My Mom

Recently, I had the honor and blessing to be a guest blogger for The Godly Chic Diaries ( https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/to-jean-love-your-son/ ).  I am so grateful to June for giving me that tremendous opportunity!

My mom had been on my mind and that is who I needed to write about.  I still do.  I wrote about her last moments here on earth and my time that I was fortunately able to spend with her before she moved on.  I wouldn’t be here to write anything at all if she had made different choices in life.  I am so happy she chose to have me, and I believe in my heart that I know she made the right choice as well.

Jean wanted to be a schoolteacher and Ashland College (now Ashland University) is where that dream would come true.  Along with college came meeting boys and for her it was Patrick.  They eventually became intimate and with intimacy came the news that she was pregnant. As far as I knew for years afterward was the story that Pat just cut his ties with her and that was that.  She wanted to have me even though she wasn’t married and back in 1969 that was pretty taboo.  Especially for a family like mine that gets embarrassed over small family dramas.  There were some quick solutions though.  One was to drop out of college.  Another was to move into a small cottage out in the country when she began to show.  The cottage was on a farm down the road from my great aunt and uncle who were good friends of the farmer and his wife.  Next, and shaking my head now writing this at the absurdity, was where I was born.  Luckily for the family, we lived very close to the Pennsylvania border.  They got Jean set up with Sharon General hospital and that is where I was born.  Want to know why?  The local paper would not show my birth record…it would be in another state.  Weird but that was the mentality back then.  It’s like all the sudden Jean disappears and then several months later reappears with a bundle of joy.  You know what?  So what.  She would have gone through all of that again if she had to.

She went back to college after a couple years and took me with her.  There were a couple very cheap babysitters that she could rely on for support while in class.  She finished college and achieved her goal as a single mom.  She was now a schoolteacher and secured a Home Economics teaching position at an inner-city school in Youngstown, OH.  Primarily she was teaching sewing for her first several years which was a humorous detriment to myself.  Detriment at the time and humorous now.  She made a LOT of my clothes.  Don’t get me wrong though, that woman could sew with the best of them.  I believe I drew a line in the sand back in the 80s when I wanted a pair of Jordache jeans like all the other kids and she made me her own version.  It didn’t not go over well with the other kids.  I was called Generic Jordache.  I was mortified BUT as she saw how distressed I was…got me a really cool pair of Jordache jeans. 

I believe I was 10 or 11 years old when I made a discovery in the basement.  An old box with knickknacks and things and some old letters?  From Patrick.  Wow.  No emails back in the late 60s and Pat had a way with words.  Every letter had a different greeting, Dear Sweetie Pie,  Dear My Darling Doll etc, you get the idea.  They were all pretty rated G and full of lovey dovey talk.  I was very intrigued though and could read very well with, thanks to my mom, and extraordinary vocabulary for my age.  There were a lot of letters to read through.  This is the closest I have come to knowing my biological father and my mom’s relationship with him.  I got to the last letter in the stack.  It was a different tone right off the bat because it started off, Dear Jean…that’s strange.  I felt hollow at the end of it.  Numb even.  Even to this day probably the most soul ripping words I had or ever will read.  I will just give the wavetops.  He wanted her to get an abortion.  He had his whole future ahead of him etc.  I took that letter to the backyard and burned it.  My life was never the same since.  My relationship with my mother took on a whole other meaning.  She chose me.  Me.  She had the courage to live in her own truth and integrity.

For several years I was also a bit insecure though as well.  I thought of myself as a mistake.  An error that God made.  Oops.  I always felt so different than everyone else and WAS so different than everyone else that I always attributed it to my being that mistake.  The funny thing is…God doesn’t make mistakes.  I was born for a reason and I am here for a reason.  I will continue to shine my light until my last breath.  My mom brought me into this world.  She took care of me, she nurtured me, and I honor her here and now and Always.  I love you, Mom.

A Crucial Key…For Me (Law of Attraction “Master Note”, not footnote)

Hi there!  I felt the need to highlight something that I glossed over / overlooked when I was writing my ReNewal (3) blog post.  I was on my run this morning and doing as I do, I either reflect on the past, look forward to the future, and also enjoy the moment I am in (particularly breathing, Love It).  So, I was reflecting on my 2013 “Awakening” / Shifting year and feeling the gratitude that encompasses it all.  But I remembered a Crucial Key that I just breezed right over in that aforementioned blog post.  There was something else in the background at that time and dawned on me this morning.  I wrote how I was comfortable with the idea of giving up the “dream job” being a general’s aide in order to assist my incoming boss who was panicking that I was leaving, and he would be left to fend alone.  There WAS something else.  My Soul Sister was deployed to Afghanistan beginning the summer of 2012.  It was strange being on the other end of sending letters and care packages as opposed to receiving them whilst downrange.  She was always in the forefront of my mind in wishing her well, praying for her safe return.  She was coming back at the end of July 2013 and was going to be on leave for quite a while.  She had this amazing week planned where we would meet up in Las Vegas and really paint the town.  There was one small problem with this plan though.  When I got the job as the general’s aide, I would NOT be going on the dream vacation / reunion with my sister.  I would be at a general’s beck and call.  I knew she would be incredibly disappointed and so would have I, even double so as I am on the more empathic side picking up her disappointment on top of my own.  Law of Attraction-wise…I know that deep deep down I would have wanted to see her again after being separated for more than a year rather than getting that dream job that I knew was mine.  In the blog, ReNewal (3), I got the word that I didn’t get the position, felt the relief wash over me and an eagerness to Get to Work for my new boss………and put in my leave papers to go to Las Vegas to be with my sister.  On the run this morning, I realized what my Heart truly wanted to do.  Be together again with my best friend and see her with my own eyes knowing that she was back home.  Safe and sound.  She truly was the Crucial Key to get me to my REAL dream job in San Antonio later that year.  Amazing!

