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Four Feet and Forty Years Later

This is my third attempt at writing this entry. This revision isn't due to my anal tendencies for proper syntax or spelling accuracy, though. It's due to a coming together of recent events and a mini-epiphany.


A couple of days ago, I was informed that a young man, only fourteen years old, committed suicide. According to the obituary, he loved nature and walking barefoot- something that I can strongly relate to having in common. He was seemingly happy, well-adjusted and had a loving family. Like most boys (and a lot of older guys), he loved reading Marvel comics. Oh and he spent time helping feed and assist refugees as a member of his church - a church where my sister is both a member and business manager.

These days, one doesn't find many teens - especially boys - who have an affinity for walking barefoot through nature or taking time away from video games or television to assist refugees. They're out there, though. Hiding.

"So sad. Why? He seemed so happy. Aren't you surprised?"

No. There was a time when I would ask myself the same questions. Now, I understand - and remember when I was about that age.

Isolated. Pressing the knife blade against the wrist - a little more pressure - there it is ... a hint of blood ... They'll get it someday. Will I ever understand why I feel like this? Not today, gotta go to school. Same 'ol, same 'ol ... just play the game ... try to fit in ...

Listen ...

So powerless at that age. Or so I thought.


I received an email a few days earlier from a mother seeking help for her 13-year-old son. The email didn't go into much detail, only mentioning that the traditional therapies hadn't been of much help.

After trading a message or two, she and I spoke by phone. She mentioned that one doctor had diagnosed her son as having a mild form of Aspberger's Syndrome - a form of autism. I'm familiar with the syndrome as my step-son was also long ago diagnosed with a high-functioning type of Aspberger's.

In any case, the conversation provided insights that ran counter to everything I'd ever heard and learned about the syndrome. The young teen - who I'll refer to as 'Little Dude' - had been bullied at his former school - not for being anti-social, as those with Aspberger's tend to be - but for calling out other kids when they said or did something that didn't sit well with him. If anything, he was outspoken - especially when it came to social issues and injustices.

Before saying, "Oh, all kids think that they know everything at that age," hear me out.

Little Dude's mom and I agreed that they'd visit me at my lightwork studio and newly formed refuge, The Sanctuary. We agreed to meet the very next evening.

Negative vibes don't 'knock off' at 5pm - banker's hours.

The day of the visit, I spent several hours in preparation. Although I always prepare myself and my space prior to performing lightwork or embarking on a shamanic journey, I had been nudged to undergo a journey for guidance and understanding prior to Little Dude's arrival.

Condense ... condense ... to make a long story short ...

When Little Dude and his mom arrived that evening, the first thing I felt was the genuineness that both exuded. First, his mother ... she smiled as she introduced herself and her son. It wasn't a forced or obligatory smile, but one of kindness.Yet, within the smiling kindness was a hint of concern and slight desperation that came from the heart - a smile that was pleading for assistance for the little dude.

Little Dude, well, he was as genuine as they come. A little more than four feet in height - every inch packed with straightforward authenticity. He had a presence that he carried with him that was uplifting and captured my attention. He didn't project a hint of awkwardness.

A day earlier, his mom had shared with me that he'd been quite upset at the recent election of Donald Trump as president. "I don't know your stand on the election, and I hope I don't step on your toes, but he is very dismayed that Trump is going to be the president," she'd said. "He'll talk your ear off about it if you give him the opportunity," she'd warned. "He tends to talk a lot, especially when he's passionate about the subject."

No problem. I've been accused of doing the same thing, I replied.

Huh. Thirteen years old. Passionately opposed to the election of Donald Trump - unlike most kids who are more passionate about reaching the next level of the latest Xbox game.

Hey, little dude ... how are ya? He didn't seem nervous, uncomfortable or perturbed at having to make the visit. In fact, his mom had told me that he was very open to visiting with me. Very cool. My head began to tingle.

Their visit was a bit out of the ordinary. I didn't perform lightwork - at least in the traditional sense. I'd been guided to simply sit and talk with little dude and his mom. After the 'getting to know each other' chat, I began asking Little Dude some questions.

In short, he wanted to help people. He hurt - physically and emotionally - when he couldn't help or felt he couldn't do enough. He wanted to know who he was - who he really is - and what he was put here to do. It didn't surprise me when he responded with a nod after I said, you're an empath, aren't ya? He and his mom nodded in unison.

Man, this sounds familiar ...

Little dude was an old soul - misunderstood by kids his age as well as most adults, including his teachers. He felt isolated, stifled. His authentic self was struggling to burst forth, only to be restrained by the expectations of how a 'normal' teen kid should be and act. As an empath, he brought home negative 'vibes' from others almost daily.

Oh man ... everything is coming together ... talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place ... isolated.

Sitting in front of me was a 13-year-old boy who was aware. His eyes were open but he didn't understand what was happening. Even worse, he was constrained by his age. For the most part, society, teachers - almost all adults - and other kids don't listen to those like Little Dude. Kids like him are labeled 'odd', 'quirky' or worse, 'special'. The word, 'empath', isn't even a consideration.

As a result of his authentic self being stifled, he suffered from panic attacks and had been prescribed anti-anxiety medication.

Medication - the 'go-to' answer for everything these days ...

He began to ask even more probing questions. "Will being my authentic self kill me?" "Will people be afraid of me?" "How do I find my authentic self?" Interestingly, his mother told me that he'd seen his therapist earlier that day and was told that he needed to find his 'real self.'

I told him that he already knew his authentic self - he only needed to listen for it.

Our question and answer session was interrupted by a sudden anxiety episode. The episode was very brief, almost a series of quick inhalations followed by a prolonged exhalation. It was almost as if something had been set free.

Near the end of our time together that evening, I looked directly at the little dude and without hesitation said, Dude, you are the future. But right now, you're the face and voice of a lot of others your age.

He acknowledged what I'd said and had a look of purpose written in his eyes.


When I heard of the young man who'd grown tired and took his life, my heart sank. I thought of Little Dude. I thought of other young kids who are in the same place - waking up, searching, asking questions and trying with all of their might to make sense of what's going on.

Then, I thought back to myself at that age. Somehow, I made it through those years and the turbulent years that would follow.

It's a pivotal time in the evolution of mankind. Many are opening their eyes and are very sensitive to the changes taking place. And, many of them are young.

Listen ...

Don't stifle the authentic self. Yeah, change can be difficult, without a doubt. Being dismissed, shunned, mocked and ignored is difficult for anyone at any age. But, one thing is certain: the changes are going to happen anyway. Stifling the authentic self and it's soft whispers is much more painful in the long run.

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.

Little Dude, the 14-year-old, me, you ... we're all the same. We have the same thing inside - a desire to help and make a difference in this lifetime. We have to accept that we can't do it alone and we can't allow that desire - no matter how sincere - to cloud the knowing of who we are. It's then that we lose focus and the sense of self takes a back seat.

Listen. Discern. Trust and just be - without fear, without a need for other's approval.

Thanks, Little Dude. There might be forty years between us but, man, you pried my eyes open a bit wider.


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