On A Whim. Stay Alive. By David Reid Otey

Every action makes a reaction, common knowledge for most people. And it applies not just to bouncing balls but to thoughts behind the actions we commit to. You know that every act happens for a reason , even an accident happens because someone was day dreaming or involved in some action of not attending to the moment. So, people’s actions create reactions, responses, results.

This is also one of the ways we know when someone is in trouble somehow. If you have a teenager looking depressed yet who says nothing’s wrong after you ask, you know that’s not the total truth, and we have to, we must try to interfere with that depressing or troublesome thought that occupies their minds because that thought might lead them into hurting themselves or someone else. What do you think has happened in the minds of every kid who committed suicide? Definitely not boredom. But fear of shame and embarrassment.

And REMEMBER from your own experiences that you survived, and yet which may have also affected your own personality to some negative degree in order for you to survive the more serious consequences, REMEMBER you committed to some negative action because of that disturbing thought or belief. And one way you became a prisoner of that thought that led you to make a bad choice was the fact of fear of embarrassment and shame.

THOSE TWO feelings alone are the mental TRAP that we all need a support group to free us from. Trying to go it alone, to prove we are mavericks or super men and super women, kings and queens of the mountain and all that other anti-social, anti-community crap, isolates us even more; makes us want to hide as if we’re some freak of human nature that no one has ever seen. Somehow those thoughts of tragic disillusion make us see what is NOT really real. Yeah, so we may have screwed up somehow. Maybe we stole something. Maybe we killed a neighbor’s dog on purpose instead of by accident. Maybe we broke windows, key scratched a car, flipped off a cop, or had horrible thoughts about relating to close people in obscene or extremely hurtful ways. Suddenly we have crossed a line; a moral line; a line we never believed we could ever step across, mentally or physically.

Now we wonder” what is wrong with me”. Now we think we are turning into the nightmare people from horror shows, from really nasty murder mysteries and whatever other depressing, scary, perverted negative junk we’ve been filling our minds, eyes and thoughts with for hours at a time in front of any screens. WHEN YOU FEEL THE ATTACK OF SHAME OR EMBARRASSMENT–DO NOT GIVE IN TO IT. We all know there is a limit to what is ok and what is not ok, as far as when the law becomes involved. We all NEED TO KNOW that consequences are varied,

BUT CONSEQUENCES ALSO have a very POSITIVE purpose; TO REBALANCE the spirit, soul, humanity, personality and communal connection that was TEMPORARILY separated, broken or cut. Remember that word: TEMPORARY. THAT is the word you must focus on. THAT is the word that will beat down the shame and embarrassment you will feel when others know what you have done or said. ADD THIS TO YOUR THOUGHTS: Are you the only one who ever did that thing or said those words ? NO WAY. NO ONE IS A CLUB BY THEMSELVES. IT’S NOT POSSIBLE TO BECOME SO FAMOUS. You would have to be well over 2,500 years old to claim being the founder of any specific perversion or horrible crime. MOST PEOPLE who take themselves down and out of regular social life and regular social connections are not even close to belonging to the worst clubs in the world. Not—–even—–close. Yet THEY are the ones who are lining up to commit suicide or become alcoholics or drug addicts.

The last two self-destroying avenues have a great deal of club members NOT because of horrible behaviors but because of having no direction, no purpose, no inner vision of their “could be” values in life around them or no confidence in their real values they probably do not even recognize that make others want to be around them and love them. SO–THE SOLUTION is THIS. Accept the feelings of shame and/or embarrassment because they are ALWAYS TEMPORARY feelings. They DO go away because the people who support you will apply forgiveness, grace, hugs and love, as well as their own stories. And these actions of support for you have the power to diminish, erase and dissolve the feelings of shame and embarrassment.

