Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another entry of Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude always marks the occasion, which for today is for having a trait in my life now that I never used to have, one where I appreciate and hold onto things until they finally break, rather than always looking to acquire those “shiny new things” in life.

In all honesty, I’m actually amazed I’ve become this way in life. I truly do hold onto things now for as long as they will keep on working for me. My cell phone, computer, headphones, tv, necklaces, clothing, my car, you name it, each are considered so old by now that no one would question a decision to upgrade any of them.

My iPhone is from late 2015. My laptop is from early 2014 and my desktop is from 2016. My headphones are a 2017 pair from Bose. My television is a 55” Sony from 2014.  Most of my clothes and jewelry are many years old by now as well. And my vehicle is a 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid.

People who’ve known me for many years can’t believe how long I hold onto things now. Because the person they remember is the one who was always getting the latest technological advancements on a constant basis. I once was that guy who would stand in line for hours for the latest iPhone. I was also that guy who sported a new wardrobe all the time. I was even that guy who kept trading out one car after another, always finding a reason to justify why I needed a new vehicle.

Believe me when I say the ego will always find a way to justify getting those shiny new things in life, even when the things they’re replacing are still working well enough. My present iPhone is the greatest example of that. My cell phone is almost considered obsolete by now, at least according to Apple standards. They plan on supporting it for one final year beginning with this month. Yet, it still works just fine for me. It makes calls. It sends and receives text messages. And it surfs the web perfectly fine. Sure, there are many cell phones that are blazingly faster these days with plenty of new features that often beckon my ego. I have friends who seem to fall for that sort of thing almost every year or every other year, constantly sporting the latest in mobile advancements. But I’m ok having my bulky and ancient cell phone from 2015 because it represents the new me, as the old me is someone I didn’t much like at all. The old me had to constantly have those new things all the time, because it was a status symbol, an ego booster, and a way to make myself feel better. But when you go down that path of consistently getting those new things, it becomes a never-ending cycle that leaves you always wanting more and never fully fulfills you from within.

There’s something to be said to hold onto older things that are still working but may just be a little slower and less technologically advanced. And there’s something to be said to even be wearing clothing that isn’t the latest fashion trend either. What is it? It’s that I know what is on the outside of me isn’t what matters. What does matter is the heart within me, the one that cares about people, and not things. The one that wants to be generous and kind, rather than selfish and always consumed with having those shiny new things.

My motto today is to keep holding onto things until they break, and if they can’t be fixed for an affordable amount, then it’s finally time to upgrade. When I recently thought it might finally be time to do that very thing with my iPhone 6s Plus because the charging port wasn’t working right anymore, I opted to take it to a shop called “UBREAKIFIX” in Perrysburg just to see what the problem was. Come to find out a piece of mulch from my gardens had lodged its way into the port itself, preventing it from charging correctly. Go figure. $30 later, my phone was back to working just fine, at least according to an ego-less standard.

So, I’m grateful to not be consumed anymore with having those shiny new things. And I’m grateful to not be coveting physical things like I once did. When I see my friends or anyone doing just that nowadays, I’m reminded they are simply a mirror of the person I once was, which always causes me to reflect on being grateful for being more concerned today for what’s on the inside of me, rather than what’s on the outside…

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

Question For The Day

Today’s question is…

What is one Biblical story you struggle to believe ever really happened or didn’t happen in the way it’s written?

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

TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep TheTwelfthStep

Noah’s Ark, A Biblical Story I Struggle To Believe As It’s Written, But Am Still Inspired By Its Message…

There are countless stories in the Bible I struggle to buy into ever really happening, at least in the way their recorded. But what I do know is that there are plenty of positive messages behind each of them that I do buy into, like the message behind the story of Noah’s Ark.

In general, though, sometimes I think many of the stories in the Bible are just ones passed through the generations that were meant to motivate the masses. Maybe there was some truth to them long ago, but over time, it was like the telephone game, where the story got passed along, becoming bigger and bigger, changing, and evolving into something far different than its original events that inspired the story in the first place. One such story is the one of Noah, a guy who was called upon God to build this huge ark, becoming a laughingstock of those around him, even his family in the process. But the message behind this story is what truly inspires me on my current path in life because it’s one of keeping faith in God, even when all rational sense says not to.

Noah couldn’t fathom the purpose of what he was doing for God, yet he did it anyway and eventually he realized why. But trying to put any sort of rationality behind the story itself of Noah’s Ark is terribly challenging for me. I mean how did that ark fit every single species on Earth? And did Noah and his family become the next Adam and Eve of sorts, essentially having to resort to incest to repopulate the planet? It’s questions like these that I just can’t wrap my brain around whatsoever. But what I can wrap my brain around is the amount of faith Noah exhibited in the story, to even create the ark in the first place. It’s much of what I feel when it comes to how I’m handling my ongoing health crisis.

Long ago when I was still physically healthy, yet spiritually sick due to active addiction issues, I begged God one day to change me, to free me of all that kept me separate from God. I essentially wanted to be free of all the addictions and spiritual sickness I had been living in for so long, both in this life, and what I believe to be a number of prior ones as well, if you can believe in that sort of thing.

Seven days after I prayed that prayer is precisely how long it took before all my health issues began. I tried for a few years to fix them through science and medicine, and even through many forms of natural healing, all to no avail. Eventually, I came to accept that healing myself was beyond my control and that what I was going through was the answer to my prayer. That every ailment I faced was my body purging itself of everything that has kept me separate from feeling the peace and joy of God.

For many, this has sounded so inherently crazy. Honestly, there are days I think I’m crazy for continuing to trust in this healing path after so many years feeling so crappy. Yet, even when I seem to be at my darkest moments, there’s some sort of faith that comes from deep within that says to keep trusting in God and what’s happening to me. I think that’s why I really like the story of Noah. Because Noah trusted in God even when all rational sense probably said not to.

Even if the story of Noah’s Ark is bogus and is nothing more than a bedtime story passed along the ages, it still brings motivation to my spirit, to keep trusting in God with faith, to keep believing that I’m not crazy for remaining on this painful healing path, that I am still healing, even for as long as it’s been.

While the Bible and plenty of other religious books may indeed not be perfectly true stories and instead could very well be fabricated well beyond their originate events, I choose to look at the message behind them, like the message of faith in the story of Noah’s ark. A message that inspires me to keep going, to keep building my own ark, as I continue to trust in what I believe to be a healing happening in my mind and body, even when the constant pain makes me want to give up on most days, and even when others think I’m crazy for continuing to trust “some guy in the sky” with my health and the path of my life in general…

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