The Battle Rages

battle-in-my-head

the battle rages

the lies and the truth

they compete for dominance

in my heart and in my head

you can’t do anything right

you will never amount to anything

slowly morphed over time

into something much worse

you’re a real asshole

a fuck-up

a worthless piece of shit

now the struggle

to replace the lies

is taking place

every hour of every day

the Truth

I am Loved

I am Accepted

I am a Child of God

I am Redeemed

I am Forgiven

I am Clean

how long will it take

for the Truth to sink in

to both my heart

and my head?

how long before I feel worthy

of His Love?

Writers Note:  Falling Forward Sexual Addiction Recovery week Two, I am learning that my recovery is dependent on my relationship with God, the closer I draw to Him the better the chance for freedom from addiction, from feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness, from the lies that filled my life and led me to self-medicating with porn. I look forward to learning what it means to find true intimacy with M with the full knowledge that our relationship is in need of healing and that it may take quite awhile to rebuild the trust. I so look forward to learning what it truly feels like to Love and be Loved.  I can vividly remember that year in Scotland when I first bought the lie, crying myself to sleep every night begging someone to please love me, and then my father died. I was ripe pickings for the enemy. But God is Good! I may have been slow to respond, but He was there with me all along!

What brews In You?

french-press

This morning while I was going through my french press coffee making routine and reading a devotional that pops up everyday in my email one line really struck me.  The writer was quoting a friend who posted a statement on Facebook.   “We do what we do and feel how we feel because we think what we think.” Oh , Wow, yes! and then Captain Obvious saw the connection but more on that in a minute.

I love my French Press coffee-making routine. When I first purchased it at Ikea I really had no idea what I was doing so I went directly to that fount of knowledge, YouTube. I did not know there were as many ways to make french press coffee as there were styles of men’s shoes.  And apparently I still needed a digital scale, thermometer and an electric teapot.  Who knew?  Measuring coffee by the gram to ounces of water?  Allowing the boiling water to stop boiling for a specific length of time so the water temperature is exactly 205 degrees before the first steep of exactly one minute. Really?  Man, we can really take things to the extreme.  Well I am thankful, today anyway, that I don’t have that electric teapot. My water was boiling the old-fashioned way, slowly, in a teapot on the stove, and it was during this time that I was reading the devotional.

It was an Aha moment for me! I do what I do and think what I think because of what I allow to brew and steep in my own mind. Oh God! I’m a French Press! Why couldn’t I be a Chinese press or any asian press.  A smart press please!  Ok, all kidding and stereotypes aside, this really is serious stuff. Looking back now I can see how my porn and masturbation addiction is a result of my thought processes, my thinking patterns that developed after a traumatic event that occurred when I was a young teen, at a critical developmental stage in my life.  When my father died I felt lost, abandoned even. Seems silly now, I mean, abandoned? He had a massive coronary, smoking three packs of Pall Mall a day for years will do that to you.  But in my fourteen year old mind that is exactly how I felt.  It didn’t help that we had a love/hate/fear relationship.  I worshipped him but he had anger issues that came out in verbal, emotional and physically abusive ways so I was afraid of him. Sometimes I thought I hated him but mostly I just wanted him to love me. Even so, I was afraid. Tears are welling up in my eyes as I type this, after all these years it still affects me this way.

Years later after I became a Christian and gave my life to Christ or thought I did, I came to realize that I had a serious trust issue.  How could I trust my heavenly father when I felt abandoned by my earthly father.  Having never had a healthy relationship with my father I really didn’t know how to relate to my Heavenly father.  The pain was unbearable.   Suicidal thoughts filled my mind for years, decades even. To medicate my pain I turned to porn and masturbation, it worked for a while but like any addiction, food, drugs, emotions, whatever, it soon became my master and my life spun out of control.

So here I am today some forty-eight year after the death of my father staring at my coffee cup wondering what do I think on now? What do I allow to brew and steep in my mind to change what I do, how I relate, how do I learn to trust my heavenly Father and others, my wife, my friends. I already know the answer. You know I do.  It’s time to sweep out the old and bring in the new.

Ephesians 4;22-24    22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Years ago I bought a lie, it nearly took my life and for decades I allowed it to maintain control.  Those days are over. From today and this day forward I choose to brew in my mind and steep in that which will bring me Life.

