To Damn Busy!

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My love is in the hospital again with pneumonia. She has officially been there for one week today.

She will get better.

In the week that she has been in the hospital none of her family has come to visit her.

One of her good friends is the only person to visit her besides me.

This has caused me to think about busyness.

Allow me to explain.

When we are busy we don’t have to stop and look at life. We don’t have to wonder if we are happy or if our relationships are good. We’re just to damn busy to think about it!

When we are busy, we gain our worth from how much we get done in a day (this is me in a nut shell by the way). And when we do finally have a day off or a vacation we can say we deserve it because of how busy we have been!

The cycle goes on and on. We wear ourselves out, our relationships grow weaker, and we stop showing up for people when they need us even when they are sick and in the hospital.

I am completely certain of one thing: THE RELATONSHIPS THAT WE HAVE WITH OUR LOVED ONES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS LIFE.

When we finally take the long dirt nap, the only thing that we will leave this world with is the love we created while we were here.

Showing up for someone means more than a thousand tasks completed in a day, a new car, or a promotion.

Today, I will go spend as much time as I can with my love.

I can’t make her well. But I can show up for her.

WE ABSOULUTLY NEED TO KEEP BEING WHO WE ARE

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Bear with me for a moment if you will.

I swear this isn’t a political rant.

Nor is it a plea for the tolerance of hate.

I was completely devastated, and terrified by the results of the 2016 presidential election.

The current administration stands against anyone who is NOT : white, male, Christian.

I fall into a few minority groups:

Lesbian, woman, Buddhist.

I never thought hate would make its way into the White House in such a blatant way.

I’m not going to tell you that I think it will get better or that we should tolerate hatred.

However, I will tell you this: WE ABSOULUTLY NEED TO KEEP BEING WHO WE ARE.

I have to live my life based on spiritual principles. If I don’t I won’t be able to live. It’s easy for me to live my life from these principles when the rest of the world is acting in a peaceful and loving manner.

Ah, but this is where the proverbial “rubber meets the road”. Now I get to actually practice these principles in the face of hate.

That means that I have to keep showing up for life as the best person I can be regardless of what is happening in the world. I have to be kind and loving even when it is very, very difficult to do so.

May I propose this to those of you who were kind enough to read this:

Show up for life as a force of peace.

Be kind.

And above all, let the people in your life know what it is you value about them as individuals.

I say this because I can tell you from experience that some of us “minorities” may be feeling a little unsure right now. Letting someone know what it is you value about them can really let them know that they are valued as a person and not just summed up into a category.

I was blessed to have someone do this for me recently. It changed my point of view.

If you see an injustice taking place before your eyes, remember the victim. It is human nature to go after the aggressor. However, it is the victim that really needs comfort.

Now more than ever it is vital to go out of your way to be kind, show love, and do your best.

We are all in this together. Remember that above ALL ELSE.

Ending the Cycle of Violence

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The recent mass shooting Pulse in Orlando FL, affected me more than the other mass shootings that have occurred within the past few years. (The fact that I can even refer to there being more than on mass shooting within the past few years disturbs me deeply) This mass shooting hit close to home for me and every other person who considers themselves a part of the LGBT community at large.

A lot of information has surfaced about Omar Mateen of late.

  • Over the past few weeks evidence has surfaced that Omar Mateen was acting out of revenge and not as part of Isis as he stated in his phones calls with law enforcement.
  • A former lover of Omar’s who referred to himself as Miguel, told Univision in an exclusive interview that Mateen had had sex with him as well as two men from Pulse. One of the men may have been HIV+.
  • In an interview with the New York Times,Sitora Yusufiy, Mateen’s first wife, described Mateen as incredibly abusive and says she was only able to escape with the help of her family.
  • There is some evidence that Mateen mentioned researching ant-psychotic medications the day of his attack on Pulse.

I have no idea why anyone would commit such a heinous act against innocent people.

But I have a theory about hate and violence.

My theory is that there is a cycle of hate that leads to horrendous behavior.

I believe the cycle goes something like this:

  • A person feels bad about themselves. They are deeply insecure.
  • They begin seeking ways to lash out at other people to feel better about themselves and release anger.
  • They begin to feed on the anger of lashing out. It becomes like a high. It gives them the feeling of being superior and inflates their ego.
  • Being angry feels good and powerful. It gives them the sense that they have power thus it allows them to ignore their feelings of insecurity. This feeling of power becomes addictive.
  • The more they participate in the cycle of hate, the more their behavior has to escalate because it takes more to “feed” their addiction. Thus leading to increasingly violent acts.

Make no mistake; violent acts come in many forms.

For example, Donald Trump’s self-centered response to the Pulse massacre on Twitter was a violent act.

Every church group who has used and will use this heinous tragedy to justify protesting at the funerals of the victims is committing an act of violence.

I know the question on everybody’s minds is: What do we do about this?

I think we need to practice greater love and tolerance.

I believe that how we show up in life affects the our world as a whole. I believe this more that I believe anything else. One act of kindness by one person ripples out into the world.

The brilliant Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew this truth and spent his all to short life working to make the world understand it.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said:

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.

Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.

Through violence you may murder the liar,

but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.

Through violence you may murder the hater,

but you do not murder hate.

In fact, violence merely increases hate.

So it goes.

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,

adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness:

only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that “

What we can do is show up in life with kindness and love even when it is the most difficult thing to be done. The time for justifiable anger has passed. It isn’t making our world any better.

I know we can’t change any one. I certainly can’t make people stop hating people like me and saying we will all “burn in hell” or that the Orlando attack was the “will of God”.

But what I do know is this: If I hate I am a part of the problem. If I allow myself to put other people down for any reason I am getting into the cycle of hate. I believe that would be the ultimate mistake.

Peace is a Commitment.

quote-nonviolence-means-avoiding-not-only-external-physical-violence-but-also-internal-violence-martin-luther-king-15-90-33 Over the past few weeks I have come to realize that peace is a commitment. I made a decision to give my will and my life to the care of a power greater than myself more than a decade ago. And I am a Buddhist. Therefore, non-violence and peace are the principles that I want to practice.

It has been easy to keep my commitment to peace when life is normal and all is well. However, I have given up my commitment at the drop of a hat on many occasions when people “don’t act right” or “everything goes wrong”.

In other words: when it’s convenient I keep my commitment to my principals.

However, I have realized that I must keep my commitment even when it is difficult. 

Not doing so is like saying “Oh I’m not going to drink anymore but I’m still going to the bar every night.”

Martin Luther King Jr. said that Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit.

It’s an inside job.

And if I am truly going to remain open I cannot fight against anything or anyone. I have to accept what comes and feel what I feel about it without trying to make it be something that it isn’t. If something or someone is not good for me I simply need to walk away instead of attempting to bend it or them to my will.

This doesn’t mean that I’m achieving saint hood or that I think I’m better than anyone else.

Honestly, I’m just tired of fighting. My inner peace means too much.