“Our fathers are our heroes and greatest foes.”

on-his-eternal-journey-ajaytao1My Dad was my greatest hero when I was so small that he literally looked like a giant to me. Heck, my Mom looked like a giant to me at one time as well and she was only 5’2″! So when I was a little boy and was not yet rational, I watched how a father was supposed to behave. The problem was my Dad did not how to deal with his emotional conflicts that he carried from his own childhood and sadly never did.

10576235_1478792175702340_1648178438_n“With those whose love we wanted but didn’t get, we emulate them. It was the only way we have within our power to get the closeness and the love that we needed and desired.” Unconsciously I did this. Even though I railed against it and act like I wasnt the same as him, as I got older, when I was lost and confused, those memories and actions of my father on how it was to be a man obviously came up into my conscious. I am sad as I say this but feel it to be true. I would withdraw into myself when the tension of life came up. I would do exactly the same thing my father did; I would shut down emotionally. This is sad and hopeful in the same breath.

“My Dad’s voice was sacred to me as a child.” I remember my father talking to me. Not the words he said but the tone and the body language associated with his words. Needless to say I am hard on myself as he was on me. I feel such a sadness realizing this as I sit here. I know dear friends whose father was like mine and they seem to find men and women in their lives who were eerily similar to their fathers.

10446666_10204349217710974_5055388173445466429_n“All we know about manhood is what we have seen and learned from our fathers.” Such a statement might seem ridiculous to many. But as a testament to this truth, I can tell you that I worked hard to get out of that family. I worked hard to get away from him. But as I sit here today I realize his depression is my depression. I am carrying his fucking burdens as he I am sure carried his fathers.

No matter how hard we try, those unconscious memories are always with is. The question is can we work with them and dance with them like Hillman says we should do with our dreams, or will we try to make them “go away.” Well I am fucking proof that no matter how much you ‘think’ you are not carrying those memories, you are.

123 RV, SA, PH, TL, WC, JM

All quotes from Bruce Springsteen albume”On Broadway” from the song “My Father’s House”

 

“Thank you for being the friend you’ve always been to many of us.”*

siblings-love-ajaytao

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met my friend Patrick for coffee yesterday.(1) It was a rainy, blustery, cold day up here in the mountains. Patrick is a very interesting man. He is maybe 70ish. He is both American and French. He was born and raised in France but came to the U.S. in his twenties. He has had a very interesting life to say the least.
As we sat there in the coffee shop he almost could not stop talking. I am not complaining as I am not a big fan of listening to myself speak. Its not that I don’t like my voice, its that repeating what I know already cuts me off from learning. I learn more with my mouth closed.
imagesWhat I learned during the couple of hours we spent sipping espresso and coffee was that Patrick had had a major breakdown a few years ago. He thankfully had not lost everything But he was just coming out of a depression. He was grateful that I had invited him for coffee.(2)
I also noticed that he had a similar experience to mine with his family surrounding his depression. A couple of his nephews, who he invited into his business, were apparently working to take away his business from him.

What do I glean from all of this? Is it that much of the abuse in our culture is perpetrated on those who are ill. Abuse is perpetrated on those who are physically ill as well as emotionally ill. My experience is not the subject of this blog, but needless to say a “family,” member took advantage of my wanting to be fair when I fell into my depression.

What sucked is that I could not fight back. It is not that I could not afford to protect myself, its that I did not have the psychological will to do it. It sucks to write and read this but it is true.

10553437_602979719814934_7879934007941607271_n

I did not give Patrick advice. After learning of his situation, I just listened. He was talking because he needed to have someone besides himself hear his trouble. All I could do was tell him I heard him and if he needed to chat about this I would love to meet for coffee again.

We all want to be heard. Our fucking isolated world leads so many of us to not have anyone else to hear them. I am so grateful for my friends, almost all of them made because of my time in A.A.

finger touching nose of baby

123 RV, SA, WC, JM, AF, PA, SR and say a prayer for the Colonel

* My friend the Painter I call him(since we are anonymous here so as not to violate the 11th tradition) sent this to me the other day when we were texting back and forth about a mutual friend who is/was suffering with a major bout of depression. I pray I can live up to the Painter’s words
(1) We met at a wonderful newish coffee shop up here called Infused run by a dynamo named Jamie! If you are ever up on Cobb or Loch Lomond check them out. Infused is in Loch Lomond. There is also a great coffee shop called Mountain High Coffee which is in Cobb
(2) I gave him some Peets “Ethiopian Super Natural,” coffee. You could see the joy in his eyes when he smelled it. Apparently the French are snobs when it comes to coffee, TOO!

