Days after IVL

Last Saturday was my second IVL day.  According to one of my friends it’s my own national holiday, one I’ve even managed to convince others to celebrate with me.  IVL stands for InVoluntary Liberation Day.  It’s a day to remember what was lost and, more importantly, a day to look forward with hope.  It’s the anniversary of when my ex-wife and I split and the day I began this journey towards liberation.  Last IVL was more about survival than anything else.  I was still dealing every day with the fact that I was now on my own (in a relational sense, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by friends who love me) for really the first time in my adult life.  I had managed to keep my household together and even flurish as I was in the most secure financial position I’d ever been in…understanding that I was still somewhat precarious, but as least I was no longer being actively dragged under.  I was also several months into this blog, putting up thoughts about myself and my relationships and my son and my faith.

This IVL was different.  Very different.  We still had the obligatory barbeque with friends and loved ones over.  We start with that because one of the things that truly bring me joy is to cook for people.  And I LOVE to grill.  So, IVL is MY holiday, so I can say how we celebrate it, right?   People bring over sides and things and we have a good time telling stories, talking business, politics, movies and all sorts of things.  It’s fellowship at it’s finest.  Then we watched the movie My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Which is all sorts of creepy and hilarious and awesome in a number of ways…  And yes… I’ve had some of those same thoughts/conversations/etc with my ex’s.  But the movie itself helped kick up a number of emotions and stirred the pot so to speak so that when the last event of the evening occurred, I was ready.  Or at least as ready as I was going to be.

Bonfires.

There’s something special about fire.  I’m not talking about how much fun fire can be to play with for all you pyros out there (Yeah! BURN Baby BURN), but something else.  Fire is cleansing, sacred, restless, alive… in a way that not a lot of other elements are.  We had one built in the backyard of one of my closest friends and a small group of us gathered for what, for me, would be the hardest part of the evening.

I’d put together a box of things I’d found over the last couple months, letters, journal entries, old pictures, and other odds and ends that together represented a mass of painful memories, embarrassing moments, and guilt filled emotions from throughout my life.  Some dated back over 15 years.  I decided that part of what I wanted this IVL day to be was a chance to let this stuff go.  For you, my loyal readers, you know how difficult it is as I’ve talked about it, for me to forgive myself.  I think there’s something inherant in the human condition that makes it that way for most of us.  That night was my chance to offer up all this stuff to God and to let go of it so that it could flow from my life.

I talked about almost all of the pieces as I tossed them into the fire.  Some represented mistakes I’d made, others people who I had let hurt me and then kept that pain close, some things were easier to get rid of than others.  I’d been reading some in Leviticus in the Old Testament recently and so, partially influenced by that I also offered some things up as a wave offering.  It was a way for me to say goodbye to a lifetime of habits that have kept me from being who I truly want to be.  This doesn’t mean that the whole process is over now and I’m much better and everything’s hunky-dory.

As I’ve said over and over again, this is a process…and it will take time.  We started the process off with a prayer and ended it with one.  Each one of my friends gathered there offered up a hope and blessing for me to replace the badness that I had cerimoniously let go of.  That was when the tears truly started for me.  Then they one by one and in a small group, gathered around me and held me while the dam broke open.

I don’t like to cry.

I really don’t like to cry in public.

But this was sacred space.  With the people with whom I feel the safest and most comfortable.  And in that moment, and that time, it was a place where I could finally, truly begin to see what it looked like to let things go.  Our past affects us.  There’s no way around that.  But we have two responses to it.  We can either let it define us and the path we take in life.  Or we can choose to define IT, and by doing so, limit it’s power and harness the lessons from it to better ourselves.  I used to live the former…now I’m beginning to explore the latter.

Happy IVL Day.

Leaving the wolf behind –

Which wolf do I feed?

There is an old parable that talks about two wolves and I’ve posted it at the end of this post.  I don’t know if it’s an actual tale or not and it doesn’t really matter.  The story is true in the way that all good stories are and it posits the important question…Which wolf will I feed?

I find however, that the older I get the question is more a matter of how do I stop and leave the bad wolf, I like to call it Fenris, behind?  Leaving the wolf behind is no easy matter.  It all got started with a discussion with a friend of mine, whom I love with all my heart and the question posed to me was – “Do you think you deserve sleep?”

