No More Substitutions

Today I met a kind of pain that reached a whole new level.  Most of the time in my life when that sort of thing has happened, I’ve relied on substitution.  When things got seemingly unbearable, I would substitute something or someone in the place of a difficulty to deflect my attention from the matter that was causing me the pain, mental anguish or heartbreak.  Today I elected to no longer run from, substitute for, or deflect around, but rather accept and feel the pain, and actually process it.  It is scary and daunting, but I know from experience that substitution and escape will never allow for any meaningful growth to occur, but rather delay the inevitable, like some cosmic game of kick the can.

I am scared.  I am alone.  And, I am determined to be stronger than this pain.  In hoping for someone to come and ease it, I have come to realize that I do have someone that has never left me for any reason.  I greet them face to face every morning in the mirror.  I won’t give up on them, and I have a feeling they won’t give up on me.


My Son and I Composed a Progressive Rock Song Like Something from the 70’s


My 14 year old son somehow received the same curse as I did somewhere along the way.  The curse of music.  It haunts us both.  On the weekends that I have him we immerse ourselves in every kind of music.  It is our love language.

One Saturday a few weeks ago my son said he wanted to record a progressive rock song like something from the 70’s that would be something that Rick Wakeman, ELP, or maybe even Pink Floyd might have done.  So we spent the afternoon and came up with this.  It does get pretty weird at the end, but it should be very authentic in the style of late 70’s progressive rock.  That kind of music is definitely an acquired taste, so I will understand if this is not appreciated by many who may listen.  But it really doesn’t matter.  My son and I had an amazing time of creation, deep discussion and laughter around this, and so now it is something for the ages, even if he and I are the only two to ever appreciate it!

I should mention that he is a killer guitarist and played all of the guitar parts…

Einstein, Joy and Time Dilation

I am perplexed.  Today was a perfect example of a phenomenon that has really been on my mind a lot lately.  I spent some amazing quality time today with someone I love deeply, and time simply evaporated.   It always does when I am with them.  We all know the adage, “Time flies when you’re having fun!” Well, it does.  But what is going on there?  Is there a scientific reason?  I am sure there are studies on this and I really need to dig in, but before I do that I’d like to line up the questions I am seeking the answers to, form my own hypotheses, and then see if there is any support for them.

Here are some recent observations about time:

  1. When I’m bored (which is almost never) it seems to move slowly.
  2. When I am in a crisis or emergency situation it moves very slowly.
  3. When I am deep in creative thought (losing all track of time) it moves quickly.
  4. When I am separated from my love interest it moves very slowly.
  5. When I am with my love interest it moves faster than at any other time.
  6. When I am connected through any means of communication with my love interest it moves very fast, but not as fast as when I am with them.

There are many more scenarios I am sure that I could list, but these convey the general idea.  These things result in localized compressions or expansions of the perception of time.  Although there seems to be an overall increase in the perceived speed of time associated with age, I am really referring to a more event based or causal alteration in the perception of time during specific circumstances like those listed above.

It is a well established fact that time is not constant in the universe.  Einstein theorized that the further something was from a gravitational source, the faster time would progress.  This time dilation aspect of general relativity has been proven to be a fact in physics.   But, is it a fact in us?  Is there some sort of effect that causes time to distort for us locally?  Think about this; every night for each of us, time becomes hyper-compressed during sleep.  If all goes well, we go to sleep and in a blink it is morning.  If you have an operation and undergo general anesthesia, the same thing occurs.  If I want to propel you forward in time, I can do it easily by falling asleep.  You are forced to be in my accelerated time, because when I awaken, we are aware of one another and are synchronized to the space and time we are both consciously in.   If you stayed awake, you probably did not feel this time compression, but if it happened to one of us, and we are in the same spacetime continuum, then it happened to both of us.  Or did it?

If you subscribe to a multiverse interpretation of string theory, then I suppose it is conceivable that we are always getting out of sync with those around us.   Those that  we perceive around us just happen to be with us in coincidental momentary collapses of the wave function, forcing versions of us to be temporarily in the same reality.   This is a depressing notion, because it implies that the people you are closest to aren’t exactly the same people you became close to originally.  They are long gone in some other momentary localized collapse of the wave function, i.e. parallel universe.

Whatever is going on, it is very real and every one of us experiences it daily, and to varying degrees throughout the day.  In reality, we are all time travelers.  We seem to all be travelling in the same direction in time, but for some of us, we are literally travelling at different rates.  The astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) are traveling in the same direction on the timeline as we are, but they are travelling through it faster.  Not much faster, but measurably so.  If you want to live for a really long time relative to everyone you know, just hang out near a black hole, or travel for a while at nearly the speed of light.

So time compression and dilation is real in physics, but there are extraordinary circumstances involved.  Yet, we experience extreme variations in the perception of time and we aren’t pitching tents in the event horizon of a black hole, or taking cruises at near lightspeed.  I would contend that the variations in our perception of time are orders of magnitude greater than the actual variations in the rate of time change for the ISS astronauts.

Ok, here is where I might be jumping into rainbows and unicorns land… Could our perception of time be related somehow to what I will call “Soul Gravity?”  Isn’t it ironic that when we refer to bad things or tragic things we say they are heavy?  When things are heavy, isn’t time slower?  What about when we are lighthearted and joyful?  Doesn’t time seem to move faster?  When we sleep, I wonder does our soul or consciousness enter a state where there is less soul gravity?   While awake, when we experience extreme joy, we all experience time dilation.   These perceptions are real.   And the only things we can be certain are real are the things that we perceive.   So it is actually happening on some level.  Perhaps even on a level that could be modelled mathematically in the future.  My suspicion is that all of this is somehow tied to quantum phenomena, though I am pretty sure we have absolutely no way of testing this notion (yet).

One sad side effect of having a lightness of soul is that time moves so quickly when we are in extreme happiness.  But I guess in reality, and in cosmological terms, our time here is but a blink anyway.  Concerning that, I would much rather live in joy and experience one short blink than be miserable and endure many long ones.

This Song Needs a Name…

I haven’t been posting much in the way of epiphanic thoughts lately, though I have been in very deep thought personally.  Much of the time, deep thought ends up being expressed in music.  It has become a thing now that I will occasionally post music that I write just for this blog.  Here is one I just wrote and recorded today.  It has no name, so if you feel inspired, please leave your thoughts for a name in the comments!

I Wonder…



Every once in awhile I feel compelled to write a song or a piece of music specifically for this blog, so I wrote and recorded this yesterday (Sunday 4/2/17).  Since I am an anonymous blogger, I know this music will never see the light of day outside of this particular forum.  Still, if it is part of the journey and it relates, then I hope it will help others on their own journey.  Click the play button above to hear it.  Thank you for taking a moment to walk with me on my journey!

I Wonder

Verse 1
Standing on the edge of light
I see so much and still I am so blind
And Everyday I fight the fight
To try and leave the war behind

If I jump I wonder if I’ll fly
If I crash I wonder if I’ll die
If I stay I wonder if you’ll know
If I leave I wonder if you’ll go

Verse 2
I’m falling now from such a lofty height
Engaged inside my soul’s greatest fight
Plunging down so far beneath
The outcome I may never see

If I jump I wonder if I’ll fly
If I crash I wonder if I’ll die
If I stay I wonder if you’ll know
If I leave I wonder if you’ll go

Search for meaning in the sky
Finding truth not welcoming
Discovering that I’ve lived a lie
Has caused me to  start my wondering

Verse 3
The pain i’m in right now is not a jail
The fire that’s refining isn’t hell
I know everything could be so much worse
And I know this loneliness is not a curse

If I jump I wonder if I’ll fly
If I crash I wonder if I’ll die
If I stay I wonder if you’ll know
If I leave I wonder if you’ll go… with me

Men are F***ing Gross!

gross-guyI hate to have to say this, but in general guys are f***ing gross!  I don’t hate that I am a guy, but for the most part the axiom in the title is true and I am embarrassed by it.  Oh, not only gross, but stupid!  There are so many directions I could go with this topic, and I will attempt to stay on point.  Let me cite a few examples.

