Is Something Wrong?

*
I swore that I would, if only I could
change my life completely around.
From many time of trying, I’m now used to the dying
when you tell me my mind is not sound.
*
I look in your face, vainly search for a trace
that makes me want to believe.
I’ve heard it before, and I’ve come to abhor
your labels designed to deceive.
*
Your smiles are crooked, and your postures do show it
there’s something amiss in our sharing.
Thinking you know, I’m not status quo
without ability for the Daring.
*
My abilities – yes different, my mind – most competent
seeking out dreams – just like you.
I certainly can’t, and most definitely won’t
humble myself for you.
*
Disabled you call me, Unable you see me
Yet, I don’t fit your profile.
I make no transgression, I work at discretion –
your feigned ignorance reviled.
*
Scandalous at times, most shameful, poisoned minds
your integrity completely lost.
Stolen power is yours knowing patience wears,
at attempts to create trust.
*
Challenges – indeed, I still look to succeed
not discouraged from daily falling.
Strength I am gaining, gathering, sustaining
towards living my personal calling.
*
Chasing My Dream, Life begins to redeem
and is giving me freedom to live.
I refuse to give up, I’ll keep getting up
I refuse to be held in captive.
*
I pass now to you, a chance to renew
your desired belief in another.
I willingly stand, to help you understand
we are, after all, here for each other.

(Why Not) Reach Beyond

mountain

In this world we live in

There is always a plan,

In it’s own chaotic nature

Life gives what it can.

With humankind engaging

Conflict plays to survive

Living near it’s outer limits

Only to keep us alive.

Look beyond what we think we see

Take a breath from a fragrant tree

Touch the soil of humanity

Taste the joy we are meant to be.

In this life we live in

Breathing opportunities abound

Our dreams are thoughts are things so real

We can look around.

We know this life so raging

It’s in the way we feel

We know it’s more than human nature

We can make our life real.

Reach beyond what we trust to be

Gasp the change from possibility

Breathe new life into new memories

Love the joy we all can be.

Living true life with new energy

Loving the joy you too can be.

Who Are We?

baby chicks

***

Q: What is the most common thing
found among all human beings (life)?

A: Our Differences.

Conversations with Mom – Courage and Character

daffodil

Mom was a very courageous woman.  While saddled with disabilities her whole life (chronic asthma and chronic diabetes), she still managed to “stay with the crowd” and raise her eight children the best she can – in spite of it all.

On many, many times over the years, I witnessed the strength she showed in both words and deeds – and nothing came easy to her.  Regardless of the circumstances, she made the best of it.  In her limited ways (also a brutal husband controlling her), she always created an environment of safety and care.

What I remember and admire most about Mom was the way she was able to “take on” risk with such ease and confidence.  She lived without fear.  (For a woman, she had a lot of balls!)

I remember asking her when I was a teenager about her viewpoint on Risk.  I don’t remember the exact circumstances to bring it up; but I remember she defended someone in the family (against some institution) and rose to the occasion.

I was in awe.

For the first time, I witnessed the power of her words and the strength in her actions.  I finally realized and experienced the courage she displayed in doing so.

Shortly afterwards, I asked (not exactly in these words) if she was afraid to take that risk.  I know I was scared as heck.

Well, Mom had a vocabulary that was a little fractured – but very understandable in any language.  Not shy to use ‘colourful metaphors’ when angered, she told me in her unique way of her philosophy regarding character:

“I don’t care what people think of me –
as long as I can hold my head high in integrity.”

Her response was ground-breaking for me.  I didn’t realize before character and dignity could be related.  I always thought dignity was controlled by the actions of our character; and if we did things that were un-liked by others, then we were to be shamed.  Then this lesson.

That empowering personal lesson stays with me today.  In every act I perform in life, I not only ensure my dignity remains intact; but I also advocate it for others.

The lesson I learned that day:

Healthy dignity (our self-esteem) is a right to everyone.  Nobody can or has the right to take it away from us.

Thanks Mom.

Getting A Meaning of Life

dave

I got this message

just the other day;

and it only took

forty years to get.

*

It wasn’t subtle and

made me almost weepy.

And for once, finally …

I listened honestly – I heard.

*

In this awakening,

love from a glowing energy

gave me the courage

to accept another forty more.

*

On a Journey’s path unworn,

I will carve the way on

to generating discovery;

a  “fly in the butter of life“.

*

I take from this lesson:

Never misguided directions;

in this game of real life –

It will never “just depend“.

*

Passing on this wisdom:

“Forever in this moment

of Life and Opportunity …

Let your Life Purpose glow”.

