Between the raindrops

shallow focus photography of rain droplets

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The clouds clear
And you’re there
The fog disappears
And you’re there
The memories fade
And you’re there
Writing itself
In all the open spaces
Between the rain drops
Circling around
Above the ground


Dear God

aged ancient asian buddhism

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Dear God, Thank you for this journey where I travel all alone, for the single passerby who reminds me I’ve a home.  Thank you for the treasures I find along the way, flowers, skies and creatures, no worries but to play.  Thank you for the silence, the gentle steady pain, reminding me how rare when sunlight shines with rain.  Remind me of dormant places, where wounds still lie awake, so I accept the healing that’s free for me to take.  Reveal to me the walls that have me so hemmed in, so I can find the door to leave behind those sins.   

Dear God
If angels are real
Let them descend upon me
And heal
Dear God
If all power is yours
Give me the faith
To believe
In a love
that restores
Dear God
If truth will set me free
Erase all the lies
That live
Inside of me.  

God, you can’t be tricked or hoodwinked into giving me what I want.  So, I either find a way to get it myself or I humble myself in the waiting for a higher power to open doors I don’t even realize exist.  Thank you for my ability to reason, to see the world with an enlarged view that guides me to accept everyone with love and forgiveness.  Please expand my horizons and help me see beyond the horizontal boundaries of my imagination.  Thank you for allowing me to be the bitter sweet friend that holds the fort together, silently orchestrating harmony that is lived but never felt or heard and never appreciated as emanating from within my soul.  Subconscious God of gentle breeze that casts much needed shadows, shelter me in the recesses of peace that surpasses all understanding.  I release the shame of being used and abused, setting the sparrows free for migration toward a season of forgiveness, accepting the strength to embrace mental clarity and seasonal solitude perched in the nest of the upper view. 

This battle.  Within, oh Lord.  I’m tired.  And no longer wish to fight.  What conclusions can be drawn?  Please draw my future for me, in my mind, so I can step inside your lines.  Miss the landmines that lay before me, squeezing breath from my joy.  Hold my hand across this terrain where I look at myself in disdain.  And let me guide another to miss the marks I’ve taken as scars of misunderstanding, working into the night to erase memories I can’t recall.   I’m weary of feeling helpless so show me I am not.  Carry me to places so I stop casting these lots.  There’s nothing I can give, promise to return, because I don’t believe these prayers depend on what I’ve learned.  I still don’t know you and may never with faith accept, the God of temperament with indifference, while I’ve suffered, you’ve slept. 

God, I’m young and wandering.  Street of unkind spoils.  No light to guide me around.  Eternal road of toils.   Take mercy on my youth.  The part that’s still alive.  And deal with aging gently.  The man I’m deep inside.  Seeking shelter in pages of the dusty past.  Where love seemed possible to touch.  Undo my disbelief and show me your love lasts.  Return me safely home from this desert, hot, alone.  Reveal the part of me I’d believed was gone. 

God, show me what I’m good at.  Help me to excel.  Sharpen my mind so that I finally do well.  Be my navigation.  Around all these thoughts in my head.  Where dreams and desires and ambition each lay dead. Awaken all my senses, those needed for next steps and put to sleep my doubting, paralysis inept.  Join me to my love on waters rippling joy where breezes gently whisper romances in our ear.  Fate of highest calling some will never hear.


Never Goodness Enough

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Lately I’ve been pondering, albeit way too much, on my limiting beliefs.  It would seem simple to get to the core of those beliefs we hold so tight that our whole world will unravel without them.  But, it’s not so simple or easy.  Here’s why.  Most of our minds run on auto-pilot and tell the exact same story over and over again.  The story is always on fast forward inside our minds and it only leaves us with an overall feeling that causes us to react to people and situations.  It feels nearly impossible to slow down the reel and deconstruct exactly what has us caught in this loop, this groundhog day of an existence.  Truth be told, we don’t just have one limiting belief, but a whole shabby tower of them that are so tightly interconnected, pulling one thread feels a bit like sitting warm in our favorite sweater, with the urge just to tug one little yarn, to get rid of that tiny nuisance.  Problem is, when you start pulling, the whole thing–our life starts to come undone if we don’t stop.  Most of us don’t want to end up sitting there naked, so we just stop pulling or we find a pair of scissors and cut the string off.  But this doesn’t get rid of the loose ends.  In fact, we’ll continue to have loose ends until one day, we end up getting rid of the sweater anyway because it looks old, ratty, and quite frankly, like crap.  Sometimes we start pulling loose ends because we’re bored and feel a bit self-destructive, maybe sitting in church feeling nervously condemned.  We’re not really intent on truly fixing anything, in that moment.  Then, we wake up, and realize we almost accidentally made a mess.  So, what about when we really are just ready to start living authentically and get real with ourselves and others?  We stop caring about what kind of mess is left.  We just start pulling and don’t stop until it’s too late.  The damage has been done and it’s time to look at our core with no covering, no pretense.

