Prior to coming to The Journey Training I was irritable, controlling and severely discontented; I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew something needed to change. My life was steeped in fear coupled with the incessant need to please others; yet I remained empty with no direction or end in sight. As I mentioned previously, I needed something but I didn’t know what “it” was or how to achieve it, let alone discover it. Pretty hopeless, huh? Yes, I was.

When I entered the rooms of the Journey Training, I immediately saw beautiful and handsome faces to which I concluded “surely they wouldn’t be able to relate to an ex-convict and recovering drug and sex addict.” After all, they looked so pristine and trouble free I thought, but I was soon to discover that my terminal uniqueness was soon to be replaced with a sense of brotherhood and community I had longed for my entire life: the desire to be accepted and loved for who I was, not the illusory of what I assumed others wished or wanted me to be. I was in for a rude and revolutionary awakening. One that would ultimately provide me with a wealth of information and tools to help me discover my “it” in a real and meaning way which up to this point had been elusive.

In his book A New Pair of Glasses Chuck C. provides a very simple philosophy which is reminiscent of the Journey Training, consider now, “uncover, discover, and discard.” Unbeknownst to me I had no idea what I had gotten myself into because that is exactly what I experienced during that life changing weekend. So what does that look like, you might ask? Let’s consider them one at a time, shall we?


            This is a frightening prospect for a chronic people pleaser like myself, but if I was going to begin a journey of health, wholeness and emotional sobriety this was where “it” had to begin. Imagine being in a room filled with virtual strangers, not to perform but to uncover making one’s self vulnerable, naked and exposed with no figs to cover a lifetime of hidden shame and guilt. Through clenched fists, a churning stomach and tear filled eyes, I did something I had never done before: I trusted someone other than myself with the truth of who and what I had been and it was the turning point for my personal journey had begun! Light was beginning to shine in my darkened tunnel called my mind.


            On a giant poster board was the known quote by Albert Einstein which read “insanity is doing the same things while expecting different results.” During my discovery process I have added a slight adaptation to the afore mentioned quote “insanity is doing the same thing knowing full well what the results WILL BE!” Before coming into the Journey Training, it is safe to assume that I was insane. Perhaps not in the clinical sense, but emotionally imbalanced nonetheless. Journey taught me that I could not conquer what I was unwilling to face regardless of how scary it appeared. Looking back, it wasn’t what I was unwilling to face per se as it was, what I would discover once the mask(s) were removed. You see, my pain, in spite of its darkness became a comfortable companion for I had learned to manipulate, maneuver and mask the truth which kept me enclosed within a mental prison of my own making. By discovering I had the right to be myself, while forgiving myself and ultimately loving myself was a radical prospect indeed. One that was greater than the pain of my past.


            King David once penned “Be still and know that I am God. (see Psalms 40:10a)” In a word “to be still” requires one to “let go” or “discard” former false systems of beliefs or perceptions. In Journey I was given a “contract” which is equivalent to receiving a new identity and purpose. Before I was dispassionate, fearful and weighed down by the guilt of my past and previous convictions. When asked how I perceived myself, I could only respond sheepishly “a jailbird.” Although I was walking in the land of the free, I was still imprisoned albeit the prison was a mental one instead of a physical one. However, by the end of the training I was smiling (genuinely) declaring: “I am a passionate free bird.” I gave myself permission to discard those old tapes which kept me defeated, discouraged and imprisoned. I was free to soar above my self-limiting perceptions.

It has been stated a journey of a thousand steps begins with one. This is not to suggest that it will be easy especially when you battle between your ears. But there is one thing that I can assure you and it is this: since that glorious weekend of uncovering, discovering and discarding, I have begun to walk in my “it,” I am a semester from receiving my college degree at 50. My marriage which at one time was on life support has begun to heal itself as I rigorously apply the tools learned in the Journey Training. The wounded boy who lived in fear has been integrated with his core self and is now living a life once previously believed impossible. And the results I lived to repeat have been traded in for the wonder of tomorrow. I am a liberated and passionate free bird. Now it’s time for you to discover your “it.”

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