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we areHe told me that in his dream he yelled out, “I am my own!” And isn’t that a profound insistence? It seems a simple thing, to belong to oneself, but it’s so rare and difficult.

There are times when I feel words leave my mouth out of pure necessity, and I don’t process them until after. Last night, I felt a twinge from my absent faith. It’s been a while since I have divested myself of a Christian label, and I’ve been okay with that. Last night, however, I realized that I still have a little bit of resentment that I haven’t dealt with. My reaction to an off hand comment about innate justice in life, showed me that I have been glossing over things. I’ll admit I’ve felt entirely outside myself for over a month. Apparently things have been slipping in unnoticed and causing issues that I have not been cognizant of. Something about that particular situation made things bubble to the surface.

I’ve been emotional lately, losing myself in tearful movies and crying easily and for little to no reason. Though I have been unable (unwilling?) to pinpoint the origin of this imbalance, I can see what aggravates it. The idea that I should be punished for some kind of wrongdoing that causes neither privation, predation, nor pain incensed me. Lack of conscience scares me. The thought of some infinite source of unassailable justice that finds and directs us all angers me. It brings me back to those conversations that God has a purpose in everything, that our life is directed with meaning and intent by some outside force. It was bullshit then and it’s bullshit now. This is our world, our time, our actions and our consequences. Sometimes shitty people get away with murder and good people get caught stealing bread for the hungry. When they do, when either of them do, it’s our fault.

My lack of faith in Christianity doesn’t mean that I lack faith in a being that has set the world into motion. All around me I see the fingerprints of intelligent design and purpose. I can in no way make logical sense of the idea that out of chaos order has erupted. What I can accept is that we were given control of this earth, of our lives and we can fuck it up or not. I don’t know if there is anything beyond natural consequences. I don’t know if there will be a day when justice will prevail. I don’t know if there is a point. What I do know is that I am done with thinking that the evil suffer and the good prosper. There is little room to believe in black and white with such a wide swathe of gray. It’s on our shoulders to make judgement, create justice.

For every person that has lost someone, I assure you there is no rhyme or reason. You can learn from it, or not. You can let it make you bitter, or not. Your growth has nothing to do with their death. That was not the purpose. There was no purpose. Death is pointless, not meaningless. Purposeless, not insignificant.

It doesn’t matter if you do every single thing right in your life, you will still lose sometimes. No one is driving, but you. On your journey, you don’t control the elements, others, or your surroundings. You only control your actions and reactions to the rest. Though you are not an island affecting only yourself, you are your own. What do you do for yourself? What makes your little piece of the world appear ordered?

“Tiger got to hunt,
Bird got to fly,
Man got to sit and wonder,
Why? Why? Why?

Tiger got to rest,
Bird got to land,
Man got to tell himself
He understand.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

3 thoughts on “Self-dispossessed

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