Wednesday, May 19, 2021


Somebody I did not know died today.

Alright. Many people that I did not know died today. Many people die everyday that I do not and never will know.

I just do not want to be one of them.

Not that I do not want to die. That is inevitable and knowing the inevitability actually allows me to live more fully.

I just really want to know myself fully and completely before I die. And I want to be known for what and who I really am beyond other people’s interpretations and stories of me. The only way for that to happen is if people really know themselves. Then it can be clear where you begin, and I leave off. I genuinely want to know that distinction so that I may navigate a deeper connection.

I want to know me before I die. I want to know you before you die. And I want you to know me before I die.

Know me. Know you. Deeply. Fully. Intimately. Below the surface and above the story. Beneath the veneer of who we think we have to be. It takes courage. Fortitude. Bravery. Time.

It indeed takes time.

Time we may or may not have.

Somebody died today I did not know. And now I will never know them.

The reason that I know this someone died is that someone I do know knew and loved them. And so, the passing means something to me. It matters to me. It reminds me of the fragility of life. I do not need to know a person to care that they have died. And it is more vital when it is someone I have known or is known by someone I know. I care that someone has moved upon this planet and no longer does. That someone who has been, no longer shares this human adventure. It means something to me. It matters.

Somebody died and I pray that they really knew themselves before departing. That they felt known and seen and loved. That they really knew those who peopled their life. Knew their deepest desires, dreams, griefs, and gaffs. All of it. None of it rejected. Nothing in need of correction. The quirks and the quarks. Every bit of it.

In a world of astounding yet impersonally reported death statistics I do desire to deaden myself to the many who have and will die today. Not even those that I do not personally know. It is enough for me to know that they have lived and that now they do not. That is enough to engage my caring. That is enough to touch and move my heart.

It also engages in me a deeper desire to live this day that I still have life fully, freely, curiously, openly. I seek to live it with urgency and with integrity. I live it as an open excavation into what it really means to be me. I live it as an adventure into what it is to come to really know you. To find the places where we meet in harmony, and to potentially resolve the points at which there is discrepancy. I am willing to know and to grow from this commitment to a deeper knowing.

A deeper knowing and growing while we still have time. While we still have the chance. While we are still here. While there is still opportunity to get to know ourselves and each other.

Somebody died today that I did not know.

There will most likely be some kind of funeral, memorial, ritual. People will share of what they knew about the departed. The best of what they knew. Not the totality of what they knew. That is not what is done at these times. Someone will eulogize to the best of their ability. It is appropriate. Sometimes clumsy. In some ways comforting. Those in attendance who may not have really known the person will leave with a glimpse of what that being brought to life. There will be an unconscious relief that the ritual was for someone else. That the bell did not toll for me. Yet.

I will not be in attendance. This missive is my homage to the person I did not know. The passing has moved my heart even in my unknowing. I grieve with those I know who did indeed know this precious somebody. Precious simply because they lived. I cannot and do not attempt to fill the void with words, but I can embrace the space that has been left. I embrace it with my caring. With my compassion. With my commitment to live and love more fully for the sake of the dead and those still waiting to really live. I commit to really know and be known.

There will be people reading this that do not really know me. Some are privy to their unknowing, and some actually think that they do while they in fact do not. Perhaps someone viewing these words will one day hear of my passing. Someone will say that somebody died that they did not know. That knowing and yet unknowing will come from secondhand reporting, which is what spurred this reflection. There might be others who will shed tears that this somebody they knew is no longer here. And perhaps someone may ponder that they wished that they had gotten to know this being that is now no longer here to get to know.

Somebody died today that I did not know. And yet I care. And yet this passing has sparked in me a renewed knowing that I want to know and to be known. I want to fully inhabit the time that I have. I want to use my remaining duration to live and to love courageously, relentlessly, authentically. I want to know and to embrace every last tidbit of me. I want to leave this earth realm knowing I have opened to it all.

I have known much loss this lifetime. Yet I have not lost myself. Or my ability to hold you in your losses. That I have grown good at. I know how to be with loss. I am grateful to be an open space for that.

So, if you should be here when I indeed do pass, please do not eulogize me then. Do it now. Say it to me now. Let me know what you would say. Let me know what you think you know. And together lets really dig in and get to know each other. Or we can courageously agree that the deeper knowing is really just not meant to be for us. That is valid. We can show up to it undefended. Just real. Honest. No pretense. Knowing that we will remain unknown to each other. That is in and of itself a kind of knowing. We can die to the notion we should know each other before we die.

