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Step Eleven: Sought Through Prayer And Meditation… How I Started to Make Meditation Work for Me – Without the Buzzwords and Jargon!
I’m going to be extraordinarily clear here; I wasn’t much for meditation. For 29 years I chose a different route for my thoughts, and especially my emotions. I treated many thoughts, again, especially inconvenient emotions I didn’t find useful as “garbage”. Much the same as it’s said dreams are the brain’s way of taking out the garbage in the subconscious, I treated my conscious mind the same way.
It was very efficient and very safe. But there was a massive down-side to all of that efficiency and safety… and that is what meditation showed me I was missing.
Working with a friend and professional recovery counselor, he had me start looking into “centering prayer” made famous by a monk, Thomas Keating. Rather than throwing out uneasy emotions and thoughts, Pete had me start to look at them seriously. He asked me to start paying attention. What were my thoughts telling me? What thoughts were based in fear? How did that fear take shape in my life and in my interactions with my wife, kids and friends?
It took me two days to realize that I had entirely walled my heart off from everyone – something I lied to myself. I’d convinced myself it made me a better man, husband and father. I had lied to myself and the lie was so complete, when I started meditating with a purpose, I was aghast. The eye-opening event was profound and shocking.
I immediately took to rectifying this. I dissected every thought and emotion as it popped up during meditation sessions and even when a random thought would just pop up.
This is what led to the massive life changes that I’ve been writing about in my recovery these last two months. I remember the day I allowed myself to feel emotions again, vividly. I allowed to crumble all of the defenses I’d built up over the years – and I mean that literally, I could feel the walls crumble and fall away. It was shocking, horrifying and glorious all at the same time. With my wife, it almost felt like I was that young, awkward man and we were courting again.
My heart would skip a beat when she’d call. You know what it was? This just occurred to me as I was writing, it’s like I’d been dying of thirst and when the walls came down, the water that had just been a small trickle I’d let in to keep me alive, rushed in to fill the vacuum.
It took me a full month to wrap my head (and heart) around this event.
This wasn’t perfect, though. With those emotions came a lot of fear that I’d blocked off. Chief among those was, “how could my wife possibly have lived with me like this for 25 years”? It hurt me to my core. The next couple of weeks were tearful for me. As I realized how much better I should have been doing, as my heart filled with love and compassion for my wife and kids, I changed. God changed me.
When I started this walkabout two months ago, this is vastly better than what I’d hoped for. I am so impossibly head-over-heels in love with my wife, I can hardly contain it… and my wife changed with me. Her actions that led me to build my defenses completely stopped and turned 180 degrees. This isn’t to take the focus off me, where it belongs, but to say my wife, recognizing the massive good that could come from these changes, worked with me to come back.
Meditation has been amazing for me, and I will be attending to this function of “the program” much more regularly so I can keep growing and walking the path I’m on. I only thought I loved my wife and family a few months ago… or maybe to say, I loved them as best I could a few months ago. I’ve been opened to a whole new world I didn’t even know was there.
And it is beautiful.
I was out on a bike ride with my friend, Chucker last evening trying to come up with something to do for my wife for our 25th wedding anniversary.
We’ve gone through a complete transformation of our marriage in the last two months. We went from being committed and together to something truly special. We, almost simultaneously, went from battling each other to “win”, to doing the least amount of damage possible in a disagreement and negotiating for peace. We went from both of us losing to working things out to a level of satisfaction that was previously rare at best. From there, we were able to love each other more deeply than I thought was possible. It’s scary, I won’t lie, but it’s good.
My biggest regret is that I didn’t start this sooner. But it takes what it takes to get us where we need to be, so I’ll have to find a way to make my peace with it.
That line of thought led me to an idea. While Chucker and I were heading around our normal loop, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for my wife for our 25th anniversary. Now, she’s exceedingly particular about jewelry, so another ring is out. Her wrists are taken up with bracelets she likes, and she’s got quite a few necklaces. That got me to thinking; the events that have unfolded over the last couple of months are a small miracle. Going forward, things are going to be very different. The changes we’ve made are built on an entirely new, solid, foundation that began with our Higher Power (we call that HP God to keep it simple).
