Yes, I Know I Need To Fully Let Go And Let God…

There has been a repeating lesson in my life lately, one that has been extremely difficult to learn. It continues to manifest in different ways, but the message is quite clear. I need to fully let go and let God, and for someone who has spent their entire life trying to control everything, I find myself struggling to give up the last bit of perceived control I think I still have.

I began to notice this with my yard actually. It got a bad disease this summer, a fungus, that essentially started back in late May when the high temperatures first hit here in Toledo. When they did, I observed one morning this cotton candy looking substance in a certain area of my backyard and wondered what it was. The next day, the same area where it was had turned brown and the grass had died. As the days moved forward, I saw this fungus pop up in other areas, so I began to spray various things on it, hoping it would prevent it from spreading any further. Unfortunately, none of my efforts worked, so I called in the cavalry, that being a yard company that does my fertilization bi-monthly treatments. They proceeded to apply a fungicide, not once, not twice, not even three times, but four in total, as it kept coming back, and spreading even more throughout my yard, killing everything in its wake and leaving a wasteland of brown dead grass in the process. I tried everything after that to restore my yard. I planted seed, I aerated, I watered, but anything that came up kept dying off, even when the summer came to an end. Sadly, the disease travelled into my front yard as well along the way and none of my efforts there accomplished anything either. When my neighbor told me one day as he observed my frantic efforts at controlling it, that I should just trust mother nature and let go and let God, I almost hurled a few obscenities his way in frustration. When the fall season began, much of my yard started to return to its former glory, until a few days ago when the temperatures spiked to the mid 80’s, bringing the disease back all over again and with it, the death of parts of my yard once more. At that point, it became overly clear that I wasn’t going to be able to control this and that it was out of my hands. Ironically, not a single house on my street, or even in my subdivision got this disease this year, which left me wondering, if maybe I was the only one meant to experience this, simply to learn this lesson of letting go and letting God, once and for all.

You see, this yard thing has been just another example of something I feel the Universe has continued to try to show me, of my remaining attempts to take control to make things as I think they need to be. Take my health for example, which is at the top of this pile. I have been fighting my health issues for a very long time now and have done everything I can to restore my health by staying as active as I can, through holistic treatments, by eating well, by getting out and helping others, and by repeating various spiritual and energy routines every single day. Yet, none of that has improved my health whatsoever at this point in time, at least from my conscious perspective, causing me to throw my hands up in the air and question if God even exists, which has only led to my ego searching for any further ways to grasp some control back.

But, it’s become pretty clear, if not abundantly clear, to me now. I can’t control my yard, my health, or my partner, or anyone or anything for that matter. As all attempts to do so seem to be failing these days, making me even more miserable in the process. Most recently, I have had a few skin issues going on to prove it, as I have put one topical thing after another in affected areas, only to see the spots go away and come back shortly thereafter in the very same spot or just above it, almost as if it was mocking me and saying, “Hey Andrew, don’t you get it yet? You need to just let this and everything else go as well, and trust that God’s got it under control!”

But, for a guy like me, who was abandoned by his parents through their tragic lives and deaths, and for a guy who used addictions to make his way in this world for several decades, control has been my only means for survival for much of my life. Thus, truly trusting God has got my back and that it’s safe to fully let go of control of ALL things to Him, has been an exceptionally scary thing.

I need to do it though, and I’m praying for the strength to do so on a daily basis now and am asking for all of you to pray for that for me as well. I’m ready to move into a new phase of my life, one that fully does let go and trust God with everything including my yard, my health, my partner, and anything else that my ego thinks it needs to exert control over.

So, please pray for me. Pray for the release of my fear of letting go of any areas of control I still have left in my life. Pray for me to truly trust in the Lord, and pray that it comes soon, because I know what’s on the other side of this is a peace and joy that is going to be far better than the misery that’s been with me for far too long, all because I haven’t fully let go and let God…

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

When Did Filming Videos Become More Important Than Being A Good Samaritan?

Why does it seem like there are so very few good Samaritans these days? And why are people more interested in filming from their mobile phones now, instead of actually doing something to help? Have people become that self-absorbed, that they are more concerned about their videos going viral, rather than trying to make a difference on this planet?

I say this because I saw in the news recently a video recording of a Dunkin Donuts employee taking a huge pitcher of water and then dumping its entire contents on a homeless man who had fallen asleep at a table while charging their phone there. Then, if that wasn’t enough, they began to verbally abuse the homeless person, shaming them, and telling them they weren’t welcomed there again.

My question is this.

How does something like that even remotely come across any person’s thinking as the right thing to do?

Watching that video reminded me of something I once read about many years ago. It was the story of a pastor from a very prominent church in Texas who had dressed up as a homeless person and sat upon his church’s steps one Sunday morning with his hands outstretched looking for a handout. In a congregation of hundreds who had shown up that day, not one single person had offered anything to him. When everyone was inside waiting for the pastor to appear, he suddenly entered and walked up to the pulpit, undisguised himself, and told the congregation they should all be ashamed of themselves, that their action was the exact opposite of the teachings of Christ. He then ended the service that day.

