Upon returning to Calgary I joined the “Calgary Chamber of Commerce” to support my reintroduction to the city and networking. Honestly as well its a clean safe place to go where the bathrooms don’t smell the people are friendly and the coffee doesn’t suck. The chamber runs some networking sessions for those of us doing business development to grow our networks gaining new contacts.

Through a networking session I met Randy Easthouse, he was trying to sell me something, a good service but one I’m not yet ready for. I’ve come to truly enjoy and rejoice in Randy’s company through our coffee sessions. Randy has once again exposed me to the spiritual world. During our discussions Randy and I landed on our mutual love of life, people and the depths of our philosophical and spiritual selves. Its rare in my life that I meet people like Randy all of the ones I’ve met in my life I can count on one hand. I’m lucky enough to continue to have connection to tow of them, Randy included. I always look forward to having coffee with Randy.

I’ve known God in my life, God has been the one that made me disabled because I sinned, the one that was supposed to heal me and take away my disability if I believed enough. I’ve not known much peace with God, my wife and people like Randy have changed that. Coming to terms with the fact that God didn’t make me blind because I sinned or someone else in my family sinned, coming to terms that my blindness serves a purpose for God, has not been an easy journey. If God wasn’t able to see through vain blasphemy I’d have died a painful death long ago.

My grandfather really was the one to each me about spirituality. My grandfather who chased butterflies in his garden who for most of his life cleaned up the mess of others remains the most wise the most spiritual, the smartest person I’ve ever known. Grandpa wasn’t always especially religious although he did attend a pilgrimage almost every year of his life. Grandpa was one of those people you could sit with and do and say nothing and come away from the time felling like you’ve been refreshed cleansed almost reborn. One of those profound spirits. I like to think that my grandpa was reborn in my son, even though my son currently isn’t in my life, I pray and hope that changes one day when were both ready.

As an aside the pilgrimage my Grandpa went to was a gathering of Canada’s first nations people at a place deemed to have healing powers. I can tell from the times I have attended I have always felt uplifted closer to god life the universe and love. I’d secretly and others in my family had not so secretly hoped my blindness would be cured. It wasn’t, I’m still blind. With some milage, age and wisdom, I like to think that I am healing learning to live with my blindness and being content as a person. I like to think that this is the healing that I was always praying for.

I’ve come to have peace with God in my life and with having peace to finally know God in ways I’ve never imagined. I was raised Catholic but I’ve more than enough tolerance and more than enough for anyone and their beliefs. I don’t care if your beliefs come from the east west or north or south. I ask for the Mercy to live with my beliefs and I grant you, regardless if you respect me or my beliefs, the Mercy to have your beliefs. As an adult I’ve rarely practiced my faith in the confines of the Catholic church. When a priest told my son that he had to do certain things for his parents and God to love him I was done with the Catholic church. Harsh perhaps on my part perhaps I will grow enough to forgive them one day.

Language in our lives is critical without it we can’t give voice to our thoughts our hopes our ideas our fears our aspirations. We can communicate our love we can’t advocate for ourselves. We can’t communicate that we need something different we need something we don’t have.

Randy has given me language, words with such power and impact that I know it will take me the rest of my life to learn what they mean. I have no doubt that this is part of my journey to become content and to heal. As with most things in life once you’ve demonstrated mastery its time to move onto the next skill. Or more profoundly refine the skill to a level you couldn’t have even imagined. Randy has given language to my journey towards contentment by defining:

Mercy, as the place to decide and live.

Grace, as God’s resources at Christ’s expense – “the ability to empower or state of being empowered

Glory, as the overwhelming presence of high quality and Character

Forgiveness, I will define as the state of being where no matter that which as gone before I will continue to walk with you.

Peace, I will define as the culmination of Mercy, Grace, Glove and Forgiveness. The place where I can put aside the vengeance and live.

I’ve not lived in peace. I’ve lived in a state of war. Trying to force Mercy, Grace, and Glory into my world. Trying in the context of Glory to appear as the knight in shinning armor instead being the assassin in the night. I’ve rejoiced in the self imagery of the warrior armed with the sword and daggers to smote vengeance wearing the armor necessary to survive. In all of this silliness I didn’t realize the only one I smote was myself. The only injuries directly inflicted were on me. The carnage I left only being caused by my not freely giving Mercy, Grace and Glory but demanding them in return.

In my healing I’ve learned about Glory. I have come to the realization that I am truly a good person. I have not always done good things or things i’m proud of. I’ve done things I have had to ask God’s forgiveness for. Many others whom I’ve hurt have yet to forgive me or in some case me them. That I know will come with time. I try to live my life in Glory, with character.

Mercy has been difficult. I’ve had such a tremendous chip on my shoulder, I’ve used the battle cry of others not accepting me to create much carnage. I from here on lay down my weapons. I retire as a warrior. I grant myself Mercy and in doing so I offer it as best as I can to anyone in my life.

I haven’t had much Grace historically. I’ve expected to be empowered but have not empowered. In a lot of cases I tried to empower having not empowered myself I didn’t know how to share. Through my healing finding self forgiveness and self love, I’m now learning how to love others and empower them. A work in progress.

Forgiveness comes sometimes in ways totally unexpected. Amazing people will continue to travel with you in your life despite your bad self. The people with the Grace to see beyond the turmoil and know that your are a good person. Forgiveness for me comes in many forms. I constantly work on forgiving myself for being blind. Its such an easy thing to blame everything on. There is the odd thing that blindness might be accountable for but not the heaps of stuff that has historically been in this account. Forgiveness of others has come with age and understanding. Its easier now to look past an event seeing into the other and the others life. Intent and Character are more valuable in having a discussion of doing or being wronged.

Peace has come to me from the energy and relief of no longer fighting. There are many things I’ve done and ways I’ve lived in my life that I’m not proud of. I’ve done my damage left my carnage. Through this language I can further my journey to become content, I can forgive myself, and others. I can keep moving forward.

I’m not sure I’ll every be religious. I know I’ll find a church community eventually that I can fit into where they can deal with me. I keep praying living and breathing.

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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