Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Know God, You May Lose Everything

Back when I was a nineteen year old, budding born-again Christian, some of Jesus’ clairvoyants came to visit. All I remember was being on my knees bent over, as an older middle aged couple placed their hands upon me, proclaiming that “to really know God, He may take everything from you”. At that point in my life, I didn’t have much for God to take. I was still living at home with my parents but getting ready to fly the nest too. It was that time in life to create my own path. And what a path I did create, paving it every inch of the way with my own choices, both good and bad. And those words of the clairvoyants came back to haunt me many times in my spiritual quest over the past forty years. I did lose everything, a few times in my life.
I lost my sister while high on mushrooms my first time. As mind blowing as that seems, it was absolutely perfect that it happened that way. She communicated with me in my altered state of awareness and it made accepting her death that much easier. I truly understood why the good die young, as she was only twenty-three years old. They’ve finished their karma here ahead of the rest of us and graduate earth life earlier. We’re the ones to be pitied. The next loss was divorce, tearing my soul in two for a long time. After I scored my own piece of land with a cabin, my mother died of cancer. Then after being remarried again for a year, the cabin burns down, destroying everything. On top of this shock, I find out we now have a baby coming soon! The stress of rebuilding our home and instant parenthood took its toll on us in time. I also had a tragic accident where I fell twenty feet, breaking my body in twelve places. I nearly died but survived; to learn how to walk all over again and withstand yet more losses coming. Within two years I was divorced again but this time I lost my wife and son and property and home, as we were forced to sell it. There went everything I worked my whole life for. Then my father and best friend die one month apart. Emotionally I was a wreck. Divorce is a living hell, but with a child involved it is way heavier by far. Now the abandonment issues had a hay day with my ego. I felt like I’d lost any reason to even want to live anymore. I was tired of life and the constant battle of just living. Somehow, I’d lost my spirit and just wanted to die. I tried. I drank myself into prison, where I really realized I’d lost everything; accept this aging body inside of orange prison attire. But what I found was a Presence inside of me who observes everything without judgment. This Presence helped me to forgive myself for the life I created. It took losing everything to gain self-realization and a freedom I never dreamed possible. When everything is gone, there is only God. I now know what those Christian clairvoyants were talking about!
Singer/songwriter Rob Rideout is the award winning author of Still Singing, Somehow. He lives on a farm overlooking Colville, WA with his three cats Baba, Maya and Olive. He just released a second book of poetry, based on his song lyrics and has a CD of original songs scheduled for release May 2011. These songs of three decades are meant to accompany both books.  Rob’s books can be viewed or purchased @ He can be contacted there too. Be sure to check out his blog on the home page of his website.


  1. Greetings, Rob

    I just finished your book this morning. Thank you for writing such an honest book about your interesting life. I could relate to quite a lot of your story. Not so much the substance abuse, but the life-long seeking, the crazy life and pain. Some of us just seem to feel more than others. I guess the price we pay for the depth of our passion is the depth of our pain.

    I live in Hunters, about 40 miles from Colville. It is a beautiful place. I take my dogs for a walk up behind the house every morning, and say my prayers there. I try to remember that nobody can take God's beautiful creation away from me, whether I hold a deed to it, or not. It looks like I'm going to lose this place through a divorce, and through no great fault of my own. So that phrase "To Know God, You May Lose Everything," rings especially true for me right now.

    Thank you for sharing your story of passion and pain with the world.

    I take it the open mic was at Meyers Falls? I went to open mic a few months ago. I know Joe through Slow Foods.


  2. Thanks Lahana for reading my book and blog; that really means a lot to me. If you feel inclined to write a review on Amazon, that would really be sweet!