Does Belief have Limits? (feat. a poem)

This week I wanted to write about the fine line between finding yourself, and escaping from yourself.

It’s hard to put into words, so I hope this poem makes sense.


Pains ( A Glittering Gown)

Are you depressed or are you deep?

Inspired or insane?

Going through a bad time or growing through a bad time?

A misfit or misunderstood?

Do you need time to change or

do you need acceptance as you are?

Is this growing pains or just pain?

Do you need to stop or try harder?

Do you need a little more faith or a little less trust?

Are you seeing clearly or

do you need an outside perspective?

You stay or you go.

(you choose or you don’t.)

Let go, hold on, both hands. A foot in each camp.

is there beauty in pain?

are you hiding or learning?

is it neither or both?

can we bind them together, the good and the mad? stretch the seams, wind fine threads of truth and faith between them, pull them tight together, joined like alchemy.

contrasting textures different ways up.

no gap, no leap of faith, immediate and close.

one. made true. mad and good. neither diminishing the other, both more beautiful in the contrast, more reflective and more dazzling.

(perhaps it’s mad.)
A Frankenstein construct, paradoxical garb.

You shimmer so

brightly.

how could i say no?

Adorned I’ll walk tightropes.
(yes!)
encrusted i will glow
(yes!)
in the brightness i will shine.
(yes!)
brightly, brightly burning

with

impossible

fire.


This week I wanted to write about the fine line between finding yourself, and escaping from yourself.

It’s hard to put into words, so I hope this poem makes sense.

This was inspired by my own experience of “romanticising” pain, as well as other societal flavours of this, for example the unfolding chronic Lyme phenomenon, the anti-psychiatry movement, and alternative (New Age) spirituality.

I’m still journeying this myself.

I think we all need something to believe in, and sometimes we believe in something that hurts us, and it’s incredibly difficult to see where the line lies.

On one hand, belief gives us a structure and an understanding of ourselves, that other people might not always intuitively understand. This faith can give people access to tremendous inner strength.

On the other hand, your faith can mislead you, and give you a structure that doesn’t deliver the truth you want. In cases where our faith is misplaced, we can hurt ourselves and people near to us.

It’s surprisingly easy to find “faith” in something that doesn’t deliver.

  • An addiction that promises this time the numbness will last.
  • An abusive partner who promises this time you will be good enough.
  • A religion promises your pain will earn you eternal holiness.

Yet on the inside, there’s always reason that you are still believing in something, even as it appears to cause you pain.

Faith can’t be forced, can’t be stopped, can’t be seen. It’s as diverse as the number of people on this planet. To believe in something is foundational to human psychology.

bet your ass we're paranoid

It’s a fascinating topic, so I’m hoping to come back to it next week as I explore my own shifting perspective on faith, health, and personal freedom.

 

 

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