Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Reflections on Yom Kippur and the year that passed...


This past year has been really difficult. I have been under the radar a bunch because a lot has been going on that has been incredibly traumatic. I have been working on myself in a number of different ways and thankfully seeing really strong improvement.

According to tradition, everything that took place this past year was decided and sealed in God’s “book” a year ago on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Here are some things that shook me.

A friends son, (who is a friend of my son) died by getting hit by a car. The death had a number of ironies of which I wrote about in a previous post.

My closest friend who was one of the few who truly loved me without judgment, died suddenly of a heart attack at his office. I had spoken with him the day before and we had lunch planned later in the week. There is no one left in my life that I cared for and cared for me in that way.

I got into a really bad car accident. I am blessed to have not been hurt, but it did shake me pretty bad.

That same night of my accident, my son was in a really bad motorcycle accident. I had limited information for close to 3 hours. The hardest 3 hours of my life. This was coupled with the fact that his best friend had just died as well in the same area. I have had a number of relatives (cousin, brother in law, brother in law’s sister etc) and people close to me die in car accidents. He was wearing a helmet, which saved his life, but suffered a number of broken bones and a crazy amount of road burn. Again, I am blessed it was nothing worse and he has almost entirely healed.

I have another child who went through incredibly difficult challenges this year that I can’t really get into. Due to his challenges, I couldn’t visit my other son after the accident. This was so incredibly difficult.

I ended a 3.5 year relationship with someone that meant the world to me and that I loved and still love. I was going through so much emotional and trauma related weakness that I hurt him pretty bad. I begged for forgiveness but I don’t feel like I’ve been blessed with it. A lot of his anger was framed under a cloud of other rumination on his part that exacerbated it all. I am made to be the devil. I have been made to feel like a victim. I also have not been offered the same admission of wrongdoing on his part and have yet to be asked for forgiveness. This hurts very much. I have no control of this though.

Before this all happened, I entered a 12 step program for addiction to alcohol. My partner was the one that pushed me in that direction. I am grateful to him for that. I had been using alcohol to numb myself at times. After stopping to drink and now being sober for 5 months, I am forced to feel. I felt all of the above so deeply and did not pick up a drink through it all. This is a miracle unto itself. I was advised by my partner to stop taking anxiety medication because sobriety meant not using them. I didn't know otherwise and almost lost my mind and even done worse to myself. I had talked about it in an AA meeting and pretty much got scolded by all the "old timers" for stopping medication. The reality is that I felt all those experiences so deeply. I wasn’t finished mourning one when the other hit and the next and next etc.

At the same time, I am so thankful for my beautiful family. Every one of my children is wonderful. Polite, sensitive, loving and giving. They are healthy. I am healthy. While I deal with depression, anxiety and trauma, I have done a lot this year to help me learn skills to cope. I  accept myself for who I am and to accept my struggles (rather than continuing to suppress them), and how to manage them. For that I am grateful. I am successful in work and have had some high points in that area this past year. I am meeting many wonderful people in AA and creating strong friendships. Mostly, I am getting a lot closer to loving myself for who I am.I am able to share that love with others. I am around people who help me grow.

All the challenges have helped me improve and have taught me how I continue to be strong in the face of grave difficulty.

Tomorrow, God will seal his new book for the coming year; I wish us all love and the ability to love others. Kindness and to be kind. Happiness and to make others happy. Health, success and mostly peace of mind.

I pray; “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Hugs and kisses.

FGM

Monday, August 6, 2018

Blue (Sapphire) Eyes / Forgiveness



Even though I have self interest in what I say, please take it as you will. 

It is ok to have a forgiving nature. 

It is God’s way. 

Don’t deny yourself the ability to forgive quickly.  It is a blessing that far outweighs its curse.

Don’t fight it. Don’t talk yourself out of it. 



Please don’t change anything about yourself. 



