I want to find myself somewhere (with you) now, beside a tree I once knew in a different life. I was younger then. But of course you already knew that. Everything that happens to us before now is something that happened when we were younger. This means we are constant. We will always be constant (So help me God) so long as as we believe this way, we will always be allowed to grow.
I want find myself here (with you) beside this tree on a hill at a place where I store my memories. I was young at the time. The hill was behind a big main house on a farm I once knew. The tree was not so much unlike any other. The tree is just a tiny part of this place. But yet, at the same time, this tree is symbolic of something so much bigger.
I lost myself here and in return, I found myself at the same time. I was longhaired, rebellious, and sick. I was scared (at first) until I learned that it was okay to let this go.
I found when we hit bottom then we have nowhere left to fall. When we hit bottom, the inestimable idea of bottomless is no longer a threat. And when there is nowhere left to fall then you have nothing else to fear. This is it. This is rock bottom.
(Unless you choose to dig down and make it deeper.)
I was here at the time of my bottom.
I lost myself. I lost my identity.
I lost my Father. I lost my image and the masks I used to hide behind.
This is where I stood one day. I wiped the regret from my mouth and took notice of the world around me.
I thought of all that I had lost and all that I stood to lose because was can always lose more, even if it is from the grave.
We can always forfeit and volunteer for another defeat. We can always argue our problems with the infinite prayers that bundle with the infinite questions of life and why things happen to us.
I want to show this place,
I want you to see it because if you will have seen this then you will have seen everything about me, Then you will know me. You will know everything there is: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.
This is where I was.
This is where they cut my hair off and took me away from myself. This is where I settled the disputes in my head.
I remember standing here on this hill. I was mourning the loss of my former self. I was mourning the loss of my previous life and my previous ways of thinking. I was mourning the loss of my methods, which I used to restore my sanity with a dose of insanity, one day at a time. This is where I lived in the exact photo-negative of my true self. I just prayed that no one would hold me up to the light because then they would see through me. Then they would know and then there would be nowhere left for me to hide.
I was intimidated to say the least. I was afraid to face the world without any kind of sedative or relief. The idea of me as myself with nothing to hide behind was intimidating. You were were intimidating.
Life was intimidating. I was afraid of my anxiety. I was afraid of my own inner struggle. I was afraid of anticipation and afraid that I would feel this way, all the time.
I was just a boy then. I blamed everyone and everything. I blamed because I needed to find accountability for my thoughts and my feelings. I had to find the reasons why I felt the way I did. But again, once you hit the bottom of despair and you have no place left to fall; at least here, you can begin to rebuild. At least here you can begin your own resurrection.
I want to show you this place and let you see me as I was. I was young. I was a boy entering the stages of young adulthood. I was about to be a man, but yet, I had no idea what a man really is.
I was forced here (at first) and forced to come to grips with my problem. I was taken out of my environment. I was removed from my friends, the places I went to, and the things that I did.
I was sick here. I died here too. I died but I was revived the moment I stood on this hill and decided to walk away from literally everything that held me down. I was tired to say the least.
I was angry here and demonized. Outrageous and full of hate; I rebelled here. I refused here but eventually, I was revived here.
I was tired of all the internal arguments. I was tired of feeling alone in crowds of people. I was tired of feeling uncomfortable and tired of feeling afraid, I was tired of being me but then again, I never knew how to be anyone else; and yet, at the same time, I never took the time to dare and be myself.
I was tired of believing I was stupid. I wanted to rid me of the antagonizing beliefs that I could not read or write very well. I could hardly add or subtract. I was tired of the inaccurate stigmas I felt about my learning disabilities, which were never properly diagnosed. I was tired of mental illness; tired of depression and the inner voice that spoke on its behalf
I was tired of feeling lost. I was tired of feeling like I Needed to do something to rectify the problems in my head. I was tired of feeling dependent upon or hinged upon so many different things.
I was tired of feeling like I had to act or behave on behalf of my deepest darkest secrets. I was tired of hiding from them because they followed me no matter where I went or how I tried to hide. Also, I was tired of only feeling better while anesthetized and high or half-dead and weightless.
I wanted to be like other people. I wanted to be like the pretty, to whom I swore could never understand me or the painfulness of mediocrity and the mundane existence of feeling unremarkable.
