Category Archives: The Real Me

And This is Now

This is the second part of a series entitled Then and Now. See this post for the story behind this series.
Lord Byron said “Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey”.
Love has found a way.

 

As I look outside my window
the wind blows the trees,
time stands still
and I am more connected
to the world
than I have ever been.

Love is so near
I can feel its breath
in my ear as it whispers
“You are loved
and we will be here
forever”

© 2014 Stephen Boothe

 

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That Was Then

This is the first part of a series entitled Then and Now. See this post for how this series came to be.

 

 

Black…

Darkness envelops my perception

I cannot see

I cannot feel

I breathe…

I taste dirt as I slowly become aware
leaving dreamspeak behind

…with great regret.

A cold hard ground has become my bed
replacing those clouds upon which I had so recently flown.

Where am I?

Who am I?

A veiled identity looms darkly beyond my reach
laughing with bitter tease.

Breathe…

Memory slowly approaches on decrepit legs
extending a vaguely familiar hand…

…with a growing awareness of a doubted reality
biting closely at his heels.

I cannot move

I do not feel my body

My leaden limbs will not respond
to my ever increasingly frantic mind.

Breathe…

I turn my mind from darkness to light
and renew my effort to rise.

Breathe…

A warm and loving light breaks through
this fog of rising fear and despair.

I feel…

I am alive.

My sleeping spirit has now awakened.

Now my long journey begins…

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


Then and Now

I have recently completed a two part series of poems entitled ‘Then and Now’. It relates to a journey I began roughly sixteen years and which is not yet complete. It continues to be written in my life but I have reached a point where I am ready to tell how it was then and how it is now.

The first part of the series is about my experience sixteen years ago when, due to an accident, I fractured three vertebrae in my neck. It has been a long road back to a semblance of normalcy and I can say that it changed my life forever although it took a while for me to realize how much I had been changed by that singular event.

The second part of the series is about where I am today in my life and what my life has become. It is short but to the point.

Look for Pt.1 and Pt.2 in my following posts.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe

 


Breaking Down the Barriers Pt.1

Although I don’t always show it, I am an emotional person. Earlier in my life, I seldom if ever showed my emotions but felt them none the less. I am empathic. I feel the emotions of others.

Ever since a young age, probably early teens, I have had a self imposed filter; actually one of many, but that’s another story. Let’s call this one the ‘Male Identity’ filter. It was always on guard against my natural emotional reaction to the input or thoughts in my life, careful to screen for what were not considered normal ‘Male’ reactions. Any emotional responses not in the realm of maleness were not allowed to get out lest anyone think I was not sufficiently male. A product of my upbringing? The typical gender-centric guidance that occurs in Western society? Probably a bit of both. But I knew at some point that operating in this manner stifled my natural responses and ultimately warped the being I was and was intended to be.

So one day I said ‘Fuck that!’

I knew I had lived that way long enough. I had suffered under a yoke of self-imposed repression for so long that I had developed a difficulty in feeling my emotions at all. They lay smothered under a blanket of guilt and fear of what others would think. My life was truly governed by people to whom I gave over all control.

And so I changed. I began to allow myself the freedom to experience my feelings and responses. I explored the emotions I felt and dared to venture into areas I had previously automatically shunned as a matter of course. It was extremely frightening in the beginning and I would fret for hours after letting even the smallest part of myself show through to the outside world for fear of non-acceptance.

Is it easy to change that type of thinking? Of course not. It comes little by little and a day at a time. But slowly the fear began to recede and to be less and less important. I knew that I had not only a right to my emotions but I had an obligation to myself to be the person I truly was. This thought kept me on the path I currently continue to travel.

This filter is almost entirely gone now. I feel comfortable in expressing my true self; at least the true state at which I current reside. It constantly evolves. I don’t know that there is a true me in the sense of an unchanging self but rather I exist as a changing, evolving being that is now capable of living my life as I experience it with no barriers, no filters, and no fears.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


The Addiction of Possession

I am coming to believe that possessions are a sublimely seductive and malicious trap. They reverse the presumed sense of ownership and entrap one with their inherent obligation.

As possessions have become the universally accepted signature of accomplishment, self esteem, and social worth, I struggle to stay connected to those things within myself that should, in reality, be the only impetus that drives me and stands as my true significance or attainment in this world.

Love, kindness, and acceptance for one’s fellow beings are the prime motivators of a compassionate world, not the possession of things as a tool to demean others thus artificially elevating one’s sense of self worth.

There is a degrading of the spirit that occurs when owned by one’s possessions; yes… owned by one’s possessions. Love turns to jealousy, greed, and envy as the connection and addiction to possessions increases. The ability to achieve one’s own self dignity or true potential can never fully be explored when possessions remain the primary source of essence.

© 2014 Stephen Boothe


Love, Fear, and Insecurity

Recently, I had dinner with several friends at a local restaurant. We meet on occasion either by design or happenstance. I enjoy their company and feel relaxed when I am with them.

