Getting My Soul Back: Learning About Love, Intent, and Faith
Early in life, I was unconsciously indoctrinated into the adult system of reward and punishment. When I did what my parents wanted, I was told and believed that I was good and vice versa. It wasn’t that the adults were maliciously manipulating me, they were trying to save me from disappointment while making their lives easier.
I resisted being told to blindly follow rules—intuitively at first, then with stubbornness and anger. Simple rules such as, “Don’t set your goals too high or you might be disappointed,” “don’t rock the boat,” and “this is a good as it gets” encouraged fear and mediocrity. Young and innocent, I naively believed those rules, and became less wild and free.
The rules made no sense to me. Why would I want to set my sights low, only to get that? If that’s all, why bother? Why would we want to aspire to follow other people’s dreams? The old saying often echoed from within me long into my adult life, “If I’m not the lead horse, the view is all the same.”
I was never perfectly clear on what I wanted in life, but I was damn sure of what I didn’t, well at least I thought so. My resentment of authority often blinded me, and as a result, I have made mistakes—a lot of mistakes. What I really wanted was to find my authentic self, not the person I was told to and pretending to be.
As a child, I fought against the “brainwashing” with anger—the only tool I had. But that reactive nature created discord in my relationships. I wasn’t about to let anyone stop me from becoming the person I wanted to be and getting what I wanted, no matter what the cost. I was bullheaded, arrogant, and often insensitive to the feelings of others. My “victories” were hollow and short lived. I wasn’t happy, and in retrospect, I could have chosen a much easier and less destructive path.
I made my first attempt to be admired, respected and get ahead when I was twelve. I became a child entrepreneur, selling sugar-rushes and smiles to schoolmates by means of 25 cent Charms Blow Pops. And, I did this knowing that it was absolutely against school policy.
When the short, stocky man with his high and tight flat top who called himself The Principal slammed my locker shut and screamed like a marine drill sergeant while his neck twitched to an inaudible tango, I knew I was in for some corporal punishment.
It wasn’t my first run-in with authority, and it sure as hell wouldn’t be my last. Looking back, I wish that I had understood who or what the real enemy was, as it is clear now that I had gotten it all wrong.
But junior high was just a turning point, and my misperception of the problem (or enemy) became deeply-embedded in my being during my more than 105 beatings during grade school. Being treated like that really sucked, but it taught me a lesson. I could survive anything. I also became angry and doubtful of people’s intentions. And although I never intended for it to, the anger and doubt stayed with me for a long time.
I had once again allowed the judgements of the adults around me, who said I was a failure, to be my truth too. Consequently, I spent much of my life trying to prove to others that I could succeed. No matter what the challenge, I was game. Each experience, successful or not, brought me closer to my goal at the time; financial abundance. I saw success as being measured by money and assets. Again, I was fighting the wrong enemy. Although there is nothing wrong with financial success, it is not an achievement that will create true happiness in life. After achieving financial success and fi nding only fleeting happiness, I learned that true happiness comes from learning how to give and receive love, having good intentions and choosing faith over everything else.
Learning to choose faith has been my hardest lesson to learn, and I am still learning.
My father wasn’t a church going man, so our family didn’t attend services. Dad believed that God was in nature. I did however, experiencing different denominations by means of attending church with my friends. One fateful day while at Sunday service with a friend, I was coaxed to my feet to walk to the front of the church and be saved. Several of us children were then escorted to a small room where a man came to tell us that we needed to take Jesus into our heart and be saved.
He also said that this was our only chance and that if we didn’t follow his instruction we would burn in hell for eternity. Whatever his exact words were I cannot recall, but it scared me completely, and I slipped out the door and ran all the way home. I didn’t understand how an all-knowing, all-powerful God would want His creations to suffer and burn in hell for eternity. So with all of the wisdom of my pre-teen years, I parted company with God, thinking I could handle this just fine on my own. Again, I had gotten it wrong and it would be many years before I found my way back. God never gave up on me and through the years I have had many extraordinary experiences that could have only happened through the presence of God. I made it back, but the journey left a few dings in my armor for sure.
It doesn’t matter how much we do or accomplish if we’re not enjoying life and living in balance. For many years I traded balance for vices. In January of 2001, I purchased Cityview Magazine. Media life was time-consuming, and I ignored my health and enjoyment to get “the job” done. I ate poorly, drank too much, got by with little sleep and exercise. I knew that I needed to find a way to reset and adopt better habits, and deep down, I was looking for something more. I just wasn’t sure what it was.
I was looking for an “Easy Button” instead of putting in the work to truly become a multi-disciplined person of character. People offered to help, but that old mantra of mistrust kicked in and I shut them out, clouding my own mind and body with overwork, three pots of coffee a day and a few cocktails–sometimes a few more than I could remember. All the while, I was in denial of what I was doing and who I had become. I even said there was no stress, when my stress was obvious to everyone around me. And this behavior became my norm. Wow! I was the poster child for an early heart attack or worse. I had fallen prey to all those old, mediocre beliefs of my authority fi gures and I had become a disenchanted, domesticated everyman.
