Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ithaca & The Odyssey

I'm trying to start a new routine/habit of taking a few moments in every morning for myself and no one else. I've cleared a sacred space in my favorite place, the patio, and I drink a steaming cup of PG Tips (w/ cream & sugar, please) and search for the day's inspiration. This AM, I found it in my new O Magazine and from none other than Martha Beck and I had to share;

"Of course, even after Odysseus's homecoming, he had to keep adventuring, to manage a kingdom filled with pretenders and thieves. But his journey had made him comfortable with uncertainty and improvisation. He mapped out yet another plan, routed his competitors, reclaimed his position, and rejoined his beloved wife. Then he ruled wisely and well, not in spite of his troublesome journey but because of it. Odysseus's destination was Ithaca, but his destiny was The Odyssey."

"You, too, were born to become yourself by creating the experiences you live. Generations from now, your descendants will unroll the tattered map of your life, partly to celebrate your legendary homecoming, but mostly to remember the odyssey that was your real purpose all along."

Sometimes, I feel like she's channeling, that Martha woman. But more than anything, I feel like she 'gets' us.

To all my veterans - read those words again and dwell for a moment in the thoughts they bring forth. YOU ARE NOT YOUR PAST or the things that happen(ed) to you BUT WE ARE stronger for what we've witnessed and experienced.

And through those experiences, we've all been given the tools to achieve great measures of success, however our souls define it, should we choose to do so. I don't just believe that - I KNOW it.

Originally published on May 22 @ FB.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mental Dragons - To be continued...

When people ask me about my deployment experience, I tell them that I learned a lot. The hardest part of my deployment was the forced relationships and coexistence with people who were once complete strangers -- people that I might not otherwise have ever associated with. Rolling outside the wire wasn't hard, it was an adrenaline rush; the interpersonal dynamics and working relationships were what nearly undid me.

War, and all of its experiential offerings, made me more of who I am. It forced me to go within and find the strongest and most real parts of myself and pull those to the surface of my being, beyond the lies and programming that I had believed about who I was. In some cases, it answered some mysteries. Could I hold my own? Would I remember what to do if the shit ever hit the fan? If faced with direct contact, would I freeze? run? or fight? Would I be able to bring all of my battle buddies back? Those were the questions I tortured myself with then.

In essence, I confronted some of my personal mental dragons. It's hard to articulate beyond that, but I suspect that many of you get it. I just felt like sharing.

Posted on May 8 on FB
, Doonesbury's The Sandbox