GIVE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS THE CHANCE TO SAVE YOU from the horrible, life-threatening powers of shame and embarrassment. Ask for help from the right people. YOU KNOW WHO THE CONDEMNERS ARE, WHO THE FEAKS OF SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE, WHO THE “LET ME MAKE DAMNED SURE YOU FEEL LIKE COW PATTIES” PEOPLE ARE; STAY AWAY FROM THEM. Just call the one or ones you know who will not pass judgement. Just show up to their door and say, “Hey. I’ve made a real mess and I need someone to listen to me confess, hold me, forgive me and help me go through the gauntlet that I will probably have to suffer as a consequence. I really need you. Please help me with this.” Just ask. Show up. Be there. Speak the words of need. Stay there. Stand there. Fall down in tears. Whatever it takes to hold on to the value that you give from within you for other’s happiness, joy and successes. Never let go of your real self.

You’re never as bad, nasty, stupid, ignorant, hopeless nor demented as you might think. No matter what degree of human imperfections you have–and we all have them—thus the reasons for therapies, laws, all kinds of depressions medications, prime time “fix me” shows, etc–you are, more than anything, a wonderful person with talents, humor, passion for love and creation and healing. There are projects you can create or become a strong part of the team that helps the rest of the world maintain and improve the qualities of kindness, compassion, decency and human equality regardless of gender, color and any other barriers built up by the wall makers. There is always a way to turn your negative feelings, negative circumstances and negative situation around to a forgiving and community supported positive pathway. Go for the Light, not for the Dark. Go for the Smile and not the Frown. Surround yourself with the positive, healing friends. The end of one beginning is start of another beginning. Grab all the beginnings you can.

Covering up. By David Reid Otey 9-2014

Covering up can mean protection from the cold, from sunburn and  from rain. Covering up is needed to heal wounds, lower risks of infection. But the greatest use of covering up is often negative, destructive, debilitating and crippling. It’s good to be aware of which way we really are using the act of covering up. What we think may be protective will really have the opposite effect. Here is what I mean by this.

Cover it up.   Hide it.    Don’t let it be seen.   Don’t let it out.

Cover up hope with disbelief. Cover up love with self-centeredness.  Cover up healing with vengeance.

Cover up progress with lies.  Cover up grace with conceit.

Cover up  the scars, the bruises, the failures, the mis=steps.   Hide the blemishes, the signs of humanity, the signs of imperfection, of  cruelty, of awkwardness.

Cover the shame of need, of want, of  jealousy.

All that energy of covering up what everyone knows, what everyone does, what everyone thinks.

Forgiveness was made to uncover, to climb out from, to be free from the pains of shame and embarrassment.

Grace was made to have second and third chances, to begin again and again until the right path is found.

Redemption was made to balance justice, to provide new life in new thoughts, new actions, new hopes.

Covering up creates festering. Covering up creates loneliness. Covering up creates psychosis. Covering up  is slowly dying.

Life is open for growing through challenges and risks. Life is made to uncover ignorance and fear. Life is made to enjoy, to join in, to help create and to heal with and among each other.

Uncover your talents and dreams  and hopes. Connect and become what you are meant to be.

 

If I start falling….. By David Reid Otey

If I start falling, don’t push me the rest of the way over the edge. Please grab my hand and pull me back into a balance, so I can have a chance to change my steps, my beliefs, my hurtful ways, my stupid and dangerous choices. I do not ask for codependency. I will not claim that you do not understand my pain and tortured thoughts.  I do not ask for entitlement. I will not claim to be so sick, stupid, ignorant, disabled or lazy that I won’t work to try pulling my own share of the weight in family and community.

I have already seen blind, crippled, maimed, diseased and severely burned people regain their lives independently to become a strong and proud part of their families and communities. They had the right to scream out, “You don’t understand” to many.  But they have the love and support of many by choosing to try, to give, to live among others instead of hiding away in a private world of pain. They allowed others to pull them up and forward and into a better place, better peace, better lives of greater joy and hope and success.