Let’s start with an easy one regarding the grossness of guys.  The toilet seat.  Why, why, why is it so hard to put down the toilet seat and leave it in a clean and dry state?  Why?  Look, I am not a wimp, wuss, or girlie man.  Yes, I cry, but we already established in an earlier post (Is It Manly to Cry?) that I am really not a wimpy guy, and I am not a –whipped guy.  I hate it myself when the toilet seat is up!  It makes zero sense to leave it up! Let’s do the math.  Let’s say half of the population always sits down. OK?  The other half (without going into specifics) sits down let’s say 30% of the time.  That means the probability of the average user, regardless of gender, needing to sit down is about 65%.   And everyone has sat on a seat that wasn’t there in the darkness of the middle of the night and fallen in, guys and girls alike.  But guys… that doesn’t mean leave it down and shoot for accuracy either.  Good grief!  I have to mention this too – it doesn’t really matter social or economic status.  Guy-grossness spans all socioeconomic strata.  I have been to 5 star hotels where a lobby restroom stall has been left in an absolute bio-hazardous state.  There is a reason they have full time attendants in there, but even then it can and does happen.  I won’t even go there regarding gas stations that have an outside entrance…

Next, flatulence has never been, is not now, and never will be an aphrodisiac.  So just stop!  It’s not endearing.  It’s disgusting.  Don’t you remember your willingness to endure every kind of lower GI pain imaginable when dating?  You felt it was important during those early times to refrain in order to attract a mate, but then what?  Rings are not fart tokens, yet somehow men assume they are.  What a stupid notion.   If there is any truth to the phrase “familiarity breeds contempt,” then we should never become too familiar with certain private matters.  If she thought you were Mr. Perfect before you unveiled all of your bodily function mysteries, and things were at their most awesome, then why would you ever even consider crossing that line?  Hmmm?  You want to know a great way to turn a woman on?  Don’t turn her off!

Onto the clueless and misguided come-ons.  Cat calling? Whistling? Staring at, waving at, smiling at, or otherwise trying to get a woman’s attention in a vehicle?  And, oh my GOD! revving your crotch-rocket motorcycle, or your twin straight pipes 4×4 pickup?  Seriously?  Why on earth would any of those ever be considered attractive? Ever?  Who was the first guy that modelled this behavior?  How did we men as a whole not yet evolve from primitive chest beating?  Sadly most males are mentored by men that were mentored by men that thought this was how you do it.  On this point though, I wonder if women are just a little culpable?  It seems as though women truly possess the power to stop this nonsense.  If all women enacted a zero tolerance policy in solidarity, one of 2 things would happen inside of one generation.  Either A, the population of the planet would drop dramatically, or B, men would get their act together and ascend to a level of classiness befitting a leading man from classic films or epic literature.

Now for bad bar/nightclub behavior.  The other night I was with my friend, who happens to be a woman, and we were at a nightclub watching a friend of ours play in a classic rock band.  In walks her ex-boyfriend of 10 or so years ago.  The boyfriend that never got over her.  He took a seat next to her, and started at obnoxious, and slowly worked his way up to, with the help of multiple beverages, complete asshole.  He continued to move his chair closer to her, and she seemed annoyed, but being classy herself, she wasn’t going to publicly embarrass him (dammit).  This guy was on a date!  She wasn’t, but he was.  I was uncomfortable for her, and frankly, I was uncomfortable for everyone at the table.  In what universe did this guy think that his stupid, loud, erratic behavior was going to make her rethink her decision for leaving him?  Guys generally have a bad read on women.  They take silence as an invitation to proceed.  I think it is obvious why it is called “women’s intuition.” Men don’t have any.  Guys, just because a woman is at a bar or nightclub does not mean that she is there for you!

