Finding God…again.

I’m on a new journey in search of God. Now I know that God is everywhere and, he is within us. However, over the past two years, I’ve allowed the secular world to cloud my vision. So what happened?

First was leaving Deacon Formation in early 2019. It was something that needed to happen but, it was still a hard pill to swallow. The hardest part for me back then, and still is today, is how can God allow evil into his Church? In the Catholic Church we have less than desirable clergy members who appear to be more concerned about their own agendas than with the Gospel. I know (now) that there’s nothing that I can do to change that or them, but I still wonder why God allows it. So why is there so much conflict within me?

2020 brought in depression and anger. Not just for me, but for many people that I know. It was the year of the COVID 19 pandemic that was hyper politicized and continued to divide Americans. I turned to music to escape but in doing so, I placed God on the shelf. It was another question; how could God allow people to be so evil with each other? I know that it’s free will but I know there is more to it. I love music. I love playing live or on Facebook. But I love God too, not like before but, I am trying to find my way back to God.

The longer I’m away from God, the easier it is to fall into sin. Sin is not a good place to be; it’s like wallowing around in your own feces, surrounded by demons.

What a Wonderful World…NOT!

4:00am and I’m scrolling through Facebook like I sometimes do when I wake up too early. Occasionally I will stop to read people’s comments to various posts and I’m reminded how hateful many people are with each other.

It’s not good enough to just disagree anymore. Now it’s all about who can comeback with the most vile retort. Even when one truly feels that they are correct and have this conviction deep within, a simple “I disagree” is not good enough and they proceed to belittle the other individual because of their view on a topic.

All hope is not lost however. If you are that type of individual in the aforementioned paragraph, you too can change, but only if you realize and accept the fact that you want to change. I was that type of person for quite some time. Oh how I lived for the argument and an opportunity to put someone down for their thoughts, and for what? I didn’t like the person I was and realized that I needed change.

But you’re not a tiger.

You’ve heard the cliche “a tiger can’t change its stripes”, but you are not a tiger, you are a human being with the capabilities of changing yourself. Sometimes change is hard but anything worth having comes with a little hardship.

How do you change? There are many ways but here are a few suggestions.

1. Steer away from posts or stories on social media that bring out anger.

2. Willpower is not your friend. Habit is the key. Do or say something kind for someone each day, everyday until it becomes a habit.

3. Remind yourself daily that you want to change and become a better, more positive person.

In a world that seems to be full of lies, deceit, and negativity, you can make that change and make a difference. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Until next time, God bless s as and Buen Camino!

One Month Down

Hello everyone. Welcome to 2021! For good or bad, it is what it is and here we are. 

How many of you are into doing “New Years Resolutions”? I don’t do them anymore. As I get older my focus turns towards becoming a better Catholic man, and a better person overall. Not that I’m opposed to resolutions. They can be a great motivation to get a person from point A to point B. 

list of resolutions on blackboard with three blank, numbered sticky notes

So January 2021 comes to an end tonight and I’m wondering how some of you are feeling so far. Are you upset or happy with the election results? What are your views on COVID-19 now a year into it? Have you taken the vaccine? Will you take it? How is your home and work life going? How are you doing physically, mentally, and spiritually? These are just a few of the questions that I think about.

I’m not happy with the election results however, they are what they are and I’m moving forward with my life; I refuse to let my emotions dictate my life and reaching the goals that I’ve set for myself and my family. As a citizen, I will do my part to constructively voice my concerns with the new administration as they arise.

By now I’m sure that most of you have been impacted personally on some level due to COVID-19. You may have lost your job, your business, had to accept a reduction in hours or pay. You may have contracted the virus, or knew someone who did. You may have lost a family member or friend due to the virus. All of these have happened to me over the last year. I was once a prideful, obnoxious, boisterous fool who refused to wear his mask and voiced that “there is no way in hell that I’m taking a vaccine”! One year later and I’ll be getting my booster vaccine this week, and I wear my mask regularly now. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I was wrong with my views. I’m thinking about others now instead of myself when it comes to the virus. I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone who doesn’t wear a mask or who refuses to get the vaccine. These are my views, not theirs or yours. We each have our decisions to make when it comes to how we address the virus in our personal lives.

