I have a girlfriend who used to talk with me about what we call The Doughnut Hole. In fact I sent her a doughnut pendant from Australia on one of her birthdays. 🙂
I loved hanging out with her. We talked about things both deep & wrenching and frivolous & silly. She sent me UFOs over MSN (when Facebook chat was still uncool). We moaned about our lack of boyfriends together. One year we even made a joint resolution to get boyfriends within the year (an epic failure).
You know who you are and I love you for your listening ear, your transparency and acceptance of me. Heck, I even loved hearing about your drama-filled life :). We were always real with each other, I think. You were. I don’t think I have cultivated/had many girlfriends who related on a deeply honest level. I loved that and I miss that.
But anyway, this writing is about The Doughnut Hole. The emptiness of our hearts and the yearnings unfulfilled.
Not many people want to hear what I have to say about The Doughnut Hole. Sometimes I don’t wanna hear it myself: especially when I run back to my friends Self Pity, Anger, Rebellion, Despair. I certainly am not at a place where I practice what I claim to believe consistently, but I’m working toward it.
This good friend of mine, I think, was and is cynical and suspicious about my Doughnut Hole Theory. It’s a fair position to take: I respect her for it.
But I am going to make another pitch: You have not, cannot, will not fill the Doughnut Hole without Jesus! People sometimes get offended by this statement or dismiss it cynically or mockingly.
But just look at us. We are in such a mess. We have made a mess of our relationships, our lives, our 7-billion strong world. Yes, my rather close friend Self Pity writes some beautiful twisted poetry about revelling in imperfection and mistakes and STAYING THERE, and at times I buy the counterfeit. It feels good.
But I know from experience there is no freedom, there is no triumph from dancing with Self Pity. It will cloud your perceptions, and you will fail to grasp the existence of Absolute Truth: the idea of truth becomes laughable, impossible, unbelievable, offensive. You will become blind! I have.
I went for some counselling last week (I do from time to time to continue working out old issues) and it opened up a whole well of pain. A whole well of seething anger. Anger at what I perceived to be an absent God in a difficult season of my life.
And working through the lies of abandonment and the complex web of emotions, I saw with clarity the utterly broken state I was in. I saw that I was in no position to help myself – let alone to help others, which I sometimes think I have a mandate to do in my Mother Teresa complex.
But I saw that in my state, I cannot help myself and cannot help others…I also know that from messy personal experiences. Deep down, I have no genuine love for others. Really, I don’t. I project and medicate my emotional pain in various unhealthy ways.
But Jesus loves. Jesus saves. Jesus forgives. Jesus transforms. Jesus brings truth. Jesus brings healing. Jesus brings strength. Jesus brings joy. I put my confidence in Him.
I regret to say I know many who profess they want change, but year after year, I do not see them take any conscious step in that direction. That is probably not a very “compassionate” statement, but it is compassionate. I hope you will not take offence: I say that knowing my own failings in this area, and also trusting in the infinite grace of God to enable us. 🙂 I say it in the hope that it will cause you to examine yourself.
You and I have to ask ourselves how much we really want freedom or change…if we sincerely want it, we will confront our pride. We will come to a place of humility to seek help. We will stop focusing on how we have been wronged, and instead seek forgiveness for what we have done wrong.
I say all of this knowing my heart is still gaping. And yes, I am saying all this in my limited understanding and experience of life. But there are certain things I am fairly confident I am sure about. And I risk saying it because I think it is the best thing I can say to those who write me saying they share the same problems…
Having someone to empathise with is nice. But it won’t go far. You and I need to get the Right Help (if you think you need help, that is).