The Fall of Mayhem

Addiction

Written by an anonymous inmate in county jail

Not long ago I was frantically searching my room in the basement of a D.C. Bloods training house trying to find something to eat my cold can of clam chowder with. The room (not much bigger than this cell I am in) was covered with graffiti: messages of blind hate on every wall. After sifting through a pile of dirty laundry and releasing the previously dormant stench I found my toolbox. Inside was a collection of old needles and a spoon that was still filled with the dried crusty remains of amphetamine I had injected days earlier.

You see, the reason this arrogant white Bostonian came to live in a black families basement in the ghetto of our nation’s capitol…is the result of an unhealthy obsession coupled with the inability to be completely honest with anyone, including myself. So this is me being completely honest, right now. I choose to tell the truth, just for today, which is all I have left.

There is an ever widening hole in my soul called addiction. I managed to convince myself that love was the reason I hit bottom…more lies. The thought almost provokes laughter at this point, as I stare at the cement walls surrounding me. In order to protect the names of the guilty, this unhealthy obsession for a doleful damsel I shall call Eve.

I was so arrogant and blinded by this obsession that one day things would be like they were before, back when we were a happy couple with two beautiful boys…I refused to let her go. I had such low self-esteem I could not be honest with her. Eight years and our two boys and “I love you” was probably the only honest part of our relationship. In the words of Trent Reznor, “love is not enough”, and Eve herself left a message in sharpie on my wall stating: “love can’t survive on lies”.

True enough. I could put point out the hypocrisy in her writing that on my wall but focusing on her faults is what kept lies in my mouth and needles in my arms. The truth is I have spent most of my life judging the behaviors of others all the while behaving just like them. I was a true white trash scum bag. Few who knew me escaped harm. Collateral damage. I meant no harm to others but that doesn’t matter when all I cared about was me and the drugs.

I was a broken man.

I was skipping and bouncing off the bottom headed for certain doom. I had some moments of clarity when the pain got bad enough to bring me to my knees. 12 step programs, prayer, and recently Jesus seemed to powerful allies in this war for my soul, but the arrogant liar inside of me kept taking back control. No one has suffered as much as I have in the history of humanity and I deserve better! Right! Poor me! Two beautiful children and a lifetime of second chances, all the while possessing above average intelligence, looks, and an uncanny ability to entertain. Poor me! It’s laughable now but I really did feel this way, and believed it as the only way.

Fast forward 12 days ago at 2 a.m.

I am giving Eve a ride to a heroin dealer with no license and a warrant for my arrest. Headlights appear in my rear view and I say out loud: “God help me”.

As soon as the words pass my lips the flashing blues come on and I was arrested. I am facing 10 plus years worth of charges with $40,00o bail. God still loves me! After 11 days of detoxing I was on my knees praying in the holding cell ready to accept my fate. “God please help me” I pray, “you know what is best for me, thy will be done.” The door opens, I am brought before the judge and told the Distract Attorney is seeking a “no jail time deal”.

Rehab is the deal. My spirits are lifted and a peace washes over me. Hope is restored. God is the answer but faith without works is dead. We each have a different path to follow and I still don’t know my purpose but I do know it is not MY path…it is His. As I write this in my cell I am at peace. I have hope, and I know love. Gratitude is an understatement and humility is the wind lifting the wings, like a phoenix rising from the ashes we can ALL rise if we can just see the truth and get over ourselves.

Keep the hope. Keep the love. Keep the faith.

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Abrakadbra!

Just before bed I got an email from my father with Richie in the subject line. I already knew and let out something about God…but I wasn’t shocked to hear of the family friend overdosing on drugs. I lay in bed thinking of his life, and how I met him, and what his last moments must have looked like…

We all have a path to walk in life. We all have different stories about where we come from, where we have been, and how we got to be where we are now, today. Well today I want to tell a story about a man who walked a path that not many will ever see in their lifetime, nor would they ever want to see…the life of a famous junkie.

But he was so much more than just a junkie. Society labels them as sub human and writes them off because of the bad behaviors associated with being a junkie. A junkie is someone who is in so much pain that they are willing to do ANYTHING just to feel some release, some relief, anything but the pain inside that exists like a parasite in the heart. If you have not walked in the shoes of a junkie, please do not have anything but compassion in your mind.

The story of Richard Abrazinski, aka Abrakadabra, starts in Worcester in the 60’s. I don’t exactly when or where he was born, but those are minor details. Richie was a special kid, I never met him when he was a kid but judging by the way he acted in his 30’s and 40’s, I can only guess how crazy he was as a youngster.

When I met Richie I was a teenager living on Martha’s Vineyard. How Richie and I met was through my father’s connection with him. My father is a great man and he tried to help Richie when he could through the 12th step of Alcoholic’s Anonymous. I would see him working, and at that age I was just realizing that this man was out on work-release from jail. I remember working alongside him while he and another family friend Jimmy (he was the one who picked him up from jail). The energy Richie had was boundless, and he never failed to make you smile simply because his voice and his laugh sounded so…likeable. He could charm the pants off a panther he was that good. I liked him immediately, and almost looked up to him because at least he didn’t care about acting normal or afraid, Richie was confident in his ability to work hard and have fun.