I made a lot of mistakes in the first 25 years. I built up protective walls that seemed like a good idea at the time but got in the way of loving my wife fully. They needed to be torn down. Once they were gone I realized just how much better I could have been to my wife and kids. “Should have” might be better. That realization changed me to my core and our marriage changed for the infinitely better almost immediately.
We have come to a place where I know for a fact, the next 25 years are going to be much better than the first 25. And so the next thought brought a smile to my face that lasted the rest of the night.
I could ask my wife to marry me again to start the next 25 years so I can give her the marriage she deserves. Not just good or passable, but great.
And so I asked my wife to marry me again in front of her dad and our daughters. Down on one knee, just like it should be done. I promised her the next 25 years would be much better than the first.
She said yes with happy tears in her eyes.
One Of Jordan Peterson’s Videos Saved My Marriage and Made Me a Better Man (In Recovery) In a Little More than 10 Minutes.
Now look, I’m not going to get dragged (or drag anyone else, for that matter) into the political discussions right now. If you choose to argue based on the designed playbook the politicians to keep us angry and fighting, that says a lot. While I used to get into that battleground and roll around in the mud, I’m going to try to have better things to do with my peace and sanity. Also, it’s a rare post I talk about my wife other than in passing and this will be one. That relationship is off limits in terms of my writing and recovery… but this is one of those times where the two crossed and the story matters to my recovery immensely.
And that leads me to Jordan Peterson. My wife and I have been married for almost 25 years. Together for 27. Even in recovery, there’s a lot of room for resentment and unresolved problems to build up in that time – for both my wife and I. For years I’ve listened to either talk radio or music on the way into and home from work. About an hour and a half a day. About three weeks ago, I came to the realization that I could possibly use that time constructively when Jordan Peterson’s lectures started popping up on my YouTube home screen. And, as it turns out, I needed what came from the positive things he talks about for a person to be better.
Last week, my wife had set it up to go to see a concert with her cousin. I’d expressed a desire to take her to that show way back in December so we could go on a special out of town date months before but she dawdled in getting the tickets. While I appreciate Tool, I’m not a massive fan, but my wife’s gone with me to see bands that I loved so I figured I’d do the same for her… but nothing happened with it so I didn’t think much of it until, three days before the concert, she woke me up and asked if I minded if she went with her cousin (they’re both big fans of the band) and stay with her aunt overnight.
That hurt. Bad. Here’s the real kick in the pants; my wife would rather go to a concert with a cousin than on a date with me. Now, I could have taken that choice out on my wife, but that’s about as constructive as dynamite. I played a part in her choice and for that part I am responsible. That’s also the only part I can do anything about fixing.
Anyway, I spoke with our youngest daughter in the morning, the day before the concert, and she said that her mom had told her to find a friend to stay with because she was going to ask me to go with her to the concert and we’d be gone overnight. My hopes were buoyed. Right up until I got home and my wife said that she’d talked to Josie and thought about asking me to go but changed her mind.
F***. Double the pain. I prayed a lot.
My marriage to my wife isn’t a commitment to my wife. I view it as a commitment to God. My wife benefits from that commitment… so things were crashing down and I had to find a way back from that mess. It was on the way into work at 5:30 am that I decided to listen to a few videos that interested me on YouTube. Now, I don’t watch anything while I’m driving but I do listen and the third video in was this one:
The morning of the concert, my wife called and said her cousin’s girlfriend had come down with a serious illness and he wasn’t going to be able to make the show. She asked if I’d go with her.
Now, there comes a time when doing the right thing for a marriage is very hard. I was hurt and wanted to do some damage. I wanted my wife to feel the hurt she put me through. For all of two seconds. The silence on my end must have been something… but I broke it by agreeing to go. We said a few more words and I hung up and got ready to head home.
I listened to a couple of more videos on the way home, including the one I’d linked to above. In fact, I listened to one in which Peterson suggested, for the sake of the relationship, just table all of the bad crap until the next day so you can remember what it’s like to have fun before you go into the negotiation phase. That seemed pretty relevant, along with negotiating for peace by doing the least damage possible. My wife and I never fight like that. We always go for maximum carnage to win.