It is very hard sometimes to leave the mental room of self pity. There is a false significance, a twisted self-worship in pretending to be the most abused and misunderstood person in the world. There is no competition when hiding away from others. It is easy to make daily dark clouds of ”poor me” statements to sustain a personal package of pain and self-torture; to maintain a dreary, lost, hopeless, bottomless pit type of existence,  when being allowed to hide away from anyone who would tear it all down with talk of dreams, gifts, connections of love, personal growth and contribution.

I met a middle-aged lady outside a small town grocery store one chilly autumn day. She stood with her bicycle when I made the mistake of asking her, “How are you today?” She told of her leg pain. I tried consoling. She said no medicines work and no one cares. I offered ideas. She said she already tried every single one of them. She listed more complaints. I offered more compassion, nodding, saying more ideas. Soon I understood that her life will be a constant and consistent package of self-induced misery for all of her life because, for her, it is easier to feel important by spouting off how hard her life is rather then by making any effort to make it better. Sometimes laziness can become a disease. But it’s more than that. It’s a trained and conditioned helplessness. She pushes herself over the cliff every single day. Nothing will ever be good enough. No one will ever be able to do anything well enough for her. Yet she seemed genuinely unhappy, or maybe bragging about misery carries a perverted happiness of its own addiction. When I had enough of her glorifying tragedies to listen to I said, ” hope the day goes better for you”, and walked away.

The encounter led me to think about why I will never become like her. What is it that will protect me from sitting in self-pity beyond a heathy time frame ? The answer is my family and my friends. I have friends because I connected with those people through church,  through classes, through work, through creative events like open mic nights and through volunteering. I have a social job, teaching. I also extended my teaching to after school lessons for music and martial arts.  I believe in dreaming and forming the dreams into reality. I believe I have talents for a reason. Others have told me I am important to them when they said “thanks” for teaching their kids to be stronger. I felt empowered enough to begin a women’s self-defense class-Level one, as a contribution, to have in churches and social centers and for girl scouts. They said “thank you” for making their lives safer. I knew how to seek out the help I know I needed when life was changing, by talking to friends, by watching videos of speakers on youtube, by reading books by the speakers, by paying attention to the opportunities that appeared and by grasping them and working with them and becoming more of the dreams I want.

Life is action, creative action that leads to certainties mixed with unknown surprises and unknown results. A Successful and Happy Life is accepting two continuous constant facts:   1. You WILL make mistakes often and consistently, in differing areas at different times, because that is part of creating and personally growing in life.   2. You WILL survive the mistakes, learn from the mistakes, be stronger because of the mistakes, and be led by your corrections to becoming a better and more creative person.

There are two types of  “falling” : 1. The one where you missed a step, forgot a point, let go too soon, held on too long, forgot to stay in the kitchen when you cook, didn’t think before speaking or acting or temporarily forgot you are equal to almost everyone else.

2. The kind where you give up everything and everyone who loves you, who stood by you, who accepted you as you are–to think of only you and the misery you have, and to handle it all on your own in a pride seeking to prove yourself as a king or queen who needs no one for anything. You give it up  to be abused by your own self-world, one of a kind, not of this world, twistedly, pervertedly unique–because this disease of extreme loneliness makes you hate yourself as being not deserving of anyone else, but you want them all to see it because you really do need attention like the rest of us. You give up to be seen. You take yourself out of life to be missed.

If you can see that those actions are pleas for recognition, for validation that your humanness is needed as much as anyone is needed, that you are disconnecting instead of connecting, and that you need to give someone else a chance to hold you, to include you into their lives, to let them be blessed by who you are and what you have to offer to make this world, their world a much better and happier place, you can and will save yourself and save those who would be lost without you in their lives.

Every one of us has loving, good and creative value for others to grow in and with. We were made to be joiners to life, extenders of life’s creative possibilities. So, if you start to fall, fall into someone else instead of away from the world. Fall into arms that want to hold you, that WILL care for you and help you heal, who will give patience and peace. Fall into another chance. Fall into the risk of hope and maybe, instead of into despair and self-degradation. F.A.L.L.  Faith And Love Live.     The end for now.