The Authentic Life

Part of being authentic, or at least in searching for authenticity is considering the various facets of life. Accepting that fear, sadness, and anger will seep into our life experience.  It is not the event, not the emotion that gives meaning to our life. Instead it is embracing that moment, in the moment and being thankful for the lesson it tries to teach us.

walking

 

These paths I have taken have taken me farther and farther from home.

 

Snap shots still remain. Moments sitting at my parents feet looking up awe inspired. I can recall being a small boy wearing my dads shoes after he got home from work. Sitting on his foot and making him walk around the house. Days of laughter. Running headlong into life, with eyes wide open sucking every moment of life from the day. Belief came easy in those days.

 

And now, so far behind lies the body of one whom believed in anything at all. I question whether my eyes were open at all or if there was anything there to believe in in the first place. Looking back now, I have trouble seeing those times at all. Maybe my vision is getting duller with the passage of time, or maybe life has just ripped the flesh bare from my bones and taken out my eyes with emaciated, cadaverous hands.

The path I have walked, I declare are mine through and though.

 I accept my wanderings. My failures. I accept the nights spent so tortured that sleep was nothing more than an elusive prey somewhere off on the distant horizon.

I find faith in that acceptance. And I search. For some reason. Some purpose to the struggle. Some purpose to this wandering through the wastelands. Some hope.

Hope, resting in the thought that life is laid forth in such a way as to call us back home. That we/I are here to struggle, to lament, to fight against the goads to learn to accept the prospect of a calling back to home. To be put to a place where every cell yearns to be home. Held close in the arms of an ever loving father.

father

 

I have struggled, especially over the past two years. I have screamed aloud. I have wept as no man should ever have to. Pure, unadulterated anger expressed in stinging tears that flowed from my eyes. I have asked why, if perhaps we have felt the arms of God wrap us gently in His strong embrace at some point, is it only in the anesthetic of deepest tortured sleep.

 And I have only heard, “I know the plans I have for you” offering little comfort from this vantage point resting above the chaos. I am brought to my end only able to respond, I am a man spent. My petitions are known. My soul is laid bare.

 I have gone through this process. I fully admit, the outcome was better than I could have expected or deserved by the farthest reach. I am forever grateful-if that even begins to describe having your postulation heard and apportioned. On bending knees I offer myself up in thanksgiving.

 On a deeper level though, I have learned and accepted that tears will flow and that makes me no less a man. Come to face a part of me which I did not know existed. I have been brought deep to the recesses of my soul, to the darkest depths hidden from even my own view. And in that place begun to look into my own eyes with humble commiseration. Looking from the outside I see a heavy-laden beast longing to lay down to rest. But I do not know how.

old dog

 

In the end, I can stand and say “weeping may last for the night…” and I am called back home but do not know the way. While gratefulness fills my heart, i recognize and accept that I am a grateful wanderer. Grateful that I am called home, that I have heard the voice through the night, that it echos in the direction to be followed. Perchance the beginning of sorrow was more the beginning of a new path, or brought back to the path I was meant to walk all along.

Perhaps, that is what these trials and tribulations are. A calling to a more authentic self, a more authentic life.