Richie’s problem was having too much fun. I found that out one day after running into him at Cumberland Farms, which on the island of Martha’s Vineyard is a place where all walks of life co-mingle, and this walk of life was walking tall that day. I saw him about a quarter mile away walking towards the store from the ferry docks. He had a distinct way of walking, a distinct look, that gave him away every time. Richie got closer and noticed me, and this big fucking smile splattered his face and I knew we were in for a good time.

That good time lasted a week, and involved many drugs and a lot of booze, and also a car chase with my father and mother in separate vehicles trying to make me pull over and hand over the keys. I was not in a good state of anything to even be behind the wheel of a car. I couldn’t believe how controlling and oppressive they were, and why they would not just leave me alone to do what I wanted. It was a classic case of denial mixed with fear and dishonesty. I denied the fact that I was sick and running with another sick person who like me did not care that we were driving around high on cocaine, coming off of being drunk, with a loaded shotgun in the back seat going on a mission from god to who knows where.

Luckily that little story ended well without anyone getting hurt. I ended up back in jail and so did Richie. That was one of the many negative things we had in common: drug addiction, jail, and rehab. When Richie was in Jail, I would be in a detox or a rehab, and when I was in jail he would be out in about or in a program trying to work and save money like the rest of us. When we saw each other at an AA meeting it was like dynamite and fire getting together again for one more explosive show.

Until I changed. I saw the truth and I recognized the path I was on was leading to destruction. It had already destroyed my body, my relationships with lovers and family, and now it was threatening to destroy my life completely. I was 26 years old and a mess from doing too many drugs, and they were really powerful ones like crystal meth. One of the last times I saw Richie he was just getting out of Cambridge jail where he was locked up for getting high in an MIT bathroom in Boston. He was using crystal meth, and judging by how powerful that drug is I can only imagine what kind of horror show was on display in that bathroom. God bless him for trying to beat this addiction.

That is the message I want to give to everyone who knew Richie. He was so much more than an overdose, he was more than a junkie, he was more than a crazy sonofabitch who always got in trouble. Did anyone stop to think why he always got in trouble? Sure he needed a place to stay, so he got arrested. Not many know of that level of desperation. No, he wanted love. He wanted to be touched, he wanted attention, and that was the only way he knew how: acting out and getting caught.

He was not a brilliant criminal, in fact he was kinda dumb the way he would do crimes in broad daylight in downtown areas. I heard stories of his Maine life where he was a real bad cat. I heard about how he ran the Maine state prison system, but they were just good stories to me. When we were together, it was usually a crime. We shared mostly intoxicants together, and the times we had were spaced between jail and rehabs. So my memories of him are cloudy and hazy. But I hold onto them and I will never forget that big huge kid named Richie.

The last time I saw him alive was in November right around Thanksgiving time. My parents were away from the Vineyard and I was living on Cape Cod, I came over for the week to watch the dog and to meet my sister with whom I shared turkey day with. I was picking up some antibiotics at the pharmacy when I pull in and who do I see walking my way from the liquor store, as if he knew I would be there, smiling all the way. He was moving slow, and rocking from side to side the way he usually did, but something was different. He looked older. All my life I always saw him as young, and full of life, even if he was so filled up with drugs it was pouring out of his pores! I gave him the keys to my dad’s truck and told him to get in I will give him a ride somewhere.

I walked into the pharmacy and immediately I picture Richie driving away in my father’s truck with my dog in the back seat wondering why this crazy pollack is driving, not me. I wondered the same thing as I went back out to make sure this did not happen. He was still trying to unlock the door when I got out there, and I told him to get in the passenger seat. He obliged. I got the keys and proceeded to get my stuff.

At this point in my life I was moving to Florida and trying to be healthy as over the past year and a half I had been through a couple surgeries and overcome a massive addiction to crystal meth. My body was tired but recovering slowly but surely. I was running and beginning to work out. I began eating healthy and meditating so my mind would calm down. Ever since using crystal meth I have never been the same…it changed me, some ways bad but mostly good. It made me super spiritual and unafraid to face the future, as well as the past. Life was taking on new meaning and for the first time I felt ready to accept it and to practice the principles which would ensure I would live a better life.

In comes Richie, my old running partner who I never said no to and who I would have done anything for at one point. I loved the freakin guy! So many people did, and that is what is so sad about Richie’s story. So many people tried to help Richie get on his feet and back on track. When he was sober he was the most stand up guy one could ever possibly meet on the street. Richie had a heart of pure gold and was not bashful or shy about giving it to complete strangers. They would stare at his huge 6 foot something figure which was intimidating when he got out of jail all buffed up, and he was covered in tattoos so you know people kind of glanced at him a couple times to make sure he wasn’t going to hurt them. Richie was gentle giant who mellowed out in his later years. He wasn’t the hardened felon living in Maine state pens, he was just another guy struggling to overcome the darkness that was inside of him.