“We are ghosts or we are ancestors in our children’s lives….

jess-and-oatie“…We either lay our mistakes upon them and we haunt them, or we assist them in laying our burdens down and we free them from the chains of our flawed behavior.” (1)

I pray I made the right decision to do what I did with my daughter.  I have never written about my relationship with her here, or if I did, it was a cursory mention of the facts of our separation.  But I am here today to talk about it.  Why now?  I don’t have a fucking clue why I was not able to do this before today.  But here goes.

When my meltdown started in 2007, I could no longer run from the what the medical world calls my depression.

One of the effects of that event was that I left my marriage of 18 years.  Why is not what matters here.  But as a result of that decision my ex spouse did some things that necessitated us having to go into Court to deal with the “custody,” of my at the time 10 year old daughter.

The court ordered me to do “reconciliation therapy,” with her before I could see her.  I did not then and still to this day do not understand why they did it.  But I attempted to set up the therapy with a court approved therapist.  But the problem with this is the therapist made some allegations about me that I was not willing to let stand.  I told the therapist that if she insisted in the premise that I abused my daughter, then I wanted her to call the cops and report this alleged abuse and we would deal with it that way.  I knew a therapist has a duty under CA law to report to law enforcement any suspected abuse.(Jay told me.  You will learn about Jay later on down the post)

The therapist said she didn’t think that was necessary.  I asked her who had made the allegations.  She wouldn’t tell me.  I said I was not willing to have the fucking elephant in the middle of the room that I abused my own child since it would have been a set up and I would never be able to disprove a negative.

So needless to say re-unification therapy didn’t happen.

But to be honest, one of the straws that broke the camel’s back of my marriage was my ex didn’t think Jessica needed therapy. You see, I saw my daughter doing what I did when I was her age.   She was disassociating when the tension was expressed between my ex wife and myself and I knew that if she didn’t get help she would suffer from those deep seated emotional conflicts that lead many of us to drink or use as alcoholics or addicts.

So I was left with this fucked Hobsons choice.  Either I could “admit,” I abused my daughter, or I would not be able to see her.  (Gratefully, Jessica has been in therapy since about a month after I left.  She has had a therapist for the last 8 years and I am grateful for that.)

For my birthday every year, I give myself a one hour session with Jessica’s therapist. After a year in therapy, I asked her therapist, since I am not going to admit a lie as a premise for any sort of me seeing her again,  what could I do to make it so my daughter had as stress free a childhood as I could help her have.  I am aware that my meltdown has caused her a lot of stress and she has struggled.

But I didn’t know what to do.  So Jay, my daughter’s therapist looked me in the eye and with tears in his eyes, said I know you wont want to hear this but I think the best thing you could do for your daughter is to let her go. FUCK NO I said.  He then explained to me that my daughter was too enmeshed with her mother to be able to carry the tension of having a relationship with me at the same time.  I asked him how long did I have to “let her go?”

Again, struggling to get it out, Jay said that I had to let her go with no expectation or goal of seeing her again. I begged, tried to bargain, ranted, raged, yelled and did anything I could to not accept that sitting in that office in Novato.  But after about 10 minutes of me projecting every bit of fucking shadow I could at Jay, I just stopped and  cried.   I cried the rest of the session and I cry now as I write this.  I have never wanted to say or face this openly except in a cursory fashion in AA meetings, with close friends, or with my therapist John Jack.

So I have not seen my daughter since early 2011.  She was 10 when I last saw her and is 18 now.  Glenn Fry is singing “You’re  a Part of Me, I’m a Part of You,” on the radio as we speak.  I cry every day for my daughter.  I miss her so much and a part of me feels like it died that day.

But I pray that Jay knew what to do that day I made that decision.  I trust that he is looking out for my daughter’s best interest, even at my expense.

I pray my daughter does not have to carry the burdens that I laid on her.  I pray that her troubles are not from me making her carry all of my ghosts.

Thanks Renee for always being there on this issue.  123 RV, SA, PH, DH, JDK and a special prayer for the Colonel today.  He needs love and support as he trudges his own road.

I have never acknowledged this but that is Jessica in that picture.  She was with her dog Oatie when I took that picture.