Blessings to You, Barney

Great Big Picture Window

picture-window

 

I don’t know why this analogy stays stuck in my head but it does.  It has been milling about for three or four days now. And this post is not poetry so it’s all quite new to me and, I must admit, a little bit intimidating as I don’t consider myself a writer.  Whew, that was a mouthful, see I told ya.

To this point in my blogging career I feel as though I have only provided little glimpses into this heart and mind of mine.  Like looking through a porthole when you are unable to move your head left of right to gain a wider view. I believe it is only natural to hold back when you are opening yourself up to folks, especially for the first time.  It’s a form of protection, in case we aren’t received favorably and want to avoid humiliation.

So, about the picture window.  I remember growing up, for the first eight years of my life we lived in base housing, mostly, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Small, very plain, but functional housing and then we got transferred to Austin, Texas.  My father was a Navy Yoeman and as such he managed the personnel office of the ROTC unit at the University Of Texas.  (Go Longhorns!)  But, in Austin, there was no navy housing.  We were going to live on the economy and my folks had to find us our own place.  Well, two places actually, 7518 and 7520 Delafield lane. That’s right, at some point we made the move right next door.  The second place had a recreation room big enough for a pool table and I soon fancied myself as Minnesota Fats. Well anyway, this was suburbia, bigger houses, garages instead of carports and yes, picture windows. Big windows.  I remember thinking we can really see into the whole living room and of course the corollary, they can really see into our whole living room.

Drapes were a necessity of course, except at Christmas.  That’s when we wanted to show off our silver aluminum Christmas Tree.  With the spinning color wheel light  and it’s red, yellow, green and blue gels.  It looked rather stunning from the street.  The silver tree taking on the different colors as the gels slowly rotated over the light.  Those were good times, happy times. Except for the day Kennedy died.  I remember it well.  He was supposed to be in Austin the very next day.

Now today I think of the picture window differently.  It is daunting, even frightening.  As I start this program for sexual addiction recovery I feel as though I am being asked to pull the drapes, shoot, remove the drapes entirely from this great big picture window into my heart and soul. Not only that, through this process of weekly confession, acceptance and forgiveness, it feels like a searchlight is on the outside of my window shining in, brightly, very brightly.  It is at once humbling, humiliating, and liberating. I know I must, with God’s help, sweep all this crap out of my living room once and for all before I can replace the furniture and redecorate with the Love, Peace and Joy that I so desperately want.  I want to thank everyone for all of your encouragement and support.  When I started this blog just a few short months ago I never in a million years thought I would find this kind of support and meet so many that I am happy to call friend.  My only regret is that I am unable to sit down with each of you over a cup of joe and share our hearts.

I want to leave you with the scripture that inspired the name for the blog and continues to inspire and encourage me every time I read it.  Taken from the Living Bible, Psalms 40:1-3

40 I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him.

Blessings, Barney

Turmoil

white mask

 

hard to let go

this habit of mine

afraid of

not being afraid

feeling shame for being unable

to not be ashamed

it has become such a part of me

i don’t know how to let go

i hear what others say

what scripture says

and yet

it would be

like losing an arm

or a leg

i know this sounds crazy

i am crazy

i can’t remember a time

i ever felt right

always awkward

never fit in

alone in a crowd

all those clichés

that’s me

the weird one

eccentric

strange

marching to a different drummer

my appearance to others on the outside

never quite matches what I feel inside

a mask for others

to hide the doubt and confusion

always wondering

where is home

where do i fit in

will i ever fit in

or am i destined

to always be alone

even in my marriage

will she ever really know me?

accept me?

love me?

or even want to ?

i crave her physical affection

yet i am not at all sure

that will ever happen

so try as i might

to lay down my guilt and shame

it is hard

to do so means

I have to learn to love myself

and that is harder still

Writers Note:  After writing this I feel as if I vomited.  It feels good to get it out, something I’ve held inside for so long but had to say.  Time to face it.  And now I cower over the keyboard hesitating to push the publish button.

Grateful

praying-prayer-manpraying-man-prayingoutside-sunrise-1200w-tn

Grateful

With tears in my eyes

I ponder

all the recent changes in my life

New found friends

A reservoir of encouragement

An openness

and vulnerability

I’ve never known before

A new outlet

for expression

My poetry

a path to freedom

a new support system

a community of Believers

My God who forgives me

His Mercy

It’s new everyday

His Grace

No end to it’s abundance

For all of these

I am grateful

And my heart is lighter

God is Good!

