Church Space

I went to church.  I did, me, Trevor, I went to church and… I liked it.  Not saying I haven’t been going to church, but I will say it has been a while sense I liked it.  But I also want to disclaim how it has nothing to do with church and everything to do with me.

 

I’ve read a lot of articles on how to keep millennials in the church. (Who by the way I am apparently…) (Never wanted to die more in my life than when I found out I was a millennial) I have read a lot of articles on why you should leave the church.  I have listened to a lot of pod casts saying how the church is dead, and I have listened to a bunch on how vibrant and alive it is.  And so, you too probably.

 

My question during the sermon was exactly the reason why I love church.  It happens in club talks, it happens in sermons, it happens in a movie, it happens when someone is speaking, but you can’t predict it.  Something triggers your brain, and you get a thought.  You get an idea, you get an inkling, or a gesture to something you could have never have had if you hadn’t been at church/club/movie/conference.

 

But, Church creates space.  It is what it has always done and will always continue to do.  My pastor friends and anyone who speaks in public will be able to tell you what I am about to tell you.  We are people who are able to give you and create in you some space for ideas to come, epiphanies to happens, and places to be opened up.  I could write a book on how many people come up to me after I speak and tell me something about my talk in which I never actually said.  Somehow they gleaned something from my talk, but then repeated back to me something that never came from my mouth…  its somewhat crazy, and awesome.

 

The other day this thing happened to me.  This pastor kept talking about God’s presence.  How if we could be in God’s presence we would never want to leave.

and so my mind began to race…

God’s presence, as if it is a place you can go.  A magical world in which exists no crying, no worries, no stress, no anxiety, no hurt, no pain, and God.  Maybe you get there by reading more and more of the bible.  Maybe this place exists only at church.  Maybe it is not a place?  Maybe it is a person?  Maybe, The infinite, unfathomable, the indescribable, the one in which no one could ever grasp will be in front of you.  And my brain started circling, aching, and filling with wonder.  What does it mean to be in God’s presence?  Can you be?  Is that a thing?  Why is this guy not saying what it is?  He only said what you get from being in God’s presence but not actually telling us how to get there, or where it is, or how you can stay for a while…  and so, I still don’t know, but this is what I came up with.  With the space he created in me at church I started thinking about this quote.

 

“We’re already in the presence of God, what’s absent is awareness”-Rohr.  And it all made sense.  We are all created beings, in the midst and on the planet in which the creator decided to show us all of its Glory.  We walk by image bearers all day long.  We have conversations with spiritual beings having human experiences, and every emotion, pain, love, joy, hurt, anxiety, and stress all have a place.  What if we became more aware?  More aware of God.  More aware of his presence surrounding us and in us.  What if we were more tuned in and in constant awe of this life we get to live.  Even the pain, the joy, the struggles, are all a part of this presence of life we live and move and have our being.

I just received an email that made me really mad, then angry, and then fearful.  So proof reading this post made me sit for a second and be thankful for all those negative emotions because they have a place.  And now I am feeling at peace with the email I received.  And I am grateful I will be able to watch how God shows up in this really trying time.

But, I wouldn’t have had that question if I hadn’t gone to church and my mind race off into the space the pastor had provided.  Can we be more aware of God today?  Can we be more mindful of God’s presence all over the place, and deep within us all?

Maybe we can try.

 

 

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Confessions of an Addict

I have a confession

A real confession

It was also an obsession

But now it might be gone

 

I’m sorry some of that rhymed…

I like to eat grapes before they are washed…. jk, but kinda…

About a month ago I did something irreversible.  I stopped going on social media but once a week.  I deleted my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook from my phone a long time ago, but I found myself still going on Facebook a lot.  A Lot.  Like, a lot a lot.  I did a hard delete of twitter and insta about two years ago.  I found myself going to safari on my phone and heading straight to Facebook.  So technically I don’t have the app, but I still used it.  Like a junky, I found a way.  I found a way to be able to say in a crowd I deleted it all while still using heavily.

 

My reasons for the hard delete, and the removal from my phone was normal and you see it all the time.  “taking a social media fast”, “leaving social media for a while…”, and you probably have a friend do it once a month, but they return.  Like all good addicts.  Like all good dogs.  We return to our vomit.

 

But, four weeks ago I gave up Facebook too, but I allow myself Tuesdays.  I go on Facebook on Tuesdays.  Good boy.  Good job.  Well done good and faithful servant.  But truly I want to tell you what I have found.

