I have seen some really cool things over the last few years. I have been invited to places I never thought I would see.
I was part of a wellness retreat on the beach in San Diego. I saw the sunset in Los Angeles a few times. I’ve been flown across country in first class, which is not a bad way to fly.
I have spoken in schools and in front of political stages. I was invited to be part of different initiatives and spoke on different recovery panels. I made the news a few times, which was something that I never thought I’d see.
I had to teach myself a lot of things over the last few years. First and foremost, I had to teach me to allow myself the freedom to create.
I could no longer give in or fall to the intimidation of rejection. I could not stop because of insecurity or fear.
I had to steer from the worry that my finished product (in whichever the case may be) will be accepted or regarded or even approved of.
In order to reach the ideas of my dream, I had to allow myself the freedom to work. I needed to allow myself the dignity and the right to produce and give effort without the concern of good, bad, pass or fail.
I never thought that I would be part of a learning system. I never thought that I would ever be involved in the creation of an educational curriculum or speak in a college classroom.
However, I also never allowed myself the freedom to try.
Instead of trying, I gave into the limitations of my personal intimidation.
Meanwhile, same as you or anyone else in this world; I have always wanted to be free. I wanted to be free to reach for my dreams without the worry or the concern of what others might think or say.
I gave into the fear that people would laugh or judge or look at me and say, “Yeah, well, what did you expect? The kid sucks.” I lived this way for a very long time. Of course these are the tapes that play the old recording of me from a long time ago.
I can say that yes, I have allowed me the chance to step away from my old self. I have given me the permission to try.
I permit myself to create and to work and build this thing, which I call my dream.
I decided that I wanted to build something. I decided that I wanted to create, which I do, each and every day. I do this a little bit at a time.
I have been working on this thing I’d like to pull off someday.
It’s a trick.
And each day, I come here to polish the parts and make sure they move well. Every day, I practice my performance and rehearse for the day when I am ready to release this to the world and say, “Ta-da!”.
I made this commitment to myself to try, do, work, create, and build.
This is all I can do. And I can’t do anything else.
If I am being honest, then I have to be honest and say that I never thought I would be in the position I am today.
I never thought I would see the things I see now and say, You know what, “I’m really blessed.”
But now is not the time for this.
I decided to be ordained so I can help people get married and enjoy the union between people that love one another. I met a man that was an ordained minister and admired his sermon. This inspired me to do the same as him.
I am scheduled to be the minister that marries one of my oldest and closets friends. Not only am I fortunate to be a part of this; I am also honored to see a brother of mine be married to his one true love.
This is an honor and a privilege because I was fortunate to be there from the beginning. I was around to hear about the way they met. I was there to watch my friend grow and see him achieve his form of greatness when he took the chance to propose.
As a minister, I was there to renew the vows of a couple that had been married for a very long time. It was beautiful to see them and they way they looked into one another’s eyes. It was an amazing thing to be there when the two recommitted their vows with the words, “I do.”
There are so many different moving part of life. One cannot be without the other. In the morning we wake. We live through the day and at the sunset of our lives, we prepare to sleep. This is life.
I will be delivering a sermon tonight at a much different occasion. One might call this a eulogy. I call it something different. I say this is me saying a few words about my old friend.
We are living in strange times. Since we are going through an unfortunate pattern of quarantine, this will be an online service.
I will miss out on the hugs from dear friends and old friends. I will not be able to see the faces of those in attendance —at least not the same way as if I were there in front of them.
This makes drawing from their energy a difficult task. Instead, I think I’ll just think about my old pal, Jeff.
I’ll think about the things we said when we talked a few weeks ago. I will think about the honor he showed me at a time when I needed this most. And I will return the kindness he showed me by delivering my heartfelt thoughts.. I will celebrate the fact that I can say, “Yes! I knew him well.”
We started out playing little league together. I knew him then and I know him now.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Sleep well, Jeff