Thursday, November 29, 2007

God's Rusty Car and Broken Furnace

So my question was - would God ever purchase a new car?
This is an impossible question, of course. It twisted my brain.

But after I dropped a drink on my laptop - on the Very Same Day that I had gotten it back via air-mail from the Dell repair center now with a new keyboard and system board (for pretty much the same thing) and considering I had been talking to a friend about Shit Happens, and whether or not that's true, just an hour before - I had to ask myself - "Why?" for the hundredth or so time in the last few months.

So I started going off on a little impossible tangent. (grin) Asking myself the really tough questions.
If God lived in a house, I supposed, would He ever have to replace His furnace?
Do things
Just Happen?
If God wasn't paying attention, would Her car break down? (Course, God could fix it as soon as it happened, but still...) Do machines have their own minds? Well, not minds, of course, but...
momentum, maybe....
The absurd questions went on and on through my head.

Somewhere along the trail I got into a different space - a place that asked not Why this? but one of What now? Not a "what the hell is next?" kind of thought, but in a "how do I feel about this?" sort of way.
I think I've come to the conclusion that while I very well may have brought these occurrences to myself (of course I did, if not me, then who?)- I'm not so sure the Why? (are these specific things happening) matters anymore.
Somehow I believe I've managed to let it go. I am considering that the answer to Why? might just be because you need to change your mind about your reality.
And - You are judging these things as "bad", as you are judging a great many things as "Bad" right now in your life - and We (the tree stumps and "ahems" and taps to the shoulder - in the name of God and spiritual evolution) are trying to get you to Change Your Mind, and to Change Your Perception of Reality.

The whole thing goes way beyond the second full drink being spilled into a delicate and expensive piece of electrical equipment.
Mostly it's about me judging Me.
About I deserve this.
About having a fatalistic attitude because I'm not measuring up. Being angry at myself because I am not entirely the person I'd like to be. (shrug) Which means perfect.
Such an attitude also spills over into my judgments of my children and their actions though I've been pretty good about that, lately. Well, mostly.

A new email/yahoo group was started in my area for secular homeschoolers.
Someone whom I have not met said something about "I don't want to be judged."
I wrote back a bit about myself and my family, and said "I will consider it a Grand Accomplishment if upon my deathbed I can say that I judge no one or no thing in this world and find it lacking (ie judge it as 'bad' or 'wrong')."

Then I really started thinking about it, and I thought "Well, that's a hell of an accomplishment."
Indeed, should I manage it in this life, I believe it shall be one of my greatest ones.

Melissia (she shrinks when I mention her name, but I feel like I'm being elusive when I don't mention specifics) and I were talking yesterday, and at the end of our conversation I said something about pretty much disdaining religion.
I have a hard time with accepting something that someone else lays out for you; for the most part I think folks should do the hard work themselves, and find the answers within.
Then she said something about how she didn't think that most religious people are unaccepting of others' truths, or others' ways, or blindly accepting of their religion's teachings.
In my head, I vehemently objected to this observation, as I haven't found that to be my experience at all.
I feel like most religious folks believe they are the only bearers of the Keys to Heaven.
That they know the only Truth, and therefore all others' ways are false.
That bothers me.
It bothers me equally as much that often times I believe that I know better than most, too.
More often than not, though, lately, I've found more similarities than differences in the Pursuit of Spiritual Evolution. Maybe that's a good beginning.
Most folks want a greater communion with God. Or the All. Alla, Buddha, Krishna, etc.
Most folks want to be true to their hearts.
Most folks want peace in their spirit.

So after I told Melissia of my disdain, I started wondering if it were true. Do I really believe that religious folks are mindless?
And unaccepting of all others ways?
What is it
exactly that I object so strongly to?

Judgment, of course.
It's one of those crazy twisty "I detest intolerant people" feelings. Makes no sense at all.
But maybe I can find peace in the commonalities. Maybe I can get past the verbiage to the intent behind the words, and find brotherhood.

These are all parts of my quest.
To wholly, fully, completely, gently, lovingly, and unconditionally accept my children for Who They Are.
To accept the souls around me (in the world at large) for Who They Are.
To embrace the events that I most assuredly bring into my life for What They Are (and to remember it's not the events themselves that are "bad", but how I judge the events).

My life (experience) comes from how and what I think about a thing.
I believe I'm being led toward If you don't like where you are, or where you are headed, then Change Your Mind.
Change your mind.
Change your thoughts.
Change your heart.
Change your Self.
And remember that you have an eternity to do it.


KMDuff said...

There are so many thoughts I have swirling in my head. Top of the list is that I wish I had traveled more up to Salt Lake when I was in Utah and gotten to get to know you in person more. I love your blogs, they are wonderful, and full of goodness and things that inspire me and make me think and more.

I also feel confused. Confused, because I am encountering similar feelings from some of my new friends I am making here about "religious folk" in general and it hurts me, even though it isn't meant to include me. It hurts because I am very religious and wonder if I am not any good at it since I don't seem to fit in with how everyone tells me religious people are. Or at least I don't believe I am that way. It hurts in a empathetic way too, because I am sorry to hear about other's hurts caused by the callous comments of others. I could talk a lot about this, but I'm going to stop.

