Grateful Heart Monday

I’m not sure if this would be in anyone else’s top ten list of what to be grateful for, but having a roof over my head and a place to call home is definitely in mine and the very thing I chose to write about in today’s Grateful Heart Monday entry.

Just as an FYI, the last time a global survey was done to see how many people were homeless in the world, it was found to be over 100 million people back in 2005. I’m sure that number would today would be far larger. But, as recently as 2015, a separate study was conducted where it was estimated that at least 1.6 billion people lacked adequate housing on our planet. While I’m truly sad to learn these statistics, I do thank God I’ve never been able to count myself as one of them.

Not once in this lifetime have I ever found myself truly homeless, and in a city like Toledo, where I reside now and where the temperatures often fall into the negative digits during the winter like this one, I find myself being even more grateful to God. People die every day because of homelessness. Many of them tend to freeze to death in harsh climates like this. Others also die from poor health or from violent crimes they either resort to or are a victim of. So, when the wind chill has led to -10 degrees and more than once in recent weeks and where the snow and ice have piled up outside my front door just recently, I have really been thanking my Higher Power for providing me a place to keep me warm from all those frigid elements.

In turn, I have found great compassion for the many homeless people I come in contact with now, including at the place I volunteer every Wednesday for my 12th Step recovery work. There, the stories I regularly hear are heart-wrenching like people resorting to living in abandoned buildings with broken windows or on roach infested couches in drug homes or having to hop from one shelter to the next where sometimes they are even turned away.

I used to find it so easy to pass by those people on the streets holding those signs that say they’re homeless. How often I discounted them and simply assumed they were alcohol and drug users and needed to go get a job. I can’t do that anymore and instead am finding a lot more compassion for anyone who may be in a homeless situation because after all, I honestly can’t imagine myself standing on a corner in subzero temperatures trying to collect a few dollars to survive, especially in the state of health I’m currently in.

Nevertheless, God has always kept me warm with a roof over my head for the past 45 years of my life and for that, I’m truly thankful on this Grateful Heart Monday. Yet, at the same time, I find myself praying for everyone who can’t say the same, especially those who currently are dealing with homelessness themselves.

So, I pray that each of us who aren’t dealing with homelessness may find it within our hearts and souls to help anyone who is dealing with it in any way we can, even if it means simply offering a dollar to someone we might find ourselves passing by one day, standing on a corner, holding up a sign, during one of those harsh winter days…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

“Broken people who refuse to seek help will try to break you. They can’t help it. It’s what they must do to feel better about themselves. Send them away with love. They need to learn to fix themselves, and you staying and allowing yourself to be broken will not help them, and does not serve you in any way.” (Aeve Pomeroy)

AND

“Broken people who seek a relationship thinking it will fix their brokenness, will only find themselves just as broken and causing even more brokenness within themselves and anyone they end up being with, until they take the time to heal their wounds themselves.” (Unknown)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

The Illusion Of “The One”

For many who are single, the desire to be in a relationship often manifests as an aching and longing, almost as if a part of oneself won’t be whole until “The One” is found. I’ve been there and know that feeling quite well, but I also believe it’s merely an illusion.

I say this because while I may be currently in a relationship, I still feel that aching and longing on far too many-a-days and have allowed my ego to occasionally blame that on my partner, even though it has nothing to do with him.

Rather, I’m convinced this aching and longing has to do with learning how to be at peace with ourselves and finding a greater connection with the Divine. Except that’s something that tends to feel so far out of reach in this world and because of it, many opt to frequently seek it in the short term through some person, place, or thing. Thus, precisely why so many will search for “The One” or anyone for that matter to spend their life with, believing that in finding it, it will remove that aching and longing. And at first, it can actually seem like getting into a new relationship, especially with someone we think may be “The One”, because it does temporarily remove those unwanted feelings. This seems to be even truer for those who have gone through long periods of time being single and alone.

Nevertheless, in the honeymoon phase of a new relationship, when two people are first getting to know each other, the flaws and imperfections of each person are generally overlooked. But eventually, when all that buzz begins to wear off and when the newness of that relationship has passed, is usually the moment when those flaws and imperfections begin to be noticed and often glaringly. And the more the focus is placed on them, rather than on with one’s own inadequacies, the faster that aching and longing returns, commonly driving one or both straight out of that relationship, and on to the hunt for the next one.

This is exactly why I got caught up in one love addiction after another because I kept seeking the newness of a relationship, solely because with each, at least temporarily, I wasn’t in touch with that aching and longing feeling inside me. It’s also why I got caught up in things like pornography, cybersex, phone sex, and massive flirtation with others because they too temporarily were able to remove those unwanted feelings.

But the reality was that they were never removed at all. They were simply suppressed deep down within me. Thankfully, after doing this repeated behavior again and again, jumping from one relationship to the next, I finally woke up and saw this illusion. This is why I’m not resorting to those temporary solutions anymore, nor on the hunt for a new relationship either. I’m actually quite content with my current relationship because we both are working on going within ourselves to resolve any of that aching and longing, instead of seeking it in each other or in something else altogether.

Nevertheless, the point I’m trying to make is this. I don’t believe there is anyone or anything of this world that can ever be the end-all in removing a pit of despair we feel within ourselves, not even someone we may consider to be “The One.” Believing otherwise is to believe in yet another illusion of this world. Rather, I truly feel that any aching and longing we ever feel within is ultimately for something far Greater and can only be found by spending time alone with ourselves, all while feeling those uncomfortable feelings, as it’s in each of those moments where I seem to always find my greatest peace in life…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

Silly Joke #1

A little 3-year-old girl was playing with her miniature tea set. Her father was in the living room and her mother was out shopping.

The little girl came out to the living room and offered her father a cup of tea, which was in fact just water. He thought this was really cute, so she did it several more times.

When the mother came home, the father had the mother stop and watch the little tea ritual, as her daughter brought the father another cup of tea (water) and he drank it.

The mother said, “Very nice. But has it occurred to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?”

Silly Joke #2

Billy Bob walked into a doctor’s office and the receptionist asked him what he had. Billy Bob said, “Shingles.” So she took his personal and insurance info and told him to have a seat.

About fifteen minutes later a nurse’s aide came out and asked Billy Bob what he had. Billy Bob said, “Shingles.” So she took his vitals and a short medical record and told Billy Bob to wait on the exam table.

Another fifteen minutes passed when a nurse entered and asked Billy Bob what he had. Billy Bob said, “Shingles.” So the nurse gave Billy Bob a series of medical tests, and told Billy Bob to take off all his clothes, the doctor would be in shortly.

When the doctor finally showed up another fifteen later and asked Billy Bob what he had, Billy Bob said, “Shingles.”

The doc asked, “Where?”

Billy Bob said, “In front of the building, on the flatbed. Where do you want me to put ‘em?”

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson