What I Learned About Life & Money From Binge-Watching The Revenant.

I’m here.

I’ll be right here.

But you don’t give up.

You hear me?

As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight.

You breathe, keep breathing.

Shallow breath that accompanies overwhelming grief, is as heavy as glass-jagged ice that packs arteries deep in earth’s wilderness.

Cut channels form and wind through an eternity of generations and flow with cold-spilled blood of friends now enemies, lost loves and soulful regrets which claw at a mind that yearns for redemption so a soul may continue the travails toward final peace.

Air thick and pliable as cold Plasticine moves like strands of bloated snakes. They steal their way into capillaries of the lungs and search for a moment to expand. The moves are stealth. The slither is in sync. The grief strands share a common goal – to suffocate a target from the inside out.

The plan is to pierce frequently, bleed out the spirit.

And for a time, they conquer. For as long as pain and anger are your focus, they thrive.

The compound shocks from an attack, betrayal in plain sight, and the overwhelming hunger for resolution, will consume you.

Thoughts of the world as it was before the massacre is a futile mind game. An incomplete circle eternally agape.

I traversed through harsh terrain of loss, deceit, bad decisions, and denial.

You have, too.

We’ve all lost someone special. There are people in your light who are now dark.  Even when people from the past fade into the reflection in a cold white mirror, you still see, feel them beckoning.

Taunting.

All the while you hear the words in solemn tone –

“I got the best of you.”

“Nothing is gonna bring you back.”

revenant bear

I opened up, exposed myself. I invited a cunning, powerful creature to slash and crunch down on every part of me, inside and out, with mighty teeth.

And after all the black pitch that sticks and stirs inside: From love, lust, and abandonment. A toxic burden to carry.

I was left for dead.

It’s through a frozen spray of loss and anger, that an entity larger and darker than yourself emerges from a gut-wrenching torpor. A suffocating shadow that seeks to overwhelm and absorb everything happy, anything good that you felt once.

Who you were before.

It will relentlessly follow until you consciously decide to let it go. And only then, as a revenant, you’ll understand death, a long, sterile absence, and return to the surface.

All you can do through this time is exist,  wait it through. Go through the motions. Eventually, one by one, frozen limbs will tingle with the warmth of survival. The urge to break free from a blood carcass calls. It whispers, then roars in your ears to get up. Continue your life’s mission.

The greatest obstacle I observe within me as I emerge?

Scars never heal.

Something inside is rotted.

A spark in the mind still remains, but it’s nowhere what it was before the…

revenant bear three

In the sweeping 2015 epic “The Revenant” Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a seasoned hunter and trapper guide for a rogue band of men seeking pelts through a harsh 1823 winter travail within boundaries of unchartered U.S. territories. Hugh Glass survives one of the most brutal, mesmerizing grizzly attacks ever created on film.

In a physical state near death, mentally alert but helpless, Glass witnesses a fellow trapper under his commission, John Fitzgerald, fatally stab his son Hawk. Years earlier, Glass lost his Pawnee Indian wife and vowed to always protect his half-Pawnee offspring.

This time he failed. The heartbroken hunter is left for dead (he wasn’t). Alone.

The entire movie is the searing trek of the main character from point A to point Z through hostile Indian territory, searing pain, frigid weather and harsh wilderness all for one reason.

Revenge.

The mission to find Fitzgerald and take him out drives Glass to survive overwhelming odds until a final bloody conclusion.

***************************************

Fresh, cold air reaches my lungs because I am ready to allow it. The engagement with the nature of beasts I was no match against still hurts.

I won’t deny that truth.

Yet on the exhale I see clear. In a robust-to-fade puff of smoke, I know.

I am not gone.

I am damaged. I always will be.

After all, the long, extended sharp claws and front teeth of grizzlies with purpose, those marks never heal.

But I am still alive.

I believe it to be true.

And there is still pain. Lots of pain.

Much of a mourning continues.

As a dark spirit stirs and fades.

I emerge from a frozen cocoon, I used as a hiding place.

A place of comfort  I found to work things through.

I hear a voice emerge from inside what shielded me for months.

And in a message, there is the snap of power. Something bigger is telling me so. It absorbed the greatest punches so I didn’t need to, the rough stuff I couldn’t fight on my own.

Whatever it was, the energy it conjured, recently granted me permission to bust free.

Go forward with the rest of the journey.

There are missions and miles left, risks that need tackling, half-spirals that require a full spin before I fade into the mist of memory.

So, I am slower. Less steady. That’s fine.

Hey, cut me some slack. I’ve had several run-ins with human and corporate grizzlies over the past half decade. Swift, sharp claws (and they knew how to use them).

They’ve no doubt, left deep impressions. There are scars not healed. It feels like parts of my spirit is gone and I feel the pain from every second of it.

Good or bad. I like to leave an impression, too.

So I fight.

Do you?

For people I love and cherish, I hope there’s a spirit of charity, and most, important – loyalty. Because there’s just so little loyalty around these days.

Oh, there’s loyalty to things that in the long-run, don’t matter for shit. A company that every day is looking for ways to replace you and along the way asks for more and more until you’re spiritually broken.

An ego that thrives on empty calories as it feeds off emotional Cheetos, caloric platitudes which mean nothing except to the mirror that holds a gaze and is willing to stick its greasy, cheesy hands in places an ego doesn’t belong.

For the Fitzgeralds of this world (watch the movie), those who feign love, act like they care, lie. For people who stick knives in what you care about and all you can do is stand by helplessly?

For them?

