NOT Addicted? You Need a 12 Step Program!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2014 by michaelcogdill

I’m not an addict, but I am the son and grandson of addicts — alcohol and opium. I know the lies, the brokenness, the co-dependency. I’ve lived the enabling. All this, tuning my heart to real love. Yes, even the tough kind that walks away in utter surrender to Higher Power, which is often most present when we let people we love go very, very low.

Addicts forfeit their right to all relationships except one. Only Divine forces from within can repair what’s wrong. Inner Divinization is the sole cure, not merely for addiction but for abuses and compulsions of every human kind. Prevention of suffering is often the antithesis of love. When Christ tracked through the dust of his times, people suffered. He suffered. Yet at the bottom of that suffering, came triumph. Joys from within. Christ never said worship me. He said follow me. He respected humility, deep humanity, and he assailed egomania. He kept showing us the beauty of falling, of failing. He was no respecter of human righteousness of his day. Instead, he loved those the righteous deemed filth. And in that knock-down-ego-out, human lives transformed.

No, that’s not what many want to hear. Many want to believe their righteousness will heal themselves and the world. Alas, it won’t. If it would, the Christmas story would take form in a palace, not a cave.

And this is true of enabling addicts of every kind. I’m a big believer EVERYONE ought to go through a 12 step program. Not a boozer? Not a coke addict? No problem. Those 12 steps apply to you (especially if you grew up with an addict, my fellow co-dependents!!!) The 12 steps are more likely to bring you into union with our true Higher Power than many a church experience. And, yes, I’ve been a church member my entire life. I still am, gratefully so. I just get it now. Born of my experience with addicts, I get it.

Want help in “getting it?” Seek out Breathing Underwater by Richard Rohr. Read it now. Give it for Christmas to everyone you can think of. Drink from its font of Divine surrender, communion, times transcendent of even what seem the best of times.

Ecstatic joy to all. And if you’re struggling with trying to love an addict sober this Christmas, read this, before you do another thing.

http://www.livestrong.com/arti…/14712-developing-detachment/

Again, as always, peace!

The Half Dollar Swallows His Whole Foot

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2014 by michaelcogdill

50 Cent, who’s famously consigned his brand to spare change, called out Floyd Mayweather with all the grown manhood of a grammar school boy’s room brawl.

50, you lost this brawl the moment the call-out fell out of your mouth.

First, here’s the story. Read this and cease to wonder why sometimes I’m troubled to have so much testosterone gliding through my veins: http://www.foxsports.com/boxing/story/floyd-mayweather-responds-to-50-cent-in-typical-money-fashion-082314

That specious little pledge to charity by 50 cent reminds me how full-frontal ugly it is when one man tries to prove another man a lesser intellect. 50, you call out this successful man’s reading skill? You deem it funny, trying to humiliate such a man on a global stage? Do you realize Mayweather has made no small money and legacy with his mind? Do you forget the night job he does with his hands? Him you call out?

Floyd Mayweather, thank you!!! I applaud your restraint. I applaud how you revere your children, and the children of the world. Thank you for this: http://www.blackcelebritygiving.com/2011/09/charity-spotlight-the-floyd-mayweather-jr-foundation/

Now, having said all this, I pray that peace will make a stand between these two men. Charity begins with a heart-born homefire of human kindness. I believe both these men celebrate — and possess — fine intellects. Like the rest of us, they are imperfect souls living in a flawed world full of goodness, after all. May we all use our resources — yep, even the testosterone — to perfect the circumstances of those on the downside of advantage!!!

And yes, we all read aloud best without a foot in our mouths.

The Half Dollar Swallows His Whole Foot

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2014 by michaelcogdill

50 Cent, who’s famously consigned his brand to spare change, called out Floyd Mayweather with all the grown manhood of a grammar school boy’s room brawl.

50, you lost this brawl the moment the call-out fell out of your mouth.

