Posts Tagged ‘faith’
I would stand in the pure light, bare and arms outstretched
touched by and touching many, flesh and flesh and joyous flesh
but longing, aching, drawing always back, flesh, heart and soul to you
your illuminating touch, and sweet breathe of love is the wind
upon which I will thread the eye of the needle and be carried off
into the light pure light of heaven, to wander eternal with you
hand in hand without fear, worry or pain; dancing, laughing with my angel
having been turned upon the lathe of heaven, but perfected by you
My one thought, brightest light, beautiful sky; home of my soul.
Faith – the Word and the women will save me and drag me out of my darkness
Mother, whisper on the wind that blows between my ears
Blinded by my darkness, stumbling frantic, here I am again
knowing you must be near, but losing faith and less sure
with each moment that I cannot feel you, lashing out
I am not myself the moment I feel that you have left me
Mother, touch your hand to my chest, rest your head there
let me feel your warmth washing away the pain and fear
Whisper sweetly to me until I find the light, hope and peace
Free me to be happy and useful again and in that light
guide me to be all that you would have of me, I am ill
and slow of mind and your signs must be loud and bright
lest I am lost and imprisoned by my own darkness again
I am a fool and a mongrel
but a prophet, husband, lover and father
all the same
Mother, where are you? Touch me, whisper wisdom and courage
fill up my empty mind with truth and joy and hope, enough to share
“Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-That One is God. May you find Him now!” Big Book of AA, How it Works
Step Two, I am realizing today presents a problem for me, one that is perhaps unique to someone who has had more than a few days sober. I know, deep in my heart that God helped me to get and sober and continues to help me stay that way. I do not have to believe anymore.
That said, for most of my sobriety God has been a formless, secret and invisible benefactor. In spite of trying them on and professing to worship a variety of higher powers, I have taken no name for God and not set of rituals and associated beliefs into my heart and for the last year I have found myself wondering if that is not blocking me off from God in some ways, either small or vast.
There are times at which I feel like I know God better than any human has the right or ability to, and other times where I feel that I was a fool for ever thinking or believing anything about God at all.
God can restore me to sanity, but only if I am ready and willing, only if I can come to God. But If I believe in a God, then why do I lay awake at night now, pondering and agonizing over my own mortality, why don’t I have the certainty in my heart that there is an after life?
There are so many times I find myself wishing I had the certain and absolute beliefs that Christian’s and other followers of organized religion have. I wish often that I could be Christian actually, maybe non-denominational or Catholic, but they are too distant from my personality and my understanding of God and much of what I see of their God, I cannot condone.
I could go on and on about this, the point is, I am in existential crisis and Step Two is not a matter for of wondering if God can restore me to Sanity, but rather a question of whether or not I am going to allow God to restore me to sanity.
Chances are, I will have to transform myself or be prepared to transform myself even further and mold myself to fit God, rather than find a God that fits into the mold that I have made and that is a very uncomfortable thought.
I know that for me, finding the answer will start with consulting Walt Whitman, a dreaming of a cave I used to fly to to talk with my vocational ancestors, unchaining my mystical, spiritual self and embracing it without being embarrassed, self conscious or afraid.
Today, I will be myself
I will trust god and his plan for me
I will let go of fear, anxiety and stress
Today I will husband, father and son
I will be kind, I ask god to help me be
of maximum service to everyone
and I will keep focused on doing the next right thing
Today, I am love, I am laughter, I am living
who didn’t fit in, wasn’t good enough, felt abandoned, betrayed and punished by the world around him; he tried to be different, he tried to fit in, he tried to do what was asked of him and failing that he built walls around his heart, cut himself off, turning to rage, sarcasm and a false sense of superiority and to cope with the side affects of that, he turned to booze and drugs. Over time, he lost faith in mystical things, listening as his humanity, his soul and imagination whimpered and starved, caged off behind walls of fear, shame, guilt and loathing for everything including himself. All of those feelings of inadequacy, hurt and fear followed with him in his heart, making even accomplishment and success taste bitter.
