Coming back into the rhythm of things

Man, I’ve had one hell of an absence. Not in the sense that I’ve been gone a long while, but in the sense that I’ve had a lot of interesting things happen while I was gone!

But before I get into all of the interesting things I plan on reflecting on, I’m going to write this entry on how I’ve missed this journal. I like my time spent just pouring my thoughts on here. My thoughts often run rampant in my mind, and with this journal, I can explore each one rather thoroughly. Not to mention the meditative benefits this gives me, with each thought explored, means that’s another thought that is processed and set aside. Lest, it’s something I need to come back to it in the future.

In either case, I want to make more of a conscious effort into writing, reading, and just plain thinking things through. I’ll admit, that I’ve let my Xbox One get the better of my time, and most things have gone to the wayside.

But I’m going to change that. I’m going to start setting times to do things that I really want to do with my time, other than play video games, that is.

So this entry will be a short one, and the future ones will take a bit longer to write, because in the past what I would usually do is just keep writing until I’m finished. Which isn’t bad, except I would finish at like 1 or 2am. And if I want to have sufficient energy to tackle the day, I’m going to need sufficient rest as well.

So here’s to a start of sorts. One of many.

The First of Many Fires

Ahh, this is exactly what I was looking forward to, when I laid my eyes on the fire pit we had purchased.

The night is cool and still, the day has finished, and the sun has set, the Night has started to come and there’s a desire to remain outside, avoiding the television and the internet, so we pull up several chairs and grabbed a couple of logs, and started building a fire.

It initially started off as a small fire, we were chatting, Dave, Nena, Greggy and myself, until Norm came home and eventually my sister went to bed and Norm stayed outside with us. We were telling stories of hilarious things that had happened to us years ago, and making fun of each other, laughing all throughout the silent night, and enjoying each other’s company.

It’s nights like these that I treasure most, they bring me to a tranquil state that I simply cannot put into words. In all honesty, it didn’t matter if I was with my brothers, or by myself, sitting there, staring into those flames in the evening, I feel as if I stare deeply enough into the fire, I can either see my Life’s Purpose or move the flames to my will.

I have no idea why only these two thoughts come to mind, but they’re the only ones that appear. if any at all. There have been moments where I simply gaze and lose myself into the flames, as if I was hypnotized by the dancing movements of the element.

In either case, from the beginning of it, building the fire and placing the wood, to the very end when I leave embers and take with me the wonderful scent of burned wood, I just plain love it.

There’s something about building a fire that grabs a deep joy within my heart, I don’t know if it’s echos of story-telling in the past or if I’m a pyrophile, but I could not be happier than when I am sitting infront of a fire. My eyes looking into that manifestation of pure energy, my nostrils being filled with the sweet aroma of ashes being produced, my vision lighted by a dancing flame, and my body warmed as if I’m being embraced.

If I think of anything that can be holy as well as cleansing, my first choice is and always will be: Fire.

Two Days in One

Day 6: Pick a quote from our 80-ish quotes on manhood and reflect on why it stands out to you. Does it reflect a man that you aren’t yet, but hope to be? Does one of them remind you of a great man in your life who you’ve tried to model? If you can’t seem to reflect on a single quote, just take the time to write out a few of them that you like. Doing so will keep them top-of-mind and perhaps lead to some thoughts later down the road.

Day31

From the  many that they’ve provided, I’ve resonated with this quote. I’ve been pondering over trees and plant life lately, to the metaphorical point that we all must continue to “grow”, and now, I have a quote that sums it up nicely! This quote is about becoming a man at the end of a journey; with my feeling stuck in my life, this is a refreshing reminder that the adventure isn’t over, that I still have a lot of years ahead of me and that I’m a sap for feeling stuck in the first place. So to follow the questioning, This is something that reflects a man I wish to be. In terms of modeling, I’ve always wanted to be a man like my Father, tough and strong, yet gentle and kind, he’d make a great oak tree, I believe.

Day 7: You’ve made it one week! Reflect on what this newfound practice has been like. Getting through the first seven consecutive days is truly the hardest part. Have you enjoyed it? Has it been difficult? Has it been what you expected?

Wow, it’s been one week already? It has been one week into the new year, that’s a scary thought! Just last weekend, I took down all of my Christmas decorations, that I had lovingly put up with great joy, and now it’s all packed and put away! But I’ve gotta admit, I’m really enjoying this 31-day Journal Challenge. The hardest part, I’d say would be that sometimes I get to my laptop too late and I can’t write an entry, that’s pretty much it, my mind is comfortably adapting to these various prompts, despite how personal they may be. Hmm, I’m not a man of Expectations, I kinda went into this with a blank curiosity, but I like it.

Evaluate, Verify, Validate

Part two of my Heart-to-Heart with myself.

During that conversation with my family that took 3-4 hours long, my sister repeated this phrase twice, “Evaluate, Verify, and Validate.” Since she repeated herself, she obviously wanted me to focus my reflections on these three words. So let’s break it down, shall we?

Evaluate:
verb: evaluate; 3rd person present:

  1. form an idea of the amount, number, or value of; assess.
    “when you evaluate any hammer, look for precision machining”
    synonyms: assessjudgegaugerateestimateappraiseanalyzeexamine, get the measure of;

  2. MATHEMATICS
    find a numerical expression or equivalent for (an equation, formula, or function).

So let’s see, to Evaluate is to start forming, measuring, inspecting, so in this case, it’d be forming an idea for my Self.

