Strength

I’m not talking about the chest-pounding bravado type of strength we’ve seen on playing fields, courts or in our gyms, gangs, board rooms or war rooms. These have had their time and place and I honor them for the part they’ve played in human evolution.

I am talking about the inner strength of the Divine Masculine. Largely dormant for eons, this ancient form of inner strength is being called forth now from our Souls. While I’ve known about it and have explored it, I’m beginning to understand its value to me and the world. This aspect of the mature masculine rises from deep within each of us when ego’s fears are neutralized; when guilt, shame and other manifestations of our perceived separateness cease to dictate that flight or fight are our only options.

In my immature state I was terrified of the dark, even as an adult. The turning point for me in releasing this fear came when I recognized that my fear of darkness in the physical was a metaphor for fearing my own dark side. From childhood I was warned constantly about my inner darkness: “Your temper will get you into real trouble someday, son.”  It did!

To discover my inner strength I’ve had to learn to allow the voice of my dark side to speak to me and teach me about its purpose. It said: “Your fear of me is very painful. I come to you to help you find the light within you through contrast. When you honor me this contrast will diminish in intensity.” I took that voice to heart and came to understand that the rage I felt as a young man was born of being conditioned to fear this dark part of myself, my mean streak, my rush to judgment, my self-doubt.

I’ve been privileged to undergo processes to free me from fear’s conditioned responses. I was led to people, groups and gatherings of fellow seekers and sharers of ancient wisdom. We learned through trial and error to explore the spaces within us where the Divine Masculine lay dormant, awaiting its return to Earth. The strength of the mature masculine emerged when we embraced and honored our fears as great teachers. Then we became free and open to the guidance of our own Sacred Hearts and Souls.

After many trials and tests of courage a light began to shine from within each of us. It healed our wounds and we had less need to act out angrily. We claimed ownership of the Divine Masculine, earning the right to express its strength. In true brotherhood, we had no further need to fight external wars. Its strength lives in each human being whether in a masculine or feminine body. It’s a powerful way of being human. It’s expressed uniquely by each of us. For me, it’s expressed through tenderness and compassion. The role of the Divine Masculine is to support the creativity and nurturing of the Divine Feminine within each of us. When these two aspects of ourselves are honored as equals, they come into balance and sustainable new forms emerge.   

The strength of the mature masculine in each of us is needed during the turbulence and uncertainties we experience in today’s world. We are approaching the end of the age of our perceived separateness and I’m reminded that it’s always darkest just before the dawn.

The dream of WE is fulfilled when the Divine Masculine rises again to wed the Divine Feminine. Celebrating their long-awaited reunion, we return to our original way of being human, where in balance we manifest a beautiful New Earth.

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With publication of this Blog, the 24th of 2016, I have fulfilled my promise to myself to write from and express things I’ve learned from my journeys inward. I’ve enjoyed sharing with the world a few highlights and learnings from my travels. I am very grateful to my readers from around the world who have encouraged and challenged me and the ideas I’ve expressed. In 2017 I expect to write one Blog per month, probably a bit longer and more in depth. On 1.15.17 I intend to post a blog on my thoughts about community. In 2017 I also expect to publish my book of inspirational fiction, Eyes in the Mirror: everything changed when he met his Soul.    

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Loyalty

I’ve come across many meaningful books, stories and statements while traversing the inner and outer landscapes of my life’s journey. Among the most impactful is this statement by Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  It rings true for me. Like Socrates, I too trust that the expansion of self-awareness arising from self-examination is crucial to my fulfillment: expansion. Without self-examination and adjustment I am likely to repeat the subconscious fear-based patterns of ego’s conditioning. These patterns tend to create anxiety and turmoil in my life. Self-examination provides me time and space to bring these patterns to the light of my awareness. Light dissolves these patterns that limit the expression of my Essence: tenderness and compassion. When these patterns are dissolved my life is often infused with ease and grace and fun. 

