Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

jerrytroyer

 

Have you been huddling in a closet of denial about who you are?  The walls may be paper thin or constructed from cinder block or steel. One thing it does is prevent you from fully living your life. Author, minister of Joyful Living Church in San Diego, California and speaker Rev. Jerry Troyer’s closet was built from beliefs about himself, partly as a result of the deaths of  older twin brothers that was not explained to him in a way that a young child could comprehend, and partly by virtue of recognizing his attraction to men, in a prevalent culture that not only doesn’t embrace it, but abhors it. Blessedly, he has opened the door and ventured out into the world, as has his book Coming Out To Ourselves : Admitting, Accepting and EMBRACING Who We Truly Are.

This short, easy to read (I breezed through it in a few hours) 78-pager addresses not only sexual orientation, but in addition, spirituality, addiction, relationships, self love, career and one of my favorite states of being -JOY! As a consummate communicator, Troyer expresses from his own direct experience of overeating, and being in life partnership with a man who is now in recovery from drug addiction. He brings in the concept of shame and how soul damaging and even deadly it can be. Shaking off the shackles of shame is not easy, but essential to insure freedom.

Troyer touches on what he refers to as The Other F-Bombforgiveness and compares it to a rock that we carry into a lake and refuse to surrender because it is ‘ours’ and we cling to it, even though we are drowning. What I have learned is that forgiveness is not a once and done thing, but rather a peeling off the layers to see what is beneath them. What I hold on to holds on to me. Troyer agrees that it is “a process and not an event.” His church does a burning bowl ritual each year in which members write what it is they want to release and then they communally ignite the papers.

He tells one of my favorite stories about The Golden Buddha that was covered with cement to protect it from a marauding army and then over generations remained encased until a monk noticed that a piece of its covering fell off and he beheld the glowing surface hidden beneath. Troyer contends that we too are those illumined beings forgetting who we are.

Four steps for making change are outlined:

Pay Attention

Expect The Best

Go For It

Take The First Step

This is true whether it is in anticipation for doing a fire-walk (which is what sparked these instructions), or changing a career, entering into a new relationship, changing lifestyle habits or coming out of your closet, whatever it is made of.

Troyer offers encouragement to the LGBT community that change from self loathing to self love is possible.

The book, which was published in 2012, was endorsed by the inspirational author and speaker Debbie Ford (who passed in February of  2013) and wrote “You will be surprised by how easy it is to find yourself on the pages of this hopeful and engaging book. A compelling read.”

www.revjerry.com

Jerry will be coming to Philadelphia on September 11th…..details to follow.

 

 

As a gracefully aging, seasoned woman, I have long believed that memory loss is a myth. Having had a sharp as a tack mind that could have anything I wanted stick to it, I am sadly noticing some things falling off the cork board. Another analogy that makes sense to me involves a techno concept. If I think of my mind as a computer hard drive, I have no problem with storage; but retrieval is another matter. I used to have at my disposal the title, lyrics and performer of any song I liked and even some I didn’t. Remembering names of those I met in personal and professional capacities was a piece of cake and now it feels like itsy bitsy crumbs left on the plate sometimes. Walking into a room to get something or do something was a no brainer, literally and now there are times when I need to return to the scene of the thought to recall what it is I needed. Thank heavens for GPS and Smart phone when I am feeling in need of guidance and not particularly smart myself.

Enter the world of Lumosity. I  heard about this brain training website via Pandora (the DIY of personalized radio stations) and reminded myself to look into it and then forgot about it. Last night, while I was interviewing Mariel Hemingway and Bobby Williams for my Vivid Life Radio show called It’s All About Relationships, we were speaking about the idea of aging as a self imposed limitation and that we three agreed that we feel more vibrant, vital and youthful than we did a decade or so ago. I chimed in that my memory has been fading a bit and he recommended Lumosity. I didn’t need to hear about it a third time and tonight I climbed aboard the Brain Train, lest I experience more brain drain, and set up a few skills tests. I had no problem with identifying shapes after seeing them flash in front of me. Then came spatial relations…uh oh….I was able to match 5 tiles as they showed up and then disappeared, asking me to replace them where they were. Six was a wee bit of a stretch and then came 7. I could feel my heart racing and a some anxiety present itself, as if there was  a live human being observing me mess up, rather than a computer who didn’t know me at all. And then I cut myself some slack, reminding myself that it was the end of a long day that started about 5 something, had me driving nearly and hour to take a training for work that focused on Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases; lovely topics all. Heading back to the office to do some paperwork, followed by a drive in torrential rains and flooded roads, I am feeling whooped. Writing this column feels like no work at all, since most of the time when I create, I am in The Zone and don’t need to think. The words just flow. It is when I effort or believe that I need to know the answer to something or be ON that my train of thought gets derailed.

