Your Dreams? The myth of families is one of bright and shiny people loving and supporting each other in all sorts of ways. The truth can be that I suppose, but for me, my family has been my greatest struggle.
I ended up burying my true self just to get along with them, or twisting it to such a degree that I had no idea who I was looking at in the mirror. Like many of you I have struggled with anxiety and depression, have been filled with rage and shame, most of my life.
Unlike many of you I was on the streets for seven years wandering like a lost child in the desert searching for a spring to quench my thirst. God turned out to be that spring and while on the streets he let me know that I was l loved beyond a shadow of a doubt. This fall has been especially rich for me in my emotional life. However, three or so years later, I still have some shadows in my psyche.
I had an emotional break through of sorts on Facebook recently. I had posted a bunch of wikileaks documents about Hillary and her corrupt ways and was arguing back and forth with some people I know. I was typing the words; “I am tired of people not taking this stuff seriously,” and that sentence had a whole lot of emotion behind it.
After some contemplation I understood, “I want to be taken seriously by my family.” I have not worked any kind of real job in a year. My last job as a reporter ended in me getting fired for just telling the truth. Well, that is the way I see it; I am sure they have a different version of why things ended. Since then, I have been doing just as little hoboing as it takes to keep me and Totes fed, while using the shower and bed in my mom’s basement.
But that does not mean I have been doing nothing. I have been resting a lot, I did not sleep so well all those years on the streets, praying, meditating and just giving myself a break emotionally and physically. Those things that don’t serve any of us like; shame, guilt, anger, jealousy are way down because of it. I will admit the guilt get a little tough when I talk to some single mom working two jobs and is completely worn out. She will ask me what I have been up to and I have to reply–not a thing.
I don’t honestly have much contact with my family, my mom a little bit of course, but I am striving to see myself differently than how they see me. To them I am a mentally ill, lazy guy who, wasn’t on the streets with PTSD, but was on the streets so that they could feel bad and be embarrassed. If it were not for my dog Totes I am sure I would have been back on the streets working on these issues. But it is a happy sacrifice as I love Totes dearly and he is a pleasure to be around.
Truthfully I was also hoping to get to know my family in a real sort of way; past the games we play with each other and find out what is in their hearts. Try and understand their fears, hopes, dreams and regrets. That is still possible I guess, but it feels like a long time coming.
I don’t want to paint my family in some kind of ugly light, they are very good people and I love them very much. I like who I am now, for the most part, and it is much easier to see them as they are– people doing the best they can and in need of kindness. But it was hard for me to be kind to them when I felt, that they did not hear or see me for who I was and did not take me seriously in any one endeavor. But, they have also instilled some values in me like honesty, kindness, a sense of humor, a love of work (perhaps ironically) and to respect all people regardless of so called class. Those ideals have been with me since I can remember.
I have been in town for three years now, and am slowly letting go of who I used to be and embracing who I really am. That guy with some dreams buried so deep he forgot what they were, is exploring them again. .I would like to be a skilled carpenter, sell some songs of mine in Nashville, and maybe make a simple movie or two. Playing in the majors is one I may have to let go of.
Now my family may or may not know about those dreams. I have told them more than once I am sure, but they either shrug, look doubtful or change the subject. That used to stymie me some, but God has given me the courage to take risks I never thought I would.
My biggest dream however, is to live in such a way that I do not block the kindness I know is in my heart from any one soul on this planet. In other words let go of those lingering shadows that keep me from enjoying all of God’s love. Take yourself and your dreams seriously would be my suggestion, even if no one else in the world does. Hobo John here. I love you with everything that I have. That is my heart song and the truth of things.
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