If you’re offended by potty talk (or the concept of sin), that’s a warning. You may want to read the book Everyone Poops by Taro Gome and get over yourself. I don’t know, maybe that’s a bit much. Anyway, I’m gonna write about poo. It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last.

On with the show.

I heard about a little kid who was having a dickens of a time with potty training. The problem was that this boy actually thought his doodie was part of him. True story. As a result, it was traumatic to watch “himself” get flushed away. I guess walking around with a load in his diaper for a while helped him eventually let go. A quick flush just wasn’t happening.

You may think that’s silly, but the little boy was terrified. Not only that, you probably have a similar fear. I know I do. Get ready for the sin talk.

I recently drank until I blacked out. The next couple of days after that I kept thinking about that kid and his poop. There are some things we think are part of us, but we really need to let them go.

My wife and I have been talking about my drinking in counseling. It’s a subject that has been so painful to discuss (for a variety of reasons on both sides of the relationship) that we usually avoid it. That’s fine with me because I’ve needed some walking around time with a load in my shorts. Anything perceived by me to be remotely critical of my alcohol abuse amounted to a rejection of me as a person, but my wife just wants me to wipe up and flush. Well, like I said, the subject is finally on the table. I guess the counseling has at least got me that far.

My drinking isn’t just something I see as a part of me, it’s a relationship. It’s a romance. She’s given so much. We fell in love a long time ago, and sometimes we’re really good together. Other times, not so much. She’s a tricky devil.

Sometimes she embarrasses me. She’ll make me feel so confident one minute and then make me the butt of a cruel joke the next. After all these years, there’s very little playfulness left in the relationship. Now, most of the time, we just abuse one another. This last time a night together ended with her knocking me out was…well…a wakeup call. She can be flat out evil. She’s a real turd.

My drinking isn’t just something I see as a part of me, it’s a relationship. It's a romance.

So, here’s the thing, I haven’t simply been unwilling to let my number two go because I’ve seen it as a part of me. I’ve actually been playing with sin, romancing the turd.

And then it happens, someone comes in and turns the light on at 5:00 in the morning. Your head pounds and you can barely see, but then your bloody eyes begin to adjust and, oh God…you’re covered in sin. It’s everywhere. Nothing is untouched, not your marriage, not your kids, not your work, and certainly not your relationship with your heavenly Father.

Now don’t you get all judgy on me because I’m one of those twisted souls who will tell you the sick truth about my sin. Your lack of forgiveness, your lust, your lies, your hiding, your self-righteous religion, you name it—you’re dancing with evil. You’re romancing the turd, and the mess is everywhere.

But this isn’t about you, it’s about me. It’s always about me. And I’ve realized that my poo isn’t me. I need to flush, but I’m a scared little boy who is having one hell of a time letting go.

I really do hope this grace thing is true. If it’s not, we’ll all be buried in human waste.

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Read more from Erik in his mythic spiritual memoir, The Seed: A True Myth, and in his minibook, The Gift of Addiction: How God Redeems Our Pain.