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  • Now vs. Then

    Look at you go, man. You know, it wasn’t all that long ago that the only thing you could thin about was drugs and how miserable life was. You blamed everything on others, and couldn’t figure out why nothing ever seemed to go your way. Then, when things wouldn’t go your way, or you faced an instance of adversity, or even just a new experience, you would hide from it, and seek temporary pleasure.

    On a much brighter note, throughout all of this, you kept the best attitude you could, and still made it a point to do your best to be a giver to those around you. Hey, we live and we learn.

    I’m not writing this to you to beat you down or shame you (you used to do that to the extent of causing yourself to completely shutdown), in fact, it’s quite the opposite. I want to write to you about what I’m loving about this current chapter of my life.

    Every now and again, you get a little overwhelmed, and that’s okay. You get overwhelmed with the seemingly daunting tasks you’re taking on while telling nobody. You’re courageously advancing yourself toward crushing all these new experiences as they come. You’ve been doing this for quite some time now, helping you incrementally build your self confidence. I’m here to tell you that you may feel overwhelmed because you have everything you’ve ever wanted and you’re just unsure as to handle it. Nonetheless, you’re handling it.

    You’ve built yourself to the point you’re miles above where you first started this journey. I say this with humility and seriousness all at once: I’m beyond proud of you.

    You’ve met and partnered with a young lady who believes in you (maybe even more than you believe in yourself, which is quite a bit) and pushes you to succeed. She enjoys the small things you do. She enjoys the way you make her laugh. She admires you for the things you’ve been through and came out on top. Best of all, you enjoy these very same things, as she does them for you also.

    You are way less sad than you have been in a long, long time. You’re able to just be yourself, more so than ever, and she loves this about you. It’s also good for you. She actually cares to understand all the ideas you run by her. She doesn’t mind the noise you make when you fill the air with your words. She doesn’t even mind it when you practice your guitar or drums. You gotta admit, that’s pretty cool.

    Anyway, I can’t discuss in full detail all the great things you’re doing and continue to accomplish. You’re happier in this chapter because you’ve finally made it a point to push yourself and those around you to do great things, and it feels RIGHT. You love yourself again, and you’ve realized that even though you may be alone, you’re not ALONE.

    I hope as the chapters continue for you, you’ll find your way closer and closer to where you’re headed. Keep moving with love. It looks good on you.

    Jonathan Odle

    Voting starts July 1, 2024 12:00am

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  • The Power of a Learning Soul

    Hurt and broken
    I could not see.
    No more taking
    only giving.
    I’m now the king
    loved and adored.
    Patient, obscured.
    Like a driftwood
    Now found ashore.
    I’ve left behind
    bad parts of me.
    Rising above
    so found and free.
    At a stalemate
    I fought myself
    at rock bottom.
    Now, at the top
    we always say,
    “Don’t you worry,
    yeah we got ’em”.
    Experience
    built, never bought.
    lessons they’ve taught.
    From good to bad
    and bad to good.
    On second thought
    although I should,
    a favorite
    experience
    I have not got.
    Learn from them all,
    That’s what I’s taught.

    Jonathan Lee Odle

    Voting starts June 17, 2024 12:00am

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  • Jonathan Odle responded to a letter in topic Poetry 4 days, 20 hours ago

    Yo! I love this! Such weight in each word and each line. Also, I’m a former addicts as well so this is very relatable. I say good work, man!

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  • Jonathan Odle responded to a letter in topic Poetry 1 months ago

    I agree one hundred percent! Thank you for this!

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  • Hey, thank you! I appreciate your words!

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  • 2024: Crushing Goals and Walking in the Lightt.

    I’m fifteen days into the new year.
    I’ve taken no more than twelve steps,
    My eyes blink, and in a flash I am here.
    My ’empty’ falls, I stand. In God’s light, at my best.
    An astral curtain, I’ve just phased through.
    Sheer focus aimed ahead; No more playing dead.
    Side not with the wicked; rather, the justly shrewd.
    Most haven’t seen what hell has to offer. I have, and I’m through.
    I’ll march forward. Alone, or with a few.
    Nevermind those shadows, we walk in truth.
    You’ve got me, and I’ve got you.