First, here’s the story.  Read this and cease to wonder why sometimes I’m ashamed to have so much testosterone gliding through my veins:

http://www.foxsports.com/boxing/story/floyd-mayweather-responds-to-50-cent-in-typical-money-fashion-082314

This specious little pledge to charity by 50 cent reminds me how full-frontal ugly it is when one man tries to prove another man a lesser intellect.  50, you call out this successful man’s reading skill?  You deem it funny, trying to humiliate such a man on a global stage?  Do you realize Mayweather has made no small money and legacy with his mind?  Do you forget the night job he does with his hands?  Him you call out?

Floyd Mayweather, thank you!!!  I applaud your restraint.  I applaud how you revere your children, and the children of the world.  Thank you for this:  http://www.blackcelebritygiving.com/2011/09/charity-spotlight-the-floyd-mayweather-jr-foundation/

 Now, having said all this, I pray that peace will make a stand between these two men.  Charity begins with a heart-born homefire of human kindness.  I believe both these men celebrate — and possess — fine intellects.  Like the rest of us, they are imperfect souls living in a flawed world full of goodness, after all.  May we all use our resources — yep, even the testosterone — to perfect the circumstances of those on the downside of advantage!!!

And yes, we all read aloud best without a foot in our mouths.

Necessary Nakedness

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2014 by michaelcogdill

“Generosity can buy happiness” Founder of a micro-lending movement

Don’t believe it?

Try it, and it’ll prove itself all over you, like a garment of your favorite color, exquisitely tailored to your favorite body part. (Yes, yes, that one, too) Only this runs far out above the body. Money, sure, is the stuff of the generous. But the spirit kind doesn’t wear Ben Franklin’s picture. It bears yours, and it buys many more miracles. A flirtation with the simplest kindness, a sense of peace in the eyes – these buy for us the ageless style of being fully alive. Mattering. But even more than these, a truly radical fashioning of love changes the world. Radical love sets people to smiling, my despairing, when they turn from our graves.

And the following quote bears this out. It comes from a man who received a transformational brand of love from the micro lending movement.
“I am practicing on being better than I was.” Anonymous prisoner in a class to unlearn the practice of violence.

It is not for us to ask the why or the timing of things, but to participate in the what. Real faith is daring to do what we’re wired in the brain not to dig doing – change ourselves, our circumstances, into greater beings. Like changing torn clothes, shedding garments that are tattered, our old fears and complacency and that sense of “I don’t wanna” have to go. These garments harbor our warmth, our scent, and even when they turn foul, we don’t want to strip ourselves of them. These garments give a certain twisted comforts, like bunching underwear, and we wear them even as they begin to feel like pants full of nails and Steve Martin’s cruel shoes. We too often don’t want to dare go naked a moment, letting Divinity robe us in what we’re truly called to as our spirit style. I’m a boy of the 70’s. But, I don’t wear my Wedgewood-blue leisure suit with the psycho shirt and the red socks anymore. (Ladies, I know what you’re thinking, and I smile all over it). I grew out of those, and the Partridge Family hair. The times grew me into a different time. A time of daring to be generous with the full harvest. A time to practice on being better than I was. If I am truly, madly, daring to give of myself, radically, to Divine generosity, instead of my tattered status quo, I matter more.

I am better than I was. Thank God Almighty, I am better than that leisure suit and the boy in it. By the graceful garment of Divine love, I’ll be better still tomorrow. My soul will be a tad more in fashion with the true needs I find.

“If you have forgiven yourself for being imperfect and falling, you can do it for just about everyone else.”
Father Richard Rohr said this in his fine book, Falling Upward. The book is all about the necessity of the bruising falls we take to bounce us up into the finery we’re called, after all, to wear. He says this, too: “As the body cannot live without food, the soul cannot live without meaning.”

So, let us dare change into our deepest meaning. In doing this, we finally grow into the garments of our inner child — that romping, playful, extravagantly generous little boy or girl we keep stifled under the old clothes.