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!

Infinite Christmas

Six years ago, and a few months into my Shift in Awareness, I became absorbed by the notion of infinity.  I couldn’t shake it.  I got infinity paintings and pictures, plus a very cool wooden sculpture.  These things all led up to having the infinity symbol tattooed to my upper right shoulder.  Christmas that year found me enjoying the holidays with my Soul Sisters and they ensured I had the perfect BenGi Santa hat to celebrate with.  After I returned home, and was unpacking, Santa hat fell to the floor.  I picked it up and the first thing I saw was my infinity sculpture.  Really without thinking, I went over and placed the hat on the sculpture.  Infinite Christmas, I thought.  A constant reminder to enjoy and celebrate every single day.  This Gift of Life we have on a continuous basis.

Over the next year, the sisters came to visit me every now and then and remarked about how cool it was having Infinite Christmas around me every day.  It must have really struck an elegant note with them as they had a very special pillow made for me.  A Christmas present that following year.  Little messages of what they thought made up Me.  In the center of it, and in gold letters, Infinite Christmas.  It is probably one of the Greatest Christmas presents I ever received.

I guess my message is this:  Surround yourself with things that are a Reminder of this Gift of Life.  It doesn’t have to be an Infinite Christmas.  Listen to your Heart.  It will tell you how to honor your Life.

Because I live my life like a mirror, I reflect which I am most enveloped by.  I Choose to be surrounded by beautiful and amazing things to include a Christmas without end. 

Celebrate Life Eternally, My Friends 😊

Citizen of the Universe

“What now?”, I’m thinking.  What now.  I accomplished my year long once a month blog from 2014-2015 on notions I was having post-Shift.  Time went by until I retired almost a year ago this month.  Technically it was 1 Aug 18, but if you have leave days accrued you can use them leading up to your actual retirement date.  I had about 36 days I believe…  I knew I was going to finally write about what led me into the Shift, which I accomplished in ReNewal.  Moved onto my Canyon Lake Retreat and private words written in a journal from 2014.  Done.  Something popped into my mind about the UFO phenomena which brought us to Unidentified.  Moments have passed by until this moment in contemplation.  I believe that most individuals have at least some general theme on WordPress, right?  I mean for the most part.  You write about what you love and something that you can identify with.  Who you are.  Who am I.

That is always such a brilliant question.  I never have liked being put in a box and labeled though.  I am a Marine (established the significant amount of discipline I bring).  I am a Soldier (defined me for the last 10yrs until retirement).  I am a Runner (since my first marathon in 1993, Marine Corps Marathon in DC, to my next one in McAllen, TX this Jan 2020).  I am an INFJ (never heard of the Myers-Briggs test until my senior military training as a major and found myself as “this” personality trait).  I am an Empath (“wow” and “of course”, it all made sense after coming to the realization in 2013).  I am a Roller Skater (since I was 7yrs old and still jammin’ on).  I guess one of the overarching ones is, I am a Mind-Body-Spirit Enthusiast (a phrase I started using a couple years ago when I had to write an “introduction” card about myself for a boss that was introducing me to the section I began working at…list your hobbies, which I summed up into MBS E)…

I am, we are, so many things.  Figuring out who I am is not really of any benefit to you, and especially not to me as I know who I am.  I would like to create some Value Added and utilize the prefix in benefit, ben, root meaning, good.  It helps that my name actually is Ben I suppose.  How can my words be Good for you?  I don’t know, like maybe verbal vitamins of a sort.  My (Soul) sisters think I should start a YouTube channel and be like a Tony Robbins motivational type speaker.  To that I say I am not quite Feeling it.  I mean I can sum up a lot of what I would have to say in, “the answers you are looking for are already inside you…”  Then again, most people are very focused on the external.  I can help to light a path on a new direction I suppose, but right now, a YouTube channel is not the way to go for me. 

Think, Ben, think.  Better yet, Feel.  I tend to do a lot better when writing from the Heart as opposed to the head.  So, I want to bring out something that connects us all right here and now…our humanity.  I love being a human, and I love living on this gorgeous lifeform we call Earth.  Countries divide each other as do ethnicities etc.  So much division and so much hate.  Racism.  I was Blessed to have two wonderful Souls raise me, mom and grandma, and never knew of bigotry.  I was aware of it and more so as the years went on but that was something that I just couldn’t understand.  My understanding of it now is that a great number are still asleep while thinking they are awake.  A big difference between being awake and Awake.

This WordPress site was created as I continue to Live in the Light, and so that must be the “theme” to be expressed. As I Live in the Light, I Shine my Light out toward You…

I was reading an article not too long ago that flowed back into my mind this morning.  Human beings are virtually 99.9% identical when it comes to our DNA.  The idea of ethnic cleansing from one race over another race is extremely sad.  Especially when we are the same.  The very thing that divides so many on our planet is the ONE thing that should be Uniting us.  We Are Human Beings.  The importance of being good and kind to others is so fundamental.  If we want to elevate the energy on this planet to a Loving state then we must elevate those around us, and they elevate those around them, and so on and so on…

A Star Trek future is within our grasp.  A United Planet, united with other planets.  Too cool.  Yet…we CAN reach out to this potential future through our Will and Desire.  Who am I?  I am a child of the cosmos.  I am a Citizen of the Universe.

Please join me and Always look on the Bright Side  😊