Personal Journey — Week 3 Advent Thoughts


Day 1 — Exodus 20

Day 2 — Psalm 19

Day 3 — 1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Day 4 — John 2:13-25

Day 5 — Summary

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Personal Journey – Week 2 Advent thoughts

Repent — turn from, turn to, turn inward

Day 1 — Genesis 22

Day 2 — Psalm 116

Day 3 — Romans 8:31-34

Day 4 — Mark 9

Day 5 — Summary

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Personal Journey – Week 1 Advent thoughts

Week 1 — Reflect

Day 1 Genesis 9

Day 2 — Psalm 25

Day 3 — I Peter 3-4:2

Day 4 — Mark 1

Day 5 — Summary

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Personal Journey – Advent thoughts

Advent seemed like a good time this year to review my life,
to take a personal “journey” that might help me “process” some challenges
and gain some insights into who I am.
To reflect . . . to review my path
To repent . . . to look for Light in my darkness
To restore . . . to try to clear my vision

SO much going on this year, maybe this will help me focus!

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HOPE . . . a pinpoint of Light

HOPE . . . a pinpoint of Light

I once heard it said that a writer could not begin writing a story until the end was known and then had to work backward to fill in the story.
I wonder if I could use that same approach to look at “my story.”

There have been a number of times I was SURE I knew the ending to a chapter in my life; sometimes I was right, but most often I was not right.

My life has surprised me, shocked me, depressed me, disappointed me, discouraged me, and yet . . . through every chapter, I have always had some pinpoint of light, some really tiny shred of something inexplicable that pushed me to go on, some unseen and unspoken at the time word of hope. I did not recognize it as “hope” at the time, but it is what seemed to have been there hiding in the shadows of my heart to draw me into the next moment on my journey to today.

With a past that led me to
• early destruction of innocence,
• discovery of the deceitfulness of self love,
• an indescribable depth of impenetrable darkness,
• the reality of unseen forces,
• the door of suicide,
• there is no limit to the depth of pain,
• inner healing of surface layers,
• exposure of deeper wounds and unknown scars,
• many painful mask removals,
• unrecoverable losses,
• the futility of looking for completion in others,
• see not all questions have answers and that is okay,
• conclude that knowledge and wisdom are not the same,
• admit that I am a slow learner,
• find growth through pain and life in death
and to realize that my life would fill many volumes that would only be of interest to me . . . but the life lessons might be of interest to others in their journey of life.
I used to say that my pain would be worth it if I could save one person from suffering even a minute of the darkness I lived through—especially I did not want anyone to have to go through it alone, or at least not feel like they were going through it alone.

If my path and its traumas serve this purpose, I feel somehow that purpose gives my pain value. I remember that horrible feeling of being alone and not having anyone to share my wounding, my despair, my pain—that is the ultimate agony: not having anyone who understood my suffering or understood the “dumb choices” I made and the consequences of those choices or the choices of others that increased my destruction.

Isolated and insulated, even if it is a choice I made, is what leads to the darkest pits with walls so high they could never be climbed and there was no one to throw a rope down for climbing out of those pits—no one cares and so, eventually, I did not care either.

At the back of every deep, dark pit is always the door of suicide – no lock on that door – it opens with just a touch – it seems so right to remove the one causing so much pain to themselves and to others . . . so easy . . . the final answer!

I stood there – I planned to go through that door in several pits I lived in – but, ultimately, GOD pulled me out of the last pit where that seemed like the right final answer and, after many life lessons and extremely challenging confrontations of self, I have a new understanding of “broken vessel” and what it feels like when the Master Potter restores that vessel.

It is so hard to accept that restoration because of how unworthy and worthless that vessel feels, but the Master Potter is compassionate and patient and where I see scars and jagged pieces, the Master sees a vessel of beauty as originally created by those hands of Love from a heart of Love.

The Master Potter that, though unseen, was with me in every pit calling me to Life but I could not hear that voice over the loud chaos in my mind and heart as I focused on my pain and listened to the darkness calling me to death as my “reward.” It was the path I deserved to complete, the judgement I earned, the final steps to follow the others I had taken . . .BUT LIFE WON and the Master Potter continues to draw me with that pinpoint of light within a dark picture . . . hope for today and hope for tomorrow because that is what brought me through and out of my dark pits of yesterday—a pinpoint of light . . . some tiny unidentifiable stirring inside of me I now know was . . . HOPE!

