Back when I was a boy of 15 years old, things were not going all that well in my life. My parents were newly divorced, my life was completely upended, and I was living in a whole new world that I did not grow up in.
Needless to say, I made some mistakes. I remember this one particular time when I had made a few bad decisions, I decided to climb into a tree in my yard. It was almost as if I was seeking protection from the tree from some dangerous animal that wanted to eat me. I cried a lot.
While I was in the tree pouring out my soul, I was reminded of what I learned about King Solomon from my days spent in church and Sunday school.
Basically, the story goes like this..
God offered King Solomon anything he requested of him. "Ask me for what you desire, and I will give it to you," God said. "If you want land, it is yours. If you want gold and treasures, you will have it."
I just remember that King Solomon ask God not for gold nor riches, land nor power, and he didn't ask Him for women and followers on social media.
King Solomon asked God for wisdom and knowledge.
"Because you have asked this of Me, I will give you everything." said God.
As I sat up in that tree, crying, I remember asking the same of God. "I want to know everything, please. Just like King Solomon."
Well, like that saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
I don't know everything... yet! I don't think God works like that as far as I can tell by looking at my life.
**And before I continue, let me clarify one simple fact. It does not matter to me what you call God. If you say some other version of calling out the name of the Almighty God, Creator, Great Spirit, Allah, or Aheeyeh, that's probably fine as long as you know what WHO you are talking about and speak with a deep respect of His Name. To me, God has always been who or what I need Him to be, when I approach Him with respect and honor. I've always approached Him as a father, but He is not limited to that character.
I'll continue. God hasn't really granted me wishes like a genie in a bottle. However, usually it's a form of direction, a small whisper in my ear, or a deep desire in my heart to move towards a particular call to action. If the whisper is something good, creative, and uplifting, I know that whisper comes from they Almighty Creator, God.
I know that when I follow that "still small voice," usually great things happen. If I ignore it and do it my own way, usually things do not go very well.
So what do I know? I know what my life experience has taught me. What do you know?
Knowledge is a loaded word. It means facts, information or skills that are gained through experience and education.
Wisdom is also a loaded word. It describes the quality of having gained experience, knowledge, and GOOD JUDGEMENT.
Don't put your hand in the fire! That shit hurts! That's knowledge and wisdom wrapped up in a painful moment that for some reason, we all have to learn. But we all walk away from that experience a little different; a little more wise than before.
I think nothing of knowledge and wisdom if it is not for the use or good service of myself and others. To clarify that sentence, I do not think it is considered wisdom or knowledge if I cannot use it to help other people live in peace and happiness.
I have to say this so please forgive me. F**K your theories. Theories are ideas of what generally is thought of what might be the case. These could be considered stepping stones towards the truth of the matter, but the actual truth and facts have not conclusively been discovered yet. Theories can lead to confusion and disbelief altogether.
I prefer universal laws. A universal law cannot be disproven and is timeless.
Don't put your hand in the fire! That shit hurts! LAW
If you jump out of an airplane with no way to fly, you are going to fall. Usually a law is determined when one condition meets another particular condition. A high place, a jump, and no ability to fly, leads to a fall. That's a law.
So, what do I know? Why even ask the question in the first place?
I used to antagonize my friends and family with the question, "Do you really believe the earth is round?" Then came the deadpan face and the response, "Are you freakin kidding me?"
I probably shouldn't have, but I really enjoyed it. I don't care if the earth is round, or flat, or a disk, or a spheroid or a square. I don't care if it looks like a 3d pyramid. I really don't care. But what I did enjoy at the time (and I think it was foolish now for the record) was that nobody would really debate me on the subject. They would usually just get mad and the conversation never went anywhere positive.
The knowledge I gained from antagonizing my friend and family with flat earth theory was this:
1) That's a really immature way to irritate someone.
2) Almost nobody was willing to debate and discover with me.
3) Almost nobody had any interesting facts or experience to share that would conclusively shut me the f**k up!
4) Almost everybody quoted things that they read from a book, were taught in school, or someone else told them was the way of things.
5) Many people got irrationally angry and/or shut down completely.