Well, within five minutes of being on the road we were already at each other and I suggested we table everything and just have a good time. We could pick the discussion up on the way home. My wife countered with ‘how about I take you home and go by myself’. Now, this was one of those ‘can we come back from a really bad decision in tactics’ moments for me. We took the next 45 minutes to work through it and by the time we were halfway to the concert, we’d gotten things to a place we could be agreeable.
As we approached Grand Rapids, my wife asked if I wanted to find a Qdoba. I offered for something a little more high-end as we’d be in the big city. I said, ‘let’s make a night of it’. She called her cousin to ask for suggestions and I called a friend I work with who lives just north of the city. He provided two options a couple of blocks from the venue. One was a high-end pizza joint a friend owned and the other was an upscale seafood and steak restaurant. My wife expressed doubt about the seafood part so I checked out the menu on line and it looked fairly diverse… so I reserved a table for fifteen minutes as we were parking the car. We still had two hours before doors at the concert.
We walked into Leo’s and I was surprised they let us in. It was really nice. We were seated and given menus… and the look on my wife’s face was not good. It was seafood heavy – the online menu looked a little more diverse. They did have an amazing looking brie appetizer that my wife ordered right away… and when the waiter came out with the specials and, even though there was a $74 steak on the menu, we both ordered the Fish & Chips. I know what you’re thinking – and I know I need to have my head examined, but that just sounded good. The cheese appetizer was astonishingly good and my wife’s mood lifted noticeably. She had her moment where she could have blown up the whole night in a rage but opted for peace instead. And the Fish & Chips, with homemade tarter sauce that should have been illegal, were astonishingly good. It was one of those, ‘oh yeah? how much better can a high-end place make fish & chips?’ moments. As it turns out, quite a bit better. We both laughed after taking our first bite.
And just like that, the mood shifted. We stayed on the positive the rest of the night and even opted to drive home rather than stay in Grand Rapids. The next morning I played hooky and we talked about how to ride the wave of decency we’d found ourselves on. We went out to breakfast and had a fantastic day together. I shared a couple of the clips I’d watched with my wife and we’ve been working for a better place ever since. It’s been more than a week, now and we haven’t fallen back into our old, destructive ways. Things genuinely feel better. I don’t want to take that too far, but it at least feels like we’ve got something to build on – actually, that’s a great way to put it.
Point is, I’m putting that video, and doing the least amount of damage possible down as the second-best marriage advice I’ve ever received.
First things first, I don’t make a big deal about movies on my blog, because I tend to feel I have bigger fish to fry, but I am a massive fan of movies. Not Hollywood, so much, because movie stars tend to be tools and ignoramuses (a great combination, by the way), but I love the suspension of disbelief for a couple to three hours while a movie is playing.
One of the more enjoyable parts of the Christmas season for me, aside from the pinnacle of the season, in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation where Randy Quaid’s Eddie is explaining to Chevy Chase’s Clark the metal plate in his head was changed to plastic because “Every time Catherine would rev up the microwave, I’d piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour.” Every year, without fail, I laugh to the point of tears over that one, perfect line. Aside from that, and the rest of Christmas Vacation, along with A Christmas Story, is the tradition of watching John McClane battle Hans Gruber’s bad guys at Nakatomi Plaza. It’s become a yearly thing with my daughters.
Rarely, however, do I put much thought into movies beyond their ability to allow an escape of the mind… until I happened on the linked article below, about the meaning of Die Hard:
One of Die Hard‘s themes is that it is the regular guys, the practitioners lower down the command chain, who are more likely to figure things out than those above them.https://www.americanexperiment.org/the-true-meaning-of-die-hard/
Never mind that the author called Duane T. Robinson, “Robertson” through the whole article, he gets the themes right:
In many ways, McClane’s opposite in the film is not Gruber, but Ellis, Holly’s cackling, coke sniffing colleague who tries to negotiate with the bad guys: “You use a gun, I use a fountain pen. What’s the difference?” Ellis learns the hard way that there is a very profound difference. Again, the the sophisticated (in his own eyes at least) Ellis is no more successful than Dr. Hasseldorf, Deputy Chief Robertson [sic], or the Johnsons at correctly identifying the nature of the threat posed by Gruber and his comrades and how to combat it. It is John McClane — “a dumb Irish flatfoot” as Gruber’s vengeful brother calls him in the third film — who does that. Die Hard celebrates the common sense wisdom of the Blue Collar American everyman.
