Those can all be used to describe me, but they don’t define who I am. To get to know me, and for me to get to know you, we need to spend some time together. Not just “quality” time, but “quantity” time. Face it, we’re complex individuals.

So, let me take the first step.

It’s a catchy analogy to say that we will peel the layers back like an onion, but that’s learning from the outside in. I prefer to live from the inside out. To start with the heart of the matter, laying things out for the world to see. Being honest. Open. Unflinching.

You may choose to simply observe. Maybe mock me. Maybe admire me, yet refuse to participate. That’s your choice.

For me, there is no other choice. The freedom I’ve discovered by being honest and open, by sharing love and peace, has meant that I have no qualms about anything. Living. Or dying. No secrets. No stress.

That’s not to say that I never get angry, or get my feelings hurt, or that I’m not afraid, or that I don’t make mistakes, or anything of the sort.

Instead, I’m the first to admit I’m wrong, although sometimes I need someone to point it out to me before I become aware of it.

I do not think it makes me a superior person. Instead, I simply continue to explore this beautiful world.

I do not use it as an opportunity to lecture, discipline, or manipulate people. I simply enjoy myself and the freedom it gives me. Freedom from guilt. From stress. From worrying about someone finding out about the dirty laundry in my closet.

It is my hope that you will at least help me as I pursue myself. Yes, I’d be delighted if you choose to join me in the exploration. Even if you can’t bring yourself to try it right from the start, I hope you’ll hang around and learn vicariously through me.

Even more importantly, I’ll be eternally grateful if you gently point out to me the areas where I fall short.

This is not about religion. This is not about politics.

This is about you and me.

This is not about changing the world, because as the serenity prayer intimates, we cannot change anything other than ourselves.

This is about you and me, living and growing in love, and the harmony between us adding a small bit of beauty and peace to a world that is growing increasingly loud, angry, segregated, and approaching a dark and dangerous crossroads.

Go ahead. Call me a dreamer. Tell me I’m a freak. A hippie. A lost cause.

I’ll be right here, trying to become a better person. I’ll be right here, loving you and wishing you peace.

I’ll be right here with my friends.

If you don’t have something nice to say, why don’t you stop wasting your time here, and go find some other angry person that you can relate to.

I love you, and I wish you peace.


This post first appeared on Dan’s Perspective blog, June 11, 2015 and is reprinted with permission.