I get in the truck and he already has a baggie of a white powder ready to go. He offers some to me, so kind. I refuse. I tell him I am all about being healthy now, and that I don’t feel like getting high anymore. I try to talk to him about getting something to eat and talking but who the hell wants to do that when you are getting high? No one I know, and especially not this guy. He already saw someone else he knew, and he knew everybody, so we say a quick good bye and he gets out of the truck. Looking back I wish I grabbed his arm with the might of God and held him close, and told him what was going to happen to him if he kept using drugs. I now see what it was like to be in my father’s shoes, to love someone but not able to help them or reach them as they slowly committed suicide right in front of you. Powerless is a good word. Never has a word become more than just letters and a meaning, powerless becomes a part of you in those situations when a drug addict chooses to kill himself rather than ask for help and choose another way of to live.

I wonder if Richie ever truly lived?

What is his legacy that he left behind for us?

Prison, crime, felony, rehab, detox…I remember he came into detox on Cape Cod right after I did. We had been on a bad run and we both knew it would end with some sort of hospital stay. Actually we were lucky to make it out alive and free from prison. The chances an addict takes with his life is insane, and that is why people love to judge them! There I am, playing cards with some fellow addicts and alcoholics who I had become fast friends with in a few days since I was able to walk.

A woman named Beth spoke up about this crazy giant who came in the night before with one leg in a cast and who woke up half the hallway when he came in. He was quite intoxicated and even picked up this little counselor who Richie just loved because the counselor worked out and I guess he thought that it would be fun to pick him up and carry him around. Anyways, I wondered if it was Richie. So I asked what he looked like.

She described a tall, built guy with light blonde hair and sleeves of tattoos. I asked her if he sounded like this: “Hey, BRO!” I made an impression of someone who drank whiskey and smoked cigarettes their whole life, and she nodded her head yes! She was amazed to find out we were friends. I was out when he came in, but the story goes he was out in the courtyard jumping around with a cast on drunk, and using his belt to show off his moves by whipping it against a wooden post while hitting on the local lady patients.

I told her all about our adventures, and we became lifelong friends based on just knowing Richie. That was the legacy he left behind for us to remember and to never forget how he touched our lives. We should all thank Richie for the sacrifice he made for us. Perhaps the reason he overdosed was to save someone who might have ended up with the same fate. I know Richie helped me more than I realize by the way he lived. His life is a lesson to me that teaches me that it isn’t something to waste and it isn’t something to take for granted.

Everyday I wake up and I find something to be grateful for, even if it takes a while or I feel depressed or sad or out of it. I find something to thank God for being alive today. Today I woke up and I thanked Richie for the memories and the moments that I will never forget as being times when I was truly myself, and it was because of Richie that I was able to be myself. He had a power inside of him that I regret had to wither away and die. He was in his 50’s, and I can’t believe he survived so long that way he lived.

Today, let’s take a moment to be silent in our minds and hold someone we love in thought. Breathe in love and breathe out any sickness which might have taken them or us…breathe it out and let the healing power of the universe respond by the opposite reaction which is health and positive vibrations return to your body and uplift your soul to a higher level. A level beyond the suffering hurt or pain that might exist between you and another…and transcend the pain to a certain kind of peace: serenity…God grant me the serenity…do you really believe he grants it to you, or are you just saying it because everyone else is?

Today, let’s remember our good friend and family member Richie Abrazinski. I will miss his laugh, and I will miss his stupid voice, and his love. May you finally be in a place where you don’t have to run anymore.

2012-12-28

Overdose of Reality

2nd-Annual-Gloucester-MA.-Overdose-Vigil-luminaries-2012Photograph from overdoseday.com, 2nd Annual Gloucester, MA Overdose vigil of luminaries, 2012

The last time Susan Cyr saw her son Eric alive, he was dressed for a job interview and asking which cologne he should wear “because he wanted to smell right.”

When the 32-year-old did not return home, his mother enlisted a friend to help scour Raynham and Taunton for her son. The police found him the next day in the parking lot of a Taunton CVS, his body slumped in his mother’s Toyota Camry.

“That day he left my house, he was my wonderful son. He was happy, very energetic, talking about going to college again,” Cyr said. “He wasn’t expecting to die.”

Heroin, laced with the drug Fentanyl, killed him five weeks ago, his mother said.

This was taken from an article in the Boston Globe and is available at this link right here: Heroin Capital of the United States

CAST THY BURDEN

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved (Psalm 55:22)

We sometimes hear the expression used, “cast the burden”, and it is useful to consider what this phrase really means. Used intelligently, it is one of the great keys to spiritual victory. To cast the burden means to really insist upon harmony and peace of mind, and to cease from worry and anxiety there and then.

