Daily Reflection

“Hurt people hurt people. People hurt others as a result of their own inner strife and pain.” (Will Bowen) 

I really pride myself in the hard work I put into my outdoor Christmas display every year. Many of my neighbors have even gotten more into the spirit over the years because of how festive I continue to make the outside of my home look. My partner Chris jokes about it sometimes by saying it’s easy to tell where our house is in Toledo during the holiday season because of how bright it is.

Nevertheless, I often find myself looking outside my windows well in the late hours of the night every holiday season, solely because I find peace in seeing all my colorful light displays brightly shining into the thick of night. Sadly, on one of those occasions a few weeks ago, I noticed a large section of lights on my fence were out. It was around 3am at the time and I actually had just finished doing a very late evening meditation. I immediately put on some warm clothes and headed outside to identify the problem. I thought maybe a fuse had blown or something, that was until I discovered several slashed wires hanging limply on the ground. It was apparent someone had used something sharp to slice them. I’d go on to spend the next three hours fixing it by rewiring my whole fence and re-splicing the strands of lights that were cut. Needless to say, I was quite upset over the whole matter. The idea that someone would actually want to ruin a Christmas light display that was only meant to evoke joy totally baffled me. The incident reminded me of the same pain I went through back in the early 2000s when I was living in Falls Church, VA. There, someone also damaged some of my Christmas display, a portion of which was completely irreparable. Regardless, through the rooms of recovery from addiction, I’ve learned that sometimes “hurt people, hurt people”, usually as a way for their ego to feel better about their own pain and suffering they’ve got going on inside.

Remembering that, I was able to come to acceptance that whomever damaged my Christmas lights, must be hurting pretty bad inside. Who knows, maybe they’re being abused at home, maybe they have no family, maybe they aren’t celebrating Christmas this year due to financial issues, or maybe some other tragic thing is going on in their life right now that’s ruining the possibility of being in any type of Christmas spirit? That happened to me specifically in 1996 when my father took his life right before the holiday season began. I remembering being particularly mean to everyone that Christmas season.

The bottom line is that when someone is feeling really hurt in their lives, that all too often, they want others to hurt with them too, all because their ego makes them believe they’ll feel better if they do. But, in the end, they don’t. Instead, guilt piles up the more they lash out.

So, in knowing this, this is how I came to forgive the culprit that took their pain out on some of my Christmas light display this year. Deep down, I’m sure they’re hurting and for whatever it is, I only pray that God will surround them this holiday season with light and love.

Dear God, help me to remember this Christmas and beyond to always do my best to unconditionally love those who are hurt, even when they may lash out and hurt me in the process. Because deep down, below all their pain, is someone who truly is worthy of unconditional love no matter what.


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

Daily Reflection

“If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.” (Wayne Dyer)

I had a big realization recently and honestly, it’s been right in front of me the whole time, I just wasn’t ready to accept it. The realization came while I was a passenger in my partner’s vehicle the other day when I started nitpicking him having a ton of hair coming out of his earlobes. After asking him why he hadn’t taken care of it, I found myself getting heated. I mean of all things to get heated about, this definitely shouldn’t be one of them, right? Nevertheless, my actions started an argument, which led to him driving to the grocery store shortly thereafter, and me taking a hot shower where I silently hoped the water would somehow cleanse me of all the guilt and shame I felt inside over the things I said to my partner. It was at that very moment it finally hit me.

I don’t unconditionally love myself.

You see, if I did, I know something silly like my partner’s ear hair wouldn’t bother me one bit. Because the truth is that when one unconditionally loves themselves, they tend to see everyone and everything in a much more positive and accepting light. But if they don’t love themselves unconditionally, they tend to see the world as somewhat skewed, which in turn leads to quick judgments and negative criticism of others. Essentially, one’s lack of self-love usually leads to unloving behaviors towards others, like the nitpicking I’ve regularly done to my partner.

While I do unconditionally love a few parts of myself, especially my 12 Step recovery life, there are three parts of me that I very much struggle to unconditionally love and accept. The first is with my health issues. The second is with my sexuality. And the last is with my lack of employment.

Because I don’t unconditionally love and accept those parts of me, I know it’s leading to me slowly pushing those who unconditionally love me away little by little through my occasional unloving words and actions, such as the nitpicking of my partner. While it’s true that deep down I do profoundly love him and the few others I’ve drawn close to in life, I know that if I want to love ALL parts of them, I must learn to do that with me first. Because if I don’t, I know I’m going to risk losing having any type of beautiful connection to both them and me…

Dear God, I really struggle unconditionally loving myself. I know because of that it’s often led to me saying and doing unconditionally loving acts towards myself and others. I’m ready to fully embrace myself just as I am. Please guide and direct me to fully love all parts of myself, warts and all as they say. Amen.

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

Daily Reflection

“Sometimes God makes better choices for us than we could have ever made for ourselves.” (Jennifer Hudson)

Many times I’ve sent messages to “friends” on Facebook from my local area whom I’ve thought seemed like pretty interesting people from the many things they’ve posted. I’ve often asked if they wanted to meet up for a coffee or dinner sometime, as I’m always looking to expand my circle of friendships. Plenty of times I’ve received responses they’d be down for that and would get back to me, yet just as often I never hear back from them again, even when I’ve attempted to reach out a few times.

I’ve gotten so frustrated when this has happened, with the lack of integrity of people not getting back to me, yet I realized quite recently that maybe God keeps doing for me what I can’t do for myself, which is keeping doors closed that don’t need to be opened, to people that maybe aren’t in alignment with my Highest Good and spiritual goals?

My partner has often told me that I’ve made far too many attempts to connect with people he has deemed as unhealthy for me and maybe he’s right. Which quite possibly is the very reason why God might be helping to keep doors closed to people I attempt to friend.

In the same breath, it also seems that God has made room for various doors to open to new friendships as well, as has been the case with two new individuals in recent months. Both have come to appreciate my quirkiness and intensity and both have helped to bring some humor back into my life, something I so desperately have needed and wanted.

In light of that, this is why I tend to believe that God probably has a lot more involvement in our lives when we let Him, as had been evident since asking God to not allow people to become a part of my life anymore if they’re only going to lead me away from my Highest Good.

Overall, to my ego it’s been quite humbling seeing more doors close or ones that never get opened, than seeing doors get opened. But to my Spirit, well, let’s just say I’ve been thankful for those God has allowed to enter my life, because they’ve truly blessed my spiritual journey thus far in a lot of ways, something I’m guessing wouldn’t have happened to many of the attempts I’ve made to start new friendships that never went anywhere.

Dear God, thank you for all the doors you helped to close that I attempted to keep open with friends, both new and old, that in the end probably wouldn’t have been for my Highest Good. And thank you for the few doors you have allowed to either open or remain open with friends, as each of those have truly blessed my life beyond measure.

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