What I Think About God (For When I Am Angry)
When I originally shared the following on Facebook, a friend said she had saved it to her computer and called it, “For When I Am Angry.” Since I’ve received requests that I publish elsewhere what I post on Facebook, I’ve decided to put this on the blog as well. I hope you find it helpful.
This is probably going to get me in trouble, or piss off some politically correct “friend” I didn’t know I had, but I have something to say and it feels important enough for me to share it. In the video you’ll see below, the guy who starts crying when his lawn was raked in this film [1:15] really choked me up and from that spilled what follows:
Having at one time or another declared myself a Catholic, a Mormon, Christian, a “born again” Christian, an agnostic, a Buddhist, a Spiritualist, aaaaand a Scientologist, I can honestly say that every single time I was looking for “God,” I was looking to understand what makes life better and what makes people work. (Hey, I was even married in a Shinto shrine, and my second wedding is going to be in an Anglican church, so that’s two more!)
Oh sure, I changed religions like some people change t-shirts, but that gave me something many people might not have–perspective. I deeply loved and believed in and enjoyed everything I did in every group I was a part of. And I still FEEL Catholic and Mormon and Christian and Buddhist, etc… in my heart. I felt so tuned in and turned on EVERY TIME I engaged with a group of people who were doing something better than eating, shopping, or talking about how many pounds they had to lose or how much money they had in the bank.
Life took me to different places and when challenging situations came up, new and sometimes better tools arrived at my doorstep. I investigated them and changed my spiritual t-shirt accordingly.
And every t-shirt I wore was great, while I was wearing it. 🙂 And like all t-shirts, eventually it moved on and made way for a new one. And who knows what other t-shirts I will wear in the days of my life to come.
But I went looking for God in all the RIGHT places, and wherever I looked, I was asking the same questions that today I honestly can say I have the answers to:
What makes some people rise under pressure and others crumble?
What makes us weep at art and music and the beauty of people who come together to perform both?
What makes our hearts flutter in our throats when someone stands up for something they believe is right in the face of danger?
Why does life in the “real” world of sex, drugs, and incessant distractions, feel so vacant and unfulfilling without SOMETHING to believe in and hope for and dream about, and without some kind of deeper sense of responsibility for and connection with everyone else in this crazy and confusing game of life?
Why do people who are told, “This is just the way you are. We can’t do anything to help you,” shrink and die faster than those who are told, “We can do something about this, there’s a way out, so don’t give up!”
You can scientifically account for hope, faith and friendship as matters of the “spirit” that are a measurable factor in improving the health of the human condition. Having spoken to them personally on the subject, I know that Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D, Dr. Lissa Rankin, Dr. Bernie Siegel and Anita Moorjani would agree with me. (To name just a few…)!
There HAS to be something better to life than our biochemical bits and pieces and it has been the valiant effort of many different religions over thousands of years which have tried to bring these things to our attention.
Hope, trust, and loyalty…
Your values, dreams, goals and secrets.
The things you wanted to say and do, but didn’t…
The things you said and did, that wish you hadn’t…
The gifts you bring, the lives you touch, the people you help and how much you decide to step up and speak up to make life better and to do what you believe is right in spite of the social pressures that may come up against you.
THESE are matters of the human “spirit” and they affect how you perceive and respond to everything in your life!
You can’t eat them, buy them, flush them or ignore them. You can’t sell them on e-Bay or bury them in your backyard.
They are there–an ever-present invader into every moment of your existence and when your body kicks the bucket I’m pretty sure they will STILL be there as a thorn in your ethereal side.
The exact level of courage, certainty, persistence, honesty, hope, kindness, trust and loyalty that you achieved in the time you had with the opportunities that were made available to you will be there–your eternal trophy and grand prize in the final hour.
And when dust goes back to dust, it won’t matter what religion you were. The pain of regret, remorse and dishonesty sting the soul just as hard in every denomination. Just as love, hope, certainty, courage and kindness feel as wide and alive when you are a Muslim as when you are a Mormon.
I am sick of religion being trashed in the media. The crimes of some sick and confused people who were members of an organization do not represent the full value of that organization or its beliefs and wisdom to society.
If I could claim membership in each of the world’s religions and study them fully and deeply, I would, but I am short on time. I am quite convinced that in spite of their differences, and in spite of the inherent confusions that come with being part of the human condition (and there are SO many) they are all trying to say and accomplish the same thing--they’re trying to lift us up out of the mud of our confusion and materialistic obsessions and give us SOMETHING to reach for and SOMETHING to believe in.
And that, no matter who you are or where you’re living, is what ultimately is responsible for how alive you feel, and how alive you ARE.
Mika’s just enrolled in a Catholic school in Ontario and I can assure you the history of the crimes against humanity that were committed by previous confused and unhealthy members of the Catholic church had NO bearing on my putting her in that school. I was THRILLED that she would be in a faith-based environment. Put my kid anywhere people believe in a person’s ability to rise up and be something better than mud!
On her very first day, while Mika was explaining some of her previous school challenges, the VP interrupted her lovingly and looked at her and said, “Listen, you don’t need to explain yourself to me. I wouldn’t care if you had a criminal record a mile long. If you’re here, you’re mine and we want to take care of you.”
That, to me, is GOD.
The ability to believe in the very BEST of what life has to offer, in spite of whatever physical, mental, or emotional barriers may stand in the way.
The willingness to rise up and make life work, no matter how many times you may have already fallen or failed trying to get there, and no matter how many excuses you could find for giving up.
It’s the tug and inner nudge on your heart that reminds you to reach beyond what you already have to improve it.
It’s the courage to reach beyond what you already know and find enough humility to discover what you don’t.
It’s the grit in your guts when you reach beyond how much you feel you already love, to love even more. No matter how hard it feels to do so. Especially when it feels hard to do so.
It’s what makes you bite your tongue when scorned and hold your fists behind your back and do whatever it takes to stop spreading more crazy and more pain in the world.
Because regardless of the organizations to which you belong, or the identities with which you associate yourself, you KNOW there’s some kind of spiritual domino effect going around out there! And if you start messing with the karmic boomerang, it’s going to come back around and smack you in the face when you least expect it.
And when it does, “God” is that feeling of “I told you so” that comes from some quietly cosmic part of you.
EVERY religion of which I have proudly been a part (and I admit, there have been many) has offered me the opportunity to reach–to see more, be more, do more, have more and know more. For that, I am deeply grateful.
And however you find it, wherever you find it, when you find what makes you reach, grab on to it and don’t let go. The only people who will ever criticize you for it, or judge and condemn HOW you choose to make life better, are clearly not busy enough trying to do it themselves.
So keep your eyes on the horizon, and a little gravel in your guts for when you need it. It’s not easy to make life work in the face of all the crazy obstacles out there working against us, but if you are among those who are honestly trying, then you should be applauded and thanked as you are a deeply valued and vitally important part of the human equation and your courage and efforts are greatly needed to make life go right.
With love from Tera (The world’s first Catholic, Mormon, Agnostic, Double Christian, Spiritualist, Buddhist, Scientologist. (With a touch of Shinto and Anglican on the side).