I Still Believe In Love

It has been a long time since I have published anything on this blog. I have been quite remiss in my writing in general, but specifically here. This is the place I tend to put more of myself into my words, the place I share more of who I am. The following is exceptionally personal. I have felt myself slipping into some internal abyss, a place of my own creation. I have felt despair trying to take hold and pull me into a perceived helplessness. I know better, but the call is sometimes hard to ignore.

I had hoped to write something so very profound and touching and meaningful, but my mind it seems has got the best of me. I am lost to emotion and feeling, and light depression has found me this day and has refused to let me go.

This man I am today would be unrecognizable to the boy I had been years ago. That boy was full of love and hope and care for others. He was full of despair too, but he hid that well. I suppose I have continued to become better at the hiding part. But I have become something else as well. The tackling of some less-savory parts of my self of yesteryear has opened me to a monster I do not like. The pain I sought to escape has been loosed upon others through the cracks within my own heart.

I am at times a burden upon my own psyche, but only when I stop to think about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I may be headed. I do not like myself in this current state. I always feel as though I ought be far better. I always feel a monster. I always feel others’ pain and take it as a personal assault upon my heart.

I break my own heart far too often.

I am a product of so much pain and internal conflict. I am my own worst enemy. I am too feeling. I am empathetic to a fault. Though I most times suppress it, the emotions always catch me and overcome me and tear at my overburdened heart. I am lost to them even now, even as I write, even as I pour out these confusing and confounding words. I am overcome.

I so very much hate being alone, and that fact has led me to make many a poor decision. I have had to learn to like myself at times when I was want to curse my name and existence. Still I hate being alone. Still I find myself making decisions based on physical comfort when my heart screamed warnings upon warnings upon warnings. And I see that I have become no better than any other man who has lost himself in his desires and the simple pleasure of the flesh.

I despise hypocrisy, and I see my own in the mirror of my heart. For I have wanted love and lately have made of it a plaything. I have been the heartbreaker of my life for so long that I had begun to excuse myself for the breaking of others’ as well. Hypocrite.

“Don’t become jaded, Wayne.” The words spoken to me by a very good friend and wife of a very respected retired officer. She said those words to me several years ago. My own heart had been trampled and I felt so much pain that I was unable to hide it. I always tried to not fall into the trap of holding accountable the people I meet for the actions of those who might have hurt me dearly in the past. But I had become jaded and conflicted.

But I still believe in love. I am still capable of love. I still want love. I have just lost my way, and I am seeking my way back to that path. I hope to see it when it presents itself and to be open to it as well. And I am truly sorry to any I have hurt while I have been so lost in the wilderness of a broken heart.

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Be Professional…

It is no easy thing to walk in our shoes. It is far easier to second guess our actions and malign us as we serve. I have no more will or inclination to admonish any who see fit to speak ill of the righteous and ignore the wrongdoings of the evil in the world. Sheep can be misled. But it is a choice to remain sheep.

It is to my brothers and sisters that I offer these words: Be professional. Always be professional.

In your dealings with the Soccer Mom on the traffic stop for a minor traffic violation, be professional.

In your responses to the unruly child who has lost all respect for his parents due to their inability to parent, be professional.

In your handling of the mundane and everyday calls for service and in every instance, be professional.

Always be professional. And make sure you have already thought about how you would kill every single person you meet.

This is not a thought for the meek of the world. It is a thought for the warrior. For those who serve as we do cannot afford to think on killing when it is time to kill. The thought should be long foregone. When it is time to kill, we have only to act on those things we have already prepared.

This is no easy task. It is unnerving. It is unnatural. But it is necessary. For our survival and for the survival of the sheep. They are unaware and innocent. It is our calling to keep them safe, even should they despise us for it.

Think on killing even when there is nothing but calm. The storm that is evil comes to us without warning. Think on killing so that you might be ready for the storm when it finds you. Be prepared for the day for it surely will find us whether we are prepared or not.

E6:13“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Do not be disheartened, my brothers and sisters. Hold the line. Eternity is always in the balance. Malice has no place in your heart. The righteous kill to save and to serve. It ought be no easy thing to take a life, but the taking of life to save the innocent is as important as the sacrifice of a life to save the innocent. Maintain your position among the righteous. Do not ever lose that.

He Shall Call Me “G-Pop”

On the evening of September 13, 2016, I became a first-time grandfather. I am still somewhat in a state of disbelief. But I am so very hopeful and happy as well. It is a bit surreal, even now, two days later.

I have loved my children as best any father can: love in the sense of dedication and purpose and the desire for their well-being. But the amount of hope I hold for my grandson seems so very different.

