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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

The Purgatory of Self Will...

Have you been there?  It is hellish, is it not?

I have spent a great deal of time there actually.  I like to call it something else a lot of the time and that almost works, you know?  I can almost believe that whatever I am making happen in the moment is blessed by God.  I am lying to myself but sometimes I really do believe all the shit my head makes up.

I blame trauma - and it could be trauma’s fault, I suppose.  But that would fail to take into consideration my own part in all of this.  Sure, traumatic things might be the cause of the response.  But it has been a long time since those particular traumas occurred and I have sought treatment for them, and they lie in their place in my life, my history.

But it is what I am doing today that is killing me.  All the self ideas and will and things that I think will make me happy, that in fact, only make me more miserable.  The things that I will not put down, the things that I keep picking back up.  I know the origins of it, and still that doesn’t stop me, in fact, it almost spurs me onward, down that road of self will run riot.

The truth?  I don’t want God to be in charge.  I want to be in charge.  Because, yes I am just that arrogant, that I believe my will is better than God’s.  

And the reason I believe this to be true, is that I have this idea that God wants me to be alone, wants me to not have the things I want.  I am not sure where I got this idea about God, but I can see the evidence of this belief operating in my life, in every facet of my life.

And I am in hell.  A purgatory of my own making, because of my refusal to surrender to what is.

I say it all the fucking time, “God wants us to be happy, joyous and free.”  But my actions belie my actual belief in it.  I say it but I don’t live by it.  Look around my life, if you care to pay attention, you will see it replete with evidence that I absolutely do not trust God, or really anyone else with my life.  And partially this is just the human experience, we turn it over and we take it back. Repeatedly until we are dead.  That is just the human life experience for most of us.

However, I see that while I have believed I surrendered a long time ago.  I can see that really what I did was hand God my drinking, drugging and smoking problem, like he was some sort of hand maiden I could just discard the items currently in my possession that I no longer had use for, and then dismiss him like he was some sort of servant...that is an ugly revelation.

“Here, God, hold my beer!”

And as benevolent a God as I may have, I have to believe he snickered and said to anyone who might hear, “oh, watch this shit, this is going to be good!”

And I have done a stellar job of entertaining him and several others over the intervening almost three decades.  One self will directed trajectory after another. Sure, I asked what God’s will was, and so long as it lined up with mine, we were all good to go!  But if there was a divergence, most of the time, I just did what I wanted and called it God’s will.  Or I made the even more arrogant statement, “Well, if you don’t ever take the reins, you aren’t ever going to get anywhere in this life.  You can’t just sit around and wait...”

Um, actually you can. In fact, this is what I hate about God’s will most of all.  You have to wait.  You have to have patience, and faith and perseverance.  And I would much rather just run head long into a problem that I am calling progress at the moment.  And then lick my wounds later.


I don’t want God’s will for me.  I want mine.  And that is the most honest thing I can say.  And I want my will over his because I think mine is better...which means I need to get a bigger God.  Because the one that I currently have stock in, isn’t capable or up for the task of managing my life any better than me.  And I am fucking that up on the daily.

I have been pretty miserable for the past few months.  You wouldn’t likely know it because I hide it pretty well.  Or at least I think I do...perhaps the joke is on me, perhaps all of you see it, and I am the only one walking around naked thinking I am wearing these beautiful robes of fine cloth.  And you all have seen me parading around in my delusion quite well.

But I have been and still am in a purgatory of my own making.  I can’t move on and I can’t stay where I am.   And so I drum up self will directed bullshit to distract myself from my current state of misery in another misguided effort to extricate myself from my own self created shitstorm. Again, still.  (Got that tattooed on my arm yesterday...why?  Because it is such the human experience...we keep doing all the things, again, still.  Over and over until we are dead.  And it really describes my journey in this life).  I mean I do feel like I have made progress, I have this tendency to speak in absolutes - I have failed, I have succeeded.  My sponsor pointed out to me just yesterday that I live in this forever/never hell of my own making...where life is all or nothing.  I am either killing it or desperately trying to escape the confines of my current situation, um, that I crafted all by myself over here.  Again, still.  Fuck. (I am adding time I get more tattoos - I am now changing my phrase to Again...still.  Fuck).

