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Monday, October 3, 2011

A Prison Of Our Own Creation

I couldn't help but think about the various ways we human beings can be incarcerated...locked up. Obviously you can get arrested and thrown in jail. Or commit a serious crime, be found guilty and do time.

On Monday nights I spend time over at the County Jail and I see incarcerated men and woman each time. Life isn't going well for any of them, that is a certainty. Each one of those individuals has their own story and many have multiple excuses for why life has handed them a "bad rap".

See deceit and dishonesty, especially when we are lying to a form of incarceration in and of itself. When we spin excuses and lies, we are building the walls of deceit that eventually strangle our freedom, cutting us off from others and ultimately from God. Liars isolate themselves from the's a way of creating our own false reality. Then we can believe what ever crazy crap we tell ourselves: "It wasn't my fault", "I'm not an alcoholic, I can control it" "Why should I apologize, he started it" and so on and on. And deceit is just one ways we imprison ourselves with our behavior... 

I believe from my experience that there are many ways we can be imprisoned...often without every stepping out of the comfort of our daily lives and routines. It could be booze or drugs, sex, food, gambling, greed, crime, porn and many other things...many obsessions eventually push us back into a corner and control us and we never even realize it. We are literally in a prison of our own creation.

I think the first thing we must do is be aware of what we are doing in our lives. We MUST be honest with ourselves...perhaps people that love us have been trying to tell us something and we have been ignoring them. You can alter your behavior and change the way you are living but ONLY if you are actually aware that there is an issue! I think it starts with awareness...

Honesty...we must stop lying to others and ourselves...generally we are the only ones who are fooled. I lied so much at one time that I had no credibility at all. 

Open-mindedness...if we are not open to the idea of change..well it isn't going to happen on it's own. We have to be open to the idea of change and make it happen.

Those are the ways we can break out of the prisons in which we confine ourselves. If we  buy into the lie, close our minds to the possibility of HOPE, the possibility of God...well you're as good as dead as far as I see it. I would have been dead...literally dead if I didn't change after my suicide attempt.

That is what it took to shake me out of the maximum security prison of lies and deceit I had built up over the years.It became very clear to me what the alternative was going to be if I didn't change and it wasn't pretty.

Only then did I surrender to the notion that I was powerless, that I needed help and could not make it on my own.I shudder to think about what might have happen if I didn't find recovery which in turn lead me to God and he saved me once and for all.

I know that isn't a popular way of looking at things but it is what happened. Let me assure you that I wanted the solution to my problems, my alcoholism/addiction, to finding peace after rape to be ANYTHING but God! ANYTHING!

But TRUTH is TRUTH, what else can I say and that is the only thing that saved me. I can't help it that it isn't cool or sounds kooky...I have a life today that is amazing. I tried every way possible and this way is the only one that continued working. 

So even I can't deny it any more...

(Painting by Winslow Homer)