Thursday, March 21, 2019


For most of my years I thought life was about me.

I asked questions that came from that perspective.

What do I want? Where do I want to live? Who do I want to be with? What is my deepest desire? How do I want to serve?

I was missing the mark.

I am no longer consumed by a perspective that life is about me. I can fall temporarily into that trap for sure. I do not dwell there for long.

My questions have changed as has my vantage point. Life isn’t bout me. I am about life.

I am about life.

What does life want from me? Where has my path led me to live, and how may I be content here? Who is in my life, and how is our engagement serving our souls? What is life most deeply desiring in and as me? How am I being called to serve?

I spent so much time trying to construct the perfect life. I missed that I was already living it.

My personal desires are often not met. There is frequently discomfort inside of me. I sometimes think I should be somewhere different, doing something differently, sharing life with different people.

It is all a hoax.

This is perfect. Life is perfect just as it is. There really isn’t any such thing as my life. There is life, and there is my experience of it. When I remember to cooperate with life as it is, there is peace, contentment, and fulfillment. There is connection, harmony, and ease.

So here is my personal theology.

God is life. Life is love. Love is light.

Life isn’t about me. I am about life. I am about loving life as it is. And when I love life as it is my way is lighted.

I am cooperating in the One Life that is living me.

And so it is and so I flow.

Thursday, March 14, 2019


I have long been criticized for what others deem to be a certain level of aloofness. I have been accused of withholding, and even pullback. Caring people have told me that they perceive in me a tendency to isolate.

Guilty as charged.

What others have called aloofness is for me an earned level of discernment. What some would deem to be withholding is for me a healthy set of boundaries. If I am pulling back there is almost always good cause.

I have done enough inner work in my life to be on alert for my own triggering, distortions, and projections. I am keen on staying alert to those, and to wakefully dealing with them. I also lived years of my life trusting and disclosing to people who quite frankly had not earned the right of entry to the deeper levels of my being. This was a pattern that ran and cut deep for me.

I rarely make that mistake anymore.

I now send my energy forward and test the receptivity of people before I move to the deeper levels of communication. I try diligently to be a trustworthy person, and I seek that same quality from people who are potential friends. I do not expect that everyone shares in that desire. There have been enough betrayals in this lifetime to teach me to pause before speaking, to presence before sharing. I have constructed an internal safe zone for myself, but I do not kid myself that acquaintances of various levels are automatically safe.

And so, yes; I proceed with caution. I carefully choose those who I have deeper sharing’s with. I am more forthcoming with those who have proven they will receive me as I am. I practice the art of response in my relating, and I seek to be an open and safe space for those who choose to confide in me.

So, if you care to glance back at the opening paragraph perhaps you will get a sense of why I relate in the ways that I do.

Your criticism of my discernment does not open me to letting you in further. Your accusations of aloofness do nothing to foster a deeper intimacy. If you perceive that I am in pullback, and perhaps I am, look at what interaction just occurred and what your part was in it. I assure you I will.

It took me decades to claim and to nurture my own personal interior space. It took me decades to recognize the warning signs of people who should not be granted full access. I erroneously thought that as an awakening spiritual person I should be open and disclosing to all. Premature opening would result in hurt, and then I was left scrutinizing myself for the cause of another’s bad behavior. I left people in my sphere years after they should have been released.

So, if I have shared with you and you evaluated, corrected, spiritualized, or in some way critiqued what I have shared do not expect further offerings. And accept it or not my discernment is not defense.

Empathy is not commentary. And only empathy is the bridge to true intimacy.

We all have unconscious moments. We all behave and speak unskillfully. But we all do not choose to own that unskillfulness, apologize, and amend our way of showing up. And so those are the folks that get my compassion, caring, and even love without access to the deeper realms of my being.

I fully accept that I inadvertently taught people how to treat me by virtue of what I would tolerate. I have radically adjusted that. I am taking full responsibility for what I allow, and for how I show up in relationship. I am clear that I would far rather have a few true intimates than I would a slew of surface negotiators. I do not confuse social media contacts with friends. And, when I do choose to call you friend, I commit to showing up fully and accepting you freely. If I show up unskillfully, I will own that, and I will amend my ways.

Pullback isn’t always a bad thing. It taught me a lot. I needed to withhold. It was in effect for me guidance. I needed to pullback. And in knowing when to pullback I am free to choose when to fully open.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


It seemed I had waited my entire life to escape the too-tightness of my midwestern upbringing. Conservative, religious, simple, confining I wanted out of Ohio and into New York City! I knew it was the place I would finally fit in. I knew possibility would be beckoning on every corner. I viscerally longed to get to the place where I could finally and fully be the real me.

And so, I talked my mother into letting me go to New York on an opera tour my sophomore year of college. She rightly suspected my motives as I had no previous interest in opera whatsoever. Shortly after landing into LaGuardia a couple like-spirited friends and I headed into Times Square to sell the opera passes and acquire tickets to some much more desired Broadway productions.

The first sighting of Manhattan and Times Square is forever seared into my memory. I was mesmerized. Dazzled! I felt as if I was born to walk those streets. I chose to pound the pavement in a carefully selected ensemble that I would never have had the nerve to wear in my native Columbus Ohio. In my mind I was totally styling, and no one would ever guess I was just off the plane from what I then considered the wasteland.

And then I heard it.

“Repent, sinner! Repent!”


“You there! Repent or burn in the fires of hell!”

There was no mistake he was looking right at me and my equally styled group of newly christened cosmopolitans.

“Repent I say!”

He wasn’t just saying it. He was bellowing it. He held a well-worn Bible in one hand and a microphone hooked to a small speaker in the other. He was shouting so passionately that his face was literally beet red. He resembled someone straight out of an old-time revival meeting. In yes, you guessed it, Columbus Ohio.

I would come to know this itinerant preacher as a fixture in Times Square. Though that first day it felt as if he had singled us out specifically, we were indeed not that unique. He was in fact an equal opportunity screecher. He was also a perfect mirror for how my perceived liberated and authentic self was met by my own shadow beliefs. I came to know that I was indeed in need of repentance. Not from God or from Times Square preachers. I was in need of repentance in terms of the way I saw myself. The things that were too tight and too confining were my own perceptions. My own rejection of my upbringing, and the lack of strength to be who I am wherever I am.

While years ago the word repent carried a sting today I value it as a caring and compassionate friend. I feel repentance as an internal process that allows me to look courageously at my own sense of self. It allows me the possibility of evaluating where I may be tormenting myself with my limiting storytelling. It reveals to me where I have disowned my power and relinquished my right to choose and to respond. After practicing deep-level repentance for many years, I have found that the only fires of hell that exist are self-generated. Repentance has allowed me to lessen the self-flagellation. It has gifted me with a greater awareness of what I truly am. Repentance allows me to life from that.

And so the Times Square preacher is long ago a thing of the past. As is my own tenure of living in my beloved New York City. No one has screamed “repent” at me in decades. I grew past my assessments of my Midwest heritage, and I no longer define myself by what I wear or where I live. I even sometimes go to the opera.

Yet occasionally, while momentarily caught in an internal drama, I hear my own inner-preacher sweetly but firmly say “repent.” And I smile, and I interrupt the story that could send me into my own version of hell. And I send my red-faced friend a silent but sincere blessing. “Thank you.”

And all from the day I heard him say “repent.”