A glimpse into my “spiritual” journey. For lack of a better word.

I have memories from when I was very young (3 or so), being in a united pentecostal church and seeing a vision of while I was sleeping on a pew in church. The women were praying to cast out a demon from a man at the front of the church and I saw a man leave this man’s body and the women follow him all the way outside while they were “casting him out” and caused him to leave. I asked my mom about it later and she had no idea what I was talking about.
 
At about 5 years old, my mom and father got a divorce and my mom “backslid”. fast forward to age 13. On my 13th birthday party I had a few friends over and we got drunk, watched “thriller” on the television and looked at porn mags (pretty normal, I think). Sometime after that, before my next birthday, my step dad woke me and my step siblings up (they were visiting for the summer) and said we were going to church. He was not a good man (as far as most people would judge) so this was crazy talk to us. We had no idea what was going on. He had no idea where we were going, just that we were going to church. We ended up going all the way through town and parked in the parking lot of a united pentecostal church. My mom knew what it was and told him that he probably didn’t know what he was getting into. Of course, because of the way this all happened, my mom and step dad felt it a sign from god and later I did too.

So, from about age 13 until about age 35, I was in religion in some way or another. Some time around age 24 or so I became fully vested in my desire to please “god” and went all in. My life went from knowing and practicing what was told to me as the truth to trying to find the truth for myself and studying to find that truth. I spent the next 10 – 11 years fasting often, praying three or more times everyday, looking at life through a different set of eyes than most will ever find. I would be considered a radical by most outside of the united pentecostal and considered a good god fearing man by those in the religion.

During my life living in religion of some sort or another, I experienced many things that would make most people never question their faith and indeed, I never did. I knew without any shadow of doubt that I was following god truly and that I was doing the best I could to do what he wanted me to do. Sometime around 24 I began studying the bible intently. I bought other books to help me get to the root of the scriptures so that I knew for sure that it was translated or transliterated correctly. I was constantly listening to god and trying to follow his voice (which I did, actually hear a voice). I kept discovering more and more things that the bible said we were supposed to be doing to please god that we were not doing. So I kept changing myself to further align my life in such a way that it was as he told me it was supposed to be.

During this time of introspection and change. I experienced miracles that most only hear about. I have prayed for someone and they were healed, instantly. I have prayed for help with a physical tool that I had lost but needed it to be able to do my job and it miraculously appeared (trust me, this is the skeptic speaking to a real memory. It happened and there are no explanations). I traveled from Quinlan Texas to Flathead Indian reservation in Montana without any money to pay for gas and we made it there and back because “god” provided. I prayed for many things and experienced many things that happened in my life that would keep most people under the veil of deceit that is woven by religion. All I can say is that I still know that those things happened. I know that they were real and that they can happen. However, I now know that they were not the god of my religion that made them happen but myself. My connection with the universe on a level that most will never experience because they don’t know it exist, is what brought these experiences to me. I am sure that these things are still possible and probably even more possible since I am not restricted to those religious rules and paradigms any longer.

So, fast forward through all of those experiences to a fateful day sometime in 2005 (I would be 35). I had been using this tool I found online for studying the bible easily. It made looking things up really easy and had any version of the bible as well as the greek and hebrew along with Strongs concordance and many other tools. You could pull them up and have multiple windows open side by side and see it all easily. I was using this tool to share some “inspiring” scriptures with some guy online. I go over this elsewhere in a post called, What were they thinking?, if you are interested. This was the initial clue that something was wrong and it led me down a path to discover that it was all wrong. From “What were they thinking?” the next step was a serious study on the very origins of christianity, jesus’ birth. I wanted to start from the beginning and verify that things were like I thought they were. That study took me less than 15 minutes to discover that I had been following a lie for the last 23 years of my life. I talk about that study and realization in the post “A Hard Question”.

Now, imagine if you will. You have lived you life in total, complete surrender to pleasing a god (or make it personal, make it a person you truly love) only to find out that that person is a complete lie. That that person doesn’t even exist as you thought they did. Now, continue your imagination journey and add in that you have experienced all of these wonders (as in, how are they possible.) and then also add to that that you made choices in your life that quite literally could have changed the course of history for the world (it’s possible for any one of us). You don’t go to college because you were told if you do you would back slide, become a heathen and end up in hell. You don’t enlist because of the same reason. You don’t experience friends, television, going to things that are fun, wearing clothes you want to wear, seeing people you want to see, marrying people you want to marry or find attractive, even though you are connected and a match, because they are not in your branch of religion or because you are already married or engaged to be married (Polyamory is a natural human behaviour, by the way) all because of the same reason. Your religion says you will be lost. You will displease your god (which I loved with my entire being and wanted to please).

Now, imagine yourself, seeing that everything you gave your life for for over 20 years is a lie. Tell me, how do you think you would feel?