I had been sharing the difficulties I have had in my life with insomnia.  For most of the last week I’ve been sleeping on my futon out in the living room.  If I’m being completely honest with myself it’s because the bed was too big without someone else in it, and because I don’t like to let go (of anything, control is an issue I struggle with).  And after talking about my struggles this friend put out this comment for me to mull over and think about… Along with asking if I truly liked myself.  A wise friend indeed.

So.  As he knew it would the question sat on my head, and I’ve talked about it with a couple of other people, but I’d resisted putting on here.  I write here when I’m really looking into my life and when I can convince myself that I don’t have to be so introspective I stay away from here.  But my journey is not done yet, despite what my wolf says as it tries to pull me away.

Do I deserve sleep?

I’ve been fighting a cold that I probably got because I didn’t have enough rest.

I struggle with making decisions in part because I don’t sleep long enough.

What does it mean to deserve sleep?

My grandfather used to joke that there’s no rest for the wicked and the rightous don’t need any.  And then he’d leave it up to us to decide which category we were in.  My whole family has this philosophy underlying our actions whether we admit it or not.  When I look at my life and compare it with my cousins or even my aunt’s and uncle’s lives, it’s not that busy or full of commitments and responsibilities.  But when my friends look at it, they see someone going 110 mph who lives at the ragged edge, just barely hanging on.  “You can sleep when you’re dead” is not just a pretty saying in my family… it’s who we are.

But really, in the end, is it all that helpful?

What is the point to all this insomnia?  It used to be I was scared to go to sleep, pursued by my own failures and haunted images of things that could/would/did go wrong.  Sleep was when I was truly defenseless against the worst my head could throw at me.  Sleep meant acknowledging that the day might not have gone exactly the way I hoped.

It made only slightly more sense when I was dealing with an unhealthy relationship and two bad jobs, but I don’t have to deal with any of that anymore… so why don’t I sleep?  What is it that still drives me to avoid my bed, that whispers to me “not yet”?

I believe it is the Fenris-wolf I have fed for years, growing into habits of avoidance, passive aggression and fear that now are doing their best to keep me from letting go.  I’m in the desert, wrestling with these things.  I’m faced with the good things in my life as well as the bad… and I’m hard pressed to answer honestly which is the more difficult to look at.  But Fenris-wolf won’t let go without a fight.  The habits of my early years, reinforced by decades of decisions that pushed me farther from the path, will not walk away just because I say so.  I have to stop feeding him.  I must learn to forgive myself… and tell myself that although forgiveness does not mean that the things I did are right, I have the opportunity to move forward from them and leave them behind, here in the desert…until I believe it.

I’m working on leaving the wolf behind… for when the night comes…

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
“The one you feed.”




Anger Management and ADHD

Common Behaviors and Problems of Adult ADHD

The following behaviors and problems may stem directly from ADHD or may be the result of related adjustment difficulties:

  • Chronic lateness and forgetfulness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Employment problems.
  • Difficulty controlling anger.
  • Impulsiveness.
  • Substance abuse or addiction.
  • Poor organization skills.
  • Procrastination.
  • Low frustration tolerance.
  • Chronic boredom.
  • Difficulty concentrating when reading.
  • Mood swings.
  • Depression.
  • Relationship problems.

These behaviors may be mild to severe and can vary with the situation or be present all of the time. Some adults with ADHD may be able to concentrate if they are interested in or excited about what they are doing. Others may have difficulty focusing under any circumstances. Some adults look for stimulation, but others avoid it. In addition, adults with ADHD can be withdrawn and antisocial, or they can be overly social and unable to be alone.

So I bolded all the things I either have or have had problems with in my life, currently and in the past.  It’s an interesting issue, realizing you have something, then coming to terms with it.  Both my son and my father have been diagnosed with ADHD and given the checklists out there (such as the one above), it’s not hard to make the logical jump that, given that ADHD is a hereditary disease, I probably have it too.  I really wrestle with this one.  I have struggled all my life with coming to terms that my mother has MS.  When I was younger I used to be ashamed that my mom was different from all the other kids’ moms.  But I still loved her.  As I got older my respect for her strength and the love and support my father gave her, frankly just intimidated me.  They have been an amazing couple and continue to this day, something like 40-odd years.  Impressive in a society in which most of us will be divorced at least once…or twice in some cases…

