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I Didn't Understand What The

#*&% Bankruptcy Was, So I

Went To A Homeless Program
(How I learned What to do with my life and How to do it)
Alan Bo, Retired Operation Iraqi Freedom Combat Veteran, US Army

The 1st thing that I learned about flying in a Blackhawk with the doors
remaining open, during the middle of the night, is that it is not a good idea to
lean halfway out of The Blackhawk. I learned this when Sergeant Mac grabbed
me, pulling me back in - a split-second before I fell out of our
air-assault-raid's Blackhawk - during a swift maneuver to the left.
Performing ambushes, raids, & "High-Value-Target" missions all over The
Triangle of Death, Iraq was enough of an adrenaline rush to allow me to
believe that if I could just defeat enough "Bad Guys" I could earn the love,
respect, and adoration of my family.
Why Would I have to earn the love, respect, and adoration of my
family? Good question. Let's rewind...
...growing up, I always assumed that there was something "wrong" with me.
My mom, suffering from years of abuse by my alcoholic father she had finally
divorced, would ridicule me harshly every other minute while growing up -
causing me to become afraid of people and frightened by their criticism. The
people that I had learned to be frightened of would tell me that I was acting
"unusual" (to put it nicely) at school afterwards. This proved to me what my
mom had said everyday - that something was "wrong" with me. So I made
the most appropriate decision that I could make with all of this information:
stop talking to people, stop trusting anybody, and stop worrying about why I
am feeling the "stupid" feelings that I am feeling. I truly felt ashamed that
something was naturally "wrong" with me.
I isolated my way through most of high school, unless I needed
something from other people, then I would attempt to manipulate people for
what I needed. One of the ways that I thought I could manipulate the "cool"
kids into liking me was by ditching my high school classes often. Ditching
classes was my first step to discovering my newest hobby: smoking pot.
Smoking pot was my first step towards learning that it is "cool" to ignore my
feelings. Ignoring my feelings was my first step to discovering that I had
graduated high school with a 1.0 Grade Point Average.
A 1.0 Grade Point Average afforded me an opportunity to pursue a
career in the fast food industry; where smoking pot with a co-worker after
work was my first step to having a new concern towards my Life: "What am
I doing with my life and How am I going to do it?"
A few days later I found my answer. A recruiter for The United States
Army told me that the Army could teach me leadership skills while I helped
save the world. "And then you'll get your college tuition paid for at the end of
your contract," my recruiter informed me.

I Signed.

Signing with Combat-Arms landed me in the Infantry Air Assault, as I
had thought that I wanted war stories to tell my grand-children. This
decision shocked my recruiter, seeing as I had scored high enough on my
entrance exam to have any job, including a coveted spot in Military
Intelligence. Not long after signing up I was deployed to The Triangle of
Death, Iraq.
But things didn't seem "right" in my Life after returning from a 15
month Deployment to The Triangle of Death and exiting the Army, so I tried
working as a Mercenary in Louisiana. Louisiana just had just been through
giant hurricanes and was now under Martial Law as the State rebuilt itself.
That didn't seem like the "right" step either, so then I tried working as a
Manager for The United States Census Bureau. That didn't seem like the
"right" step either, so I signed up for Homeland Security - even though this
"next logical step" in my career-path was completely against my morals. I
tried not to worry that I didn't agree with What I would be doing with my
Life because I knew How to do it and that I could make a lot of money from
it. I might not like it, but I could do this to survive. Every day began growing
darker and darker.
At my wits-end, I tried to commit suicide by driving through 2 giant
cement barriers into a large tree at 70 Miles Per Hour, just a few days before
my dreaded entrance exam with Homeland Security - when I had hit a level
of hopelessness that I had never seen before. The paramedics re-inflated my
collapsed lungs, got me stabilized and transported me to the nearest hospital
- after spotting my car's flaming wreckage while passing by. God decided
that it just wasn't my time yet, however, as I somehow had managed to not
break a single bone while condensing my car to what looked like the size of a
Post Traumatic Amnesia from splitting my skull open - which caused
me be to be "Awake in a Coma" for 2 weeks (No, I didn't know that was
*&%#'ing possible either) - didn't allow me to remember that I had just
attempted suicide. It had also given me a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury that
required brain surgery and staying as an Inpatient at The Hunter Holmes
McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia; re-learning
how to walk, talk, and perform simple day-to-day functions for four months.

Now taking my 1st trip to "Bottom".
It just did not seem to matter what I did or how I did anything upon
my return - things never would turn out to have any quality of life for me.
With this in mind I became more hopeless than I had ever thought was
possible. I began isolating even more and decided that I just could not take
things anymore, I had to do something. Standing in my living room the next
morning with a razor-sharp blade pressed up against my throat, I began
thinking about how many miracles had saved my life - only to become so
miserable that I had to kill myself in a lonely dark apartment. I whimpered,
pushing the blade in closer and closer.

