I’ve been struggling a bit as of late. I’ve fought to maintain a sense of presence and perspective that forces me to that acknowledge a few things every day. These few things, an awareness of: impermanence, ego, and oneness are the basis for how I try to see the world. Being human means that this awareness inevitably changes, and not always for the better. For me, the key consideration is that overall, if I devote my full faith and love to the idea that as I build an expanded awareness, more and more, I will see the goodness in life. If I build an expanding awareness, one that transcends story and realizes what is, what will come is simply goodness.
Realizations begin to flood in. Call them higher truths or call them something else. Ultimately, I and anyone on a path towards connecting with Self begin to realize some level of universal truths– all things are transient; I am not my ego; and I am a part of a greater oneness.

But what have I been struggling with lately??? I could make a list, but couldn’t we all? Most prominently for me, is that an old friend – a bright, shining star of a friend was recently shot and killed during a robbery in NYC. Now, I dig me some Mos Def, and love me some Erica Mather too, but I’m kinda hatin’ on Bed-Stuy right now! In one breath, I feel depressed about this and every other example of senseless violence in this country. The next, I tap into feelings of outrage, and get all harsh, on the political tip… especially at this time of national debate about the proliferation of gun violence. There’s even a little room to feel like a shitty friend for having fallen out of touch.

Honestly, the “what” of my struggle isn’t really important. In fact, I believe that the more we feed into the specifics of a/our story and accept them as truth (perhaps even on a subconscious level), the more likely we are to attach some part of our personal identification with that story. The important thing is that I continue to cultivate an awareness of how I perceive the world around me, and in turn, match that with what I know about myself. That way, the specific answer to the question about how to deal with my so-called struggles rests in how I choose to bring my true nature to the mix. Awareness is everything. As we begin to see ourselves as separate from things, story, and ego, deeper realizations of freedom and joy come about because that is our nature.

So, as I accept what IS, and let go of the story…. as I choose heart over head… I close my eyes and I remember. Remembering him with purpose, honor, and love as though the connection itself was the gift. I choose this because CONNECTION. IS. A. GIFT.

R.I.P. Ivan Giovanettina

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