So, here, now, a champagne toast — raise that spiritual Kool-Aid — to standing naked a moment. Naked, in waiting. See what God wants us to wear for the rest of our lives. Put on that garment, then check the pockets. I’ll promise, in there you’ll find abundance of everything needful, enough for you, and the needful along your way.

A pocket full of generous daring buys our passage to life. It’ll take us a mighty long way! And for the trip, may I add, I’m diggin’ that outfit.

Salute to a Senator, and His Wing Man, 70 Years Since D-Day

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2014 by michaelcogdill

In honor of South Carolina Senator John Drummond, I share this. He told me this one day before we stepped into an event together. I tell it here, filling in the gaps left by his humility.

Flying missions that helped save the French countryside from Nazis ravaging, John Drummond became a young hero, and eventually a prisoner of war. One of his wing men was a 19 year old kid with a name as long as he was tall. No one wanted to pronounce it, so the unit just called him K-Kid. in the parlance of flight, it fit.

Airman Drummond, leading a formation in his P-47D Thunderbolt (with Raid Hot Mama painted on her nose), looked to his right and saw K-Kid’s plane humming sturdy and right where it belonged. He glanced away and glanced back in a matter of seconds. Where the plane had been there was only a spore of smoke, trailing downward. K-Kid was gone. Shot down. Drummond never saw him again.

A few years ago, Airman Drummond, then a lauded senator, a statesman known for building coalitions and other great things, returned to France, where he is celebrated as a conqueror to this day. Parties are thrown for such men. Before the grayed and lively sage came home, he wanted to take a walk. Wanted to step into the hallowed cemetery at Normandy. See if he could find the cross bearing the long name of the lost boy he knew as K-Kid.

It took a while, but the walk paid off, and well. Soon, Senator Drummond stood on his knees on K-Kid’s grave. Knelt in the quiet and grieved. He grieved his friend in ways years will never intrude upon. In a union of souls. A man above, a man below, not fully separated by the ground. They had a time of it, saving the world. In that grief, I believe time was set aside. Surfing an aged man’s tears, they were boys again.

Time is run amok on those World War II boys. Stealing them from us by many hundreds each day now. The time for final salutes is now.

Friday, June 6, 2014, the world turns eyes and ears to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. That cemetery will feel the feet of honored guests, who will look across the white markings of lost boys who served as men. Who sacrificed the remainder of their manhood so that we may be where we are, as we are, this minute.

But the guests of true honor walk that sanctuary ground in spirit. They haunt us beautifully. To us, in the sea whispers rising off the beach far below, I believe the ghosts of those boys thank us for living up to what they did. Their lives ended so that we may have one.

What we do with that life now, how we use it with honor, is freely up to us. Ours is a legacy, free for the making. Our freedom, of every kind, should ring in our daring fully to LIVE.

Thank you veterans. Thank you all, for what you did, what you were willing to do, and thank you for what you live with. Normandy went home with many of you. Normandy and many other then-awful places and times, you carry the bloody ground of these with you. May you know peace. Gratitude. May the love of many grateful nations hunt you down, find you, and salute you. Embrace you. Listening for what echoes in the hollows of your hearts.

The Miracle of Intuition, By Any Other Name

Posted in Uncategorized on April 18, 2014 by michaelcogdill

Read the comments under that story I’ve linked to below. Taken in total, what do they say to you? What’s their message, from humanity about humanity?

Before you answer, read on here. Indulge me a moment.

Good Friday is perhaps the most deeply human of holidays. It calls us into the tomb of our own mortality, with the expectation that we are, after all, made to harbor Love and not Death. Love as our raison d’etre. The very reason we’re all here, cutting a path through this wilderness life.

People will act, and speak, and tempt us to react, with twin-barrel hostility. Instead, with accountability made of steel, may we shut our mouths. Listen in the quiet. Hear that? That inner voice? It’s the one we hear only when we stop adding to the noise.

That quiet voice is intuition. We all have one. In his brilliant book, Blink, the great Malcolm Gladwell reminded us of this, and made these statements about that inner voice we so often ignore:

“The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter.” Malcolm Gladwell.