I know living with two people with ADHD could not have been easy for my ex.  Especially when only one of them admitted to it, and it was not me.  Tonight I lost my temper.  Now, I’d like to excuse this by saying I’m tired, I’ve been working a lot of overtime the last two weeks and it’s been a rather stressful time, all of which is true.  But it does not excuse me yelling at my son.  He was arguing with me about something that happened at school, he’d borrowed a Nintendo DS and the styallus (the control stick) had gotten broken.  I finally yelled at him to “lose the attitude.”  And the voice in which I said it, and only that, along with the look on my face, drove my son away from me crying.  I didn’t call him names or belittle him, nor heaven forbid, did I hit him.  But the voice that came out…it startled even me.  And the crazy thing was as soon as I yelled out, I was over it.  I just let my buttons get pushed.

After about five minutes of him sitting in his room and me cooling off in the kitchen, I went and sat outside his door and apologized.  I was out-of-line for getting that angry, I said.  And I meant it.  He came out and sat in my lap for a while as he calmed down and I cooled off.  We talked, and he apologized for arguing with me.  We’re two of a kind, he and I.  And I have my own struggles with this disease.  I can only admire my parents and hope to eventually do as well…

Nights are the longest time…

So the big day is comin’ up.  Just two more days.  On Thursday at approximately 9:00am the relationship that has more or less helped to define me for almost the last decade of my life will be over and done with.  Space and relationally it ended almost two years ago, shortly before I started this blog.  Legally and emotionally…well, that’s been a different facet altogether.  I knew this was week was gonna be rough, for a couple of reasons.  First of all it’s the 2nd busiest day of the year for work.  Second, the weather and my son make life interesting and a little stir crazy.  And then thirdly, there’s the divorce.  I just have so much goin’ on in my head, even I can’t sort it all out.  Today a dear friend sent me a list of 45 lessons for life in a power point presentation.  I actually had gotten the exact same thing earlier that day from my boss at work, but I hadn’t really wanted to read it then.  The few I looked at in the morning one hit a little close and the last thing I felt I needed was to get all worked up before one of the craziest days of the year for us at work.  And then I got it again tonight when I got home from work after a very, very long day.  And I looked, and tried to listen…  and struggled…

I’m scared.

I’m scared I’m gonna fail.

I’m scared I’ll succeed.

I want to keep on this path, and I have been shown and given such love and support, more than I could have ever imagined.  And part of it scares me.  I’m not used to it.  Even writing this blog, I managed to keep things and people at arms length.  I don’t like to open up.  I know dear readers, it may be a little hard to believe but if you were here in front of me, I assure you the odds of us ever talking about most of what’s on here are about as likely as the KC Chiefs winning the Super Bowl in my lifetime.  I struggle with words, especially when they matter.  There’s a line in a great song I love  – “The more I think, the less I see” – and that is so me.  For a long time I have fought the idea that I could ever forgive myself.  I think too much.  One of my best friends and I, that’s sort of our code for all the things we consider and talk about.  No one else spends as much time on minute stuff as he and I.  There’s a quote from one of my favorite book series by C. S. Friedman, the book is called When True Night Falls.  The two main characters are a warrior priest named Damien Vyrce and a human/demon-prince, Gerald Tarrant, who was once the founding father of the priest’s church, before selling his soul to Fear.  And I think the interplay captures things very well, Tarrant starts off –

“Do you know what repentence means, for me?  Do you really understand it?”  There was anger in his voice now, but it had a desperate edge, “Repentence means standing before God and saying, I’m sorry.  For everything.  All the sins I ever committed, I wish they could be undone.  I wish that I could go back to that time and do it all over again. […]  I wish I could have died before my dream took hold […]  I wish I could have died in ignorance of what this world would become, severed from the world of the living before I could begin to untangle the mysteries that surround me.  I can’t do it Vyrce.  Not honestly.  I could say the words, but I could never mean them.  And my last dying thought would be of all that I had yet to see, which God’s forgiveness had cost me.”  He laughed shortly, bitterly.  “Do you really think that would work?  Do you really think such an attitude would save me?”

Now it was [Damien] who shut his eyes.  He could hear the pain in his own voice as he spoke.  “You’re trapped by your own intelligence you know.  A simpler man would have found his way back to God long ago.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” he whispered.  “Don’t you think that knowledge is part and parcel of my damnation?”