What a powerful message right?

Sadly, it really does seem like our world is becoming more and more consumed with pleasing itself than in helping anyone else out from the kindness of their heart. All one needs to do is peruse through the countless YouTube videos where people have witnessed crimes in the making, bullying, and sometimes even of someone attempting to take their life.

I was horrified when I watched a movie the other day where a guy had fallen onto some train tracks after having a seizure and instead of anyone helping to rescue him, they had their phones out and were filming it as it happened. While that may have only been something from a movie, it’s actually not an unheard-of thing and is really just art imitating real life. People have become so concerned now to get noticed that they would rather film something like this that could become viral and get them noticed, rather than step in and try to help.

I sincerely hope that if I ever was in a coffee shop and was about to witness an employee taking an action like dumping a ton of water onto a homeless person, that I would say something and try to prevent it from ever happening.

I sincerely, hope that if I was ever waiting for a train and someone had fallen on the tracks or was about to jump in front of an oncoming train that I would do everything I could to rescue them.

And I sincerely hope that if I ever saw someone being bullied that I would step in as well.

I can promise you this. There is no video that I could ever record, no amount of likes that I could ever get, and no amount of fame that would ever be worth the sacrifice of overlooking someone who might be in need.

Frankly, I’m ashamed of that employee’s action from Dunkin Donuts and hope for their sake that they might see the err of their ways at some point down the road. Equally as important, I also hope that one day, we all might wake up and stop trying to get our 15 minutes of fame by doing things like filming videos of people in need. Instead, I pray more of us will walk through any fears we may have and become the good Samaritan who tries to make a difference, as our world truly needs a lot more of them right now…

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

Trying To Create A Little Peace And Contentment, As Joy Continues To Elude Me…

The feeling of joy is something that has been overly lacking in my life for a number of years now. I’ve given it my all to cultivate even a small slice of it, yet the feeling continues to elude me. Sure, I’ve had plenty of moments of happiness along the way, especially when engaging in something fun, but happiness isn’t joy.

Sure, I can eat a scoop of ice cream and get a little happiness from it, but usually not joy. I can play a game of mini-golf and get a little happiness from it as well, but still not feel any joy. I can even take an exotic vacation somewhere or buy a new car or move into a new home or have the most incredible intimacy with my partner and get temporary happiness from each of them, but rarely have I ever felt joy from any of those things.

Frankly, joy has never seemed to be something I’m able to cultivate by any of my own actions. Rather, it seems to be something that spontaneously occurs and when it does, it feels as if everything is happening exactly as it’s meant to in my life and that I’m at total peace and contentment with myself. To put it in a slightly different way, when joy shows up, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing, where I’m at, or what state of health I’m in, I just get this sense of exuberance about life itself and have an incredible desire to help people, to show as much love as I can to anyone I come in contact with, and generally feel close to God while the feeling remains present.

I’m not sure why I haven’t felt joy in so long. I used to think my level of pain was blocking me from feeling it, yet the last time joy suddenly showed up in my life, my body was hurting pretty bad, so I had to accept that wasn’t it. Then I started to think that maybe if I started reaching out and helping others more frequently, I’d have more joy show up in my life. But that didn’t work either, as I began to feel like I was helping others for the wrong reason and became more frustrated than uplifted from doing it. Most recently, I’ve begun to think that maybe joy comes from some Higher Source and that maybe there are times it’s pulled from our lives to strengthen our faith and resolve.

Whatever the reason joy continues to elude me, I’ve come to accept the best thing I can do is engage in activities that can at least bring me some peace and contentment in life, which are the byproducts of having joy itself. Ironically, my sponsor just last week asked me to write a list of things down that I can do by myself that tend to bring me those two feelings. So, here are eleven things that I came up with.

  1. Working on complex puzzles.
  2. Coloring in adult coloring books.
  3. Working in the garden.
  4. Sitting in a park by the water.
  5. Watching uplifting movies in the theater.
  6. Watching uplifting shows on television.
  7. Taking late night drives in my car while listening to tranquil music.
  8. Playing mini-golf.
  9. Writing articles for my blog.
  10. Reading YA science fiction or fantasy novels.
  11. Meditation

I honestly wish I could have come up with more, but sadly, this was all I could think of. Regardless, each of these things are activities I try to do on a regular basis, with maybe the exception of reading novels, as I haven’t picked up one in a good, long, while.

Nevertheless, in lieu of being unsuccessful in all my attempts to create any joy, I continue to do the best I can to cultivate the byproducts of it, that being peace and contentment. And while they don’t seem to fill the hole within me that only joy seems to be able to replenish, they do at least help me to keep going for another day…

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