I’ve always been a seeker. Since my earliest memories, I’ve known there was something more, something that I couldn’t describe or touch but wanted so desperately to find. I never felt quite enough or that I was who I was supposed to be. It was as if my skin didn’t fit and I knew that there was a another way to live life, another way to be.
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman was given to me when I was a young teenager. That book sparked decades of an unquenchable thirst for self discovery and healing. I found myself on every continent reading works hundreds of years old and a lot that had just been written. They offered a glimpse to a way of living I never knew existed, a peaceful loving way which instead of being built on chaos and fear it was nurtured and enriched with love and grace.
As I read more, I began to bump into people in airports, the grocery store, and other unexpected places that would have just read what I did or were asking some of the same questions. A close friend of mine and his mother introduced me to reiki and reflexology in my early twenties. One day I looked up and a little less of the fear and anxiety was taking up space in my life and although I was far from figuring it all out, I began to breathe deeper.
Decades later, now in my late forties, I have multiple friends who are mediums, psychics, and healers. I am in a loving relationship and have established goals of peace, certainty, and allowance in my life. It hasn’t been a cake walk to get to this point but there have been extraordinary moments within the struggles that encouraged me to take just one more step forward until I was ready for the next.
In my early twenties, my friend Joe was receiving countless messages from my father who had recently taken his own life. Initially I refused the messages, I was still very much in a state of fear. I would hold up my hand with my palm facing Joe and say, “no, I don’t want anything from him.” Joe was relentless and would blurt out that he simply wanted me to write every day, just write every day. That was the repeating message I received from my dad for years. It angered me, made me resent him even more. It felt like a total disregard for the way he had treated me as a child and young adult. The years of abuse had taken a toll on me and the last thing I wanted from him was advice.
Now as I sit here in my forties, I realize he was trying to connect the dots for me. It was his apology. It was his way to help me get to my authentic self, a writer who shares. So I began writing every day and as I did life began to change in the most extraordinary way and continues to do so. Just recently I was introduced to Kevin, a reiki practitioner. In just a few weeks we discovered a couple of common threads. We’ve both experienced a parent committing suicide and we’ve both used writing as a way to find our way through.
So now in this moment my intent is to write along with Kevin to share our worlds of healing ourselves through thoughtful actions and choices and share our ups and downs, struggles and triumphs as the choices lead to love not fear, healing not disease, and building connections instead of isolation. We hope that you will join us as we continue to move forward and create the lives with our loved ones and families that we have always dreamed of living.
From our first wobbly baby steps, to our last whisper of breath, I’m starting to think that maybe T.S. Eliot was on to something when he wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.” Maybe that’s what it’s all about, maybe that’s the secret?
Maybe this life is just a journey back to self, an inward odyssey to find that purest, most authentic version of “us” that we hide away and protect from the harsh, unforgiving, unrelenting world? I know it has been for me.
My journey began in earnest when a caring man named Joe took a wounded, and angry young man, under his wing and sent me to a clinician in my college’s health center named, Sharon.
Having never “done” therapy before, I sat down on Sharon’s couch (I just assumed that’s where the one needing therapy sits.) and I began to tell her about Mum. I told her how she was diagnosed with bipolar and how she would exorcise her anger and frustration with the world by beating on me when I was a child. I told her about how my mother’s favorite, and most stinging, line was, “You’re a hateful little shit.” She just sat there and listened. When I was finished, she looked at me and said, “Kevin, do you know that you were abused?” Of course I didn’t, that was the only way of life I knew.
Years later, Sharon and I were reflecting back on that first meeting. She said, “You went on and on, story after terrible story, never once showing an ounce of emotion.” How could I? Life had taught me to build an elaborate defense system, complete with what we colloquially call “walls” and “masks.” My public face was one of confidence; only now can I truthfully say that it was cockiness, not confidence. Internally I was a mess and I was building a mighty fortress to protect my true self; brick by brick, every hurt added to my defenses. The strange part about building walls, is once they get big enough and strong enough, you either lose contact with what is outside of those walls, or you lose contact with that which you were trying to protect in the first place. For me, it was the latter. I spent a long time and a lot of heartache walking around those fantastic walls, having long forgotten who that beautiful soul was that I was trying to protect.
After lots and lots of time on that “couch,” and the unconditional love of my beloved wife, Kristin, I have found my way back into my fortress and began its disassembly. Through Kristin’s love, and my healing, I have come to believe that we have unlimited untapped power within us as individuals and collectively as a species and a planet. That power is the purest of love, it is an energy that binds us across genders and races, across sexualities and religions, across the confines of time and space. There is a common energy that flows through us and around us, and with it, we are capable of manifesting a true heaven on Earth. We need only to find our way home. Back to our true selves.
But, we need to clear the debris that lies on our path, we need to begin to dismantle our walls. Each of us has had so many constraints placed upon our true self. From the time and places of our birth, where we inherit the yoke of societal rules and expectations; to the individual family units we are raised in. Each life event brings yet more potential obstacles. It is my intention to explore, and overcome, as many of these obstacles as possible through a written dialogue with my co-writer Jennifer Parker. Reiki and energy work will surely be among the threads with which we will weave our tapestry, but in the end, all roads lead home, “and we will know the place for the first time.”