Digging Deep When There’s Nothing Left

C13823A4-5CF1-4C5A-AA1F-A1D8636E434DI woke up to a voice unlike any other- a voice with much authority and clarity, one that I could not pretend was an imagination, or a whim, or an echo emanating from a quote from the latest self-help bestseller.  This voice resided in desolate and absconded territory, a place long empty, yet filled with pain and an ambience that could break even the most hardened soul.  And there I stood, listening to the voice “Dig….Dig.”  And so I did with no shovel, hands muddied and bloodied digging through filth, hardness, and nothingness.  Minutes passed, hours passed, days, weeks, months, and years, and…nothing.  Yet, the voice grew louder and clearer, “Keep digging.”  I stood there crying, skinny, beaten, sleepless, disheveled- fighting the voice, telling it that there was nothing there.  Nonetheless, it continued “keep digging!”  And so I did.  And from a distance I could see recognizable figures staring at the unrecognizable fragments of the man they once knew.  Gasps, silence, disgust, some look away.  Some dare to ask “what are you looking for?”  And tears roll down and I start feeling like a blend between the two protagonists from Beautiful Mind and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  “I don’t know what” I say.  Just then, a pastor I haven’t seen in years stands in front of a building with sincerity telling me to come here.  But I went there for years and found nothing as clear as this voice and so I continue to dig.  The doors of the building shut and fade away and an old childhood friend stands in its place, holding a bottle and a bag of cocaine.  He whispers “this will quiet the voices and kill all the pain.”  But I remember being dead inside and needing more just to get by… and so I, keep digging and the skin on my hands break and so does my heart as my old friend fades away, away from the voice.  Many others come along but I keep digging.  I dig through the pleas of beautiful women, money, careers, and almost oblige to the persuasive tactics of Appeasing Others.  But the voice grew louder and I dig.  I dig and dig until there’s nothing left of me.  And then, from the same distance the pastor and my friend stood, my family cries out, my son yells “Come daddy.”  I take a step towards them but the voice intensifies, gripping my soul into an understanding that if I don’t keep digging I will lose everything, I will lose them.  Humiliated and greatly discouraged I dig with the little strength and sanity that remains.  “There’s nothing left” I say to the voice as I stare into what is now the hollowed depths of my being.  Cries, pain, mistakes, past hang ups, traumas, guilt, and heartbreak escape the void and I stand like the miner who has discovered the finest diamond on earth… I can finally see the great voice, clothed in infinite Love living within me.  

What great pains and erroneous paths most of us take to find love!  I have found that G_d in His infinite wisdom chose the finest abode in a place we’d often overlook…within us.  Please, keep digging!  

Heaven Now: The Power to Perceive

70EA0849-1DB1-435E-970E-071FC398B8F3“Initially, the worst thing we thought that could happen to us was that we were addicts and could not manage our own lives, needing a program of recovery.  And as time passed we learned the best thing that could have happened to us:  That we were addicts and could not manage our own lives, needing a program of recovery.”  -Anonymous

The best stance to ever take on any matter is that we really do not know.  I have found that the most challenging circumstances, the events that would have surely taken me under once and for good, to have been the most beneficial in becoming more effective in helping others.  The measure by which we are either empowered or crushed by our circumstances is reliant not on the events that transpire but our perceptions of these events.    One thing to always be mindful of is that our lives are multidimensional and guided by infinite love and wisdom.  So we can always be assured that every situation we encounter is moving us in the direction of understanding and encompassing this love and wisdom.  The determinant factor in joy and despair is contingent on our willingness to go deeper.  As a well known AA speaker used to say “ Heaven is a pair of new glasses.”  

Dying for Meaning: The Reason for Suicide

C54587F2-BCDA-4724-8CC5-EF375DFB8E10In the human body a cell that has lost its usefulness, that is, it is unable to carry out the function it was created for, will nullify itself through a process called ‘apoptosis.’  The term, also known as cell death occurs when the cell no longer serves a critical function in the organism.  Similarly, when a man or woman lives a life void of his or her intended purpose, they will pursue a path of self-nullification known as suicide.  

Taking this into account, the only surprising thing on suicide is that it surprises us at all.  We live in a society that bombards us with ways to stay updated and simultaneously astray.  When the mainstream becomes the sole source of education on who we are and what we are intended for, a spiritually empty culture is formed.  When we cannot find our purpose of living, we lose our drive to persevere through the lulls and challenges of daily living.  Our objective should then be to diligently seek that purpose which resides deeply within (not without) all of mankind.  

Dishes, Diving, and Drugs: Mother and Son Arrested for Selling Fentanyl

4A1933B6-3AF6-455B-82DE-A33DDAE6963FA New Jersey college diving coach and her son were arrested on charges including the trafficking of fentanyl and cocaine.  Both were taken into custody last Friday as authorities had recently seized over 60,000.00 from Tyler Gottlieb as he boarded a flight.  Both Moyer and son are currently awaiting trial.  