I engage in self-examination regularly. Since my thoughts and feelings create my experiences, I take readouts from them to examine. I celebrate experiences of connecting and make adjustments to my thoughts and feelings when I encounter unpleasant feelings of separateness. This process ensures that I am constantly expanding. Almost every year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I take time to reflect on the year. I’ve learned to have fun with these processes.  Now, I can even laugh at my entrenched patterns because I see the foolishness of thinking I’m separate from anyone or anything. 

This year I’m reflecting on loyalty. I’ve attempted being loyal to other people, my career, country, organizations, beliefs and sports teams.  But all these are changeable, as are all things physical, including me. I’ve found that when my loyalty is outwardly focused, it is often divided and goes in different directions. I feel confused, conflicted and frustrated. I’m uncomfortable.

Then I remember that my discomfort is the harbinger of growth. When I openly embrace my discomfort, I no longer fight it or flee from it. I hear an inner voice: “To thine own self be true! Be loyal to your Soul and its purpose to expand your self-awareness.” What does that mean? “It means know yourself, know that you are the embodiment of your Soul. Your Soul is the divine aspect of you that remembers that you are one with all things and you are here to unite spirit and flesh.”

I do my best to answer the Delphic oracle’s call to “Know Thyself.” There’s always something wonderful to explore in my Soul. It knows everything about me, its design for my life and the physical experiences I’m creating along the way. Once I began to answer this call, my loyalty to myself became unwavering. I feel secure knowing that my heart’s fondest desires already exist and I can set intentions for my inner growth in the up coming year. I carry on knowing that I am the meeting place of Heaven and Earth. I am on the Earth but not of it.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I am expanding faster and growing wiser.  To this process I am loyal.

Willingness

As a willful young man I was critical of myself and others. Expecting perfection from myself, I punished myself for my shortcomings. My attitude toward others was, if you can’t do the job right, then get out of my way. I’ll do it myself. I powered through my life with willfulness. If I couldn’t get the square peg into the round hole, I got a bigger hammer and pounded that square sucker into the round hole. Willfulness exhausted me and made me resentful and judgmental. My heart was closed. My responsibilities weighed heavily on my mind and heart. I felt alone and disconnected leaving a void in my psyche for depression to fill.

I had witnessed my father’s descent into depression’s hell. He accepted the standard treatment of medication and I witnessed his life force and passions wither.  I knew that I needed help but I  also wanted to sustain my passion. I chose people and processes over the artificial life induced by pills. During this time I developed a support network of soulful friends and healing practitioners. I understood from practicing architecture that the best results come from the best process. I established a whole self process involving the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of myself.

Yoga and movement to music stimulated my body at a cellular level, releasing remnants of childhood traumas and opening me to self-love. Massage, chiropractic and energy work helped me rejuvenate and restructure my body.  I began to eat healthfully. I drank a gallon of water a day. Keeping my body well hydrated allowed higher frequencies of consciousness to run through me. I learned how to stay grounded so these frequencies could run through me without damaging my nervous system. Counseling and reading expanded my thinking. I was introduced to systems thinking where I came to understand that my problems were given to me so I would seek their solutions. I learned that problems arise from feeling separate and solutions emerge out of feeling connected. I also learned that solutions already exist. I shifted from mind-centered to heart-centered. As I learned to sustain myself in these new ways, my intuitive guidance became available and my spirit soared. It’s my internal source of happiness. My spirit is now my constant companion. This relationship has helped me shift my thoughts and feelings from separateness to realizing that I am connected to all things.

I began to understand that my willfulness involved forcing my desires to manifest when I doubt myself and the universe to provide. In contrast, willingness is allowing my desire to manifest because I trust my spirit, my vital life force energy, and universal law to provide. Realizing my desires is a matter of tuning the vibrations emanating from my thoughts and feelings into synchronicity with my desires. I’m learning to make my own luck and attract really cool things into my life.

