Do you believe in hell?
we make our own hell. Here. On this earth.
a powerful statement. Would you care to elaborate? For instance, what
does your version of hell look like?
not a vision of fire and satanic figures. It's not a lion-filled pit
you can see. It's a place we create inside ourselves that keeps us
circling. Unable to break free. A life sentence of repeating the same
worn-out pattern. You may realise that you're in some kind of
insolvable maze, yet when you spy an exit you hesitate. Like that old
saying: You can't see the wood for the trees, so you endlessly circle
or hover above as if you were a helicopter. Consider a situation from
all sides to help you decide whether to land, return to base or
propel yourself onwards. Sometimes you never reach a satisfactory
answer, so you let go, trust in God, whatever that concept means to
you, or more likely than not take no further action. Remain where you
are. On repeat. Other times, you celebrate thinking you've finally
found a way out, then after a brief sojourn realise you're somehow
still on the very same route you thought you'd departed a while ago.
Permanently looping the M25. Hell is full of pot holes, traffic
obstructions and comfort break zones. It's a delusional ground-level
my idea of hell, as with any of my beliefs, may not be yours. Views
are experience and knowledge based, and they may change with time.
Ask me again five years down the line and I may have changed my mind.
Found a solution to this hell and fallen in another one. But right
now, I'm drawn to a circular shape, and not just in my own experience
of life - I frequently observe others doing the exact same. Becoming
aware does not help, but it makes a difference.
does your perception of this aid you?
You still make the same clumsy mistakes, but you spot them sooner;
quickly realise you're lapping the same oval track and the length of
those laps is getting shorter. The distance covered in-between wrong
choices is not as great. The time you've got left to make changes is
less. You lose more and more control on your approach to the summit.
Reaching the peak is not the goal, but having the desire to avoid it.
And if you feel even a tiny bit of that, then you may be about to
turn down a forward path. You can still act, take charge, but if you
persist in your foolishness to reach the top or fail to heed those
road warnings, then your free will becomes a slave to acts of God. A
Higher Power greater than you that will force you to stop. Push you
over the razor-sharp edge. Wipe out everything you've known, take
away all you own. Impel you to reassess, begin over. Nobody wants to
crash, but sometimes that sense of impending peril is not enough.
knowing you've constructed, aided and abetted this hell isn't a
release, it's an added pressure? Is that what you're saying?
no. Life is a classroom, and as Dante described it a divine comedy.
Some things we can change, some things we can't. Some things if and
when we act have a different outcome – for better or worse as in
the marriage vow. We observe, we engage, we learn. Our observance of
ourselves is the key, not all this distraction we're submissive to.
I'm not advocating self-absorption, but developing a fuller sense of
who you are without outside input. What makes you YOU, what are YOU
about. Do you even like yourself? Or the road you're journeying on?
Don't silence doubts or instinct. Hear out your indecision. Study
your repetitive patterns and the habits you've attached yourself to.
Detach, disconnect, recreate. Hell, for me, is an earthly burden, but
it can be a short-lived fate.
Picture Credit: Dante and his poem the 'Divine Comedy 1465, (Dante and the Three Kingdoms) by Domenico di Michelino