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By Gary Busselman

   I came into Jehovah's Witnesses through the womb and left through the back door. I had to overcome denial, the invincible delusion, and admit to my innermost self that something had happened to me, that I had not gone looking for it, and that I did not ask for it nor did I deserve it. Something had happened to me, but what? By whom? Why me? Why anyone? I first had to understand what happened. Then I had to understand who did it. Then I had to understand why it was done, Then I had to understand how it was done and finally I had to search out the solution. I had to write down exactly what had happened, by whom, how, and why. Then with that done, I wrote down my plan for the future. I wrote down my new beliefs and the reasons why they were my beliefs. I had made a study of the problem, and I needed to do that, but I continued to study the problem long after I understood it, with the expected result. That is, I understood the problem better. At a certain point though, I had to start to study the solution. After I had identified the problem and went looking for the solution, I met what I have always met when I went looking for something. Salespeople! They all had the solution. Every solution was better than all the other solutions. Pretty soon, looking for the solution became the problem.

One poor chap, who gets his material nourishment from a spiritual institution, told me that if I didn't understand and accept God as he understood him that his god would burn me in something he called hell. With real fire. Another told me that the reason he knew he had the right god was because his god had killed thousands and thousands of people, men women and children, even babies, and he said that his god would kill me too unless I followed his special menu of approved behaviors.

I have come to the conclusion that for the most part, our problem was very similar. Most of us can agree on the problem, even other's perspectives of it. We are, in a sense, united by a common enemy. Nothing that I have seen unites people quite like an enemy, and we have the illusion of one. A big one.

I watch some people, not necessarily all former Jehovah's Witnesses, who work day and night on the problem. They study the problem. They read books written by other people about the problem. They write their own books about the problem. They are obsessed with the problem to the point that studying the problem becomes an addiction. The problem becomes the problem, and they stay unhappy, or they stay in the depression, or they stay in the the violent behaviors.

When I study the problem I understand the problem better. When I study the solution I understand the solution better. When I fill my day with the problem, then I live in the problem. When I fill my day with the solution, then I live in the solution. When I talk about helping other people, I don't feel any better. When I actually go out and help other people I feel good. When I hit anyone, even a Jehovah's Witness, I feel bad. When I hug someone I feel good. Why wouldn't I want to feel good? If it's never worked in the past, I bet it'll never work in the future.

I believe that the individual solutions are different for each one of us, but I also believe that the principles leading to and through the solutions are axioms for us all and are as clear and acceptable as rain, gravity, food and sleep. I see many missing the simple things that work because the simple things that work are too obvious. I saw myself missing my own life because I was keeping to the agenda of my parents, or my father-in-law, or my brother, or my wife, or my kids. I was out of control and I needed some.

Nothing feels like control quite like power. Power is a reality while control is an illusion. Power can be a drug. I went places I didn't want to go, to see people I didn't know, to buy things I didn't need, with money I didn't have, to impress people I didn't like. I had problems with jobs, relationships, money, people, places, and things. I was always in a hurry. I always felt that I was on stage. I always had a feeling of impending doom. I felt like I had snuck into my own life and that I was an impostor and somebody was going to find out and throw me out. Something was broken and I couldn't fix it. Bad spot for a guy who needs to feel in control.

The answer is in the answer. The problem is in the problem. I often ask myself: Are you living in the solution or are you living in the problem? Where do you need to go? Are you headed in that direction? Are you happy with your life?

Gary Busselman  


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