I will cling to it as one clings to a life preserver in a rough sea
maybe it will grow as I fix my gaze on that pinpoint of Light . . . HOPE

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Advent: Reflect—God and Me

reflect . . . repent . . . restore
ADVENT draws attention to the coming of LIGHT and that can mean different things to different people. SO I decided to explore what each of those “words” mean to me within the context of the scripture references given to Advent 2021. My plan is to write five posts based on the references with the last one being a kind of summary of that word for me. It seems like a good idea in this time of so much chaos for each of us to explore what we think and what we believe. GOD . . . ME . . . LIFE . . if we could respectfully exchange our thoughts and beliefs, we might find that we each could gain.

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AM I READY for 2020 to end?


Dog #1:
you look kind of concerned – what’s bothering you?
Dog #2:
well, my human has been saying over and over again that it is time for 2020 to end
Dog #1:
why would that bother you?
Dog #2:
they always have these sticks that scare me with really loud noises and bright lights – it takes me a week to be able to sleep again
Dog #1:
yeah, that’s rough – but, other than that, my human has spent so much time complaining about stuff that I don’t get the attention I need every day, so maybe the end of 2020 will be good for me
Dog #2:
maybe – but then what will your human do to keep busy? It might be worse for you.
Dog #1:
I don’t know, but it would be nice if they would play outside in the yard more – then I would be excited to see them come back inside. Now, it’s just ho, hum because they are always inside . . . and, they used to fuss about wanting more time together at home, but now they fuss about being stuck at home and being together instead of learning how to get along. Go figure! We dogs do better than they do! Hmmmm . . . maybe we are smarter?
Dog #2:
Yeah. Remember when the dog next door was barking so much and we finally found out it was because he was scared and we let him know we were here, too, and he stopped all that noise?
Dog #1:
Yep! Too bad it seems our humans can’t learn to get along with each other, be thankful for what they have, and take care of each other. You know, share a bone with a hungry friend.
Dog #2:
Really sad, but they don’t seem to get it, do they? Do you really think ending 2020 will make a difference?
Dog #1:
I don’t know . . . I just don’t know. Maybe we can show them how to make things better together!
DOGS, generally speaking:
• unconditional love
• loyalty
• few basic needs
• no hidden agenda

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Fibonacci spiral • a Self Portrait

Fibonacci spiral

• a Self Portrait

A TV show actually drew me to look more closely at the Fibonacci sequence— “God Friended Me” episodes were based on questions about patterns and an unseen guide to “coincidences” in life that we often don’t see. (I wish this show had been able to continue, but it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 health crisis.)

However, it started me thinking about my life — many traumas, many diverse experiences that seemed disconnected, so many twists and turns that I could fill a bookcase with novels based on unique “events” that, in review, do seem to lead one to the other and, obviously, brought me to where I am today. So, I did an overview that brought me to “A Self Portrait.” This should probably be a part of the blog I have been doing “Seeking the Way: exploring the path of a seeker,” but I am still working on part 4 in that series and this just seemed to be what I needed to look at before continuing my thoughts on my path to this point . . . an insert to examine my perspective as I look at a pivotal time in my seeking the Way, a time of transition, a time of inner turmoil with me fighting with me and a time that turned out to be major surgery, healing, and deep digging up of many old foundations while learning to “rest” in not demanding understanding at each point, but trusting the “sequence” to lead me toward Truth.

SO, I looked up information on the Fibonacci sequence, the definition and some of what others had written about it:
The Fibonacci sequence is a famous group of numbers beginning with 0 and 1 in which each number is the sum of the two before it. It begins 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 and continues infinitely. The pattern hides a powerful secret: If you divide each number in the sequence by its predecessor (except for 1 divided by 0), then as you move toward higher numbers, the result converges on the constant phi, or approximately 1.61803, otherwise known as the golden ratio.

A set of numbers with properties related to many natural phenomena . . . pine cones, the number of petals in each layer of certain flowers, sunflower seeds, mollusk shells, and in many more areas, “The Golden Ratio’s attractiveness stems first and foremost from the fact that it has an almost uncanny way of popping up where it is least expected,” writes Mario Livio in The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number, ISBN-13 : 978-0767908160
Publisher : Crown; Illustrated edition (September 23, 2003) available at Amazon.

