Day 27 kind of blurs into day 28 in the sense of themes, but it’s a different experience nonetheless. I’m feeling more artsy-ish today, something about being awake before noon and making a homemade meal while interviewing for that job in Baltimore. Or it might be that God was in discussion today or maybe life…I have no clue…it’s a ridiculously random day…
I read a blog on CNN about a writer’s faith and what people say before they die, and naturally I felt the burning of tears before I realized why. Here is the link to the blog,
I’ve mentioned before about my struggle with religion. I don’t believe in the Christian God, although as I have said before I do use the terminologies simply from years of hearing them. I enjoy the back and forth between atheists and those who believe in god, mostly for the school-yard antics and “poopy-head” humor.
I guess I should start by saying that the interview I had for that position in Baltimore is through an Episcopal Church. It is for the Episcopal Service Corps, which if you type that into a search bar you can find out what they are all about. I’m applying for these organizations, and a lot of people who know me think I am losing my mind. I mean, me…Faith, work within a religious organization when I have fully disclosed I don’t believe in God?
Yup, I did.
When I wrote Writing Prompt #9 I re-experienced all the hurt I had felt in regards to religion. The betrayal, the hatred, the disgust…I have little respect for organizations that would dare to try to change me by forcing their hatred upon me. I know not all religious organizations do that, but the ones that have, have left a nasty taste in my mouth. But I didn’t lie…I sat in Kylemore Abbey, crying for the little girl who grew up too fast. For the teenager so full of hate. For the young adult who allowed herself to be bastardized by an imitation of love. I just didn’t realize I was also crying for the person I was to become.
It has been 3 years since I sat in those pews. In those three years I have been put on suicide watch, lost friends, gained friends, graduated from college, dated, worked, and moved 1200 miles away (just in the opposite direction of where I really wanted to go…le sigh). I cringe when I think back to who I was when I was with my ex-girlfriend. I cringe when I think back to when I spiraled out of control during my last year of college. I was a bastard. I was selfish, and cruel and beyond over-dramatic and so incredibly stupid. I hate that girl. I hate that she let all that happened actually happen. I hate that she was weak, too weak to put her “love” in her place. That I let my girlfriend degrade me, humiliate me, and ultimately twist me into a shadow of myself. I let it happen, it was my fault, and I hate that girl.
But I know she isn’t me anymore. Not many people who become what I became get the chance to actually change. Not many people would believe that I have changed. Not many people would give me another chance. In my interview, my interviewer told me what my recommendations described me as…compassionate, passionate, caring, dependable, intelligent….I’ll admit it…I blushed…and then felt awkward. I never have taken compliments very well. This person they described wasn’t me with Tina, my ex. With her, many of those traits died and were replaced by self-loathing, disinterest, depression, lying, and unpredictability. I know this isn’t me anymore, but it hurts to know I had become everything that I had once hated. I wish I could go back and shake the person that I was…shake her until she realized that she was killing herself…shake her until she opened her eyes.
Not many people get to meet that side of him/herself. I truly believe we all have that dark-side (LUUUUKKKEEEEE *DEEP MECHANICAL BREATHING*)…sorry I needed some humor. That irrational hatred and rage; the bad guy we all love to hate in a movie or book. I did…I hated her… But I wouldn’t change a thing…
So what does religion have to do with any of this? The one thing I love about theology is the opportunity for true reflection. Sure you have your organized religions, and disorganized religions, and all these beliefs and rules, but what I truly love about the theology debate, whether you believe in something or not, is the chance to truly dig in deep into who you are. Granted it wasn’t religion that first put me on the path to self-realization, but it is a topic of discussion along my journey.
So, in that sense, it isn’t hard to believe that although I don’t follow religion, that I would find myself in religious settings. I think it is more so for the sense community than the actual religion; a sense of purpose. I wouldn’t be preaching anything other than learning how to read, or health education, so it’s not like I’m going to be shoving some kind of rhetoric down someone’s throat. More than likely I’ll be using the bible that would be given to me like I use the bible my landlord has given me now…an elevated computer stand…
Don’t smite me I just cleaned my room.
Where was I going with this? Sorry I’ve been out of it, I’ve been writing in my free time and texting the girl who started me on this 40 day journey.
What I liked about the one blog about what people talk about on their deathbeds, was the fact that the woman didn’t need to be the perfect religious figure that we always see in the movies sitting next to someone on their deathbed. She listened, and created a presence of comfort for the person before they slipped away.
That is spirituality in its finest, in my opinion.
I guess it best explains my own thoughts about life and death. The meaning of it all won’t be found in a book, or scripture, or through constant prayer or through theories. In my opinion, the meaning of life and death are both a question and an answer. It isn’t something I will find by believing in a God, or a teaching. I find answers every day, and they usually lead to more questions.
The meaning of a steady heartbeat before it fades away in a chest.
The laughter of friends that fills our entire bodies with warmth.
Crying alone in the darkness of one’s room as psychological pain cripples the ability to move.
When I was asked about my spirituality, I talk about these moments; about finding peace standing on the edge of the ocean, about telling your dying Uncle that you promise to take care of the family, about my great-grandmother’s last lucid moment, when she gripped my arm and thanked me for sitting with her.
Some say these are moments a God gives us to remind us of ourselves. I think these moments are what make us truly human. These moments that bookmark our lives; becoming memories that show up on a random day, after a pleasant conversation, as one watches the breeze shift the leaves outside her kitchen window.
I don’t consider myself an atheist though. I think atheism is somewhat hypocritical…Heru Ptah, a poet I once saw on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, one said that atheists in a way acknowledge God’s existence because there needs to be a God for one not to believe in it. Or something like that; I had found it highly amusing when I first heard is poetry. I guess I just consider myself to be nothing, which is incredibly hard since our lives are spent trying to be something. I’m all these things, and yet in 50-75 years, how much will it matter about who I was when I was with Tina? How much will it matter that instead of believing in a Christian God, that I instead tried to believe in the human race? That we don’t need a religion to live in peace, or with ethics?
It was a beautiful day today, and I sat there crying as I remembered my past, thought of my future, and read about a woman who sat next to dying people, and listened to them.
Question of the day:
Where do you find philosophy?