Death isn’t something that scares people like me. My connection with the process of dying is unhealthy and all too familiar. It was a sense of learned hopelessness. Suicide is not a tragedy in and of itself. The tragedy is being unable to see ourselves the way others do.
There is no cookie-cutter system that will work for everyone. Mother Ayahuasca allowed me to go up to the mountain top. I watched my life unfold from the jungles of the great Amazon. I saw where we came from. I saw where we are heading. I sharpened my sword and I gazed upon my memories. The lens of my cultural framework zoomed in and out and I realized that my world was sad because I was against it. I was no longer taking part in the world around me.
It wasn’t until I put the sword down in my vision that I felt peace again in my heart. It was then that I began to truly understand why I am still here. Those of us that are still here have been chosen to tell the truth about war so that our kids don’t have to endure it. It wasn’t until I could locate my life’s work that life had a sense purpose and direction again. I had to realize that I was put on this planet to evolve for the sake of my family and for those around me.
Each and every one of us is supposed to live to our true potential and elevate our perspective to move us through this time of greed. What we should learn from war is that it has only benefited a few and left the many in disrepair. True freedom; the freedom to love whomever, the freedom to alter our consciousness, the freedom to sustain our happiness, the freedom to express ourselves, these are not freedoms we must fight for; they are feelings we must cultivate from within. The freedom from manmade laws and policy is where we learn to pull our shoulders back and raise our chins high. This is where we breathe deeply again.
There was a time when I was more concerned with living up to the label of being an American or being an Army Ranger than I was about being a part of nature and being a human. There were times that I felt that we were led by the best of the 300 million. There was a time that I would have waited for the policy council of the Republican or Democratic party. Those times are over.
As Mckenna says “We need to stop consuming our culture.” We need to create our own content and awaken our own sleeping dragons. We need honesty, transparency; we need to be unafraid to share our memories so that in some way we can all heal together. We need to take to social media and create art. Through art will come an outlet. Through art, we develop friendships and gain a sense of acceptance and belonging. The more we choose to put out love and positive energy the more we get back in return. Life is about helping others. It really is that simple. We have to be the change each one of us needs. Through places like The Havok Journal, we can break down barriers, eliminate stigma and most importantly inspire others just like us.
Mainstream media, war, all the negative stories, division through political parties, ideologies, culture, the idea of traditions, these things are all just control measures that aim to place each and every one of us into a box. Boxes that oppose one another and boxes that do not speak to one another. Through division, we can be controlled. We must all see that we control our own destiny. We create our own reality, our own set, and setting. No one can take from you what you are not willing to give up. We live in an age where access to information is infinite. We can learn to be whatever we want if we can choose to manage our time in a way that includes monitoring the thoughts of brilliant minds instead of eating from the trough of spoon-fed garbage meant to keep us entertained just long enough to watch the commercials which aim to reach into our pockets.
The time for being trapped in ridiculous conversations about how war benefits anyone. The time for shining the turd that is the VA health care system is over. We must awaken our spirits through whichever way suits us so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Whether it be martial arts to gain a sense of security again. Whether it be exploring the inside of a sensory deprivation tank to combat anxious thought processes or whether it be gaining empowerment through running in nature. The modalities of wellness are various and coupled with a diet consisting of real food the possibilities, ideas, and dreams are virtually endless.
We often feel like we have an idea of what the world means. Our beliefs, our values systems tell us we got it all locked down but who knows the end goal? Who knows the meaning of life? I believe I know what is not the meaning of life. Trading my time for money and spending my time doing things I don’t want to do so that I can buy things that I don’t really need. The point of life is to enjoy it. Not to live by comparison and collect shiny things. To leave the world a better place for our kids and their children. The purpose is not to be engulfed in every poor memory. Those memories are meant to be filtered and learned from. We must realize that we are smart, we are capable and we are the subject matter experts. We are the only ones that can help us.
This week in the comments section if you choose to come out of the PTSD closet with me, please share what is helping you. Please be honest and forthcoming. I will be the first to say I have traveled to other countries to use psychedelic plants and fungi in legal traditional settings. I have spent time in deprivation tanks, on balance boards, and in strangleholds. I find therapy in gardening, cannabis, holotropic breathing, and going to the beach. I use projectors to create an environment that resembles flying through space while riding a stationary bike in my garage. I mix projectors with my favorite audio and find flow daily. Nothing is too outlandish so long as it is articulate and can be replicated to help people. We need to know we are not on an island. We are not alone. Suicide prevention implies action. Suicide knows no racial barriers, genders, no national boundaries, it’s just like war it affects us all and could use all of our input.
This article first appeared in The Havok Journal on 12 September, 2015.