Monday, September 1, 2008
The Growth Within is more important than Court Decision
These two photos are symbolize many things-The past and the future. The sunset reflects my past fading more into the past and it has a beauty within its own right. This city hall is a little bit different from all of the other City Hall photos that I have posted on my blogs. In the other photos, City Hall is all you see. There is nothing beyond it which is how I felt about my future--there was nothing beyond Skid Row. However in this photo, you can see the mountain peaking through the northern downtown Skyline. I can see beyond City Hall in this picture. I can see a life beyond Skid Row. It is starting to reveal its potential and eventual reality. Let me explain.
Last week was a big week for me. I finished my second column. Yes, perhaps I have not shared with you this new part of my life. I have been asked to write a column for a start up website. I can not reveal the name as it still has not been decided what it will be. A publisher of a downtown newspaper asked me to be a part of the project. It is a great opportunity to grow and develop writing and reporting skills.
At this time I have completed two columns. It was a different feeling writing those columns and it was interesting to be edited and to begin the process of learning about that relationship between writer and editor. That was the one thing that
Dana Goodyear, of the New Yorker, told me was essential in the writer's development path, understanding that relationship between writer and editor.
Friday, there was meeting with the publishers, editor and the other columnists. It was very interesting to feel myself be a part of a new Internet project and to experience and learn both the publishing and start-up website process.
This week I have a court hearing to potentially reduce my felony status a misdemeanor which changes many things, self-esteem not being the least of them. That court action will also lead the way for future expungement of this criminal thereby removing the case from my record. And, of course, I will attend my weekly, court required class on Friday. As of now I have completed 36 and have 16 remaining. I have paid, in advance,for 43 of the 52 classes. It is a long way from the time when I was desperate to find a place that provided these classes. There were places that offered them for free but they had a six month waiting list and they were many miles away. The court would have been satisfied with that signing up for them but it would have postponed further my freedom from completing these court obligations and thus restrict my life further. I chose to find one that was available and, luckily, I did. So each week, if nothing else, I know that after attending the class and paying for one more class, I am moving further away from the past and moving closer toward my future, while enjoying more the 'work in progress'.
However, this is what is so amazing. Although my life is changing rapidly with respect to opportunities and legal situations, which of course clears the way to pursue various different things and provides me with the chance to experience freedom again, THOSE ARE NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT CHANGES IN MY LIFE. They are a distant second to what I am experiencing inside of myself. That is what is so amazing. I am not concerned as much with the court proceedings. I have endured the test of time and requirements that were a component of the various challenges that this time presented. I am nearing the end of that tunnel and the light is getting bigger and brighter as each day goes on. Indeed I also feel various burdens lifting as the light becomes brighter.
However I am enjoying more what is taking inside of me. Perhaps it is from the passage of time, little by little I have seen my circumstances improve. But I have been working on my faith and belief that things will improve for a long time. But I also wanted answers, answers that did not come easy and the answers, many times, were ways to achieve a certain peace, acceptance, confidence and discover truth. I was willing to find and accept truth in whatever way it comes. However, at times I could not see things. Perhaps the psyche had to protect it self. Perhaps I was unable to see the connections of my behavior in producing feelings of resentment and hurt.
Fortunate enough, I felt deep inside there were things I would have to ask myself. There was something holding me back from condemning my sisters attitude toward me. Maybe some of it was unreasonable but hurt brings about attitudes that are self protective. It happened to me and no doubt over a two decade period the hurt I brought to her built layer by layer over time. Over course, I honestly did not know this. I did not see it. I did not see the brainwashing that consumption of drugs did to me. Brainwashing is a form of torture. It robs you of your values and implants others that go along with the morays and folkways self destruction and relationships.
My old friend, Kenny, who does not want to speak to me anymore is another example. I had known him for over 40 years and if there is anything in life I knew to be true, it was that I would never live life without him. I was hurt and angry when I heard that he did not want to speak to me. However, something inside, I guess it was from my father's training, told me to wait and consider. you do not have all of the information Walter. In this case, information could not be told to me, it had to be accepted or recognized because it was always there.
I did not abuse my mother, per say. No way did I do what the courts say. But I that is not important. What is important is that I robbed her of her feelings, hopes and dreams. Sure I restored what I could. sure she said to me " Walter, you matured right in front of my eyes." But how much pain and suffering did I put her through.
My father told me the night before I entered prep school this statement ," Walter, no matter what someone says to you or asks you, do not ever jump to the conclusion that he is a bigot. It may seem on the surface as such. However you do not have perfect information. That takes time. Many things go into a persons point of view and most of them happen before they are born. So if they say something and ask something it is because the are seeking your opinion because you are open and receptive enough to give them the strength to be vulnerable in revealing their doubts, questions and fears"." If you have 10 reasons to conclude something. Wait for another 5. Once you reach 15, wait for fifteen more. and even after that, endure the challenge of the quest of learning rather than the convenience of being right and thus prematurely wrong."
I used those that wisdom all of my life and I did not stop just because it would have been self fulfilling to swim in a lake of denial. To deny truth would hinder growth. With the roots of understanding digging deeper into my soul, after clearing away the weeds of retardation and stagnation disappear. The deeper roots give way to the blossoms of discovery and the lightness in spirit enables me to climb and see what I was not able to see previously.
That is what this move to this unit has been. I am able to understand the connections of my actions. From this phenomenon I have searched to find creative ways of understanding. Combined, the energies and efforts have paved the way for peaceful existence and confidence that I can learn, heal and live in sync with youthful goals in life. There is no conflict between desire and behavior, between perception and reality. I understand how my actions hurt myself and others.
I understand how being self abusive, by extension, leads to indirect and unintended disregard for relationships in ways that I did not know could have happened.
So perhaps now it is clear why this independent study, at this stage is so vital and fulfilling. The peace and confidence I gain from recognizing through self examination have a plethora of effect on me. This phase is paramount in the advancement of a process of self discovery. It also furthers the creative process in the production of life and the production of my presentation of this phenomenon.
Yes, the opportunities and the potential legal changes are important. But they would be shallow events if my advancement toward freedom would be not in total balance.,
See you after court tomorrow.