I have hardly ever been impressed or satisfied with who I am and what I am doing. My spiritual life is a perfect archetype of the structure of my self-esteem and how most of my life has been lived. For example, only a couple months ago did I finally go to confession for the first time in nine months, come back into the welcoming arms of the Church, and rebegin my spiritual journey – but I expected greater things than were happening to me, quicker and more immediate development, and for my own parish to look at me as an exemplar of Christian life as a result of my friendliness, my charity, and my involvement. Seeing that none of this was coming to fruition, I grew despondent, impatient, and even angry. Is it any surprise, then, that when an obstacle presented itself I should come tumbling down, more willingly than not, from my high-horse? This is how I have lived a majority of my adult life, pursuing an object with much devotion and fervency, but the moment I am contested and am faced with my weaknesses, I crumble – at which point I must reassemble myself and begin again someplace else or someplace familiar that I’ve not visited in months or years, having repressed the foul emotions and stagnation associated with my past personal defeats.
I’ve lived a sheltered life. I don’t have much experience in or with the world. My own little world has continually been one where I haven’t longed for food, water, clothes, or shelter. I’ve even always had the ability to enjoy plenty of luxuries ranging from a large soft bed to being able to buy what I want, even if that happens to be on credit. And despite feeling particularly self-righteous for being able to say “no” every once in a while to another new luxury item, I must contend that with all of the items I already own, some of those in true surplus, that saying “no” shouldn’t be especially difficult. It’s not as if I’m starving, diseased or in some other wretched or pitiful state being offered relief but refusing it for the same of my friend or, even worse, someone I thoroughly dislike.
Is it not obvious, then, based on all that I’ve said above why it is that I doubt in myself? Should anyone who disgusts themselves as much as I disgust myself find any reason to trust in something so antithetical to all that I wish to stand for and live as? I feel like a disgrace to humanity, as if I’m nothing more than a waste of biological material; I feel like a disgrace to civil society, contributing nothing but only seeking to remain employed so that I can buy all of those Bruce Springsteen albums I’ve been eyeing in the store; I feel like a disgrace to God and the Church for thinking (even though it is on the brink of sincerely believing) myself to be beyond grace, forgiveness, and redemption.