Physically I’m not doing well. I have diabetes now and have zero willpower when it comes to sweets. I need to find that drive to get off my ass and take this seriously. 

Last year was not a bad year for me mentally overall so I’d say I’m doing great so far this year as I’m still very optimistic about my future. I’m no longer worrying about things that are out of my control. I can barely control my life at times so I don’t have time for other issues outside of my life. 

Spiritually I’m doing fair to partly cloudy. I can always improve in this area. The hardest part for me is the state of the Church as a whole. Everyone are on different pages when it comes to the faith yet. “Catholic” is supposed to be universal as its meaning goes. This is all outside of my control of course so I’ll focus on the spiritual side of Catholicism and not the human side.

I’m almost three months into my new job and I love it. Life is good overall and God is great! So at this point in 2021, I’m hopeful, a bit anxious, and feeling blessed about the rest of the year. How about you?

Until next time, Buen Camino, and God bless.

What Have We Learned So Far?

We are now weeks into this epidemic and what have we learned from all of what’s going on with the coronavirus in the United States?

We’ve learned that when push comes to shove, Americans are still strong. Our hospitals, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and rescue personnel are placing themselves in harms way for the health and safety of their communities first. They deserve our thanks and prayers for their health, safety, and for them to continue their work.

We should also thank and pray for our truckers who are working to bring supplies to those in need. Thank and pray for the American worker, who’s job has been deemed “essential” and are still doing their part to keep the country going.

Pray for and look after those who’ve lost their jobs and businesses. During times like these, stress, anxiety, and depression can hit home hard leading to drinking, drug use, and sometimes suicide. Be kind to and look out for each other. Help your fellow man.

The biggest thing that I’ve noticed throughout this whole ordeal, in my opinion, is the fact that we to place God back in the center of our lives. I honestly feel that he’s been warning us over these past few decades and instead of getting better, as a whole, we are getting worse. Disobeying his laws, making a mockery out of the sacrament of marriage, the continued murdering of the unborn, and countless other acts that snub our noses at God. God is a loving God, but he is also a just God.

What have I learned about myself during this time? A lot! I’ve noticed where the lack of God is in my life. I’ve learned that although I’ve come to grips with certain areas in my life, more work is needed to attain the peace that I’ve desperately searched for. Day by day and with the grace of God, I will achieve my goals too.

God bless you all, be safe, and Buen Camino.

52 Years

 

peaceful

I’ve spent 52 years on this earth and my life has been…less than. I really don’t know how to explain it but let’s just say that recent events that have happened in my life throw light upon why I have not been happy.

happyball

I’ve been saying it for some time now; “I’m sure that I don’t have 52 years left in me, so the time that I do have, I want to be happy.” I don’t want to spend the rest of my days wishing that I was a happier or better person, I want to be that person.

I believe that there are three key components to making this a reality.

  1. Spiritual Health – Getting my prayer life back in order. Realizing that I don’t have full control of my life as much as I’d like to think I do. Placing God back at the center of my life. Remembering to thank God for the blessings in my life. Working with other men to help each other in our journeys and hold each other accountable. Being the leader, protector, and provider of my family; being the priest of my household and setting that example.
  2. Mental Health – Continuing with my therapy and doing the exercises that my therapist has asked me to do. Remind myself daily that I am not the same person that I was as a child, teen, or young adult. And the hardest part for me, forgiving myself.
  3. Physical Health – This is an area that I desperately need to address. I need to find that motivation to get out, get up and be active for a bit instead of getting home, kicking off my shoes, changing into my comfortable clothes and laying down. No matter how much I wish it, fat won’t come off by wishing it away.

goodplandrawing

This is my plan for now. Why for now? Because like any good plan, you have to allow room for adjustments. For those of you who are going through something similar, you can do it! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Know that I will be praying for you and I ask you all to pray for me as well.

Until next time, Buen Camino.

 

Memories from the Past: Part 2

Hello everyone and Happy New Year and Merry Christmas! Yes, the Christmas season is still upon us so Merry Christmas, Christ is born! I’ve been thinking about how I was going to write this post. With that being said, it is going to be a pretty short post.

