Trapping yourself in the past
Creating a prison for yourself
Growing up in a Roman Catholic world the one thing I ever learned is that everything wrong in this world is caused by humans - and if we don't atone for our sins we are doomed for a life time in hell - which really isn't that bad once you realize that 80 years is like a blink of the eye when compared to the age of the universe.
I have memories as a child looking at the lists of things that I could do that would "damn" me - they ranged from not going to Church on Sunday (mortal sin) to Murder (also a mortal sin).
Because some how those two compare...
I remember thinking that very thing at 7. I'd ask about it and the response was always the same, "It's just what we do -A."
Don't eat meat during Lent - but fish is ok, because they grow on trees or in a field, so they're not REALLY meat...
Don't swear - which means I can't talk...ever...
Don't miss mass
Don't forget to atone for your sins by telling some drunk man all your deepest darkest secrets in a small dank smelling wooden booth and wait for him to tell you to say 15 Hail Mary's and 25 Our Father's...
Forgive my father, for I have sinned. My last confession was 17 years ago... in those 17 years I decided that listening to a bunch of people who condone negative behavior and shelter those people who act out those atrocities is nothing short of utter stupidity.
The rituals we were all taught have stuck with me. I can rattle off many prayers, hum 100's of hymns, and even recite most of what the Priest is saying in between the mundane chants we repeat again and again and again.
They haunt me.
When I went into labor, and the labor pains became so sever I would sort of phase in and out - each time I'd come out of it, a section of the Our Father would be dancing across my lips ever so silently. Coaxing me to move on, to breath.
Even when I have bad dreams. Dreams that make you cry and sweat - like the one where I had the pleasure of watching the man that I loved get gunned down in front of me, only to be gunned down seconds later - our father who art in heaven, hallow be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...
One night a few years back when I couldn't sleep. I remember lying in bed reciting those words as I watched the headlights of cars driving to the ATM that as located right outside my apartment. Half way through the pray about the 19th time in, it hit me - I had no idea what I was even saying.
I was just reciting words over and over and over and over and over...
What kind of prayer is that? What kind of prayer do we pray but don't know what we are saying? Why would you do that?
Every religion has it's own set of words that we are taught, that we recite like good little obedient kids.
The Lord's Prayer for the Christians.
Shabbat for those of Jewish faith.
Salaat for those Islamic folks.
Hell, even Scientology's have some sort of chant they preform at the end of all of their meetings.
But do we even know what we're saying?
I tried to figure it out once, that night I realized I was just saying words to bring comfort to myself. I felt like I had turrets for a moment - randomly spewing words into the world without intent.
I was so mad at myself, because in truth, the prayers are wonderful things - if you break them down - but why hadn't I? EVER...
For so many years I struggled with religion.
So many years I listened to it all
Repeated it all...
It always comes back down to one thing - I am NOT a fan of organized religion. Then to add insult to injury, as a history major for some time - it all just sheds a new light on the whole thing... a light that made me dislike it even more.
Having boundaries in your life is one thing - but I don't believe that something/someone/some GOD would smite me because I slept in on Sunday.
If he/she/it did - screw them. Hey, maybe I'm wrong and that's how it works? But like I said before, when you think about the fact that the known universe has been around for nearly 14 BILLION years, living a lifetime is hell doesn't mean much of anything.
Anyway - I think living is more of a hell then any hell could ever be.
Human nature - do something bad, torture yourself until you get your crap back together. (this does not reflect the ideas and lack of moral values of psycho and sociopaths - I mean the every day human being that has some sort of ethical and moral structure fiber to their being)
Leaving the Church at 15 didn't go over to well
Becoming Wiccan for a bit went over even worse
And after the first time I read Siddhartha and came home to talk about it to my bible beating grandmother - yeaaaahhhhh... she bought my ticket to hell and then told me about it for days.
At that point I was officially done with everything and anything that was, in any way, associated with any religion known on this planet. Screw it.
I've been agnostic for a long time now (not atheist - don't get the two confused)
Maybe it's out of fear, but I think having something be bigger than you helps you realize just how small you are.
When asked (or when I swear) I say "gods" - I've said this for years, even though some people (husband) thinks I started saying it due to battlestar galactica. (no, it just made my usage of the terms that much more noticeable) but I just don't see that partly clouded twilight lit sky with the overly gray, overly white bearded man sitting in a golden throne as something sane.
God is not human to me or even in any form - it just is. That's why I don't feel I'm swearing when I use that word - it's just a word.
Why do we insist on giving ALL the power to ONE thing?
In the political world we call that a "dictator" - but you slap some angel wings on it and it's "the LORD OUR SAVIOR."
In the end it's just some old white guy that is there to tell us we suck, but he can only tell us through another old white guy...
I don't think that any smite happy god can do more damage to us than we can ourselves.
I love reading about religions. It intrigues me just like reading about folk lore does. It's a puzzle to me that I need to work out - my very own sudoku of the gods.
It's a treasure map that when followed can lead you back to the most interesting and intriguing things you may ever see in your life. Overly cosmic notions that natural disasters are the calling cards of an angry god.
It's better than any television show out there. You get to watch as people do weird things and then how they atone for it by building up walls of religion and faith. You see people do crazy things all in the name of their god.
Hurricanes like Katrina
Volcanoes like Vesuvius
It just MUST be god telling us that we did something wrong...
I respect it.
When you lose what little faith you have, you learn to respect people who have abundant amounts of it, even when you don't agree with them.
To have faith you can do anything - because with pure faith you forget our doubt and without doubt... what a wonderful thing that would be.
I used to blame those things that I learned, the guilt that was in bedded in my DNA from Sister Mary Anne beating me down class after class telling me to be more like her (shudder), as an excuse for being depressed, or having low self-esteem, but that's like blaming your parents for everything that is wrong in your life when you're all grown up - it's just a crutch.
Sooner or later you have to just build a bridge and get over it.
Everyone can change if they're willing to try.
There is this old fable about a frog and a scorpion, I heard it the other day for the first time in years. The scorpion asked for a ride on the back of the frog across the river. The frog agreed, but only if the scorpion promised not to sting him - he agreed, but half way across the river the scorpion stung him.
When the frog asked why, the scorpion said, "it's just my nature."
Not everything in your nature needs to be bad.
(that was just a huge bit of me rambling on about nothing... in life comes chaos and in sleep comes peace - at least that's what I'm hoping for, because I'm freaking tired... good night