Then we can say with integrity that someone died that I did not know. Not really. And it was by agreement. We chose to not fully know. And yet we can still care. Care that someone who has lived is no longer living. Not knowing need not be closure.

It is all a beautiful part of coming to know oneself. While there is time, chance, opportunity. For the sake of the no longer living. And for the sake of those who long to live.

Thursday, May 6, 2021


“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“Grown up.”

This was an actual exchange that happened for me a few decades ago, yet in my adulthood. It was a somewhat sarcastically asked question met with what for me was a sincere answer.

Grown up.

Familial circumstances demanded that I grow up at an early age. My father was diagnosed with early onset dementia when I was still in elementary school. In junior high I added care for me father, my sister, the house to my school and church responsibilities. Though I did not know enough to frame it thusly at the time, childhood abruptly ended, and I was propelled into some very grown-up activities at an age when other kids were playing and mostly carefree.

I truly am not complaining. I am actually grateful.

There was a period of time in my early adulthood that I thought I would reclaim my lost youth and refuse to live as a grown up regardless the consequences. If someone would have asked what I wanted to be I would have declared “anything but grown up.”

That did not last for long.

There will likely always be a part of me that is playful and even adventurous. Freedom is without a doubt my most cherished value. The scripturally referenced childlikeness is alive and well inside of me. I am committed to never losing my sense of awe and wonder

And I have become more grown up than ever.

What I am referring to when I speak of being grown up is a mature sense of being a responsible part of the whole. To be a grown up is to know that there are important things than personal preference. It is to know and to embrace that every choice that is made has consequences that affect others as well as yourself. It is to live in an active sense that life is not about just the individual. To be grown up is to live consciously, wakefully, responsively. It is to be autonomous, yet also deeply connected.

To be the grown up in the room is not always easy and it is often uncomfortable. There is a wounded child in all of us. That wounded child gets triggered by the wounded child in others. It goes into defense when it is frightened and provoked. The ways in which it reacts are age appropriate to the wounding. It is not uncommon to watch biologically adult people in full out tantrum when not getting their way. They may use very adult language (though that is questionable) but the behaviors and attitudes are things that they once employed on the playground.

Wounded children wound other children.

Bullied children bully others.

Growing up means doing the mature work of healing and integrating these early wounds. It means reparenting ourselves in very real and practical ways. It means being an adult authority when the internal kid wants to throw a reactive tantrum. It means making an unequitable decision that regardless of what anyone does around us we are going to choose to be the grown up in every situation.

I find this to be especially important in regard to my spiritual expression.

We are in what I believe to be one of if not the most crucial places in the evolution of the collective consciousness. We are literally in a “do or die” scenario. While we often hear the ideal that “we are all in this together” there is not enough evidence of that to make it of comfort. We need more grown ups in the rooms. More people to place the whole before the wants of the self. More people to consider that every choice affects all who live and breathe.

My spirituality is not about getting what I want. I do not turn Source into an ATM or a Cosmic concierge. My spirituality is about letting myself be literally grown UP. It is about allowing myself to be spiraled forward. It is about letting myself and my consciousness by used on behalf of something greater than myself. I live for what I may contribute, not for what I think I want to achieve.

This has never felt truer than during the time of Covid.

This time of pandemic has provided for me a container in which to look deeply into the further most aspects of my consciousness. It has confronted my preferences and busted my limits. I daily have felt forced to choose between what I want to do, and what I know I am called to do. I have examined my choices and excavated my underlying motivations. I have been expanded beyond my personal desires in the name of the collective betterment.

I have been deeply and irrevocably changed.

My questions have changed in terms of what drives me. I am not governed by what I feel like doing. I am not propelled by what I think I want. There is undeniably less of “me” than there was when this quarantine began. And the result is that I feel like so much more.

I still have work to do for sure. It well may be that I will never be a fully ripened grown up. But I am moving in that direction for sure. I am grounding in what feel like grown up choices that are beneficial to the whole of humanity. I am taking responsibility for the fact that I am still here. I am claiming authority over what happens in here, regardless of what happens out there. I intend to remain steadfast in a deeper Truth that how I show up matters. Whether I react or respond matters. When I go into tantrum or center in a place of stability matters.

Being a grown-up matters.

When enough of us grownups are more interested in what we can give than what we can get the world will change.

When enough of us adults are more interested in the we than the me the tide will rise.

When enough of us respond to the question of what we want to be with a solid and unshakable answer of grown up a quantum shift will occur.

Emotional fluency. Uncompromising integrity. Spiritual maturity. Collective congruency.

Growing up. And grateful to be.