I Have Never Been Religious –
Catholic school was something that happened to me, around me, like a green screen it could have changed to anything else and in the distraction of surviving youth I wouldn’t have noticed. My family didn’t actively practice the Catholic religion and beyond receiving the mandatory Catholic blessings (like Baptism and such) I never attended a single Catholic mass outside of the mandatory ones we had during school hours. Those liturgies at school are now one big blur, one memory amalgamation of flicking gum at my friends, scratching my initials into the gym floor, counting the minutes until recess, and thinking about how cute Joel looked sitting three rows over (I had a lot of little crushes and remained obsessed and in love with Joel for years. Oops. Was that a sin? Lust? Temptation? Was I sinning during a liturgy? Forgive me Heavenly Father….)
Searching for Something Meaningful in my Twenties: A Short Story
While nothing of my religious schooling stuck with me past the day I graduated Grade 12, I did go on to become rather spiritual. Discovering Yoga when I was 18, I embarked on the embarrassingly cliché “young-woman-tries-to-find-meaning” quest. I didn’t journey to India or do the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing but I devotedly read all Yoga literature and related material. I studied. I prayed. I meditated. During this time of my life, the dreaded early to mid-twenties, I learned what it felt like to connect to something Higher. While my love affair with the actual physical practice of Yoga cooled off (I hit the mat about once every 3 months now), I never lost or forgot that sensation, that knowledge, of connecting with the power and majesty of the supernatural realm of God, Source, Spirit, Higher Power, Universal Energy, call it what you will.
My Patch-Work Quilt of Religious Views
Religion itself always seemed, and still seems to me in some regard, so divided. So many religions. So many denominations of what looks like the same thing dissected and re-interpreted to fit differing opinions and values. During that period of my life where I was delving into the “spiritual” I educated myself in bits and parts of many different religions and I came away with something from each of them. I found I agreed with at least a little from every religion, creating a kind of mental patch work quilt of religious beliefs. One thing I did notice was they all essentially were preaching the same thing: love, connection and Faith that something beyond this 3D Matrix called “real life” was there for them, unconditionally.
A Crisis of Faith
I titled this entry as a such because this year has revealed one undeniable thing about humanity: we are in a crisis of Faith. People have forgotten their connection to God (what I prefer to call Higher Power or Source Energy). Regardless of what you call it, it’s Faith. Faith that you are here for a reason, protected and loved and cherished by the force that delivered you in to the world. Fear is dominating the human experience as people look to their television for answers, putting their Faith in corrupt main stream media, instead of looking inward and upward to the guidance of their personal God.
Re-connect to Body, Mind and Spirit
I am not going to get political or bring up sides because that is not what this is about. No matter your political views, or Corona views, or BLM views, this whole world needs connection to something higher, something pure in which to ground our Souls. People have lost touch with the beauty of their own existence, of the miracle that is their life and their body. Fear has turned people into emotionally reactive beasts, distrustful of one another and the world itself. Faith in ones own secure station in the Universe, as placed their by the “God” of their preference, needs to be restored. We are multi-dimensional beings, meant to interact and interface with our Body, Mind and Soul every day, all day, and to respect the same in others. This crisis of Faith is not only about losing Faith in ourselves, but losing Faith in connection with others. These are divisive times, but we can come back together harmoniously if we all remember our intended purpose: to love and celebrate what Source Energy gave us (which is the beautiful planet full of beautiful people and beautiful animals and plants and stuff to totally rock out with!) Life is meant to be a playground of celebration, not a cage into which we are stuffed and controlled by instructions which come from a little shiny box strapped on 24/7.
Turn Off Your TV
As someone who has intentionally not owned a TV in 23 years, I believe, I know, the main stream news is responsible for the destruction of human Faith. I see the main stream media when I visit family. I watch with a pit in my stomach as their television flashes up like a teleprompter, shining scary announcements round the clock right into their most intimate living quarters. It is frankly horrifying. The news repeats it’s message of anxiety and panic in an endless loop of nauseating declarations. The news is a Fear engine. If you were not instructed to feel Fear, you wouldn’t. Imagine if the news told people to pray, to sing, to practice moral integrity and have respect for all life? If the news said it, would people listen? People are certainly listening and taking instruction from the news now. The news says panic. People panic. The news says rage. People rage. The news says be offended. People get offended. The news says obey. People obey. I have literally had family and friends say they will not do or say anything until it is announced to do so on CNN. Think about that.
