Law of Attraction in a shoe size that fits

“I am that which I am, and I am pleased with it, joyful in it. And you are that which you are, and while it is different perhaps from that which I am, it is also good. …Because I am able to focus upon that which I want, even if there are those differences between us that are dramatic, I do not suffer negative emotion because I am wise enough to focus upon that which brings me discomfort. I have come to understand, as I am one who is applying the Art of Allowing, that I have not come forth into this physical world to get everyone to follow the “truth” that I think is the truth. I have not come forth to encourage conformity or sameness–for I am wise enough to understand that in sameness, in conformity, there is not diversity that stimulates creativity. In focusing upon bringing about conformity, I am pointed toward an ending rather than a continuing of creation.” —The Law of Attraction

This passage is a powerful one, and for several days I couldn’t get it out of my head so I thought it deserved a posting. I’ve been able to touch upon the first part of this passage but learning how to do it wasn’t easy.

The first time, I hurt an innocent person, it had nothing to do with him and said nothing about who he was because he was a decent man. Some people assume that hurting someone else is the easier part of hurt, but it’s not always. Sometimes hurting someone is necessary to become who we are. We make choices, this much is true but when life is fresh and self, unformed, can you be held accountable for immature choices of gratification? Probably not until you’re the one that gets hurt. It’s easy to see the goodness in someone and be comforted by that in the unsettled self, but selfishness exists in the truth that you’re living in motions that belong to someone else. It’s not easy to let go of goodness for the spiritually corrupt and when you do there exists an extraordinary demoralization, so it’s no wonder you jump into the shoes of the one you hurt in your next lesson. After all, life is both the yin and the yang.

When I was in the military, the main tactic was to break you down emotionally so that you could be rebuilt a solider. Life, in general, is about the same. It is in the rebuild that you regain a courage that you remember from your innocence. A child, taking strides to walk, toward independence. A soldier, marching into the world, armed to take it over. The child falls, cries, gets back up determined to walk. The solider falls, locked and loaded, armed to assess the surroundings with emotions in check and gets up again. It is the rising that we determine our worth.

It’s not easy, either, to be hurt by someone else. You meet someone, throw caution to the wind, give more than you have to give. There is a subtle danger and a strong beauty in loving because you’ve never been hurt. Musicals make sense when you’re on the love drug. You associate elation with childhood happiness. The world opens up and surprise there’s only two of you out of the bazillions of people in the world, and you met in this lifetime. The new car smell, I love that smell. The only problem is that after a while you get comfortable enough to start eating McDonald’s in it. Instead of a monthly tune-up, you opt instead to overlook it altogether because the oil light hasn’t lit up. You ignore the signs of maintenance. You even ignore the signs that maybe the car you bought isn’t safe, at all. The used car dealer, which in this case would be the heart, fooled that gut feeling that something just wasn’t right. The price was too high all along, but you got lured in by the speed in which the car could achieve. Not to mention, it looked sharp and the leather seats heated your ass. Have you ever left those seat heaters on, dangerously, longer than you should? It burns like a good seat heater should.

I guess what I’m alluding to is life is an easier path when you realize that there are people who just don’t walk the same as you. Some walk slower, some take the shortcut, some push others out-of-the-way, and some never begin. It doesn’t matter, at the finish line, who walked, ran, or stumbled, quicker or better. In the end, we all cross it one way or another–together or separate. We may as well cross it understanding that it’s okay to walk in your own shoes. I don’t know about you but I wear a size 8 and while on certain occasions I can get away with a 7 1/2, I have never been able to wear a 9 and if I tried I felt like a clown and forget about a size 7…all that does is hurt.

Musical Memory Meme #4: Dad

What I Lost and Want Back

Prism

My childhood mornings seemed so much more pleasant than the adult ones now do. I woke up wide-eyed and ready to explore the world. Bright were the rainbows that reflected on the wood-paneled hallway created by the bright sun hitting the diamond-shaped windows on the front door. My own personal kaleidoscope had me looking deeply into wood grains at an early age. My brother, Jeffrey, sat less than five inches from the television with the sound screaming loudly into my soul. What I remember about that particular moment is how awake I was back then, and how impressions moved me. Something as small as colored light reflected from the sun onto the wall kept me in awe, imprinted in my memory, and conjured up happiness. I haven’t seen the little prisms of inspiration that echoed so loudly in my youth for quite some time, and I want it back.