If, when faced with trouble, whether it be old or new, you can affirm positively the harmony of being and then refuse to reopen the case, no matter how much fear may urge you to do so, you have cast your burden upon the Lord, and you will win.

-From Essay by Emmet Fox “Cast Thy Burden”

“You are a signal, a messenger who lives the message, who embodies the meaning of the holy in every choice you make. You are a healer, a source of nurture and wholeness, here for a reason, a reason that restores the bridge of hope.”

Letter by Anonymous

I have to start off by qualifying for some good pain and expressing grief stuffed so far down, it seeps out slowly into my heart and my soul…it is an intense physical sensation that grabs my whole being and shakes it a little. I tend be poetic when writing about it, and by relating to someone else being ripped away from you by drugs…it helps heal that pain and grief.

For 10 years I visited all those places on earth that I saw in movies and read about in books. I hated the way I looked, hated the way it that made me feel, but if one thing was certain in a very uncertain life, it was the need to be free and to find something real.
It started with a joint of marijuana that I was so ignorant about, I didn’t even inhale at first. Then it went to having a couple beers. Then shots of liquor. On and on and so it goes to the next form or “freedom”. I wanted freedom for the simple fact that I lived in a good family and I felt so unloved and I just couldn’t exist without some sort of silence or fight amongst us. I snuck out, and stayed out, and I learned really fast the damage done by the endless, infinite obsession around me. Sister is not around she is at college down South. Mother and father play a role not unlike two policemen and guess who the runaway prisoner.was?
I was prisoner of my own soul, and I paid my own ticket thank you very much. I want to thank Heroin for being such thief. You don’t even wait til it gets dark, because dope never sleeps and while my mother waited at home I was searching for a fix that would make me feel less crazy, psycho alone.
To sum up the beginning of my life and the world I knew in New England: pain and anger from fear and lies ruled me like a crazy king. 10 years was how long it took me to get to a point in my life where the past no longer haunted me like a demonic ghost. I traveled in different circles as an covert agent moves on a mission to find the truth. Deep down was the idea that one day I would be okay, but the reality of it was that I had to walk my own way out of everyday hell. Waking up with a sickness that won’t let go not for a second, and seeped in such a saturated brain soaking in brown syrup I doubted I would ever see a happy joyous free day again. Not like those untouchable memories that are sunny, in the backyard playing catch or shooting supersoakers, a happy family you can tell by the smiles, now only photographs placed in spiritual books.
The Boston Globe reporter was not an addict, and therefore does not know the truth in matters involving a serious, life-or-death disease that is bigger than any cancer known to mankind. How is that possible? The truth is in the numbers of deaths involving drugs and alcohol from a disease that is so powerful it can kill families. A big percentage of the people in our country are involved with this disease. Alcoholism was first compared to cancer, noticing the contrast in responses to someone who has cancer compared to someone who has a cancer of the brain, of the mind.
When someone has cancer they are compassionate, loving, and either sympathetic or empathetic to what they are going through. Not so much with the junkie, or addict -and addict means alcoholics too – since the addict usually hurts those around him before anyone ever realizes he has a disease. The ignorance surrounding addiction today is astounding. With all the treatment centers in Massachusetts, and all the options available, there is still a negative perception of anything involving the words heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, bath salts, fentanyl, percocet, oxycontin, benzo’s, any pill that ends in pam, the list goes on ad infinitum but what should be recognized most importantly is the fact that more young kids and fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, are getting ripped away from us.
Ups and downs came and trouble went like the wind in the trees and breeze through your hair. That soft and seductive whisper as it rushes by your ear drums. Such a beautiful life I have lived to this day. Even now, as I sit in the shade from the angry sun shining and setting the afternoon ablaze.
The fire inside is burning live and well enough to finally be of service to others who need a hand to hold, or a hug, or a couple bucks for some gas, or maybe help through school, or maybe it is JUST LOVE!

Where there is shadow, may I bring light

Change From Within

Kindness

Man is a mental being, and to know this is the first step on the road to freedom and prosperity, for as long as you believe yourself to be primarily physical, a superior kind of animal, you will remain in bondage – in bondage, that is to say, to your own habits of thought, for there is no other bondage.

Since you are a mental being, you will see how foolish it is for you to endeavor to improve your conditions by altering your environment while leaving your mind unchanged. To attempt this is to foredoom yourself to disappointment. Mind is cause, and experience is effect. If you do not like the experience or effect that you are getting, the obvious remedy is to alter the cause and then the effect will naturally alter too.

– Emmet Fox

Thou blind pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also  (Matthew 23:26)
 
There will be another free distant energy healing for everyone who wants to join and all their friends, families and anyone else who reads this. The main healing session is SATURDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2014 from 6-7pm Pacific Standard Time or same as Los Angeles, (7-8pm MST), (8-9 CST), (9-10pm EST-same as New York).