I felt like my heart was literally torn from my chest. The pain washed over my body in waves, almost so unbearable I thought I would physically die from the pain. I cried and screamed in pain. I cried and pleaded with the god I thought I had been following and dedicating my life to to explain it all away. I have never had someone really close to me die but I can imagine that it was like having a loved one suddenly die, right before your eyes, with no justifiable reason. Like maybe being mugged on the way back from the grocery store to your car and your spouse of 20 plus years is killed right in front of you and that person just vanishes. I’m not sure, but I would think it was similar although I don’t think that would be as horrific as what I experienced as most people do not give their every waking hour to their spouse in thought and desire to please. Along with worship and adoration with undying unwavering dedication to do whatever they tell you to.

For the next few months I desperately tried to reconcile what I saw and I tried to make it work but the more I looked the clearer it became. It was all just lies. Lies on top of lies. Too many discrepancies to ignore the obvious for me. no one told me it was wrong. No one convinced me of the errors. I saw them myself, through study, by myself.

When it became obvious that there was no going back. No sky daddy to make things all better. No religion to soothe my pain. I began the initial stages of grief.  Each stage was real and took some time to go through (about five or six years, I would say). Lora and I both went through years of depression. We were numb for several months (maybe even more than a year. It is hard to remember that time.) Not knowing what to do, who we were or where we were going. it took years to be able to come out of the depression and we had no where to turn. At some point during the acceptance phase but still somewhat unbelieving that it actually happened. I started the group on Facebook called “Recovering Ex-Christians”. I didn’t know for sure but expected that there were others out there that had or would be going through something similar to what we were/had gone through. It wasn’t long until I realized I wasn’t alone.

Over the next few years we began to explore and discover who we are. Trying to figure out what life is all about (you know, that thing that most people do in their early years. Sometime between teen and 30.) Our journey has been full and rewarding. We are happier now than we have ever been and we know who we are. It took us longer than most but we are here. We are 40 plus year old 20 year olds. We are confident in ourselves and know what we want and our life experiences have given us an insight into life that many will never find. We are grateful for each day and we live each moment that we can in awareness that it is special and ours. We embrace life. This is your only life, you should live it and enjoy it for you. Fuck the world and it’s expectations. Only you are responsible for you. You be happy and do whatever that means, as long as it is not hurting others.  :)

Because of the journey I took and the pain I experienced when I discovered it was all lies. I have shut out and boarded up that door in my life for the last 10 years. I now know that it is ok to open that door again and to get back in contact with the universe and experience that power again. My fears are that I will deceive myself or be deceived again, into believing or following after something that is restrictive or manipulative. I think and I hope that because of my life experiences that I will be more sensitive to that now and that I will hopefully steer clear of anything that might try to enslave me or strap my thoughts into a paradigm that keeps me from experiencing freedom.

I am finally to a place that I am willing to venture back out into the unexplained. The area of woowoo. That place where most just shake their heads and assume that it is all bullshit or crazy people talk. My goal is to stay grounded in reality while still experiencing a complete and true connection with the universe… with everything that is. Not a god, not a religion, not anyone’s ideas or teachings. No, never again. I have found my way to being a complete person. A person that I am proud to be. I value my life experiences and the journey I have taken to get where I am. It has made me who I am and I like who I am.

I hope that life has brought you to a place that you know who you are and that you are enjoying life, as best you can where you are with what you have. It is a state of mind. A state of mindfulness. An acceptance of what is and an expectation of what can and will be.

I believe and know that there is much more to our existence than our senses allow us to observe. I have experienced, first hand, things that are not explained away. I don’t care who (or if anyone) believes me when I talk about those things. I was there, they were real for me. I don’t need anyone to approve or accept them as real. :)

I know that I am connected to all things on some level. I don’t know to what extent or how that benefits or affects me but I know it to be factual for me. I look forward to my journey to the end of this timeline. I expect many things will happen and I look forward to the people and experiences I will have along the way. If you are a part of my life, I value you and appreciate that you are in my life. You are part of that connection to all things. Sometimes, I think that I feel you thinking about me. I wonder if you ever feel me thinking about you.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn how to tap into and identify those “feelings”. To recognize when someone we care about is thinking about us. To realize it, return the feelings and just know that they know. :)

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your time. I wish you all the best. :)

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I disagree with – 7 Ways People Know You Aren’t Being Authentic | Inc.com

http://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/7-ways-people-know-you-aren-t-being-authentic.html

People can tell when you aren’t being real. Experts including Jack Canfield and Shawne Duperon explain how to check yourself against these tell-tale signs.

Source: 7 Ways People Know You Aren’t Being Authentic | Inc.com

 


I have to disagree with 1 and 5. I don’t see those taking away from someone’s authenticity.

I see those more as personality traits than whether a person is authentic or not.