So what am I to do?  I live on the time continuum that throws me back into the past where there is retreat and pain, then because I can’t live there with any kind of peace, I launch myself into the future where I am sure that I am not going to get what I want which creates a whole other kind of panicky scheming to occur.  And I wholly miss the present.  And I can see that my whole self created paradigm of living in the past and future, helps me escape a present I don’t know what to do with...

Truth be told the present is really ok.  It isn’t awful and it isn’t really fabulous either.  Which is why I escape it into the pain and anguish of the past or propel myself into the future where anything is possible and I get what I want.  And I can see that living this way has only brought me endless dissatisfaction and pain.  Repeatedly.

When I talked to my sponsor yesterday she said two things that I have been trying to engage since she said them...

  1. Stay here - this present moment.  Keep bringing yourself back to it.

  2. You have to get a bigger that is larger than you.

Fuck.  Fuckity Fuck Fuck!

I wish she would have said that I needed to amputate an appendage.  That would have been easier.  I don’t know how the fuck to do either of those things.  Mostly because I refuse to slow down and even try.

But I was in a sufficient amount of pain yesterday, tormented by obsessive thoughts that just circle the same proverbial drain, never being able to land squarely in any of the possibilities my head comes up I just spin around and around my own axle, miserably.  Again...still.  Fuck.

But I was in enough pain that I heard her.  I really listened.  Which is rare for me, because I think most of the time, I call her, report about whatever I have fucked up, or tell on someone who has done me wrong, and then I get some relief, don’t really listen to what she has to say, because I got what I wanted and needed...relief.  And then all the words she lobs at me from that point forward glance off me like cotton balls.  There is no impact.  There is no change.  And so we wait until I call again with the same stupid bullshit that I called for last week and the week before and last year and the year before.  Over and over again.  I mean, fuck, someone should give that woman a medal for tenacity.  And probably her husband too.  Because I am sure when she hangs up the phone and shakes her head, she likely rolls her eyes and then they both pray for my self riotous soul.  Thanks guys, really.  I need those fucking prayers.

So I am doing what she said.  I am pulling myself out of the past where I know things and can sort through it and make it comport with my current version of reality.  And I reclaim myself from that distant future where it all works out the way I want...and I do my best to just be here.  Walking the dogs.  Writing the stuff.  Cleaning.  Bathing.  Talking.  Working.  Just be where I am and do the things that are here to be done.  And stop all this time traveling I think I am so fucking good at.  Life does not happen in reverse or fast is happening right here and right now, and I have been fucking missing it.

Now this whole bigger God thing is something I pray comes out of my willingness to return to the present moment over and over again...because if that doesn’t do it, then I am fucked.  Because I don’t know how to get a bigger God.  I feel like I have given over everything, repeatedly but I know that isn’t true.  I have held back and onto a great number of things that I think I am way more qualified to handle than God.  And I am currently suffering under that particular brand and shade of hubris.

I don’t know how to do a great many things, and I actually want to do even less.  But I really do want out of this fucking self created and directed purgatory.  I really fucking do.  And I am sure, that all I have to do to get out is to give up the idea that I can do it by myself.  But I will also tell you that I most desperately want to get the fuck out of here all by myself.  I don’t want to need you or ask for help, or to tell you I am slowly going insane over here with all my thoughts and ideas and plans and schemes.  I want to do it by myself.  Again...still. Fuck.

I am not sure when or where I locked myself into this purgatory like living but I can tell you I am here now.  And this is my present, and I don’t like it and it is painful.  But it is also beautiful and rich with depth and meaning.  I fucking hate it but nevertheless, it is where I am. And this, all of this fucked up and broken downess is also who I am currently. It is messy.  I am messy.  But it is all real. And I don’t know if it changes or how it changes, I just know that my only real job in all of this is to be here, and be honest. And perhaps this larger God that I am willing to come to know can bring me the fucking key and get me out of this fucking hell I’ve created.


Thank you.

And perhaps, I will come to know a new surrender once more.

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