*

(c) 2013 – Kevin Collins
– dedicated to Douglas Tardif –

The Day My Life Changed Forever – 3

orchid - JonSullivan

I haven’t considered myself religious for over 30 years now.  It’s not that I have anything against Christianity (or religion); I just feel guilty calling myself a Christian and not believe in a God, Heaven, the hereafter, and all that other ‘leap-of-faith’ logic.

That’s not to say I’m not spiritual.  I believe on some level that there is a spiritual connection to can make with others – and I believe it happens all the time.  It comes from the energy each one of us put out to the world.  We are, scientifically, all bit of energy vibrating at different speeds to form various types of mass and structure.  So I therefore believe there could be something to it – and I can feel it from people.

But for the most part, I stopped believing in a lot of things a long time ago.  It’s just that religion had a good hold of me (school, social, punishment), and for the most part, it got me through some tough times. (I invite you to have a compelling look at one of those times here: Benni’s Dirty Secret.)  It was sort of like therapy with a twist; and for the most part, it worked.  That’s why I stuck around – and I have much to thank for the many individuals who entered my life in those times.

***

If I were to give myself a label, I would say I live my life today as an Existential Humanist.  This describes the kind of relationship I have with the world as I live it every moment.  As such, it serves and allows me:

  • To express my observations and perceptions of how I experience life as it occurs, and
  • To express my feelings and actions towards actions.

As an Existentialist, I am able to exercise my logical side of thinking.  I can see how the world operates without the noise of drama, stories, miscommunication, crisis, and all the other distractions created by humankind to interrupt our progress of human understanding.

As a Humanist, there is nothing I appreciate more than being in the company of others who are chasing dreams that improve theirs and the lives of others.  Not in a socialist sense; rather, I appreciate environments where EVERYONE is truly equal and compassionate about life and living.

I understand the Human Condition.  I know the how-to’s, where-for’s, and what-not’s about how we operate in life.  And while I can see how knowing this stuff can be beneficial to some; this is only part of the equation of experiencing human potential.  The other half is UNDERSTANDING.  That’s the plane of life where I exist with all my relationships – human or otherwise.  It is quite exciting, actually.

My life occurs in the little things that make up our day.  For example, when I go to the office to do my writing and work for the day (the local Tim Hortons coffee shop), I am greeted by some familiar faces I see every day.  Reasons are found to talk to each other.  I find the joy in holding the door for someone, and others often do likewise.  Friendly nods of respect are cast to solitary individuals, and infant/toddlers always laugh and smile when we interact.  It’s a good feeling to feel welcome.

***

I guess it would make sense that I would evolve to be such a person.  I suppose my early lessons to see life with the drama, deceptions, and manipulations molded me and the logical-thinking side of my personality.  As for the emotional side of me, I see now how I was emotionally immature (and distorted). Yet, I was living a life of service to others.  My 30+ years of volunteering, and the years of working in service-related industries (health, social service, military service, neighbourhood groups and agencies, etc.) provide evidence of my subconscious decision to help others.  What is surprising to me though, is that I’ve done a lot in my life – and all along (for over 30 years), I was living with Mental Health issues and didn’t even know it.

***

 But it was on that night that everything started brand new for me.  All that outer space stuff.

Here I was, instead of celebrating the possibility that I could become an astronaut like most other boys my age, I was having a philosophical crisis that was about to change my life (for the first time).

I suppose it was the last straw.  And I suppose it was natural for me to cry.  After all, I saw the last bastion of Trust and Understanding disappears from under me and there was nothing left on which to rely.  The well of my life had run dry.

Needless to say, I have issues with Trust to this day.  I’ve studied it to death and have developed a keen knowledge and understanding of it’s implications on our lives.  For example, there is so little trust in the world, we have laws, contracts, rules, wars, guidelines, tests, governments, and all those other tools to keep us all honest.  I’m not different from much others in this respect.

I did learn these 3 things about trust over my travels:

  1. Trust is NOT earned, it is only granted.
    Trust is ours to lose.  We have to give trust to others or nothing much would get done.  We understand there is not much trust in the world.
  2. Trust can only be expressed through action.
    It doesn’t matter how much you tell someone you are trustworthy, nobody will believe it until they actually experience it.  This can only be done through performance.
  3. Trust is driven by our personal level of fear.
    We all come from different backgrounds, so we are all different in our approach to life.  As life is driven primarily by fear (everyone), then it is easy to find someone’s level of trust.

Because of this experience, I (unknowingly) decided to invest time in my life journey for something to believe in – without success, over the years.  I have a trail of evidence littering my life experiences growing ip where I trusted others (within the standards of social mores) and got burned – sometimes badly.  For example, a recent business venture a few years back involved having a retired religious Minister as a partner.  He got an honourable doctorate, was elected a bishop, and honoured for a life’s work in central America helping the poor.  When everything is said and done, after I invested time and money into the operation, he disappears.  I find out he decided he wanted to get involved in a multi-level marketing (MLM) business instead.  I never had an opportunity to talk to him about it because I’ve never seen him again.  Incredible luck, huh?