Suddenly I had an Epiphany: "Why" was I doing this?

So I went to the Homeless Veteran Rehabilitation Program. The
Homeless Veteran Rehabilitation Program lives by the statement "I Create
What Happens To Me", modifying ineffective-behavior by teaching people to
consider the causes of their ineffective-thinking and then find an effective
alternative-thought for that situation. Finally surrendering to and
completing the Homeless Veteran Rehabilitation Program, I learned a very
important lesson through all of my "ineffective-behavior-modification":

There are 3 determining factors to everything that we do in our lives:
1) What we do
2) How we do it
...and a 3rd reason that I used to never have enough time for:
3) "Why" we do What we do
We are Social Animals - fueled by our
Emotions. Our Emotions determine nearly all of What we do and
How we do it - and our Emotions begin with "Why" we do something.
Words like "Smart" or "Stupid" are just labels that prevent people from
putting as much energy as they can into whatever their life's ambition may
be. In the words of Rick Warren, "We are all betting our lives on something."
Whether or not you realize it, you are betting your life on something, so my
question to you is "Why" are you betting your life on it?

*My "Why":
"The Person That I Am is the Result of
Everything I Have Thought Until This
Current Moment."
Most of my suffering came from the false beliefs I held about myself.
Truth is that I had the ability to be as happy as I choose to be, until I began
believing the untruths that I thought and heard; untruths perpetuated by the
people around me.
In a similar fashion, a great majority of our world seeks "profit" to
overcome their "debt" - which seems to grow at a near exponential rate.
"Debt" does not actually exist. Creating money costs more than the
value of the amount created ( X + 1 = X? ), meaning that the only reason that
we think that there is "Debt" is because of the creation of the money that
causes the "Debt" in the first place. Every dollar in your wallet is owed to
another person by somebody else.
"Shame" does not actually exist either. Creating "Class" implies that a
person is naturally different from their peers of a different "Class". This
thought separates people from each other, believing an unrealistic story that
another person is "better/worse" than them naturally. Believing that it is
possible to be "better" or "worse" than another person is the reason that
"shame" exists - and this belief does not help anybody in our Global-Family.
"Debt" and "shame" do not actually exist - but what actually does exist
is the judgments that we make of each other. We judge each other and decide
what we think was "Right" or "Wrong"; "Good" or "Bad"; "Cool" or "Lame". All
of these words are opinions - and every opinion is different. We truly only
know Life from our own actual-experiences.
...And since we do not truly know anything outside of our own experiences:
Judgment is Us Comparing Our Shame,
Abandonment, and Loss.
Find your "Why" in this world. It may be helping people. It may be
creating beautiful art. It may be to follow your inspiration all of the way -
even though nobody else "gets it". But I will tell you what your "Why" is
not. Your "Why" is not Money. Money is a means, not an end. And
everything in your Life will end up being unsatisfactory if you do it for just for
the money.
More importantly, your "Why" will help you determine if you
have reached a sufficient "Bottom" yet. Our "Why" has only 2 possible
conditions, which are "Does Effect" or "Does Not Effect" something in this
world. Finding our "Why" can help us assess if there is a healthy
relationship between our thoughts and our environment. Our thoughts
become our actions, and our actions become our results, and our results
become our conclusions, and our conclusions become our next thought - in an
endless cycle. Inspiration Can Heal/Enhance This:

Our most unhealthy relationship between our thoughts and our world being
our "Bottom".

An old "12 Steps" cliche answers the question of "How do You know when You
have reached Bottom?"

"You have reached Bottom when You
stop digging."
And using "Thought Analysis" (which is called a Triple Column in
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to find the relationship between me, my
thoughts, and my world has been my greatest tool in finding my "Why".
Before I understood my "Why" and began my 12 Steps I viewed the
world as meaninglessly-random, I did not go on dates very often, I had
trouble making friends with anybody, I could barely get out of bed in the
morning, I got taken advantage of by nearly everyone, and fixated on events
from the past until the point where I would get mad at completely different
things in the present for seemingly no reason. I waited and waited and waited
for a better day to magically appear.
After understanding my "Why" and coming to a New
Understanding Of Life Because Of Working The 12 Steps, I have Begun
Mentoring A Person That Reminds Me Of Myself In A Lot Of Ways. I Have
Written A Textbook Called The 12 Steps Of Ineffective Behavior Modification
Anonymous Reference Manual: Quality of Life Enhancement. Both of These
Activities Strengthens My Understanding/Practice of Living with Empathy
and Having Satisfying Relationships with the People In My TEAM and

Nothing else mattered in this world until I had found my "Why".
...not to mention that my "Why" was my reason to stop digging.