Blue eyes

Blue eyes
Baby's got blue eyes
Like a deep blue sea
On a blue blue day
Blue eyes
Baby's got blue eyes
When the morning comes
I'll be far away
And I say
Blue eyes holding back the tears
Holding back the pain
Baby's got blue eyes
And she's alone again
Blue eyes
Baby's got blue eyes
Like a clear blue sky
Watching over me
Blue eyes
Ooh I love blue eyes
When I'm by her side
Where I long to be
I will see
Blue eyes laughing in the sun
Laughing in the rain
Baby's got blue eyes
And I am home, and I am home again
Blue eyes laughing in the sun
Laughing in the rain
Baby's got blue eyes
And I am home again


- Elton John 


I have no right to offer you a laugh in the sun and certainly not a laugh in the rain. 

But I know that wherever your home may be, you will find it 
because anyone can see it; your sapphire eyes, the windows to your beautiful soul. 

- FGM



Sunday, May 6, 2018

True Colors



Green, the color of life, renewal, nature and energy
Purple, the color of power, ambition, magic and luxury
Side by side; a power to create a fusion of magic and energy
However, combining the two colors, creates a dark grey or even a black hue

Grey, the color of uncertainty

Grey, a sad thread through all existence
Black, the absence of color
Black, a mystery, a dark hole, the unknown

A darkened grey amplifies the uncertainty
It creates confusion
It twists the soul
It represents loss and depression

You are green.
I am purple.
Mixed together, we are grey
We are dark grey

We are scared,
We are scarred,
We are tired,
Deprived of rest

How do we love from close and far
How do we live with hearts aching
Why do we long to touch
Why do we cry as we imagine our embrace

We walk an unsecured path
We take risks in the moment
We hurt in our essence
Yet the love never dies

After reflection, we grasp the truth
Love is not the combined
Love is colors lying at each others side
Strong enough to hold their own

We realize that Green is in the east
Purple in the West
From afar, a higher power connects us
And although we stand alone, our power of renewal will live always and forever .

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Death... Questions and Ironies


It's a sad day. A friend of mine's son passed away. He was also a close friend of my son. He was hit by a car 2 weeks ago. He was in a coma and passed away last night on Purim eve. The happiest day on the Jewish Calendar. It's the day we dress up in costumes, drink wine until we are confused about the good guys and bad guys and celebrate redemption from the cold hands of the Persians many years ago (just like any Jewish holiday; people wanted to kill us and we got out of the mess, Let's eat!)

This boy had a problem. He was in treatment at a rehab facility and had been about 6 months sober.

Kids who are using (I don't know what it is that he was doing), could die many different ways. We all unfortunately know some who have. 

Irony of all ironies after working through the hardest challenge of his life, he died by getting hit by a car.

So hard to understand. I feel so much for the parents. As a parent of a child who has gone through a similar story, knowing the torturous pain of dealing with a child that is an addict for years. The pain that comes which watching him go through treatment. The hope that he will now find a way. One month sober, 3 months sober, 6 months sober. The change; the gratitude he has, gives us the hope that he may be on his way to leading a happy and productive life. (I know this isn't important but it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to help your child through a good rehab facility).

To then see your child lost in this way, is an irony that begs for an answer. That the child died on Purim is also an irony that is truly hard to understand.

That said, we can seldom understand. So we pray to a higher power, whatever that may mean to you. 

We get angry, we ask questions and we hope that some entity or being is listening.

I only wish peace, love and happiness from here on out and hope the family gets through this difficult time the best they can. One Day at a Time.

Had to share. Thanks for reading.

With love and care, me



Thursday, June 16, 2016

An article that struck me as worth sharing

I know it's been a while. I wanted to share an article that I thought was poignant relating to the Orlando massacre.

OU message

Thursday, December 24, 2015

"I came out to my wife... A new chapter...."

Is it really 4 years since I came out to my wife? I wrote this post a day after. When I think about it, I almost relive it. The intensity of the pain I felt in that moment was tangible. I was so very close to saying goodbye to the world. I was so close to ending it all... Somehow I found the strength to open up and share. My wife's reaction and our support for each other and our family is what kept us going.

Here is a re-blog of that post.

I came out to my wife... A new chapter....