I was that boy and though I am undergoing a process of recovery and there are very specific steps to healing that have been laid out before me, even though while I am actually doing the work and following those steps I can feel the pain, doubt and self loathing lifting from me, as faith, hope, courage, humility and gratitude take their place; I find from time to time, that I get distracted and pause in the process, and when I pause in the process I find fear and the moment that happens, that little boy hops into the Captain’s chair in my mind and suddenly everything that the day before was so beautiful, acceptable and right, turns dark and sinister and ugly.
I am in the middle of what are supposed to be the most transforming steps in my program of recovery and I paused because I allowed other things to seem more important and now I am suffering, now I am afraid. Now I am wrestling with what must seem to be a ridiculous question of faith to some and I am terrified of letting go suddenly of many of my character defects, because they have been like an armor to me, a cursed armor that has been killing me even as it protects me, but none-the-less it has been protective. To trust, really and truly trust other people, indeed to trust god and myself has a ring of horror to it. It is such a ridiculously simple thing, what it all boils down to in the end.
Come to trust and accept that all is as it should be, learn to relax and embrace myself and life itself, finding serenity on the other side of that surrender
or, reject that continue on in pain and misery.
What is the nature of my crisis of faith? I fear people will laugh and not understand, but it is very real to me and is not some kind of melodrama.
Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. – Rainer Rilke Letters to a Young Poet, Volume One
Though beyond the odd poem or blog, I have written very little over the last 6 years or so, I have always considered myself a writer because I cannot stop the impulse, cannot stop thinking about it and it has been that way since I was in grade school. It has been known to me from a very young age that this is God’s universe and that I have been given these gifts for a reason. This is the cornerstone of both my faith and my current crisis. A little over three years ago, driving to an AA meeting in North Carolina, I had a spiritual experience, my first legitimate one since childhood. It suddenly struck me that I had not only wasted my talents for writing, using them for nothing but making money; I had chosen drinking and drugs over my gifts that mission that I was given. I was so moved that I had to pull over and weep. I made my apology to my own divine trinity, The Word, The Muses and The Divine and Beautiful.
I soon forgot, circling back from time to time, expecting some sort of order, for the Muse to tell me what to write, though I have had little conscious contact with them or The Word. I have many ideas, many impulses to write, but I left them alone, shrugging off time constraints or paralyzed by uncertainty which of things in my head are a part of the mission. Painfully, I see today that there is a possibility that all of it, any of it, could be what I was meant to put down. There will be no moment where Brigid or Gabrielle or any other muse or angel will appear to me and announce the instructions to my mission.
And here is the final bit that I hide from everyone I know, myself included: I believe – I am a believer, a mystic, transcendental poet, capable of working words like a prophet, with the heart of a child and the trembling soul of one charged with illuminating a divinity I myself could not possibly hope to understand. This is why I cry when I watch or think too much of Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh, or Alice – because while my head my have turned from faith, from the mystical truths and power of belief, my heart, locked away in the dungeon I created for it, never did and somewhere, I knew I was betraying my heart and the God’s that created it.
- Anything, anything conceivable by the human mind is possible
- That there is not a force more powerful or important in this Universe or any other more powerful that love. Which means it must be the very essence of our creator
- I believe in the power of words, that they are more powerful that medicine or weapons; so how we speak to ourselves in thought and out loud to others is of great importance. Negative words, construct negative ideas and drive negative behavior..from the choice of words to care with which they are spoken and cadence that they march out of us, every syllable counts
- I believe being awe struck, filled with wonder and incorrigibly optimistic are some of the best food for the soul
- I believe that every single thing in the Universe is beautiful and divine, and a part of a system created by the The Word that is perfect, that all apparent systems within in are copies of the larger system and that if you understand one of those systems, you understand everything.
- I believe in the muses, I believe that they not only work to inspire and illuminate for me, but actually push the message of the word through me, whenever I get out of the way
- I believe that all acts of communion among human beings are divine and wonderful, this includes acts of mercy, consenting acts of passion and sex, kindness, community prayer and worship, rituals, family gatherings and so on
- I believe in the message of Christ, of Buddha and other great religious figures
- I believe that Martin Luther King and Gandhi where recent avatars of God
- I believe requirements for faith are not God’s concern, that turning from your creator does not make his/her ego bruise, but will cause you suffering, because you must go through everything frightened and alone
- I believe that I should be writing more
I believe that if I can let that scared and angry little boy grow up to have trust, faith and wonder again, that great things are ahead for myself and for everyone else in my life. I believe too that since it will not leave me alone, one day, I hope sooner rather than later I will return to writing regularly and that whatever I am supposed to do will be done in time.
“Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” Step Two
I affirmed in step one, that I am an alcoholic, that I am powerless over not only alcohol, but the defects of character that result from it. In step two they are asking me to believe that God, or some power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. I want to believe that, because I am in trouble. Kim and I have managed to make a bit of a mess of our relationship, and I own a good deal of that. I have pushed everyone else away and made as many bad choices as I could. Our finances are good and fucked, my health and happiness are greatly diminished and everyone around me suffers.
My part in Kim and I’s troubles is big and last night I frightened her by being aggressive, yelling and pounding on my chest, it hurts very deeply that she wonders if I may start to abuse her, I feel like that is unfair. But then is it? If I am not myself, perhaps she wonders who I am?
For going on a year, almost every time I get her to open up to me, I then punish her for it by judging or pushing or in some way trying to fight or fix rather than listen and it is because I am angry with her, but too afraid to talk about it and too weak and I know I am not mad for any logical reason, that my reasons are unfair and I don’t know how accurate some of the things I think are, because I am not sane. And that is the reality, that I am not sane right now. Not that I am dangerous or out of control, I am not, but I am not well, I am not truly sober and that drives me to make poor choices, to resent, to lose paitence, to behave in ways that are not my real character.
The tragedy is, she felt safe with me before, safer she said than she ever has and I cherished that so much and that the disease and defects are not on top of me 24/7 and there are times when I am truly present, but by the time I am, I have made her withdraw from me.
I wish there was a way to include her more in this process, to have her understand what the disease does and how it is completely impossible for me to overcome it, on my own. I am not weak, just not strong enough to overcome this. Once, a few years ago, I gave myself over to a god of my understanding, a simple program and a fellowship and it transformed me from a miserable, hopeless, irresponsible and selfish waste, into the man that Kim met and fell in love with, into I believe my sane, happy self. I want more than anything to be that and I am willing to go to any lengths to get it. I
Kim and the boys have become the most precious thing I have ever had in my life and ironically, the last few days it has been that fact that has kept me wrestling with handing myself and my will over. The disease keeps telling me that if I am not running the show it will just stop. I have to have faith in god, the program and in Kim. Like it is hard for her to feel safe with and place trust in me, it will be hard to place faith in her, but I must. I have to to trust god and I have to trust her. Restoring her trust in me, will take time and I have to be patient.
I believe that a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity and I believe that if I let it and I work the program, my life and the live’s of everyone around me will get better on their own without my “help”. I don’t want to help anymore. I want to enjoy, inspire, support, hold and be with my love and my family.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we see him
I knelt down last night, beside a sleeping Kim and I said the the third step prayer. I didn’t mean it yet, but today I do. Today, right now, I am pleading with God to take me, guide me, relieve me of the pain, the misery and the impulse to run things. Fill me with strength and humility, more than anything humility and the willingness to do the right things, to listen more than I talk and keep letting go. Help me to be the best husband and father I can be. Help Kim too, help her back to herself and to find the forgiveness and love in her heart for me, help us come back together and be beautiful again, help us to be that safe harbor for each other again. Relieve me of anxiety, fear, guilt and shame and help me to just live, love and laugh.
I have made the decision to turn my will and my life over to you, higher power, god of my understanding. Help me to keep making that choice, each moment, of each day.
Kim, I know you will read this, you are my sheltering sky, my beautiful, wonderful wife, my Mo Anam Cara. I am sorry for faltering, for disappearing and for not taking the right action sooner. I am putting everything in god’s hands and I trust that everything will be okay, this will pass and we will be beautiful again.
Whatever you do, do not let them make you lose hope or faith, do not let go of your newfound humanity and decency. Be good, not evil. She needs and deserves that from you and so do you. Let go of the anger and resentmet..swallow it or spit it out..but do not let it crowd your heart or mind.
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