I think the reason that is the case is because we simply don't know. Why don't we know that absolute truth of the matter in regards to the condition of our world?
Probably because we haven't seen it. Seeing is believing. Trusting in what somebody else told you isn't the same as actually believing it for yourself.
Why are we so willing to believe what someone else told us is TRUTH?
Probably because we're busy.
When is the last time you asked someone, "How are you?" And their general response is, "Doing good, just busy."
Is that what are lives amount to? Busy? Busy doing what?
What are you doing with your life? And why are you doing it?
I absolutely hate that response when I ask someone how they are doing. It tells me absolutely nothing of the peace, happiness, and harmony they are living in their life. As a matter of fact, usually if someone gives me that answer, it quite the opposite.
Are we busy like a beehive? Nature, order, teamwork, flowers, energy, flow, harmony and servitude towards a higher purpose (HONEY and LIFE) are things that you will observe from a beehive.
Something tells me our busy looks way different. Jobs, relationships, homes, kids, school, chores, more chores, rush hours, errands, bills, and a laundry list of other shit that we absolutely have to accomplish or we won't achieve happiness. Usually we end up exhausted, irritated, and farther from peace and happiness than when we started the day.
I think we should stop being busy. At least, we should stop being busy like that.
When is the last time you stopped and read a book?
When is the last time you went for a walk in the woods?
When is the last time you prayed or meditated?
When is the last time you stopped and pondered on whether this life is the one you want to be living?
What's it gonna take for you to actually achieve happiness?
I don't know everything yet, but I do know that I have done quite a lot of busy work to try to achieve happiness.
I've made a lot of money. Didn't last.
I got a good job. I hated it.
I dated girls. It was superficial.
I had nice things. They broke.
All of this failure lead to depression and sadness. I don't like depression and sadness. I like being happy. Beer was my happy pill. I got hooked and abused my happy pill until it was destructive.
What's your happy pill? Beer? Drugs? Weed? Money? Sex? Cellphone? Business? Possessions?
From my experience, none of those things will work. They will only be fleeting and then it's off to the next beer or off to the next possession.
Possession. Interesting thought. The word possess means to have as a belonging; to own. The word possessed means to have complete power over someone and be manifested through speech and actions.
I used to possess a twelve pack of beer. Now that twelve pack of beer has possessed me. That didn't work out so well for me.
What do you possess that is now possessing you?
The Buddha speaks of this as a clinging or an attachment to something. Simply put, if you cling or attach yourself to anything in this world, it will lead you to unhappiness, chaos, and disharmony.
Jesus said, "Don't worry about tomorrow. Today has enough worries of its own."
Other spiritual practices teach us to, "Let it go," and, "Nature has the answer to all things."
That all sounds like pretty good wisdom to me.
So what do I know, really?
I know that we have all played a hand in banging up this world pretty badly.
I know we didn't mean for it to happen.
I know that we can change it.
I know that we are all too busy, worry to much, are depressed and anxious because we exist in either the past or the future. Very few of us are in the present. This leads to mindlessness.
I know that we all cling to something that is destroying us.
I know that we all have gifts from the Almighty God, Creator, and that many of us are not living in our gifts.
I know that many of us are not looking for the truth of the matter. If you do not seek, you will not find. And no frickin' way is Google the be-all-end-all of information, facts, wisdom, and knowledge.
I know that we all believe in things that we have not seen or discovered for ourselves.
I know that not all of us are busy like the beehive. We are more busy like a wildfire.
What do you know?
I pray for you all and my heart bleeds for the condition of this world. I truly want you to achieve happiness and peace. But it starts with your first choice when you get out of bed. I know that many of us will not make the necessary sacrifices to attain the level of peace and happiness I have discovered since I discarded alcoholism from my life. I know I had to experience my life up to this point for a divine purpose. That purpose was to bring you this message.
If this message has blessed you and you would like to leave a blessing, you may do so by donating so that I can continue my mission. Thank you! Venmo: @gregwhitejr cashapp: $gregwhitejr or paypal.me/gregwhitejr
I'm also going to set up a mailbox so that I can receive other blessings that are not money. I love art, gardening, and many other creative works. Please feel free to share these things as well! God bless you all!
