Appreciation

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For most of my life, up until a couple of years ago, I lived under the pretense that in order to appreciate others you must first be shown appreciation. Due to a large amount of factors that came against me, I found it almost impossible to appreciate others. There were times when that did change however due to previous hurts and fears I could never seem to show appreciation to an individual on an ongoing basis.

About 18 months ago, against the advice of almost everyone who knew me (my family and one other being the exception), I decided to become voluntarily homeless. Some suggested this was a sort of self punishment, and if I’m honest with myself that was partly the case, although my real drive was to find that appreciation.

In the year that I was homeless I experienced that appreciation on multiple levels but also saw many other facets of life that I was not expecting. I lived with baby killers, rapists, murderers, drug dealers, thieves, junkies, crack addicts, manic depressives, divorcees, couples, transvestites, drag queens, lawyers, doctors, bankers, politicians, dentists, bikies, Europeans, North and South Americans, Africans, Asians, Islanders, Australians Citizens and Aborigines. Each one showing me a different side of life and love in their own ways.

At the end of my time travelling the streets of this country I was broken down and felt like I was on death’s door. My body wasn’t working properly and my mind was disturbed beyond imagination. At one point, when lying in a public bathroom, I felt my mind dripping off into ‘oblivion’; the only words for it. I would regularly wake screaming in the night or throw myself out of bed, into the wall, whilst in the middle of sleep. I had taken on PTSD and would regularly break down in tears for no reason. I had seen so much hatred, contempt and conditional ‘love’ that my reality of a heavenly world had been smashed to smithereens. But I had made a promise to myself and others that I would see this through no matter what the cost, so I persisted.

In October last year I stopped being homeless but I still had this hunger inside me to figure out why people can be left to rot without any notice from  passers-by, other than a shake of the head or an upturned nose. I had met these people, these homeless’, and I had found people who would accept you no matter what they received in return. They saw the benefit in loving regardless of the personal cost for they knew what the alternative meant to the opposing party; loneliness.

I realised that our job in this life is to love those around us no matter what the cost. Being appreciated is an asset that will possibly never be personally attained but it doesn’t mean you can’t give that asset to others. These people had shown me that we may never be or feel appreciated, even though we are all alike, but we all have the ability to appreciate those around us and in doing so will often be appreciated in return.

Next time you see that guy sleeping in the gutter with a sign that screams for donations, give it to him. Next time you see that remnant 19 year old pacing the street at 1 am wearing a t shirt in winter, give her your jacket or get her a hotel room for the night. Yes they may buy boos, drugs or gamble your gift away but what if they don’t? What if you are that one person who makes them feel appreciated today because they can finally get a hot coffee and feel like a human again. What if they do have a starving family? More importantly, what if you save their life by changing their perception of love?

I’m thankful that I learnt that appreciation is the currency of this life and I appreciate all those who took the time to appreciate me in that dark time. Be blessed and please remember that I appreciate you taking the time to read this and so do all the other boys I said I would write this for.

Much love

Jordy

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The Inclusive Nature Of Love

I used to call myself a Christian; a follower of Christ. Then I left it behind. Walked clear out of the Church I was attending and, you wanna know the best part? My conscience is clean.

I walked out because I knew God, if he truly existed, would encourage my desire to find love in the world as opposed to a 6 x 10 room each Sunday. In fact it was something that was preached about all the time; going out into the world to spread the love of God. Yet, no one did.

After leaving church I found love in all sorts of places. I began to truly accept people and not feel like I had the answers for their problems. I began to realise that love was everywhere and that the fingerprints of creation shone through faults and perfection similarly. I saw that in most instances, my predetermined judgements of life choices and morality did not take into account love at all but rather legalities. I began to hate this in me and wanted it gone. I decided to love everyone equally without prejudices or regulations which, funnily enough, is how God said people should love. It really started to change me and I found that people started to appreciate me for who I was.

That was a while ago now and I thank God that it happened. Especially for one very special and current reason; marriage equality. Marriage equality continues to be the debate we should never have had. Marriage is a covenant between two people who love each other, period. It’s not a constitution with laws and legislation for all to take part in. Thankfully I realised this on my journey and for that I am thankful but not everyone thinks this way.

