Why Do The Selfish Seem To Often Prosper On This Planet?

Why does it always seem like those who live hedonistically, that tend to put their own needs, wants, and desires in front of everyone else’s, often seem to succeed in comparison to those who regularly try their best to be selfless, kind, and good-natured people on this planet?

I honestly wish I had the answer to this question, especially as of late, because I keep finding myself getting frustrated at the number of people I know who are promiscuous and yet have suffered no consequences whatsoever from doing so, even after years, and maybe even decades of living that way.

That being said, my personal sexual conduct was quite atrocious between 1995 and 2011. I definitely lived a hedonistic life to say the least for much of that time period until eventually my mind and body began to suffer because of it. So, why isn’t it that those who are still living like I once did, going through multiple sex partners on some type of regular basis, or regularly living in other hedonistic ways ever seemingly paying for it?

Many religious folks often answer this question with passages that basically say it’ll catch up to them in the long run. But, I’ve most certainly known people in this life who lived out their entire lives promiscuously, never once suffering even remotely close to what I’ve experienced thus far. Others often tell me not to worry about any of those still living hedonistically, because God has a great plan for me and all this suffering is going to eventually lead to it, yet nine years later, I’m really struggling to keep on believing that. And then there’s those who make sure to adamantly state that on judgment day all will receive accordingly to how they lived their lives, but if I go on that logic, most of those same people who say this, also feel that me being in a monogamous gay relationship is just as bad, so this point doesn’t hold much weight to me either. Regardless, I’m frustrated. Frustrated for continuing to see people doing the exact same things I once did hedonistically, yet never facing any ramifications from it and having great lives.

The fact is, I don’t know why my former hedonistic ways affected me so deeply on such a negative level, one that stopped me dead in my tracks before I even turned 40, while others I know in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and even 80’s are able to keep doing much of what I once did, and never experience any ill effects from it .

WAAAAH. I’m sure that’s how I sound at the moment, but here’s the deeper reality I’m seeing through all this. I never liked living hedonistically, because it consistently felt like I was stuck in a never-ending cycle of unfulfilled needs. Living that way made me so deeply insecure as well, always looking for something outside of myself to fill that deep pit of emptiness within me. So, on some level, all the pain and suffering I’ve experienced starting at the tail end of my former hedonistic life has actually helped me. Not only has it helped me to see how spiritually toxic a life I used to be living, but it’s also helped me to become a much more selfless being who has a whole heck of a lot of compassion now for others I never used to care about. In other words, it’s been through all this pain and suffering that an incredible spiritual transformation has been taking place. One that has helped me to become more of service to my Higher Power’s needs, wants, and desires, than me looking at how the world can service my own needs, wants, and desires.

So, while I may complain about my pain and suffering from time to time, especially because of how long it’s gone on for, in the same breath, I think it’s important to keep on thanking God for it, because at least I am able to look in the mirror these days and know I’m doing my best to give back to the world, instead of constantly being on the lookout for all the ways I can take from it…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Do I Do Good Because I Really Want To Or Because I Really Want Something?

Do I do good because I really want to or because I really want something? This is a question I have asked myself many times over the past few years as I continue to do my best to give back to this world rather than take from it, even in light of all my ongoing pain and suffering.

Up until 2010, before any of my severe pain and suffering began, I was still quite a selfish being, taking more from this planet than giving back, living more for myself, than for others. When the first bout of physical pain hit in late April of 2010 that would begin my long journey of suffering, I resisted changing anything about myself and thought I could just wait it all out. When a year passed, and then another, and the pain and suffering didn’t end, my heart started to open, and as it did, I truly began to see just how selfish of a person I had been for most of my life. I saw how all the good I had done prior was usually because I really wanted something, whether that was to get noticed, to gain some type of glory or recognition, to receive compensation, or to achieve some other type of agenda. It was rare that I did anything where there wasn’t an angle, where I wasn’t seeking something in return.

But pain and suffering have a unique way to shift a person’s energy field completely and as the years went on with it remaining a part of me, I found myself striving to do good more and more, without any expectations or hidden agendas. Volunteering my time to help others became something I simply wanted to do, not because I had to do or because I was hoping to get something out of it.

Yet, I’ve endured a solid nine years now of pain and suffering that still seems like it has no end in sight and as I continue to sponsor others in recovery, to volunteer both at a local jail and a local crisis center, and to carry positions of leadership in the 12 Step groups I belong to, I have pondered what might happen if all my pain and suffering suddenly went away? Would I still want to do good? Or was my underlying motive all along for me to do all the good I’ve been doing for years now been to gain God’s favor, to restore my health, and my sanity?

