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Sixty... and Counting

By Charlie Badenhop

I'm sitting here on my sixtieth birthday.
A beautiful Saturday morning....
May 10, 2008
Listening to some Sarah McLachlan and Uncle Sam
And doing a bit of time traveling.

"For me, it all started sixty years ago..."
Is what I first typed here,
But before I had the words complete I had a fleeting feeling-image of being in my mother's belly,
And even further back.....

Having a sense that "I" have somehow been here before.

The essence of what this time around is called "Charlie"
Feels as if it's been in the primordial soup for a long time.
However "long" long is!

There has been a lot in this life already,
A LOT of intense feelings,
A lot of pain...

A lot of
Love,
Solidarity
Brotherhood and sisterhood

Many blessings,
And at times great glory and exaltation!

When I am able to calmly feel back into my past,
All of what I have been through
All that I am
Leads to a sweet sense of living fully.

Is the concept I am striving to more fully comprehend,
And embody.

Staying away from categorizing,
Good or bad,
Painful or pleasant.

And simply staying with the fullness of it all.
The beatings....
The time in jail....
The romances....
The love....
The friendships....
The talented giving teachers....

It's deeply touching to recall and understand....
How the seemingly wonderful times often brought along some pain as well.
And sometimes the pain was intense and long lasting.
Like when losing a loved one.

While the seemingly bad times,
Invariably brought along heartfelt relationships and expressions of humanity pouring forth from others.

This is crucial to understand.

How over time,
Good and bad come together,
And are never really separate.
There were times when people risked their lives to save or protect mine,
Even though we had known each other for only a few minutes, or a few days.

I have been in awe of human spirit, and so deeply grateful, as I felt how powerful and complete a bond between two or more people can be.
Living or dying is not always what matters.
Life needs to be about a whole lot more than that.

Standing up for what one believes in regardless of the consequences, can be one of the greatest moments in any person's life.
Especially when you're standing up to say "I believe in my friend, and I will willingly give my life as an expression of our solidarity."

It's my experience, that standing up for a friend during times of danger, has little to do with "bravery".
And a LOT to do with love

A love that is very different than "falling in love".
A love that is more like a parent's love for their child.

Neither rational or irrational.
It's a moment in time when you're fully present and your whole being says "Yes!"
And you know that if you die in this moment, your life will have been well spent.
There would be no regrets.

So yes, I've definitely been involved in slaying some dragons,
And perhaps sometimes I've also appeared blase or macho about it all,
But I have also spent a fair amount of my life, frozen in overwhelm by the possibility of FAILING!

Never really having a clear definition of what the term "failure" meant to me.
No rational definition that is,
But this has not lessened my feeling that "failure" was stalking me.
Like an assassin hiding in my closet at night, waiting to pounce.

You think I'm just imagining all this?
No way!
I just heard the movement of hangers in my closet,
And I'm pretty damn certain I saw the doorknob turning,
Ever so slowly.

But wait!
Before I get carried away,
I take a deep breath...

And I realize,
I'm sitting here on a beautiful Saturday morning....
May 10, 2008
Listening to what has turned into some Cirque du Soleil show tunes....

Realizing how lucky I am to be here, now...
With the best and only time to truly enjoy life,
Beginning with this breath...

Right now...
Is the only moment, the only life I have,
And I intend to enjoy it to the fullest!

Regrets can wait til later.
There'll be plenty of time for that once I'm done.

Happy Birthday to you as well, when it's your turn!

Charlie Badenhop is the originator of Seishindo, an Aikido instructor, NLP trainer, and Ericksonian Hypnotherapist. Benefit from Charlie's thought-provoking ideas and various self-help Practices, by subscribing to his complimentary newsletter "Pure Heart, Simple Mind".


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