Friday, July 4, 2008


Sometimes I feel as if I'm built for a society that went in a different direction than where we are today. I thought that our society would value deep thinking, civility, conscientiousness, and so forth. Instead it seems as if I live in a world where everything is OK as long as we get our daily fix of celebrity gossip, fast food, and gas guzzling vehicles. Then I become even more frustrated because I participate in the damage by pointing fingers at all the behaviors of others that I don't like and eventually I begin to feel selfish and arrogant because I realize that I'm off course from my mission.

I also wonder why the world is a freaking oyster for the people who have no remorse about taking advantage of others, and pulling the wool over the eyes of the masses.. OK in fairness their are a few that get caught.

I hate it. I can't put blinders on and suckle up to the pump. Yet, I think if I did I might actually get some of the things that I want, but isn't me thinking that making me part of the sickness? I feel like a walking contradiction.

On top of all this I feel like I just can't keep up with all the junk mail, and little shit things you have to do to make/keep a home together. Does this life always seem like an uphill climb? Is it supposed to?


First, allow me to express gratitude for your clarity and cogency- what a powerful way to kick things off. I hear frustration in your words. I hear rage and fear and despondency. I honor those feelings and identify with them in ways I had, perhaps, not yet understood previous to the arrival of your question.

It seems that a reasonable place to begin is the question of where the true challenge lies? Are you struggling with the state of our world or are you struggling with the lens through which you choose to view it? My sense is that solution lies in the latter. It appears that the sense of dis-ease you are experiencing can be attributed to the twin thieves of expectation and judgment. Your expectation tells you that things should be other than they are, while your judgment adds that you should be dealing with it differently than you are. Dangerous word, should (its sister, shouldn't, also to be avoided.)

Perhaps the faulty construct is the idea that something is amiss. Is it possible that all is well? Is it possible that everything occurring within your life and within the world at this very moment is exactly as it ought to be? I'm not saying that it is... I'm simply asking if it is possible? Bear in mind, I do not know the answer. Not for you or for myself.

I, too, find myself disappointed, at times, with the state of our world. I often feel ensconced by consumerism, incivility and lack of scruples. Though, I realize that when I let go of expectation, there is no longer room for disappointment. This allows for greater efficiency in terms of energy outlay. Rather than pouring precious energy into perceived ills of the world (where I have little to no control), I find myself concentrating on who I want to be and who i want to associate myself with (where I possess great power).

I am then careful to intuit that how well I pull off the aforementioned, will vary day to day based on an unending array of factors, both internal and external. That is to say, I don't judge myself for drifting off course and wading in the mire of my powerlessness. This is humanity. Nothing, if not maddeningly imperfect. Remembering this, brings self-love and self-acceptance; losing site of it, brings self-hatred and self-condemnation.

All in all, Contrafiction, you are given the choice, every moment, to be a Judger or to be a Watcher:

The Judger says, "I point fingers... I am part of the problem... I am Selfish and Arrogant."
The Watcher says, "I point fingers... I wonder what leads me to do that?... is it easier to look at shortcomings of others than at my own pain?"

The Judger says, "Look how all the remorseless people have it better than me... it's not fair."
The Watcher says, "Interesting how, with little knowledge, I experience certain people as having easier lives than me... why do i compare my insides to other's outsides?

The Judger says, "I sometimes want to suckle at the pump to get what I want... I am part of the sickness... I am a walking contradiction."
The Watcher says, "I am sometimes tempted to put my wants before my ethics. Wow, it's remarkable how tempting 'the road most traveled can be.' No wonder humans have struggled with this question since Adam and Eve.

Finally, you might find that the energy expelled on that which you
cannot control, is intimately connected to your seeming inability to deal peacefully with what you can control (i.e. 'the little shit').

No, my friend, life is not designed to be an uphill climb... it's not designed to be anything. It will always be as easy or as challenging as our perspective will allow.

God bless you,


Fab said...


Beautiful question(s) & a beautiful response for your first post. So very much something we all struggle with from time to time, if we're willing to admit to our human-ness that is. Thanks for a couple of very memorable quotes-- twin theives of expectation & judgement--YES! So nicely said! Gets my ass in trouble most EVERY time...and the unwillingness at times to let it go! (ps: I find a direct connection in how good/bad I'm feeling about myself & how reasonable/unreasonable my expectations are.)
Wading in the mire of my powerlessness! A nice & succinct way of summing up that un-fun place again we ALL go.
Thanks, Mike, for the very inspirational thoughts. Can we be here without judgement & let the thoughts & feelings just wash over us? Uh, yes. With a little tolerance, patience, & love. Can I just say tolerance again?


Julieloo said...

Hey Michael- Are we in the recovery community doing others a disservice by not talking more about the aspect of a relationship with Christ/or another Higher power?
The elements of 12 step programs point towards a suurender to self and a reliance on a higher power.
How do we effectively talk to others that are lost, without offending an Anti-religious person- but still being real, and honest, and not compromising our faith.
I have realized that struggle of communication with the lost is worth the battle. If I can plant some seeds, and help lead someone toward the peace that I have found- - it is worth any amount of discomfort in my head.

What are your thoughts?