I understand I am less responsible for him than I ever had been for my older children and even less so for my younger ones (my six-year-old boy is now an uncle!). But that means little to nothing in the grand scheme of my mind. In my mind I still hold a great amount of power over this young child, a great deal of potential influence. If I so choose.

Grandfathers have that power. I should know. My own grandfather was such a great influence on me, though I am only in my later years realizing it.

His influence was likely greater than most because he was the premier male role model in my life for my earliest years, and even into my teens he was the only truly active one. But even had the case been different I think he still wielded enough influence to make me realize his importance at this stage of my life.

My grandfather adored me and my sister, and he made sure we knew how proud he was of us at every instance. I have a better understanding of his faults now that I have had a chance as an adult of learning from my mother his human frailties and his demons, but the memories I have of him still are not tarnished. As an adult I know that not one of us is perfect, but children and maybe even more so grandchildren, tend to open our eyes to the distant possibility of near-perfection, at least in some small degree.

I saw and felt such when I looked upon my grandson and held him for the first time yesterday. The future is so very uncertain, but the possibility of its perfection, of its beauty, of its potential, is contained in the beautiful innocence of a newborn. Parents are very connected to the child and their innocence, but grandparents may be a bit wiser and understand the innocence of those children and how it ought not be so readily influenced by the experiences of the world.

Perhaps that is why grandparents are so prone to seemingly spoil grandchildren while at the same time delivering life lessons without the harsh penalties parents sometimes afford children in similar circumstances. Perhaps. My speculation is new and without the benefit of any grand parenting. Perhaps I am simply beginning to grasp better the idea of a grand parent’s love versus a parent’s love. Perhaps I am only now understanding the wisdom of that bond.

With all that has gone before me in these past few years, with all I have experienced, with all I currently find myself steeped in, I am so very overcome with a sense of dedication to all to whom I feel and profess love. All.

God has seen fit to open my eyes to much recently. He has guided me through pitfalls of self-loathing, anger, and denial of self. He has shown me the power of His Love in my life and how it might affect so many I hold as family and friend alike. And His Love for me I am want to share with so many. This experience is but another example of emotive love, higher Love, and His peace. Thank God for the many hardships, heartaches, and disappointments I suffered early in my life. They have helped to make me oh so very appreciative of blessings I had not seen along the way. And now I notice the great many blessings almost each and every day.

It is a great blessing and honor and privilege to be a grandfather. One I intend to not let go to waste.

The Boy In Love In Me

I am different than I was before, and still I am the same.

We are not static beings.  We hold within us variances and modes and compartments.  We share bits and pieces of ourselves, and we sometimes become lost to those parts of us revered by others or more comfortable to our base whims.  We put on a show, and sometimes we become the show.  Sometimes the show defines us.

No man is an island.  Those who try to be one usually fall short of anything even resembling a fulfilled life.  I had not sought to be anything other than happy, but my life did not turn out as I had hoped.  Mistakes are not the end of life.  They are an important part of it.  Life lessons and experiences are so much more potent when made from mistakes, from heartache and heartbreak.

I am come full circle with much wisdom in the journey.  I am the boy of yesterday, wide eyed and full of wonder.  And I am the man of the present, made of knowledge of the world and forged of pain and suffering.  Love is so much more potent and demanding of my being than ever it had been before, but it is no less inviting.  It is no less impactful.

I feel deeply because of the relationships I have nurtured.  I love my brothers and sisters who serve causes and ideals others so easily take for granted and find such false fault.  But such love is Agape (Gr) and only part of the heart and soul.  The love of brothers is great, but the love of home and family is what keeps us centered and human.  It is what makes us whole.

I welcome that awakening.  I have missed that part of myself.  I had nearly forgotten he existed.  And I now recall a self of many years ago, a young man without the pains and losses of my present self, and I see the future as a bright and wonderful place no matter what hardships might come to pass.

Love is a wonderful thing.  The hardest of men feel it most deeply.  The hardest of men fight for it most fervently.

If an angel should cross your path and shine a light upon it, do not take such a thing lightly.  Angels are rare in dealings with men.  Angels are blessings.  An angel upon Earth is precious and to be cherished.

If you should find an angel upon your path of life be sure to cherish, adore, and love her.

For The Love Of Storms

I am amazed at the infinitesimally small things many people take for granted. Lately I find myself paying attention to small moments I might have overlooked in the past. Following another long week of work I picked up my two youngest children and immediately soaked up all the love they give without any question. Picking up my son from ASP and him screaming, “Dad!” as he rounded the corner and saw me and ran to me was the beginning of what has turned out to be an amazing evening.