This sheds light on the startling opiate epidemic.  It’s safe to say that we are fair from the isolated drug crisis of the 1980s where crack cocaine rarely escaped the boundaries of urban America.  Today, addiction is a global issue affecting members of every race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, and lifestyle.  Cases such as these should seal the deal to bring us into awareness and a plan of action to deal with the spread of a collective disease.  

For article, click below.  

https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Heroin-Cocaine-Fentanyl-Marijuana-Cherry-Hill-California-New-Jersey-Mom-Son-Arrested-484643191.html

What’s Really Wrong With Treatment?

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We have become too hung up on the description of addiction rather than on an effective solution.  Focusing on consequences or engaging in dialogue over its nature has its place but does absolutely nothing to treat it.  Scare tactics, statistics, substance classification, route of administration, celebrity stories of tragedy and recovery, emphasis on meeting attendance, religious rituals, alternative feel good therapies are all inefficacious forms of addiction treatment.  It is time to wake up to this epidemic and begin exploring what has always worked:  bringing men and women who suffer from addiction to a practical spiritually permeated life in which attitudes and behaviors are significantly altered to suit a life of continuous abstinence.  The more we treat this problem on a spiritual level and less on an entertaining or aesthetic one, the greater the chances of survival.  

Fear

E6C03FF1-565A-412E-8B80-7F89AE282F5BFear is the symptom we experience when we have deviated from G_d’s plan.  Every challenge we face is perfectly orchestrated. We are also inherently wired to overcome our challenges either through toiling or surrender.  Our hopes to conquer fear should not rest on illusory methods to temporarily relieve worry posed by men.  Rather, our eyes should be set on the Designer of life Who has meticulously etched out every second of our lives to fulfill an individualized objective.  A man who can say “G_d is in control” in the midst of his problems is likened to one who has conquered the world.  

Beauty of the Beard

2FC5968E-4C29-44F7-8785-800B9CFDD618“What’s with the beard?, she asks as the last drops of coffee spill into the forestry of salt and peppered chin hairs.  I should have known the question was coming as it happens to be as of recently she turns her gaze from my eyes to the puzzlingly scouting of untamed facial hair.  I sip air, hoping the quieted seconds will quell her curiosity and she’d derail her questions to colorful topics like politics or conversion or counseling in prison.  But I’m stuck and break the silence with “ideals.”  I realize I’ve already gone too far, recognizing I have missed the exits of ‘early Movember’ or ‘fashion statement.’  And then enters the anticipated dread of un-interruptions so I continue:  “The beard is a sea of ideals, a vast and seemingly infinite ocean separating who I long to be and who I am.  The strands of hair represent the endless journey, an ongoing battle to merge the contents of the mind with the desires of the heart.  My beard is a story composed of daily dialogues with the Creator- it is a panoramic museum depicting refined poets and unrestrained savages in combat.  My beard is a composition of curled letters telling tales of wandering peoples through the desert- an anatomy of a broken heart daring to mend itself.  The beard is a covenant, a promise to always recall what I’ve been through, where I stand, and where/who I want to be.”  

Shine

AD2CD71E-D566-4ABE-878A-D6721EF45C0FMan was created to shine brighter than the sun.  With a great capacity to generate power from within and illuminate the world surrounding it, man, just as sun, has been granted the ability to give light to those around him.  In turn, he is free to flourish and grow from the abundant light granted to him by those he encounters daily.   

Bringing Back the Dead in the 21st Century

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Wholeness is not perfection.  Wholeness is the life that springs forth out of the acceptance of our strengths and weaknesses-our talents and imperfections.  If we want to take a step towards peace, we mustn’t wait until our flaws have been shed and our characters are refined.  Instead, let’s make use of both our assets and liabilities to influence and heal those around us.  It is a proven fact- your liabilities have the potential to touch life at its most profound level.  I have found in times of crisis, when the life sitting across from me was slipping away into the depths of despair, it was not my intellect, rather the common thread of experiencing life’s struggle and challenges that paved the way to providing hope.  Every person, no matter how broken, is a potential catalyst for change.  Let no time be wasted on getting rid of personal defects before you decide to help someone.  Often the burdens we so wish to be rid of are our most sacred treasures- the instruments by which souls are newly awakened.

 

 

What Suicide Really Means

7ED90DDE-03FE-4183-BC5B-7E06746F4E28.jpegWhen it has crossed a man’s mind to put an end to his own existence, he should be aware that three things eagerly press him.  1) He hopes to escape his feelings; 2) He hopes to escape his circumstances; and 3) He hopes to escape himself.  “Suicidal” can then be perceived for its true meaning:  a call for a person to change and recreate themselves.  When we hear someone say the grievous words “I want to die”, they are expressing an intense plea for a new reality.  Unfortunately, many have misperceived this sign as a want to end their physical lives. Our feelings of despair can serve as the point where we make the decision to leave the old self behind and embark on a journey towards living a deeper and more meaningful life.  

For help, click here.