Last one for now. Pickup lines.  Okay, so in the history of the world, has there ever been a woman with an IQ north of plant life that has actually fallen for a pickup line?  And guys, if she does, are you sure you want to go home with that?  Here is one that was used on my woman friend not too terribly long ago.  “Hey baby, you’re my next ex-wife!”  As if this was going to make her want to instantly shed her clothes and make babies with this Neanderthal.   I think someone should make a Cyrano De Bergerac app that men could use when speaking to women they would like to meet.   Just a little Bluetooth headset and the guy could choose from some basic topics, and the app would speak a poetic, romantic or thoughtful phrase into his ear, and he could repeat it to the woman in question.  My guess is, the app would give men a much higher success rate with women than anything emanating from within their own pea-brain.  Also, maybe the app should be written by women?

In closing, I am speaking in the general and not the specific.  There are men, a few, that aren’t gross or stupid.  Interestingly, a lot of them are very sensitive guys and have many feminine qualities, and as such all too often end up in the “friend-zone.”  If men could learn to adopt certain female sensibilities, while still retaining their innate masculinity, then it seems like we might be able to fix this.  In the meantime, I wonder if women will eventually stop compromising and settling for gross and stupid?

Déjà Vu, Synchronicity and Twin Flames

Twin FLame

Here are some concepts that have been really stretching me lately:  déjà vu, synchronicity and twin-flames.

I have done a number of extremely diverse things in my life, and have re-invented myself on a few occasions.  One of the things I have done professionally is to be involved in the hard sciences.  Chemistry, physics, materials science and computer science are areas I have worked in professionally.  I worked for many years at a highly regarded laboratory as a principal scientist in the area of exotic materials.  In my years of working in the scientific fields, I developed a rather cynical view of intangible concepts.  I became very terse and disengaged from any and all things spiritual or supernatural.  I was thrilled with discovery, and pushing the envelope of human understanding, but I was very limited in my view of what was possible beyond what could be measured or theorized.  If we could theorize it as being possible, then even if we hadn’t achieved it, I was driven to push physics and chemistry to reach the calculable limits.  That drive allowed me to receive scientific patents for things that had never been done before, but things that COULD be done without conflicting with the laws of nature.  The ironic thing is, that in constricting my thought sphere to only what we could theorize as possible, I had actually limited myself to a very small realm of possibilities.

Enter déjà vu.  All of my life I have had extraordinary experiences with déjà vu.  Even during the period of my life where I limited my world view to the natural.  Sometimes these moments were so vivid that I knew exactly what was about to unfold before me, and those moments would last from a few seconds up to a minute or two. I knew what was going to happen in extraordinary detail.   I never knew very far into the future, but I still knew.  I am aware that some describe the feeling of déjà vu as having experienced an exact sequence of events at some earlier time in their life, or that they had previously dreamed about a thing that just happened.  For me the sense of having had a pre-dream has also occurred, but my experience, more often than not, is that I have short-lived moments of the ability to observe the future for seconds before it happens.  I am not sure this is that useful of an ability, because I am always so stunned when it does happen that by the time I could ever explain that it was happening, the moment has already passed.  I know that there are hard scientific explanations for the timing between the left and right hemispheres of the brain getting slightly out of sync, fooling the experiencer into feeling like this is a real thing.  However, the experience itself is so powerful it defies even plausible scientific explanation.

According to Wikipedia, synchronicity is the experience of two or more events which occur in a meaningful manner, but which are causally unrelated. In order to be synchronous, the events must be related to one another conceptually, and the chance that they would occur together by random chance must be very small. Carl Jung coined the word “synchronicity” to describe what he called “temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events.”

