Over the past week, I have realized that logic and faith are not mutually exclusive. Beyond this, though, I have started to recognize that like God and the devil, good and evil, yin and yang, male and female, high and low, hot and cold, dark and light, right and wrong, etc… etc… Logic and hope do not simply occur concurrently in our world. As different as they are, as much as they oppose one another, the truth is that one cannot survive without the other.
So much has led me to this conclusion. Perhaps this isn’t a conclusion at all. It seems that with this realization, a journey has commenced. It is not a different journey, like changing lanes or starting new chapters. This epiphany leads me to believe that, though I have been breathing for almost 28 years, my life is just beginning now. Some Christians may refer to this experience as a baptism or being “born-again.” Buddhists see such a phenomenon as a rebirth or reincarnation. For me, it resembles being born for the very first time, because up until this moment, despite each breath, I was dead.
I will refer to my life before this moment as my “pre-journey.” It started roughly nine months prior to October of 1983, on a day that, despite my existence, I would like to pretend didn’t happen, mainly because the very thought totally grosses me out. Maybe that’s my first mistake.
When my mother went into labor on the day of my birth, I held tight and refused to budge. Not much has changed. Unfortunately for myself, armed with a degree, a scalpel, nurses, and drugs, a doctor took the liberty of cutting my mother open and ripping me from the dark warmth of being cradled in the womb, into this cold and savage world.
With that being said, I’m hoping you can sense my dissatisfaction with that agonizing moment being the beginning of my story. This moment began a long-standing belief that being brought from the darkness into the light, was actually a violent, and unfathomably painful experience.
My theory is that I had experienced a glimpse of this world before, and knew I wanted no part. I’ll let you interpret that in your own way, or as they say in AA, “take what you like and leave the rest.”
Through all of this, only two consistent beliefs have survived. The first being that I have something to offer this world. The second is that I am supposed to write.
My week-old epiphany is summed up like this: without hope, proceeding with life would lack logic.
I see no hard, scientific, statistical proof of purpose; and yet, without that, there is no valid reason for living.
I’ve always appreciated that logic worked like an infallible equation. Enter the variables, and watch the answer manifest. This is fairly ironic, considering I’m an emotional feminist who values the qualitative over the quantitive. Personal experience has always trumped science. At the same time, however, I’ve evolved to use logic to defend the subjective. In other words, I’ve manipulated mathematical perspectives to validate my experience of life. It is similar to a woman who emulates men, or black people assimilating to white culture, for the sake of succeeding. It is sad, sometimes, that this must be our approach to survival and success, and yet it is often the most effective technique. Maybe this is because changing the system would require a collective revolution, like the one recently witnessed in Egypt; while climbing to the top on our own requires that we rely solely on ourselves.
A lot of people believe that you can only rely on yourself.
My persisting dilemma has been that I simultaneously believed that I could rely only on myself, and that achieving positive change in this world would require some level of consensus and cooperation amongst people. These convictions led me to gigantic brick wall of hopelessness that read like so: trust no one, rely on everyone. How can you place faith in people you cannot trust? This lacks logic.
But I digress.
My life has been a pattern of blaring contradictions, like feminism and pornography, or the Westboro Baptist Church and their association to Christianity or freedom of speech. I mean, though I can understand the argument I’m left asking if these things honestly support each other at their core.
I’ve dabbled in religion, but found that it seriously compromised my faith. I’ve always believed in a loving, beautiful, non-judgmental God who manifests in all of us and in all living things. And yet, I’ve spent most of my life in a one-sided argument with a God who forsakes me; all the time believing that this bipolar divinity is one force, despite being in complete opposition with itself. It wasn’t until recently that I started to see that I was projecting. I created God in my image, so to speak. And this dude was a moody, vengeful, cruel, bully who demanded my love and devotion despite the absence of reciprocation. So, you can imagine my disgust with this hypocritical higher power who got off on pushing me around.
As far as I saw it, “God” was only useful for feverishly praying any time I found myself in a car with a drunk driver behind the wheel.
Over the past few months, I started experimenting with AA, after a few pathetically failed attempts at SA and NA. I’d never considered myself an alcoholic, but I did know that I wanted to stop drinking (or continue not drinking), and alcohol did have a record of interfering with my life. Within those membership requirements, I accepted the support I received there, and have since been battling with how I will approach the acceptance of a higher power and the admission that I am powerless over alcohol (or anything at all, really).
Yes, I am a control freak with a complete lack of control.
Overall, my journey has been dark, excruciating, and seemingly endless. It has also been enlightening, humorous, and entertaining. That, I cannot deny.
Over the past few weeks I have discovered that there is a purpose. I did so by asking myself, “what is it that holds you back from ending it all?” The answer was… hope.
Ironically, this had also been a large part of why I did want to end it all. I felt like I saw so much potential in people and in the world, but realized I would never experience the collective cooperation needed to enter into truth and joy. Hope crippled me. I had hope, a hope that was suffocated by the volumes of people in the world living in situations that were as, if not more, hopeless than my own. As much as I was disappointed, my hope remained. When it came down to it, I could let my hope wilt for the sake of survival, ultimately eliminating any reason to survive; or I could find a way to help perpetuate this stubborn flame, with the intention of warming and enlightening a cold, dark world.
I have to believe that there is a purpose to living, without that, survival is meaningless.
This blog is intended to chronicle my journey.
I assure you it won’t all be this intense. My life has a tendency to be unyieldingly hilarious.
Sooooo… sign the liability waiver. Strap yourselves securely in. Keep hands and feet inside the vehicle until we come to a complete stop. Enjoy the ride!
(I hope you like roller coasters.)