This post today is separate from my chronological, story line entries although it is generally about the same subject. I think it fits very well here, hope you agree. It was written last year.


There’s an old gospel song that says, “You got to walk that lonesome valley, you got to walk it by yourself”.

The Grateful Dead, a rock band from the seventies, has a song by the name, “Ripple” that says, “There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, this path is for your steps alone”.

One night when I was in my mid-twenties, I was sitting alone in a restaurant drinking a beer and mulling over a powerful life change that had overtaken me. I had a simple but powerful epiphany: I exist in a sea of minds, but my mind is the only one that can make a decision for me. (I was a little late coming to this understanding, I’m sure, because I had been living in the world of college and professional football, but I think it can be true for anyone living in a structured, protective bubble.) This epiphany didn’t immediately turn my life around, but it laid there at my feet, a cornerstone, to become a part of the new foundation for the rest of my life. It was a crucial part of my awakening.

We all get the gifts of sadness, sorrow, and suffering exquisitely tailored for us by who we are, the decisions we make, and some inscrutable acts of God which seem completely beyond our influence and control. However, when I made the decision to take total responsibility for who I am (that means to not blame other people or situations for my troubles) and open up to help from the power greater than myself, (which I know as God) did I gain the strength to burst through all my suffering into light and joy. I call these gifts of sadness, sorrow, and suffering spiritual fertilizer for growth………I’m being thoroughly fertilized right now in my life, (family problems) but I’ve been given a very large measure of strength and understanding to deal with it.