You can join this free distant energy healing session by using your intention to be included. If you wish to join, just close your eyes for a minute when you read this and mentally say that you intend to join the session and want to be included. That is all you have to do to connect with the energy and you don’t have to do anything else. Healing energy can begin to flow to you once you do this as many people who have done this before have reported.

You join simply by using your intention after reading this.

The energy works on many levels, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Even though it’s a group healing, the energy works with everyone individually. The energy is intelligent and knows best how to work with your energy system. The energy infuses light and energy into your energy field and can help clear and balance the acupuncture meridians, chakras and other energy channels. The energy won’t weaken with a large group and can even get stronger with more people. Distance isn’t a problem and you can receive this energy anywhere in the world.

To receive the energy you just sit or lie down and relax on FEBRUARY 22 from 6-7 PM Pacific Time-same as Los Angeles (PST) or 9-10pm New York Time (EST) and receive the energy. Even if you have to be active during the session you can still receive great results.

Many spiritual traditions teach that we are all connected and now some Quantum Physicists are saying the same thing. These ancient teachings often mention the most important thing we can do is help others. When we help others we are also helping ourselves because we are all connected…

And So It Goes…Healing from Within

With All Sails Set

God intended us to have dominion over our lives, to be the captains of our souls.

Of course, in the ship of life, you cannot make port unless all sails are set. You must pursue the spiritual life wholeheartedly. You cannot expect to reach port if you are faithful in your prayers and meditations for a time, and then for a time you forget God.

You are the captain of your soul when you can say with Jesus:

I and my Father are one…the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works…

Love is Truth

Forgive Us Our Trespasses, As We Forive Others Who Trespass Against Us

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This clause is the turning point in the Prayer. It is the strategic key to the whole Treatment. Let us notice here that Jesus has so arranged this marvelous Prayer that it conveys the entire ground of the unfoldment of our souls completely, and in the most concise and telling way. It omits nothing that is essential for our salvation, and yet, so compact is it that there is not a thought or word too much. Every idea fits into its place with perfect harmony and in perfect sequence. Anything more would be redundance, anything less would be incompleteness, and at this point it takes up the critical factor of forgiveness.

Having told us what God is, what man is, how the universe works, how we are to do our own work – the salvation of humanity and of our own souls – he then explains what our true nourishment or supply is, and the way in which we can obtain it; and now he comes to the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of sins is the central problem of life. Sin is a sense of separation from God, and is the major tragedy of human experience. It is, of course, rooted in selfishness. It is essentially an attempt to gain some supposed good to which we are not entitled in justice. It is a sense of isolated, self-regarding, personal existence, whereas the Truth of Being is that all is One. Our true selves are at one with God, undivided from Him, expressing His ideas, witnessing His nature – the dynamic Thinking of that Mind. Because we are all one with the great Whole of which we are spiritually a part, it follows that we are one with all men. Just because in Him we live and move and have our being, we are in absolute sense, all essentially one.

Evil, sin, the fall of man, in fact, is essentially the attempt to negate this Truth in our thoughts. We try to live apart from God. We try to do it without Him. We act as though as had life of our own; as separate minds; as though we could have plans and purposes and interests separate from His. All of this, if it were true, would mean that existence is not one and harmonious, but a chaos of competition and strife. It would mean that we are quite separate from our fellow man and could injure him, rob him, hurt him, or even destroy him, without any damage to ourselves, and in fact, that the more we took from other people the more we should have for ourselves.

It would mean that the more we considered our own interests, and the more indifferent we were to the welfare of others, the better off we should be. Of course it would then follow naturally that it would pay others to treats us in the same way, and that accordingly we might expect them to do so. Now if this were true, it would mean that the whole universe is only a jungle, and that sooner or later it must destroy itself by its own inherent weakness and anarchy. But, of course, it is not true, and therein lies the joy of life.

Undoubtedly, many people do act as though they believed it to be true, and a great many more, who would be dreadfully shocked if brought face to face with that proposition in cold blood, have nevertheless , a vague feeling that such must be very much the way things are, even though they, themselves, are personally above consciously acting in accordance with such a notion. Now this is the real basis of sin, resentment, of condemnation, of jealousy, of remorse, and all the evil brood that walk that path.

This belief in independent and separate existence is the arch sin, and now, before we can progress any further, we have to take the knife to this evil thing and cut it out once and for all.

Jesus knew this, and with this definite end in view he inserted at this critical point a carefully prepared statement that would compass our end and his, without the shadow of a possibility of miscarrying. He inserted what is nothing less than a trip clause. He drafted a declaration which would force us, without any conceivable possibility of escape, evasion, mental reservation, or subterfuge of any kind, to execute the great sacrament of forgiveness in all its fullness and far-reaching power.

