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.

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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

 

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…

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.

The Dust – Apathy exposes your cracks

“Even when I try to stir myself up, I just get irritated because I can’t make anything come out. And in the middle of the night I lie here thinking about all this. If I don’t get back on track somehow, I’m dead, that’s the sense I get. 
There isn’t a single strong emotion inside me.” ― Banana Yoshimoto
 

 

 

You see beauty everywhere, your supposed to be happy. Your not.
You see people laughing, your supposed to be a part. Your not.
You see tears falling, your supposed to feel. Your not.
You see beauty everywhere, your supposed to be happy. Your not.
You see people laughing, your supposed to be a part. Your not.
You see prayers offered, your suppose to do that. Your not.
You see tears falling, your supposed to feel. Your not.
You see life passing, your supposed to do something. Your not.
And worst of all, you just don’t care. I mean you really, really, don’t care. About anything.
It’s death you feel in every little crack of your soul.
Like dust collecting, this death accumulates in the small areas of your life.
But wait you walking dead! Be encouraged!
There’s life again, a spring cleaning as it were, rising from the dust of death in your life.
You must quiet yourself and stop running to the next thing that will numb you.
You must quiet yourself and wait to hear the voice of your maker calling after you.
You must quiet yourself and pray to the one who has the love that will make you whole.
I’ve felt the death that living life can bring, and I’ve felt the arms of my Father,

Those arms have made me strong enough to live and be safe from the dust.

 

Also published in Broowaha Magazine
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How Right Is Your Right?

“The answer is that there is no good answer. So as parents, as doctors, as judges, and as a society, we fumble through and make decisions that allow us to sleep at night–because morals are more important than ethics, and love is more important than law.”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper 
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Walking the fine line, what makes a criminal? There are things done to survive, like stealing to provide food, and things done for protection like killing to defend my family and nation. Many times the law’s broken for the sake of greater good, but there’s an intrinsic law we carry in our nature, a line that’ll become apparent hopefully before it’s crossed. There are some of us that are meant to be lawbreakers, by nature rebellious, and those are necessary. Many good things are accomplished by those who’re not afraid to break away from the current understanding of right and wrong. So at what point are the actions considered criminal, not in the sense of law, but in the sense of conscience? At this breaking of the deeper, shall I say, spiritual law, a path’s entered that if continued on will lead to a seared conscience, a point which the wrong that’s done is so severe that conviction of the wrong’s never felt again.

This aborted morality leads us to a higher authority in which to compare our decisions. Many points of contention rise in response to this directive of a higher power. Haven’t hugely deviant and violent actions been inspired by “spiritual directive”? Yes, and still they will, but the perversion of the truth does not negate the validity of the same. A spiritual directive is out there and needs to be sought after to guide our unsure moral crawl to a full stride of right choices. There are things that’ll obscure this path and those things should be avoided at all costs, especially the habit of them. Beware of things which lower inhibitions and subvert the will. Many things beside the obvious will hypnotize the unwary. Drugs, alcohol are cliches in this respect but there’re more cunning enemies, beware as you grow to understand and be consistent to follow those things which you learn, and most of all, keep seeking to be free of a seared conscience.