We all deal with various struggles throughout our lives.  To others, they may seem trivial or stupid.  “Why are you wasting your energy worrying about that?”  But to us, they are significant things we are dealing with.  You have your struggles, and I have mine.  Today, I will share some of my struggles with you all, the people of the interwebs in hopes of some clarity, or just….. something.  I don’t know.  I guess I should begin…..

I struggle with self image quite a bit.  I’m a pretty big guy to put it mildly, and if you’ve ever met me, you’d be inclined to say that, if only to be polite.  In all reality, I’m a fat bastard.  I’m big, but not in any good way.  I had to go to the doctor while home a while ago, and the number I saw on the scale was appalling.  I never in my life thought I was even capable of reaching that size.  The number I saw was an abstract concept up to that point.  So I made a decision to lose some weight, quite a bit in fact.  But the weight loss will not completely resolve my struggles with self image.  “How could anyone find me attractive?” “How could anyone possibly love me?” “I’m nothing, I’m insignificant, and if I were to vanish no one would weep.  I would not be missed.”  These thoughts are running through my head on constant loop.  I have no idea why, and to chalk them up to mistreatment from certain members of my family while I was younger feel like a cop out to me.  I struggle with that demon constantly, and for the most part, it’s winning.  I have no concept on positive perceptions on me.  They remain abstract.  I cannot see what anyone else would see in me that’s positive.  When I look inside myself, all I see are horrible flaws, sins I’ve committed, people I’ve hurt, and mistakes I’ve made.  I cannot see any good, and I know that’s a problem… yet another flaw.

My relationship with God is another struggle of mine.  My faith in God, my belief that God cares, or even exists at times isn’t always the best.  I have the constant image of all the suffering in the world, all the needless death and destructions.  The wholesale exploitation of entire peoples, racism, apartheid.  All justified through religion, condoned by religious people, executed by believers.  With that I struggle with the concept of God.  I understand the power of that concept to influence people to do all those bad things and more, but I also understand that faith in Gad can bring about a certain grace and strength to do things that are honestly good for all of mankind.  Unfortunately, the amount of people killed by religion and oppressed in its name heavily outweigh the amount of people that have been helped….. or has it.  Billions of people have been killed due to their religious beliefs.  Millions have been enslaved, subjugated, or otherwise exploited by people holding a Bible, Koran, or otherwise.  The oldest form of racism is embedded in the Hindu Chaste system.  Non-Muslims living in Muslim lands may be living under the constant threat of abuse, and are not look at as equals.  They are a lower class than even the poorest Muslim.  Christian nations wrought havoc on the new world as they raped and murdered their way across the continent, all while holding a Bible, and paying tribute to the Church which condoned this because of the profit it was reaping from it.  I so want to believe, but I grapple with the history of these many religions.  My relationship with God is complicated for those reasons.  I want to be close, and I want to believe, but I refuse to be organized and herded like cattle by evil people, so I maintain a distance from it.

One of my biggest struggles right now is my struggling with the loss of my mother.  It has thrown my mind into chaos.  I don’t know what I thought I knew anymore.  I can’t trust the words of others as sincere.  This emotional chaos compounds everything.  It’s a force multiplier of negativity.  Every doubt is that much more doubtful, every hurtful event is that much more hurtful, every pain is that much more intense.  You never know how someone will react to the loss of a loved one.  The death of a mother, father, spouse, child, brother, sister, ect…  can have a profound effect on those survivors.  I never expected my mourning to go this long, or be this deep.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but what I didn’t expect was to feel as lost as I do.  I didn’t expect to feel a pain this intense, for this long.  I didn’t expect to lose control.  This is by far my biggest struggle, and I’m constantly struggling with my ability to express it so I don’t go crazy.  I have people who listen, people who have lost as well who support me, but I struggle with even talking to them.  Not because they are bad people, but because I’m lost and don’t know what to do even when the answer is obvious.

Anyway, these are some of my struggles.  Like anyone else I do have some struggles that are deeply private and will never be published, but I’m willing to share the ones listed above.  Thank you for taking the time to read the words I’ve labored over.