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As we repeat the Great Prayer intelligently, considering and meaning what we say, we are suddenly, so to speak, caught up off our feet and grasped as though in a vise, so that we must face this problem – and these is no escape. We must positively and definitely extend forgiveness, namely, to anyone who we think can have injured us in any way. Jesus leaves no room for any possible glossing of this fundamental thing. He has constructed his Prayer with more skill than a lawyer ever yet displayed in the casting of a deed. He has so contrived it that once our attention has been drawn to this matter, we are inevitably obliged either to forgive our enemies in sincerity and truth, or never again to repeat that prayer. It is safe to say that no one who reads this with understanding will ever again be able to use the Lord’s Prayer unless and until he has forgiven.

Notice that Jesus does not say “forgive me and my trespasses and I will try to forgive others”, or “I will see if it can be done”, or “I will forgive generally, with certain exceptions”. He obliges us to declare that we have actually forgiven, and forgiven all, and he makes our claim to our own forgiveness to depend upon that.

Who is there that has grace enough to say his prayers at all, who does not long for the forgiveness or cancellation of his own mistakes and faults? Who would be so insane as to endeavor to seek the Kingdom of God without desiring to be relieved of his own sense of guilt? No one, we may believe. And so we see that we are trapped in the inescapable position that we cannot demand our own release before we have released our brother. The forgiveness of others is the vestibule of Heaven, and Jesus knew it, and has led us to the door. You must forgive everyone who has ever hurt you if you want to be forgiven yourself. You have to get rid of all resentment and condemnation of others, and not least, self-condemnation and remorse. You have to forgive others, and having discontinued your mistakes, you have to accept the forgiveness of God for them too, or you cannot make any progress. You have to forgive yourself, but you cannot forgive yourself sincerely until you have forgiven others first. Having forgiven others, you must be prepared to forgive yourself too, for to refuse to forgive oneself is only spiritual pride.

We cannot make this point too clear to ourselves: we have to forgive. There are few people in the world who have not at sometime or other been hurt, really hurt, by someone else; or been disappointed, or injured, or deceived, or misled. Such things sink into the memory where they usually inflamed and festering wounds, and there is only one remedy – they have to be plucked out and thrown away. And the one and only way to do that is by forgiveness.

The technique of forgiveness is simple enough, and not very difficult to manage when you understand how. The only thing essential is willingness to forgive. Provided you desire to forgive the offender, the greater part of the work is already done. People have always made such a bogey of forgiveness because they have been under the erroneous impression that to forgive a person means you have to compel yourself to like him. Happily this is not the case. We are not called upon to like anyone whom we do not find ourselves liking spontaneously, and indeed it is quite impossible to like people to order. We are not obliged to like anyone, but we are under a binding obligation to love everyone, love, or charity as the bible calls it, meaning a vivid sense of impersonal good will. This has nothing directly to do with the feelings, thought it is always followed, sooner or later, by a wonderful feeling of peace and happiness.

The method of forgiving is this: get by yourself and become quiet. Repeat any prayer or treatment that appeals to you, then quietly say, “I fully and freely forgive (name of offender); I loose him and let him go. I completely forgive the whole business in question. As far as I am concerned, it is finished forever. I cast the burden of resentment upon the Christ within me. He is free now, and I am free too. I wish him well in every phase of his life. That incident is finished. The Christ Truth has set us both free. I thank God.” Then get up and go about your business. On no account repeat this act of forgiveness, because you have done it once and for all, and to do it a second time would be tacitly to repudiate your own work. Afterward, whenever the memory of the offender happens to come into your mind, bless the delinquent briefly and dismiss the thought.

After a few days it will return less and less often, until you forget it altogether. Then, perhaps after an interval, shorter or longer, the old trouble may come back to memory once more, but you will find that now all bitterness and resentment have disappeared, and you are both free with the perfect freedom to be in spirit and in truth: the children of God. Your forgiveness is complete. You will experience a wonderful joy in the realization of the demonstration.

The result of this policy will be that very soon you will find yourself cleared of all resentment and condemnation, and the effect upon your happiness, your bodily health, and your general life will be nothing less than revolutionary.

(Not to mention your recovery)

-Emmet Fox

dz quotes forgive

 

 

Off The Road

by Charles St. Francis

Driving fast foot heavy on the gas speeding past these forgotten, cumbled, and broken steeples of people lying on the side of the road…crashed.

I swerve around wrecks and accidents without even a care to what the suffering these people carry in their passenger seats…out of gas engine broken down in defeat…I speed on by missing my many chances to meet—-new faces new places and new stories that make life complete.

Flashing lights blue red and white flood my sight until I can’t see past the never ending fight for one more breath, one more beat, one more chance to make it right in the face of death we all smile bright as if we knew all along that we were next.