    P.S. I understand this is quite vague/cryptic. I don’t wanna give too much away on my goals just yet. Still in the process of organizing/compiling 🙂

    Jonathan Lee Odle

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  • Thank you for allowing me a space to share. Thank you once more for your kind words.

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  • Of course. Glad I’m able to share 🙂 Thank you for your response.

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  • A Short Poem About What I'm Most Grateful For.

    We can suffer a loss and fall.
    We can pick ourselves up and stand tall.
    We can let others make us feel small.
    We can let their words have no effect on us at all.
    We can choose to do nothing.
    We can choose to be something.
    We can live life unclean.
    We can even pursue our dreams.
    We can do things alone.
    We can be part of a team.
    We can walk beside hate.
    We can run, full of love.
    We can live our lives restrained.
    We can fly free, like a dove.
    We can drown in sadness.
    We can sing and rejoice.
    What am I most grateful for?
    The power that lies inside of every choice.

    Jonathan Odle

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    • Really needed this—

      “We can let others make us feel small.
      We can let their words have no effect on us at all”—

      thanks for sharing, Jonathan 🙂

      Write me back 

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    • Wow, Jonathan, I love this! It is so insightful! The power of choice is a gift. but sometimes a scary one. Thank you for sharing! And thank you for being part of our family. I absolutely love this piece. <3 Lauren

      Write me back 

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  • Jonathan Odle shared a letter in the Group logo of PoetryPoetry group 4 months, 4 weeks ago

    Let go

    Do you remember when I loved you?
    I often think of the hell that we went through.
    How many times did we almost die?
    How many times did we whisper dirty lies?
    Do you remember all the things we would see?
    I often think of the affects you left with me.
    I’d be lying if I were to say
    maybe we could love again one day.
    In the past, so many things you took.
    When I was with you
    My voice, oh how it shook.
    You dimmed my light with all you kept from me.
    I roamed the darkness for years, unable to see.
    You let me go first.
    You told me that I was the worst.
    We both knew it had to end, for what it’s worth.
    Now, I’m truly free.
    For I used the pain to build a better me.

    Jonathan Odle

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    • Jonathan, Your journey of growth and resilience is inspiring. Through the pain, you have found strength and transformed into a better version of yourself. Embrace your freedom and continue to build a life that brings you joy and fulfillment. The past may have been difficult, but it has shaped you into the resilient person you are today. Keep…read more

      Write me back 

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  • I love this! I’m beyond happy for you that you left behind a previous way of living that was not good for you. It takes fortitude (and several other things) in order to leave the past behind and create change for yourself in the ways that you have. Kudos to you 🙂

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  • A letter to the person that has inspired me the most

     

         You have no idea what you have done. I cannot begin to describe the significance that your actions have had on myself, as well as my life. As a child, I vividly remember how you were there for me any time necessary. Every time I wrecked my bicycle, you were there. You would pick me up off the hard, extremely coarse pavement and dust me off. You would spin me around as you scanned my entire body for damages done, and signs of hurt. Once you finished your assessments (regardless as to how intensely I would be crying) of my damages, you would pick my chin up, look me dead in the eyes and assure me of the fact that I would be okay. Although during those times, my body would ache tremendously, and bleed profusely, I would gain a sudden confidence in myself, because of your words. I knew (even at that young age) that you always meant what you said. Truth always formed in your heart and traveled through you until it’s departure from your lips. To this day, I still don’t know if you’ll quite understand just how much that means to me. No matter how I articulate it to you.

    In my early years, you were very stern, however now that I have two sons of my own years later, I know now that your sternness comes from a place of love. It takes more courage and strength to do or say what is necessary as a parent, as opposed to letting a child do or say what they want. This is how you taught me many things. In doing so, you taught me the difference between right and wrong. You did the absolute best you could in ensuring that you instilled manners in me. It worked. I recall being roughly five years old, walking inside of our town Wal-Mart around Christmas time. The man dressed as Santa Clause offered a piece of candy to me. I happily took his offering and responded to him with a “thank you”. We made it roughly ten paces from him as we walked into the various aisles of the store when you took the time to tell me “Thank you, for saying thank you to him”. Your compliment was a reward in my eyes for communicating my appreciation to the man for his offering of candy. This is something that has stuck with me forever.

    You were a police officer for ten years. During that time, you remained humble, as well as kept an altruistic nature in your serving of the public. You were genuinely there to help people, and you did just that. You did so with the honest intentions of helping whenever, and wherever needed. Any time we were in a group setting, your presence was welcomed, and respected by the others. They would look to you for advice on any given subject. During conversations, they patiently and understandingly awaited your responses.

    When you would take me to your weightlifting sessions with your fellow officers, you kept a positive attitude. You would all laugh and encourage each other to do more. You would all talk about things and laugh deeply. You weren’t the biggest or the strongest of the lot, however you were still able to lift the same amount of weight with ease. I remember listening to the music you would play over the stereo in the field house weight room, while you all strengthened your minds and bodies. I remember singing along to “Fly” by Sugar Ray while you all took turns bench pressing at least two hundred and twenty-five pounds.

    You took me everywhere with you. whether it be a trip to the local convenience store, or for a peaceful trip to the lake to do some fishing. Regardless of the destination, the memories made on the journeys have stuck within me throughout all these years. I like to believe there’s a good reason for this. We listened to music everywhere we went. We would sing along to our favorite songs, while flying down the highway at all hours of the day or night. Sometimes to the scene of a crime in your police care, sometimes to grab a new video game from the local store in your Chevy s-10. Either way, we jammed. Always.

    Alongside these core values you instilled in me, are also some of the best memories I behold. These core beliefs and memories, in conjunction with my imagination, have had a tremendous impact on the person I’ve become today. I spent many years making bad choices. I felt the weight of the consequences (I would say more-so than your average person) every time. I would hear your voice saying things to me. This also occurred through-out the duration of my addiction. Most people get high and feel like God himself. Not me. I felt miserable. Shameful. Guilty. For years.

    Now that I’m sober, I still hear your voice sometimes. Whether it be while debating on which choice to make, or when I experience something that reminds me of you, and your loving spirit. I will admit that I hear it less and less, seeing as how I’m now able to make choices that are good for me, as well as those around me, hence the lessoning amount and frequency of your guiding words in my mind. I believe it’s because you taught me which kinds of choices I should make, and for a long time I didn’t make those choices. Now I am.

     I’m now bettering myself in every way that I’m capable of doing so. I’m now working on things that bring me peace. I’m now working on things for a reason much bigger, and greater than myself. I’m now able to give and show love to others. For so long I wasn’t truly able to that, due to the battle that was going on within me. My want to give and show love to others was always in me, and I tried to do so, I was unable to properly actualize doing it. Things are much better now for me, and to be honest, my circumstances as a whole are not considered “great” by any means. However, the values and virtues within me are now able to externalize themselves as kind acts for others, regardless of the amount of adversity I currently face daily, as I continue trying to make a better life for myself simultaneously.

    I’m now able to face my problems with a level, clear head effectively. I take pride in that. Although I am starting fresh in the opportunity that I’ve been given, and I can’t help but to feel beyond grateful for these bold, love encompassed choices I now make. You taught me everything I needed to know about how to successfully navigate these open waters that I call life. I know I wasn’t an easy child to raise by any means (nor was I the most compliant of adults) yet you consistently did and said what you believed was necessary, and I’m here today to tell you that it paid off.  I find myself becoming more like you day by day. I used to despise that fact (especially when others would point out the obvious similarities we share) that we were a lot alike, however I’m now grateful beyond belief. I have you to thank for that.

    I’m not sure that you’ll ever read this, and that’s okay. You don’t need to, because I know that my actions have been, and will continue to ring true of my words in this arrangement, and you will see for yourself. I look forward to that day. You didn’t just positively impact my life, you laid the foundational values and virtues by which I would ultimately live my life by. Again, I am beyond grateful to say that to me, you are the one person in this universe that inspired me the most, Dad.

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