Running On Empty

“Work hard for what you want because it won’t come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.” – Leah LaBelle

Running On Empty
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Days pass and years go by, then I realize, I’m getting older. This isn’t a brilliant discovery but as I age, the days seem to whisper louder about my mortality and the lack of energy to do what I normally could do is most evident. If I can sense physical fatigue, what about mental fatigue? I struggle with severe mental issues (peruse my blog and you’ll see it plainly) which result in the weird trait of arguing with people who aren’t there. Not arguing with a vision, but rehearsing in my mind what was said and what I should or shouldn’t have said. I spend an hour or so cussing people out and yelling at them when they have long left the building. In the same way, I’ll rehearse an embarrassing or shameful moment over and over in my head years after the fact. These all drain away mental and emotional energy, the ability to take of the here and now. There is a finite amount of emotion and mental convolutions that I’m able to bear. After my resources are exhausted, depression rushes in to fill the void. An apathy and usually a self destructive habit looms in the setting sun of my mind and pulls me out of the thoughts and into another hellish position.

The answer? I stop when I find myself talking to someone who isn’t there, or for that matter, who doesn’t care what I think. I stop thinking about the embarrassing moments and faux pas that crowd my mind. Then I take my antidote and think about the something that doesn’t drain me, but encourages and fills me with hope, things that are wise and spiritual. Not necessarily all holy and Jesus things, but mainly wisdom and advice I’ve gleaned from searching for escapes from the insane asylum in my head. For instance, there are places and I’ll paraphrase, in the bible where God has said, “don’t be afraid of their faces or what they say, and I’ll be with you.” Instead of thinking about an insult said to me, or about how I really screwed up this or that, I think about how my Big Daddy (my affectionate term for God) is going to help me through this and give me a decent life. That’s how I’m learning to walk instead of crawl out of anguish. Peace my friends, it’ll work out for you, don’t stop trying, don’t stop believing.

God’s Insurance

“Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.”
Lauren Kate, Torment

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For the first time in my life, I’ve got insurance on most things I own. This gives me incredible peace of mind, and I realized, “Why don’t I feel this same sense of protection and relief when I contemplate God’s care and oversight?” I’ve made an investment in material insurance which leads me to believe that I have purchased the protection and therefore will get it. But how do I “purchase” God’s favor and protection? Or can I? The currency of the spiritual is faith and I must invest it on this insurance policy. But many times God has superseded my investment by providing what I needed with no provocation or allowance from me. I was spiritually bankrupt ignoring my spiritual responsibilities and He still came to my rescue. So why can’t I relax and enjoy the fact that God will bail me out if trouble comes? It’s like having a policy and not knowing what it covers, if I don’t know I won’t feel that relief or worse I won’t be covered over a particular disaster. So how do I know what my policy covers? I have to read the paperwork. This is the bible, a book written by people under the inspiration of God. We know that people wrote it and men decided which writings were shall we say “inspired” and not “perspired”. That means how the heck do I know that this “policy” set forth in the bible is correct? How do I know my experience is correct? Were my particular provisions set about by me or God? These are hard things to grapple and I struggle to find my feet in faith. I do know that in more than a few instances there were no ways out but through, shall I say. the miraculous. I choose to call this Divine intervention and I believe. But damn if my soul isn’t torn in half trying to understand the whole faith and God thing. I do believe, but I struggle and fret trying to find out my role in this life.

Going Gently Into That Good Night

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. If you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”
Stephen Hawking

The Crossing Over
                         The Crossing Over

When from birth the swaddling of obscurity
Covers my face with the harsh reality of life

How will I discover my soul and carry
the torch of meaningful purpose to my progeny?

Left with only the struggles of faith and doubt
over what my life should be or have been.

Why do I live, why has God given me breath?
Why go at all into the void of the living?

Of what purpose can it be to drag my soul
through a thousands horrors only to be reborn?

Does it matter at all and why
when I breath for the last time?

And then He whispers,
That you may know me, this is your purpose”

It’s a fact of life that we
become disenchanted by joy without pain

And barely fight to know someone or something
unless extinction threatens to take them or it away

 

Alone –

 Imaginary lovers
Never turn you down
When all the others turn you away
They’re around
It’s my private pleasure
Midnight fantasy
Someone to share my
Wildest dreams with me” 

 

