My world feels more like PISSibility than Possibility.

I am feeling so stuck these days that all I am ‘feeling’ is resentment and anger, which can be quite dangerous for this ragamuffin if left unchecked.  But awareness and honesty are two ways through it for me, and I am quite aware of it and I am ‘sharing’ it.

I have had two spiritual epiphanies, ones that may seem simplistic, but have begun to rip open my eyes and heart that changes must be made or my soul will continue to wither: one, I have realized I can no longer be the servant of another person’s dream for that equates to spiritual slavery; and two, I have unfortunately placed my financial security in the hands of someone other than me (someone who has not the right nor the acumen to be in such a position).

Both of these truths remind me that I am the only one who is responsible for my happiness and the integrity of my journey. I am not blaming anyone, nor spreading darkness. I am merely speaking my truth in order to regain the power I have: the power of choice in sobriety.

I must lean hard on God, even as I am in the midst of much doubt and struggling with my spiritual life and condition. I must allow God the freedom to poke, prod, prune and do a new thing, a completely new thing – within and without. I must once again, surrender my will and life over to the care of a wildly loving God (see Step 3 of the 12 Steps).

I am still in that ‘fear place’ I wrote about earlier. I am sinking in cynicism and despair. I am trying to make choices that will free me up, that will feed my soul, but I am not doing such a hot job. I am stuck in some freaking magical thinking vortex, still believing that God will pull some ‘Deus ex Machina’ and come rescue me like some fairy tale damsel in distress.

Now God can indeed do whatever God desires, like pull a Deus ex Machina, but for me to be married to some specific outcome is dangerous. It can leave me myopically stuck staring at the “one thing” I desire while the greater thing I need passes me by.

I am fond of saying there are no spiritual victims or villains in my world. I can no longer blame my alcoholic father or my mom for anything in my life; I can no longer blame society, or my brothers, or even my addictions for my state in this life. I alone am responsible for the choices I have made. God did not force them on me, nor did my family.

But oh how it would be nice for some miracles, some out of the ordinary experience, to come into my life out of left field. I still want that. But wanting it and obsessing about it are two different things: the former is human, the latter is deadly.

In truth, my life is surrounded by cracks of light in the shadows, miracles abound everywhere if I just re-orient my definition of one. I am blessed with another day where I wake up sober (and I have for years now). I have a cozy room with everything I need. I have a car that not only runs but is exactly the kind of car I have wanted for a while (a 2004 Isuzu Rodeo!). I have a dog that is healthy and I adore, who brings me joy simply by her very existence. I have friends who love me, sometimes in spite of myself, sometimes because of myself. I am free to speak my mind and heart in this blog and not be shot or hauled off to jail for violating speech laws.   I am blessed.

And this is why I write.

This writing alone has allowed me to go from bleakness in the beginning to a sense of gratitude by end. This piece was written over a span of three days, days that have been Autumnal in temperature and rainy from Hurricane Joaquin drenching us here in the Mid-Atlantic States. But even in the supposed dreariness of the day, I rejoice in the Creator’s care for the Earth and for me – we both need rain water to thrive. So even in the rain, I am left with a sense of shadowy gratitude.

As Brother Francis used to say to me decades ago, “an attitude of gratitude is what makes life full of miracles.”

So at this very moment, this divine now, I am grateful for the “pissibilities” turned into possibilities.


This Blog post is a repost from Red Letter Christians written by Lenora Rand.

Lenora’s blog, Spiritual Suckitude, is about figuring out how to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God, while working in corporate America and trying to get the laundry done. She is also co-founder of The Plural Guild. Check out her earthy, soulful writing and enjoy this short piece below.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 18:3)

Lenora writes:

“I used to have a sort of idealized Disney-version of kids in my head. Then I had some. And I noticed that in their natural state, before us adults manage to fully “civilize” them, kids are crazy with questions, needy and rambunctious, don’t easily take “No” for an answer, feel everything deeply, hate unfairness and aren’t ashamed to yell about it, and basically live every second of every day until they pass out in blessed exhaustion. And if we’re like them, Jesus says, that’s how we enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  That is actually heaven.”

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment.” 1 John 4:18 (CEB)

I feel like a broken record these days (you remember records don’t’ you?) – music playing and then it hits a little scratch and gets stuck, repeating the same sound at the point of stuckness over and over and over again; to the point of agitation. That is how I feel about fear these days; so much of my life is based on choices out of fear rather than love.

Fear acts like a drug in my world – altering my consciousness, distorting my perceptions, leaving me wanting for illusion that have never existed, except in the darker recesses of my mind.

I feel uncomfortable sharing about how fear rules and ruins my life for…fear of looking stupid. I want people to see me and lean on me as a spiritual director, a shepherd to the shepherdless.

But if I am so damn scared, how can people come to me for anything?

I also have a hard time sharing this reality of fear with other people of faith because the hobgoblins of religiosity come out: quoting Scripture; trite expressions something along the lines of “if only you had more faith…”, blah blah, blah.

But then it happens, this sort of awakening. No, fear does not miraculously disappear from my life, but what does happen quite quickly is that giving a shit about what other people think of me dissipates into thin air. I am called by God to be real and authentic, and if my realness is more velveteen rabbit and ragamuffin than saintly, then so be it. Screw the naysayers, hobgoblins and the pedantic screaming voices in my head telling me otherwise.

I am real. I am ‘entheos.’

And I am scared to death to take risk that involves stepping out in faith. I do not believe God will magically catch me if I take a leap of faith (as the old adage goes). I do not believe I will sprout wings if I leap. Truthfully, I have more faith that if I took a leap of faith most likely I would fall flat on my face…


But how to counter act this fear poison thingy that ruins my faith.

What would happen if fear dies? What would my world look like if I truly allowed God’s all consuming Perfect Love to sink into my being so deeply that I made choices from that space/place rather than from fear? What would my world look like if I realized in my deepest being that there is nothing, not one thing, I can do to gain more of or lose any of God’s love (no matter what I do or do not do)? What would it feel like to live my life with nothing to lose and nothing to prove because I dwelt in the infinite love of God?!?

That, well, that would be a world worth inhabiting.

I want to live my life as if I believe God is in my midst,
not as theory but as a Living Presence.

I hunger for God.

I pine for my life to be a living reflection of the God I believe in.

I want my life to be a fount of God’s love –
limitless, lavish and lushly poured out for all.

God is not to be out done in giving or benevolence.

God pines for us, waiting for us until we are ready to taste and see the
great goodness and truth that surrounds us – the truth that God indeed is in our midst.

Nothing is more practical
than finding God,
that is,
falling in love in a quite
absolute and finite way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination
will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed
in the morning,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you will spend your weekends,
what you read,
who you know,
what breaks your heart
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love.
Stay in love.
And it will decide everything.

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this [expression of love] everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

The most visible proof that Jesus is real and the ‘proof’ that I am – that we are – following Jesus is revealed by the answer to this one question: how we love one another.

It is not about how well I love the pretty, the well off, the ones just like me, or even how well I love the poor and wounded.

I believe the “calling card” for our faith is revealed by how well we love everyone.

The litmus test of my intimacy with God and the integrity of my friendship with God is shown to be abundant or lacking based on one proof: how well am I giving and receiving Divine Love. 

So, on this journey, I ask myself daily, “am I allowing God’s love to flow into me and through me out into the world?”

The answer to that Question is my spiritual litmus test.

I first saw God when I was a child, six years of age.
the cheeks of the sun were pale before Him,
and the earth acted as a shy
girl, like me.

Divine light entered my heart from His love
that did never fully wane,

though indeed, dear, I can understand how a person’s
faith can at time flicker,

for what is the mind to do
with something that becomes the mind’s ruin:
a God that consumes us
in His grace.

I have seen what you want;
it is there,

a Beloved of infinite

Praying is not only listening to but listening with.

The discipline of the heart makes us stand in the presence of God with all we have and are: our fears and anxieties, our guilt and shame, our sexual fantasies, our greed and anger, our joys, successes, aspirations and hopes, our reflections, dreams and mental wandering, and most of all our people, family, friends and enemies, in short all that makes us who we are….

We tend to present to God only those parts of ourselves with which we feel relatively comfortable and which we think will evoke a positive response. Thus our prayer becomes very selective and narrow. And not just our prayer but also our self-knowledge because by behaving as strangers before God we become strangers to ourselves.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing

Wallowing in shame, remorse, self-hatred and guilt over real or imagined failings in our past lives [portrays] a distrust in the love of God.

Preoccupation with our past sins, present weaknesses and character defects gets our emotions churning in self-destructive ways, closes us within the mighty citadel of self and preempts the presence of a compassionate God.

Author’s Note: I wrote this poem a few months after Sept. 11, 2001.  I have not seen a need to edit it, since we so often go back and edit history, I have felt content to let this Poem sit in its unedited rawness for 14 years. 

I have made it a ‘ritual’ to post it every year on Sept. 11.  Enjoy


The world is hemorrhaging…God has let the earth
Bleed                again.
The ground is soaked red with the cries and
Of many who have fallen,
Many who have flown.

Many are laden and weary,
Many have grown and stretched
Many have been planted deep in
The earth – our memories

Many are still

God has set the world spiraling on a
Beautiful Edge.              And I see the world spinning by
Out of my hands
Out of control
Out of kilter.

And out in the wilderness
To learn lessons of bittersweet confusion and love.

God has let us roam feral in our dark gardens,
Digging up the deepest places to find our home
Our truth, to learn that
Love is a beautiful chaos,
A spiritual homecoming
A poem in the making: logos at work.

It is now that we realize we merely scrape by
Along the edges
When we pray: children searching along
The fringes of our existence
To find words to bleed onto the
Pages of the flesh we still cling to
Trying to make sense, trying to make,                 just trying.

This ritual of poetic prayer is what the
Living do, a sort of bloodletting a sort of prayer.
Some days it is the only prayer that can be uttered these days.
Praying to be a letter opened.

The message: Live.

God has let the world bleed again
At the Borderlands so that we may
Find the words – the Word – to
Bleed truth on to the
Aging pages of our souls,
And live out our cries of anguish and joy to the Cosmos.

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The Earthy Monk by Niles Comer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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