I believe a person can truly be authentic about their grudge against someone and I also believe that being a perfectionist can be an authentic part of someone’s personality. Not allowing a person to be their true authentic self, if that is part of their personality (even if it is a disorder) would seem to go against what this article is trying to encourage.

People truly, authentically have personality traits (some could be disorders, depending on there severity) that lend themselves to holding grudges or being a perfectionist. I also do not feel that taking care of yourself takes away from someone’s authenticity. Just because someone is struggling with taking care of themselves does not mean they are not authentic.

I will somewhat agree on the other points but I am a little reluctant on the saying yes all the time point. I think that could be something that a person has learned and doesn’t know how to overcome that. They could be genuine and authentic in their intention and desire to be a yes, even if they are not actually able to follow through. I feel it is important to not apply guilt to someone who is being their authentic self, even if their authentic self happens to be a person that goes against what this guy is suggesting is what an authentic person should be like.

If you are a perfectionist and that is truly who you are then take note and try not to let it side track you from the bigger picture but don’t try to be someone else. Be you. Be authentic.

If you hold grudges and you feel that it is justified and it feels right to you. Just know that it should not interfere with your happiness and peace. If that is who you are and you can live a fulfilled life with that grudge, how can anyone say it is not your authentic self.

If you say yes to everything with the full intention of being the embodiment of that yes then you are being authentic. I would encourage you to consider that you may need to learn boundaries and that it hurts your position as being authentic when you are not able to follow through with the yes so maybe you should consider that sometimes you need to say no and that is ok. A good class on boundaries can help you with this. Try a Cuddle Party, they cover this in their workshop before cuddling.

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To my Mom on Mother’s Day

To my mother.

I know you don’t think so, but I think you are the best mother there is.

I don’t know if I ever told you how much I appreciate you just as you are?

If you had been different or if your life had been different or if my life would have been different I wouldn’t be Who I am today. I appreciate so much that you raised me the way you did. I know some may have thought you to be too hands off or may have criticized you while you were raising me all alone by yourself, before Joe or even/perhaps more especially after Joe. We moved around a lot and I never had friends and school was hard to adjust to every time. I know it was not easy for you and that life was hard for you too. I know and I remember.  I know you wanted more for me and that you wished a different life for me but this is the life I have and I am very happy with it.

I just want you to know that I love you very much and that I am very thankful for who I am and I want you to also know that I would not be this person I am if it were not for you. You imparted to me strength of character and perseverance. kindness, sweetness and understanding of others. You showed me love always.

I wish that you lived closer so that we could see each other more often. I know you still have things you could teach me and share with me. I am sad at times because you and Dad live so far away from me and I don’t get to see you. There are things I often wish were different in my past (like wishing you and Dad had never divorced) but I know that if they were different I would not be who I am and I really like who I am so it makes it hard to really be too disappointed that things were not different. :)

You are the parent I wish that I could have been. I feel I was too strict on mine and often wished I could have been more like you. I have tried many times to be like you but it is really hard to do.

So, on this day that is set aside to honor mothers, i honor you and I want you to know I love you dearly. Even if I don’t call you often and I don’t get to see you as much as I would like to. I really really love you!

I miss you mom. Hugs and kisses!

Happy Mother’s Day!

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”1″ gal_title=”Me”]

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Day 13

Day 13 – Today I let Kaitlyn fix the Honda almost entirely by herself. I never touched a wrench to work on that car today.  :)

Fix a young woman’s car and she has a car to drive until it breaks down again. Teach a young women to work on her own car and she will not be subject to shady overpriced mechanics or your availability for the rest of her healthy life. :)

I let her diagnose and find the problem by herself with very few comments. She did it and I knew she could. I am so proud of her. :)

It still needs work but I know she can do it. What a great memory to file away.

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Day 12

Day 12 – Well today I have finally completed our trailer. We now have a 16′ double axle utility trailer complete with new lights and wiring, New pressure treated wood floor, aluminum wheels, New Springs and hangers, new hubs and a shiny new license plate. The final thing done was I put four old tires on it.

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Not the completed picture but close enough for now.

I used the tires that were on the old Ford truck we have sitting in the yard that needs to be parted out (long story… needed a rebuild and machine shop lied about cost so we let them keep the motor.) I took the tires and rims from the truck and the ones for the trailer (they used to be on another scrap vehicle I had for another project. I have too many.) to the tire place and had them remove the tires from all the rims (they needed to switch places) and I put them back on by myself with my feet and a rubber mallet. Total cost to change 7 tires and rims, $30 and a little labor on my part. :)

I am not sure this counts as time bending but that is what my day consisted of. It’s getting hard to think of new things to do. Anyone have any suggestions?

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Day 11

Day 11 – Trimmed my beard a new way. I’ve got a new look. :)

It’s subtle but I no longer have sideburns. I’m trying to accentuate the V of my beard. I think more needs to be done.

