I recall years ago when the originally SUPERMAN movie came out. It was pretty good, at least a decent look at a superhero. Then later on another follow-up premiered, the one where Superman had a darker side that seemed to constantly battle the good version; the old white dog/black dog things. You know, the one you feed the most will become the strongest.
At the time I was single and had just finished college rooming with a buddy in Memphis, lonely and wondering about my life. I recall, even during the movie, THAT’S ME. Maybe for the first crystal clear moment in years it dawned on me that there was such an inner struggle going on within my soul/spirit.
Before I’d turned my life around in the mid 70′s (yeah, I’m ancient… deal with it:) I rode with an outlaw motorcycle gang after Vietnam. I was blown up over there and left for dead, so I guess I thought I’d just come home and stay high for five years. Duh. But, that had all been over for almost six years and I was fine, or so I thought. What was that black “superman” all caged up inside me? What did he want with me, after all?
Transitional periods are some of the toughest periods of our lives. It seems, during those times, feelings, desires, & affections we felt sure were gone & in our past, all of a sudden begin to re-appear. I had been a non-smoker for years after God turned my life around from a heavy drug abuser, drinker & smoker, right out of a very dangerous outlaw world. Setting in a restaurant one day with friends, just as I finished my meal, a very strong and intruding thought ran though my mind, so strong that my body begun to shift toward fulfilling that thought, “Man, a cigarette sure would taste good right now.” I know this is trivial compared to the heavier onslaughts we can have in transition periods, but it conveys the essence of the concept. You get it.
I certainly didn’t fulfill the thought, I’d quit smoking & didn’t want to smoke, but it’s all about how such things can re-appear after being “put-to-death” so-to-speak. I sat there at that very moment wondering why I had such an alien thought, RIGHT OUT OF THE BLUE. We all contend with white dog/black dog, with the dark Superman, whatever you want to call it. It’s at varied levels with different people. If someone uttered, “I don’t have that,” the black dog could easily be pride or denial; SOMETHING!
Many suicidal pattern are linked to this structure of mind-set. Such an overwhelming pressure assaults some very decent people. And, they usually reside to the finality pattern of simple “unplugging” themselves. Sad but true. Birthing through the transitional periods does take strength and fortitude. Generally speaking, once the so-called child of transition is birthed we’ll likely forget the pain that forced our future bright/joyous child through the birth canal & embrace our next step in life. Talking about Jesus, regarding Him being crucified the Bible declares, For the joy “set before Him” He “endured” the cross. (Hebrews 12:2; emphasis mine). Essentially, He understood the law of transition. Please know, this isn’t a sermon or the like, but what happened to Jesus then makes a marvelous point here.
The dual-nature concept, especially spiritually speaking, in layman’s terms, is easy to grasp. For the sake of “ease-to-deal-with” let’s analyse ourselves as having two natures. One nature is alway tended toward good, helping others, generosity, sacrifice for the cause & so forth. The secondary nature (which would be the primary nature in many) is always selfish oriented: self first, the never-ending “me, myself & I” routine. So, basically, as we walk through life, although we’re very good & dedicated individuals of the people, by the people & for the people, there’s a darker interest lying within us that often pulls the reins of our mind & heart toward unhealthy & improper concepts & desires.
Did Jeffrey Dahmer think of actually eating other people as a child, very likely not, or Ted Bundy, the serial killer from the recent past, ever think of the carnage he’d perform when he was a teenager? The point is that dark forces, whether you believe in true spirituality or not, pull us emotionally and psychologically toward self-destructive ends. After Vietnam I came home emotionally an old man. Because of many of my wounds I viewed myself as an ugly individual & my rebellious ways prior to the war grew much worse & I embraced a very violent lifestyle with outlaw bikers, drugs, jail & darker behavior. I very literally almost never came back to sanity. A psychologist interviewed me while I was in college in the later 70′s & her findings revealed that I had a nervous breakdown while a biker, yet I was so much lower than the standard recognition level that I never realized my “break.” One example: I realized one day at a party that I was a year older than I thought I was. I had lived so hard that I actually skipped a birthday; I completely gave-in to death, drugs & destruction. From experience I realize what it’s like to feel so-called evil tendencies perpetually tugging at you heart/mind.
The best and most advanced way, in my opinion, to fortify a single-minded walk of life is to fortify that vein of thought with goal setting, grasping a vision of your future, and journal your heart’s desire toward that end. I’ve found, as a writer, that the single best way I feel complete and most fruitful is when I’m writing. I feel so creative and excited about what I’m doing and where I feel I’m headed, even if there are detours and delays. Ultimately, I always discover that the delays, discouragements, and bumps-in-the-road were all some aspect of God’s paving my way. Heavy stuff when you truly stop and ponder it. You’ll find nuggets of growth and wisdom all underneath that paved WAY. Powerful indeed.
As a writer, public speaker, and a type of counselor to many struggling with varied issues of life I’ve discovered that my “focus” toward me goal and destiny is vastly strengthened by reading things that empower my thought process with like-minded fuel: the Scriptures, books about innate things I feel align with my destiny, historical fuel (so-to-speak). As an American Warrior I feed off of America’s past liberties and struggles, essentially because we are a freedom loving people, ready to give to others, even to die for someone’s elses cause; a most noble virtue, believe me. In spite of many less than good leaders throughout our history, we are where we are because that’s basically where we have brought ourselves by similar intake, ie. what we read, what we desire, and our goals as a nation. Our fuel, sadly enough in many instances, has been our own greed, natural lust, and pride. American pride is powerful and grand when properly formated by good leadership but wrongly portrayed is arrogant and childish. (more-to-come)
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