Regarding synchronicity, I have had an unbelievable dance with this phenomenon for most of my life.  This one is a little different for me than déjà vu though.  It comes in waves.  There are periods of time, sometimes very long ones, where an uncanny number of synchronistic events occur.  For example, I’ll hear a song I haven’t heard in 20 years play 5 times over a 2 day period.  Or I’ll hear an odd word or saying, and then read it in the paper, and then see it on the news.  Or, I will randomly think of an ugly car from the 70’s, the AMC Pacer, and then I will see two of them that very day in completely unrelated contexts.  This will go on for months.  Then, inexplicably, they cease for very long periods of time.  I have made a very interesting personal observation with respect to synchronistic happenings.  The waves of them usually correspond to big life changes.  They often precede the life change, persist during, and continue for a reasonable time after.  Until recently I have never had the presence of mind to pay attention to what the synchronistic event was about,  I just noticed that they were happening.  I am now beginning to realize that there may be some important information in exactly what the subject matter is for the synchronistic event.  I will begin documenting them from now on to see if there isn’t some extra-natural encoding occurring.

Having dealt heavily with statistics, probabilities, confidence intervals, and correlation coefficients in my scientific career, understanding the probability of an occurrence being real and significant is a lynchpin of experimental science.  When I have pondered the odds of synchronistic events occurring randomly, they are usually very large against, if not astronomical.  But even if I were to allow for occasional random coincidence, I cannot account for the sheer volume of these types of events, much less their periodic behavior (at least in my personal experience).  Carl Jung was a scientist and the founder of analytical psychology.  He was a medical doctor and psychiatrist, among other things, and he surely had a grasp of probability theory.  He understood that the notion of synchronicity did not conform to the stringent confines of the natural laws.  I am no Carl Jung, but I must agree that these things occur in contradiction to the scope of understanding within the modern hard sciences.

Now for the fun part! Twin flames.  The philosopher Plato espoused that man is a half of one soul that is split apart from an original ovoid.  Each half that is split apart is a twin or “twin flame” of the other half, sharing many of the same personality traits, characteristics, and preferences.  Each half is a duplicate of the other, and as they take form, one assumes the masculine and the other the feminine.   Every person has a unique pattern and no other soul in the universe can merge perfectly with that pattern except for one’s twin flame.  Many people spend a whole lifetime searching for their other half, and when twin flames unite there is a magnification of the soul’s potential and power of creativity that cannot be achieved with any other person.  Plato also warned of the difficulties the reunion can bring. Often the magnetism and similarities are so overwhelming that the souls cannot emotionally handle the union.

Ok, this all sounds very unicorns and rainbows at first glance.  Most of my life I would have dismissed this as a lot of nonsense.  There are a lot of extra-natural notions at play here.  All of which have no foundation in repeatable and rigorous science.  So why then do I bring it up?   Because I now believe it.   I believe I have met mine.  The feeling associated with it is so difficult to describe, and there is absolutely zero scientific method available that could be used to prove it, and yet I believe it to be the case.  I am sure that there are many people, far too many to attribute to random occurrence, that can describe exactly the same feeling I have experienced.  I would venture to say that many people who read this will agree, even if they haven’t met theirs.  There is an innate sense of it. Something our subconscious knows much better than our waking one.

It would be tempting to say in all of these things it is simply a matter of faith.  According to the christian bible, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.”  But what I am talking about is not faith at all, it is experiential.  As a hard scientist for a good portion of my professional life, I did not make much room for faith.  Even now, it isn’t faith that propels me in accepting these ideas.  It is experience.  I have experienced synchronicity, I have experienced déjà vu, and I have experienced meeting my twin flame.  I am not discounting faith, so please don’t get angry with me.  I am just not referring to faith in this context.  I don’t have to see air to experience that is fills my lungs and delivers to me life giving oxygen.  Some will use the air argument as an argument for faith… “You can’t see it, but you know it is there!” But it isn’t faith.  It is experience.

