"Grace and Grit: Spirituality and Healing in the Life and Death of Treya Killam Wilber" is the title of a stunning, powerful book by Ken Wilber. You cannot be untouched by it, it leaves you different. You cannot but ask about Purpose.
What is my why? What is my Blues Brothers Mission from God? What idea do I want to "sell"?
I'm for the underdog. Overcoming obstacles, surmounting challenges, persevering no matter what, never, EVER giving up.
No respect for anyone or anything that hasn't earned it and doesn't honour it
Belief in myself.
Belief in the goodness of myself, even though I've fallen and failed more times than I can count or remember.
Remembering that all through the times I didn't believe in myself, didn't believe I was worthy, didn't believe I was a worthwhile human being, there were hosts of angels and powerful forces surrounding me and living people who held the belief for me.
I believe in Anger and the power of Angry to get shit done.
Depression is accepting the lie that I was actively complicit in being unworthy.
I wasn't. That doesn't take away my depression, but it enlightens it.
I still feel anger towards the fuckers who fucked me, physically and metaphorically.
I don't know how to forgive.
I'm an expert at forgetting.
Remembering the hurt, the pain, the isolation, the rejection and cruelty, the manipulation, the blaming and being blamed was too much for me so I hid it, buried it deep, deep inside.
I thought my soul was rotten. Each new lie, new theft, new betrayal, new promise made and then abandoned stained it black and blue.
Before I could vote, I already knew I was damned.
In the first 5 years of my adult life, I was suicidal more often than not. It wasn't until I was in my late 50's I recognised I had several psychotic episodes at that time.
It was also in my late 50's that I finally stopped burying and dismissing the hurt and harm of having been sexually abused at 13. One psychotherapist had me visualise meeting my attacker and forgiving him - as I said above, I haven't any clue of how to forgive. Do you think if I did, I would have condemned myself?
Eventually, I made a serious attempt to die and ended up critically ill with little prospect of surviving. There was then a watershed moment, the realisation that I didn't want to die - I just didn't want to live this life I was living.
I didn't know how to change.
I asked for help - not to anyone or anything because I didn't believe in that. I just asked in my mind.
And help arrived, in several forms.
One was a book from a great friend of mine, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I swear I Iaughed so much it shook the poisons from my body.
One was the prospect of a place in a drug and alcohol rehab centre. I took it.
At the tender age of 23 I embarked on a new life journey - clean and sober and while I don't attend AA or NA (I did for about 2 years) I am truly blessed with a life beyond my wildest dreams.
I still brought all my baggage with me and it has caused me pain and difficulty along the way but it's been almost 37 years now and I'm beginning to appreciate that I am what I am. There's no salvation in trying to be what I think the world wants me to be and I'm less and less inclined to pretend.
Jim Rohn taught that it is our responsibility to become wealthy, not just for what that entails and allows us to do, but for who we become in the process.
There are millions upon millions of us in this world who don't feel worthy, who sabotage our success because we feel locked into old destructive habits and identities. We compound the burden of self blame, self hate and feel life dragging us down. And we know life is not meant to be this way. We feel it in our bones, in the core of our souls. But we don't know how to make that real.
My mission is to stand for you as others stood for me. There is nothing in this life that can defeat you unless you surrender. There is no mistake too big to move beyond. There is no pain too deep to find the bottom of.
We are deluded - we believe the past and the future are real, that they exist and that this moment, now, is a fleeting thing. All external power, all oppression depends on us continuing in this fantasy. As long as we live in the nightmare, we are condemned to spend our precious lives chasing ghosts, pursuing the will-o-the-wisp, sacrificing what is real and what really matters to waste our time, attention, energy, love and life force seeking the leprechaun's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Leprechauns aren't real. Nor is the will-o-the-wisp.
Ghosts live in your head.
The past doesn't exist - it's over and gone.
The future doesn't exist - and it never will.
The only thing that exists is here and now - there is no other where, no other when.
I learned this from Ram Dass in the summer of 1976, sitting out on a hot flat roof - I just didn't realise it.
So, who am I here to serve?