“Let go, let God.”
“God will provide.”
“God will do for you what you cannot do for yourself.”
“God will not give you more (temptation) than you can handle.”
“It’s a dog eat dog world.”
“Try, try again.”
“Take care of number one.”
I have the strongest grip strength in the world. I have spent 4 decades holding on to whatever my dream was at the moment with the tenacity of a pitbull or Gila monster. I thought that was the measure of a man. Did he persevere? Did he succeed? Did he get what he wanted? In my magnificent magnifying mind, I deserved the best. I had a champagne appetite and a beer budget. When I felt like I had failed, and when I felt I had succeeded, I celebrated. I was fighting my way to the top of the ladder. Isnt that what a man was supposed to do?
Its a long fall when you stand on the shoulders of giants. The ladder was tenuous. It wasn’t made of real material. It was a figment. It demanded energy to keep the illusion alive. It demanded to be believed. I came to question the ladder. I was undergoing a complete psychic change, and looked at my feet on the semi transparent ladder rung. I stared at my hands grabbing on to an American dream that I didn’t believe in. I searched for meaning in my existence. I wanted to share the journey with my loved one, but I couldn’t explain it and she couldn’t understand it. The ladder vanished. I fell. Like the giant in Jack in the Beanstalk, I fell. Like the imagination of the guy in Vertigo, I fell. Like Lucifer from Grace, I fell. Unlike Silly Putty, I didn’t bounce.
In some of the movies, the hero grabs a branch as they fall through trees. In the Simpson movie, Bart hooks a branch with a slingshot. James Bond had “Q” to provide a gadget for just such an occasion. I just fell. I tried to grab branches, but ricocheted off of them like a pinball. I tried the slingshot, hoping to regain my former false glory, it was a cartoon and not real. My “Q” had left the job after 20 years of mediocre effort.
When I hit, and didn’t bounce, I had a some time to consider myself and my affairs. I had nothing left and nothing to do, so it seemed like a good time to take an inventory. A friend of mine has said, “I wish you pain and desperation and no better plan.” Well, his wish came true. I would like to pretend that I decided right there and then to let go of my death grip. I would like to tell you that I now wear a robe and sandles and speak the truth on street corners. I cant tell you that. I decided that I would need to rebuild. I put on a happy face and got to work. I tried everything. I applied for a multitude of jobs. I spent money I didn’t have. I clawed my way into any situation that furthered my cause. I tried and tried again. It is what a man does, right?
In truth, things got a little better. I was more accepting of where I was and when things didn’t go in my favor. I let go of some control because I saw that I didn’t have any. I got better at the serenity prayer and the acceptance of things as they were. I hit a crossroads. I had a choice. Accept a surrender and let God rebuild my house, or try and win and do it myself. I surrendered. I cried and cried again. I spoke to God and said that He could have me. I relinquished my illusion of control. Within 2 weeks, I had a new potential career, a new job, and was getting ready to move to a new state. A few weeks later, I had an opportunity to get my medical license in Idaho and the job I had applied for 18 months prior was still available. It has been like riding a roller coaster without a track. I am terrified and try to grab hold on the safety straps over and over again. I close my eyes, I grit my teeth. I forget to laugh and to enjoy the ride. I forget to look around at the top of the hills and take in the view. I forget to look around at the bottom of the bumps and marvel at where I have been and where I am going.
“God, grant me the eyes to see.”