The experiences that I am having now, and have had throughout my life, are real and can’t be disproven to me.  They can’t be disproven simply for the reason that I actually experienced them.  It isn’t a matter of repeatable experimentation either.  I can’t make myself have déjà vu or synchronicity so that I can measure and formulate algorithms that describe their properties and behavior.  They are not on demand, at least not for me.  Yet I continue to experience them, and I expect I will for my time remaining here.  So in all of this, I am being stretched to accept that it is impossible for hard science to encapsulate all of what actually is.  For me to only allow what hard science would allow would force me to be in direct conflict with my experiences.  This would actually cause a psychosis, of sorts, because these experiences would have to all then be categorized as delusional and unreal.  So, either I, and many or most others, are NOT sane and the boundaries of hard science ARE the absolute limits of reality, or, they AREN’T and we are all fine.  With those as the only  logical choices, I prefer to accept the latter.

Sink or Swim!

Sink or Swim

While my father did have my mental and intellectual well being at heart, he was certainly careless with other aspects of my formative development.  It was the quinquennial of my childhood life and we were on a family vacation in Lake Tahoe, California.  I loved the water.  It had a seductive power over me at a very early age.  It was a mysterious place where countless indescribably frightful creatures lurked, and also a mystical entity by whom fun was magically conjured for all who dared to embrace her surly grip.  Also, a place where death could appear more quickly than those who succumbed clearly ever imagined.

I am not sure what it was that intensified my focus on mortality at such a young age, but perhaps it was largely due to my father’s lack of paternal wisdom in so many areas.  For his part, I believe he meant well.  Either that or he just didn’t care.  It is so hard to tell which, and even asking him about it now reveals no epiphanic truth I can rest on for a deeper understanding.  Maybe it was the ghost of his own father reverberating through familial DNA to reach out in a vile attempt destroy his son’s progeny, as if the damage he caused my father wasn’t enough.  Maybe it was the culture of redneckism my father was cultivated in, that he tried so desperately to disidentify with.  Whatever it was, it all culminated in this phrase “Sink or swim son, the choice is yours!”  Those words hit my ears a mere second prior to the frigid water of Lake Tahoe stabbing a thousand knives into my 5 year old skin.

Without having very much life experience to flash before my eyes, that cliché was quickly out of the way and I wasn’t distracted from the task at hand.  I could see the dock that was my ultimate and only salvation given the facts surrounding my current predicament.  The very same dock where only moments earlier I was pondering how long it would be before I could frolic independently in this beautiful expanse of foreboding liquid joy.  With that question now answered unsatisfactorily, it was time to get on with continuing to live.  That was all that mattered.  I had no desire to sink into the blackness that I could only relate to what happens nightly in the non-dreaming stages of sleep.  In those times I simply ceased to exist.  Perhaps I was an early developing narcissist that could not imagine a world without me in it, or my id had provided me with an overwhelmingly healthy instinct for self preservation.  Either way, this was NOT how I saw myself ceasing to be myself!

I began to flail in a futile attempt to mimic what I presumed swimming was.  It was in this moment that I learned something critical about me that I would carry throughout life.  Evaluate, measure, modify, improve.  I had an uncanny ability to EMMI very quickly, and from a very early age.  Discerning that I must not have previously comprehended something correctly about arm motions in swimming, I rapidly realized that my hands could push against the water.  Oh, and so could my feet!  In a flash I remembered Bud and Sandy from Flipper, and how on occasion they would use… well… flippers on their feet.  My feet were the key.  I donned imaginary flippers and kicked my way to the safety of the previously unreachable dock.  From that day until this, I have been almost as comfortable in the water as out!

From the Buoy to the Shore
Today I was talking with my friend, and we were discussing my progress in personal growth.  This person told me that they observed some major changes in key areas of my life and I was sharing with them an analogy of what I saw happening to me in this process.