Verify:
verb: verify

  1. make sure or demonstrate that (something) is true, accurate, or justified.
    “his conclusions have been verified by later experiments”
    synonyms: substantiateconfirmprovecorroborate, back up, bear out, justify,supportuphold, attest to, testify to, validateauthenticateendorse,certify

    antonyms: refute
    • LAW
      swear to or support (a statement) by affidavit.

OK, just as I thought, Verify is simply to confirm, plain and simple. The idea that is my Self will be.

Validate:
verb: validate;

  1. check or prove the validity or accuracy of (something).
    “these estimates have been validated by periodic surveys”

And Validate is simply the providing of the evidence. The reasons of why something is. Why I want this idea to be.

So there we have it. Now I have a place to start this Heart-to-Heart with myself. Hmm, I guess I’ll continue with each word in order and dive deeper into my Self, to see what’s the source of my problems and hopefully, I can fix this and bring balance and peace back into my life.

A Heart to Heart with Myself

Heh, I got into another argument with Siry yesterday, and the question my sister asked me afterwards was, “How can you let a 10 year-old get under your skin?” The exhaustion throughout was driving all of us to the point of frustration, so naturally a heart-to-heart talk arose. My Sister, my Bro-in-Law, Greggy, and myself were all trying to find out what it was, that was causing my short fuse, my lack of patience and what not.

After about 3-4 hours of conversation, we wound up at the discovery that I need to learn to let go and let God guide me.

Now this is something that resonated with me… Well, more like slapped me in the face.

“To let go” and have God guide my every step, to disregard all of my plans (what little plans I had) and to just live? All my years of praying and volunteering, thinking that this is what would bring me closer to God and that… isn’t it.

That is to say, that these aren’t good things, because helping others is always a good thing, however, the question here is internal, it’s spiritual. My prayers were always ritualistic, I prayed the Rosary every night, that would be perfect if my mind didn’t wonder onto random things during the prayers, which would make the words I spoke empty. So it’s not like praying a Rosary was a bad thing, but it wasn’t the best thing for me either. I was wondering which was more significant, a normal prayer or a Rosary? And as it turns out, a heartfelt prayer, however brief, was far greater than an empty Rosary, as my words were genuine and not simply straight from rote memory.

But my answer lies elsewhere. I’m not letting God in the right way. There’s a part of me that’s hesitating as to what to do, and my logical mind isn’t helping either. I would think “to let go” would be to relax muscles or to take deep breaths, but that’s only the physical part, I need to let God take over my life and my decisions, but why am I having such a hard time trying to do so? I’ve looked up several ways to let God into my life, but I’ve yet to come up with a solution for me.

I’m going to take the next couple of days to reflect and find out exactly where I am with God, for I owe him everything.

Sacrifice

My world is defined by it, built by it, ruled by it. It is through sacrifices and what comes after, that my life has been what it is.

The Sacrifices of others, both known and unknown, however distant they may be related, I’ve come to realize that I’m constantly affected by it. I have heart-to-heart conversations with my family and it comes down to the fact that, they’ve given up something or have done something that causes them to be put at some sort of emotional risk.

At first, I had no idea of this concept, until I begin to think about some of the things that I have given up and will give up for the sake of others. My time spent with the girls, the heart-to-heart conversations where I’m having this discovery, and other situations where I’m giving up my own well-being for others. Now I’m seeing through different eyes, but this is a bit of a problem, on the one hand, I can appreciate those close to me, a lot more, I can laugh with them and learn to see them for what they’ve done.

On the other hand, for those who still don’t know of the sacrifices, and act as though nothing has been done, I’m more short with them, thinking that they’re being disrespectful to the one who had sacrificed. But that’s a problem, because the best sacrifices are the ones where no one is aware of what has been done. Otherwise, one would be sacrificing for the sake of acknowledgement and later on, praise, and that’s the completely wrong way to live life.

So needless to say, it’s really I who have a problem. I cannot get mad at people for reasons unknown to them, that’s unfair to everyone, I need to learn to calm down, to let it go.

I’ve been having that problem lately, trying to calm down, but that’s a post for another time.

The point I want to make here, is that I never really realized how much my life was paid for through others. I never knew how many fights there were on my behalf, nor how much time, energy and sanity was spent in order for me to become how I am at this moment. Which is why being the best that I can be has always been crucial to my life, I guess it’s only now that I realized that this had always been the reason. I must be a good man because so many people have given up so much for me! What kind of guy would I be if I simply threw it all away for no reason?!

To sacrifice something for someone else is the greatest sign of love and trust. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the love for the individual, the greater the trust, the greater the potential the individual has to do something or be something grand, because it’s not the energy of just one person, but two in one life, causing the capacity of potential to skyrocket and the quality of life to be richer.

So I need to keep going, and soon, I will be the one sacrificing family, friends, peace of mind, sanity, social life, and eventually my whole life, for the sake of others. And whether or not they’re aware of it, it doesn’t matter, because in the end, I will find a way to love them for who they are, heh, it’s always been in my nature to be an idiot like that, to have hope for the world.