 

Number 1:  I don’t need it.  (Nuff said)

 

Number 2:  I no longer have any good excuses for it.  With the invention of cell phones and email, I don’t actually need it.  Those other inventions like text messaging, and emails work beautifully.  Even work related doesn’t make sense anymore.  My emails, texts and phone calls can suffice.

 

Number 3:  The grass is no longer greener.  Hear me correctly, I still judge my life based on watching other people, but it is a lot lot less.  So much less.  It only happens when I am out about town, and I see things I want.  It is normal, and by not being on social media all the time I enjoy what I have, and I enjoy them a lot.

 

Number 4:  People have become more interesting.  My conversations are interesting and I find out what other people are doing by conversing in day to day conversation.  And they get my real reactions because I wasn’t privy to it prior to seeing them.  I actually was able to give my friends an honest reaction because I didn’t know prior.  It’s wonderful to be able to express an emotion in real time, and real space.

 

I can go on and on and on, but I am not trying to convince you, or even convince myself as most of my blogs are.  I just want to confess.  I feel more free.  I feel free to write, I feel free to be a human, and I feel untethered.  I don’t feel the need to check my phone when I am waiting in line.  I don’t wonder about who has liked my shi%t.  I never have anxiety over what picture to post, or when to post, or is it good enough (Caption this…Help).  There are no worries about my politics or other people are their politics.  It has been a season of freedom, and…

the reason I am writing this is because it is Tuesday

And today I went back on

I sat on my couch, and thirty minutes went by, then, an hour…

 

I saw different ways to bake eggs in a bacon muffin.  New ways to fold your clothes.  New gifs, and memes.  I saw friend’s pictures of their unbelievable life.  I saw politics, and posts about babies.  I saw animals, fake news, real news, and nothing.  It was all nothing, and I started to think about how I was filling my Tuesday with literal nothingness.  It didn’t matter, and so I shut it off and opened my computer.  And this came out.  So, I confess I did nothing on Facebook for about an hour today and I don’t feel better about my life, I don’t feel worse, it just was.  I might even hard delete it.

 

But like a good addict, I keep it, cuz I might return…. One day.  Never know!

 

Why do we need social media?

Please let me know

 

 

Be blessed

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Fear Loneliness

It’s hard to believe it is good

It’s the only thing in the bible that is NOT good

It feels terrible

There is no real healing other than another person

No amount of distraction can cure it

No amount of healthy thinking can make it better

It just is, lonely, and it is NOT good

 

I have one friend who is in the same boat as me when it comes to being lonely.  We share the same feelings, the same reactions, and the same symptoms.  When we talk about it we share the same mind.  There are better days than others, and there are worse days than most.  But we both agree how we will one day look back on these days with fondness and laugh.

 

That is my hope.

 

For one day we will have hindsight and it will be glorious.  But until then it will still suck.  Hard.  Usually my first day of loneliness is good.  My body unwinds, or begins to heal itself from the business.  I am a people person and I need people to fuel me.  I get depressed and empty if I am with myself for too long.  I love making people laugh.  I love fun and adventure.  I truly believe life is meant to be shared, and so loneliness is my arch nemeses.  I’m alone right now typing this, and I can’t wait for in a few moments when I am with humans.

But this is what I have learned about loneliness.

 

Loneliness is NOT good, but it can be an amazing teacher.  In my efforts to not be lonely I have found meditation.  I have had the amazing chance to practice stillness, and learn how to meditate.  I’m still not sure if I do it properly, but it helps calm my mind.

 

Loneliness has shown me who my truest friends are.  These are the people who are not afraid to enter into my loneliness.  They come out and “play”.  Remember “play”?  When was the last time we just went over to someone’s house to “play” …? Never, but it is what we used to do when we were lonely or when our parents were sick of us.  So, I have a few friends who like to come out and play.  And it can easily get me out of my loneliness.  But I had to learn how to ask for people to come over.  It has taken great bouts of loneliness to get my head out of my a$$ and ask someone to come over.

