Changing Yourself is Very Difficult

Generally speaking, it is very difficult to change yourself, especially as an adult. For me, it takes a daily commitment to challenge myself. Even then, it frequently proves taxing enough to demand that I take a rest day.

It is completely worth it. I have made so much progress it boggles the mind. Over the course of around 8 months, I have gotten my Driver’s license, destroyed my issues with avoiding vegetables, can now tell the difference between real hunger and emotional hunger, and can finally say I love myself. Instead of dreary self-loathing I now find myself enjoying moments of joy, reveling in being alive.

A majority of my issues stemmed from my preconceived notions. The biggest one being my adherence to Christianity. I respect everyone’s right to believe whatever the hell they want, but for me it was was a suffocating cell that made things so miserable I didn’t think life was worth living except for the chance that I’d win some kind of existential lottery and start feeling better. I kept crying out for god to make things better, dumbly and blindly grasping for hope. It never came. You know who did show up? Me. I made the choice to feel better.

A little history about me, when I was 12, my baby sister Lenah. She had HLHS, a heart condition that made one side of her heart much smaller than it should have been. She also had polysplenia, which is when you have multiple small, dysfunctional spleens, as well as general liver failure. Anyway, she was basically born with a death sentence.

I genuinely thought that god would very likely save her. After all, having read about the many miracles in the Bible, not to mention being raised to believe that many miracles still occurred even today. Of all who deserved god’s intervention, she was one of the most deserving. Who could be more deserving than a dying baby?

As you will have no doubt deduced, she did not survive.

She lived for 3 agonizing months surviving on an IV drip of sugar and morphine. No one deserves that. Have you ever seen a dead baby? It’s one of the saddest things imaginable. To have some distant elderly relative die evokes the same feelings as the loss when a cute bug dies in the void left by your own flesh and blood infant sibling lying there dead.

In many ways, it broke me. All pain paled in comparison to that loss. I remember that day with such lucidity. It lasted forever. It’s one of the few things that can make me cry when I think about it.

Coming back to the subject at hand, to say it shook my faith is an understatement. I tried to cling to my faith after this overwhelming evidence that my faith was misplaced. It didn’t really work. Sure, I lived the Christian life, not watching porn and that kind of stuff, in fact I was so committed to Christianity that I had never even seen porn until I was 19.

See, even now I accept that people may have had legitimate spiritual experiences. It changes nothing. If the Christian god is the kind of person to torture such an innocent person, he is not a god worth worshiping. Then I began to contemplate other situations written about in the bible and I realized that they all had the same ring. This was not a book about a loving god.

Tell me, if Zeus was real, would you worship him? That rapacious bastard could be god and I would still not worship him, even under penalty of him killing me or going to hell or whatever. No god like that deserves worship.

It took me a long time to get to this point, I kept excusing god’s transgressions against humanity as a lack of understanding on my part. I kept telling myself to ignore that voice in my head telling me that this was all wrong. That my parents had to be right about god, that society had to be right. It was a blinder that kept me crippled.

See, if you can excuse lying to yourself with something that big, you can lie to yourself about anything, justify any atrocity. It would then make sense that you could keeping telling yourself the lie that you are unworthy of love, of being accepted, of being properly respected, and of having clean and strong boundaries. Realizing that I must be true and consistent with every thought in my head, even under penalty of losing everything and everyone I love, is what freed me.

Even though I still struggle daily, I can feel the difference. Despite my mind’s atrophy at being shackled in that dank cell, I can feel myself getting stronger. This is real strength, for its pretense is based in reality, there is no dark for the flaws to hide in. While I have and will continue to make errors in judgement, I can question that judgement. I can fix my mistakes. I can be human, and not fear being human.


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