The moon the last two nights has been outrageous. Insane. Spectacular. Inspiring. It’s been referred to as the super blue blood moon and we won’t see it in this state for at least another 50 years- at which time I’m reasonably sure I’ll be six feet underground and unable to appreciate it again.
A super blue blood moon is the combination of a total lunar eclipse alongside a blue moon (the second of two full moons in a single calendar month) a blood moon (when particles in the atmosphere make the moon appear reddish in nature), and a super moon (where the perigee, or closest point in the moon’s orbit to the earth, makes the moon appear unusually large). That’s a freakin trifecta of spiritual convergence right there.
And it follows a long period of tragic convergence in my life. The meaning is not lost on me. I couldn’t let this one slide past without some serious introspection going on.
It’s been a long few years, for sure. So much has happened to me over the last 3 years in general and last 12 months in particular that I haven’t really been able to really look forward without baggage and damage clouding my mind, my path forward, my healing and growth. But now that I’ve got a clean bill of health, a dramatically-simplified (and positive) financial situation, and a relatively uncluttered social life, Forget about starting a new chapter or turning a new page- I feel like writing an entirely new book now.
This lunar cycle is one of introspection, where hidden or unclear parts of your internal landscape come into focus.
So in the spirit of the moon, I wrote down all the things I’m grateful for, and all the things I’m through with. It ended up not being a huge list, just a very straightforward one. And once it’s written here and out of my head, heads-up: I’m finished with all the backwards-looking self-realization posts on my healing process except for maybe the occasional reference. Just new ideas, thoughts, insights, and experiences going forward from here.
Well then. Let’s start with the things I’m grateful for.
I’m so very grateful for my resilience. It’s been an incredibly challenging few years, often frustrating, emasculating, or flat-out heartbreaking. But coming through the other end of that long, dark tunnel – I’m still standing. I somehow made it through all the chaos without going broke, crazy, or deceased- every one of those was a distinct possibiilty in the last three years. And each of them fell by the wayside as my resolve and focus pushed me through. I took quite a bit of time this full moon to reflect on how strong I’ve become through an onslaught trials I never thought I’d be able to overcome – particularly over the last few months. I let go of anger at everything I’ve lost, people and situations I’ve been disappointed by, or the myriad of decisions I’ve screwed up along the way. I’ll just try to be proud of who I am at the end of it all, and forgive myself for the stumbles.
I’m so thankful to be creative again. And I’m also thankful for that big ol’ brain that supported me for the years in which I wasn’t. For so long I allowed duty, responsibility, and a misplaced need to protect everyone around me first to lead me in a path that nearly ended me. It certainly ended my former marriage and put my long-term happiness and health at risk. So it’s fucking miraculous that I’ve been able to steer my life back into the right direction again after becoming so emotionally and financially dependent on the misplaced path I’d allowed myself to fall into. No matter what comes next, I have my own true north now. Sure, it means that much of the vision and expectations I used to have for myself needed to die, but that’s so much better than carrying around the baggage of poor decisions. And it already feels so much healthier to look into the mirror and honor who I am now, instead of lamenting an old snapshot of myself I’d expected to return to.
I’m so thankful for such good friends and colleagues, who fearlessly kept me on point when I became utterly lost and adrift. I’m horrible at asking for help. My empathy sometimes closes me off from communicating my own needs in the interest of helping others first. I’ve always been a solution man, the guy who swoops in and fixes everything – so even recognizing the times I needed help hasn’t been easy. Those supportive texts out of nowhere, forced evenings out to break my cycles of self-doubt, calls on dark days – even just a shoulder to cry on when I didn’t realize I was crying – every one of them I recieved was a crucial lifeline when I was hanging on by a thread. A lifeline I didn’t know how to ask for. And those who gave up on me, I’m even grateful for that; it helped me realize how far I’d started to slip back into a pattern of backwards motion and course correct. I love you all too, and understand why you had to leave me to myself. Hopefully we can reconnect on more stable ground now, but if not, I won’t blame either you or myself for it anymore.