I have zero expectations or hope.

The essence of invisible spirit that guides the cadence of the world, knows what to do with the blackness inside them.

But you, the keeper of the hate, or the past, must release it to the universe and let it work its power.

You must let the anger roll over, smash, so an entity, a spirit with cred in the cosmos, can absorb that energy and ostensibly do what’s required. Or not.

Either way.

It’s not in puny, human hands.

It’s not up to us.

It’s not in the black spirit of revenge or ‘get-even-itis’ you can live or die peacefully.

It’s when the dark ghost is cast, that your next move, a clear path, begins to expose itself.

Remember – The Fitzgeralds thrive on the sorrow they create.

So what did I learn from the movie “The Revenant?”

Plenty.

I think you can pick up a bit of wisdom, too.

Random Thoughts:

Flee from your Fitzgeralds

The ones who are cunning enough to create an illusion, a facade of care, friendship, alliance, love, a  false penchant for your mission. Sooner or later they expose themselves in an ultimate, final act of betrayal.

Those people exist but you don’t want to believe it.

Well, believe it.

Or you’re going to lose someone or something very important to you.

You cannot survive engagement with an army of Fitzgeralds. If you seek to live a long fulfilling existence, anyway. You won’t make it.

I’ve had 3 Fitzs in 7 years, so I’m not saying it’s easy. Even the best of hunters miscalculate. What I’m saying is your gut, your internal clock, will go off alarmingly and warn –

This person isn’t right. I don’t belong here. Someone is gonna die, and it’s most likely me!

revenant hawk

Spoiler: Fitzergald (Tom Hardy) kills Hawk

At that point, you must flee. Don’t fight unless necessary. Just go. Disappear.

Close them out.

Make a list today from inside out. Go with your intuition. Who in your life is cancerous? Who is setting you up for the kill? I bet you have five Fitzgeralds on paper already. Right off the bat.

Now move. Let these people go. Release them to their purpose.

I didn’t let go. I paid the price. So did Glass.

Steven Hendel, writer for and creator of one my favorite websites, http://www.theemotionmachine.com, penned a recent article titled How To Improve Your Intuition: Learn to Take Your “Gut Feelings” Seriously, that will help you detect the Fitzgeralds who roam through the wilderness you call life.

Discover the Fitzgeralds lurking in your financial mistakes

The enemy of money hides in plain sight and usually has to do with a positive pattern you break to appease another, not yourself. Recently, I broke my own rule about taking on a big mortgage mostly to make somebody else happy, which is a critical error I’m paying for and need to unwind. I had a Fitzgerald in my life unleash a treacherous moment in my net worth that I’m certain will take me back a year at the least.

When you make big financial decisions, make certain to keep a level head. Don’t allow emotions to creep in and overwhelm your fiscal status.

Again, get a gut check. Ask others for their honest opinions. Consult outside, objective sources and you’ll stand a greater chance of survival.

Forgive yourself for trusting Fitzgeralds but never forgive them for their egregious behavior

Cut yourself some slack, after all, you’ve been mauled.

When witness to a crime of the heart, especially when it’s yours, timelines, memories get muddied and overpowered by emotion.

Remember -These entities have a track record of deceit. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let yourself feel the sorrow, allow the darkness to consume you. It’ll be easier to release them that way.

So, forgive yourself for being human and trusting. Continue to trust the right people, however.

Over time you’ll get proficient at detecting and avoiding the Fitzgeralds.

Remain vigilant.

After the chase, after the amazing focus to survive, energy high on retribution, Glass confronts Fitzgerald in a bloody fight to the end, but it’s not what you think.

Glass could have but didn’t kill his foe.

Weary, he looked up from his anger and observed Fitzgerald’s future.

Glass realized.

“Revenge is in God’s hands, not mine.”

look up

“Go ahead. Get your revenge. But you’re never gonna get your boy back.”

Ironically, the first honest words uttered by the enemy.

A bloodied Fitzgerald (yet alive), is released to rushing waters only to join his fate, his death, at the hands of Indians on the other side of an icy creek. Earlier on, Glass had saved a Pawnee chief’s daughter from a marauding group of French trappers who repeatedly raped and beat her. And now, the hero was about to have his vengeance at the hands of those he assisted.

At that moment, the universe was ready to close the circle. Glass was smart enough to listen, observe, and release the object of his hate to its proper destiny.

We all must do the same.

Cast out your Fitzgeralds. Allow their pasts to catch up to their presents and black out their futures. Their dark spirits will destroy them soon enough. These entities wind up following a path you do not want nor should you admire.

Cast the revenge shadow to a great power. That energy knows where to go. What’s death to you is light and absorbed by another to maintain balance of a world’s turn.

It’s merely a matter of time.

And all you need to do?

Live your life.

That’s it!

Wait outside the tree line. Observe.

As you stare into a cold mist that hangs heavy in a blue steel sky.

See again the light of those who give you peace.

Learn to appreciate the lesson.

The true love of people who care will capture your attention again, will never stop shining.

As for the Fitzgeralds?

Well, they’re already dead.

A revenant life is not one of fulfillment.

There’s a point when that anger must be unchained.

And only you will know the moment it must occur.

It’ll fall upon what drives you inside.

At that release, so will your heart be free.

But first, you will wander through a brutal wilderness.

As you must be lost to be found.

revenge is not

What is a revenant?

A person who has returned, especially from the dead or a long absence.

Through a period, you’ve been there.

It’s time to emerge.

And breathe. 

Just keep breathing.

 

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