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I’d do anything to keep from being alone, pay any price, be used to the “nth” degree and never say a word. Being used is better than being alone but it stings knowing the object of my affection will hurt me, maim my spirit, and destroy my forward progress. Still, I follow hard after her, giving all to maintain that relationship and avoid the terrors of being alone. What compromises have I willing conceded to? What violations of my self-esteem and personal space have I allowed for unrequited affection? What tortures has my heart been through, my body feeling the wretch of emotions that sets my nerves on fire? Being addicted, not to a substance, but to a world of egocentric affection that I’ve created by taking the object of my affection and embellishing her to a fantastic degree. I should know better, I do know better. The voices of friends and family, concerned that I am “being used”, try to slap me awake. Ignoring their advice, pushing away the voice of truth, I continue to live a world that only I see. Go away you bearers of truth, you wreckers of dreams, this is my world, I will not see it in your light! I take my script and apply it haphazardly, patching up the holes in the dike containing my empty dreams. Eagerly lapping up my lack of self-control and willful delusion, the protagonist in my play continues to feed my world of facades with empty compliments, cool affections, and eyes empty of love.  One day I’ll wake up and grab hold of myself, one day I’ll acknowledge this self-imposed hell, one day…but for now, I look at her and imagine how she loves me.

Also published in Broowaha

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Yet I Live

“Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival.”
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If not for the Lord, my life is lost, my soul buried beneath issues and vanities. In my longing for a father, I find it in Him. He teaches me wisdom and picks me up when I’ve once again skinned my spiritual knees. When I make mistakes, and they’re many, when I choose the wrong road, and that’s often, He forgives, directs, and provides for me. This is my testimony that thus far, I shouldn’t have made it alive, much less profitably, and still I’m here. My way is full of enemies who hate for no reason, other than color, or jealousy, or because I refuse to die. I’ve seen them tapping their foot, looking at their watches wondering, “When will he fade out?” For that I’ll give thanks again to my Daddy, my heavenly father, who puts light back into the burnt out shell of me. The devils know me as I walk past, whispering “Thissss issss he who left us and yet lives!” Yes, I live, at times only a breath away from crossing over to the evil camps of malignant foreboding that shudder with anger at my betrayal. My body belongs to that camp but with the help of my Father, I’m able to choose whether or not I stay there. That choice is my everlasting evidence that God is real, for where He to be my fantasy, surely you’d read of the savagery of my soul and the punishment of madness that overcame my mind. Thank you Father for the self control you give me and teach me to use. Those choices are hard, and as with all discipline, painful. I press on, with no turning back, to see what things will be revealed in the blasted lands of my life.

A Witness

“No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don’t.” 
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Ah my son, the road has indeed been long and hard with many questions and mysteries. In the depths of my soul I’ve borne pain that I never thought I could bear. My father, who like myself was adopted after seeing his father shoot his mother and then himself, attempted to protect me (his stepson who was forced on him) by tormenting me in an effort to toughen me up. O god the terrors I experienced just trying to live at home, not just with him but with whoever was the father of the moment. After all this (which is only a small portion of my journey) I found a love that though it didn’t remove all the pain, nor guarantee my safety from more pain, gave me an experience of something bigger than me. This experience came at a service in our local church where I, having no strength to continue on my journey, learned that there is a personal God who wants to interact in my life. That night I came to know a love so tangible that I could feel it in the air around me. I knew then that despite whatever troubles and injustices that I have and will have experienced, there is one, Jesus, who will hear me and be my very real help in times of trouble. It’s to this God and his son Jesus that owe my life to now. The pain has not stopped, tears bleed from my eyes nearly everyday, but I have a refuge when I can go on no longer. All this said my son, please find Him who has been my salvation from myself and from this life. I’m not religious (I hate that word), in fact if you read the rest of my writings you’ll find I’m a screwed up, highly volatile, self destructive, and depressed individual who, if not for God who found me, would be dead or in jail. In the words of another, “I’m just one beggar telling another beggar where I found bread.” My health is failing, and I feel desperate to let you know how to escape the insanity that I passed on to you by my genes. I know what your going through and there is an answer, not to relieve the agony of a mind gone wrong, but to make something beneficial of your life and find an antidote that supersedes the mental and physical. I love you critter…

