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    Weekend At Bernie's

           Last weekend, I took a trip to someplace that I haven’t been to in a while. And I stayed way longer than I should have. I spent the weekend at Bernie’s. Bernie’s place is in my own head. And it’s not an oceanfront mansion. It’s more of a crack house.
           On Friday, I was not being very loving to myself. I don’t know why I chose to go there. For months, I’ve been good at getting myself out of that space, either by myself, or through calling somebody and getting some support. I’ve increased my support network a great deal over the past few months. I’ve got members of my family on board now. I've reconnected with a few people who I consider nothing less than spiritual tour guides. I’ve got amazing people I’m doing Landmark Education with. All that, on top of the already solid network of wonderful friends and relatives. On this day, however, I didn’t use my tools.
           What I’ve also been good at doing for a while is not acting from that unloving place. When I find myself there, I’ve been able to get myself out of it so I can take action. Or, if possible, and not logistically detrimental, put off actions until I get out of this bad neighborhood. When in doubt, I’ve done nothing. Nothing until I got greater clarity. And that has served me very well. But I didn’t do that on this weekend.
           Because I chose to be at Bernie’s Crack Emporium for most of the weekend, I ran a story in my head and took some actions from an unclear place that was missing love. Love of self and love of another. And my actions had an impact. On myself and on somebody I care about.
           I thought I was past that. I really did. But I’m not. I still need work on it.
           Currently, I am holding both regret and gratitude. Regret because I took something someplace it did not need to go, and it caused some damage. It damaged a relationship that matters to me. I've apologized, which is a critical step in getting clean with it and moving past the setback.
           But there is also gratitude, a feeling that I need to nurture and nourish. Because if I stay in regret, I’m doing the same thing to myself that I was doing whilst at Bernie’s: beating myself up and not coming from a place of love. And if I stay in regret and beat myself up, I miss the opportunity to use this breakdown to have a breakthrough.
           If I forgive myself, I realize that I created this because there is something I need to get from it. There are lessons here. There is my own stuff showing up that I still need to work on. And, as my dad used to say; “Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was Cleveland.” In other words, no matter who we are, no matter what our challenges, growth takes time. Growth happens in stages. It’s not a straight line. And no matter how much I’ve grown, I’m going to, occasionally, fall back into an old pattern and make mistakes. That doesn’t negate what I’ve done. It doesn’t wipe away how far I’ve come. Many people have told me that I shine. That they see a light from inside of me. The times of relative darkness, like my weekend at Bernie's, don't vanquish all the times that I do shine. With caring. With passion. With so much love.
           Sports fans, I’m on the field. I’m in the game. The game of personal transformation. The game of creating a life that I love. I’m playing it. Hard. Every fuckin’ day. And, just like my boy Tom Brady, I’m going to miss some throws. I’m going to have some really bad games. I’m going to throw some picks. I’m even going to throw some picks that cause me to lose the game that day. But I don’t quit. I get back up, dust myself off, and keep at it. I learn from my mistakes. I keep correcting bad habits. And I don’t allow my critics to distract me from my mission. Most importantly, I don’t allow myself to distract me from what I’m creating.
           And that means staying the fuck away from Bernie’s Crack Emporium.

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