I’m not special. Anyone with a pulse and a thimbleful of fortitude can change their life. Everyone has a part to play in remembering our interconnectedness. When I connect to and express from my Essence, willingness infuses my creative projects and relationships with cooperation, ease and joy. I call these New Earth experiences. I can assure you that New Earth is real and within our grasp. As one of millions who are walking this path, I offer myself and my experiences in service to others. The dream of WE is within each of us.

Darkness into Light

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of my awakening on 11.11.91, I’m posting a Blog between Blogs. On that night, Kundalini (life force energy) traveled up my spine and coalesced in my forehead opening my third eye. I experienced a profound sense of union with all things. It changed my life forever. It changed my personal cosmology. I knew I had a destiny to fulfill. Based on that first of many experiences with the divine, I offer the following thoughts about this week’s election:

Commiserating with a friend about the election results, we both felt that the life force had been sucked out of us. She described her feelings with a quote from Star Wars, “I feel a disturbance in the force.” I related to her that before dawn on the morning of election day I had had a dream about my money being stolen from my bank account. We agreed that the money in my account symbolized my life force and that this dream was predicting my loss of energy from the election results. I’ve had many prophetic dreams.

She also told me about the protests in cities across the United States. We empathized. I had felt the Bern very early in this election season. I wanted a socio-political revolution. Unlike in my college years in the 1960s, this time I supported the revolution suggested in Vaclav Havel’s address to the United Nations, “… Without a revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change……” He understood the creative power of consciousness. In support of this idea I also offered some wisdom I think is attributable to Lau Tsu, “That which we resist persists.” If that’s true, why would I ever resist something that I regard as dishonoring of the whole I cherish. Neville Goddard speaks of “renunciation” whereby we redirect our focus away from what we do not want, onto what we do want. I think it’s time to follow Bucky Fuller’s advice, “Don’t fight the system, create a new one and make the old one obsolete.” I believe these to be truisms very applicable to the current socio-political circumstances in our beloved America as well as around the world. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

As one who claims to be self-responsible and sees my physical reality as a reflection of my consciousness, I must ask myself: What aspects of my consciousness do I need to alter in order to have my elected government and all its systems honor all voices equally, those feeling disenfranchised, the privileged few as well as the masses in between? The intuitive answer: I must be balanced within myself, anchored to the core of my being, my spirit, where I am invulnerable to the ravages of dualism’s hyperbole and divisiveness. I must choose the path that includes and honors all and resists nothing. I must trust in the unity of all things because my heart tells me that all things are born from the love emanating from our common origin. Focusing there, I find uniquely creative solutions where all perceptions of my separateness dissolve.

I look at the current socio-political landscape, not only in America but around the world as a reflection of the consciousness that insists I am separate from others, separate from nature and the planet and separate from our common origin. However, I have come to see this concept as an illusion (or problem) that is actually asking me to remember my oneness with all people, with all things. In order to remember, I must be willing to look at any dark places within myself and acknowledge that I am capable of using that darkness against myself or another. If I resist or deny this darkness, it will most certainly come back to separate us again someday. Only after accepting it will I be free of my tendency to act out from my dark side.  I have found that upon my acceptance of darkness, I am filled with the most brilliant light with which I am able to touch many hearts. That’s where the memory of our oneness abides.

After this acceptance, we can collectively breathe into and unify our hearts, share what we love about life, about this beautiful planet and remember our common origin. In this unification, all resistance fades away and Havel’s revolution occurs without firing a shot. In this revolution the only thing to die is ego. Then we can embrace our differences and celebrate our diversities. In the unity of our hearts, a whole New Earth awaits our discovery, exploration and creative expression. I know it does because I’ve been there. I’ve seen New Earth. It is gorgeous!

The dream of WE, is in me! “You may call me a dreamer but I’m not the only one.” 