(1) This is a quote Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway Album

P.S. I just re-read this and apologize for the rambling way I wrote it.  I don’t want to edit it but wanted to apologize for the somewhat unconnected way it was written

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” “To find out what is truly individual in ourselves,…”

images“…profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.”
I watch a series “This Is Us,”” faithfully. (Well as faithfully as I can since I don’t have a TV or cable.) What I have learned is that my need to watch shows that are military/police is nothing more than an unconscious need to re-perpetuate the trauma so that I can make sense of a world that makes no sense.
In the last episode of “This Is Us,” family members learned that they had a long lost uncle. They then found this uncle and saw how a traumatic experience he endured as a young man in Vietnam, he accidentally killed a little Vietnamese boy, made it so he could not cope with the outside world,  the rest of his adult life.
Now my friends who know me know I struggle with this. My traumatic, violent, abusive experiences as a young boy have put me in a place in the last 10 years where I struggle most of the time to keep moving.
jess-and-oatieNow I am very aware of how much this complex problem does not have a simple solution. I watch those close to me, in particular Willem3655 and the Fanatic, and see how complex PTSD affects them.
But the best part of the latest episode of “This Is Us,” is when one of the Uncle’s nephews says that he couldnt sit by and watch his Uncle suffer like he was. Metaphorically, Kevin made a different choice than did his dad did long ago because his Dad turned away from Kevin’s Uncle and walked away from him because Kevin’s dad could not deal with the trauma his brother carried.
This is a wonder full metaphor for the world. Many of us see and know those who need comforting and support and walk towards them even though by doing so we may get triggered ourselves. We also do it knowing there is a strong possibility that those we seek to help may not greet us with open arms. But as I become more and more that person I am supposed to be,(see opening quote!) I realize I truly have no choice.

123 RV, SA, RW, AF

Quote from Jung

 

 

“Rise, This is US”

11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_nWe live in a culture of confusion. This reality is not accidental. It was created by the means of control of communication as a way to keep us in a place where we live to seek relief from the effects of that ambivalence and mistrust of our own perceptions.
When will it stop? I live in that same world, which is really one of the effects of emotional and psychological trauma and “suffer,” from consequences of the conflict we all live in and under!

tumblr_luxczfdocB1qzxyqfo1_400I am writing because I am angry. My environment is one of garbage. I have never lived this way but I am now living with more “stuff,” around me that before I would immediately get rid of at the time of my use of it.
We live in a world of constantly looking and seeking satiation from the “dis-ease,” we seem to be living in. It is insane that we keep looking to the individual for the solution as well as the source of the problem.
I had a dear friend say that she was “broken,” yesterday. Her situation is not important for the point of this piece, but the problem she was facing was a problem so many of us suffer from.
You see addiction is nothing more than attempting to get release from the emotional and psychological effects of the trauma we live “IN.”
I feel like I have touched a part of me that has been dormant. How long it has been that way is not something I can answer at this time. I just pray I can keep connected to it and get direction and energy from it.

123 RV, SA, RW, PH, TL, JDK!

(The title is not accidental.)

“So how come history takes such a long, long time,…”

k3646710“…When you’re waiting for a miracle!”(1)

Talking with a friend the other day and we were reflecting on the fact that we are both middle aged and yet we feel like we did when we were young.  As I am sitting here I am wondering if it is due to the fact that we have some of those emotional conflicts that still persist below the level of consciousness that seem to carry more weight in our lives than we would hope!

337129_10151480788466040_1950483812_oThere is so much angst in the world.  I was at my meeting yesterday and was talking with my friend Spence.  I have known Spence since, well since I was in my 20s.  We both worked in the trades at that time and we did a long job together and we got to know each other.  Apparently Spence knew my Dad, as he and my Dad were about the same age.

p181600_2a_400We were talking and he brought up the fact that it seemed to him like everyone in the room was suffering.  I know that this view is narrow based on what this blog is about but Spence said that a few of our long time friends were looking sad and old.(Funny since Spence is at least 75!)

But I also learned this week that a dear dear friend of mine is getting divorced.  Yes I know that is life but when you are older it is not as easy to work around these issues as it is say when you are in your 30s.

So coming full circle, depression and anxiety rob us of our ability to be present in our lives.  Not all the time but enough that we cant see the forest for the trees.  We cant be present to work through issues that would give us resolution to problems that would allow us to to have and keep relationships.

What is the cause of this?  I dont know.

healthInSickSociety.krishnamurti-300x225But I guess it comes down to doing the best we can.  Trying to live up to the ideals we create or are born into projected onto us by our family and culture.  I dont know about you but I am not a big believer in what our culture puts forward as being in and living a good life.