I continue to be sickened with the bigotry and hatred that is passed off as tough love. Also, the misuse of power under the guise of love that is currently rife throughout this country. The filthy bile that spills from the mouths of people who claim to speak for a God of love that they are clearly misrepresenting. This unnecessary debate is ruining families, friendships, communities and worst of all individuals lives.

So, I wanted to stand up, as someone who believes in Love, and say to all those people out there who are being hurt by the church and told you are broken and have no right to express your love, I am with you 100% and I can guarantee God feels the same. In fact in the Bible it says God is love. It says love is the most important thing ever. It speaks of how God exists in the love shared between two people. Regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.

So let’s love each other. There are no rules to love, no regulations. Love doesn’t point out the ‘wrong’ but embraces that which is different and that which is special. We all deserve to receive and give love in our own special ways and this is something that no person/s should ever have the power to take away. We should all be able to stand in front of that one person who touches our soul and sets us on fire and say, ‘I do’.

You’re depressed? Be A MAN!

So you’re a man and you’re depressed…
Have you ever thought of why… of course you have.
You’re probably just like me… craving some meaning, purpose, vision….. And everyone around you has become a reminder of how you are failing…. But failing what?
Have you ever asked yourself that question… I mean sure, maybe you’re shit at work, maybe you’re fat and lazy and maybe you hate everyone but it all started somewhere. Some area of our lives that we dropped away from and it impacted us so much that we would prefer to choose death over living…. What was that failure?!
Manhood! It’s our manhood that we let it slip away.
As humans we communicate information and our past humanity through stories…. Lord of the rings, the chronicles of Narnia, the Bible, Jack and the beanstalk, etc. All stories of men who have stood up and fought for what is right. Who have fought for love, hope and vision. Have you ever wondered why you love watching tv shows or movies about the vigilante who doesnt let anything stand in the way of doing whats right? Batman, Superman, Ironman, Vikings, Game Of Thrones, Arrow, etc. From a young age we are shown these stories and we learn that real men stand up for what is right, no matter what the cost.

Now you.
You wake up in the morning, you go to work and advance your own goals (or your bosses), you come home and you watch television and you see thousands of women and children being slaughtered and raped on a daily basis, drowning off of OUR shores, being murdered by our government…. And you flick the channel to family guy or the Simpsons… Or you put on another worship album… Or you preach another sermon… Or sell another product.
How many times have you done this?! How many times have you said, “there is nothing I can do”? How many times, as a man, have you subconsciously walked away from humans in need, from love…. And you expect to like yourself?
Here’s the deal, do you know why ISIS are so strong? Because they stand up for what they believe is right and they die for their brothers and sisters, gladly, because they aren’t half arsed… and we expect to beat those men of passion?!
Wanna stop being depressed? Good. Then realise you are a man, a good man…. Just like Jack or Moses! Start living for those around you… look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I refuse to be 21st century male but instead choose to be a man. A man who seeks truth for himself and is not swayed by media, dissension and politics. Those are the ways of greed and power. Fight for those who can’t fight for themselves… go and feed someone who can’t feed themselves, write a human rights letter, find out what is really happening in the world….. And then…. Do it again tomorrow, and the next day…… within one week your problems with depression will be cut by 50%! Within two weeks you will be helping others with their depression…. And most importantly you will be a real man. Peace

P.s. if you like this then please share it.
Thanks,
Jordan Wills

Life

“That’s what this has all been about. I get that now.
Life is a gift that, despite your best efforts to convince yourself otherwise,  will never be for me. Its sort of beautiful, really. The pressure eases when you realise that…” Me

I’m in Melbourne sitting on a large Juliette style balcony, in the sun and i feel good. I think I am finally starting to live my life.
For the past year i have been travelling around Australia in search of God, life and love and I have discovered more, in regards to all three, in the last twelve months then I have my whole life.
I have found that men will do anything for love and will have the same response when it is taken from them. I have found that my understanding of God is so eternally small and unfounded. I found Him for me and His form changed beyond all comparison to anything i may have predetermined. I found, not a God who loves me like everyone else or even individually… but a God who loves all the same regardless of what i believe. An omnipotent entity that i have tried to keep in a man shaped box. I saw Him bless sinners and bring comfort to those that were hurting.
The biggest thing i have seen, however, is that the man who has more, financially, will always come out on the bottom but a man with nothing can be built! This is what has brought to the surface the ‘real’ me.
It has been excruciating and grueling to say the least but i now know that i know nothing and im happy.

