There’s No Way!

Anyone who has had to deal with manifested psychiatric-psychological disorders like manic bipolar disorder as well as/or clinical addiction, which often go hand-in-hand, then like me you can probably relate to and empathize about why this particular song* speaks volumes to me. It captures the intensity. It covers ALL of the mental and emotional ups and downs, successes and failures, that seem to be a never-ending saga of love, hope, destruction, beauty, anger, disappointment, joy, and most of all perseverance. I sometimes wonder if staying isn’t abnormal.

I live a chemical life
I’m on a mission to try
You went insane for a day
I’ll have to shove it away
My only option is gone
Smile as they break and they fall
You want a simpler life
You can’t erase what was mine

Even though it is human nature to often seek perfection and expect perfection, we eventually find that in seeking and expecting perfection, we find imperfection. The more perfection desired, the more imperfection found. Sounds quite insane, quite a formula for cyclical chaos doesn’t it?

[Pre-Chorus:]
You must be out of your mind!
This was a simple design!
You fuck it up every time
How could you leave me behind

Yes, there have been many times over the decades where I thought I was going out of my mind! But many times I felt denying or running from the problem(s) wouldn’t solve anything or teach me/us anything either! But everyone doesn’t think or feel like I do, so some do indeed “run”… and leave me behind. Some truly want immediate satisfaction and relief!

[Chorus:]
It’s alright, it’s alright
’cause I know what you want
but you’ll just have to wait
If I had it to give
I would give it away
I’m living it up
while I’m falling from grace
There’s no way, there’s no way that I’m running away

And in my years of employment in the Psych/A&D field helping others, I eventually found that if I don’t remain disciplined with my own mental-emotional health, rest, and recreation, I too can fall from grace. I am just as human as the next and I am reminded of that, dancing that edge sometimes as I must, as long as I remain truly human inside humanity. Make sense?

How many thousands of times I have heard this rationale and events play out…

I’m used to making it worse
Made up of four letter words
You wanna know what it was
Now isolated and gone
You fall apart at the seams
I’ll never know what it means
Try not to pull it apart
You’re anger’s straight from the heart

[Pre-chorus]

[Chorus]

There were numerous times when my patience and will were exhausted, done. All I wanted was to be selfish, left alone in solitude, or to do one of my favourite therapies: dancing. And yes, even dancing and screaming energetically angry too… at first, maybe. (wink)

But then…

It had to be the worst for me
I don’t know what to say so let me be
And now I find you left me behind**
I don’t know what to say so nevermind!

You’re mine!

I still belong here, there… with my human family, with my tribe, with my soul mates… through the good times and the bad. Together.

’cause I know what you want
but you’ll just have to wait
If I had it to give
I would give it away
I’m living it up
while I’m falling from grace
There’s no way, there’s no way that I’m running away

I don’t have all the answers, nor can I guarantee immediate results — you’ll just have to wait… be patient. If I had it to give, I would give it away! But in the meantime, I’ll be here with you. I might get frustrated, even angry, but I will celebrate successes just as pumped and just as excited as you do! “You’re mine.” You’re ours.

You know, maybe we don’t need such super high expectations of perfection. Since perfection always accompanies imperfection, let’s find all the beauty in imperfection and embrace it along with perfection. Let’s learn to screw up better each time! But do not fear…

There’s no way that I’m running away.

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* “Simple Design” by Breaking Benjamin (2004)
** This line refers to my Dad who in July 1990 took his own life without reaching out.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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You’re Right

The state of meditation is a powerful vessel.  A connected state-of-mind and body to dimensional existence is about as meaningful a life as a person can reach; an altered or altering consciousness.  But a person cannot reach that point solo.  We also need the right surroundings.
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* * * * * * * * * *

image Vladstudio

image Vladstudio

Growing up I loved playing my drum-set.  In our downstairs playroom I had my 15-piece drum kit setup along with our band’s Peavey amps.  Plugged-in to those Peavey amps was my stereo.  Through my stereo I played the songs from epic rock-metal bands with more epic – so I thought – drummers.  And within moments of beating the skins, high-hat, bass drum, and cymbals…I was there.  Much of the sessions I would reach a heart-rate and drive that I could barely hold my sticks from the perspiration.  I eventually had to place a fan on top of my bass drum to help cool my frenzied journey.  I would reach such a vibrational rhythmic state of meditation that I can only describe as fluid between here and there.  My sense of place and time, aside from the rhythm and beat, was lost; oblivious to anything in the house or outside it.  It was there that my expression, my place in the moment and in the world, was most creative and most lucid.  It was – and to this day as well – my way of belonging.

