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in the early days of covid, i decided to talk with god on my walk, because i hadn't, and maybe i could just speak with transparency instead of waiting until i found my spiritual footing again. so i did what they generally discourage and i made a bargain. maybe not really a bargain. more like a statement. maybe a demand. either way, it was something like, "i just need to do this and i think you understand why and please have patience with me and let me go down this path. i've already tried the "doing the same things over and over and expecting different results" and it isn't getting me anywhere, which you know. so, i can't rationalize, i can't prove that this is the right step, but it's something i have to do. just meet me on the other side."

how i tell that story has transformed throughout this past year and a half. call it deconstruction. call it the universal pattern of growth. call it the naive optimism before the descent into hell. whatever it was, it was a defining moment.

in the fall of 2020, i would remember this early prayer and i would say "oh, wow. i am an idiot." i envisioned god sitting like a father as i walked back to him, dejected, head hung in shame, though he was generously silent and only welcoming. i thought maybe he had agreed to my terms; let me learn the hard way. i thought the painful results of my decision were what i got for asking to do things my way.

intense fear and regret tell many indicting stories.

this path had lead to chaos, to pain, to confusion, immaturity, to impulsivity and bitterness and nihilism and destruction. and when the consequences caught up to me, my body resisted and i feverishly attempted, for a short time, to put it all back in the box. to stop asking questions. to turn back and retreat into humiliation and submission and distrust of self. to be content.

but this isn't how i tell the story today.

i soon found that no foundation miraculously materialized, as much as i tried to revert to my old self. my faith had been gutted, and pretending it hadn't was only so productive.

and so as life found balance, i began rethinking my capitulation to fear, rethinking my conclusion that i should quit seeking.

rethinking the assumption that this had been a failure at all.

or that deconstruction had been the end of the story.

part 1.

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