I want to find myself here (with you) and show you this little piece of me. This is the real me. This is me when they took away my image. This is me when I was raw to the touch, frightened, and confused. I am undecorated here, naked in a much different regard.
This is me . . .
There was a time when I felt most alive when feeling closest to dying, I remember the time I swore I would die, which was fine to me. This was fine because I euthanized myself on a daily basis. But I say we die countless times before we can live. I say sometimes we have to die in order to live.
This spot I tell you about; this hill with the tree; this is where I wept every tear. I was a boy that lost my Father. I was a boy that held secrets. I was a kid that wished I was tough. I wanted to be fine. I wanted to be cool. I wanted to be accepted.
I wanted to be free of my own bondage. To fly, to open my own cage and free myself without feeling like a leash would pull me back.
I have a name for this leash. It has more than one name,
Some call it self. Some call it ego. Some call it addiction and alcoholism and pain and depression. I call this my past.
I wanted to stop thinking so much and not be afraid to try and sleep. I wanted the dreams to stop. I wanted the memories to go away. I wanted the internal arguments to quit so I could rest.
It was here on this hill that I offered this away. This is when I felt the need to give up most; however, this is when I found that serenity will only survive surrender.
This when I stopped fighting, This is where I decided to honor my Father’s name. This is where I decided to give in and rather than fight back; this is where I gave myself the chance to be me,
This is the battleground. This is where the old me died and the new me saw the first breath of life. This is where my God and my devils had it out.
I fell to my knees. I did not believe in prayer or say any prayers for prayer’s sake. I did not believe in The Father so much as I believed the fact that I could not hold these feelings any longer.
This is where I decided to stop killing myself and start to live. This is where I read a letter from a man named Kenny. This is when Kenny learned he was about to die and how he found out it was so important to live.
“Don’t let this be you,” said Kenny.
I want to show you this place because it is painful and sad, redeeming, and beautiful. I lived here on a farm. I learned here. I grew here. And when I dream, I come here because I view this place as a personal Mecca. When I dream of this place, my dream is like a pilgrimage. This means I have a mission to tend to. This means I have a purpose, which shall be revealed.
When there is nowhere else to fall, suddenly, we understand that rejection is not real. We understand that rejection is only as real as we make it out to be. I could not withstand another day in the mindset of rejection.
I had to let go.
This is where I learned that all of my rejection came from within. And I said goodbye here. I said goodbye to all of my shame. I said goodbye to the past recollections. I said goodbye to a certain abuse that was not my fault. I said goodbye to me and allowed myself to feel redeemed. I buried things here to keep them from rotting me away from the inside out.
And when I say I screamed, I mean I screamed to the boundaries of Heaven. I called out to whomever was listening. I screamed to take this from me, please. Just take it all away!
I never thought this place would be so valuable to me. I have this place here in my heart, which is why I choose to share this with you. I choose to share it because you might want to borrow it one day. You might need it. This place is extremely valuable to me because this is a part of who I am.
This is where I learned that I am more than the version of bottomless things. This is where I learned that I am more than a string of consequences. I am more than more. I am more than who I ever believed I could be, and should I so choose, I can become even more, so long as I allow myself to be.
There was a time when I believed that I could not be who I wanted to be. There was a time when I believed the worst about myself. But this was only so because I believed it was so.
The mind is an amazing thing; it can adapt and overcome. It can endure and achieve. It can choose to build or it can sink and destroy. The choice can pivot depending on which direction we choose. This is where I chose a different way.
There was a time when I believed I would never be redeemed. This hill and that tree I am telling you about; this is where I said my peace. This is where I faced myself. And when I say I faced myself; I faced me. I faced the real me without any pretense.
At the worst times, it is impossible to see anything but the worst.
At the worst times, the pain hurts. Nothing makes sense and everything is unfolding like a sentence to hell.
This place I want to show you means everything to me.
And here is why
I never believed that I could be redeemed.
I never thought I could be anyone but who I was.
This place I tell you about . . .
this is where I learned that was all a lie
Someday I ll build a place like this. Someday I will build a farm so that people like me and you can have this moment:
to be redeemed
to be rid of the inaccurate self
and to live out loud, in living color