You Be The Judge: Short Story For Esquire

Ladies and Gents, I just started a short story and I must stick to the title “Never, Ever Bring This Up Again” about a childhood trip to California.  I won’t disclose the full story but it involves a child standing in an inch of urine in the dirtiest gas station restroom.

Is this a good start or should I start again?

Never, Ever Bring This Up Again

Alisa M. Ben

There was something about Uncle Bo’s oldies music that felt like flashlights were shining all around in my insides.  Aunt Lou and Uncle Bo were kind of like those people in musicals when they would break out into song at the exact same moment.  It was a long trip from Oklahoma to California but they packed enough Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis to get us to Santa Fe, New Mexico, before listening to the same song twice.

The sun reflected off Aunt Lou’s transparent pink sun visor and hit my eyes when she turned from the passenger seat to look at my cousin Crystal and me in the middle seat of the van.

“I chew my nails and then I twiddle my thumbs,” She sang along to Great Balls of Fire and gestured with her hands for us to join. “I’m real nervous, but it sure is fun, C´mon baby, you’re drivin’ me crazy..”

“Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!!” We busted into song.

My uncle played the steering wheel piano and I watched the crow’s feet in his eyes become deeper in the rearview mirror as he laughed.  Crystal was in junior high school and wasn’t as delighted as I was by the impromptu concerts.  She tried real hard not to smile and adjusted her yellow jelly shoe, while I finished the song with our aunt and uncle but I was just a third grader.  I stuck my feet out straight to impress Crystal that I too wore jelly shoes, red ones.

“When did you get those,” She took the bait.

“Mom bought ‘em for me for the trip.” I beamed and continued to swing my feet.

“You’re a copycat,” She rolled her eyes at me.  “You always have to get what I get.”

“No I don’t,” I defended myself even though it was true.

“Yes you do!” She snarled.  “Just like the leg warmers that I had first and you got them for Christmas!”

“So what,” I argued.

“Imitation is the highest form of flattery, sweetheart,” Aunt Lou chimed in.

“Yeah meditation is the highest form of flattening,” I repeated.

“Im-i-tation and flat-tery,” She enunciated.

The July warmth of the desert sun through the large van windows highlighted the blonde baby hairs on my tanned legs.

“Ew, shave those things already,” Crystal pointed.

I looked at my legs that she was pointing to and embarrassment bubbled into my face and I felt like crying.

“Oh Crystal leave her alone,” Aunt Lou defended me. “She’s too young to shave and besides there’s no need for it.”

Tadpoles and Clovers

I could never cup my hands just right to catch tadpoles.  The slippery suckers would weasel out at the cup of my hands.  I must have tried to catch a million tadpoles when I was a kid, but every time it slipped out.  Had I known then what I know now, I could have chalked it up to simple OCD for not wanting to really touch them but pretend I did like all the other kids.  I used to do the same things with frogs, crawdads, and fish

Once my cousin made me touch a frog, and although I never got a wart I kept washing my hands just in case.  My mom used to tell me that frog’s pee gave you warts even though my cousin swore no frog ever peed on him, but he had the ugliest wart on his hand I ever had seen.  It was a flesh colored bubble on his thumb that was as hard as a rock just like his head.  I tended to think it was contagious so everytime he went to give me something I would run away from him, but for some reason he thought I liked to play tag

I once spent an entire day sitting in the middle of a clover field.  There I would sit, hours upon hours, with a large wooden salad bowl picking them one-by-one looking for four-leaf clovers.  No one ever told me to watch what I ate when I was younger, and clovers tasted a little sour.  When I got older I thought it was in the bean sprout family, so anytime we would go to Circus Circus in Reno, Nevada, I would pile the bean sprouts on my plate and eat them like a grown up.

Nowadays, my hands barely touch the organic side of life.  Instead of tadpoles slipping through my hands, it’s money.  I don’t find many four-leaf clovers anymore, but that doesn’t keep me from looking in clover patches.

clovers

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