 

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Day 10

Day 10 – I tried on my family colors.

My surname is Morris and I am from the Morris clan (somewhere, long ago). I am interested in my heritage but I really don’t know a lot about it. I have tried to discover my origins but I have neither the resources nor the time. I at least know that there is an official Tartan for the Morris Clan.

Since we were at Scarborough fair today it happened that we came across a store selling Kilts. Now I know that they are not absolutely accurate but it is more than I knew before. According to the guy at the store, the modern-day Tartan for the Morris clan is the same as the Buchanan Tartan. Which doesn’t make sense to me really so I did a little digging and sure enough.  I found this on Wiki –
“The Septs (see next paragraph) of Clan Buchanan derive from the first Auselan to use the surname Buchanan, Gilbert, whose father had obtained the Buchanan lands, and his brothers Colman and Methlan, grandson Maurice, and great-grandson Walter.[9]

“Today, sept lists are used by clan societies to recruit new members. Such lists date back to the 19th century, when clan societies and tartan manufacturers attempted to capitalise on the enthusiasm and interest for all things Scottish. Lists were drawn up that linked as many surnames as possible to a particular clan. In this way, individuals without a “clan name” could connect to a Scottish clan and thus feel “entitled” to its tartan.

One modern member of the Lyon Court[who?] has described the attribution of such names to particular clans as sometimes being based upon nothing but imagination, and in others cases upon a single recorded instance of a surname.”

So basically, someone decided at some point that Morris should be under Buchanan. For whatever reason (it remains to be seen by me.)

So I tried on and almost bought the kilt but it was a little on the cheaply made side and I felt that if I was going to buy one that I wanted to get one that was well made and a true representation of my family colors.

Here is what it looked like (the Buchanan, the one I tried on).

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batli_11_buchanan_mod.jpg

This is what I have discovered is what it should look like, depending on which clan my family descends from (which I have no way of knowing at this time.)

wales_morris.jpg   Morris of Wales  – http://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Morris-of-Wales/50438

Morris_of_Balgonie_Modern_Colours_Pure_New_Wool_11.jpg   For all the Tartan examples for Morris of Balgonie, have a look here – http://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Morris-of-Balgonie/30145

Morris_of_Balgonie_Arisaid_Modern_Colours_Pure_New_Wool_15.jpg   For all the Tartan examples for Morris of Balgonie; Arisaid, have a look here – http://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Morris-of-Balgonie-Arisaid/59240

Morris_of_Balgonie_Hunting_Modern_Colours_Pure_New_Wool_11.jpg  For all the Tartan examples for Morris of Balgonie; Hunting, have a look here – http://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Morris-of-Balgonie-Hunting/59242

Morris_of_Eddergoll_Modern_Colours_Pure_New_Wool_15.jpg    For all the Tartan examples for Morris of Eddergoll, have a look here – http://www.scotweb.co.uk/tartan/Morris-of-Eddergoll/59244

Maybe one of these days I will figure it out. Until then I guess I will get one of each and represent a different Morris clan from a different town each time I wear one, depending on how it suits me that day. lol

Thanks for reading!

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Day 9

Day 9 –  I told the tire guy I was not happy with the tire he wanted to sell me.

I stopped by the used tire place to buy a spare tires for our new to us truck. The guy brought out a tire and kept saying this is a good tire, it will work good for a spare. I didn’t like it and in the past I would have went along with him and accepted the tire (because I didn’t want to make him feel bad and it was just a spare after all). But, somehow I was able to speak up for myself and not accept less than I wanted (yay me!). I made him go back and keep looking until he found one I liked. Now that is a first. :)

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Day 8

Day 8 – A day late. lol

Well, my new experience for today (well actually yesterday) is food poisoning. Yep, I don’t believe I have ever had food poisoning. If I have it wasn’t anything like this. I was in bed for over 30 hours and I am still not back to full strength. Boy that takes a lot out of a person. I though I was going to have to go to the hospital several times (and maybe should have) but I made it through. :)

Just goes to show you that you can not trust what you buy at the stores. This was from a new package of bratwurst and some mac and cheese. Luckily, I was the only one that had any so the rest of the family did not suffer the same fate. They just had to suffer (Lora said i sound like an ogre roaring while getting its throat cut, when I throw up. lol Pretty accurate description. ) through my sickness and baby the big baby. lol

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Day 7

Day 7 – Today is my birthday. :)

Today I ate lunch with a friend at a new (to me) barbecue place and she bought lunch. :)

I drove my truck to Dallas for the first time (that was rather interesting. It is so big, it was interesting trying to find a parking place and turning around. Good grief!)

Helped a friend diagnose some problems. Never found the solution but we found lots of things that were not the problem. :)

I love all of my family and friends. You guys really are special to me. :)

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