Will You Recognize Me?

Did I really need a pandemic to force me to look?

At my world? At poverty? At inequalities? At my government? At my priorities? At my neighbors? At my spending? At my fragility? At my excuses? At my naiveté? At my strengths? At my weaknesses? At my truth? At my relationships? At myself

Did I need to be forced to wear a mask in order to silence the voices, starting with my own?

I have spent the majority of my adult life searching for myself, my meaning. I have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on books and courses and degrees and certifications, all designed to bring me closer to my center, my light, my power.
I even contemplated attending the seminary, not years ago with the aspirations of a young man, no quite recently, even after being crowned a husband and a father.

Always with the idea of service in mind. When I complete this I will be able to help others. Wow, that one more certification will surely be the one that will shower me with clarity and insight and all the knowledge I need to be usef…

Fatherhood, Love and Healing. by Henry Amador-Batten

I can't remember when it happened, when I stop expecting to see my father. 
I remember far away moments, looking out into an audience or across a room or at either side of friends and family members only to see a vacant seat.
I remember distant conversations with my mom finding excuse after excuse for him. He tried honey,  he would have,  he really wanted to be here,  he’ll make it up to you,  he must have gotten tied up,  you know how busy daddy is and on and on. 
It’s funny how much we believe those little white lies, how much we need to believe them, right?  So much so that each one comforts you long enough until the next one is required by our little forming brains and hearts. 
Long enough to stretch out time and space. 
Long enough that you no longer really believe them but still want to hear them and then long enough that there are no expectations left that really matter. 
Just a dull dead nod of the head and a deep understanding.
I do not remember when that happened to me. It just did. 

Openning the Circle Wider. A Story about Forgiveness. By Henry Amador-Batten

"The following is a story I shared with a group of wonderful people. I share it here today and with you in the hope that even just one person sees themselves reflected in the words and perhaps finds some healing and some peace."

A few evenings ago, while tucking my youngest into bed we fell deep into one of those beautifully special and intimate conversations, you all know or remember those talks with your kids, in the dark, snuggled under blankets, when all the world feels fast asleep and nothing but nothing bad could possibly penetrate that little sacred space right?

As we lay there, he asked me to tell him the story, yet again, about the man I had spoken about in my *Spiritual Odyssey at our UU Fellowship.
I've also been given permission to share this with you all.
Let me back track for just a moment.
While writing my talk I had to dig deep into my past and all the how’s and whys and who’s that I had encountered on my journey. I even titled my speech “Follow the Yellow …

Mad Hippie Love..

So I will be turning 56 this coming Fall.
I can hardly believe it.  Quite honestly I have never really felt my age.
I often joke that the reason why my marriage is so successful, despite our 13 year difference in age, is that my husband is so mature and I, well not so much.
The past few years, as some of you know, have been difficult. Unlike years gone by I never noticed the changes in my face but when I hit 50 I started to become so much more aware of my skin.
I was also keenly aware that I had not been caring for myself as I once did. Kids do that to us right?
Not enough sleep, stress, unhealthy diets and on and on.
Well, last year I decided to do something about it. Nothing grand nor earth shattering. Nothing that required a moving truck, scalpel or a divorce lawyer. It was a tiny move that has changed my life.
Mad Hippie Love...
Not this kind,

But rather this kind...

Yes, I changed my skin care..
Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care has given me tiny glimpses of hope and excitement back.

Mirror Mirror On The Wall, Where Am I? A Look At Depression by Henry Amador-Batten

I am a man of deep self reflection, I often pause, contemplate and when able, I try to correct.

I believe that the road to self awareness and discovery requires many moments spent looking into your own eyes and being prepared to embrace what you see.

Lately I have been all to often disappointed with the man that looks back at me.

He was always kindhearted, spirited, loving and had a amazing sense of humor.
He was the guy you turned to when things were tough and the first guy you would call when it was time for a celebration.

He was that go to fellow that would never let you down.
But now? 
Now I barely trust him to make it through a day unscathed.
I don't trust him with my own secrets and I certainly would not entrust him with anything you hold too dear.

Over the past 4 years I have been dealing with depression, apparently somewhat severe.

It is so easy to think that the root of your sadness is any one of a million things that bombard you on a daily basis.

I had a debilitating accident that …