“Undamned” (Part One)

It is not the first time I have bitten my tongue, making my eyes water and the taste of blood well up in my mouth.

The sudden lack of coordination between my teeth and my tongue, resulting in painful damage, always makes me wonder at the two:  “Didn’t you guys learn anything the first hundred times you’ve done this?”

Damn it, that hurt.  It hurts even more, knowing that I’ve done it before and I seem unable to avoid doing it.  Yet, eat I must, and though I attempt to chew carefully, it will happen again.  Maybe not now, maybe not in a year from now, but it will happen.  Again.

It reeks of an Eternal Presence; one that constantly reminds me that I am nowhere close to being in control.  At the same time, it also reminds me to play a good game to the best of my ability.  I have not always done so, and have felt myself left out, pushed far afield from the accolades I have come to crave; the sense of family I have lost.  I have damned myself in doing so.

The subject here is about becoming one of the “Undamned.”

“The what?” you say.  “The Damned” is a term used for the lost, the soulless, the shadowy vampires lurking behind the sill of a window opening into a young girl’s room.  You can take your pick of evil images, or even flip over to tarnished heroes who steal your heart while stealing your jewels, yet who wind up sacrificing themselves for the greater good.

Those guys, the tarnished heroes.  Aren’t they a kick?  How many movies have been made about them?  Rude, crude, socially unacceptable and totally capable of accomplishing anything once they set their minds to it together.  Yet, by themselves, they are far from being anyone others want around.  While they are young, you will find them in bars, possibly in gangs together.  Perhaps they are police officers.  You get my drift.

The ones I describe swim in a world of pain, drugs and alcohol to relieve that pain, and a distinct inability to give a rat’s ass about much.  They also care far more deeply than anyone realizes, and would pull out their own beating hearts if it means saving the life of an innocent.  Yet they have trouble making the rent, or staying focused on finances, or keeping a family together.

I’m one.  Or, perhaps I like to think I am.  No, I am definitely one of them. How do I explain my personal losses in a way that would make you care, or teach you something you want to learn?  Frankly, I don’t give a damn whether you learn from this because you probably won’t, and are simply one of those people looking out their car window at the bleeding bodies of the family who died in a horrible car wreck.

Or, like me, you actually are one who will pull over, and get out to help the police and firemen in any possible way that you can.  Maybe you are even one of them.  Maybe you are none of these, and say to yourself “There’s plenty of people helping out, and besides, I driven past them already.”  Yeah, I’ve done that, too.  Then I find myself doubting, wondering if I had pulled over, could I have made a difference in somebody’s life?

With enough self-doubt, I start to condemn and berate myself.  I become irritable, and take out my lack of balls on the rest of the world, condemning and berating others for any reason.

Are you like me on this?  Have you ended up being one of the truly lost, the truly damned?  I am here to tell you that I am on the road to being “Undamned.”  (I am deliberately not hyphenating the word, because I believe it will become a proper noun in time.)

First, allow me to direct you to two important sources:  The Bible, and The Holographic Universe.

“Oh, God, here comes another religious nut!” you have just said to yourself.  Fine, whatever.  Did I come up to your house and knock on your door just now?  Did I ask you for money?  Did I hand you a nice drink of Kool-Aid from a dubious source?

However, if you truly feel like one of the damned, and you don’t think that asking forgiveness from God has worked for you before, or prevented you from doing something terrible, or preventing something terrible from happening to you, then stick around.  Because I found out something about God that not even an atheist can argue:  He isn’t a he or a she, and isn’t an anthropomorphic being sitting around on a heavenly throne.  (I will refer to God as a “He” because there is something distinctly male about a being that fertilizes the universe and causes things to grow.)

You just saw God today.  Your reflection in the mirror? God.  The look your dog gives you when you pet it? God.  All the good and the bad that has happened to you?  God.  Yep.  God gave us the Devil, so it comes down to God no matter how you slice it, right?  All the death and the suffering and those who enjoy it, all were begat by God.

So funny how us tiny little ants on a spinning speck of the galaxy came into this thing called “free will.”  What a terrible responsibility to put on little ape creatures who are busy consuming the planet and each other.  Talk about “damned.”  However, since we cannot change our size or our place in the universe this moment, perhaps our minds and souls would be at ease if we lightened up a bit?

And just how does one “lighten up”?  First, how about accepting responsibility for being born?  Yep, you wanted to be born.  Don’t tell me you didn’t, no matter how much you kicked and screamed and pissed yourself about it.  You wanted it.  You sat through my little diatribe about God a moment ago because you wanted to.  Whether you heard anything different or not is irrelevant, you wanted to read it, and read some more.

You wanted-and received-every ass-kicking, every slap, every scream, every tear that fell from your eyes.  You wanted to see the cruel, cruel world at work.  You wanted that first kiss, those romantic ideas, and that bone-crushing reality.  Hey, don’t feel bad, we all did.  We still do.

Trust me, I understand thoughts and actions now.  I’m realizing that there is very little, if any, difference between the two.  While a thought does not do anything externally, it certainly has an effect internally.  The saying “I am my own worst enemy” rings true when you fill your mind with hurt-remembered, real or imagined.

Mental masturbation is a killer.  Try and tell me I’m wrong.  It’s a great way to stay depressed, to keep feeling as worthless as you perceive yourself.  Stop it.  Give it up.  Let God have it back, right?  Say “Thanks, but no thanks, I’m done worrying.”  Of course, we adore being worried, don’t we?  Money, food, shelter, love-we worry that any absence of such states of possession will ruin us.  So, focus smaller.  If you have money, work on your health.  If you have love, work on your money.  If you have nothing, then you’re an idiot because everybody has something and you’re being too hard-headed to realize it.  Even the bag lady has something; in fact, she’s probably had her shopping cart ripped off more than once by someone who thought she had more than they did.

Stop the pity-party. Step off the crazy train.  Take your meds, but realize that while you might need them, what you really need to do is to calm your silly ass down and relax.  Allow the volume to be turned down in your head.  Until you start thinking clearly, you will never fix anything about your life.  Inner peace is imagining a stormy ocean that suddenly clears up.  The waves get smaller and smaller until they are happy ripples.  Dolphins frolic, flying fish fly, and even the sharks have a smile on their faces.  Damned if the sun wasn’t shining the whole time, but your storm was in the way.

I’ll post more on becoming “Undamned” later.  It’s time for me to watch a movie, or lie in bed and pet my dogs.  maybe practice a few chord changes on my path to learning guitar. So calm down, take a few deep breaths, stretch, and go for a walk.

I’ll talk with you soon.

Joel S. Copeland


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