Friday, January 17, 2014

Eshel Revisited


Today will be the beginning of the Eshel Shabatton where LGBTQ Jews from all different walks of life will get together to show support and love for each other. It is an amazing way to remind ourselves that we are not alone.

Below are links to my posts after last years amazing weekend. This will be my second year. As with Grease 2 and Blues Brothers 2000, its hard to beat the original; I am hoping and confident that this will be my "Dark Knight' or 'Empire Strikes Back'. I will share more about the 2014 experience in weeks to come.


Eshel 2013 - part 1


Eshel 2013 - Part 2



Monday, December 23, 2013

Ambiguous update (But an update nonetheless)

My apologies for the ambiguity of this post. I need to toe the line between bearing my soul and protecting those closest to me.

The last few months have been intense. I have had some amazing highs but some really intense lows. The highs were pretty much tied to one experience that grew in intensity over this period. Even those high's felt short lived as they were laced with complication and confusion. As such, the lows were primarily from the same experience. I have also experienced some lows tied to a number of other personal happenings in my life. The challenges tend to come in bulk for me.


First the high. Connection. When one can share their life with another and have someone to carry their burdens with, it's not just a sharing of the challenge. Rather, the challenges feel diminished. You simply deal. You feel confident. You feel like you can take on the world. You feel like you have ownership of yourself. I felt this at times.

Conversely, when connection is shaky, when your life gets hit by flaky friendships bordering on dishonesty, people who commit and then renig on their commitments, you feel minimized. You feel taken advantage of. You feel weak. Every problem seems to compound. Connection is lost.

The last little bit of my life makes me think of a boxing match. At first you get hit by a jab. You have your hands up trying to protect your face. You may block one or two punches and slow your opponent down. Then you get hit by another jab... and another one. There is blood starting to drip from your nose. Your lip is starting to swell. Next comes an upper cut. Your head starts to spin. You wonder how you got here. You thought you were stronger and up for the fight. You wonder how you ever thought this was a good idea. Your arms get heavy and you start letting your guard down, a layer of sweat escaping your pores. Then comes the left hook. A combination of sweat and blood burst from your face. If you are lucky you hit the ropes on your way down. Either way you end up on the floor while the countdown starts. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4... you struggle trying to get up. The recognition settles in. Your body loses all control as you are painfully humbled. You are down for the count. 3-2-1. You are done.

Every fight you've had seems to come back to you at once. Your heart breaks. You moan and cry. You are lucky to have a small team of trainers that pick you up from the ground. You are still limp though. Your head is playing tricks on you.

You look over and there is your opponent and his team lifting their hands in triumph. With pity in the victors eye, he comes over to mention the obligatory "nice fight". You want to believe the sincerity but as he looks you in the eye you can see him focusing on his next fight. You have a conflicting sense of relief for a moment. Then you again recognize you are beat.

Then there is a moment of clarity....

It may seem like the ones you are boxing are your friends, maybe even your best friend and painfully your family. But when it comes down to it you are battling, sparring and hurting yourself. 

You consider retirement. You want to hang your gloves up. You give it a week or so. You reflect. You tell yourself that there is still a fight in you. You visit your trainer. With a resolve and with the knowledge that there is a lot of pain to come, you say, "I would like to start training once again".

That is where I am at today.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Memo to myself

When I am alone it's okay to feel lonely. 
It doesn't need to be more than that. 
It doesn't mean I will be lonely for the rest of my life. 
It doesn't necessitate action. 
I don't need to remedy the feeling right away. 
It will pass without me doing anything.  

Monday, October 14, 2013

A short prayer


I am a product of my own experiences...

I am prejudiced
I have bias

I am far from objective, and
I will never practice sincere altruism

I project my standards on others, and 
I am clouded by predetermination

As I conveniently succumb to the vision of my ice-cold eye, and worse, I allow my wicked tongue to wander...

I pray with all my heart and soul that the powers of self awareness take over...

and remind me...

Just as I am so pained when being judged by another; 

May I never, ever begin to judge my brother .