When I talk to my friend every day, I pray at some level that he gets the miracle that so many of us have as the only thing we hold onto.  If you dont understand this, I commend you.  Because it might mean that you dont have the underlying emotional conditioning that many of us who grew up in those families where you didnt talk about IT did!

10671220_10154590625980694_4020566138315393272_nPlease say a prayer for those who suffered the tragedy that happened in Yountville last Friday.  It affected a dear close friend of mine who was involved in the Pathways program from the beginning.

123 RV, SA, RW, PH, PA!

(1) “Waiting for a Miracle.” Bruce Cockburn
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“To find out what is truly individual in ourselves,…”

69206_494942070555213_1624619172_n “… profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.”

Okay this is going to be a rant.

I am so sick and tired of not knowing who I am and what the hell I am doing here on this thing called earth.  If the Ggods have a clue I wish they would include me in their insights.  I have just taken a day of reflection(not working) and this journey through depression SUCKS!

My friends have to live with pain, psychotic breaks, shame and fear!  I live with all of them except maybe psychotic breaks.  Why?  So I can live 20150902_182534 (2)this life of what feels like aimless wandering from day to day, reaching and grasping for something that gives my life meaning and purpose.  What the hell is that all about?  What is so crucial for me to know about myself that I have gone into this five years of what seems to me to be, again, aimless wandering, searching for an answer to questions that I don’t even know.

“The best… work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.” I dont know if I am better at this than I 11707660_974787155951568_4667623480132897462_nwas before the depression took over.  You see I live, when I am not conscious of those and what is around me, in my mind.  Not in my brain, which knows life is wonder full and awe full and the place where I dont have to live in fear. I live in a house of mirrors, that at the slightest provocation, can render me helpless and hopeless.

” I am concerned with the woes of the world and their causes, and I at least try to do something about them.”  I feel that I can help those who suffer from what are called “mental illness,” problems in life.  But I dont feel like I am doing enough to help my 11907367_880476258701734_723295981690581222_nfellow sufferers.  I know that there are way more who suffer from this dis-ease than are in the mainstream consciousness.  I was told a while ago, by a man who is a student of AA history, that 6 out of the 20 people who wrote stories that were included in the back of the “Big Book,” of A.A. committed suicide.  Thirty percent of the original people who had “recovered from a seemingly hopeless disease,”(1) killed themselves after getting sober.

Now I see why this blog is titled the way it is.  We get sober and then we suffer from the maladies we drank over.  But back on 11665402_10152853758167167_7660227498252654124_npoint.  There is a part of me that wants to save every man and woman from going through what I have had to go through. It sucks.  But the dis-ease makes me not share this or step out and really take on the energy that benefits from our malaise.

Well starting tomorrow afternoon, I am off line from the outside world for 10 days.  COMPLETELY!

Hmmm, maybe that is why I wrote this angry blog.  So I would not not have to feel the fear the coming adventure brings.

123 RV, SA, JW, PH, PH, AMA!

11942118_879974405418586_1067961703083782043_oAll quotes from Carl Jung except (1) which is out of the big book of AA.  I also want to thank the Allman Brothers for playing Mountain Jam, which is what I listened to the whole time I wrote this blog.

finger touching nose of baby100_1607

“Reason” is, notoriously, not necessarily ethical…”

11709487_911521702258127_1817418095548286627_n“… any more than intelligence is.” When I was practicing I called the law “The church of reason.”  I did so because the law believes it is a reasonable person standard that is the norm for behavior.  At least in criminal law it was.  I do however believe that is was all of the law that used the “reasonable person,” standard to predict what “normal” behavior was.  The underlying premise, which was never nor is it ever articulated anywhere in a treatise that everyone follows, is that someone, or a group of people can decide what is the behavior that is going to be determined to be deemed “reasonable.”

630431Now I dont have a problem with a large majority of what is reasonable, but when it comes to “mental health,” issues, I dont believe that those who have not suffered the debilitation that comes from Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Order(just using my own classification as a benchmark)  can create any “reasonable person” with Treatment Resistant Major Depressive Disorder to be able to articulate any sense of what predictive analysis let alone treatment they can come up with.

godafoss-waterfall-of-the-gods-iceland-pome-acroI will give an analogy that I think is applicable.  I have an “uncle” who is a professor of psychology at a very prestigious university.  He is a man with a Ph.D and he is renowned in his field.  However, he is not even aware that his suffering, which is not in his conscious reality, is clouding his ability to understand what and how people suffer from those deep seated, sometimes quite often forgotten emotional conflicts.  I tried one time to talk with him and hopefully get him to see that his  shadow was getting in the way of helping others who were as neurotic as he is/was.(He had a nervous facial tic that was so prevalent that he went to a doctor to get medication for it instead of seeing that it was a manifestation of his dis-ease. His weight was another issue he could not see as being related to his inner self.) But he would have nothing of it.  He let me know that he was highly educated and knew more than others did about psychology.  I said nothing because I could see that he needed to be “right,” instead of being helpful.  That is what reason can do for us.