 

Loneliness has taught me what I like.  Before my deep depression, years 2009-2011, I let other people dictate what I enjoyed.  I had no clue what I actually liked.  I just did what all my friends were doing.  I didn’t truly like some of the things we did.  I didn’t enjoy video games, or staying inside all day while we all watched movies.  During my deep darkness I had to make myself go do things alone.  I drove to destinations alone.  I ate meals alone.  I hiked alone.  I went camping alone, and I found out what I truly loved to do.  And now I take people with me in that love.  If they don’t like it I still do it.  That is the true test of how much you love something.  Will you do it alone, and will you still enjoy it if no one comes with you?

 

The last and greatest gift loneliness has given me is myself.  I have been on a journey of loving myself, and even liking myself.  I have had to be in a room with myself, or out in nature with no one else but me, and I have learned to like me.  I have learned to and am still learning to love myself.  Do things for myself.  And simply just enjoy myself.  I find myself being nice to me.  My inner dialogue is becoming quite fond of me, and not in an narcissistic way, but in a polite and non-judgmental way.  I found out how I was nasty and evil towards my inner being.  I had no grace for my actions or my thoughts.  But over time I have learned how to be nice.  I have inner mantras that I say over and over again.  “you are learning”, “You are great”, “it won’t be like this forever”.  And when Jesus talks about loving your neighbor as you love yourself I finally understand.  I no longer feel like a hypocrite when telling someone Jesus loves them and is fond of them.  Because I am learning to love myself and learning to be fond of myself.  Even in my worst, even in my most lonely places I am becoming who I have always wanted to be.  Loved.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I still have my hard days, but we are all learning.  And sometimes re-learning.  So, can we be more in love with ourselves?  Nicer to ourselves?  Give our self more grace, and love?  Can we embrace loneliness not as an evil monster, but something to teach us who we are, what we like, and who we should surround ourselves with?  I want to try, maybe you can come out and “Play” sometime.

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Trying is enough

People have expressed thanks for being vulnerable….  My response outwardly is Thanks it’s hard, but inwardly my response is, I wasn’t completely vulnerable.  I left a lot out.  A lot.

Maybe you can relate, but being vulnerable may be the hardest part of life.  I don’t like opening up, and I do not like sharing my emotions.  I feel weak, I feel feeble, and I don’t like it.  I like being strong, I like being funny, and I like being stable.

There is a great fear in sharing what is really going on in our heads.  What if we really said what was on our minds facebook?  No I’m not going to share that.  I wouldn’t have any friends.

 

Comparison:  Discounting who you are and what you have in regards towards others.

Acceptance:  Doing, saying, acting, and behaving a certain way to get others to like me.

Judgment:  Believing in my soul life would be better if _______________________

Jealousy:  Believing you deserve it and others don’t.

 

I could keep making lists.  I can go on and on about what keeps me up at night, but I still don’t let people all the way in.  I am really good at keeping people at a distance.  About arms distance.  Hugs are too much.  I don’t like touch, and I have to talk myself into eye contact.  I don’t know why, but I am afraid of letting people all the way in.

 

My mentors, my friend Josh and Brady, and that is about it.  Those are the three that know it all.  And even they are close but not completely.  And

That is ok

I have those folks in my life and it is good.  It has been a start.  They give me space to say what is really going on in my heart and in  my head.  Most of the time my head stops them from hearing about what’s in my heart, but sometimes I let them in.

I’ve realized most of us are extremely harsh towards ourselves.  We beat ourselves up over things we would be proud in others.  We say things to our self we would never speak out loud.  In fact, I would be so bold to say we are the worst person/friend/confidant/life coach we could ever be to ourselves.

I’m trying to change my head space, and I am realizing my Mentor, and my friends are the key.  They speak great words to me.  They tell me when I am being dumb, and they speak life into me when I need it most.

I hadn’t met with my mentor in a few months, and meeting with him last week was the best part of my whole week.

 

My mentor allows me to

See how comparing my life to others only brings hate and anger.

Shows me I am accepted before wanting to be accepted.

Brings me to gratitude and instills in me a heart of thankfulness.

Let’s me know how I will be given good gifts in time, and they are worth the wait.

 

Maybe you are like me and you are not great at being vulnerable.  My response is…  Knowing you are not good at being vulnerable is the start.  We are all on a journey.  We all are growing and becoming.  We are all being more and more the person God knows we are.  And wanting to be vulnerable is a start, and right now, it’s good enough.  Good job.  Keep trying.  Keep failing.  For one day we will look back and see the progress.

Be blessed

 

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Inward

I’ve quit many many things growing up.