I’ve learned not to take things personally anymore because I realize I am not life’s only victim.  I am one of many before and after me.  From this practice, I come to have more compassion for people and more derision for institutions or large bodies of businesses who benefit unfairly from the people they serve.  I am an active advocate for others when I see an immoral or unethical event taking place.

In that night of profound awakening and awareness, it seems incredible that the emotional crisis of a little boy would have such an impact that would shape and mould the direction of one’s life.  Yet, I can attest (through my background and accomplishments) that life never did occur the same again.

Whether an unconscious or subconscious decision, I decided to find out why people do what they do.  And after 40+ years of personal inquiry (remember, I am a Whyz-Guy) and experiences of much sacrifice, I did come to some personal beliefs about people and life:

  1. We all live in Fear,

  2. We are socially conditioned from our influences in life to behave the way we do, and

  3. We are only being the only way we know how.

Not bad for something started by a lonely 10 year old, huh?

Just think, I could have instead started down the road of resignation, crime, confusion, and death a long time ago.  I had my moments, but I am still here; and I am not going to give up on life.

Thank you readers for allowing me these last 3 days to share this with you.  I’ve been wanting to do this for years (but I had nobody to tell).  The fall of another wall – the cleansing of essence – the joy of it all.

Namaste

Ten Ways To Get Everything You Want

In the pursuit of our lives, we are often distracted with the most important thing in our life:

the ME.

We do everything to make the ME comfortable, as it should be, and ensure we are pain-free and without external conflict. It is the most natural thing the body does; and our minds, well it ensures we are emotionally pain-free.

***

rays-on-the-meadow

We are always looking for secrets on how to be comfortable (and still safe) while enjoying the fuits of our existence.  We bathe, sprinkle, cosmetize, stretch … well, you get the idea.  And hopefully, we get what we want out of life.

We spend, and record, experience limits, buy swag, eat and eat.  This way we get what we want – right?  All we have to do is indulge ourself, right?  Or is it?

***

Personally, I think – in this day and age, we would know enough about life and society and ourselves that tell us that all of these kind of distractions get us nowhere except further into the pit of ‘waiting to arrive’.  We work hard at it too.

But if we were to concentrate less on ourselves and more on others, what are the chances we probably would have more than everything we ever wanted?

Sadly, in all our worlds we experience, there’s this underlying current of fear, mistrust, and misunderstanding that always gets ourselves into trouble. You know – the interpretations, assumptions, whispers, rumours, etc.  That, of course, only gets us 1 thing for sure: trouble!

So, I’ve compiled a list of things we can do to get anything we ever wanted from people and our life.  It’s not in order or comprehensive.  I didn’t give much thought to it other than just write as I think it here. Do you want everything you ever wanted?

  1. Be a Friend

    No matter what, be there for someone. It always benefits everyone for a long time.

  2. Listen more

    It’s easy to tell when someone is not really listening. When listening happens – things you never imagined before happens.

  3. Be a Risk-Taker

    Enjoy a little lottery of life without the money. Do something different that stands out. The greatest expression we can offer to others.

  4. Love Life

    This is the only go around. We don’t get out of this life alive, so enjoy the leaf, flake, eye colour, tear, and all the beautiful results of life.

  5. Understand “WII-FM” (what’s in it for me) concept

    We all live in the realm of life that protects ourselves first (that’s why heroism is recognized).  When we understand people – on an individual basis – and what they seek from life, we can connect on a deeper and more profound level.

  6. Buy It

    The easiest and cheesiest way to get what you want. (Unless, of course, you worked your butt off saving money for a long-held dream). Besides, the joy wears off quickly enough.

  7. Love People

    Do this and people will love you. What else is there to want, huh?

  8. Influence

    Is influence a good thing? Does it depend on it’s motives? Can we influence and maintain the goodness of getting everything we want?

  9. Serve

    My personal favourite. At service to others can be an honour if employed in an altruistic and ‘good’ way. The world has many ways of looking at service as a way of being; and I tend to see it as the gateway to getting along with each other. Besides, we cannot survive without each other and that has a lot to do with serving others.

  10. Be a Bully

    I suppose this is a way – and it works most of the time.  But while the bully is getting everything s/he wants, where the real meat of living takes place in the little interactions between people.  The whole point of having everything is moot.

Here’s a bonus one, but I wouldn’t recommend it:

  • Wait for it to Happen

    Sadly, this is where we tend to lurk when we want our goals and dreams to happen.  And not even just those – but the next promotion, the minor surgery, the fitness, the …