And that’s what I love about Die Hard, one helluva Christmas movie. Do read the rest of the article, it’s quite good.
Finally, to put a big, red bow on this post, it never fails to amaze me, listening to politicians who live in their nice little Washington DC bubble, completely miss the pulse of the nation and resort to their spoon-fed, bubble wrapped DC talking points. I get this listening to the local radio station on the way home as the show hosts get their panties in a bunch about how tough it must be for people having to return to the office to work with omicron taking over the Covid scene… I was back in the office before there was a vaccine for the vastly more deadly alpha (or was is beta?) – and I worked through delta as if it wasn’t even there. Now they’re whining about the “vastly more contagious omicron” while completely missing the fact that it is also vastly less deadly. Omicron will crowd out delta (it’s already happening) and replace it… this is the best news since they were reporting on the success stories of record Christmas sales in 2019 and all they’re completely missing it.
Like it or not, willful or not, the betters miss what we in flyover country see plainly and simply so consistently it boggles the mind. It would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”https://apple.news/AbDg0IxIXSTOlwPP9yHudMQ
I’m not necessarily a big fan of Apple’s “all the radical left-wing narrative that’s fit for you to see” approach to news, but if you’re only relying on only one side of the media (whichever side, dears), or if you think yours is the “correct narrative”, you’re undoubtedly missing the incredibly important “other half of the story” your side conveniently leaves out to push its narrative.
With that being said and tucked away, I didn’t know Albert Einstein was a big fan of the pursuit of happiness, but according to the linked article above, in addition to his work on relativity and other big “physicist’s issues”, it appears he was big on happiness.
Interestingly, if you’ve read more than a post or two about recovery and the joy I get from riding with my friends, you already know I agree with his assessment.
Indeed, calm and modest are easy, fun and beautiful. Sure, money is awesome for nice vacations and seeing the world, but we rarely see how hard it is to stay rich. We tend to think it’s all Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. There are trade offs, though. It’s rarely that that simple.
I know what modest looks like. Though keep in mind, there are different levels of “modest” – I was without great means but I always had a roof, a car and a job, the exception being just before I found recovery when I was skating on very thin ice). Early in our marriage, my wife and I lived a very modest life.
In the end, life is what I make of it and I’ve always found the ability to be happy living modestly.
Though I wouldn’t kick being rich out of bed for eating crackers, either.
I joined a Strava challenge to cycle 400 km in the month of July. I got my badge last night.
It was hot when I left work. The thermostat showed 93 balmy, sunshiny degrees (34 C). With a 12% chance we’d see enough rain to wet the road, I readied and packed the Venge.
I was the only one to show up for the warm-up. Heh. Warm-up. It was ninety-freaking-three degrees! There was a gnarly anvil cloud the size of a mountain to the north and much farther south but it was sunny and fair other than that. I was optimistic. I didn’t push the warm-up, not even a little. 17-mph.
We had an surprisingly small group in the parking lot. A lot of people using the long weekend to a vacation. Only two A-Elite guys and a decent handful of us A peeps. On the bright side, Carla and Allen showed with their son – we hadn’t seen the whole crew in almost two years.
We rolled together at 6:01 with the big dogs up front. I expected them to get bored and drop us within a few miles. One tends to be impatient and the other, a National star athlete, has a reputation for only having one gear (and it’s very fast).
The surge to drop us never came. they just kept an easy pace, between 21 & 24 for their initial eight mile turn up front. After that, we cycled through the double pace-line as we normally would.
But the clouds had been building while we’d been enjoying the effort of our friends. We weren’t halfway around the 33-mile route when we hit the first wet pavement. It wasn’t bad at first, just annoyingly damp – enough to make you wash your bike after. It got worse.
I almost forgot! I’d been quite nervous all day about whether or not I’d be able to hang with the group. After three hard days in a row over the holiday weekend, a Tuesday Night was not what I needed. I did rather well, though. First, I was almost all the way in the back of the pace-line for that monster first pull from Jared and Dave. Second, I was rarely paired with someone who would take a long turn up front which meant I could stay, relatively speaking, fresh. I didn’t have to dig into the well until we got to the hills.