20140708-182105-66065695.jpg“Clearly the anti-mythological trend is due to the difficulties we have in clinging on to our previous mythological tenets of belief.”  We hold onto reason because we have lost the ability to see that the mythical animals and other heros of worlds long ago have been replaced by one iconic hero whose life was an alegory is now seen as a literal historic event that truly took place in the exact same way that those who were “followers,” of his said  it did.

Mt._St._Helena_lgTo the victor goes history.  But the iconic life of the one “true” mythical hero we espouse as being a literal life does not allow for the mythical creatures that our heros of mythological times slayed and befriended to be considered.  This takes away imagination and when it is gone, then the vacuum has to be filled with something and we now have the “reason,” of men from over 2000 years ago telling us what really happened there.  The taking away of the imagination has other effects.  People stop seeing life as a mystery that needs to be lived and see life as a journey that will hopefully get us into a place “better,” than this world.

dsc09201The power of reason can allow us to strip the earth of the resources in it, since we no longer see the Ggods and Ggoddesses  as being from the earth.  Our only Ggod lives on a cloud high up in a place where we should aspire to go. But using reason, did not the Ggod we think created this thing called earth give it to us for us to glorify in this Ggods name?  Why are we then harming it and  concomitantly ourselves.

This whole one Ggod is poppycock!  Okay I apologize to all my friends who believe in “it.” It is a great myth though!

123 RV, SA, AMA, FB, HF, JW, JEW, PH, PA!

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Quotes from Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 482-488

I get so much from this blog.  I hope you can too.  http://carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.com

” It is more trouble for us to speak really simply than to…”

20131024-174341.jpg” …speak in a rather complicated and roundabout way.” What is the reason that we use words in such a way as to leave a conversation less satisfied or educated than when we started.  I had a conversation with a friend the other day and in 2 minutes more was said about our lives in a true sense than was said in the previous two hours.  I am not saying that the previous two hours was anything less as far as shared communication about who we are and what we think, but in the end, the clarity that came from those two minutes was priceless for me.  Why?  Because they made it all very clear where we were in our relationship.  Wonder full!

“Only numinous experiences retain their original simplicity or oneness which still gives us intimations of the Unus Mundus.” I african-ibexam sitting here this morning at 3:41 a.m. and I am struggling with the sense of what this is all about.  When this happens, the
Ggods give me the statement above in my email.  Numinous.  What does it mean.  I looked it up and the definitions included the words spiritual, religious, divine and the word that most describes how I am trying more and more to view their world as; mysterious.

I drove through the fire area again.  I had to go and see if the house of a new friend I had made was still there.   As I drove up curiousitythe highway from Middletown(where the press focused it’s efforts on) to Cobb (where the conflagration really took off) I saw literally thousands of trees cut and laying off the side of the road.  There were so many that they had started moving down off the mountain and spreading them out in the open fields next to the highway.  I was awestruck by the amount of dead wood sitting by the side of the highway. (It was dawn so it was a little magical almost to see them lined up like pieces of lumber in a lumber yard)

lazy-red-pandaSo when I got up to the road where my friend lived, I turned up the hill and starting going up.  When I was by the road there was still houses and they seemed like they were alright.  This gave me hope as I started up the hill.  Then I saw the first burned out house.  Having driven through Middletown, I held out hope that the destruction would be random.  But as I drove further up the road, it became clear that there was no random saving of houses.  I drove by about 50 burned out houses and had to turn around.  I could not stomach to see what was above me on the mountain.  You could see the mountain from about 10 miles and almost all of the trees had been burned down.  Not the leaves burned and the trunks remaining.  No the fire up where my friend’s house used to be burned so hot that it burned the trees up and even burned the earth it was so hot.

dsc09491So I turned around and sadly went back down the mountain.  I did not need to see the rubble of my friend’s house and I am glad I didn’t.  I paid an emotional price just trying to go and see his house.  I was telling my friend Willem3655 about the experience and realized how sad the whole thing is.  All you smell when you get into Middletown and all the way up the mountain to Cobb is the smell of death.  Burnt death.  Yes for the people who died, but we lost much more than that.  We lost a place where people called it home.  Cobb will not be the same for decades.  There are places where the fire was so hot, it literally burned everything in it’s wake.

