There is only One lesson ever being taught. Only One truth ever being revealed. There is only ever One “I”. Everything is connected. 

As a child I was overweight, overly emotional, and artistic. Growing up in the south this means I was bullied and picked on mercilessly. I withdrew into any fantasy I could find and found better teachers, truer friends. And I learned that Magic is real. So I resolved to become what I wanted to be and not what anyone else said I was or should be.

As a man I was gifted with strength and courage so I became the closest thing to a Knight that I could find. I became a Firefighter and EMT. I fought Dragons and rescued those in need. I have stood in the fiery furnace and marveled at the deadly beauty. I have led men into twisted burning wreckage and brought order to chaos. And along the way I developed a MASSIVE ego.

I thought I could handle anything. My pride and foolishness blinded me to the danger I was in. PTSD is very real and no joke. I began to come undone. Piece by piece. Suicide seemed like the only way to stop the pain. Hamlet knew my misery. To be or Not to be! That is the ONLY question.

One night I got a call to a familiar location to tend to one of our “frequent flyers” – a man I had known for years. He was usually drunk or high, always belligerent or weepy, sometimes both. He had only one eye and never would tell me how he lost it. It was getting cold and dark and I knew he just wanted a trip to the ER for a meal and a warm bed just like the countless times before. But this call came on a day when I was pretty low. I had finally come up with a plan to kill myself and make it look like an accident so my family would still get the insurance money and I wouldn’t look like a coward to my coworkers.
This time he was dying for real and there wasn’t a goddamn thing I could do to stop it. I’m not sure why but I got mad at him. Really mad. I used all my tools and all of my drugs and went way beyond the norm to try to “save” this man and I said to him as I was coding him: “Go before me and prepare the way for surely I will follow.”

We take him to the ER and they immediately call it: DOA. I do my paperwork. My shift is over. I clock out with finality, intent on never returning. I’m lying in bed, beyond exhausted, beyond stressed. I feel completely broken, like shattered glass. And I picture him. I SEE him as he leaves his body behind. I see myself in the ambulance frantically working on him. I must be dreaming now. Half asleep, half dead already. So I follow him.

I guess he sensed me because before he went into the light he turned to face me. He pointed to another light and said: “You will go through this door again and again until you lose your eye.” It shook me. I felt a physical jolt like I had been pushed. And I realize with real eyes that the “I” that must be lost is the illusion of separation. My “I” is single and I am filled with light.

All of my childhood heroes and teachers came back to me with this One lesson. I see now that it is all connected. Every hero and space wizard. Every enlightened being and grand master of the mysteries speak to me from the pages of every comic book. Every movie. Every story of past , present, and future. From every direction and vector. All is one! Everything is “I AM”.