I had made a big mistake. I judged myself as not being worthy of my own dreams. In misery, I was not willing to admit that I could be better or that life could be better. At that time, it was more important that I believe I was right than to be truly happy. Scrooge would have been proud, but instead of a visit from a ghost, I was to be visited by something altogether different.
God never gives up, and I believe there is some of God in us all. That is the only way to explain what happened next. Someone came into my life who could see the truth in me and courageously speak it with love. Through her example and skills to navigate life, I learned there was a better way for me too. Angelique Medow’s presence and program inspired me to want to be better. Her business helps others achieve their balance. And with balance, there is no need to bury ourselves in work or escape. If her programs can help me, I’d guess they can help anyone. I haven’t made this journey easy.
Busy with her own journey to bring to the masses a set of tools to increase their willpower, recognize intuitive guidance, and overcome personal limitations, she has poured unconditional love into my perspective on myself and life. She continually encourages me to say yes to my best and find sustainable ways to say no to my old, destructive behaviors.
Her upcoming book, Nine Paths to Unwavering Willpower, will outline the paths she shares to a freer, more joyful life. Angelique defines willpower as self-acceptance as opposed to what had been my paradigm of force and control. By learning, accepting, and appreciating my deepest needs, I can continually find healthy ways to fulfill them. When I first learned of her ideas, I was skeptical. Honestly, they sounded too good to be true. But, I tagged along, thinking I was right about my unhealthy choices and this would be a good way to affirm my beliefs about my need to drive and party harder.
In retrospect, I have never been happier to be completely wrong. Although at first, the experience was analogous to dropping a cherry bomb into a hornets nest. My old beliefs rose to fight like the soldier bees of hive. But they were no match for truth and love–and one by one, they fell away and I could see the beauty in life and me. As I grew in acceptance of myself and my deepest needs, I began to appreciate who I really am. Almost miraculously, my old struggles started to simply melt away—they had lost their grip on me. I was developing a new awareness.
I believe that we can have anything if we believe strongly enough and vividly visualize how it will feel to be there. One of the most common things I experienced in my 30+ years of consulting was the resistance to change, and mostly that was due to fear. Looking at my own life, it seemed humorously ironic as I had been behaving just like my clients. And that is how I got stuck, simply afraid to change, I had held on tight to what I had, even when it wasn’t what I wanted. I had to hit my reset button to allow myself to move out of fear, criticism and judgement and into willingness, worthiness and hope.
True willingness, worthiness, and hope are fostered by good spiritual health. And my spiritual health was on “E” for empty. Angelique recommended I meet with several gifted teachers to assist me on my journey. I gotta tell you, the idea of going to “see someone” made me feel like I was admitting that something was wrong with me, and that didn’t fit in my control drama. Again, never happier to be wrong, and as they loved me through my process, I began to grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined without their help.
My first meeting was with Jerzy Tworek. His ability to help me better regulate my body, mind, and emotions has worked wonders. His style of work is easy, his way is pleasant and he knows just what to do and say to help and make me feel better.
My second meeting was with Rev. George Doebler, who has decades of experience in spirituality and personal growth. Doebler jumped right into my business, challenging me on just about everything that I didn’t really want to talk about. It was diffi cult, but change is rough when we don’t want to look at who we are and what we’re doing. I was angry about being challenged, but had to admit that the introspection opened a door.
My third meeting was with Dr. Suzanne Jonas, an expert in sound therapies. I’ve always enjoyed music and I thought it might be fun as well as insightful. Jonas challenged me to read The Four Agreements by Don Ruiz. It’s a game changer for sure.
I’m also attending a weekly men’s bible study during lunch on Tuesdays. Hallerin Hilton Hill leads the group and he is a man that in my opinion doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. In a short time, I have learned so much. One of his suggestions is the five-five-five plan. Read in the word, meditate, pray, each five minutes a day. It really works.
I also decided to take steps to feel willing, worthy, and hopeful about my body. Three days a week I am in an extensive performance training program with Devin Driscoll at D1, a renowned expert in physical fi ness for athletes. I’m taking aerobic exercise from CoreChange and supplementing my nutrition with whole food products and supplements from Eddie’s Health Shoppe.
Over the next six issues, we’ll feature stories about each of the people and programs I’m implementing i n my soul journey. Check back to learn more about what I’m doing and how you can do it too.
I’m committed to this soul journey, my new way of life. I will continue making regular appointments with these and/or other practitioners as needed. I choose to be a man of true character in all areas of my life. I will make no action that is not the will of God and in the best interest of all involved. I will take time to be patient and ask what is best in every situation and should for any reason I fail I will ask forgiveness with sincerity and humility.
When I first made this commitment to myself, I took a deep breath and it felt like someone had lifted a weight off my shoulders that I had been carrying since third grade. I was more open and joyful than I had been in decades. I can honestly say that my compassion has increased, and that my level of respect and honesty is at an all-time high.
As I wholeheartedly accept this commitment, I am left with an interesting feeling of peace, contentment and joy at the soul level. From intuition, I know that doing this will bring me to a place of joy and satisfaction and love that I have always desired. In following this path, I will be living my most vivid and exciting dream, instead of living a life of “quiet desperation.” I choose a life of deep satisfaction—and you can too.