So far so good. But how to apply it to anything else? I was contemplating that last night, as I fought my typical cravings. I need to know if it can be likened. My distinctions between passions. First I was trying to decide if eating (for one) could fall under the category of a passion. It’s more of a craving, right? Is that connectable? People say they have a passion for good food or for fine wine. Maybe a passionate wine collector. Or a passionate foodie. I don’t think I’m that type. But I do think it’s possible that my passion for beautiful music is somewhere in the realm of my food craving and food fantasizing.
So the thought is that I can differentiate between the different food cravings. The salty snack craving, the sweet snack craving, the gluttonous overeating craving, even the well-balanced, healthy eating craving – assuming I have one of those. So perhaps the idea is for me to be keyed in to each kind of craving, and not to mix them up into a conglomerate need for food. Each kind is distinct, so my higher faculties will be in a position to allocate my desires for them appropriately.
Things that make me feel that feeling:
Cody in his cuteness and wisdom
Reading something spiritual
Being in on the joke
The problem is, what if I think I understand this or that religious tome, but in reality I’ve misinterpreted it. That’s the other alternative besides just pure disbelief. That it’s too dangerous to risk interpretation in the first place. Everyone thinks they’ve got it right. See what Dave says? People are more than happy to create or buy into Biblical interpretations without even reading it. It seems to me that you need to skirt the fine line between reading it as fiction and historical account. That that makes for the best interpretation. But that is just my take on it. Someone else would say you have to read it literally.
The problem is that seemingly subtle, casual distinctions in interpretation seem to lead to murder or war. We seem to have an irrepressible drive to search for deep, life or death meaning in things like this. There’s nothing that I might say that would relieve that. People have developed their belief systems from whatever resources they’ve encountered in the course of their lives. They only change slowly and with difficulty.
I don’t know if it’s good or bad to be sad. Jeff Foster says it’s neither. You shouldn’t judge. Maybe you can incorporate the sadness, not eradicate it, not fight it. Are happier people the ones who do that? I never considered that. I always thought the happy people were less wired toward feeling sad. Maybe that’s wrong.
Is writing like this incorporating sadness? Is reading the Bible incorporating sadness? Are these things that touch me in some deep way tapping into a fuller spectrum of emotions than the everyday activities that I laden my life with? Why didn’t my shrinks ever posit that? Is it because they figured that being a cellist was already supposed to fulfill any desires and complete any gaps in my soul? Or is it that the shrinks I found didn’t believe in butting into my natural existence too much? They just wanted to allow me to uncover my own truths. So here I am, years later, making some growth spurts finally. Better late than never.
The problem with learning is that it is slow. But I feel a tug after death after death of famous people I admired and affected me. Death is a teacher, as well. Carrie Fisher’s death has certainly opened my eyes, having read about her life. I never knew. In reality, I don’t want to put myself in an early grave. I’d like to do whatever is within my power to prolong my existence here. The thing that is somewhat news to me is that I can enjoy being alive, possibly even moreso, without engaging in life-shortening activities. If I know that my only choice isn’t self-medicating my pain and sadness, then I think there is hope.
The trouble with change is tracking it. It seems humans aren’t innately designed to understand their own growth. It’s much easier to see changes occurring outside of yourself than changes inside. Is it because we imperceptibly change as a natural consequence of aging, and it’s nearly impossible to distinguish those changes from ones we are attempting to implement by force of will? Maybe that’s why a God figure helps. Anything that we experience as brought on by a God feels more organic because its arbiter is silent. It’s not our mind, it’s not a book, it’s not another flesh and blood person. It’s something we envision as real, so it has weight, but it’s completely invisible. Therefore our powerful inner need for stability and homeostasis in our lives is not alerted to any changes which may be occurring as a result of this prayer-based relationship. So that’s good. You can indeed use a God to make more permanent changes in your life, hopefully for the good.
But I still get frustrated that I can’t viscerally monitor the changes. Another reason for this is that real change occurs quite gradually. Our awareness is only tapped into wild swings that occur nearly instantaneously. Those swings, that do happen rather frequently, are not the kind of changes that I am striving for in my life. For one thing, they usually come from random sources that aren’t connected to my goals. Also I’m probably exerting most of my energy recovering from them rather than internalizing whatever wisdom may be gleaned from them.
Fits and starts. All or nothing. And when I say nothing, I mean, nothing. I probably mean the all part too. All or nothing. Do I have any choice in the matter? Will I forever be trapped, imprisoned, in this manner of existence? How many years left do I have to try to make some headway in another direction? I’m 44. I’m 44. If I live to 94, that would be a miracle. Largely due to this problem of which I speak/write. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, I live to 94. That is indeed 50 years. Is that really a long time? Hmmm? Let’s be honest. Not really. Unless I do something with them. Those years. One year passes. It passes. I can mark it in a variety of ways. The passing of Cody’s birthdays, the passing of my birthdays, the passing of calendar years, the passing of orchestra seasons. Anniversaries. Summer festivals recurring. All these things mark a year. How do I gauge my imprint over the course of that year? How do I gauge my progress, my growth, my accomplishments? This is one of the ways. By working on myself. I can see and sense if I have come any closer to being able to reach a higher level of myself. Of being.