Dominion

Sometimes when I bring up a deep or complex subject, friends joke that I have too much idle time on my hands. That’s actually not true, with writing, making art, building and urban design research and other creative endeavors, I’m rarely without something thing to do. However, it is true that I think about and explore the mechanics of life, pondering the whys, hows and what ifs. I discovered that living in the question was more interesting than struggling to find THE answers in a dualistic world where the opposite is also true. 

I’m dedicated to understanding life’s creative process. How does Creator create? I want to emulate that process. While in deep inner explorations one day, I observed that by changing my thoughts, my feelings changed. I also discovered that my circumstances changed in response to my thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings of my separateness produced challenging circumstances. Unifying thoughts and feelings produced enjoyable circumstances.

This discovery was quite empowering. I now imagine stepping outside my mind and becoming the objective observer of my thoughts and their resultant feelings.  I imagine my thoughts as frames on a never-ending film strip. I observe each frame of the movie in my mind’s eye. When I see a frame with a unifying theme I focus on it while allowing other frames to pass by. Observing the recent political debates has provided excellent opportunities for me to practice this technique. I have found that I can hold my thoughts and feelings in balance (mostly) without being polarized to any one side. In this neutrality, the place where new outcomes are created, I feel self-empowered.   

Self-empowerment begins with having dominion over my thoughts.  Dominion is different from control. Dominion is rulership of oneself. Having dominion is the feeling of knowing in my core that I am an individual extension of my Creator. I think, feel and act guided by Creator’s unifying love. This doesn’t have to be serious or pompous. I’ve come to enjoy laughing my ass off when I recognize the absolute silliness of my perceived separateness, when I’m angry at another or feel victimized. I enjoy the thoughts and feelings that bring tears to my eyes when a profound moment appears on my internal movie screen.

Dominion is a cultivated art form. I’ve practiced rulership of my thoughts and feeling for years. Practicing self-rulership during this political season presented me with a challenge and Lord knows how I love a challenge. If I allow myself to be sucked into the extreme divisiveness of this political campaign season, I sacrifice my self-authority.  If I believe media commercials that tell me I need their product to be whole, I’d constantly be lacking something.  I’m grateful that I can travel to a place within me where my thoughts and feelings testify that wholeness is my natural birthright. I claim it.

Imagine a world where each of us claims dominion over our own thoughts and feelings and following Pablo Neruda’s words of wisdom, “Changing the world is an inside job.” The societal implications are staggering. If we’ve created a world of struggle and chaos from ego’s fear, deprivation and separateness, imagine the world of beauty, abundance and freedom we could create from our focused and sustained thoughts and feeling of Unity.     

Mutability

In a recurring dream I live in a city that refuses to adapt to an ever-changing world. Its past is prologue, dictating its present and future. Change? Never! Enraged, I scream, “Can’t you see the beautiful future in store for you if only you’d embrace the new and the bold? Glorifying your past is choking the life out of this city and its people. You profess your commitment to creativity, yet your obsession with your past is limiting your ability to adapt creatively to change. You seem to believe that your past and the new cannot co-exist. Either/or thinking only exacerbates your problems, dammit!”

Awaking agitated by one of these dreams, I wiped the sleep from my eyes and stretched long and hard. An “aha” moment arrived. I realized that this city in my dreams was reflecting my attachment to my own past, my resistance to change and my arrogant intractability. I also boasted about my commitment to the new and the bold, but I did not fully embrace it. And yet the winds of change were calling me. I needed a walk in the forest to clear my head.

After a short hike, I came upon a stream and found a smooth rock on which to perch. I observed the water flowing easily around and over obstacles. I thought: I don’t behave like this stream. I hang onto things. I’d like to be more like this flowing water. I began to see how I too was attached to my past identity. My attachment to being an architect was denying my creative energy to flow in new directions. It was inhibiting my mutable nature to adapt to change. I too, was unable to rise above my own either/or thinking. 

