There used to be a few people in my life that would do everything within their power to bring others around them down.

Unbeknownst, these individuals had a poor grip on their own reality. With every miserable breath they took, the misery was exhaled. It was so sad to watch. What was even worse was the willingness I had to allow their sadness to rub off on me.

We all know them–the person whose internal fight with themselves is externally transmitted to those around. They have an underlying problem that hinders their potential. It almost seems as though they believe everyone else should feel the same misery as they do, so the efforts are made to destroy everything and everyone within their path. Do you know one? Are you one?

These people taught me a lot about myself. Sadly, I was exactly like them for a period.

Early on within my life, I picked up their unhealthy traits and carried them with me for the long haul. It led me to similar dead-ends. Maybe I was too stupid to believe I could be another way, I don’t know? Thinking without looking outside of the narrow was my demise with each passing day.

I suppose religion woke me up, thank God. Although, the way I was learning about Christianity only led me down the same narrow path I had already been accustomed to.

There came a point in my experience when I felt a great presence–an urgency–within myself. I had to change. I was being directed by something outside of my own narrow system that pushed me into the church–a new system; a new start. Yes, I thought the religious ways could change me. I had looked at all of those happy faces within the church before, listened to their extraordinary experiences and had great hope in the unknown. It was all very new, and I was ready to heal.

I didn’t heal.

In fact, I became a different type of downer. I became the type that only the circle calling themselves a church family would accept. I was indoctrinated and brainwashed into believing that all other people outside of the church were, “lost.” The same problem I had started with–downers producing me into the same–had a new title and place for me to reside.

I believe God pushed me through that experience to get me to see that all of my misery was because of the beliefs I had about myself. I believed that I had to see my own life through the lens of what someone else created–toxic people, toxic religious organizations, and the toxic views of myself. All of those things that were created by someone else, I thought, I had to believe about myself. Instead of just looking at the real, I only looked at the facade.

It took me a while, and it is still in its evolution, to see that life is just the present moment, and that God knows where I am within it. I create the obstructions within the natural flow. Life is so grand, and the death before dying is not something I choose to practice anymore. Believing that people and places have such a strong grip on my present reality is not what I want. I desire to see things as they truly are, and deal with it. Pointing the finger–blaming and shaming–is what those whom had brought me down can continue to do, somewhere very far from me.

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