Let me start by saying that I will not be sharing that other story that I talked about in part 1. The things that have happened to me in my past are things that I would not wish upon my worst enemy, and they explain a lot about how and why I acted and reacted in certain ways.

I’ve been going to therapy for almost a year now and I thank God that I have such an amazing therapist who has been and continues to help me cross these bridges as they arise. She is helping me to create the person who I want to be, not the person who I thought I was.

In closing I would say this:

  1. Don’t be afraid to seek out help for past wounds, especially you men out there. You’d be surprised to see that you aren’t the only one to go through what you’ve been through.
  2. If you are seeing a therapist and feel as though you are not getting the help you need, find another therapist. This is your mental health we are talking about so find the professional who is going to help you best.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. I am blessed to have my bride by my side throughout this journey. She always knows the right things to say to me during these times especially when I am overwhelmed with the flood of emotions from these memories.

May God always be by your side and may he guide you get the help that you are looking for and never forget to ask him as well, for he is the eternal physician and he wants you to be the child that he created you to be. Until next time, buen camino.

Memories From the Past: Part 1

 

*** WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE ***

This past weekend was a rough one for me. It started on Thursday; before my bride came to pick me up for lunch, I sat down to watch the video above with Corey Taylor talking to a therapist. I thought to myself, “wow, this should be interesting.” Little did I know how intense his story would be and that it would drag out some memories of my own. I only made it a little more than halfway through the video when the memories came out; one that was hidden, suppressed, buried in the catacombs of my mind and the other was one that I’ve been trying to bury for the better part of 40 years.

depressed

I sat in my chair for a while and attempted to deal with this sudden flood of emotions that came along with these memories. I was hurt and I was pissed off! Why the fuck did these memories have to come up now! Don’t I have enough shit to deal with in my life? And such perfect timing too since I can’t see my therapist until January! GREAT! REALLY FUCKING GREAT!

Once I calmed down a bit, which was not much, but it was enough time for me to call the therapists office and ask if there was any way that I could see her for an emergency session. They said that they would give her the message but that if it was an emergency, I could come in right now and see someone else. I thanked them and hung up the phone. I thought to myself, “See someone else? SEE SOMEONE ELSE! I finally found a therapist that I trust and you want me to see someone else!” Thank God she called me within 10 minutes and said that she would see me right away if I could get there immediately.

Here is a bit of history with me and therapists. During the early years of my marriage, I didn’t think I needed to see one. I thought that I was fine and the rest of the world was jacked up. As the years passed though, I started to see what it was my bride was talking about and I reluctantly tried to get therapy. Most of the early therapists didn’t work though and I’m sure it was mostly due to me not cooperating or wanting the help. But in the later years when I desperately wanted and needed the help, I just kept striking out with the therapists that I saw. I was looking for someone who would listen, take my faith into consideration when providing feedback or solutions, hold me accountable, and one that had the knowledge to find out what was going on and come up with a concrete solution to help me move forward. That is the kind of therapist that I have now.

crying

I told her about the first memory, the suppressed one. I sat there crying, feeling lost, alone and angry, kind of like I did as a child during that time. She told me to let it out, ride with it, allow it to come out. As I sat in my chair and described every detail to her, I could feel my nails clawing into the handles of the chair as I sat there shaking and crying in anger. With my right foot tapping at a rapid pace, I continued to tell my story and when I finally got to the end of it, a tsunami of tears rushed my eyes and I yelled into my hands which were cupped over my face. “WHY! Why did he have to do that!” It was a memory of an older boy from my childhood that everyone looked up to and thought he was just the grandest kid of all. That mother fucker. I won’t go into detail with you all, but I will say that it was a sexual assault of sorts.

My therapist continued to help me go through this as I sat there pounding my fist into the handle of the chair. She got me to the end of that memory and there was a bit of calm. As I let out a sigh of relief, the fear hit me again, because I knew that I was going to share my other memory with her in a minute or two and I knew that this last ride I just went through was going to be a walk in the park compared to the next memory I shared with her.

To be continued. Until next time, Buen Camino.