Today is the beginning of our true Independence Day.
Are you truly free?
If you love freedom, please stop what you are doing for one moment and please do this for me:
Grab a piece of paper and a writing utensil. It could be a pen, pencil, crayon, or marker. If you have a choice of colors, grab your favorite color! Now, draw a beautiful spiral.
How do I draw a beautiful spiral? Try this:
1) Start at the center.
2) Continuously draw a circle around your center never letting the line touch the inner line.
3) Keep going until you have covered the entire paper.
4) Fill in the gaps with all the things about your life.
5) Now imagine the spiral IS your life.
6) Is it beautiful?
Start At The Center.
Let me ask you these questions. Thank you for taking the time to reflect on these things!
What is at the center of your life currently? Is it YOU? Or something else?
How does your life look? Is it full of love, gratitude, care, compassion, generosity, freedom, health, motivation, positivity, nature, beauty, music, smiles, and joy?
Or does it look a bit different from that? Maybe your life spiral just looks busy. Busy, messy, expensive, annoying, anxious, depressing, tedious, tired, sick, and sad?
If your life truly looks like the first spiral, that's amazing! Keep it going! Keep building your spiral and telling other how to do what you are doing!!
If your life looks like the latter. I'm asking you to join the fight for OUR collective independence. Stop being busy. Let's begin a whole new spiral right now!
Start At The Center... YOU.
The center of your spiral is you. At that center is your breathe. The breathe of life.
If I gave your a certain amount of money (let's say it's a rather large amount) and told you when your dollars ran out, you drop dead. Yikes! I'd probably be more careful what I do with that money.
What if I told you that the ONLY WAY to increase your amount of money from what I originally gave you was to pay attention to your health. Interesting... I'm listening... What's the plan? I don't want to die. I want to earn more money so that I can live longer!
Well, personally, I would start by paying attention to everything I eat or drink. That's a good start. Fruit, veggies, honey, nuts, seeds, salads, superfoods, cleaner the better! I'd look at everything! Every label, every ingredient. I don't want anything keeping me from increasing my dollars so that I can live longer! Basically, I would know everything about everything that line from outside to inside.
I'd exercise, get out into nature, love on my family and neighbors more. I'd be super careful not to do anything stressful because that would affect my health and therefore, my amount of money, and therefore, the moments I have until I drop dead.
I also wouldn't listen to anyone trying to sell me something, claiming it would increase my health without doing my research. I would be absolutely certain that that thing they are trying to sell would indeed increase my health. Then MAYBE I would make the investment. But that's only if I couldn't generate that health myself, with my own efforts, without spending anything.
Now let's get back to the center. Change every word in the previous paragraphs from MONEY to BREATHE. That changes things a bit...
Death = Bad. Life = Great!
1) We'd want to EARN more breathe. (Earn means to gain as a result of our actions.)
2) We wouldn't want our breathe to run out. Nor our families. Nor our friends and neighbors.
3) We'd pay attention to what we eat or drink. Probably we wouldn't trust the grocery store or any health gimmicks. We'd grow our own food because that way we'd be sure it was the most nutritious possible. We'd be entirely and fully educated on how to live FOREVER!
4) Exercise, nature, and love a lot!
5) We'd avoid stress and unhappiness like the PLAGUE it is AND everything that causes it.
6) We wouldn't waste it unless spending it meant we would earn more of it with interest.
7) When we did something that increased our breathe, we would share it with the world. We would tell everyone with passion how to do it for themselves.
Draw The Circles Around The Center
I am at the center of my spiral, my collective universe, my world. Therefore, I am responsible for everything and everyone in it. I own it.
The center of the spiral is one dot. The lines that surround the circle are made of a multitude of closely connected dots that originate from me. These dots are my choices. My choices make up the design of the spiral; my life. I get to fill in the empty spaces with my choices too.
Every choice designs my life's spiral. That is my responsibility. That is my creation. I own it.
So I ask you again, how does your spiral look?
Now that we have identified that we are responsible for the manner, condition of everything around us, let's reflect on a few great questions?
Do you have freedom?