[…]  “No one is ever prepared to meet God,” Damien said queietly.  “We may think we are, but’s only because we don’t understand Him.”

There were many times in days past I felt much more like Tarrant.  The older I get, on the good days, the more I feel like the priest.  Struggling with the good and evil inside each of us, trying to hold onto Hope.  But I’m still scared to go to sleep some nights.  The fear of dying at age 3o is now two years past the date, but it’s still hard to shake the feeling of living on borrowed time.  I try to thank Him every morning for the day I’ve been given.  I know each day is a gift, a present.  I’m just leery of accepting it.  Too many old hurts.  Too many old fears.  They weigh me down and push me around.  And then there’s number 38 on the list… “Yield.”

Every time today I’ve read that one I’ve cried.  Because it’s the one thing on that list I truly want to do, and struggle the most with.  Let go?  Lay back?  Trust?  I don’t want to, but I don’t want to carry it anymore.  Who will I be when it’s gone?  What will be left when everything that has crushed me all these years is lifted?  Will there be anything left?  I’ve been writing in this thing for almost two years and I still don’t feel much closer to figuring out who I am.  Should I yield it all at once?  Can I even do so?  Should I do it a little at a time?  Would I ever get done?

I was going through old pictures today… always rough when you are already emotionally touchy.  Particularly if you are like me and have a tendency to hold on to things that should probably let go.  I have pictures from all sorts of things I probably shouldn’t anymore.  Pictures of ex’s, places and things that are mixed at best in my history.  But they help to tell my story.  But they aren’t always the best parts.  Like the rest of it, should I get rid of them or put them back in storage?  I tell my son over and over again he shouldn’t hang on to the negative memories and emotions, that the only way to move forward is to let go… sounds like good advice doesn’t it?  Now if only I could follow it.

I’m tired.  I’m nervous.  I’m upset.  But in the end, no one has the power to make me feel anything I don’t let them.  And I don’t have to carry the world on my shoulders.  I am NOT responsible for the whole world.  Even for all of MY world.  I just wish I was a simpler man.  It’s not the answer… at least, not the one I’m looking for.  I sympathize a lot with both of those characters though in the quote above.  Where do I find myself these days in that journey?  I like Augustine, a man who would have undoubtedly gotten along with both of them.  Valleys and peaks, pain, loss and shame.  Elation, joy and peace.  I’ve gone through both lately, but this… this is definitely a valley.  I knew this week would be bad.  But I’m trying to remember that God’s most powerful when we are at our most vulnerable.  And as pkkid said on her blog, “Courage being only ‘nothing else left to try’.”  Well…

I’ve tried things my way.  I ran for so long and wasted so many year.  I have nowhere else to turn God, but You.  I have spent myself and throw myself on Thy mercy and at Thy feet.  I did not come to dance.  I did not come to sing.  I did not come to laugh. .. I come to cry.  I come in pain.  I bring my fear to lay before you.  I bring my hate and my anger.  I’m too tired to carry them anymore, but don’t have the strength to let go.  Help me I pray to let go.  Help me please to just let go, and trust in You.  You who are and have been worthy of my trust and my love.  Rock my soul God.  We aren’t done breaking me yet, but the refiner’s fire is hot and the journey is not easy for the metal.  Pain and shaping, cold and beatings… but in the end, if we can hold to it, there’s the promise of something different, something better, something stronger, someone closer to You.

God grant us all peace this day.  I still can’t sleep, but I’m workin’ my way there.  And I defintely am never ready to meet God.  But God is reaching out to me and is surprising me everyday with another thing on the list… Number 30 – God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do — and number 34 – Get outside every day, miracles are waiting everywhere.

May you find your miracle.

hard to believe we were ever that young
hope comes in many sizes



The Trust talk at 10pm

What is it about trust that makes it so hard to pin down, hand out, survive the breaking of, etc?  Trust… it’s just a word, but what does it describe, really mean, try to explain?  I picked up my son from a Christian youth activity last night and found out, after talking to him and another of the adults there, that he had been really quiet and kind of a loner that night.  On the way home we talked about the evening and he told me that one of the songs they sang reminded him of when his step-mother left.  There was a whole can of worms opened in that conversation last night, much of it ground that has been covered before.  But one thing new came out, something that struck me very profoundly…the fact that because my son didn’t think anyone trusted him, he had pulled away from everybody so he wouldn’t trust them either.

