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There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all
this is intended to be a short gratitude post. i have probably needed a good dose of thanks for some time. right now, i have a couple of friends struggling with general life issues and i have felt helpless as i stand by and watch. in one case i am purposely stepping out of the way and allowing her to find her way. in the other case, i am actively giving unsolicited perspective to help her sidestep her own emotions. in both scenarios, i am without ability to really change them. yet at the end of the day, i am left with my feelings for them. this is not an earthshattering discovery, but it is a quiet reminder that my life and my heart continue- in spite of my nature in both these instances. this is the blessing in my life.
as may be obvious, i spent most of my life (30+ years) in the realm of ghosts according to buddhist tradition- specifically the hungry ghosts- always eating and never full. for years it seemed that would always be how my life was. even when i was able to build a career or a relationship, the ghost attachment would invade and much of the good and the sincere would be swallowed up by the hungry apparitions in my soul. it was unstable and imbalanced at best.
with sobriety and recovery however, and specifically with gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, i have been able to transcend that transluscent realm into a human realm. i am assured of this by the very nature of these feelings. they cause me to feel warm, connected, and peaceful. in the midst of chaos, i can access these feelings and step down from terror to a place in my mind which is more calm and present. there is not escape, but relief. a shift in perception- a miracle.
i have written previously about all the lives that have left before me. somewhere along the line, i came to understand that continuing to make a mess of my life was a disrespect to those i loved and lost. they were not afforded the opportunities i have now, so who do i think i am shitting all over something i have been given and they have not. how dare i take for granted what is not really mine at all. and i realized that i might be better off to make useful and take advantage of the gift before me.
this realization i think began my shift from the ghost realm to a human realm. i have learned that it is imperative to access gratitude et al to maintain some balance and be reminded.
so here i sit. powerless. connected. attached. awake. grateful.