The years from 1990 to 1995 were the most devastating and most life-changing years of my life.  Here’s a summary:  My father committed suicide, my girlfriend-turned-fiancé abandoned me and our 2-year relationship without a single verbalized explanation, I was arrested by law-enforcement, I walked out of my wonderful psych-hospital job-career and out of my half-completed master’s program at my seminary, my daughter was born, a 5-month marriage ended, and I moved back to my hometown.  Often during those years I sought the solace in the one place I knew I could find it.  One song I’d play over and over and over, and behind my drums I’d play along…let go of my nagging thoughts and find my place of belonging.  It was the only song, music, and lyrics that would make sense to me where I could find my father and my daughter, both of whom were no longer with me.

 

I have since learned that finding the place of belonging is sometimes very difficult, even tragic.  But having survived it all, I have discovered just how powerful the state-of-belonging and connecting can impact not just a life, my life, but life around us.  This is how I’ve equated it in my mind.  As the lyrics of the song go…

If you open your mind [and soul]…You won’t rely on open eyes to see

My painful and beautiful journey would not have been possible if I had not had three critical travel-items:  my parents and extended family, a creative growth-model of education taught by my father supported by my mother, and then finally love.  These three integral parts must continue with us into adulthood.  They must evolve and grow in order to best manage in life the inevitable change and unexpected plot-twists!

If you have those three flexing growing components in your life – each illustrated mathematically by dividing 100 into 3 parts – the number cannot be emptied but goes on and on ad infinitum.  For me, Fibonacci’s Sequence, or Golden Ratiowould be the counter-part, if you comprehend my wackiness.

The three parts each need more than just the mind or cerebral cortex.  They need feelings.  They need the freedom of fluid creative passion!  Nature and the Universe (Multiverse) already create then modify, refine, then create more and so on like the Golden Ratio.  Human DNA, generation to generation, does the same thing.  As highly intelligent feeling beings, we have the passions to ignite life.  If fortunate enough to have loving, nurturing yet non-oppressive parents and family, then we are given the early tools to ignite a significant belonging life…not just for ourselves, but equipped to provide a general blueprint for others too!

If this parental-family environment is taught throughout the primary and secondary schooling – in other words explained via the table below – empowering the child and adolescent, then the state of belonging can be perpetuated outside of self.

Learning Method table

Assuming you are allowed how to think rather than told what to think, then a once very successful American icon spoke these words of enormous spiritual-cerebral wisdom to take on your journey:

“Whether you think you can or you think you cannot – you’re right.” – Henry Ford

If a young mind and heart are constantly denied the means to freely express, create, and recreate, learn and relearn for an eventual greater good, passing on a new fluid blueprint, then it would seem ironically, one becomes entrapped in the past.  That is most unnatural.  Ford recognized the power of self-actualization learned through and from our environment.  In other words, there is a connection between us and everything around us.  But there is more Henry – another force that is just as fluid.

Ford’s imparted partial-truth cannot be fully owned without the sticky fuel of feelings and love-ingredients to energize it.  There are some things that can’t be taught.  They must be realized.  Though it had a compass rose, I was given my blank map.  The natural aether in the lucid state of vibrant rhythmic meditation is an individual journey…for me discovered during my youth, rediscovered in my darkest hours, and now openly shared in wisdom and passion.  It is my primal home away from “home,” where I truly belong.

I swim in it regularly.

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Live Well  *  Love Much  *  Laugh Often  *  Learn Always

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Overcome

…with?

