As my birthday approaches, I find I want two things above all things. One is personal freedom, while the other is my chance to make a difference in this modern world. I feel when I am able to unify my personal happiness, along with societal success, I am then able to take it out into the world to make a difference. And for me being a man over sixty-five and still kicking high, I have so much more to do. I am proud to be alive and available to be a voice in my community and this modern society being birthed. My life and my story has been a journey from the 1950’s until now. I am a sacred modern man.
I believe the human voice and its power are precious treasures to be valued. Voices were created to be heard and when there is a silencing of the voice, it builds a living state of trauma. If you are emotionally or spiritually stunted in your growth, you cannot fully become who you were meant to be. Even at my age, I am becoming. I am becoming more sure of the intent of my voice. I am believing more deeply in my personal worth. I am a gift to the world and I want and need to share my gift/gifts. I want to empower my personal voice, as well as the societal world voice. I want a sharing of voices, ideas, wealth and opportunities. I want my me to show up as my authentic self.
So, for my birthday I am going to show up as me, minus the baggage I have gathered over the years. I want to forgive myself and all others who I need to forgive. Every act in life is a lesson. I want to release the anger buried behind my smile. I want to be honest with my stories. I want my hands to relax and allow an openness of the palms. I want to able to display my feminine side without any internal shame. I want to wear my heart on my sleeve. I want to be a man who does not feel the shame for what men have historically done for power to the planet and the people. I want to be a man who loves openly. I want to be a gift to myself and next a gift to the planet.
As a small child, I felt too small to make a difference because of my small frame. But, my mind and imagination were as large as life. I became empowered by my mind and the abilities I soon discovered. I became larger than my body, I became larger than life. Later in life, I came to know the use and the empowerment of my heart and its use in the human healing process. I love being a human being. Love is my food, but my love was not always grounded in a truth of being present for the gift of life and loving.
I have always fought for freedom. Freedom of my soul and mind are gifts from the divine. I will always fight for the freedom to breathe in love, to know that I am of divine birth. I have learned to release my fears in breaths of forgiveness of myself and others. I live in an ongoing cycle of resurrection. I have learned to sit with myself and speak of the silence. I am an expression of divine love, born out of the love of my parents. My “right to live” is my right to love and love is my born freedom, my place of belonging. I am a releasing, burning ash rising every morning. Staying in the act of love is my ritual of living. I have become a man of love by choosing to live in the light and grace of love. Being a man of love allows me to be in an organic state, which frees my heart and soul to always return to the art of loving. The solution of love heals my fears and my traumas. I have learned to make the choice between fear and faith. I have come to know this is the truth and understand it with the wisdom that the feeling of fear only exists as a signal for me to choose the other “f,” faith over fear. I have faith I will always return to love, even if it may take me awhile to get back home. Time has become my healer.
When I was bullied and stuffed in trash cans and left on top of the metal lockers, and although I was fearful, still I chose love. When the last bell of the day rang for me to exit my last class of the day, I knew I needed to either run home or hide in the library until it was safe to travel. I felt as if I was being shamed for excelling with my mind. My mind became my weapon. I had to use it to out maneuver the enemy, move quickly to safety. And in the midst of being molested, I would leave my body to not know the feelings of the fingers, the stripping of my dignity. I pretended they really loved me, but they did not know it. As a man, being victimized by other men made me begin to hate men. But there came a day, I had to reverse the feeling. I had to remember who I am. I am a man.
So, it was going back to being loving, and forgiving the predators. I had to forgive so I could have freedom from the pain of the violations. My solution was to become a better man, a man who listens with loving ears and an open heart. I had to be a man of understanding, patience and wisdom. I could not be a man of hate, not if I wanted something different to occur in my world. I could not live in a prison of pain, because pain only gives you the right to forgive.
I had to learn to practice the art of forgiveness so I could be more present in life, so I would not be always living in the past. I had to stop reliving the violations and recreating the scenes of the crimes. I had to come back to love and release the shames of the past. I needed to be more functionally whole within. I found myself spending most of my waking time with women, so I could feel safe. That was my truth until I worked at Whole Foods Market, where I learned to work within the corporate world and the world of men. I had forgotten about my university experience until I returned to this reminder of working at Whole Foods. The memory was of operating under the power thumb of men. Forgiveness would allow me to move forward.
It has taken years of personal work to be able to move forward. I can now work and live in the presence of men and I not feel hatred or fear. I stop using my tongue as a weapon to shame them as they had shamed me. I stop sending other people to settle the score with the guilty parties. I learn to say no to the behavior, to the creation of space to my hold my fears. With dedicated efforts of changing my reactionary behavior, I was able to reconcile the reason for my behavior and its relationship the behavior of attempting to maintain power. To state it simply, it was an issue of an abuse of power maintained for many generations. I had to flip the switch and turn the light on to compassion and love. I had to become a man worthy of breathing on a daily basis with new tools of power. I had to break the cycle and drop the rock of living under water. I embraced the power of transformation.
Now as a grown man with a grown daughter, I feel I have accomplished a lot when I look into her eyes. I have learned new tools of living so I am able to be present for her. She knows a loving father and a man who has stepped up, in spite of his failings. I have learned to welcome her personal forgiveness for my failings and her unconditional love. The love is healing. I have learned to be a human being and not a human locked in the memories of the past. I have stepped away from the echoes of the past and I live in the beauty of my being present for the gift of life.
So, I say happy birthing to me because I am becoming a part of the healing process of the men on this planet. I am being my part for change by using the mind and body to support myself as a person, my family and my community. I mentor young men and teach them compassion and encourage them to use their divine feminine within themselves to create a semblance of balance in their lives, so they may learn to love without ceasing.