black-and-white-border-collie-pupsThat is so mysterious to me.  Why some houses and not others?  Why level a whole community like the fire did?  It makes no sense to me.  I can hear the argument that it is all random. But if there are truly Ggods out there, why pick my friend’s house and not the people a quarter of a mile away?  I have no answers just trying to make sense of such a mysterious travesty.  People who had lived on that mountain their whole lives lost everything.   A man in his 70’s who I befriended one day no longer lives where he lived for almost 50 years.  It makes no sense to me.

20131101-063008.jpgI believe what Campbell said, that Ggod is a metaphor for all that is beyond intellectual, it is that simple.  We dont get to make sense of the mysteries that unfold around us.

Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 508-509

123 JW, PA, PH, RV, SA, JW, JJE

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“Recognizing the shadow is what I call the apprentice piece,…”

2009 Mt Shasta to Oak street 018It is extremely difficult and definitely not supported by my culture to openly discuss and dredge up those deep seated emotional conflicts that persist below the level of our conscious that created violent twists to our behavior and altered our lives for the worse.

As an example, I will just say that being asked when I was 8 and was crying about MLK being shot, “when are you going to grow up?” by my Dad created such a conflict in me and has tremendous power overme brad and Maria me today when am not conscious.  So, right then, consciously and as well more strongly, unconsciously, I decided that I could not act out my emotions.  I had to act grown up to be considered normal and be loved by my father.*

Now being grown up at 8 is a wonderful concept, but virtually impossible emotionally as far as I am concerned.  But damn if I was not going to get my father’s approval.  So I started acting as if. When Bobby Kennedy was shot a few months later,  I was devastated. I mean crushed.*  But I knew that I 21263_535442463161020_1722702204_ncould not show it when my Dad came home…and I didn’t. Isolated and without any context and any lack of depth of character and I would argue soul, the event of that day, when MLK was shot, effected my life from then on a very significant way.

“… but making out with the anima is the masterpiece which not many can bring off.” Because when MLK was shot, I was told that my acting in sadness, empathy and a sense of woundedness of that part of me that really was expressive and open with my emotions was wrong.  Men did not show emotions like that because it made us look weak.  As I sit and write this a tremendous sense of deep sadness and pain washed natures-craftwork-lighting-ajaytao-1over me.  Me having to become this stoic rational self led me into law, which I call the “church of reason,” because emotions and empathy have no place in the law.

No wonder I almost died by being an attorney.  I was trying like hell to honor my father’s haunting emotional deprivation and live like him.  I write all of this to say that I feel more today than I ever.  Please dont think that I am talking about being happier, which I have to say I am mischievous-smile-ajaytaofinding more and more joy in my life..  I am talking about feeling my pain, sadness, joy, empathy and more acceptance of life being a challenging journey through the effects of the PTSD I have had to harbor in my body for my whole life.

It also mean that I get to experience many of those emotional conflicts at a “different,” and “deeper,” level.  But by doing so, I am able to live life and yes, it is amazing that the next few words are going to come out of my mouth, and love those who are in my life with a level of caring that I did not believe I had in me any longer.

Coming full circle to that eight year old boy who was crushed when MLK was shot is a gift I have always held onto as a part of me that was beautiful is a wonder full thing.  In the moment it does not feel very “good,” but I would not trade a moment for this experience, even as tears roll down my cheeks.

10526038_663870803709042_5332401051197838708_n123 Steve, Rhonda, Renee, Tom S, Tom L, Pat, Jeff V, Jerry M, Ed P, Colonel, the Painter and especially my dear friend the Leprechaun!

*That is me in the picture to the right  I am in the front left of the photograph.  I could not have been more than 9 in the picture as that is my little sister who is eight years younger than me.  I would be smoking pot on a regular basis within 1 to 2 years!!!!!

**  Now it is not hard to see why it crushed me so.  Some man, an adult figure in my life, albeit only through the medium of television, was talking about loving and being kind and was more than anything exhibiting it. As an 8 year old boy, I saw a man who was trying to help the world be a better place, and this was the antithesis of what I was living under as far as what a male role model should be.

100_1607  In case you didn’t meet Baron, please meet Baron.  He is the guardian of this blog and of all of those who suffer. He seems so loving and kind in the picture, doesn’t he?

Quote  from Carl Jung– Letters Vol. II, Page 481

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