A Crisis of Faith….it needs repeating.
I say it again because I believe it so strongly, feel it so strongly. I have always been a very emotionally sensitive and intuitive person. Emotionally sensitive does not mean weak. Sensitivity to emotion is akin to extreme empathy. I can feel the emotions of others in my body viscerally, channeling the energy of emotion in such a way that most of the time I feel like a mobile lightning rod for the fluctuating human emotive spectrum. People are so disconnected and frightened their fear is palpable. I feel it like never before. People are either cowering in their homes or raging in the streets, but they all suffer from the same affliction: their lack of Faith. When you truly believe you are here for a reason, that you are safe, that you are loved and inextricably linked to a Higher Power, there is no need to Fear. As for my intuition, that gut sense of mine has never lied to me, never steered me wrong, and I believe it when it tells me to pray and hold on to Faith.
Suffering Brings Clarity
This crisis of Faith and so much more has been running laps through my mind over the past several months as this has all unfolded, but my assertion that this year is revealing a crisis of Faith has intensified specifically over the past month, and even more concentrated, this past week. Even though this period of history is wrought with fear creeping towards terror, anger creeping towards anarchy and depression creeping towards the collapse of humanity, I feel clear. There is a beautiful clarity that comes with suffering. The same way adrenaline provides clarity of the senses to react and respond to threat, suffering provides clarity of the Soul. This period of history is acting as a filter on humanity, tearing the veil free, showing people for who they really are. The suffering of these times has scanned its way through me and left me feeling cleansed, cleansed of all the bullshit that was distracting me from living, really living. Before all this, I was living aimlessly, jumping from one immediate pleasure to the next, never appreciating life. Now that that life has been completely up-ended I have been shown what is really important when shit hits the fan: Faith. Love. Family. Community.
As I contemplate this clarity that reminds me to practice Faith daily, I got thinking about my Catholic upbringing. All throughout my adult life I have felt a strange internal shudder when confronted with anything to do with the Catholic church, as though as an invisible and incessant insect had landed somewhere inside me. Any time I was obligated to bow my head for a prayer of thanks at the beginning of a meal somewhere it made me want to slide under the table and rock gently in the fetal position until it was over. That being said, growing up I never had a single negative experience with anyone or anything in my Catholic school or at the masses we attended. However! I can pin point the reason why the Catholic religion bothered me so. I was indoctrinated (from comments by family members growing up) that religious people were kooks, not to be trusted. I was told frightening tales of religious zealots using their biblical beliefs to smite and terrorize. I kid you not. No wonder I went exploring other avenues! Now, with some years of adulthood under my belt (and a few therapy sessions to work out the kinks) I have unraveled all that bullshit from my childhood regarding false narratives around religion. Religion is what you make it. In every religion there are good apples and bad apples. That can be said for anything, everywhere. I discovered some great Catholic priests with uplifting messages about our current times on YouTube (because life is YouTube now), and I am giving the religion I was anointed into another honest shot to capture my heart, perhaps as it was meant to all those years ago when I was just an awkward little thing sitting cross legged on the floor of the gym we called our church.
I’m not attached to my newfound interest in Catholicism going anywhere, but I love to learn. Learning is another way to keep Faith alive, to stay connected to that sensation of Soul and humanity as a whole. Step outside your box of comfort, of assurances and intense opinion. Consider you might be wrong about something, misinformed about something, or perhaps just straight up ignorant. Lord knows this has been my year of sliding scales in which I discovered I was woefully misinformed on a number of big topics. Opening the lens of my appreciation of different people, of different lives, of different opinions, of different values, of everything, has added to the clarity that brought me closer and closer to Source Energy. I have so many more thoughts on this but this collection of insights is all that feels natural to type out at the moment (this post was freaking HUGE so if you stuck through and read this whole thing I really appreciate you!)
I would like to report that sin or no sin, my grade school love Joel was my first kiss, so yeah, chase your dreams and God and stuff. Life is great.