The nightmares about the city diminished soon after I observed that correlation. I began to feel freer from my own past. Now I do my best to follow Neruda’s words of wisdom: “Changing the world is an inside job.” The more I embrace this awareness, the more easily I can adapt to change. As I trust the constancy of change and the creative process my life flows more easily. I hear my soul calling me: “Contribute your visionary design and communication skills to support the emergence of New Earth.”

Autumn is now upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, and yet I feel like the longest winter’s night of my life is ending. Something inside me is ripe, about to bloom like the first crocuses of spring. I welcome this new life. I trust my creative impulses and the boldness of rebirth brought by spring. Mutability is required, during times of great change like ours. As this awareness re-emerges in the minds and hearts of more people, the world will reflect it. A bold beautiful New Earth will emerge, one in which humans cooperate and co-create with all life, seen and unseen. I am learning to embody and apply the art of mutability so that I am constantly re-energized and renewed!

Forgiveness

I was fortunate to have spent two years in relative solitude at a lakeside cottage nestled   into a wooded hill. I had plenty of time to contemplate my navel and all sorts of things from the minute to the cosmic. Those Thoreau years were blessed with many opportunities to “Know Thyself” more intimately.  One day the word “forgiveness” wafted through my thoughts. I let the thought pass, but it left me agitated. I had already forgiven my parents for “ruining” my childhood. What more did I need to forgive? In those days I didn’t yet realize that agitation was a harbinger of an “aha” moment.

During my stay at the cottage, I developed a close relationship with my soul, a tender and compassionate being called Domini. We had frequent dialogues from which I learned to trust Domini’s guidance. I also discovered that Domini is quite a rascal, a trickster, and a hard task-master. Domini relentlessly poked and prodded me to expand beyond my conditioned perceptions about myself and the world. When I got lazy or resisted opportunities to expand, Domini delivered blessings disguised in grubby packages.

One day in late August, when the mornings in the mountains can get quite cool, I was contemplating my need for wood to heat the cottage in winter. I am proud of my ability to think ahead and develop strategies to achieve my objectives. Brilliance struck! “I’ll trim the dead branches from the trees surrounding my cottage. That’ll save me from having to buy so much firewood.” I retrieved my trusty chainsaw from the shed, checked the spark plug and starter rope, tightened and oiled the droopy chain and fired the sucker up. It worked perfectly. I planned to begin cutting and storing the wood the next day so it could dry out before temps and snows fell.

The next day all went well until late afternoon. I was feeling tired and drenched in sweat that glued wood chips to my skin. I was ready to quit for the day, take a swim in the lake and have a cold beer. Then I spotted a dead 20-foot-long limb. It was perfect: four inches thick, and when cut into sixteen-inch lengths, it would fit neatly into my wood stove. When I positioned myself on the sloping ground, I found that even on my tiptoes, I was a few inches shy of being able to cut the limb. I retrieved a ladder and placed it against the tree trunk. I climbed the ladder and balanced awkwardly on the top step. The chainsaw quickly ripped through the limb. But when it finally broke free from the tree trunk, it kicked back, knocking me off the ladder. The chainsaw flew out of my hand. The next thing I knew, I was lying on my back on the ground gasping for air. The limb had landed across my chest, pinning me to the ground. My first thought was, “Well that was really DUMB. I could have been killed!”       

Somehow I lifted that limb off my chest. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my earlier dismissal of forgiveness had provided me with this experience to learn to forgive myself for doing really dumb things. Oh well, I guess l just learn some things the hard way.

From this event and the lingering pain in my ribs, I learned to pay attention to seemingly insignificant thoughts and to honor my body. When I don’t, I can push my limits and get careless, even reckless, and do dumb things.  The dialogue with Domini continues. I think I’m getting wiser about the use of my thoughts and feelings because I’m having to forgive myself less frequently.