As we came out of the hills for the home stretch, we dropped the son, then Allen, then his wife (the Force is strong with that one!) before Clark and I started faltering. Dave, Jared and Clinton slowly pulled away on the newly drenched roads. We had a storm blow through that somehow missed us but had deposited enough rain the rooster tails were huge. At 23-mph we were riding into our own spray off the front tires. I caught Clark and we traded turns at the front till we hit the final mile. Clark was fading fast so I went around and slowly picked up the pace so he could hold on. I held it between 23 and 26 all the way to the line and gave it everything I had, expecting Clark to blow by me at any second. He never did and I crossed the line with a 21.7-mph average for the long course (33-miles) before sitting up, only to realize I’d dropped him a while back.
I sat up, completely out of gas and dripping wet, to let him catch back up. We took it easy all the way back to the parking lot. And I mean easy.
Special thanks to the girls who attend the church that lets us use the back lot to stage our rides who always show up with water, Gatorade and snacks on hot days. This week they brought watermelon with them. The eldest laughed at the uncontrollable grunt I let out on the first chew of a big piece. It was heavenly. After my watermelon and a Gatorade, I packed up and went home. I had to clean up my bike so nothing rusted, but I didn’t last long after that. I don’t even remember falling asleep, but it took me quickly. I slept straight through the night without a single toss or turn. I woke up in exactly the same spot I was in when I fell asleep.
Thankfully, we’ve got inescapable rain in the forecast for the afternoon so I’m taking the night off. My last day off was 433 miles ago – more than half of those (226) in the last four days and a hard ride, every one. I’m ready for a little rain-induced R&R.
And, incidentally, with this post I’ve completed a 60-day stretch with a post every day – and on my birthday, no less.
I had a thought this morning and I decided to skip my regularly scheduled post, which will come out at noon our time, instead. This is better. And worth it.
Thank you, God for letting me be a father. Thank you for allowing me to see what it’s like to love someone as I imagine You love us. It was an eye opener, and I understand better what love is for being a dad. Thank You for showing me what “Sometimes you wanna throw ’em like a lawn dart, but you just gotta love ’em” means. Thank You for my sponsor who passed on that on to me. I am thankful beyond words.
Thank You for the hugs and kisses. Thank You for the near misses. Best of all, thank You for giving me the help I needed, when I asked for it, to beat my addiction – because that made everything else possible.
For all of the things I’ve royally screwed up over the years, thank You for the lessons that got me to where I’m at today. Thank You for the peace, contentment and happiness that is my life after addiction and through recovery. We should all be so fortunate.
Thank You for my wife and kids. Thank You for the opportunities.
Most of all, thank You for not turning Your back on me when I deserved it. I’ll do my part as I promised all those years ago; without being a cheerleader, I’ll keep giving recovery everything I’ve got and passing on what has been so freely given to me; that life after addiction is sweet.
Thank you for the opportunity to know joy. One day at a time.
One last thing before I roll out, God; thanks for opening my eyes to the good in the world. There’s so much to be grateful for and I’ll enjoy all of it till my time is up. I’ll continue to do my best to skid sideways into my casket with a leg out, in a cloud of dust, shouting “WOW! What a ride!”
Laughing At Ketel One’s Feel-good Gibberish – A Recovering Alcoholic’s Look at Nonsensical Words Strung Together To Make Sentences.
Ketel One vodka “Botanicals” has a commercial for their vodka. Now, I was a vodka kind of guy back when I was a drunk. When I absolutely, positively had to be hammered right now, vodka was my go to… or rum. I loved the rum, too… well, or Mad Dog 20/20… or Old English 800… wait, I’m getting off track. Let’s stay on point.
It’s rare I ever pay attention to a commercial for alcohol anymore because it’s a little hard to make “hell on earth” look attractive to recovering alcoholic who, against all odds, found peace, contentment and happiness in recovery. For some reason this howler made it through my ignoring the commercial watching baseball the other day; “Crafted to be enjoyed responsibly” they said.
Wait, crafted to be enjoyed responsibly?
Believing it could be possible to craft vodka to be enjoyed responsibly by a drunk is simply “stupid”.
