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September 12, 2007

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serenity_chick

My life choices are:

Choice of occupation:
My 1st choice was medicine: it took 20 years to accept I’m not wired to function well in it, getting fired from it on the 2nd go round was the best thing that ever happened to me. I could final let go of my failures in medicine). I now work in engineering. I’m much happier.

Choice of college: I have 2 associate's degrees and one bachelor's degrees and three years towards a second bachelor's degree. I have attended 7 different colleges to acquire these. So, I've revisited this one more than once.

Marriage: Never been. Haven’t met that person, but I think if it’s going to happen—that I don’t have to go out of my way to meet that person—they should show up in my life as I live it out.

Kids: I’ll never have them. I was always afraid I’d abuse my kids the horrific way I’d been abused. And, I decided I never would because I’m not willing to chance passing on an incurable, hereditary chronic illness.

Retirement: Probably not until I can't stand up anymore. I prefer to always have some kind of job as long as possible. It keeps me out with people and involved with life.

To think I have the ability to change the world with my life choices seems really self-focused. I’m not that powerful. I don’t have any notion that I’m ‘SUPPOSED TO” change the world or not by the choice of job, college, marital status, choice to be a parent, etc.

When I was young, my aspiration was to do something massive for the good of humanity. I have a genius IQ and I seriously thought I’d win the Nobel Peace Prize. Today, I still have the genius IQ, but I don’t really think that my choices in any area are big enough to change the world. my choices won’t most likely win me the Nobel Peace prize.

Interms of universal morality (recognized by everyone), in whatever choices I make I’m supposed to do the best I can harm and not others. IF I can be happy and feel as little pain as possible in the process, there’s nothing wrong with that. What I’m supposed to want, I feel, is to make my corner of the world the best it can be, without expecting results (that the world will change due to my choices) and without accolades (like the Nobel Peace Prize). I’m supposed to want to do good all the time.

In that universal morality, maybe you’ve heard the statement that there’s a God shaped vacuum in all of us. This is why we crave meaning, relevance, and destiny.

If you answer the question about who’s your God (from your last entry), it’ll define these terms of destiny, karma, fate, meaning, and relevance.

Because I have a say in my decisions (college, occupation, marriage--and other things)I have been given a free will to make choices. I also have the responsibility as a free moral agent to accept the consequences for my decisions and the actions I take due to those decision.

I can be impacted by others' decisions and actions. That’s mostly where the pain in the world arises,from the consequences of people’s decisions. For some of it, it's beyond human control.

It’s confusing. But I know none of us are robots, and we’re not simply controlled by God arbitrarily rolling the dice and playing games with our lives because he's bored.

Having an incurable chronic illness, I can’t really truthfully answer the issue of God being in control all the time. I tried to answer the spiritual question of why God allowd my health to not be perfect. It just made me angry. I don't know and I have to live with that and make the best of the hand I've been dealt.

I try to be grateful that my life is as good as it is. It could be far worse. I try to use my talents, abilities, and resources for the most good I am able at any given moment. Sometimes I'm not very successful.

And when things aren’t so good, I try to do the best I can and trust there’s a God out there who will do for me what I can’t do for myself.

And God is doing that. I am an alcoholic. I was unable to stop drinking on my own. On September 1, I celebrated that fact I haven’t had a drink in 7 years. I can only explain that as the power of God.

Life isn’t simple. We can ask questions. There may not be answers--at least not ones we can understand. To think we’re supposed to know all the answers is to be in the place of God. I’m not God. Neither are you. We have to live with that reality—like it or not.

So, who is God to you, anyway?

serenity_chick

Somehow I have this driving need to relate the most painful part of my life history.

Life doesn’t make sense—especially if you’ve had a life like mine—with lots of hardship and not a lot of affirmation for who you are.

I went from a born again Bible thumper to an atheist after being diagnosed in my late 20’s with the illness I have. It affects how my mind works and in my 20’s my entire identity was my intellect.

The God I claimed to believe in didn’t make sense. What kind of God ruins someone’s life?

Life didn’t make sense. But dying at my own hand (and I had acquired the means to do so in a full proof manner) didn’t make sense either. Suicide is the ultimate attempt to play God with one’s own life/

To kill my pain, I drank, and drank, and was angry, and drank… over and over.

Why didn’t I die or get in lots of trouble in all the dangerous situations I put myself in? Now I can only say it was God.

Life only started to make sense when I decided to let God convince me He made sense on his terms, not mine. It started with admitting there was a God, and it wasn’t me.

That path wasn’t one of my choosing. It meant having to remember horrible abuse, it meant 3 years of unemployment, facing homelessness twice. And all this meant learning humility and that my life worked only when I began to seek God’s will on his terms not my own.

I don’t have the right to question where my future is. I surrendered that right. I don’t have the right to determine what my life means, what happens in it or how long it will last.

I have surrendered that right to take life as it comes—whether pleasant or painful. I tried to use alcohol, food, and prescription drugs to kill my pain.

I was created to feel—pain, but also pleasure. So if you say you don’t want to feel pain, you won’t feel pleasure either.

Sorry, Joe, the hard reality is that until you settle the question of who God is to you and what place God has in your life—nothing will mean anything, loneliness will be a reality, and destiny will be unknown.

Hopefully, you come up with the real answer. You destiny depends on it.

Joe Craveman

Thanks for sharing those thoughts and experiences, serenity_chick - it is helpful to know that I'm not alone...

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