Joy

One day, deep in the clutches of despair, I dragged myself to Maria’s. A petite lady, she was eccentric and a most unlikely mentor, but I credit her with saving my life. She could always tell when I was vulnerable. I fondly called her studio the torture chamber. On this day she had me stretch out on my back over a padded barrel, then she placed ten-pound weights in each of my hands. She pounded her fists on my chest. I felt my defended heart opening.  Maria’s tactics were unorthodox but led to emotional breakthroughs. She looked at me and said softly, “Al, the way out of grief is through it. Feel it in every cell. Acknowledge it. Welcome it. Come to know it intimately. Make it an ally. Consider it to be the rich black soil out of which will grow the greatest joy you will ever know.”

“When will I feel joy, Maria?”

When you relax your willfulness and allow your life to unfold naturally.”

I could have continued spiraling down the rabbit hole of despair, but I trusted Maria. Her methods were part psychological, part shamanic, part dance and always in my best interest. Above all, they were loving. She introduced me to the idea that my psychological agitation can be the prelude to profound “aha” moments. She taught me to use my mind, my body and my emotions to open my heart. She helped me see my battles with dualistic rights and wrongs as opportunities to know myself more deeply. Maria assured me that as I did this inner work, joy would come to reside in me one day.

Maria was right, of course. One day joy did arrive. I heard birds singing. A child in his mother’s arms smiled at me. I thought of my sons at that age. The cloudless blue sky and sun embraced me. I felt alive.  My heart overflowed with joy. My body seemed too small to contain it, like I might burst.

Friends who have known me for a long time have asked, “Al, what happened to you? You used to be so angry, but now you seem mellow. Did you take a miracle pill or a potion? Did the cosmic kaleidoscope shine a special light on you?” I tell them that I’ve been working to  discover a sense of neutrality within. That requires me to be mindful and honor all things. I’m less swayed by the turmoil of external events. I trust in my authentic self, my soul’s guidance and the divine nature of all people and all things. I explain that these practices have begun to dismantle my sense of separateness so that I’m more open to seeing Creator everywhere.

Sometimes I smile for no apparent reason all day long. I’m discovering joy even in my challenges. They present me with opportunities to see the silliness in incidents of separateness, mine and others.  Whenever I see this illusion being played out in my life and in the human drama, I can laugh now. Not at it, I will not mock it. That would feed it energetically. I honor it by seeing its folly and saying, isn’t Creator amazing! 

Maria once said, “When you feel joy, share it with others.” I’ve learned that joy is abundant, and when we share it more will come. I promise.

Grief

I had ignored her call last summer and my body suffered for it. A stiff neck, pounding head and sore throat hounded me for months. I can always sense when she’s about to call me again. What does she want from me now? It’s always something I value. Will this be the time she devours me completely? Then she whispered into my heart: You can turn the page onto the best chapter of your life only after you grieve. Damn it! Do I have any more tears to give her?

For months I had anguished over closing my architecture firm, ending a relationship, leaving dear friends behind, losing homes I’d designed and built and most of my material assets. Would I ever get out of the financial hole? The ocean between me and my beloved sons was unbearable. And yet, I had chosen two decades earlier to embark on a path to discover my authentic self. I had no idea then what this path would cost me. After meeting every challenge she presented me, could she still want more?

If she wants more from me then I demand to know: Why am I here? What is mine to do? Where do I belong? Enraged, I demanded my old life back.

I fought with her! Then I remembered that going into her darkness, as scary as it has been, I emerge with more clarity. This was the incentive I needed to defeat my terror and answer her call to enter her emptiness yet again. I chose to surrender my body and my mind to the Void of grief. With the holidays approaching, I went to my old recipe for grieving.