Thanks.

The dirt under your fingernails

And yet another unjustifiable event happens in our lives and we stand speechless. The idea of screaming seems so pointless yet i find myself wanting to. I cant though.

Two days ago I received some horrendous news and am, along with everyone else in my family, struggling to rationalise the intention of life, it’s brutality and it’s love. It has landed perfectly just like yet another unseen punch and there is nothing that can be said or done to rectify the situation. In actual fact, I even ask my self why I am typing this. Hope, maybe.
In this world we live in we are taught to abhor pain. Unless of course it is attached to success in which case it is a good thing. For example exercise regimes. No pain no gain type stuff. The rest of pain, however, is seen as degrading and frightful. When we lose a job and know we aren’t going to cope. When we have a fight with someone we love and wounds are inflicted. Or when someone close to us suffers and possibly passes away. Yet we grow.
I am quickly becoming a believer in pain and the wealth hidden within its unnatural depths. The places we don’t want to see or feel. The gift of pain.
As many of you will know, my mother died last year and it didn’t matter that we had known it was coming for years, the shock wave and devistation that was felt from my beautiful mother’s passing was enormous. However, the fruit that has bloomed because of her wondrous existence is still, to this day, being reaped by those who she touched. Fruit born through pain.
In life we have so many situations where we struggle through the pain; fighting instead of embracing. We waste our time trying to understand when there is no way we can. All the while losing the importance of this time. Fellowship. A coming together.
When we choose to let go and realise there is no point in searching for reckoning but rather spend our time indulging in the love formed through relationships around us we see that the pain is what binds. Like moths to a flame we all come together and walk as one.
I know this might sound cheesy but it shouldn’t; all we can take with us from this life is who we are and our memories. I love this quote by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in almost famous when he says to the main character, who is really struggling, ‘the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone when you’re uncool’. What we share with someone else, in fellowship, in these days of pain and confusion is the only thing worth holding to.
We live the truth of the pain we share and find the person we truly are. The stripped bare version of ourselves. Our needs and wants all seem superfluous when flown in the face of subtraction. In this place though we find the creature of love and compassion that we are intended to be.

She asked me and I said yes

Whether it was a little heart chocolate and a note, in my lunch box, stating how much I was loved, or, a whole collection of little gifts on my pillow when I came home from school, I was glad I said yes.

One of my fondest memories from when I was a young boy was my Mother asking me to be her valentine. I asked her what this meant and she said that, on February 14th, we pick someone and show them how much we love them by doing special things for them. Like making a card or drawing a picture. I was excited and said yes straight away.
The years that followed were amazing. I would bring home a card that I made, or something like that, and she would have a little vanilla coloured, shaggy haired toy pound puppy, with a red bow that she would’ve tied into the fur herself, and some little chocolates as well as a note. The amount of little cute, furry animals, toys of course, that I accrued over the years is quite sizable. One of my favourites is Rufus, he’s a pound puppy I received about ten years ago. He still lives with me to this day.
Her gifts were amazing and always made me feel so special but the note was the treasure. There was always a note. Always an inscription stating how much value I carried and 9 times out of 10 it was a hand made card that she had spent time making, for me. Every single one that she made had so much love infused into it that I knew I was loved before I even read the beautifully thought out words that she had laid down. She would right about our lives, my life. About the beauty that she saw in me and the man that I was becoming. About how this gave her immense joy and satisfaction. But more than all this was the simple fact that I knew she wasn’t just spouting niceties, she actually believed what she was saying. Even when my life was falling apart, she would turn it into an opportunity to start afresh. So graceful.
The presents, trips to fun places, words of encouragement, this was my very first valentine. A woman who would show me how much I meant to her and relish the fact that she had the opportunity to.

I’m glad I said yes.