I got angry the other day. As a matter of fact, I'm still angry. Now this is not the kind of angry you get when someone forgets to put the cap back on the toothpaste. No, this is the kind of irate you get where you want to do physical harm to another human being. Oh sure, someone is going to say to me, “You don't really mean that. " “You're not that kind of person. " But they would be wrong. I am exactly that kind of person and so are you. If we admit to ourselves in all honesty that we are human and that we are capable of any emotion and action, we have begun the true journey.
Several months ago during Monday evening In The Light service we did an outline of our bodies on butcher paper, I should say we outlined each other on butcher paper (for which I have not yet been forgiven) and we were told to write within the outline exactly the things that moved us in our lives. Now, I went along with the theme of the project and wrote all the nice sweet things that are really only a fraction of what moves or motivates me in my life. I wrote love and Jesus and music and joy and candy coated peace signs. It’s not that those things are not huge motivating factors in my life, they are, but what about the dark things in my heart that make me the carnal human that I am? What about the selfishness that motivates me more often than not? I wanted to speak out right that moment that I felt like a liar. These things aren’t the real me. At least they are not the total me. I wanted to scream out, “LAIR! Oh wretched man that I am! Who will save me from this body of death?" I wanted to cry out that I am not that person on the paper. I have an evil nature and I am at battle with it even now. The struggle is fierce and I am losing at the moment. I do and say things that shock even me. How could I want to hurt someone? And yet I wanted nothing more than just that for the past several days. I am capable of any behavior because I am sick. I have a disease that there is only one cure for it short of death. God. And even then the illness lives on and wages war with my spirit.
If you ever have the chance, pick up the “Little Red Book" by Anonymous. It's an AA book that is a little version of the Big Blue Book. If you read that and substitute the word human for alcoholic you will begin to understand the battle we are truly in. For those of us who know the steps and others who may not: Step one: We admitted we were powerless over our humanness and that our lives have become unmanageable. We are addicted to ourselves. We are hooked on our lives. We are our favorite drug. We are filled with anger and self-hatred that is really self absorption. We lie and cheat and steal to make ourselves feel better and yet we are sickened by us at the same time. I know it sounds morbid and that I have a cynical attitude about things. But hear me out. This is honesty. I know my faults, my humanity if you will. I work at making them right all the time and for the most part I do okay, but there is that part of me that remains hidden and eats at me when I get cut off in traffic. But then I understand that it is not by MY strength, but with God's. You see I know it is only with God that we are made right. It is only with God that we can be made right with those around us. It is only with God that we can ever hope to overcome our true selves.
Step two: We came to believe that a Power Greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Some of us have completely overcome our violent, angry, self-absorbed natures, but not me. I put on a good show for the masses. I keep my addiction hidden. I even really do love people, but how can I say I love God and speak badly about my brother? How can I say I love God and yet there are children dying at the rate of one every five seconds from hunger. I got an e-mail once that said, "I screamed at God when I saw all the children starving until I realized the starving children were God screaming at me. " I am selfish. I like my things. How do I stop liking my things enough to give them up so others won’t starve? It is insanity.
Step Three: We made a conscious decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him/Her. I am the rich young ruler. I am the notorious sinner. I am Judas. And as long as I know that these people live inside of me, with the help of God, I can fight them. It is when I refuse to admit that they are there that they can do the most damage. I realize now that only a ‘Power Greater than myself’ can help me and only through submission can I win the battles that plague me daily. Through my submission I can know victory!
For more information on In The Light visit Columbine Church For more information about AA visit Alcoholics Anonymous To contact me visit Kandis Glasgow