www.lumosity.com

www.vividlife.me

www.pandora.com

 

This peppy/poppy/folky song by husband and wife duo Pete and Maura Kennedy leapt out at me today and reminded me that my day to day existence is far more than my ever-changing routine, which sounds like an oxymoron,  far deeper than surface concerns and far more impactful than I might have myself believe in my weakest moments. A few random lyrics tugged at my ear:

“Life is large. It’s bigger than the both of us.  Life is large. All you need is just a little trust.

“Be yourself and stand your ground. Don’t you let no one turn you around.”

“How do you want to be remembered?  A raging fire or a dying ember?”

Last night as I was driving home from one of my jobs as a therapist in a substance abuse outpatient practice, I thought about all of the people I have connected with professionally over the past 30 years as counselor, facilitator, minister and writer. It would likely number in the many thousands. What seeds do I hope I have planted with them?  Seeds of desire for a life that takes them beyond what they expect into something phenomenal. Seeds of healing of the wounds they have experienced. Seeds of prosperity that has them knowing that they can do the ‘abun-dance out of scare-city’. Seeds of love for themselves and all those they encounter. Seeds of trust in the Highest Possible Outcome. Seeds of creativity so that they can color outside the lines in outrageous hues and tones. Seeds of the music of their souls so that they can sing out with gusto.  I also know that each of them has left an impression and imprint on my heart and mind, long after what may have been fleeting contact. How could it be any other way since we are all so interconnected?

How large are you willing to let your life be?  I am open and willing to have mine be so expansive that I am unable to see to the end of the line, so wide that I can’t wrap my arms around it, so high that I have to crane my neck waaaayyyy back and still can’t get there with my eyes, but can with my vivid imagination and open heart and so deep that even in my childhood fantasy of ‘digging to China’ would never have me arrive.

http://youtu.be/ppR4poXbrdI Life Is Large- Pete and Maura Kennedy

 

I was speaking with a retired pilot today and wanted to ask him a question I had wondered about for years that I had heard was so. Is an airplane off course much of the time and requires  moment by moment course correction to keep it aloft and flying in a straight line? He smiled and assured me that wasn’t the case. He went on to explain that the pilot gets a flight plan and instructions from ground control and that much of the time, the plane is on auto pilot. The only time they change the plan is when a storm is coming up in front of them and they need to re-direct around it and the plane goes on manual control at landing.

My writer/ therapist’s mind automatically went to metaphor mode as it occurred to me that recovery has the same components to it. In 12 step parlance, GOD, stands for Good Orderly Direction that offers us a daily flight plan, direction and destination. If we go off course, the Air Traffic Controller, guides us back on track. If we are able to surrender and trust, we can go on auto pilot. Now, that doesn’t mean relinquishing responsibility for our choices and for keeping an eye on what is in front of us. It means allowing God to be your co-pilot.

Most people who see a storm approaching, take cover or maneuver out of harm’s way. Sometimes we need a barf bag when turbulence occurs and then we ride the current, knowing that we can get through it. Sadly, many who are facing addictions, keep flying into that same darn meteorological  phenom; get struck by metaphorical lightning and then wonder why they crash and burn.

I then asked about the landing. Since he had over 3 decades of experience as a commercial pilot and a number of years as an Air Force pilot,  prior to that, he has likely made many thousands of touch downs. It is about knowing the precise moment to take back control of the plane, so as to make the transition from air to ground as smoothly and safely as possible.

How often do we know when to surrender and when to take ahold of ourselves and circumstances so that we can travel the friendly skies?

http://youtu.be/3bxwEscWZEI From A Window Seat- Dawes