On this particular occasion, the conversation drifted toward a friend of theirs with whom I am not acquainted and they began to savage and belittle this apparent friend of theirs over some action he had taken. The details aren’t as important as how their actions struck me.

Later that evening, I thought about how often I’ve seen people I know belittle others. I have done it myself in the past and wonder about my motives. Is it concern over what I perceive to be incorrect behavior on someone else’s part? Or does it go beyond that.

Could the reason be insecurity? Is the desire to make someone else seem less than a way to boost one’s own sense of self worth or esteem? I suspect that is a large part of it.

That also made me realize that where I am today is a long way from where I was in the past. I know what it is like to look outside oneself for happiness, self-esteem, and a sense of worth. I believe many people are in that same place and wonder about a society that may foster that insecurity in its people.

At a certain point in my life, I knew I had to change since what I was doing wasn’t working for me. I resolved to look inward for my happiness and then came to a new realization. I did not know what made me happy or what it was that I really wanted. I had been so disconnected from my own wants and desires for so long by looking outside myself for that thing that would make me whole, that I had lost sight of who I really was.

Slowly, the person I am began to be revealed. It is hard to know if who I have found is the real me or if I have been essentially remaking myself.

Either way, I have come to know myself, perhaps only partially at this point but more importantly I learn more and more every day.

And I have come to love myself.

When love replaces fear, there is no room for insecurity.

Namaste


Sorrow

Now in May
the eve of one long year
of barren triumph
and slowly drying stain,
a sorrow cries inside
and the tears of it are wet.

© 1999 Stephen Boothe

 

This is an older piece I wrote during a difficult time which I had intended to expand into a longer work but never got back to it. I have decided I like it as is.


Vertigo – Finding Balance in my Life

If you’ve read my post, On The Mat, you know I suffer from extended, sometimes extreme bouts of vertigo. In the past couple of months or so these episodes have increased in frequency much to my dismay. What once occurred, on average, 6-8 months apart has now increased to every week or so and even a couple of times a week on occasion.

Since I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease or Meniere’s Syndrome as they’re now calling it, I’ve been on a strict diet and medication which has helped for the most part. I’m still on my regimen but, regardless, the attacks are on the increase. I can somewhat dampen the effects by using Meclazine, which I detest, but the episodes all but disable me.

I have determined that Meclazine is not the answer for me. It makes me drowsy and foggy brained and, although a constant relatively high dose of the drug helps to prevent the attacks, that is not an ideal way of life for me. Therefore I’ve begun investigating alternate treatments.

There is a procedure that can be done in which a drug called Gentamicin is injected into the inner ear effectively destroying the balance detecting abilities of that ear. This prevents the vertigo from occurring since it is the malfunctioning inner ear that causes the trouble to begin with. The downside is that it also eliminates the hearing in that ear.

This is not a huge downside for me as I’ve lost about 80% of the hearing in that ear already and what little I do hear sounds very distorted and almost unrecognizable as speech.

I think I’m ready for this step.

I have gotten to a point to where I really enjoy life and all it has to offer. I want to live, I want to dream, I want to love. Which is not to say those things aren’t possible in my current condition; I love my life.

I just want to enjoy it more.

Is that so wrong?

Namaste


Thirteen

Would that I had seen this fate
at four and twenty two.

Would I still have breathed the fire
that set my life in stone?

A pearl that made from grains of sand,
dark and tightly spun;

A spiral twist of tears and man,
forever all alone.

A damn poor gem if truth be told
and why would I not say

those things that came so hard to me;
high cost for empty soul.

Thirteen days and thirteen lies
had found me at my end.

I had sought to keep inside
a power I could not hold.

Tell me now o’ lonely one,
hold me to my truth.

Is this thing that you now see,
is this the dream you chose

when you had wished and you prayed
to all the gods above

for better things and sweet life;
a fairy tale of old?

I know not now who I was
or who I could have been.

Now I just walk upon this road
of dust and buried bones.

© 2013 Stephen Boothe


Is This The Real Life?

My son and I recently had a discussion about the nature of reality.

He had asked me to view a video concerning the universe as a separate entity existing apart from our perception. The premise being that the universe only exists in its present form due to the image our perception provides with input from our senses.

He asked me if the world and everything we knew was really ‘real’. He wondered if everything he perceived was a product of his mind with him the only real being and everything and everyone else part of his manufactured world view.

Solipsism is a difficult concept to grasp, especially for a fourteen year old. I can remember having those same thoughts at an early age although maybe not quite so young as my son. I gave him my thoughts on the universe and perception and left him to form his own conclusions about the nature of reality and his part in the big picture.

Afterwards I thought about the long road I had traveled to arrive at my current belief system. I wondered where his path would take him and what sort of belief system would he find that fit his needs, temperament, and world view.

I’ve never been a parent that purposely tried to install a particular belief system into my children, preferring to guide them in learning acceptable behavior for society, giving them opportunity to discover the world on their own as much as possible, and letting them find their own place in the universe.

And that is a part of my reality.


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