I quit a lot of sports.  My memory probably isn’t 100% on these images, but I remember a few sports I quit.  I tumbled and did gymnastics until I rolled on my head, so I quit (four or five years old).  I got kicked in the stomach playing soccer, so I quit (six or seven).  I didn’t like baking cookies with my scout master lady, so I quit (six or seven).  I moved cities and never played hockey again (ten years old).  I broke my neck playing football, so I quit (16 years old).  And there comes a time when you have to stop quitting.  It is no longer the option.

Part of becoming an adult is realizing you can no longer simply quit.  You can’t quit your bills.  You can’t quit your family.  You can’t quit your best friends.  You can’t quit much of anything anymore, and in some ways its habitual.

As much as I want to believe I can change, or become different, I am finding out that I am fairly hardwired.  Old habits come back, old thought patterns I thought I was done with resume.  I say things I wish I hadn’t, and I continue to do the things I wish I didn’t.  There are things I am because of my past.  I was listening to a podcast where this guy said we are always putting on a face.  We are always presenting our self somehow.  We are trying to portray certain things about ourselves we want others to see.  Even if you want to portray someone who doesn’t care…. That is still an image you are trying to portray.

The reality I have fallen into is how those images we try to present to others will never be the final truth of who we really are.  In other words, you are more than who you try to portray.  You are more than the masks you wear.  You are more than the clothes on your body, and the shoes on your feet.  And who I am matters.  Who you are matters.  We need people in our lives to call us more into our true selves.  The self we don’t let many people see, even ourselves… (That’s confusing).  What if we get so caught up in our own images, we don’t truly know or like our deep inner true self?   What if we have grown accustom to our personas, our masks, our outward selves that we never truly know who our inner true self is?  Or want to?  What if we like this person we made up?  And what if we are afraid to see who we truly are?  Or also let someone else see who we really are?

I’ve been finding truth in stillness.  I have been trying to take ten minutes a day to focus on my breath, to sit, to listen, and to simply be.  Sometimes I can do this without any problems, but most days this is truly a crazy battle.  I may not be able to change much of my hardwired personality issues, but I can sit still.  I can listen to my breath and know that inside I am different.  That I am not the wrongs I do.  I may not be able to quit being me, but I can stop and listen more.  I can be still and concentrate.  Maybe I will find how I am not the mistakes I make, and I am the inner true self deep in my core.  And so are you.

Maybe other people may not be able to see past your personas and masks you wear, but if you know who you are, and listen to the stillness, you will understand more and more.  You will get more in touch with who you are, and others might stop being an addiction you care about.  Other people might stop being the focus of your personalities you try to portray, and maybe you can start to portray this inner person?

I hope that as I continue to not focus on my outward self, my actions, or mistakes, that I can find my true inner being.  The one self I can possibly start to love.  Maybe when I find my true self inside I can learn who that is, and who God says I am.  Maybe if I take ten minutes to quit this busy noisy world we watch, maybe if I stop being someone I try to portray, and maybe if I listen to my inner self I will be able to see a beautiful self I have always known was there.

Bless

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The Future Now

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Who are you now?

How do you handle things now?

Who do you believe you are now?

 

I have heard, and myself believed when I get a new job, when I get a girlfriend, if I moved then…  Then I will be….  It doesn’t make sense.  It never has, but I have believed this, and I still do.

 

I will be a certain way when I get, when I buy a house…  Somehow, magically I am going to be a better person later on in the future when something happens, or I receive something.  Supernaturally the future Trevor is going to be way happier, extremely more humble, and more compassionate when I get these magic objects.  Be it a physical object, a personal relationship, or a new title, somehow these future prospects are going to make me who I was made to be.

 

But being older and looking backwards at life I can see reality

 

Life. Doesn’t. Work. Like. That.

 

I follow this man who is a Franciscan Friar and he has been helping me find the truth, and find my own personal “now”.  Who I am today, how I handle myself today, will be how I handle myself in the future (more often than not).  I think we forget that when we move, when we start a new relationship, when we get a new object, we follow ourselves. I will still be Trevor when I buy that new outfit.  I will still be Trevor when I get that girl.  If I want to be different, if I want my life to look different, it has to start “now”.

So,

What can I do? What if I want to change?  How can I channel who I want to be, or see the future Trevor later, and start working on that guy now?  What if I want to be more patient, more compassionate, help more, love more, do more, have more friends, be more informed, and be more present?

 

Be it now.  Today is all we have.  Today is all we will ever have.