As we move down the road over uncertain hills, I count how many friends and people I loved who were killed, too many to count one is enough if one life can amount to so much pain…when death tickles my brain and laughs that shrill cackle that makes my mind insane clinked up in shackles…

All around me are worn out faces and unfamiliar places, the former I miss sincerely the latter I can’t escape. What is left but to carry on the memory of what remains like marks on our heart that never go away, heartstains…

I love you Scott. I knew you for three weeks yet with this disease and all of its pain, suffering, peace, and bittersweet release…we find love, fellowship, a brotherhood whose link is stronger than any drug or drink.

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May you finally be free Scott Reinhart…

Compassion: The Latest Fashion

Maybe another person could have lived through the same experiences and weathered the storm with fewer scars to show for it, and maybe not.

Whatever the reason, sometimes a person is so angry and so defensive, they can’t fathom the motivation for kindness or compassion. Your attempts to reassure, to be caring and loving might be met with contempt. Because what you’re asking when you open your arms and move toward a person who’s backed into a corner, is for their trust.

And for some people, the thought of that is terrifying. That’s a language they don’t understand. Everything is perceived as an attack, and instead of love, they work with control and manipulation. Basically, some people are too hurt or too scared to love. It doesn’t mean there’s no hope, it just means they have a lot of healing to do, and they either will or they won’t get to it.

-Anonymous

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Whether I am in the grocery store, the mall, Walmart, or a restaurant, I notice many things that affect my heart and I don’t know why. I guess I am just observant, maybe overly so, but nevertheless I look at the faces of people and I catch their eyes for just a moment then lose them. But I feel their pain,  I feel their sadness, I feel whatever they are going through. Up until now I felt crazy because of this and held it in thinking that if I said this I would be labeled weird or be judged for it. When I hold things in I die, pure and simple, and I am lucky to be alive today because yesterday was scary the way I used to think and act. I do not know where this comes from or why I am so sensitive to other people’s energy. All I do know is that I have been through hell and made it out to the other side burned but unbroken. Maybe that is it, the reason why I have so much compassion and empathize to the point of assimilating in my mind other people’s problems and pain.

You walked with me
Footprints in the sand
And helped me understand
Where I’m going

You walked with me
When I was all alone
With so much unknown
Along the way

Who knows, everyone says God only knows yet the people who say that do not understand THEIR God so I don’t trust it. My God, which is really just my understanding of that Power (capital P), is LOVE and TRUTH. These are the principles of God that mean the most to me. When I am living and practicing both principles in my life, I am well and my family and friends are well. If they are not, I am able to be there for them in a way that I couldn’t without LOVE and TRUTH.

Then I heard you say

Look around you. Watch the news and see the tragedies and war and famine and depression and planetary suicide that is happening all around us…

What do you feel when you see that? What crosses your mind in thought?

 I promise you
I’m always there
When your heart is filled with sorrow and despair
I’ll carry you
When you need a friend
You’ll find my footprints in the sand

Everyone is either going into a storm, are in a storm, or are coming out of one only to go into another one down the road. A great friend and spiritual mentor Michael C. of Sandwich, Cape Cod used to say: “Everyone is fighting a great battle. How can we be anything BUT compassionate?” This is a quote taken from a Buddhist but no one really has a patent on words anyways. The knowledge we have has been used already before us, just passed down and said differently. Be compassionate…be loving…be kind…and if you cannot be any of these then be silent. Hold in your pain until you are ready to break down and crash…God will be there waiting for you with trust and faith that EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY.
I see my life
Flash across the sky
So many times have I been so afraid

And just when I
I thought I’d lost my way
You gave me strength to carry on

When I interact with this world, I have to keep in mind the truth that not everyone is on the spiritual path and not everyone is happy, peaceful, and content with life as I am trying to be on a daily basis. I have to realize that some are angry, very angry, with something that happened to them. To them I secretly send love through thought which is a causative force, I think of what love is and I send it to them as if it was a telepathic telegram into their black hearts, or scarred brains, and hug them mentally. I imagine love entering their life in the future, maybe in the form of a friend, a lover, a puppy, SOMETHING to interrupt the evil and the fear that has taken over their life and created HELL ON EARTH.

That’s when I heard you say

I promise you
I’m always there
When your heart is filled with sorrow and despair
And I’ll carry you
When you need a friend

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN and HELL!

I grew up Catholic, and that means I grew up afraid of God and afraid of the truth. I remember being so scared as pictured the flames, the red walls, the evil demons tearing me in half over and over (I had a vivid imagination as a child) Even that did not stop me from committing crime and doing evil deeds. Fear used to control others behavior is the lowest form of insanity and cruelty. When I ran from the Catholic cult I ran into the devil’s arms. He gave me a warm hug and welcomed me to paradise. All I had to do was be selfish, lie, seek out only things for my self regardless of how it affected others like my family, and use fear against others as much as possible. The pain I caused is…

You’ll find my footprints in the sand
When I’m weary
Well I know you’ll be there
And I can feel you
When you say

I promise you
Oh, I’m always there
When your heart is filled with sadness and despair
I’ll carry you
When you need a friend
You’ll find my footprints in the sand

Years and years of running scared nearly killed me. I am one grateful grapefruit to still be alive and somewhat healthy after slowly killing myself for so long. I watched such good people, good souls, wither away into nothing and fade away into darkness. That eternal darkness of death that rips a person from your life I will forever respect and stay FAR away from as long as I pray and do God’s will.

