I’ve been very edgy this week. In a sense, because I’ve spent the week apart from my husband, who has been in Ohio helping my oldest son move. This is the first time we have been separated for this long since we married. So, I’ve been listlessly poking around on Facebook—with which I have a “like-dislike” relationship—in between baking and cleaning sprees. Facebook, of course, is the ultimate narcissistic tool. Some of my “friends” are conservative evangelical Christians, or just conservatives, or just evangelicals, or just Christians. Or any combination of the three. So are most of my family members, some of whom I have on “hide” because their posts are the ultimate in self-righteous narcissism, some of them so phony and sugary that they literally trigger a gag reflex. If you are reading this, I seriously doubt you are one of them. I think that is what I dislike the most about Facebook. What is posted by so many just comes across as phony. Religiousy, self-righteously, arrogantly phony. But, I have enough friends and family on there –and they are in the majority–with whom I want to stay in contact and share photos and updates with, as well as some friends and family members who post some really great stuff, that I keep my account open. And the vast majority of those on my friend list, even among the right-wing evangelical Christians, are just fine. I don’t know how long my relationship with Facebook will last, but it is as it is at this time. In response to some of the more galling posts, or just to get under the skin of some people, I will normally post an article, a status, or a quotation that is decidedly left-wing, anti-religion. Of course, I rarely get a response. I have a feeling I am on “hide posts” by some of my “friends”. Anyway. So many of these people are just so damn sure they are RIGHT all of the time, so convinced that they are the center of the universe, or that they have the ear of God in their pockets as they rattle off scripture and the “praise God” tripe that makes them sound like bloomin’ idjits, that I started thinking—would they keep me on their “friend” list if they really knew who I was and what I believe? Have they just ignored the hints? Or am I just one of the collectables? Whatever the case, I’m going to use this blog as a disclaimer for any more people who I want to “friend” or who might want to “friend” me. I totally get it if they decide I’m not the person they want me to be.
First off, I’m a liberal. A card-carrying member of the left wing. Some would call me a socialist, and they would be correct. Non-partisan, I will support the candidate who is the most left-wing and upholds left-wing ideals. I support a woman’s right to choose; the right of all religions or non-religions to exist in this country as long as what they do harms no one physically (because there are sure a hell of a lot of religions out there that are permitted legally to harm people mentally, and, IMO, they are usually peopled by right-wingers); the rights of immigrants to full access to citizenship without being hounded or deported—as long as they are law-abiding—which I believe is the vast majority; social programs; universal health care; environmental protection policies; animal rights; civil rights; and most every other liberal cause one can throw out there on the boards for my consideration. I fall somewhat to the left of center on a liberal scale, mostly because I do believe in the death penalty in some cases. I can’t tolerate braggarts. Or showboaters. Or arrogance. Or social climbing. I don’t care how much money a person has, or how big their house is, or where they live, or what their sexual preference or gender identification is. I am, however, a bit of a snob when it comes to intelligence, because I cannot tolerate empty headed plastic people whose lives center around what they want others to think about them.
On religion: I do not believe the Bible is the inspired word of a god. I do not believe that the historical Jesus was the only divine being to ever come to earth. I do believe in a Divine Power, but not that described in the Christian Bible. Or the Qur’an. Or the Jewish texts. I tend more towards the belief that God is everywhere, in everything, and has many avatars—male, female, etc., as well as more than one being within “God”. For me, God is most often in female form, or a female member of “God”. I believe that God may very well be a family of Divine Beings, with perhaps a hierarchy. So, I am “pyramid” pan-theistic. But, I believe that God as a whole cannot be anthropomorphized. Sort of like a family. There is a family. There are members of the family. And, I believe that these divine beings send messages down here to earth through various channels. But, I do not believe those channels are those that encase the human soul within the bounds of a man-made, or woman-made, religion. Because, to me, religion is hogwash. At least the Abrahamic, patriarchal religions that dominate most of the Western World.
I don’t believe in heaven as it is portrayed in either Christianity or Islam. As far as Judaism goes, I don’t know enough about the various beliefs in the afterlife within the forms of Judaism to say whether I believe or do not believe those versions. Yet, I do believe there is an afterlife. I also believe in reincarnation of the soul—sort of like being sent back by the Divine until I learn lessons that will finally lead to me joining the Divine in another State of Being. And, I think that takes many lifetimes. I also am not arrogant enough to believe that humans are the only worthy life-forms in the entire universe. I believe in past life regression. I believe in spirit guides and angels. I believe we, as the human race, do NOT know a hell of a lot more than we think we DO know in matters dealing with the unknown.