Answer the question-mark as you feel.  I have.  The answer, the feelings ran on, like the grammatical run-off(?) sentence bursting through, out, and everywhere.  As I express my words here I feel my heart rushing downstream.  I can’t decide if I want a life-preserver thrown.  Do I need one?  Do I want one?  Emphatically with a smile…no.  Come what may.

I am Overcome with much emotion today and it is fine.  When my primal human side has been dormant too long, I have found that simple triggers, like music…a certain tune and lyrics, open the flood-gates.  And I become SO alive and so grateful to be FEELING alive!  Scary or relieving…it’s a willing surrender to be wholly human.

Trigger #1

My birdcage door is and always will be open.  As much as I sometimes loath it being vacant, I remind myself of the utter euphoria when it is filled…willingly.  My soul expands, deepens, despite the urge to retract… preparing me for the next temporary? smaller vacancy.  Preserver not required.

Trigger #2

When Taylor first arrived at my former school and in my classroom, he was very bitter, very angry, and a very anti-social 8th grader, sometimes violently hitting his desk or the room’s walls.  His grades reflected a future in our penitentiary system.  By the end of that school year, with much needed extra-time, love, and belief in him, he became my best student; always first to his desk and ready to dive in to the lesson.  One day late in the year while my state education examiner-field supervisor was present evaluating my/our performance — debating among student groups over the Dred Scott Supreme Court case — Taylor blew her mind with how much he knew and how respectfully well he debated the positions.  To say I was overly proud of him is a gross understatement.

The last day of classes he told me he didn’t want to go to high school Social Studies.  I asked why.  “Because I love your class Mr. _______.  If I don’t like 9th grade Social Studies, I’m going to fail it so I can come back to your class!”  To this day, that was one of the best compliments I could ever want.

Then the other day while visiting my former principal — the campus of Special Ed/Needs and wards-of-the-state — Taylor jogged quickly over to hug me and he said “I really miss you Mr. _______!  You were my favorite teacher.  You taught me that despite my crappy life-situation, I am valuable.  I can manage anything with the right attitude!”  My heart wanted to burst and tears welled up.  I had to clear my throat before I could utter a little Thank You.  He and I spent a much too brief 5-minute catch-up together before he had to dart to class.

Mmm, feeling much more human again.  Preserver still not needed.

Trigger #3

Random acts of kindness, compassion, and love can be unbelievable ripple-effecters!  Hah!  Is that a word?  Doesn’t matter…it’s TRUE!

I had such a random blog-visitor yesterday and I stumbled across one of her “happy” songs.  To follow her Pay it Forward goodness, I will also share it here…

Thank you so much Lindsey for making my day more INCREDIBLE!
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Since music speaks to me and literally grabs me passionately, I will continue the/her random acts of energizing goodness that has Overcome me today.  “When there’s a burning in your heart… Let it grow, let it grow…Build it bigger than the Sun.”  Pass some on.  Oh, and the life-preserver?  I’ll leave it behind and jump in myself.  As it turns out, there are already plenty in the water.

(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)

When there’s a burning in your heart
An endless fury in your heart
Build it bigger than the sun
Let it grow
Let it grow
And there’s a burning in your heart
Don’t be alarmed

(This… Fire… Grows… High…)

When there’s a doubt in your mind
‘Cause you think it all the time
Framin’ rights into wrongs
Move along
Move along
When there’s a doubt within your mind

When there’s a burning in your heart
And you think it’ll burst apart
Oh, there’s nothing to fear
Save the tears
Save the tears

When there’s a burning in your heart

And if you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born
Then, it’s time to go
And you find your destination with so many different places to call home
‘Cause when you find yourself a villain,
In the story you have written
It’s plain to see
That sometimes the best intentions
Are in need of redemption
Would you agree
If so, please show me

(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)

When there’s a burning in your heart,
When there’s a burning in your heart,
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
When there’s a burning in your heart,
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
When there’s a burning in your heart,
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
(This… Fire… Grows… High…)
When there’s a burning in your heart.

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death-cab-for-cutie-codes-and-keys-album-cover

You Are A Tourist
by Death Cab for Cutie

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