The poison of despair, the accelerant of envy

A rather personal musing:

When I actually pick up my pen, when I actually get off my butt, so often, amazing things happen – I produce good work. The kids learn, my wife is blessed, my thoughts take shape on a page. The consistency is really pretty staggering. I do not constantly fall on my face. So why, why, why the hell do I refrain from DOING so often? It seems to me like despair. Despair when an effort, especially a great amount of effort, fails to affect. It doesn’t take very much despair to poison me. To neutralize me.

It also seems the most potent accelerate to this poison is envy. When I have been most crushed with despair, when I have been filled with the most hatred toward my neighbor, it has been when I have seen my peers succeed – when they seize the day and I do not. I hate them, as I hate myself. By God’s grace my hate for them wains and passes, but my own hatred of myself persists.

Kierkegaard said the following in The Sickness Unto Death:

“The most common form of despair is not being who you are.”

“The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have.”

These ring true. Being jealous of the future of your peer is a terrible psychological state to be in. It is also an explicit failure to be yourself. Instead of standing by and observing how this is just a natural part of the “human condition” (and it is that too), I shall, with S.K. name this despair for what it is: sin. Failure to be what you were created to be. But this is not an exhortation to myself to “get off my butt and git’r’done!”. That kind of law binds the will and leads only to more despair. What heals this alone is the utterly unwarranted love of Christ.