 One comfy chair                                                                                                                                          

One pair of baggy sweat pants

One hoodie                                                                                      

Seven parts sap from holiday season Hallmark movies                                                              

Four parts CBS’s Steve Hartman “On the Road” segments                                                      

Hourly mugs of brewed thyme tea laced with a dollop of honey

The perfect medicine! Decades of encrusted grief dislodged from my lungs. It was not pretty! In fact it was downright unmanly. My defenses fell like heroes on the battlefield. Relentlessly, I wept. Tissues flew in every direction and fell to the floor, soaked with tears and yellow-green snot. Grief’s departure was palpable.

In the wake of this release, all illusions of my aloneness evaporated. Lighter now, rising on love, once again, she embraced me. Then she handed me the key to unlock the door to the expansiveness I crave. Will I ever learn without the rituals of pain and fear? Will I ever look forward to her calls? When I return from her darkness, I always forget the preceding terror. Afterwards, I can’t wait to share all that she has taught me.  I honor and respect the creative power of my emotions. They are great gifts. Oh, this wondrous Void! She’s teaching me to empower my intentions with love. What a process! Why was I so afraid of her anyway? Good Grief!

Humility

My early relationship with my father was often combative. From a tender age, it seemed to me that his purpose was to make my life difficult. His criticism and quips made me angry. “Your temper is going to get you in big trouble one day!” he’d say to me. I experienced my father as a self-righteous militaristic dictator of arbitrary rules. As a teen I fought him and accused him of being the cause of all my problems.  His stern warning about the birds and bees and countless other lessons added fuel to my anger toward him. He seemed unable to see me and accept me as I was. To his harshness I retorted, “Were you never a child, never a teenager? Did you never rebel or make mistakes?”

My relationship with my father taught me that men were my adversaries. I was motivated by a need to prove my value to others. Architecture was the perfect profession for me. Although I loved the creativity, working from the big picture of designing complex public buildings to the minute details of door knobs, my competitiveness began to disturb me. Architects are often called upon to pit our skills against each other. Sometimes it gets real nasty. Battles for our commissions can seem like gladiator competitions over talent, time and money. It can bring out the worst in people otherwise devoted to making a better world.

Then I began to question these competitions and the way they left me feeling degraded and demoralized, even after winning. Oh, Wow! It hit me. I was feeling about my profession like I did with my father.  I began to realize that all I ever wanted from my father was for him to see me, believe in me and support my dreams. They both had me feel separate from others and what I craved was connection.

When I learned that at the age of twelve my father had been blamed for his father’s death, I was shocked. I realized how emotionally wounded, how mentally tormented and burdened with guilt and shame he must have been. Did he blame himself for the deformity of my hands? Was that why he was so hard on me? My heart opened. I felt compassion for my father.

I always knew my father was a brilliant and learned man, a philosopher, an engineer and inventor and a self-taught speaker of several languages. But now I felt for him and his pain. I wondered about the contributions he might have made to the world had his inner demons been conquered.  I realized that in his own way he had applied his Naval Academy training to me. He was pushing me to find inner strength and confidence, to pick myself up when I was down.

Recently, I found a photograph of my father. It was taken at my graduation from Columbia University, the only event of mine he ever attended. He was absolutely beaming at me  with loving pride. When I saw that light in his eyes, I realized how deeply he loved me. Now I see and feel his contribution to my life. It was when I delivered his eulogy that I finally realized he had been the perfect father for me. Our Souls had chosen well. By presenting himself as my adversary, he was actually coaching me to be resilient and resourceful. It takes a very wise Soul with unconditional love to do what he did for me. He taught me the value of adversity. I can at last look back at my father with deep honor and humility. I love you, Dad!

Dad

 

  Albert C. Moore                                                                                    (Nicknamed, “Curley” by his fellow Midshipmen)                               United States Naval Academy                                                                                 Class of 1943

As I matured, our relationship turned very cordial, handshakes, man to man. We sometimes even greeted each other with genuine embraces. One of my favorite memories of my dad is of us watching a ballgame together, drinking beers and eating his favorite sandwich, peanut butter and onion.