You’ll find my footprints in the sand
When I’m weary
Well I know you’ll be there
And I can feel you
When you say

God…what is God? Who is God? We use He or She or It to describe God because the English dictionary is limiting and that is the best it can do with words. Regardless of what we call God, the point is not in trying to define God or figured out who created the world or why God this or that…the point is to manifest the purest principles that are connected with God and bringing them to the world around us, Earth, our home. Why are we living like roommates, sharing a house together but not talking and not even acknowledging one another as we pass by? It is because so many people are in too much pain to even look up and trust that the person walking by won’t hurt them anymore than they have already been hurt. I think of all the kids who barely make it out of their childhood, abused mentally and physically to the point of medication and psych wards, and society judges them or doesn’t even care to recognize them…and we wonder why the world is so crazy. I recognize them, and I am there for them. Are you with me?

You’ll find my footprints in the sand
When I’m weary
Well I know you’ll be there
And I can feel you
When you say

I promise you
Oh, I’m always there
When your heart is filled with sadness and despair
I’ll carry you
When you need a friend
You’ll find my footprints in the sand

-Leona Lewis

Loss

Filling my head with thoughts from the past
Living each day as if it was my last
Nothing more to live for
Everything is gone
Cursing that terrible day that I was ever born
Dreams turn to nightmares and hope fades away
Death is the debt that I surely must pay
Those I leave behind must remember one thing
Each passing moment was too much suffering
My place in this world was not meant to be
A constant battle between pain and misery
Words cannot express the torment within
Putting an end to this existence so others can begin
Wanting so much for my life to have been bigger
Placing the gun to my head and pulling it’s deadly trigger.

 

By Paul S.

The End

BY ANONYMOUS AUTHOR

This was written a few weeks ago. After hearing that Philip Seymour Hoffman suffered from drug addiction to heroin, it seemed appropriate to share this story again, as it serves a purpose in keeping the awareness of the heroin epidemic alive. When will society stop denying that there is a big problem that is tearing apart our country? When will they stop judging the junkies and the alcoholics for who they really are: shining stars who are so bright they have to do drugs and drink to dim the light and just exist in a world that drives them away and pushes them to the edge. Jim Carey tweeted after hearing of his passing: “Dear Philip, a beautiful beautiful soul. For the most sensitive among us the noise can be too much. Bless your heart. ;^{”

 

The door is locked, he made sure of it, and he felt a small feeling of safety as he sat down on the white carpet of his bedroom. Safe and secure in his little cave of escape. It is as if he is in a trance. A candle is lit, the only light in the room, and the shadows dance around the posters, the trophies, the family photographs like black ghosts of the past. Around him lay an assortment of items, each in a certain place. His ritual will not have it any other way. He picks up the first item on the list. The preparation gives him this sickly sweet sensation that rumbles in his gut. His palms are sweaty. His heart begins to race.

He almost forgot one important ingredient in his recipe for escape…music.

He walks over the piles dirty clothes, empty pizza boxes, water bottles, cd’s, books, notebooks filled with 10 years of diary entries since he was 13 when he first got high, to the stereo sitting under the window that is covered up completely with a blanket to block out the sunlight. He presses play and hears the familiar sounds slowly pour out of the speakers. The musical notes of the bass guitar give him goose-bumps, and for a tiny moment that he doesn’t even notice the music lifts his soul up out of the darkness it has been living in for 10 years.

Then the guitar strings flutter out and hit him in the chest. He closes his eyes and listens, and just for a few seconds his mind is clear with no manic thoughts and no terrorizing past.

We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time

He opens his eyes and remembers who he is, itches his arm and why he needs to do what he has to do. He walks back to the center of this room and sits down crosslegged as if he was going to meditate like a Buddhist monk. For a while he just stares at the flame from the candle as it dances to the beat of the drums, the stringing of sad chords, and that voice filled with pain.

And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

The ritual requires concentration and precise measurements. He feels that familiar urge overcome him. For a second he stops and wonders if there is any other solution. Any other way. Maybe he could change. He thinks of his family and how much he has put them through. It starts in the heart, the gut wrenching pain burns, and it spreads until nothing remains but total insanity because he would have to be crazy to not do this…thing.

Oooh…Oooh…
Oooh…Oooh…

He couldn’t hear the knocks on the door.

He couldn’t hear the banging and the screaming of his friend’s voice calling out his name.

He couldn’t see the door break open and see police and EMT’s enter his room.

He couldn’t watch his friend crumble in tears watching such a beautiful soul laying with a needle in his arm.

He couldn’t wake up.

 My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can’t be my own
I’d feel better dead