Does this qualify as fourth step work? I feel, yes. I think honesty seems to lie at the heart of the program. This is how I express my honest self.
Is it silly that I never considered myself an adrenaline junkie? I should consider myself some kind of junkie. I have developed a personality that craves that zippy brain. Or that has become so used to it that it has no idea how to function in its absence.
I am obsessive. But I never thought I was. You can rationalize almost anything. It’s only human. I love what Jeff Goldblum’s character says about rationalization in The Big Chill. Rationalization is unavoidable. But knowing the difference between it and deeper truths is key to living in truth.
I am tired of denying. Of rationalizing. But I am so used to being tired. I know it sounds like I’m repeating myself. But for me it’s not. I am wrapping my brain around something which is challenging for me. I must wrap from many sides and with many layers in order to actually get a good grasp on it.
I was going to write about the day I had at the County Fair, a day of getting more and more obsessed with food and less and less in touch with any other more spiritual, grounded parts of myself. I was going to write that at least I had a strong awareness of this obsession. I saw it for what it was. A thing unto itself. Unconnected to hunger or any need for sustenance. It’s very complicated. And then I’m so proud of myself for having a flatter stomach. It turns out I am idolatrizing. I am missing the potential I have to be a spiritual, beautiful human being. I am idolizing something very superficial, eh? Thinness. Where will that get me? Nowhere. Fast.
(next morning) I have a weird relationship with adrenaline. Weird things happen when I get it in my system. Equally weird things happen when I don’t. Should my life revolve around it? It appears to have been the primary factor causing my imbalance last night after the fair. I got the rush, but I didn’t binge? Which way is up? How do I come to terms with that turn of events? At least I seem to be figuring it out now. I am just loving this learning curve relating to OA.
It’s part and parcel of being a guy. My character defects are interwoven inside my gender traits.
Wanting to eat compulsively, eat overabundantly, eat emotionally is wrapped up in my gender. Eating doesn’t directly cause character defects nor directly cause harm to others. But it’s intertwined inside of them. It’s also interwoven inside my character strengths. Everything good about me has become linked to food, just like everything bad. My taciturn nature. My moodiness. My brooding. My incommunicativeness.
These things are also wrapped up in my manhood. I feel I am simply behaving like a man. However I am behaving like an ass. Manhood can cut both ways. Good and bad.
Even this trying to cut to the heart of the matter, not bottling, is tricky. It can so often backfire if I am not keeping my eyes on the prize. Salvation. Self-knowledge. If I only go half way, it can be a catalyst to a slip. If I rest on my laurels, if I am at all self satisfied or self obsessed, I am cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
Scott and I used to use that expression. Good ol’ Scott. I wonder where my defects of character bled into our friendship. I can think of one instance where I was probably in a particularly brooding state of mind, and he called it out. But there are others where my particular personality quirks gave us that wonderful rapport that was the key to a close friendship. That’s what I’m talking about. My obsession with food is a symptom of who I am, the good and the bad. If I wasn’t a glutton, Scott wouldn’t have had the opportunity to cook me somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 egg in a baskets on some Saturday mornings. It was a springboard for certain fun times. It didn’t directly cause me to act like a jerk, like alcohol apparently does. But it got fused with whatever maladjustments I have been prone to over my life. Of course in my first family food was intimately interwoven into our traditions and daily lives. So whatever bad personal qualities I absorbed within that environment, have been addressed in a certain way by my relationship with food.
Food is unfortunately an odd but common replacement for human connection. Perhaps some character defects spring from this replacement. Anti socialness. Distraction. Detachment. Uncommunicativeness. Fuzzy thinking. When you put food above people, you obviously are less social. When you’re always thinking about food, you can’t focus on other things and your mind gets lazy. When your diet is so unhealthy, it affects your brain and brain functioning. I am finding myself getting very sleepy lately as a result of not overeating. I think it’s both physical and emotional. Physical because of not having the constant oral stimulation as well as the substance flooding through my bloodstream. Emotional because I used to be trying to be high on food all the time, and now that’s been removed from my daily routine.
I’m jumping. But it’s a secret. I mentioned that clutter around is clutter within. I meditated on clutter. I must meditate to understand. Meditation is medicinal. I do everything meditatively except meditation. Ha.
It’s no joke. Laughing all the way to the casket. I’m not ready to lift up. I’m not prepared to lighten. Fickle flinching filers failing philosophy futilely.
I filed, almost. I flitted. I dreamed of filing. That was my meditation. I did all but file. I redistributed.