Here’s me, 30 years ago, sipping my fruity Ketel One; “Oh, that’s tasty! But I want to get hammered… Hmmm… I really want to get hammered, but this vodka was crafted to be enjoyed responsibly… perhaps I shall refrain.”
Said no drunk, ever. In the history of history. Ever.
Of course, the commercial begs the obvious question, “how so, Ketel One?” I would like to know exactly the steps that were taken, that differ from the manufacture of any other liquor on earth, to craft your vodka “to be enjoyed responsibly”. The statement is obviously utter, feel-good gibberish because if you think you could do anything, let alone manufacture liquor in a special way, to control my drinking, you’re a couple beers shy of a six-pack.
In non-American parlance, you’re fuckin’ nuts. Well done, Ketel One. Ya dopes. Keep coming back.
Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an example of self-will run riot, though they usually don’t think so.
Page 62 Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
So here’s a little secret; your average person isn’t any better than the alcoholic when it comes to stepping on the toes of others, then blaming them for the reaction. We recovered/recovering drunks and addicts keep it simple by keeping it about the alcoholic or addict, but normal folk can benefit from this simple truth just the same. When I lay blame outside myself, I take the emphasis off of the one person on this rock I can actually change; me.
If I’m worried about what “society” does or doesn’t “think”, I would suggest I’ve got a bigger problem in the first place! First, what society says or thinks is nebulous at best; usually thoughts or sleights made up by those who want a good excuse to blame someone else for their troubles, faults or lot in life. The best part is, there’s no solution, no way to actually fix the problem. You say “society” profits off of people’s insecurities, right? Let’s delve into that a bit.
Say we see ourselves as, or we “feel”, fat (when I “feel” fat, wouldn’t you know, my scale backs that “feeling” up). We typically don’t like that we ate enough to get that way, but guess what; not liking that we did ain’t gonna change that we did. It’s not fair that chocolate makes me fat if I eat too much of it, right? Fair or not, doesn’t matter. If I eat too much, my big ass will weigh heavily on the scale. Society doesn’t make me feel one way or another about being overweight. The scale and mirror do all of the damage. Oh, I can blame society for how I feel, sure, but that’s a donut shop lie.
For those who haven’t frequented this blog for years, what’s a donut shop lie?
That’s the lie you tell everyone else sitting with you at the donut shop counter, knowing the they won’t call you on it. Worse, that donut shop lie is a pernicious little bugger, because once the teller of that BS believes it, they’re absolutely screwed because in real life, you can look at “changing what society thinks” like this: whilst, and at the same time, pissing into the wind and howling at the moon, yell at the top of your lungs that society should change its attitude and be nicer to you. Now, let me know when you’re tired of pissing on yourself because you’ll drown before anything outside your own gray matter changes.
This comes down to one simple question: Do I want to be right, or happy? I can’t have both. If you want to be happy, and I surely do, I can explain a two-step process that will release you from the bondage of “society”. It did me. Ready?
- Don’t lie, cheat, steal, or hurt other people. Do the next right thing in any given situation.
- Here’s the important part, repeat after me; as long as I’m doing the first item honestly and fairly, nobody else’s opinion of me matters. This includes society, because I know I’m doing what’s good, fair and right.
Now, I’m going to ask you a question. I’m one of the happiest people you’ll ever meet and I work in a meat grinder of an industry. I have an extremely stressful job. Do you honestly think I spend one second of any day giving one, single flying f*** what society thinks about anything? F*** no I don’t. Think of these little, rich ninnies and politicians talking about the ills of the world over a French Laundry meal with their $600 bar tab that some special interest is paying for as a soft bribe… oh, things would be so much better if everyone would just live like they think we should. Meantime these corrupt, conniving motherf***rs are bending or breaking every rule they think we should live by because they honestly believe those rules shouldn’t apply to them. And you want to worry about what that thinks? Folks, when you look at it that way, trying to follow that nebulous horseshit is, put simply, bat-shit crazy.
Don’t participate. Live your life well and come to find you don’t have any time or place in your life for what “society” thinks. You’ve got better things to think about.
I agree wholeheartedly. Let’s start with everyone who believes the earth needs to be emptied of half its humans… then we’ll pause to see how that worked.
Something tells me that’ll do.