I also love this post because it captures many of the feelings and emotions I have been having in my latest loss. I have started to recognize the "movies" that play in my head from childhood and such and the voices that turn on automatically and I am learning to not follow them, not believe them, not let them keep me from being my authentic self. As a result, I haven't been in a bad mood for as long as I feel I should be. I've been in a good mood actually. Enjoying life. Moving forward or something. Wondering about the purposes of things, the whys, the whats, all the lovely questions. I did not get to the questions about God and mechanics on my own, but reading it, I am fascinated to think about it. It fits, it goes along, it is an interesting question.

I'm finding that laughter and humor are much more fun coping mechanisms for the random happenings of life than dwelling in the pain and misery of messing up in what I mean to do, or having things that are usually labeled "bad" happen to me.

I am finding joy in more parts of my life than I knew possible and I believe that you and your blog are part of it. You are a guide to me of some sorts on my unschooling journey. Not THE guide, but one I appreciate and find interesting. Thank you for that.

Stephanie said...

Thanks so much for leaving such an insightful and beautiful comment, M.
The only thing I can think of with the comments of your friends is that often people feel judged and react and say things according to their feelings of rejection.
That's the hardest part of this whole thing for me, behaving in a way that contradicts what I know to be true for me and loving. (rejection of my own mistakes, my children's actions, my fellow man, all of it.)
It is so wonderful to hear another take on this - to hear that you connect with these same thoughts, and that they carry your mind into a thoughtful process.
What more could I want than to make true connections with others through these writings?

I absolutely agree that laughter heals (er, even if it's pained laughter :) ) - and we have the choice - though sometimes it certainly doesn't FEEL like it - of how to come out the other side.

Thank you so much, M, for your kind words about the blogs, too.
That's very sweet of you.

Rinnyboo said...

Thanks for writing this post, Stephanie. This was really important for me to hear.

Most of my family lives in your area (so you can probably guess what religion they are) and I have a really hard time not judging them or having hurt feelings all rolled up in this religion. This religion also has to do with losing my brother which is a real painful, horrible, sore spot for me right now.

I needed the reminder to curb my own judgements about family and members of this religion. It is one of the things my brother told me he loved about me right before he died-that he felt like I never judged him and I loved him unconditionally! It is SO hard though for me to extend that love to others. I think losing Jensen has made it too raw and painful for me to withold judgement right now. I think that eventually I will be able to do it.

Wow! This ended up being all about me. Sorry. I really do appreciate your words and thoughts.


Stephanie said...

Rinnyboo - you didn't sign your name, so not sure if I should call you Mxx or not... :)
I shake my head at the thought of what a small world it is (your family living in my relative neighborhood).
Funny how you start to write something, singularly focused on what this thought means to you, and trying to get to the bottom of something, then others (like you and the M before you) write in and say "This is what this post means to me."
How amazing and wonderful!
Never apologize for responding to what words or thoughts inspire within you - as I told Evie once, what is the point of writing publicly if not to relate to and share with others?

I am so humbly grateful for your response - truly.
I was just trying to work something out in my head, and to have reached someone else that was willing to share also is a remarkably splendid thing.
Thanks so much, Mxxxx.

Rinnyboo said...

Oh yeah, I didn't write my name, did I? I am afraid I got carried away with the moment and didn't write it!

Sure you can use my name. :)


Lena said...

I think that many of us who belong to an organized religion or not, have similar gut feelings. As I was reading the post about labels and such this morning I had a thought come and I'm not sure if I can put it into words. Too bad you can't reach in and see what I mean ;) I think we all are obviously trying the best we can- maybe I should say I "hope" we are. As mothers raising children, giving them opportunities for growth and learning, for living. I think every parent, or person when it comes to spirituality, does what they do because they believe it is best (well, this would be ideal anyway). IF we didn't think it was best, we probably wouldn't do it- or we wouldn't be so defensive about it. But because spirituality and raising our children are so very personal it can lead to feelings mucking up that filter we have that helps us to stop from judging others. I find myself in a very similar position here as you seem to feel. I so wish for a more secular group of homeschoolers. I find myself unable to participate- and really unwilling to as well, in most of the activities that the groups put on here because I do not have the same core beliefs that most do. Because I believe in the Book of Mormon, I can't coach or teach any classes. What the heck? Shouldn't guidelines for these things be based on sportsmanship, courtesy, kindness, even a set of moral beliefs if you will. But what the heck does it matter if I am of a different religion? I fear for some kids who are not learning that there are so many people out there with much to offer. They are learning to only ask if the owner of a particular business is a good Christian. Who cares? I would much rather know if he is good at what he does and has a good price. Sorry, this should be a blog post, lol. Oops. I'm going to stop now. I just wanted to say that even we religious folk deal with the same traps in our mind and deal with the repercussions of other people's.

I'm really sorry, I should delete this until I can explain it better but I won't ;)