So was this year.  A year of pulling the string.  I can assure you that this process is a lot like living on the edge harnessed only by thoughts like, “Oh my dear God, what have I done?”  And I’m still pulling and pulling and pulling and pulling.  Until I stopped.  Half-dressed.  Hand in the cookie jar.  Crumbs on my mouth stopped.  And this is what I felt.  “I will never be good enough.”  I could not stop all the thoughts in my head.  Could not slow them down enough to hear any more or less than, “You are not good enough.”  And by good, I don’t mean skill or intellect or acrobatics.  I mean “goodness.”  “I’m not goodness enough.”

I mean I get it.  It’s pretty obvious why I would feel this way.  But is it really a can of worms I can afford to open at this point in my life?  I mean, I kinda already did open it.  There’s no putting this sweater back together.  It’s cold in here.  I did look good in sweaters and no one would have noticed the string, had I just left it alone.  But, I knew it was there.  This nagging, limiting belief that I’m not goodness enough.  Everyone sees me.  Nothing really looks wrong on the outside.  Yet, I behave strange.  Like there’s something more wrong with me than there is with you.  Like you’ve never had any loose ends yourself.  And I hand this power over, sometimes to complete strangers, because I’m looking for a way to convince myself that I am goodness enough.  Many people deal with this limiting belief by never sharing anything about themselves and always putting up a front to say, “I’m goodness enough and I’ll never show you otherwise, because I’m a master concealer, until I’m not” or “I’m not goodness enough and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.” Then others, such as myself, start the conversation with “Here’s why I’m not goodness enough, convince me that I am, please.”  “Analyze me.  Take my life history and knit some sense of it.” “Please see that I’m a good person.” Then I spend the remainder of my time with those strangers or loved ones, proving I’m goodness enough—trying my damnedest to never screw up, so that I never risk losing their friendship or love, until I do.  Neither way is the right way.  Those who deal with this limiting belief, similarly to me, tend to miss out on opportunities because they look at every situation as a temptation.  They fear what others will think if they make certain decisions or take a new direction.  They are tempted to conceal their true desires because their desires may not align to others’ or even their own idea of goodness.  Conversely, those who are unapologetic for their sense of goodness or lack thereof, take more opportunities to explore their desires and dare anyone to challenge them otherwise.  If they believe others will think ill of them for the pursuit, they’ll skillfully keep quiet about it, with no shame.  And they certainly have no reason to hide when they’re convinced they’re “goodness” enough, despite the opinion of others.  Each of these styles of dealing with the limiting belief that “I’m not goodness enough” is tied closely to other limiting beliefs that are a result of our particular religion, creed or upbringing.  But every style is rooted in shame, in hiding who we really are because who we really are is scary as poop that hits the fan just before company arrives.  A friend once told me to repeat to myself 100 times a day, “I am who I am and I won’t apologize for it” with the warning that this is a principle of balance, not indulgence.  I’d not even repeated this affirmation 100 times before it beat the hell out of this notion that I’ll never be “goodness” enough–In a way that was totally unexpected and quite frankly, disruptive to my conscience.  I admitted.  Whether I’m goodness enough or not – I have to stop apologizing for who I am, good or bad, who says they’re better?

This does put us back at square one though.  Faith and religion.  Are we justified by works or faith?  Dare we say God is able to keep score on all our iniquities?  Who’s winning and who’s losing?  Do you use your righteousness as a bullwhip?  Are you humble enough to forgive the reflection of you?  What is the difference between proving goodness and making actual good choices that impact your future and those within your reach, positively?  I don’t know the answers.  If I did, I wouldn’t be writing.  But I do know I’m still working to earn some salvation.  Some redemption of those parts of me that just aren’t right.  At the same time, I want to be loved for me, not the goodness me I project, but the messy me—the one who still just wants to find some peace and happiness this side of eternity.  Truth be told, this whole love and total acceptance is between me, myself and God.  It’s nobody’s business and nobody’s fulltime job to make me feel goodness enough—it’s miracle work—it’s ‘ole time religion that’s made a 2,000 year living, capitalizing on our deepest longing for goodness, to finally sit right with God.