The Search For Spiriuality

There are many facets to a complete life. Having family, friends, love, a good job, financial security,and health all contribute to happiness and peace in your life. Although my priorities have shifted over the years, I’ve tried to ensure I had all of these in some proportion in my life. There is one facet though that I personally have ignored for years. Something that others put most of their life energies in to, finding spirituality.

I was raised with a bit of a religious upbringing, but it was never forced upon us and my siblings and I were given the freedom to choose our spiritual direction. The pursuit of knowledge was always mportant to me, so when it came to religion, I looked at it only from an academic perspective and never truly pursueda spiritual path. I never held any ill feelings towards anyone that practiced religion, in fact I celebrated it, though I couldn’t do the same myself. I just didn’t get it and I left it that way for years.

Its funny how the universe provides when you need it most. When I was at my darkest point this year, I found myself looking for direction, for guidance away from the dark path I was walking. I didn’t delve deeply into it, but I did find myself looking for meaning in it all, and it was through religion that I found some solace. I am not going to be admitting here that religion saved my life or that I’ve become horn again or anything, but I will admit that religion has helped me fill a void that I’ve been feeling for a very long time.

I have never been one that likes to blindly follow others, and Ill admit that the rituals and dogma of most organized religions kept me from getting involved in the past. But the words, the teachings, I always found interesting, and the more I immersed myself in them, the more I started to understand. It wasn’t until I went into a church though that I truly started to “get it.”

The first sermon I attended in over 25 years was about redemption, and forgiveness, and that no matter what we have done, if we are truly sorry and repent, we are forgiven. I know most people will say that most sermons are about that and I’m putting too much meaning into it, buy this sermon touched me, the words resonated, without all the religious bloat that turned me off before. I felt that the sermon was meant for me, and it was then that things made more sense.

I am still not a fan of all the rituals and rules of organized religion, but I do enjoy the words and the teachings. I’ve been attending church services now for two months with my girlfriend, and it feels good. I feel whole.

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Finding a Hand to Hold

This past weekend marked the end of something I never thought I’d never have been involved with in the first place. This weekend I had my final session with my counsellor.

The end of this chapter was meet with bitter sweet feelings. I actually developed a great, trusting relationship with my counsellor, one where I was actually able to open up and talk about things about myself that I have been silent about for my entire life. I saw some great progress working with my therapist, and it helped me get through some very difficult times. I was also able to share great joys as well, and it was an uplifting experience to be able to include another in the secret that has been my life.

It does feel a little like I’ve just lost a close friend though. I never thought I would have benefitted from therapy. I am the kind of person that has always thought they knew best for themselves and my inability to trust people made growth counselling a near impossible feat. It took me many months just to start opening up, and I almost gave up a few times because it seemed hopeless. I’m sure my counselor was frustrated with me more than a few times. But my counsellor was persistent and patient, more than I’ve seen in most people, and eventually that persistence and professionalism paid off.

When I did open up, it was like a dam had burst. I had so many emotions, thoughts, and fears bottled up that I felt like I had been broken apart and like humpty would never be put together again. But, as time passed, and we continued working together, I discovered more about myself, and learned ways to control and even change certain behaviours, and it stuck. There were things we tackled that I didn’t even know I had issue with. the more we talked, the more I felt I knew myself. And that felt great.

I never would have thought Id have been able to go through this experience, but now I wonder how I was able to get by so long without it. I never thought that when we started, Id be sitting here feeling completely at peace with myself and feeling nothing but hope for the future.

It is okay to admit that sometimes you cannot handle something on your own. You may go through times where you feel nothing but hopelessness and despair. But you must remember that even if you feel you are all alone, even if you do not have any friends or family to rely on, as long as you have breath in your body, you have the power to change things.

Seeking professional help to deal with my life issues was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I encourage you to seek out assistance yourself if you feel like there is any part of yourself or your life that makes you feel unhappy. You can find that happiness. There is no shame in asking for a hand to hold.

Her

This post has been a long time coming. I’ve had “Get Her Back” on The List since the beginning, and for a long time, I wasn’t sure when to cross it off. In love you never seem to be sure what might happen. You can be as blissful as can be and it can make you blind to things that are around the corner, things that can turn joy in to sadness, happiness in to pain, all at the blink of an eye. Love is a powerful thing. It has turned leaders into beggars, cities into ruins, gold into tin. But it also works the other way.