“In the act of tearing something apart, you lose its meaning.” Malcolm Gladwell.

To understand the significance of something — a relationship, a life decision, or the death of a stranger — we live best when we live by that intuition. Hear it. Trust it. Trust its radical wisdom, especially in the face of WANTING things to be true, as we imagine them.

On this Good Friday, and the days hence, regardless of your faith or the lack thereof, know that whisper is a gift. A human one. A companion within, urging you toward feeling your way through life rather than over-thinking, and reacting. It is a mortal gift of immortal power. It reminds us we are never alone. That we are more than our thoughts.

Listening to our intuition reminds us we think and act best when the mind and spirit truly get it on, inside us. When we let them be together, and dare I say it, make Love.

So, with that image burned into your Good Friday, perhaps you’ll eventually wonder as you read on here, what does intuition have to do with a body found on a Tennessee Easter Egg hunt, and the comments under the reporting on it? What’s it say about Easter?

To me, it speaks of the supernatural nature of this holiday. The story below whispers reminder that the WOMEN who came to the tomb followed an intuition, while the men who’d followed — and betrayed — the Jesus lain into a borrowed tomb had locked themselves away, full of cynicism and worry, thinking they’d seen the end. The woman felt, intuitively. The men thought, fearfully. The Easter story is a revelation first to womanhood. Women get much credit, richly deserved, for their intuition. Men, you have one, too. Listen to it. Show the mettle to act upon it.

A single human death, no matter who, no matter where, calls us to the truth of John Donne, as he talked about Death tolling for us all. We are all lessened by the loss of one another. But my intuition tells me a single death sets off an eloquent reminder that we are equally mortal. A common humanity of uncommon beauty. Humans not measured by money or status or place of birth, but by the fact we each harbor the same inner voice. An intuition.

As for me, I believe that voice is Divine, wise beyond words. Yes, even beyond the language limits of religion. It calls us to find some quiet. Dare our way into the inner tomb field of our mortality, and then listen. Especially there, in the chill of our humanness, our brokenness, LOVE is in the air.

Peace, y’all. Dare a man say, peace, love and Intuition?

Your Own Worst Critic? Fire The Little !@$%^

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2014 by michaelcogdill

When did you last put yourself down in the privacy of your own thoughts?

As someone whose job is to interview people and turn out their innermost thinking, I can say, there is no such privacy. When you demean yourself to yourself, people know. The hurt rises into your eyes and overflows your life. Easy to witness.

The cinders of self-abuse fly all over the place. They spew, lava hot, off tongues in Wal-Mart lines. Flare in the words of internet trolls. Anonymity on a message board is folly, after all.  Our words identify us.  A soul’s inner roiling always shows. The words brand us. Self abuse is a scarring tattoo, destined to peer above the waistline of how we’re seen by the world.

And, sure, self-bullying is nearly always rooted in what someone else said. Even from a long time ago, the words of another bounce around in you, even now. Still scalding hot. Only now, likely, in your own voice.

Consider this. You get to choose what to believe. People can call you anything. You can call yourself anything, even in silence. But only you get to mediate it. Only you get to decide what’s true, even of yourself.

So much of the news I report draws life from this truth, often tragically so. A gentleman once railed at me in a Home Depot store that he wanted some good news. I challenged him to go make some. I’m sure he’s learned by now it’s much easier to make bad news than good. We wired to believe the negative and doubt the good. Even its very existence. Something in us yearns to act out the grim.

But goodness lives. Thrives. Makes news. From Mother Teresa to Desmond Tutu to the group of kids rallying around a classmate or teacher in crisis, the beautiful DO make news. They’re as human as we are, these news-makers. They harbor dark sides. Their minds echo with criticism. But they are believers in something else, something virtuosic and beautiful, even about themselves.

And they are calling to you and me. Their words, their very selves, trying to chase away that inner critic.

Believe them. Believe in your true self. The one that inner critic has yet to meet.

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