"Freedom, oh freedom, well that's just some people talkin'. Your prison is walking through this world all alone." - "Desperado" by the Eagles. The song is written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley.
Imagine your days on vacation (holiday). You wake up with the sun feeling great! That's freedom. You take your time with your coffee. That too is freedom. If you have kids, they don't bother you as much this morning because you aren't rushing. There's probably nature around you too. The beach, the forest, the mountains, a foreign country, an island... breathe in all that freedom.
Then the moment comes. You have to go home. Back to real life. Are you happy about that? Your answer is huge revelation about the health of your spiral.
Did you go on vacation because you chose to go? Did you have to ask permission from anyone? Hmmm...
How's the condition of your house?
Do you take responsibility for the condition of your house? How about your bed? Is it made? Is your house clean? Most importantly, do you like the way it is?
Have you ever said, "Well I'm too busy and I don't have enough money to hire help!"
That's your choice. It's your world and your responsibility. You own it.
What about, "Well my kids and spouse don't care. They don't help me. Why should I care?!"
That too is your choice. It's your world and your responsibility. You own it.
This one is personal. "Well I don't know how to do that! I can't fix that. I don't have time to learn. I don't have enough money to hire a professional."
That has been my choice. It's my world and my responsibility. I own it.
Do you care for and about others?
Do you really care for and care about those other living beings around you? Your spouse, your kids, your pets, your neighbors, your neighborhood, and your greater community are also all your responsibility.
This is your world. You own it.
Do you ever ignore your family? Do you ever neglect your kid's or spouse's needs? Do you ever get annoyed and speak our of emotion at your family, spouse, or pets?
Do you ever drive like a jerk? Do you ever yell profane things and curse other drivers? Do you ever curse your neighbors, judge and gossip about what they're doing wrong?
I have. I've done those things. This is my world. I'm responsible. I own it.
How is the spiral looking so far?
If you are not feeling so good about your spiral, I want you to know that I'm right there with you.
Four months ago when I made a choice to stop abusing alcohol (gave up my attachment to it), I woke up to a few realities. This is a small part of the realization that I do not like the design of my spiral. I began to realize the world that I created. It's a broken, untidy, unclean, disorganized, busy, chaotic, disastrous mess!
I woke up to this mess and my next words were, "What the actual F*&$!!!!!!!"
I realized there is a profound darkness working on my world while I slept and distracted myself with a variety of unnecessary choices. My choices were destroying my world. I blamed everyone and everything for the condition of my world. Personal responsibility was nowhere in my sight. I did this.
The feeling I had in that moment was quite overwhelming and profound.
I though, "Where do I even begin?"
Start at the Center... YOU!
You are not cursed. You are not flawed. You are not FUBAR (if those of you know who know what that means) or rather, you are not broken beyond repair.
Like me, you may not like the spiral you have created so far, but the great thing about a spiral is that at any moment of those closely connected dots, you can begin a brand new spiral. You have the ability to do this because every moment of your life is yours and therefore, you are at the center of every single one of those closely connected dots.
It's rather simple. Make a choice. Learn from the past. Think about the details of your life's spiral. Start a brand new spiral!
It's your world. Your choice. Your responsibility. You own it.
I am a part of your spiral.
If you are still reading this, I am a part of your spiral. You obviously want more freedom and believe in what I'm writing. If you need more understanding and direction, I am happy to be here for you. I do offer more personal guidance. Let me know if this is something you need.
If you have been blessed by this message and feel inclined, you may give a blessing at Venmo: @gregwhitejr Cashapp: $gregwhitejr or paypal.me/gregwhitejr.
Love and gratitude are the only tools in your belt that you need to begin creating a new reality. I am grateful for your support as I continue of my mission to spread this great news.
We can live in a perfect world. It simply starts with you and me. Our world. Our choice. Our responsibility. We own it.
I desire to emulate the tree in my life. The roots are deep in the ground creating a strong foundation and collecting energy from the earth. The branches and leaves are open to the sky collecting energy from the cosmos.
The leaves and branches provide shade, shelter, food, rest, security, and even loving companionship to anyone or anything that may require it. It does not discriminate for whom it provides these necessities. Even if it is mistreated, the tree will continue to provide its complete resources.