 

This Franciscan Friar says that we spend 94% of our time every day thinking two things.  We are either re-thinking over and over and over the past, how we could have been better, done different, or made a different choice, OR we are thinking and worrying about the future.  That is almost all we spend our minds energy on.  Little to nothing else happens in our brains.  So the work we need to start doing is focus on the present.  Be present now.  Be happy now.  Be content, humble, and compassionate now.  Be the person we want to be in the future, now.

 

When we wait for a future happiness we negate the present joy.  Waiting for the future, the not yet, the “I will be when”, is the same ideal as the old adage of insanity.  Doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result.

 

If life is going to be better with a spouse/city/future/career/dwelling, are we dismissing our present now as worthless.  Maybe life will be better, maybe we will be happier.  I’m not saying it won’t, but for the most part we follow ourselves to those places.  And if we don’t focus on being future happy Trevor now, future happy Trevor later probably won’t happen.  I say to myself I will be better at managing my time when I have a family.  I’ll be more prioritized and able to say no when I have a family.  The truth is if I do not start saying no, and being diligent with my time now, I will not be better or good at it when I have a family.  If it doesn’t happen today, more than likely it will not happen in the future.

 

So I want to be present.  I want to be in the Now.  I want to be different and it’s going to start today.

 

Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this way, but my gut is telling me you think these thoughts too!

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Bless

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Eat, Drink, and Be

Not sure why but I keep returning to my own vomit…

For some reason I can’t get enough.  I can’t quit hitting my head against a wall to see how much damage I can do to the wall.  I keep forgetting how fragile I am, and how hard the wall is.

I truly believe I have found the way in which the world works.  The alchemy of this life, and I keep forgetting it.  Daily.  It’s as if I know how to get back to the garden, and yet I stay in chaos.  It’s almost as if we thrive in the chaos and peace and unity are boring.

The greatest travesty in all of human history, the grandiose atrocity of life, I would argue, is getting what you want.  (That’s a really bold statement).  And real true authentic faith is all the stuff in between.

 

Here’s my case: (Also, feel free to disagree) (Always feel free to disagree)

The most disappointed I have been is in getting what you want.  When you receive the prize, the object you have desired, the apple in your eye, it turns into something you never imagined.  (no this isn’t because I just bought a vehicle… I frickin love the new vehicle, it is so sick) But It becomes one more thing you have.  It becomes what it is, an object, a person, a job, or a destination.

I’ve been trying to understand truth.  Real truth.  And the more you try to study truth, the more mystery there is.  How can something be true?  Is it revealed in nature?  Is it brought about by scripture?  What if scripture doesn’t talk about it, but is vague and implies it?  Is it true if your mother told you?  Is it true if it works?  What happens if it works one day but doesn’t the next?  What about when someone tells you something true that you are not sure of, but it sounds true?  Is it true because a learned teacher taught you?  Where did they learn it from?

 

(I’m sorry for that rant)

 

I keep forgetting a universal anomaly.  Never is life, never was life, and never will life be about the destination.  We will never arrive.  And I don’t want to arrive.  We should always be curious, we should strive for more questions and less certainty, and we need to stop being obsessed with having.

Once we gain what we so terribly desire, we are almost instantly disappointed.  When you get to the end of a hike and you are at the waterfall on top of a mountain, what is the first thing you do?  You look around and see that there is more.  There is a high mountain in the distance, there is another waterfall miles away, and there are more trails ahead.  So what do we do with this?

Take joy

Take it with you

We needn’t hold on to joy and keep it as if we found it, but we need to enjoy it as we go.  Gratitude for the journey is how life works.  We are not built for the destination.  We are built to go, to adventure, to be on this ongoing creation of the world.  We are a part and we are all participating in the constant mystery of this world (which never stops spinning, or we would die).

So, I want to wake up every day and say these words: “Enjoy the journey Trevor for you are not designed for the destination”.

What do you desire?  Do you think life will be “whole” when you have it?  Do you think all your fears and insecurities will fade away when you receive what your inmost heart desires?  Or, can you already be whole now?  Can you enjoy what you have while striving for something more?  I’m not saying it’s bad to want, or desire, but I am saying we should try and not miss all the greatness along the way.  Are you so focused on the prize that you miss the people in front of you?

 

There are so many great things in store for today even if you don’t believe it.  Even if you cannot see.

 

Be blessed

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