Despair vs Resiliency (A short story)

Who wins in a battle?  A battle against yourself?  Well, hopefully yourSelf wins as opposed to yourself.  On my morning run this morning I was reflecting on the past which I do not normally do.  You know how thoughts are, sometimes coming out of no where like objects floating through outer space.  I was reflecting on the darker side of the Law of Attraction and my own personal battle.  I’ll keep to the wavetops and make as light as possible because there are moments during this dark year that I had which are extremely personal, extremely dark and have only shared it with my two closest friends / soul sisters.  However, to the wavetops…

I went to Afghanistan and came home to find my wife of 10yrs had left me for someone else.  I didn’t even know there was another person until four months after I got home.  I just know those four months were bleak.  All the while during this time my mother is back home in Ohio fighting stage IV colorectal cancer.  My wife finally told me she wanted a divorce.  Shocked.  I was in shock.  The type of personality I am and the way I opened myself up to two becoming One reallllllllllly devasted me.  I was feeling despair.  A few months later my mom passed away.  Single mom who did the best she could raising a little boy on her own (with grandma 😊) moved on to the next stage of life.  I was literally all alone.  The impending divorce created what felt like a rift in my soul.  A despair so deep that most of the time even breathing was a struggle.  My mom’s passing was absolutely terrible.  I became virtually nothing but a being who was dwelling in their own misery.

Not long after my mom passed away, I found out that our unit was going to deploy again in the fall but to Iraq, a new place.  It was early spring at the time and when I found out I knew I had to get out.  I wasn’t fit.  My three-year obligation after commissioning was coming up in June.  I started the paperwork and got out, but…I lingered.  My wife was still in the area as a schoolteacher.  I just couldn’t find a way to leave.  The despair had me swirling around a circle in Fayetteville, NC.

Here it was in action. The Law of Attraction in the worst way that whole year. Always expecting something worse to happen and the worst happens…over and over again. Attracting more darker energy…

I became a homeless person.  I had a car and a little bit of savings.  I lived out of my car.  Gas stations and baby wipes became a way of life for hygiene.  I had a decent plan on sleeping in a safe place every night.  The apartment complex I lived in before I got out was a gated community and we had a sticker in the windshield…a sticker that was never removed.  This particular apartment complex had two others in the area that used the exact stickers.  I rotated between the three locations each night for almost four months.

I couldn’t leave, I just couldn’t.  Mentally I was stuck in a loop.  Despair.  Hope.  Maybe she’ll come back to me.  Maybe maybe maybe.

For some reason it seemed to make sense to go to bookstores and the library to hangout.  Read.  Catch cat naps.  After a couple months it started to dawn on me some of the same people I was seeing at the same locations.  Homeless vets.  Backpacks.  It was so bizarre and yet made some kind of weird sense.  I was beginning to follow the migratory patterns of a homeless vet near Fort Bragg.  I knew that eventually I would have to lose the car, grab a pack and join them.

TAP TAP TAP.  I was woken up at 6am in one of the apartment complex parking lots.  A female police officer was waking me up with her flashlight on my window.  “Sir, someone has noticed that you have been sleeping in your car an awful lot around here…”  I made up some kind of excuse about how my wife and I were having problems…not too far from the truth.  “Well you can’t sleep in your car, sir…”

Finally.  A catalyst to snap me out of it.  A break in the vicious mental loop.  Just enough to hear the Voice, “Go Home”.  It was just enough time for that Voice to create an interruption and my resolve to end this came pouring out.  This was a true test of my resiliency and whether or not I would actually Listen to the guidance being given to me.  I really wanted to give in to the despair.  To abandon my car and just become…Nothing.  A shadow.  That resiliency in my Soul brought me back.  To Fight for my Life.  To Live.  To Shine.

I Am an INFJ

I had never heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test until I went to my “majors” school (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth in the summer of 2015.  Apparently, they like to get a little psychological snapshot assessment of the students before the school year starts.  It turned out that I was the only INFJ in my small group (15 of us per classroom).  Not the only introvert to be sure but it interested me to dive a little deeper into what this extra label I took on meant to me.

Famous INFJ’s include Oprah, Nelson Mandela and……Adam Sandler?  Interesting.  Allegedly this particular group I fell into is a very small percentage of the world, 1-2%.  Wow.  Made sense why I felt so utterly different than the majority, however, it was only two short years before this test that I found I was on more the empathic side.  Funny how INFJ’s have been called, The Mystic, The Counselor, and………Empath.  So, I was like, Ohhhhhh ok, my labels have all kind of merged together in the same group, INFJ.

There was something else about this INFJ/Empath that helped me get through all my school years, Marines, Army, virtually everything.  The Chameleon.  I suppose it’s kind of like a natural defense mechanism where I was always able to blend in so well.  Except for the past few years.  I dropped the defense and just allowed Me to come through.  When I had my Shift in consciousness, I was able to finally stand in my own strength of Who I Am without fear of repercussion of trying to “fit in” anymore.

It was humorous though when someone in our small group at CGSC found something about the Star Wars character equivalence to the 16 Myers-Briggs personality traits.  Good ole Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Counselor.  Wait, not just Obi-Wan! From Star Wars: A New Hope, we first meet him as Ben Kenobi.  Hey!  I’m Ben too!  Perfect.