From us buying a small table and chairs for my breakfast nook, to us shopping for dinner, to us putting the table and chairs together, to us cooking and eating dinner, to us cleaning up the mess of an overflowing toilet, and finally to them enjoying some ice cream, tonight has been a real blessing for me. We were listening to some music as we ate dinner tonight and at one point Casting Crowns’ “Praise You In This Storm” came up in my playlist. I came so very close to crying as I listened to and started singing (we sing a lot together when songs we like come on).

Like so many people I am blessed now as I have been blessed in the past, even in the face of adversity and ill treatment and seemingly irreparable harm. God is with us, and He does not leave in good times or bad. His mercy is ever present. No matter where we are in life. Pay attention to the blessings even when you are in your storms.

My little guy is reading over my shoulder as I type these words, trying to figure out what it is I’m so intent on getting out.  It is so far beyond his bedtime, but he had a moment when you found Harvey’s (my previously-passed Golden Retriever) urn. He needed a little consoling as he hugged me and said softly that he missed Harvey.  God, I treasure these moments.  And we are listening to a certain song on repeat as I type these words. He said he likes the song. He said it is about God.

He’s a smart little guy

God bless any and all who might be suffering any hardship right now. If you are a believer, take comfort in the knowledge that you are not forsaken. He walks with you while you are hurting and offers care and comfort. And He remains steadfast in His love for you. And He will be there when the storm clears and you are able to see Him even more clearly than before.

If you are not a believer know this. Everything He provides for those of us who profess a belief, He also offers to you. Just as any father who provides a shoulder and comfort and peace and a promise of wellness after the suffering is done.  God bless you as well.

“Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

That Bitch, Fate

Even in the face of adversity we are called to rise above hardship and persevere and do our best. Those of you who hear the call know what I’m writing about. You have been in situations others use as an excuse to think, to speak, and to act out in horrible ways. Yet you do not think, speak, or act so. You look beyond the situation, the incidents, the people, and any other obstacles to your goodness, and you continue in the vein you travel each and every day.

But that damn sure isn’t easy!

The road to hell may indeed be paved with good intentions, but the path of the righteous is beset with all manner of iniquities and hardships. Many times those bludgeoning blows of the world come at the most inopportune times, at moments we are already weak and suffering some other defeat, some other loss.

Persevere even in the face of such forces. It is not that God does not give us anything we can not handle (I do not hold to any such belief in fatalism and the belief that such suffering is indicative of our Heavenly Father bringing pain and suffering to specific people as some sort of test), I rather believe God supplies us with the means to overcome such earthly hardships, such trying times and circumstances that we need fall back on the strength he has granted us.

My own Christian beliefs and ultimately my faith have wavered so severely throughout my adult life, yet I have been reminded of the strength flowing through me at some of the most horribly debilitating times I have suffered. I do not believe I was being tested in the biblical way others have been tested, but I do believe we suffer tests of the world.

Each of us must remember that fate in a very haphazard way finds us well or finds us ill, and that bitch pours out as she sees fit no matter what we’ve got going on. Good on good; good on bad; bad on good; bad on bad: She just doesn’t give a damn. Our response to those times is what is important. We need to pay attention not only to our own actions and reactions to such times, but we also need to note the behavior of those we have allowed access to our hearts and minds and souls.

If those we have granted intimacy show their nature not to be in our best interest, we need to be cognizant and remove them. If any show a nature to be consoling, attentive, loving, generous, kind, and comforting in both good and bad times, well those are the ones we need to keep close. Those are the relationships we need to nourish.

Take heed your own hearts. We are bound to keep ourselves safe and secure as best we can. Even the most giving individuals need succor and nourishing from time to time. Fate gives and takes away. It is the nature of randomness in a world ruled by our whims and happenstance. But not all of us are of this world. In fact my belief is that none of us are initially, though a great many lose sight of our divine connections and fall prey to deceit and at some point despair.

My hope lies elsewhere, and I for one refuse to allow any worldly hardship or any person to bring me down to any point I cannot in good time pull myself up from.

We are told to let our light shine; so let yours shine, even if you feel the world trying to cover it. Let it shine brightest in a sky full of stars.

Before/After She

Before she wandered in he was a rudderless vessel

Caught in currents great and small

Running hither and yon

With sails to catch only changing winds.

 

Before she found him he had given up hope

And had lost sight of being saved

For the blank vastness of the future

Was an ominous storm upon a vast ocean.

 

Before she saved him he had only been lured to deep waters

By treacherous siren songs and murmuring waters

Deep and wide and full of hidden dangers

Formed in emptiness and filled with nothingness.

 

After she rescued him he saw stars in the clear night sky

He rested on shores of soft sand and warm breezes

And he healed fully and barely noticed

The soft scars of earthly traps from whence she had pulled him.