A lifetime is finite by definition. We shall all discover Shakespeare’s undiscovered country. Life has a beginning and an end. The human design. That’s just life. Just saying.
There’s an infinite set of numbers between 0 and 1. There’s a bigger set of infinite numbers between 0 and 2. There’s an even bigger set of infinite numbers between 0 and 1,000,000. Not all infinities are created equal. Still, they’re all infinite. That’s just math. I create my infinity in my lifetime. We all do.
When I was 40 years old, I suffered from knee pain. I thought that I would have to give up the great love of my life, Aikido. Ishibashi Sensei recommended that I see his chiropractor friend, Victor Shibata. I worked with Victor to heal my body and soul. Victor aligned my body. I have flat feet which made me walk with my weight on the outside of my feet, instead of on my arches. Over the years, my walking gate pronated and strained my knees. Victor and I reinvented my walk. Yes, that required a lot of practice. I just trained. I put in the work. I started to heal me.
Victor was my big brother, my spiritual teacher. Much of my knee pain sourced from holding on to my childhood anger and fear of Dad. Victor said, “Jon, you really need to lighten the fuck up.” I learned to lighten the fuck up. I practice that to this day. It is my path to end suffering.
Ishibashi Sensei said, “Aikido is freedom.” In Aikido, I enter the attack, enter what I fear. That’s the safest place to be. I choose who I am and what I do. Every time I get under the attack, get under what I fear, I release that fear inside me. I let go of I’m not being good enough, which was my fear from Dad. That fear inside never completely disappears. Still, every time I enter what I fear, I let go of more and more of my fear inside. I free myself.
About 10 years ago, I suffered from clinical depression when I was laid off and got a job in an entirely different field from satellite systems engineering. My unresolved childhood fear of Dad was resurrected. I worked with my therapist, Lance, to heal my childhood trauma and depression.
In Aikido, the late Mizukami Sensei said, “Just train. It’s not like you have to get somewhere.” I just trained in working with Lance to heal me. I looked at my fear of Dad, my fear of not being good enough. I love myself for who I am and forgive myself for who I’m not.
Looking back at my childhood, Dad and I were very much alike. We were both scared as hell. I was scared as hell never knowing what I did or didn’t do that made Dad so angry at me. Dad was scared as hell too, not knowing how to raise me, not knowing how to be a father.
I don’t forgive Dad for his cruelty toward Mom, my sister Carol, and myself. I forgive Dad for being imperfectly human, for being afraid. I forgive myself for not being strong enough as a little boy to stand up to Dad, to protect my Mom. I forgive myself for being imperfectly human, too.
Werner Erhard said that when we choose who we are going to be in any given moment, then making a difference becomes our authentic expression. I’m Godan (5thdegree black belt) in Aikido. I pass on to others all that the late Mizukami Sensei and Ishibashi Sensei taught me. I meditate. Put in the work. I love my work as a Satellite Systems Engineer. I write about love, forgiveness, and healing with my editor, Li M Blacker, for the Good Men Project.
In the bigger picture, I work on myself, not on others. I help guide others on their journeys to reinvent their greater-than versions. Time is undefeated. I get my mortality. I try to make a difference for others. Perhaps, they make a difference for others in the generations to come. Maybe my mortality is the possibility of immortality. Just saying.
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