The tree represents truly open hands; ready to give (let go of) what is required of it in the form of oxygen, shade and wood. At the same time, the tree is willing to receive what is offered to it in the form of nutrients in the soil and rain from the heavens.
The tree is vulnerable to the storm and to external forces. The older the tree becomes and the more storms it weathers, the stronger it becomes. The roots grow wider and deeper strengthening its foundation. The leaves and branches also spread wider with the desire to absorb more wisdom energy.
The tree is resilient. It can grow in any condition and does not make excuses one way or another. It also receives scars and breaks limbs because of outer forces. But the scars heal and leaves a permanent memory. The breaking of limbs does not kill the tree but provides new opportunity for growth. Usually, this growth is exponential to the one limb it lost.
Even if the tree is cut down, as long as its foundation remains, it will grow back. The tree is patient. It does not complain about being cut. The regrowth is beautifully new and fresh.
The tree shares its legacy in the form of a seed. Perhaps the tree understands that it can suffer a fatal blow by the external forces and wishes for a part of itself to survive. Perhaps it is also multiplying itself to offer more to those that might require its resources.
Inside the small seed contains all the wisdom and energy of the older, stronger tree. The tree has given enough information to the seed for it to start the journey of life and also become a wise, old tree.
The tree is an unselfish servant and provider to all of God’s creation. I want to be like the tree for God’s creation.
I thank God for the tree, His creation, its wholeness, usefulness, variety, and all its respective resources.
May we honor Him by also honoring His creation and not be wasteful. Amen.
Life is never easy. WE humans might get a glimpse or an impulse of happiness here and there, but it always seems fleeting. When is the last time someone said to you that a certain outward experience was a "fresh breathe of air?" Where did this air come from? Why does it make us feel elated? What is that experience trying to communicate to us? Why is it so fleeting? What were we doing in that experience?
In short, the last few years have had no lack of hardships in my personal life. For weeks on end it felt like a constant struggle to keep moving forward. I have no idea how I did or how I keep doing, but the thought does cross my mind that maybe God is answering my prayer for stamina.
I'm sure each person has their laundry list of hardships over the last few years. Personally, a divorce, CV19, a handful of different addresses, a hazardously busy schedule, a stunted career, and a lack of personal responsibility were only the major things that made it on this short list. There were some great things as well. I met my wife, invited a new baby girl into the world, found a home that felt like home, and discovered some new talents. These "breaths of fresh air" filled my life with renewed energy. But yet I was still beating myself (my body, mind and soul) to death.
I was killing myself with alcohol. I had little regard for myself, the blessings in my life, and the source of those "breaths of fresh air." I was affectively dying, or rather, committing slow spiritual and physical suicide.
Well, God didn't like was I was doing so He interceded.
About 4 months ago God and I got into a wrestling match and guess who won? Thankfully, He did. He brought me to the ground and made me tap out. When I finally revived, beaten and bruised, I wept until my eyes were swollen red and my heart emptied of sorrow. I picked myself up, bowed my head in respect to the Victor, and decided I needed to do something about my situation. But what?
I figured I'd ask the Almighty One who had just whooped my ass in battle. I said, "Ok God, you obviously don't want me dead, dying, unhappy, chaotic, and trudging through the mud. I realized I am the problem. I've created this hell of earth for myself despite the continued blessings you've allowed to enter my life. I scoff at your blessings and mistreat them like a spoiled, self-centered brat. But here I am, at rock bottom, and I'm lost. What am I to do next?"
Do you know what happened next? I listened for His response. Then I started moving.
I gave up abusing alcohol. I started listening to His still small voice. He has me on a spiritual journey that for 4 months now has been nothing short of an amazing adventure of discovery. The world HE has created is nothing short of awesome in the actual meaning of the word: AWE INSPIRING.
I'm going to share my journey with you as we move into the future. Our days are numbered and I don't know how many I have left, but my prayer is that I will spark something in you to get you connected to our Eternal Creator, make a change in your life, and move forward with HIS direction.
We can't do it our way. It simply doesn't work. Trust me when I say, His way is better.
Let's start breathing fresh air all day, every day. Amen.