Thursday, April 19, 2012

Faith for the Faithless

My Facebook Status: “My life seems like a never ending marathon. I think I’m going to stand on the side of the road and puke for a while.” 

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to alienate my dear, sweet, loving religious friends.  Please read the whole thing, you might be able to get something out of it too AND you're not allowed to de-friend me or attempt to convert me.  Because I said so.  Here we go... 

I was talking to a gentleman yesterday who does research (in affiliation with a religious group) on sexuality and the effects of human trafficking on the victims.  He said for some reason some people are just natural survivors.  No matter what happens they will be able to pull themselves through and survive with their sense of self intact.  Then there are others who need a little bit of hope to hang on to.  I would imagine that for him, “hope” means faith in God.  He is trying to bring that hope to the people who need it. 

There was only a short period of time in which my parents took me and my sister to church when we were young.  My parents were Lutheran.  That faith basically consists of a whole lot of “you are a deplorable sinner” and “give us all your money”.  The whole experience made me run away screaming dramatically from any religious affiliations.  I don't enjoy getting criticized on the weekends anyway; I get enough of that at work.  At this point in my life I'm too much of a cynic, or a realist, or maybe just a bitter asshole to put my faith in the hands of someone I cannot see.  Besides, if there is really a supreme being I can’t imagine he would have the time to orchestrate a plan for every individual on this earth, not to mention for my menial life.  I don't know.  Maybe if I had bigger boobs to grab his attention...  Basically, what I'm saying is, the whole faith in a supreme being thing just doesn’t personally bring me comfort.  Quite possibly because I’m a control freak and other mitigating factors like Lutherans and small boobs. 

I have admittedly been a bit lost lately.  I am very tired.  I work in an industry that showcases the shitty behavior of human beings.  That means I am wading in the cesspool of humanity from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday every week (with a one hour break for lunch) which is god damn tiring.  Then I go home and exhaust myself trying to give my kids the world.  When the kids are in bed I do homework for my liberal education which sometimes tosses me ever so cruelly right back into the cesspool (for example, Globalization 302).  I think this is all just part of adulthood, and it is draining at times.  Ever since the conversation yesterday, I have been thinking a lot about hope and faith.  I know that I don't find comfort placing my faith in a supreme being, so where do I place my faith when times are hard? 

When I sit back and think about whom it is that has consistently bailed me out throughout the course of my existence, I realize that person is me (stupid grammar check made me write that oh so pretentious ‘whom’).  Don't get me wrong, I have had plenty of helping hands along the way, but a lot of the time we are left to walk (or run in terror) through our lives alone.  My problem is that recently I seem to have lost my faith in myself.  The light at the end of the tunnel has burnt out.  I have lost my faith in my resilience, my ability to come out on top.  I forgot that through a long term illness, surgeries, a surprise layoff, difficult family relationships, a career I dislike immensely, a divorce, the beheading of my beloved car, two asshole cats, and single parenting, I am still here. 

I am still here trying to be better.  I don’t have any control over how long I will be on this wretched hunk of rock, but I have control over what I do while I am here.  What I’m going to do while I’m here is try.  Real hard.  And most importantly I’m going to have faith in my resilience...and in yours too.

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