That is the context of my “Self Portrait” at this point in my life of measureable time . . . a step toward where I have always been, where I started from, having those questions always in my heart: is there something bigger than me? is there a plan for my life? is there purpose in my path? is life a classroom or simply a “here today, gone tomorrow” segment leading to nothing?
who am I . . . what am I . . . why am I . . . where am I . . . how am I?

LEAD ON, Fibonacci, and, somehow, I KNOW my heart mind will “see” GOD!

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Seeking the Way: —nihilism to suicide – 27 years (part two)

An informational meeting about Transcendental Meditation had attracted me when it was mentioned at the New Age Foundation meeting and so I attended the hour-long introduction. Mostly it gave me a list of the good things it could do for me in several areas: health related, mental, physical and spiritual. I was attracted to what I felt was related to “personal growth” and the fact that it did not require following a belief system appealed to me, but I was distracted by the number of resources they were pushing (teaching centers, schools, alternative health centers and supplements, solar panels, architecture, publishing, radio/television, and home financing companies)—too much and most of it outside my area of interest.

I was overwhelmed and when the meeting ended, I had decided it was not what I was looking for and stood to leave. About then, an ex-husband walked up to me (I hadn’t known he would be there) and after updating each other, he took me to meet a friend of his, Marion, a psychic medium and very friendly. Before I left, I had scheduled an appointment to meet with her about my personal situation (married to a sado-masochist) and to ask her advice on my journey ahead. It couldn’t hurt, I thought, and it was another way to seek my answers.

Here again this part of my life held more:
tidal waves, oceans, and moonlight
(traumatic events, deep waters, and small points of light in the darkness)

(escaped through a second-story window landing on a bush that kept me from serious injury from the fall)
—public humiliation after I confessed to
an adulterous affair (I didn’t know my church-going seducer was married)
—”friends” were drug users and the crowd was
really rough puting me in harm’s way several times
(I never participated in the drugs as designated driver)
—raped by drugged “friend”
(he was extremely sorry when he came ouf of his drugged state and realized what he had done)
—best friend committed suicide

NEXT—PSYCHIC PHENOMENON: When I met with Marion, I was struck by her sincerity. I had always been taught that all psychics were frauds and scammers. She seemed genuinely concerned about my situation and urged me to come back and meet with her again to work through some of the darkness in my aura. I didn’t even know what an “aura” was, but I was willing to investigate this “way” a little further.

After several visits, I felt like we were friends and so, when she encouraged me to pursue my own psychic abilities, I thought it might be the ”way” I had been searching for all my life—within myself all the time. She was willing to help me explore my “gift,” so we started getting together and I started discovering I could “know” things about people I had never met just by meeting them. I was surprised by my accuracy and I knew I wasn’t scamming anyone, so it seemed I had found my “way” and I was willing to look a little deeper.

ANOTHER WAY: was brought to me and I pursued it with great excitement—horoscopes. My studies used my analytical skills, math, and some science, too! After all, the tides of the ocean are impacted by the pull of the moon, so why wouldn’t it be logical to believe that the placement of planets in the solar system could impact human beings by their gravitational pull? I bought a lot of books and tools to improve the accuracy of my horoscopes. Horoscopes and psychic readings were so exciting and the accuracy blew my mind almost as much as it did those who consulted with me.

In this phase, I observed what was called “psychic surgery” (only from a distance, so I am not knowledgeable in that area), “house cleansings,” “spirit communications” all seemed to confirm in my mind that there was definitely another plane of existence, an unseen power of life, forces of darkness and light, and much that could not be explained away very easily. I wanted to know more – I wanted to experience more – I wanted to explore more.

THEN, MAJOR TRAGEDY: my best friend who lived across the street on our little cul-de-sac committed suicide. She and her husband had been at our house for parties on occasion and she and I spoke often—in fact, she called me the day she died, but I was too busy to talk and told her I would call her later . . . but later didn’t come for us. She was troubled and took multiple doses of Valium (different doctors did not know she was using them, so she had multiple prescriptions). The horror of it and the depth of the impact on me and my neighbors was major. It struck us that it could have been any one of us – we all thought she was happy or at least okay in general, so could I be smiling one day and end my life the next day and no one would know I was going to do it—back to realizing that no one cared enough to really know me again or, for that matter, any of us!

Some time after her death, her husband and I got involved as we were comforting each other and trying to deal with it all. And that is one of the major pieces that led to where my “final” solution became my “only” answer to a life with too many “tidal waves.”