If you want me to be perfectly honest, then my answer to this is that I don’t know. I don’t know what my life would be like if my pain and suffering suddenly went away. I don’t know if my motivation would still remain the same to give back to this planet rather than take from it. I don’t know because all I’ve known is pain and suffering and a burning desire to help others who are in pain and suffering, so long as I have enough energy to keep doing it. As there are days where my pain and suffering get so great, I am forced to remain home and take care of myself.

Nevertheless, I know I want to feel far closer to God than I do in life these days. I know I want to feel far healthier in life than I do these days too. But, is there some part of me that’s driven to do all the good I do, solely because I want those things, or solely because I’ve been transformed from the once quite selfish and self-centered person I used to be most of the time.

I don’t have those answers, and often ask God to give me a chance to experience my life without this pain and suffering, to show Him I’ll still do the good I do so prevalently now. Sometimes I think God keeps me in this pain and suffering because He has seen me freed of this pain and suffering, returning to the selfish being I used to be. But, seeing God in that way is not a very unconditionally loving God and, on some level, is more looking at God as the controlling and punishing mother I used to live under.

Regardless, I don’t have an answer to this question at this time. While I’d like to believe I spend the majority of my life these days doing good simply because that’s who I am now, I’m plagued with ego-based fears that tell me I’m still that same selfish and self-centered person below all this pain and suffering. I really hope the latter isn’t true and that when God lifts my pain, because I believe He will, that I’ll find myself with this same drive to give back, to do good, every, single, day, without wanting or expecting anything in return…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

I Feel So Empty…

I feel so empty, like a car running on fumes that’s seriously in need of a fill-up, except in my case, I can’t seem to find the fuel, or the pump for that matter, no matter what I do.

In my 12 Step recovery from addiction world, it’s always said that when one feels empty, it’s best to get out of oneself and help another. So, I’ve tried to fill that emptiness by sponsoring others, by volunteering, and by attending more meetings. Yet, most frustratingly, it hasn’t helped much to fill up that feeling of emptiness whatsoever. Through my recovery, I also learned to pray and meditate each day, do daily affirmations, write gratitude lists, listen to positive music, and eat healthy, but none of that seems to have any effect on removing my emptiness either. In addition, I’ve tried to deal with the emptiness by keeping myself busy with healthy hobbies like going to more movies, working on puzzles, watching uplifting television programs, and coloring in my adult coloring book, but none of them have had much success with removing the emptiness, even for brief periods, either.

And as much as I’m not happy to report this, I’ve even resorted to trying to fill the emptiness with things I know wouldn’t be healthy for me in the long run if I kept them up. Things such as the occasional flirting and fishing to see if someone else finds me attractive, glancing at pictures of people on Facebook I find handsome, or trying to hang out with people I think are good looking. Things such as eating 92% dark chocolate for comfort, pigging out on junk food till I feel bloated, or overeating in general. Things such as buying a scratch ticket or visiting a casino here and there. And things such as trying to oversexualize my own relationship. All of which has done nothing to remove my emptiness and if anything, created even more of it.

And last, but most definitely not the least, I have sadly attempted to forget about my emptiness by attempting to control other people, take their inventory, and make it my business to help them see the work they could do on their life. All any of that’s done is just piss people off.

Honestly, I have no idea how to remove this emptiness and believe me when I say I’ve been sitting with it more than not, without trying to temporarily fill it, for about a year and a half now. I have begged God to fill it. Begged and begged and begged. Because ultimately, I don’t believe there’s any person, place, or thing here that can take it away and I’ve exhausted countless energy, money, and resources to figure that out.

It is said that only God can truly ever fill that emptiness and help us feel full of life and zest and joy, but no matter how hard I’ve tried to connect with God, He seems to be on radio silence with me. I’ve waited and waited and waited and waited, asking for guidance and direction, often feeling like I’m being punished for something when I receive no answers as to why I feel so empty.

I have no answers right now as to how to comfort this little boy within me who keeps crying day after day, who feels like he’s been abandoned. I continue to do my best to remain clean and sober and help others in the process. I continue to keep doing my healthy activities as well, with an occasional backslide here and there. But, all in all, I remain still and wait upon God and have never gone through as long of period as this where I haven’t felt God’s presence and instead, have felt this incredibly deep and dark emptiness. An emptiness that I can’t seem to fill or escape from, no matter what I do.

Lord, my tank feels empty and I’m in desperate immediate need of Your fuel. I have nothing left to give but my life itself, which you know is Yours anyway to do with as You wish. Please help me God. Please remove this emptiness and replace it with joy and a lot more of You, as I know only You can do. Because a life that constantly feels empty, where I don’t feel You, is a life I’m truly struggling to see is still worth living. Yet a life filled with You is most certainly one worth living, one where even something as simple as taking a single breath will provide me all the fuel I need to keep on, keeping on, and one where I know  my car will never run empty again…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson