My journey was like a glorious sunrise that seemed to take forever and then the day begins and the magic is gone. When I think about all of the time I dedicated to the craft and to my brothers and I cant help but be proud of what I accomplished and the lives I touched and be thankful of the men who helped and nurtured me. Like everything I have done in my life I would not change a single second of it for anything.
My being needed something to unlock the man hidden in an overgrown boy and Freemasonry held the key. It is crystal clear to me now and easy to admit that even the cataclysmic end to my time in lodge was just as important to my psyche as its stupendous rise. Maybe even more so.
Before the two defeats of election of my peers, my entire life revolved around my lodge. It decided my free time. It decided my alone time. And more often than not, it seeped into the time that I should have dedicated to my family. I don't say this with regret because it is what my soul needed to get me through what I went through, but as I have now evolved I can see now that it took a lot.
It is the internal not the external
I have a very good job now that without Freemasonry's teaching of meeting people on the level I could never have held or been successful at. My time in the craft gave me the confidence to meet with any man or woman no matter what their title or stature and not give them reverence due simply because of their title or position. I only give respect to those who are deserving of my respect and I am not shy in dong so. My defeat taught me to not hold myself too high either. It was just at the time that I started to think about my legacy that I was taught a valuable lesson on humility.
Stand before us an upright mason
Dealing with politics and different people with strong beliefs can harden a man. One of the greatest things I took away from my regular attendance at lodge was a sense of self confidence and practice at it that changed me in a very good way. Even though I was always outgoing and confident, holding different positions in the lodge and dealing with traveling dignitaries strengthened my spine and made me walk with my head held high knowing that when you know what you are talking about you can talk with anyone.
Recently I joined a new organization that has taken up my nights, but unlike lodge, playing Ice Hockey only takes me away for a couple hours and happens very late at night when my family is fast asleep. A nice side effect of this organization is weight loss and aggression venting. The only downside is that my knees are starting to really hurt...
I have not handed in a demit but I have no urge to sit in a lodge and have serious issues in handing over my dues for something I don't participate in.