Inadequate Proxy

I recently sat and listened as a man recounted a life of crime, drugs, violence, sex and incarceration. As he talked the details of his years were like a crime novel or Law and Order television episode. The darkness of his experience was overwhelming and the hope of his future was practically extinguished.

Under the details of shootings, money and criminal enterprise was just a man. A man like any other man who wanted to be loved and live a normal life. Under the actions was a broken heart.

He never said that. He never said that he was doing these things for the past few decades because he was trying to fill some kind of void. It was screaming from the nuance of his story, though. The consistent thing that my heart heard while my ears listened was, “orphan.”

He had been abandoned by his father as a child and, ever since then, he’s been scrambling to find affirmation. Looking for acceptance in all the wrong places, the rejection and betrayal that has come in the wake of abandonment have compounded one on top of the other. The damaged heart condition has distorted reality, right, wrong, love and vision. The results are catastrophic.

The damaged heart of an orphan grasps at illogical sources of love and affirmation in a futile attempt to be loved. The attempted proxy is never sufficient and the resulting disappointment leaves a deeper chasm between the seeker’s actual identity and their perceived worth. With each flawed attempt and negative experience, the roots of the lies that surround the rejected orphan’s perception of their own worth grow deeper in the wounded heart.

The fruit can be innocuous at first and even for a long time but often the lie devours the person one bite at a time with increasing evidence of darkness in their lives and circumstances. Hurt leads to addiction which leads to destruction. The scheme was never for the purpose of an annoyance. It is meant to kill, steal and destroy.

At least this guy knows he’s in a mess. There is only one Remedy for the sickness for which is in everyone to some degree or another. There are seemingly well-adjusted orphans but their solutions outside of the Solution are temporal and limited. Those that have allowed their void to overtake them are obvious and easy to spot but maybe it’s those that are just as wounded thinking they are fine which are in the most danger.

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