as an ego-fueled coping tool for confidence, acceptance, affirmation. All body disconnect issues.
New practice: Investing in my body because it’s worth of it. Includes clean eating and intentional movement — hiking, Hapkido, stretching, yoga (this is a new practice that hasn’t yet become a habit.)
Speaking, coaching, mentoring as ego-boosters; increasing my sense of worth and value.
New practice: sharing wisdom, asking questions, holding space from a place of abundance and service — most of the time.
- Misfortune, failure, losing
- Physical conditions: pain, hunger, fatigue, sexual desire
- Emotional conditions: lonely, depressed, desperate
- Situational conditions: waiting, too hot, too cold, crowds
- Relationship conflicts
- Anger, resentment, jealousy
- Shame, guilt
- Insecurity, unease
- Fear, terror
- Loneliness, isolation
- Hyper-vigilance, sensitive
- Over-thinking; obsession
- Scorn, judgement
- Hero worship
Old Coping Behaviors
- Going to gym
- Work harder, longer
- Driving, travel
- Binge watching
- Avoidance — especially with those closest to me
- Indulgence, impulsiveness — self-abuse
- Over-planning, control, manipulation
- Lying, telling false stories
- Sleeping / staying up all night
- God is punishing me; bad things happen to me because of who I am
- I am damaged beyond repair; something is wrong with me
- I am unworthy of anyone’s love
- My body has failed me yet again
- I’m terrible with money
- I don’t go to things
- I don’t belong anywhere
What I accomplished despite all this:
- Lynna and I still together after 30 years
- Great dad and co-parent; great relationship with Logan (and Sarah) and Caden
- Been self-employed since 2003
- Been to all 50 states
- Authored two books
- Created a following of people that I inspire
- Discovered my personal mission
- Went on a journey inward; burnt down everything, questioned everything
- Gave Lynna space to become her true self
- Created an amazing creative partnership, business and team with Emily.
- Took dozens of great risks; tried many new things.
- Moved to Austin
- New circle of great friends; but still a few old friends that love me unconditionally and I them.
- A real relationship with my mom
- Witness to more miracles and magic than I knew was possible.
Reminders / new stories
- God neither punishes nor rewards based on who I am
- Physical pain doesn’t mean failure
- More control doesn’t reduce anxiety
- Shift perspective/response to “What will happen today?” from negative (doom) to positive (mystery)
- Discomfort (hunger, temperature, pain) is not a threat
- I don’t need an enemy to feel important
- My old life is gone but the coping mechanisms, triggers remain.
- I’ve matured from a victim/follower to creator/mentor
I don’t need coping mechanisms anymore. When living in joy and acceptance, there is very little to cope with.
I don’t need coping mechanisms but I do need life practices:
What I want out of all my relationships …