In my past, I have had so many repeats of the exact behavior and even configuration when it comes to relationships.   I end one marriage, and almost before I’ve changed the sheets, I am into the next one.  I know… it’s obvious to me too now.  But here is the analogy.  I am like a person that doesn’t swim very well that is 50 yards off shore, and I am clinging to a buoy.  The buoy is chained to the bottom of the lake or ocean and it isn’t going anywhere.  It is keeping me from drowning, but that is all.  I can’t move.  I can’t change my scenery.  I can’t make any form of progress.  But I can see the shore.  It is only 50 yards away, and if I could just let go of the buoy, and swim my very best, I would most likely make it safely to shore.  But I am very comfortable with the safe feeling this buoy gives me.

The thing that has paralyzed me into not swimming to shore (or making a critical change), was the comfort and familiarity with my particular buoy (dysfunction).  It was clearly the Devil I know.  The shore wasn’t the Devil I don’t know, but from where I was on the buoy, it might as well have been.  So I would become frozen into inaction.  Nothing changed.  Recently though, I decided it was time to let go of the buoy and swim for my life.  It threw me headlong into the memory of my “sink or swim” moment from childhood.  Now, just as then, I made it to shore.  From the shore I can see so much freedom.  I can go places I have never been.  I can explore!  I can take on new challenges and finally join and accomplish my purpose here.  Standing here on the shore, it saddens me that it took me this long to be willing to let go.  I know that it was fear that kept me from making meaningful and persistent changes.  But it is the willingness to swim despite the fear that gives me the true power to change.  So, when given the choice to “sink or swim?” I choose to swim!

I Composed This Instrumental Today in Honor of St. Patricks Day


I wanted to do something special in honor of today and for my Irish friends, so I spent this afternoon composing this instrumental that has a slight Irish feel.  I hope you enjoy it!  It was definitely fun to do… Music = Healing!  Oh, it doesn’t have a name yet, so if there are any suggestions I will edit this post with the suggested song title and the name of the person that suggested it!

Fond Memories of My Time in Prison…

San Quentin State Prison

The huge gnarled hand of this particular giant was a very welcomed sight.  I suppose I should have been frightened given that the hand was that of a hardened criminal, possibly a lifer, probably a murderer, and we were in prison together.  San Quentin to be precise.  He was wearing a white server’s tunic as he leaned over to put the frisbee sized chocolate chip cookie on my plate.  I accepted it with grateful anticipation.  This is how it was every Sunday afternoon for me throughout most of the early childhood (2 to 5 years old).  Eating a free meal served by the trustee convicts to the families of the prison guards.  I suppose in the vernacular of the day it was the “cons” serving the “screws” and their families their Sunday meal, courtesy of the State of California.  My years in prison are among my earliest waking memories, and they resonate with fondness in my thoughts still.

Isn’t it funny how we often fill in the details with the worst possible thoughts when we don’t have all of the information?  I didn’t write the caption as click-bait, I assure you.  But it is an interesting observation in human nature.  We are so drawn to trainwrecks and other people’s tragic circumstances.  It seems like the whole “moth to a flame” phenomenon is pervasive in us when it comes to horrible news and stories not directly involving us.   It also speaks to our propensity for forming preconceived notions.  I have been so guilty throughout my life at formulating narratives about others that were not based in fact, but rather perception.  I feel that I have tossed out a great number of relationships that could have benefited me had I not allowed myself to lean on my judgemental nature.  You want to hear a really really hypocritical one?  I have always judged divorced people!  Yes, mister 4-time divorcé!  I was raised in such a stringent fundamentalist environment in my earliest years that I came to believe divorce was tantamount to the unpardonable sin.  Yet I am a repeat offender of that very same sin!

Here is my epiphany for the day.  Being judgemental has robbed me of experiencing the beauty of broken souls.  I am a broken soul, and I long to be connected to others.  Now, more than ever.  I would like to think that I have something to offer, but I also see that my outer and visible narrative associated with so much relational failure can be off-putting to many, and a trainwreck to even more.  I also think it is worthy to note how all judgement eventually dissolves in those that find themselves in the very situation they judged so harshly.  It certainly did in me.  I now have a deep empathy and compassion for people of divorce and fractured relationships.  A very real tragedy for me is that it took 4 divorces to fully arrive here.