Why do I struggle so with living?  Two things seem to come to the forefront for me, at least tonight. 

1.  The nature of spiritual empowerment.  This is the centerpiece of the recovery program.  When I was a traditional Christian, the premise of spiritual empowerment for me was the reality of revelation through the scriptures, and the testimony of those who seek direct contact with God based on the authority of Jesus Christ.  Now that I am in recovery, the Agnostos Theos, the Higher Power, is a construct that grows through relationship.  But I am left asking if a deity concept built around my needs for empowerment is anything more than a concept.  The demands of life are larger than I am.  And death mocks my every step forward.  I need a Higher Power who is larger than every element of both life and death.  Who is larger than all my fears.  Am I my own god?  Do my needs and desires for empowerment cause me to forge a deity to support my efforts?  Or is there a deity that created me with needs that would force me to find it?  And if so, why the game of hide and seek?  Is this life a supernatural holographic training scenario?  For me, the pursuit of a deity must provide some hope of knowing, and thus the disciplines of prayer and meditation seeking intuitive guidance make sense.  But I find them ultimately inadequate.   I too often feel the despair of spiritual impotence.

2.  The nature of self-expression.  My life is filled with many passions and pursuits that compete with one another.  In talking with my slave this evening, she was lamenting the part-time expression of who we are, and prior to her contact, I was thrashing about in my own soul over this same issue.  How can I synthesize my life into a perfect whole that allows me to unfold completely as a person?  When I was a traditional Christian, mortification of the flesh, self-sacrifice, and absolute surrender to Jehovah God precluded this concern.  If I got any of my heart’s desires it was because God decided it was safe for me, was of value, fulfilled His ultimate will.  I spent most of my life then in a frustrated suppression of who I am.  I tried to be a vessel for the expression of Jesus.  My misery found solace in my personal life of martyrdom.  Someday, I would be rewarded for a life well lived.  All the things that should exist or that I desired of here and now were safely tucked away in the great here-after.  I have read that religion is the opiate of the masses.  I kept myself well intoxicated with it.  But now that I have given myself permission to be free, what do I do?  And how do I do it?  Is there a way to synchronize all my internal passions into one great symphony of self-expression?  On November 20th, I turn 49 years old.  That is seven squared, or seven sevens completed.  In my reading of the Old Testament, there was something called the year of Jubilee, the 50th year.  If I remember correctly, that was a time of rebirth, when all debts were cancelled and everyone started over.  I feel like I am approaching both an ending and a beginning.  And I do not know how to both mourn or celebrate to usher forth this transition.

On a somber note:  My lungs have always been my bane.  I experience repeated cases of pneumonia growing up that would keep me out of school.  It always affected my athletic participation because I never had the wind for a lot of running.  This has been a constant source of humiliation in my military service, and to this day, may keep me from getting retirement.  My next and possibly final PT Test is on the 5th of December.  When I sleep on my left side, my bronchial tube hurts.  It often hurts slightly to breath deeply.  I am always congested to some degree.  I cannot remember a time when I could breath clearly through both nostrils.  When I work out, I spend the next few hours coughing and in pain.  And I probably work in one of the last places in America where there is smoking in the building.  My mother died of pulmonary fibrosis.  There is some indication that it is genetically transferred.  It really cannot be diagnosed in its early stages, so I’ve heard.  Doctors have done the MRI’s and nothing has been found.  But I feel it.

The gist of what I am saying is that I am facing the reality of the downward drift into the other side.  We are all facing death, I just have a constant reminder with every breath I take.  I want to live the second half of my life better than the first.  And I want to leave behind a legacy of making it easier for others to do the same. 

THIS IS MY REQUEST FROM ANYONE READING THIS:  Consider the nature of spiritual empowerment and self-expression.  And tell me what you do, how you face it all.  I will be very respectful and grateful for your contribution.  I don’t care how religious or loony it may come off.  I may ask questions, but they are real questions, not taunts.  I may restate what I think you are saying, but I will quote you verbatim.  I will not alter your words.  I will do my best not to insult you.  If I do, I will be quick to apologize.  I am open to anything right now.  Please talk to me.


  1. beyondtheendoftheroad Says:

    After I first came into recovery there was an overshadowing thought that haunted me my 2nd year clean…Will there be enough time to do what I want to do? There is so much left unsaid and undone, how will I accomplish it?
    The answer came simply from a friend who reminded me that at some point I will not get a full 24 hours. I will be 42 in July and felt as if time was “running out”. It’s odd, before I got to recovery life seemed to take forever to arrive at that point and now it’s as if time has been speeded up.
    I came to the understanding that 12 Step Programs prepare me to face the inevitable with dignity and a sense of self worth. That the miserable existence I called life before really wasn’t living at all. That I have the full opportunity to live my life they way I was intended to from the very start, with the ability to be a human being.
    My approach to a Higher Power is a bit more simplistic. I find it would be arrogant on my part to believe that I am one of 6 billion people living on a rock hurtling through space at 90,000 mph and this is it.
    I believe the power we seek comes from both within and from others. I have witnessed far too many things both while in active addiction and while in recovery to believe in coincidences and luck.
    I feel that my life has a sense of purpose and I may never know all of the answers to the questions I want to ask, but I have a faith today that what I need to know versus what I want to know is revealed when the time is right.
    Take Care….Bob D.

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