Have a wonderful day, my friends, and if you are an INFJ reading this and are having problems in life then please feel free to drop me a line! Wait a minute, it doesn’t matter if you are an INFJ or not. ANYone having any problems dealing with anything and would like some outside, neutral guidance, then please feel free to drop a line 🙂

Body Changes

I decided to pull a card today from the Butterfly Oracle Cards for Life Changes by Doreen Virtue.  I wanted to write something at least once a week and the Wednesday mid-week scene seemed the best time.  I just was a bit unsure though.  I have a lot to talk about but some of these things just do not feel right, right now.  Hence the card pulling and see what I Feel from that.  Body Changes.  Well that’s interesting.  Definitely a lot has transpired there in the last 25yrs or so.  The funny/amazing thing is that now that I am closing in on 50 in six months, I feel better than I did at age 20.  Seriously, it’s fascinating.  I remember in my 20s I would develop injuries/pain in my ankles and shins back in my Marine Corps days.  In my 30s, I was having issues with my knees on a regular basis.  By late 30s/early 40s it was my lower back on top of all of that.  I was breaking down as the years wore on.  But……….

By age 43 I changed what I ate (became a vegetarian) and developed my holistic mind/body/spirit regimen.  Six years later, as I reflect on the time that has gone by…I feel Great.  So much so that I signed up for my next marathon, albeit not until Jan 2020 (and will be approx. a week after I turn 50).  The body mind spirit connection is so incredible and you hear these truly inspiring stories out there about older individuals completing the most monumental achievements.  I think the one that sticks out the most is a 94yr old lady who was a two-time cancer survivor who became the oldest woman to complete a half-marathon (San Diego Rock-n-Roll 2017), BUT it wasn’t two years earlier that she became the oldest woman to complete a full marathon at 92.  Amazing.

The human body is an incredible machine if you treat it with the utmost respect that it deserves………it’s You.

Have a wonderful week, my friends!

Retirement Reverie

Last week, my sister inquired about what I had been writing about lately and I was like, what a coincidence you should ask, I wrote about my Infinite Christmas.  She thought that was cool but suggested I write about what it’s been like retired for the past year.  Yes.  Great idea.  Thank you.

You must understand; I started my military journey in 1992 on Parris Island.  This is my THIRD time getting out and fortunately my last.  My ex-wife convinced me to leave the Marines in 1998 and go to college, get a degree etc.  I compromised with the caveat of potentially coming back into service as an officer.  It was really hard though.  I LOVED being a Marine.  I loved my job as a combat marksmanship instructor for Marine Corps Security Forces in Chesapeake, VA.  LOVED shooting competitions in the Marines.  That was all gone before I knew it and I was a college student with a bunch of “punk kids” with no discipline in their bodies.  I was depressed for over a year.  I hated being a civilian.  Eventually time has a way of marching you through and my ex-wife, over the course of the next three years, convinced me that maybe I should consider joining the Army as an officer…which literally took three years to finally sit well enough with me.  I did it.

I received a BA in History and applied for Army Officer Candidate School (OCS).  Got it.  Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the summer of 2002.  By spring of 2003 I was at Fort Bragg and by that November I found myself in Afghanistan.  During my time there, my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer.  It had already spread to her liver etc.  Unbeknownst to me, my ex-wife at the same time began living a double life with a man she met while teaching (he was a teacher as well).  It wasn’t until I came home from Afghanistan did I realize how bad things were.  Mom is dying, and wife leaving me.  I wasn’t doing to well but somehow managed to keep it together.  At least until spring of 2005 when my mom died.  I made the promotion list for captain as well around the same time.  Also, around the same time our unit found out it was going to deploy again but to Iraq this time.  Something else was coming up in the summer of 2005…my three year “obligated” service time as an OCS commissioned officer.  I couldn’t do this.  I was a train wreck.  I put in my paperwork to get out.  I did not want to.  No way.  That wasn’t the plan when I first enlisted in 1992.  I was going to serve my time and retire with honor.  I got out and was living out of my car as a homeless person for three months (that’s a heck of a story).  I did find my way back home to Ohio and in less than a year I was feeling pretty damn good.  I wanted back in.

I applied to get my commission back in September 2006 and by the beginning of August 2007…I was back to finish what I started.  I enjoyed the rest of those 10 years until I retired.  I really was going to serve longer but Trump helped make up my mind on that decision while he was sending childish tweets to a psychopath less than 200 miles away from where I was stationed in South Korea.  However, the thing is…I didn’t mind!  I was HAPPY to get out.  The process was smooth and enjoyable.  I had so many people help mentor me throughout my last year.  It was Great.  One year ago last month I was Free of my obligation.  Not just to the Nation but to mySelf.  I made a declaration in 1992 and I was going to complete what I started.  And this past year?  It really flew by!  I had some amazing adventures in Colorado, Arizona, and of course in Texas where I retired to, BUT the best part of all is that I finally felt satisfied.  I am Living my Best Life and will continue to.  My Life My Terms.

Peace, My Friends!