Sunday, October 19, 2014

Some Loved Ones Will Let Go

Today is a beautiful October day.  The October leaves are changing and there is just enough cool air outside to make just about any activity pleasant.  Today I've been thinking about what it must be like to see a loved one change rapidly, and how much it might hurt if that loved one doesn't view the changes as more desirable than the earlier version of self.  Eight months ago, I left my lifelong religion and began to live more authentically and in line with who I've always been inside.  Granted this process takes trial and error, and at times, this process I'm guessing has left loved ones confused, angry, and possibly craving stability and control.

The community after the religion I left is vast, and the challenges seem to follow a similar pattern. Many who leave their childhood religion end up in a kind of second adolescence as they try to navigate and discover who they are without the dictates and rules of the religion. Many will find that the values and moral codes they practiced so diligently in religion have wonderful applications and uses outside of organized religion.  Others find that as the process is unfolded that all the worlds' religions start to show a pattern that emerges.  I've found this has occurred for me in its entirety.  The patterns that have emerged have been beautiful and wonderful and scary and mysterious.

So many wonderful souls have come into and out of my life during this very difficult process of change.  Other souls have come into my life and are here to stay as lifelong friends.  I've also found that people who I initially meshed well with me at one point, I've felt limited by in another stage as I found myself working through differing stages of my own grief, and in trying to accept that rapid change, while it's not a typically healthy path just happens that way in nature sometimes.  Sometimes asking for help and guidance from others who have been on a journey not mine, but with similar traits has been hugely beneficial in developing maturity and wisdom and also being willing to forgive myself for the lessons I've had to learn only by application.

In eight months, I've become a largely different person, yet I remain the same person in complex ways also.  I'm also the person I've always been meant to be, and feel more comfortable in my own skin than I've ever felt.  I love the person I've become, and I'm also patient that the process of change leaves much need for improvement.  I strive to view nothing I do, or nothing that others do as mistakes, but only opportunities for growth.  I also view all my actions as having positive and negative consequences and a measurable impact on the people I love most, the environment I live in, and the community I'm a part of.

I'm so excited for life every day.  I'm frustrated by myself daily and also find myself in the height of joy.  The process of rapid change also teaches lessons rapidly.

So, back to the universal elements I've started to see in many great religions.

One is gratitude.  I seek to demonstrate how thankful I am for today, right now, right at this very second in time.  I seek to express enough gratitude for every person who has been a part of my journey of life.  I seek to be thankful to every person who is in my life today, and who will be in my life tomorrow.  I seek to thank those who have been a part of my life who provide a moment of significance for my life today and for the lives of my children.

Onto my children!  I'm so thankful today for the individuals who are an integral part of my children's day today.  All my children are fortunate to have their devoted and dedicated father.  My oldest son and his wonderful, beautiful girlfriend.  For my daughter and her teen friends who's smiles light up the room.  For my youngest son who's neighborhood buddies light up his life every day, and for my youngest daughter who has her little friend literally run to greet her each morning.

I'm thankful for my patient and long suffering extended family both on the Kunz side and the Schofield side.  I'm thankful that I've got strong and involved parents who think about me and pray for me and my family.  I'm thankful for my strong siblings who have shown unconditional love for me and my family.  I'm thankful to Kelly for a wonderful, beautiful and growth filled twenty year marriage.  I'm thankful for our friendship now and for the opportunity to try again in our new roles that we're both having to navigate with the goal of a lasting friendship.

I'm thankful for all my friends.  Each friend has been so special to me in my life.  My close friend who passed away four years ago left an imprint on my heart that helps me honor October with joy and a celebration of life.  My friend today teaches me about setting goals to make friendship last.  My friends a few days ago who have taught me about making marriage work through unconditional love and loving compromise.  My friend of last week who taught me about love, and some of the complexities of love that you don't often hear about.  My old high school friend who called last week who taught me that friendship might come and go, but it takes a long time to grow and old friend, and once they have been grown, the roots are so strong that you can simply pick up where you left off.

I've always been a sunny person.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that's my baseline.  When I'm hurting or frustrated or angry, you will see the human side of me and positivism isn't my strong suit during those moments, but as I'm getting older, I'm seeking to weave positivism into my struggles too.  I'm seeking to feel the feelings I'm feeling, to make mistakes and be able to move forward with a positive attitude, and to be able to have a positive attitude about some of the more difficult parts of life which include losing loved ones, and the process of letting go.

My mind feels most at home when I'm happy for others.  I'm most at home when I can share in others joys and see the tiny moments of joy they experience.  I'm most at home when I'm around positive people, or people who are human but can also laugh about the rocky moments, and move forward with optimism.

Life is tremendously hard, and relationships with people I love have been very hard, so every day I'm finding that choosing to be optimistic and positive is the best antidote to despair.  And when despair hits me, just as I've said in my earlier posts, I try to ride it out like a wave.  No masking it with booz, junk food, or distractions.  My goal has been to experience it head on.  To let the wave hit, or sometimes it just hits without any warning when I'm not paying attention, and to feel it, and to wait patiently for it to pass.  It always passes.  Lately, it passes usually quicker than I think it will.

Love Towards Others - Sending Prayers - Positive Vibes - Good Energy
I've learned that sending love through your mind and heart to someone today may not be scientifically explainable yet, but I believe with all my heart that science will not only understand it, but will be able to scientifically explain it.  It really doesn't matter because in the interim, I'm welcoming when others offer to pray for me or a family member, and I'm using my goal of positivism to actively think of others and specifically make wishes on their behalf.  Doing so changes the nature of a person.....I believe.

That's all for today.......