Love . . . or what I thought was love—
Success . . . or what others said was success—
Career achievements . . . or what others applauded—
Personal growth . . . or did helping others count—
Seeking the way . . . or did it matter any more—

From darkness to light . . . to darkness . . . to light . . . to more tidal waves and more oceans until . . .

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Seeking the Way: —nihilism to suicide – 27 years (part one)

So now comes a time that is hard to review and I will not go into much detail because it does not serve the purpose of my overview about my “seeking the Way” except from the perspective of how the “events’ of this time more completely changed my idea of God, His nature, even His existence and how it all played a part in my choices.

So, here is a summary of my life that I would call:
tidal waves, oceans, and moonlight
(traumatic events, deep waters, and small points of light in the darkness)

—abused by a trusted adult
—forced to leave family at 16 years old
(Michigan—>North Carolina)
—life threatened, police advised,
fled to anonymous existence
(North Carolina—>Florida)
(Florida—>South Carolina)
—three (3) failed marriages
. a pathological liar
. a “savior”
. a sado-masochist
—gave up child to protect child
from me and my lifestyle

My childhood had entrenched in me very strong perfectionist tendencies and my “failures” were magnified by the religious teachings that required perfect adherence to literally-interpreted Judeo-Christian scriptures and “second chances” were almost unheard of for any reason. Therefore, not being able to live up to the requirements meant being lost forever as judgement would send me to hell for eternal punishment for my life choices.

I was baptized three (3) times that I remember and it may have been a time or two more—that was because I was taught baptism was the only way to “get clean” and I could claim any previous commitment was without proper understanding so they didn’t count which put me back as an “alien sinner,” (one never baptized). I could get full pardon as an “alien sinner,” but as a “baptized Christian,” I would have to accept the penality for my “sins.” So I had to claim I wasn’t baptized the previous times for the right reason or understanding.

This series of attempts to “get clean” added to my guilt because I believed I was using and abusing that system to attain the impossible state of forgiveness for what I believed was unforgiveable—willful sin, sins chosen knowing they were wrong choices, and enjoying the sin and not wanting to stop the sin, just repent to avoid punishment.

A PICTURE, AN OCEAN—there was, and still is, a picture in my mom’s house of the ocean on a cloudy, moonlit night. I still look at that picture and think of my life spent trying to make sense of the “ocean” – trying to swim in deep water knowing I was in way over my head and eventually giving in to the realization that it was hopeless . . . my life was hopeless, I was hopeless. Nobody cared. Nothing made any sense!

Before reaching that hopeless final decision, I spent years searching for answers in many places. I rejected my childhood religious beliefs after being verbally berated by the wife of a leader in the church I was attending for not having the reason for my divorce actually put on the court decree as “adultery” (the only acceptable “scriptural” grounds according to that church). At such a young age, I walked out of that church shattered in heart and broken in spirit and swore to never return to any group that could inflict such pain on any person.

NEXT—A NEW AGE: as a young adult seeking for answers to life, its meaning, and how to live it, I was attracted to the New Age Foundation by a friend. I attended a recruiting event in a large auditorium that was filled with other young seekers and much enthusiasm. The basic platform was presented by a charismatic speaker who “sold” it as a simple, almost miraculous answer to all the questions of life.

MOONLIGHT—The message I heard was: love and light offering a foretaste of the coming era through personal transformation and healing.
The way to rise above
the darkness of my past,
the emptiness of my present, and
the despair of my future—
an offer of hope that was compelling,
food for a starving soul,
light to guide a seeker . . .

For the first time, I felt hope that there was “more” to life than I had experienced and that looking within with the proper guidance would bring peace, enlightenment, the path to walk that would lead to the answers I had been seeking. It brought me back to what I had believed as a 7-year-old, that blind belief that there was more, that there was power to be accessed beyond myself and in myself, and that I could gain entrance into that by bonding with the right belief system with the right guide—I just had to find it.

So, my first stop in this part of my journey was Transcendental Meditation, a way to access what was beyond me and lead to a deeper, fuller life by drawing on the consciousness of the universe, connecting with the deeper consciousness within myself.

I attended an informational meeting at the home of a local practitioner to see if it was something I wanted to pursue and that meeting took me to places I would never have imagined or even believe existed.

From darkness to light . . . to darkness . . . to light . . . to more tidal waves and more oceans until . . .

next: Seeking the Way: —nihilism to suicide – 27 years (part two)

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