Higher Ground


Listening to music with a pair of sub-par headphones, I’m keenly aware of what I’m missing out on, as I understand the quality behind a pair of top-of-the-line headphones. Unfortunately, that’s neither here nor there, as Mark left his favorite pair of headphones on an airplane, and my primary pair of headphones decided to poop out on me. I’m left with a pair of headphones that have gone through the washer/dryer and somehow still manage to eek out sound. This is a fitting analogy for where I’m at right now. It’s time for a rebirth.

See, similar to my old headphones, I know the quality and potential that I am capable of reaching and living on a day-to-day basis. I know the discipline, determination, and integrity I’m capable of walking with; chiseled body, upright morals, and a faith that was not ashamed of being shared. All has slipped. There’s nobody to point fingers at but myself.

Perhaps you’re reading this and wondering how things could change so quickly in the course of a week. But I can assure you that’s one of my better/worst qualities; things change very fast in my life, and I have a remarkable ability to adjust to new events, epiphanies, and spiritual awakenings. This is exactly what I’ve been experiencing this week; a spiritual awakening. Awakening, in the sense that I have fallen asleep at the switch and G-d has taken a bucket of cold water and reawakened me to my purpose, place, and obligations.

What I ingest and spit out are usually good indicators of where my life is at. When I have a potty mouth, things usually aren’t running at their peak potential. When I have more than 3 drinks in a night, I’m usually not doing so well either. When I slack at the gym/diet, it’s also another indicator. What typically happens during these moments is a temporary knee-jerk reaction. What I don’t need is another knee-jerk reaction that stops behaviors for a small period of time; I need to commit myself to living an upright walk of excellence, integrity, and faith.

It’s ok to admit when you’ve failed. Failure is one of the key ingredients of success. Similar to fertilizer, successful plant growth requires quite a bit of waste in order to create something vibrant. Our spiritual lives are no different. I’m perfectly ok with admitting my life hasn’t been up to par, so long as I’m willing to do something about it.

This is the primary concept behind forgiveness, redemption, and the spiritual rebirthing process; something must die in order for wholeness and completion to be found. As seen in the old testament, sacrifices were required in order for atonement (forgiveness) for sins. Buddhism teaches the sacrifice of self, constantly living a more selfless life in order to reach a state of Zen. Christianity teaches we must stop trying to correct our broken lives and allow G-d to do so for us.

Personally, believe in a mixture of all of the above, as they are all different reflections of a single idea; we have to get ourselves out of the way if we are to reach our fullest potential.

My faith has taken a huge blow recently, as I’ve been trying to juggle more items than I’m apparently capable of handling. Criticisms, inner reflections, and poor experiences with others have all but shattered what was once a strong faith. I feel as if I’m collecting the proverbial pieces of what once once, so I may finally put together what ought-to-be, faith-wise.

This is how journeys happen. And I’m convinced life isn’t a destination, but a continual journey. I am neither sad nor embarrassed that my life appears to have taken such an interesting twist in these past few weeks. While I want very much to come to the Father and stand on my own two feet, theres a huge part of my soul that knows it’s not my job to pick myself up this time, but to accept humility, grace, and His strength to replace my apparent weakness.

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