My life is at a standstill, like a old western cowboy duel at high noon. I am on the dusty street; everyone is hiding, but peering out the windows to watch. I am dueling against myself; when I turn around to draw my weapon, I see myself in a mirror and hesitate to shoot. I cannot seem to get past the shame that has overtaken my life for over the last two decades of my life. In so many ways I have failed myself, my family, my friends, the world and God. My psychologist said, I'm measuring my life and its worth by my failures; he's right, I am because I hardly see or care about anything else. He asked me if I believe God had the power to heal me and redeem me. I said, yes. He asked me if I believed I was redeemable. I answered, no. And that in itself tells the whole story.
The second step in healing from shame or an addiction is to, "Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health." Now I know what the Atonement is, I know of Jesus Christ and that He is the Son of God and Savior to mankind. I know that I will be resurrected after this life, but I don't feel He can save me in this one. Can He redeem me? Yes. Will He? I highly doubt it.
People may see a kind, loving, friendly, giving and accomplished man in me, but all I really see is someone who has piled up so many poor choices whose consequences I may never be rid of, ever. I have hurt so many people in my lifetime, including myself. I have said horrible things, done terrible things and thought unforgivable things. What kind of hypocrite am I that wishes to change the world and serve others, but is, in so many ways, so selfish? I am not God; I do not see what He sees, but I know how I have lived my life; passing opportunities to change, to be better, to serve others and to be more like Him.
"O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins..."
2 Nephi 4:17-19
I am not Nephi, I do not have the courage to turn my life to God and to not only believe I can be changed, but to do anything about it. The third step in recovery is to move past simply believing that, "the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health," and moves into deciding, "to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ."
I cannot even trust myself. I can count on maybe one hand the people in my life that I can trust, without question; that I feel know me, love me and are close to me. Maybe I am exaggerating, but it feels like the circle is that small. I feel I have lived a life in constant abandonment. People have failed me throughout my life, whether they know it or not and whether it was intentional or not. Sometimes they haven't really failed me, but it just feels as if they have; I admit I am more sensitive than others.
So after all this ranting, what am I to do? I am not doing well at work, I am falling behind in school, my spiritual life is lacking and I have become socially inept. I am anchored down by my fear, guilt, shame and sadness. I have worn a mask to hide who I really am for so long that I am not sure if my face could handle the light if I took it off. I live in darkness and it has become a seemingly safe place for me, but I am starving, cold, feeble and alone. How could God see me for anything more than a black splatter on a clean, white canvas? How do I have hope when I feel hopeless? How do I trust when I live in fear and anxiety? How do I move from just believing in Christ to actually believing Him; trusting He can do all that He has promised to do?
"...Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."