I’m grateful for every single cataclysm that fell on my shoulders. Emotional, physical, financial, legal – every one of them. I’d led a charmed, blessed life for years, and never truly understood how hard others may have had it. I get that now. Learning how to create more effective boundaries after all the damage and loss has been a hard lesson, and one I still struggle with. But to be clear – I feel lucky as hell to have all the support around me I do have. But I had to face my battles alone – to reclaim my intellect, my self-reliance, even my health and masculinity from the jaws of disaster, it was necessary to slay that dragon with my own hands. And it’s made me a stronger, wiser, more compassionate person as a result.
Good stuff, there. But now, it’s on to the things I no longer want in my life.
Note: there’s no people on this list. Not a one. Good or bad, positive or negative, I fully accept the influence that everyone who’s crossed my path me has had upon me, and know I’d not be the person I am now without it. What I don’t want, however, is to hold anger or assign blame. I’ve learned that my reaction and response to outside influences is my responsibility alone, and I can own even the scars that others placed on me, learn from them. So you do you, and I’ll do me. No offense taken (or at least, no offense held on to).
I no longer want to be furious at myself for everything I’ve lost. The things taken from me, the people who I unwittingly pushed away, the poor decisions I’ve made- I don’t want to blame myself and damage my own self-esteem over my mistakes anymore. There are far too many of them to count, so I took time last night to apologize to myself for becoming my own worst enemy, and gave myself permission to fail as much as I have to as long as I don’t stop fighting for my ideals. Forward is forward, even if I do stumble along the way. It’s how it must be.
I’m done with painting an internal picture of who I expect to be, and beating myself up over it. I let go of all those preconceptions and expectations. Instead, I know the things I want more of in my life, the things I want less of, and each step I take now will be guided by those terms. I just want to be honest about myself now, not curate a social media brand, put on a ‘work face’, or become obsessed with self-image. I’m just me, for fuck’s sake- the good and the maybe-not-so-much, so deal with it. Because I’ll always accept you for who you are.
(Unless you’re a total asshole, of course. Or Donald J. Trump.)
I’m done rushing myself, forcing myself. Or relationships. Or opportunities. What will be, will be, and what won’t, won’t. Lao Tzu once said “Mother Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished”. I want to feel more like that. Know that the right people, experiences, and opportunities will arise when and how they should. It’s that simple.
And lastly, I’m done overthinking all my personal shit. Of giving it too much weight. Of getting hopelessly mired in a self-help tornado of confusion and reflective inaction. I’ve been writing these blog posts to dive deep into my feelings, help put complex emotions and instincts to words, to heal myself. It was a great exercise my therapist encouraged me to pursue, but I’m through with it now. There’s been too much looking backwards in these posts and not enough moving forward, in my opinion. As I noted in a recent blog post (‘rocks vs streams’), I’m just going to let myself evolve without all overthought or heavy expectations. I’m going to see what happens as I move forward in directions that fit me. With people I’m comfortable with. And I expect I’ll slowly morph into a better form than I could even predict today.
And that’s pretty much it for my list.
I wrote these things down (in a greatly simplified fashion), and let that note wash out to sea with the last of my expectations and self-doubt. And the process let me finally breathe out all the pressure I’ve placed on myself, all the guilt I’ve held towards myself, all the blame I assigned to myself.
Because (in a certain sense) I’m perfect. I’m exactly who I’m supposed to be, there’s not another soul on this planet who could be me, either. Nothing shone more clearly in the light of the super blue blood moon last night than that simple realization. It’s time I remembered this, took it to heart, and claimed my fucking power back. Every last drop of it.
I’m back. Transformed, wiser, humbler, far more determined, but I’m fucking back. I may have my moments of doubt, weakness, but I know I’m stronger than all of that now. Woe be the challenge or obstacle that falls in my path- as I’m not going to need a super blood blue moon to remind me of my power and strength ever again. My only wish is that each and every one of you feels exactly the same, and if not, you do in very short order.
Let’s all go forth and kick some ass, my lovelies.
It’s such a beautiful thing to do… respectfully, of course.