When I first lost her, I didn’t think I would ever be with her again. I didn’t deserve such a beautiful angel in my life. She was everything, and I was nothing. And worse, I had hurt her. I was not worthy of such an incredible woman. I was devastated beyond belief when we ended our relationship in February, but I accepted it because I felt it was deserving of my actions and behaviour. I wanted to fight so badly to earn her love, respect, and trust back, but I didn’t feel it was my fight to have. But I was wrong.

Love is love. And no matter what happens in life, when you love someone, you love them, no matter what.

Her and I have been on a great path for several months now, and everyday we get stronger. Our lives are quickly forming together and we are planning a future together again. We talk of marriage, of babies, of life 20, 30, 40 years later, and we mean it. I feel secure in our relationship, and I believe in our love for each other.

She has seen me at my worst, and has stood at my side, supporting me, comforting me, loving me.

I am myself in a relationship for the first time ever, and it is her that has brought it out in me. She has been my motivation for many of the changes I have been making. I want to be a better man for her as well as for myself.

Today is an arbitrary day to be doing this, but it is of no matter. I have been feeling this way for quite some time and it is now that I write this post, so today shall be the day. I love her with all of my heart, and her the same, and I feel that we are focused on building a life together and will stick together no matter what comes our way. We are one, love at its best. Love like no other.

Today I cross it off my list, I have earned her love and respect back.

*I also just noticed that this was my 100th post. I am happy it was this one.*

6 Months

Yesterday was a great day. I woke up in the morning beside the love of my life, we had coffee and breakfast together, then went to a new church, then took the furry friend out for a walk. The entire time, we were smiling and holding hands and enjoying each other and life. We then headed off to a theatre performance and had a wonderful time there as well followed by a casual but great dinner together a place we have never been before. It was a wonderful day and I happy beyond belief that she is in my life.

I never would have ever expected to be where I am right now 6 months ago. About 6 months ago she had found out about everything that I had done, all the bad things I was responsible for, and it broke her heart, because I didn’t tell her any of it. It was 6 months ago that my entire life fell apart and an entire community turned its back to me because my past actions were discovered. 6 months ago I lost everything I held dear in my life. 6 months ago I almost made the biggest mistake of my life. 6 Months ago, I dedicated myself to becoming a better person and began this journey.

It has been 6 months and I am happy and in control and for the first time, feel like I am actually living my own life.

There have been some missteps along the way, but there have been some great successes as well. I have learned a lot about myself, things I should have known and confronted years ago. I am genuinely happy, something I thought I knew before, but was mistaken.  I have been focused on making positive changes in my life and I see those changes now, especially when I look back at the person I was before.

I was irresponsible and it has made me prudent.

I was reckless and it has made me careful.

I was arrogant and it has made me humble,

I was isolated and it has made me open.

There are so many different changes that I have been making in my life. With my habits, my family, my spirituality, my focus, my relationships, my career, my desires, my actions, my plans. Everything has changed. All of it, for the better.

I am nowhere near the end of this journey, but looking back, I am proud of the progress I have made and am excited to continue to work on myself and see where this path takes me.  There will be bumps along the way, but it is part of it all and I must continue to learn from them and continue moving forward. Always moving forward.

Life moves too fast to be wasted. Every moment is a joy.

The Rocky Way

As I first starting writing this title, I was originally thinking of walking along a rocky path, where sometimes your footing is unsure and you might slip, and others where there are huge rocks that have been there for thousands of years and provide some very stable ground. But now, I am thinking all about Rocky Balboa and actually the two metaphors are quite similar.

The journey is not always going to be a smooth one, and you need your wits and skills about you to make sure you can get through it. Sometimes you are going to slip and you aren’t going to look great, but you are going to learn from it, and that is going to help you later.

When you get knocked down, you get right back up. You aren’t helping yourself staying down.

You have a destination in your mind, it may not be exactly what you thought it would be when you started, but as you travelled, you better understood why you were where you were and where you are going. The destination is important to keep in mind, but it is the journey that is going to define you, not the destination.

The journey is never really complete. There is always another sequel.