I do believe in the “light”, as well as the existence of destructive dark forces, although I do not believe in a literal devil. I do not believe the name for God is all that important. I do not believe that bible study is important in and of itself as a way to find God. At least not for me. Although the bible is full of wisdom, it is a historical text written by men. The same with all holy books. They were written by men. The same with religion: rules set down by men to control the masses. Not my thing. Not my cup of tea.
I tend to have conversations with the Divine rather than formal on-my-knees-eyes-closed prayer. Public prayer from self-righteous people really gets on my nerves, as do people who want to pray for my unsaved soul. Or talk about how they are saved. Or talk about “the lord”. Or quote scripture at the drop of a hat. Or…well, I digress again. There are a few exceptions to this, however. When I hear someone talk about scripture in a logical, sensible, scholastic sense, I appreciate it. Because there is wisdom in the ages, in the collection of holy books that contain the stories of how humans came to grips and dealt with the unknown. Anyway, when I meditate and “pray”, I just talk or think to the Divine in my mind, and listen for answers. No, I do not hear voices. To me, it is more a message that I just feel. But, nothing formal. I pay close attention to my dreams. I believe in ley lines and energy fields and auras. I believe that there is something to astrology—although not the simplistic astrology of which most people are aware. I believe in soul mates, although I feel they can be multiple and not always those whom we marry or with whom we have romantic relationships, as is expressed in pop culture. However, I am thankful I am married to one of my soul mates. Who accepts me for who I am, not for who he expects or wants me to be. Because, most of all, he wants me to be me and loves me for that. As I love him. Our fourteen year age difference makes not one whit of a difference. Oh, and I believe in science. And evolution. And reason.
I have been called names. I have been derided. I have been hurt terribly. Emotionally hurt. I’ve been told that I’m not really a liberal, but I just think I am. People have tried to convert me to their way of thinking. People have thought this was just a “phase” I was going through, or am going through. The right to believe as I have come, after many years, to believe has been trampled upon, dismissed, laughed at, scorned, or received with shock by some of my right wing Christian acquaintances. I’ve been accused of pretty much everything one can be accused of when one believes as I believe, both politically and religiously. I’ve had people consider me to be “flighty”, or “over-emotional” or “dramatic” or just plain “out there”.
And, that’s ok. Because the more I am derided, the more I am scorned, the more I am the target of people attempting to “save” me, the more I believe what I believe, the more I separate myself from these people and their narrow minded beliefs and actions. And, in their refusal to accept that not everyone believes as they believe. Surprise, Surprise.
I’ve spent years of frustration, anxiety, and fear coming to terms with the way I now believe. With my new-found spirituality. For years, I was—as my last post presented—a sinner in the hands of an angry god. I developed my way of belief through the friendship of those I consider my soul-sisters and soul-brothers. They know who they are. I carry them in my heart at all times.
I can count the number of close friends I have, soulmates, fellow seekers, or otherwise, on one hand. I am very, very choosy about whom I call “friend”. I’ve been torn apart by those I thought I loved, and put back together by those who I love and who love me in return. I do not throw the word or concept of “love” around helter- skelter. Those whom I say I love, I love. But, the word “love” loses its meaning –loses all its meanings–when used indiscriminately. I do not trust easily, but when I trust, it is wholeheartedly. That has brought a lot of pain, and a lot of lessons. Perhaps that is THE lesson I am here to learn, among others.
So, in keeping with the whole narcissistic Facebook theme, this is me. This is my status. I would like, however, for the reader to take more away than just a rundown on what I believe, because what I believe is just that: what I believe. How I feel. What makes me unique. I would like the reader to take away a re-affirmation that the individual mind is what makes each of us unique. Each of us comes to different conclusions, different stages, at different times. One stage is no more valid than another stage. I don’t need a “spiritual leader” to tell me where I am or where I need to go. I am where I am NOW. My personal journey is just that: my personal journey. Spiritually. Physically. Mentally. I don’t have to believe something because the majority of my friends, family, and acquaintances believe it, or because I am supposed to fear NOT believing it, or because others have conditioned or programmed me to believe it. Or someone else thinks it is the “right” way to believe because others do so. Or because I want to be accepted. Or to not make waves. I don’t have to fit in a box. I don’t have be anything other than what and who I am. I shouldn’t have to pretend. I shouldn’t have to make excuses. And neither should anyone else. Because life isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a journey. And sometimes, it is a lonely one.