I’ve struggled with many things in my life, but most of my stress and struggles revolved around food, money, sex, and God.
Let me explain.
I Wasn’t Worthy
Since I was a little kid I’ve felt powerless in this world. I felt like everyone else was important and significant, and I was just an afterthought — a waste of space. In Catholic school, I was taught that I was just a fundamentally flawed creature, and I should be ashamed of even being born. The guilt and shame ran thick in my Catholic family and religious upbringing. Guilt and shame were used as tools of coercion, manipulation, control, and obedience.
The Search for Adequacy, Security, and Significance
From the moment I was born, I shrank myself to insecurity, inadequacy, and insignificance. I was just breathing everyone else’s air because I was just an inconvenience in God’s perfect universe.
I looked for comfort and love — security, adequacy, and significance — in food, money, and sex.
Overeating was normal for me. I put poison into my body regularly and consumed massive amounts of everything I could get my hands on. Food was comfort — feelings, not fuel. Whenever I would feel shame, guilt, anger, or fear I would eat and that was a pleasant distraction from the emotions and feelings I didn’t want to feel. This led to being a 300-pound alcoholic.
Money was a form of significance for me. It gave me an identity. I showed it off and made sure other people knew I had money and that I bought nice stuff. My wife Angie and I proudly displayed our wealth and materials on social media and rubbed other people’s noses in it. Money became my worth and value. This led to my identity increasing and diminishing with my income and wealth.
Sex was a pleasure I couldn’t find anywhere else. I was in control. I had power. For a brief period of time, I was dominant in the world and it felt good. I could forget all of my other worries and fears, and my controlling nature was accepted, not pushed away. My life was a non-stop chase for sexual pleasure. I became deceitful and manipulative in order to engage in sex.
The God I knew was a narcissistic, angry, needy, neurotic, torturous, vengeful, and wrathful judge, jury, and executioner who created imperfect beings then judged them for being imperfect. I was taught that somehow this vindictive God was really a God of love. That conflict was obvious when I was a child, but I was taught that our “loving” God of punishment and torment would crush us for even questioning the cognitive dissonance created in our imperfect minds by this obvious conflict.
The Tipping Point
These four struggles persisted in my life until age 43 when I realized that I was miserable and almost pulled the trigger to end my life. At that point, I knew that I knew nothing.
Since then I’ve learned that to look to food, money, and sex as sources of comfort, identity, and escape will bring you to your knees. To use these amazing and beneficial things as means of self-worth, value, numbing, or insulating from feeling causes pain and dis-ease in our lives. They all serve a purpose and can be beautiful, but misused and misunderstood, they will bring an equal amount of pain.
We are Divine
And I learned God is L.O.V.E. – Letting Others Voluntarily Evolve. God is nothing but pure love. The human mind desires justice, punishment, and vengeance so we project these qualities onto God. We try to make God in our imperfect image, not the other way around. We are all part of God, and God is part of us. God is the ocean, and we are a handful of that ocean. When our body and mind expire, our soul simply returns to the ocean that is God. We are divinity having a human experience. We are here to experience all that life is, not be judged for getting it wrong. God is pure love.
So as I connect with these new truths on a daily basis my life changes. My worldly success and my internal happiness increase. I feel more valuable just because I breathe. I feel secure knowing that I don’t have a life – I AM life. I feel adequate and significant because I AM divine.
And the most beautiful part of the entire experience is that I don’t need to do anything to deserve it all. My birthright of prosperity and eternal life is guaranteed.
There’s nothing I can legitimately judge about anyone else because everyone is equally divine and perfectly imperfect — just like me.