It can be a tricky thing, this whole  parenting thing.  And words said in frustration or anger or in a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants moment can last long long long after that moment is through.  My son has had to earn back some trust.  He’s lied and gone behind people’s back…but aren’t those a normal part of growing up?  Lord knows I did enough of it when I was his age.  He’s lost privaleges and suffered the consequences of his choice.  But did he deserve to hear from me (and others) that he’d lost our trust?  Trust is an emphemeral thing.  Hard to replace once lost and hard to know how to find.  It’s not that I don’t trust my son, I do.  But I struggle with this whole balancing act of trust, accountability and responsibility.  I mean c’mon, just look at this blog.  I am hardly a paragon of virtue in this department.

So we talked….struggling together with our emotions, explaining our actions…Talked, with a capitol “T,” about all the things that he’d been keeping bottled inside and that I had not done a good job of sharing with him.

I need to take my own advice and keep my mouth shut.  I can’t listen very well with my mouth open.

It was a good talk, but oh boy, not an easy one…

…Here’s to hoping he and I can have more like it.

Ink.

It can be written in the very stones of our live.  Every action, every breath we take, creates a chain reaction that leads from one thing to another, the flow constantly moving.  Over time the flow becomes a current, and eventually, a way of life.  So what happens when that flow leads us down a path of personal destruction?  What happens when the flow pulls us away from those we care about, those who love us, with whom we share this crazy thing called life?  How do we continue to fight upstream?  Or do we?  Do we just ease our way into the current, and surrender to the cold dark underneath?

There is a movie, called “Ink” which does a really wonderful job exploring these questions.  Questions, that to some extent, have been on my mind lately.

So what happens when our guilt and shame and fears overcome us?  How do we find the Peace that Christ brings?  In the middle of the Advent season, I had to make a decision… one that I did not particularly like.  One that I had spent some time avoiding making.  I knew, as soon as I started another relationship, that there was a good chance it might not last.  I was on a journey, the likes of which I’d never been on before, and I wasn’t 100% convinced that trying to lose myself in this relationship would be a good thing.  But I wasn’t convinced it would be a bad thing either.

There were many good things that came out of these past few months.  I have enjoyed getting to know someone better than I had in the previous 8 years we’d known each other.  But in the end the differences were too much.  And my journey wasn’t done yet.  But I had added to my shame… to my guilt… and to my anger.  I wasn’t sure exactly where to go or what to do, but I knew I didn’t want things to stay where they were.  Then, by virtue of a friend, the words about returning to the desert were shared with me.  And I was faced with a choice…  How do I change the flow of the things in my life?

I didn’t have a car wreck, but as I was doing my best to avoid making the decision, it was to some degree made TO me.  I wasn’t ready for the decision, but then I got a call, and the conversation turned to what had been bothering me and things were able to be said and shared that shifted the flow.  Does that mean that the decision I made was the right one?  I don’t know.  I know it was the necessary one, for me to get back on the path I needed to be on.  But if I’d never gotten off of it, I’d never had to make the decision in the first place.  So does that mean that this had to happen to get me to where I am?  I have trouble with pre-destination.  I don’t believe in it.  And I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason.  I think there are connections and chain reactions to our lives beyond what we see and understand and I know God moves in our lives day in and day out.  But why this?  Is it because this is the only choice I left myself?  The only way I left myself to seek forgiveness?

We have angels watching over us.  They can’t make the decisions for us.  They can’t carry the load, relieve the guilt or stop the fear.  They come in many shapes and sizes, from our friends, family and total strangers, to things of fire, eyes and wings that need to remind us to “Fear not” in order to hear their message.  But at the end of the day, they CAN support us, guide us, and offer helping hands to lead us to where the point of decision is made.  The decision is always about sacrifice…and forgiveness.  To quote from an Advent article I was sent, that asks us the question, if we are serious about repentance –

“What then shall we do?
So John goes on to describe repentance in very concrete terms. He challenges
them with the idea that repentance is more than just feeling badly about our sins in a
private sort of way. He says there are fruits associated with repentance that should be
evident in the rough and tumble of real life. If we have two coats (a sign of affluence and
material wealth), repentance involves sharing what we have. If we deal with other
people’s money and finances, we need to become more honest and fair. If we are a
soldier fighting for peace or a public servant representing the government, we are to use
our position for the good of others rather than using it to gain more for ourselves.”

