It’s funny to me how a huge pile of boxes in my garage lead to a series of meaningful conversations, and, a realization.
Recently, I have been told that my views on faith, show that I am actively fighting my search for god. Or God. I really don’t think the absence of a capital letter matters to him/her/it/whatever.
Well, that analysis is spot on. I have had bouts of severe depression and/or anxiety lately and a voice inside me (one that sounds like the soothing tones of my wife’s words) that says, “Just pray.” But I have stomped that notion out in the same sort of satisfying way you’d relish squishing the guts out of a cockroach with the heel of your boot.
I have believed that all the praying I have done over the years, whether they were distress signals or praise of some kind, have gone out into some spiritual plane and I never got a ping back. Maybe god is that far away. If he/she/it/whatever is a physical object, then it would take years upon years for a prayer, presumably the traveling at the speed of light, to be received. Then a response would be contemplated and sent back over the same distance.
But, I’m told that’s not how prayer works. I’m not sure what I think about it anymore. But I’m willing to give it another try.
Starting over from scratch when searching for a vessel to place my faith, hope and love isn’t as easy as shopping for car insurance. Or a school where I could send my kids.
How do you get truly unbiased answers? Well, you don’t. Everyone I have ever met has some belief or another on spirituality. And I honstly feel astonished that anyone can settle on one thing.
We settle on many things in our lives. What’s your favorite food? Hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut? Well, that sounds like nasty shit to me, but hey, I hope you enjoy it in the same way I love a hot bowl of chili (with beans), cornbread and cheese.
The same principle can be applied to matters of faith.
But, still, I hear those words, “Just pray.”
Jaded, so jaded
I can trace my spiritual experiences back to some good, bad and ugly places.
So, without further adieu, let’s talk about my mother. People ask me about her, still, seven years after she moved across the world for god-knows-why doing god-knows-what.
But I have little doubt in my mind that what she actually did, by leaving all she had here in Corpus, was not something a benevolent god would have anyone do.
Now, I didn’t do my due diligence as a journalist-at-heart and get to the bottom of her questionable choices before she departed. I was afraid to ask. I didn’t want to know. I was a coward.
So, ask me. Go ahead and ask, “What’s your mom doing in Jordan?”
I’ll tell you the same thing I said after she left, “No fuckin’ clue.”
But those around me, who witness firsthand what her leaving has done to me, say that all of that wasn’t something god would tell anyone to do with instilling a sense of peace to those around her.
Peace is the last thing I feel toward my mother. The anger and feeling of abandonment (not just for my sake, but for the six grandchildren she left behind) have waned over the years. But I still worry about her and I wish her the best.
I hope she finds what she’s looking for out there. And I hope it was worth leaving behind all she had here.
Though I doubt anyone can ever convince me that it was.
Taking the lord’s name in vain
I’ll let a GD or a JC come out of my mouth in moments of extreme frustration. Because, beyond the beings they represent, they’re just words.
I had someone tell me that “God damn it” is the most uttered prayer in human history. I’m sure that explaination will never convince those who cringe at hearing that phrase.
But it brings me to a pillar of my faith, or lack thereof.
I think the commandment of taking the lord’s name in vain is beyond the superficial uttering of those names in moments of emotional distress.
To me, taking the lord’s name in vain is when you use what you believe your god has told you to do in order to justify some shitty action you’re about to do.
Isn’t that much more offensive to a benevolent god than simply uttering his/her/its/whatever’s name in a moment of heated anger?
Or it could be both. I don’t know for sure.
Where do I go from here?
I can’t begin searching for any kind of spiritual peace in order to please anyone in my life. I don’t think I’ll get what I’m truly looking for. This journey of discovery has to be because I want it for myself. Which is selfish and selfless at the same time. If I’m to believe what those with stronger faith than me tell me, a journey such as this will help those around me just as much as it’ll help me.
I hope they’re right.
And, for now, I’ll just pray.