That was one of the coolest compliments I’d ever received.
And it was from an Israeli.
For her to say this to me was truly an eye-opening experience.
It was in direct relation to my abilities as a counselor
I took great pride from being considered in this light.
And it caused a growth experience for me that took years to sort out.
This was a handful of years ago.
I’d already been out of the “helping bipolar people” phase of my development.
But it had been a confusing and hard choice to make.
Especially when reflecting on what that same person had told me about the impact of my work at that time:
(a lockdown psych ward in Israel).
The patients hide it from the staff and pass it around like contraband.
Your story gives them hope, knowing that someone out there beat this thing.”
Not long after receiving this note, that nice person’s troubles consumed her.
A friend of hers notified me of her passing through a private message somewhere.
It was deeply upsetting to me. I felt no small amount of responsibility for not somehow trying harder to help her.
And it intensified my search for clarity of purpose
Ironically, it further cemented my desire to go a different way with my work.
But how do you handle receiving news of that nature and not continue on that same path?
Well, that’s the point of this post.
I was on to something but was focused too intently on a specific part of the thing.
I realized that I was more than a bipolar survivor story.
That part of my life was important, all powerful, and critical to the greater mission.
I had fallen in love with me and my mission
For awhile, I was loving the Hero role.
And I was also a Flag Waver of the highest caliber.
Besides hubris, these two things bred myopia.
“Can’t see the forest for the trees” became more like “What trees? There’s only one tree!”
I’d begun by doing something impossible and then sharing it with any who needed it as best I could.
It morphed into me walking on the eggs to save the chicken. I’d somehow taken it too far.
But this ability to touch another person’s soul, like I sometimes could, was more than just ego and emotion.
It just felt correct!
Eventually, I was able to find a way to do this same thing, or at least set up a world that would bring more of these encounters my way, and once again enable me to help people that deeply.
You’re in it!
I’m still working out the spiritual and rational kinks. I want to be of best use to my crowd, while not ignoring what I need.
And I need to make sure that any hubris budding on the horizon gets pruned out immediately.
I want to stay humble, in as organic a fashion as possible
I’m trying hard as hell to just make this point, and move forward without belaboring the why or how. I feel to do otherwise would make me an asshole.
Maintaining this perspective keeps me open as I gather your stories and learn from your perspectives.
Because Ken’s Road Trip is not just about experiences.
The trip is also one of mind. Our minds.
That is really what it’s always been about, no matter where life found me or those who’ve come to me for help.
And I want more of these deeper interactions with people but without either one of us hoping I’m the Messiah.
That happened with that lady. And even though I’d extracted myself from this role, as delicately and humanely as possible a couple years before she died, the responsibility I felt still crushed some of the air out of my lungs.
And I hurt for her. I came close to reaching the place where she eventually arrived.
I knew what she felt.
I’m not against a challenge like that.
But I have to be sure, for the sake of us both, that I choose the right challenge.
I want to know that I’ve properly positioned myself to make sure the odds of succeeding are more in both our favors than what resulted with her.
This site is helping me to clarify that vision, identify my people, and manifest the whole thing as something we’re both glad we built.