The Guise Of Faith

 “The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” – Mark Twain
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Throwing the covers over my seething nature, I burrow beneath religion, hiding who I am. Pops said, “Religion is for the weak”, that may the case, but my reasons are that I’m fucking scared of who I really am. If my soul had a window, I’m sure there’d be a line to watch the horror show. Damn humanity, they love to watch insanity in action, paying millions of dollars to watch all kinds of degradation on the big screen and drooling, lonely, over their computer late at night. I’m sure people I know and haven’t known have stayed around only to see what kind up fucked up shit I’m gonna do or get into next. The guise of church and God is the ultimate facade. I really do believe in God, but I feel like I’m a fake when I act according to my faith, and almost feel like I’ve been duped when I “do good things” not because I want to, but because my beliefs tethered me into obedience. Being good is desirable, but only because I’m scared of whats inside me. I can honestly say that God is real to me and that I try to listen and obey, but (there’s always a but in religion) damn if I don’t feel like it’s a trick. I’m religious not out of love for God, but from fear of who I’ll be if I don’t “obey”. My soul is filled with many violent and revolting perversions, and most of my self destructive behavior comes through that realization. I don’t want to hurt anyone, to cause mayhem and destruction, I don’t want to be what I am. My detractors, the greatest of whom reside in my head, taunt me saying, “how can you write all these hope filled articles about God and His work in your life while being a whole different person inside. Your the ultimate hypocrite.”. It’ll be known when all things are known that my battles where never seen by humanity, and my greatest victory will be to go to the grave without fulfilling the deviant nature that claws at and through my robes of righteousness.

Rescue

“and it was he who some fifteen feet down spotted the body of the young man  floating like uprooted seaweed, upward, a brilliant white in the underwater space, and it was he who grabbed the body under the arms and brought him up, and also he who made the young man vomit all the water he had swallowed.” ― Roberto Bolaño, 2666  
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Wave after wave full of debris. It’s not just the water, it’s the stuff in the water that hurts. I’ve learned through years of playing in these waves, how to hold my breath to wait out the turbulence above. Being beneath the ocean isn’t always a bad thing, but necessary for my survival as I dive into the deep to let the rolling trouble pass. Lately I’m a land dweller and though having never entered the ocean for years, I can still learn from those water bound lessons. It’s not so much the living, the actual breathing and going through the days that brings the danger, but its the stuff that’s in the living that hurts. 
There are many ways I’ve held my breath to get under the trouble. Substances, relationships, danger seeking (i.e. adrenaline junkie), have all held me below. With all this avoidance and struggle its nice when I see a boat. That’s how God intervened in my life. He sailed through the storm and found me gurgling and diving just to survive the day. With loving hands he picked me up, asking nothing from me. I never made promises to Big Daddy (that’s my affectionate name for God), saying “I’ll do this or that if you save me”, I was just a panic ridden, scared to death young man who needed the rescuing power of God which He was happy to provide. 
You may not appreciate this power to rescue but believe me, when trouble comes and your life ebbs, you’ll grab any hand. Though not just anyone could save me because I have this tendency to jump right back into the frothy waters, that’s all I knew how to do. His hand not only rescued me but gently held me in the boat long enough to help me expel the water I swallowed and show me that I can ride the waves for exhilaration. That’s the wonder and love I have for Big Daddy, he teaches me a better way. So here I go, pushing ahead to the other side fully aware that though I feel like the waters will swallow me, I’ll still be saved.

Analogy of a Tic – Two Views of People Who Use You

“We’re a different sort of thief here, Lamora. Deception and misdirection are our tools. We don’t believe in hard work when a false face and a good line of bullshit can do so much more.” ― Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora 

 “Yet the evil still increased, and, like the parasite of barnacles on a ship, if it did not  destroy the structure, it obstructed its fair, comfortable progress in the path of life.” William Banting 

 

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They wander around my perimeters, parasites, drawing from me like a tic. Working my way through the jungles of the game, they latch on. Suckers, filling themselves with my blood. I let some hang on, knowing they’re there, keeping an eye on them; I’m in control. The tic’s bold, so consumed with satiating its desire, it doesn’t know or care that it’s life is in my hands. One day I’ll squash the tic, making a blood stain on my leg, smiling with gratification of my power over it. It’s funny to watch little creatures plying their wares, I feel compassionate for their limited life span and the narrowness of their existence. I play with them, and while others are scared, I’m intrigued. In the end, the game will be played out again, so I entertain myself with my current companions, a symbiosis of sort, the tug and pull of life sharpening my senses.  

There’s another way to see this game. Being gifted and talented on many levels, I’ll draw success in a variety of forms. This abundance isn’t meant just for me, but for others. I’m a stream of cool water, those who are thirsty can dip their hands in and draw from my abundance to satisfy themselves. I’ll be filled again, not by them, but by the hand of my Big Daddy (God), who is my source and fountain. It’s my purpose to be filled and emptied in service to others, to humble myself and provide for them, no matter how shallow or misdirected their desires are. Hunger is hunger, thirst is thirst. God causes the rain to fall on the just and unjust. Perhaps in satisfying their errant desires they’ll soon grow tired and turn to my source. I’m thankful that if not for twists of fate and circumstance, I’d be the tic. This inspires me to continue to give and provide, not with reluctance, but with satisfaction, knowing that, if not for God, I’d be the sucker.

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