Shame

shame-002

Shame

my shame

it surrounds me

it goes before me

it touches everything I do

my every thought

my every intention

like an anchor

it holds me back

from the freedom I seek

the lightness of being I want

it’s heaviness

drags me down

back into the bog

the mud, the mire

i see it in her eyes

hear it in her voice

my broken heart

breaks yet again

with the knowledge

of what I have done

the shame

the suffering

the pain i inflicted on her

all in an attempt

to deal with my own pain

and now

it’s time to lose

this monstrous weight

this albatross

this millstone

to open up

to be vulnerable

to allow His light

to illuminate

my darkest

deepest recesses

to find healing

to let go

to let the past

be the past

and not control my future

i need His strength

i need courage

to take this step

and continue forward.

Writer’s Note:  I have taken a big scary step and started a recovery program for sexual addiction. To say I am nervous would be an understatement.  The level of openness and vulnerability that is being asked of me is frightening and yet I want to thank everyone here who has supported me in my attempt at poetry.  Opening up here was a start and has in many ways prepared me for this next step.  I can now see how my shame has held me back in every area of my life but most importantly in my relationship to God and to my wife. The two most important to me. So thank you, thank you for the likes, the comments and encouragement but most importantly for your Love and your Prayers.   Barney 

Image courtesy of Google Images.

Fragile

glass-heart

 

FRAGILE
it’s so hard
for a fragile heart
a single word can sting so much
when all it wants is acceptance
acknowledgment
of it’s existence
i want her
to want me
i need her
to need me
is it too much
to ask
to say, “thank you.”
two simple words
that convey so much
acknowledgment
and respect

 

Joy and Glee

little girl in the rain

Joy and Glee

i sit here on the porch

watching the rain fall in the court

the sun has yet to rise

and it’s actually cold outside

the undulating wind

drives the rain sideways

the mist coats my face

i’m shivering

in my boxers and t-shirt

thinking about hope and faith

how is it i can cling so hard

to something i have so little of?

how do i get by?

the rain

i hear it rushing through the downspout

and i imagine a child

jumping in the puddles

face to the sky

drinking from the downspout

laughing, grinning

heart filled with joy and glee

why is it so difficult for me

to drink of God’s Love

to truly accept

that He loves me

accepts me

forgives me

the timer goes off

i drink deeply of the chai

its’ warmth

permeates my body

almost stops the shivering

i gaze out from the porch

now I can really see the sheets of rain

flying across the court

as the darkness gives way

to a lighter shade of gloom

I don’t know what this day will bring

but i will continue to cling

to my hope and faith

remembering

a child’s heart

full of Joy and Glee

Scary

warrior I can do all things

 

Scary

scary

this move I’m about to make

more fearful still

because I’ve made it before

and failed

opening myself up

removing the veil

exposing the truth

for others to see

even me

i want to weave the veil

into an impenetrable canvas

through which no eye can see

even my own

afraid to fail

again

yet

i know

deep inside

where i’m vulnerable

to really heal

i must rip the veil from the mirror

and really look at myself

as God sees me

Tears form

at the corners of my eyes

the chicken wants control

to run and to hide

and yet, still

i know i must

face my demons and slay them

no more

living in fantasy

time for reality

so tiring, this

my mind

caught in a vortex of emotion

will i quit

will i run and hide

will i stand like a man

and fight for my heart

fight for my soul

Dear God

if ever i need your strength

I need you now!

Writers Note:  Another sleepless night. The weather outside is dreadful, a reflection of my soul.  I am about to enter a sexual addiction recovery program and I am completely unsettled.  It happened so fast. One day I see a posting on the internet.  The next day, application in hand, an interview. Time for confession, God I need help. And then I get word, Its delayed, only a few have signed up. First I feel relief, then terror, if it goes it may be a very small group, I won’t be able to hide. I need a miracle, if you believe in God, if you believe in miracles, pray for me, please! My hearts desire is to get my heart right, to get it right with God and to get it right with my wife, still with me after all these years, now that is a miracle! I dream of the day when she chooses, willing, to wrap me up in her arms.