The decision is about letting God have a hand in our lives.  We still have to face our nightmares, our fears, our self-doubt, our guilt and our shame.  But we are NOT alone, even though we face it in many ways, in many forms, in many places.  We do it for many reasons….but the best one is always for love.

I don’t know if I’ll have the strength for the fight…

I’m scared to try…

But I know what will happen if I don’t…

and so…I try to find the beat… 1…2…3…4…

…take the first step

…reach out a hand

…say I’m sorry

…ask forgiveness

…accept the accountability, and responsibility

…keep Hope alive…keep Love alive…

Miracles happen… isn’t that what this whole season is still about?  You are loved.  I am loved.  We are loved.  It’s never too late.

Caught by surprise

There are times I’m still shocked at what grabs me, moves me to tears, plunges right through any defenses I have.  I was watching the movie “We’re Back – A Dinosaur’s Tale” with my son and, for those of you w/o kids or who haven’t seen this film, it’s basically a story about Dinosaurs who are made smart and brought to the modern world to fulfill the wishes and dreams of many children and their adventures with two NY city kids – one of whom is running away from home to join the circus.  At the end of the film as “Rex” the T-Rex leader of the dinos has been turned back into a monster by the evil owner of the circus and as Rex breaks free and goes to eat the owner, the young man who has been his friend comes out and tries to reach the smart/kind/gentle Rex underneath, while the young girl who has traveled with them is in the shadows praying “Let no bad happen.  Let no bad happen.”

It caught me by surprise, the tears that formed in the corners of my eyes, watching this.  I had to step away from the room to catch myself, but all I could hear was a little child’s voice in my head saying over and over “Let no bad happen.”  I’ve thought of that a lot as my son and I have begun moving on this past year.  He’s already been through so much, I too have prayed, “Let no bad happen” over and over again.  Some days it seems like it’s answered, others not so much, even though I know it has.

Today was a real mix.

My family and one of my best friends walked in the MS Walk-A-Thon today.  We had basically a good time, got drenched in the rain.  However, my son and I had an arguement as he kept straying away from the group and occasionally out of sight.  I asked him several times to stay with us, got rebuffed, lost my temper and yelled at him.  And thus our journey this day began anew.  We had good times today, played two-square out in the parkinglot, played name-the-comic-charcter catch, watched a movie and played one of several trading card games he has.  But at the end of the day, as often happens, what was begun early in the day came out to play and he and I had to wrench ourselves through another session of…I don’t know…it may be theraputic but I don’t know that I’d call it therapy…at least not for me.  We managed to salvage the night after about forty minutes of talking to each other and I am SO grateful we can talk – even if not very well – about how we feel and what goes on behind our eyes.  It’s a trait I’m afraid he got from me, not being comfortable talking about what’s really going on.  Or how we’re really feeling.

He got into a scuffle on the bus yesterday, didn’t tell me till today.  Also means he struck out of the final day party at school – gonna struggle with that as well.  At every turn he’s fighting the word and still wants it so close.  I see his hurt and it just rips me up inside.  Course I still struggle with it, but in very different ways.  There is a part of me that misses my ex, but it’s getting smaller everyday.  I can look back on the good times now w/o the pain it used to cause.  The bad times still wrankle some, mostly the ones we had after she left.  I’m hopeful I’m on a path to a better place everyday.  But I get what another of my best friends calls “skin hunger” more and more often these days.  It’s more than sex or innuendo.  Holding hands with someone you love, running your fingers through their hair, hugging, laying next to someone listening to them breathe.  It’s all this and more.  And this too is a test that has caught me somewhat by surprise.  Not that it’s happened but by how strong the desire is sometimes…and by the changing nature of it.  Most of the time now all I want is to hold someone’s hand or snuggle.  Maybe I”m just getting older.

I still struggle with where I’m heading, what I want out of life, learning to let go and follow…

I’d say they get easier with time but judging by the lives of the many wonderful people I’ve know it really doesn’t.  But peace does come.  It just has a price and I have to decide if I’m willing to pay it.

Maybe I’ll surprise myself.