Saturday, May 15, 2010

The power of....Pine-Sol?

I've stopped praying. I started when I was 10, and I memorized my prayer in my head to try and make it habit. One day I saw my cat Mojo get hit by a car, and in my mourning it occurred to me that the night before I didn't pray, and that's why he died. I didn't ask God to make him safe. After that day, it stuck. The prayer stayed the same, with additions and removals of family, friends, animals, boyfriends. If I had a super special request I would throw that in after the prayer, and in the beginning I would always start with, "Dear Lord, please forgive me for everything I've done wrong". I don't know when knocking on wood started, but I would think of something bad at random and I would knock on wood three times and say to myself, "please let (insert fear here) not happen". After a while I would knock on wood about all the things I was worried about and then pray. It was a long process. Many a time I was staying at a boyfriend's house they would say, "what's that knocking sound?"

In the middle of my last depressive episode, I just stopped praying. I don't know if it was the fact that I was exhausted every day, or if by this point I realized God wasn't listening. For anyone wondering, I grew up in a house that didn't talk about religion or incorporate it, and I did go to church and Awana weekly as a child. I remember every time I would walk into a church I would be very uncomfortable. I would fidget and my mind would wander until the service was over. My ex grew up in a strict Christian household, and we made a compromise where I would go to his "mega church" on religious holidays like Easter. I hated it. I hated that they made God so commercialized. I wanted to go in a quiet church, stand and read hymns then sit and listen. These people would mumble to themselves, raise their arms in joy and I felt like I was soaking in sin. I wanted to run out screaming.

I'm happy that my parents didn't raise me with any specific religion, as now that I'm older, I can look at religions with no bias other than my own. On the other hand, I look at my best friend who is a born-again Christian and I absolutely envy that she doesn't fear death. If something goes bad in life, she can surmise that "that was not the path that God chose for me", and move on. I only have myself to blame for anything that goes wrong. In my opinion, if you are inherently good, you go to Heaven. My grandma never talked about whether or not she believed in God; what I do know is that she was a good person, and she has to be in a good place or the whole concept of the life we choose to lead would be a joke, and my head would explode. In regards to religions and which one is the "right" one, I believe that Heaven is a series of land masses in the sky where the Jews have one continent, Hindus have another, and so on. I know, it's completely a juvenile way to think of it, but I'm always thinking, "if I commit to the fact that Jesus is the 'real' Lord and savior, how can 6,000,000 Muslims be wrong and automatically go to Hell? What if I'm wrong?"

Anyway, I was sitting here and thinking about where times have gotten really bad, and I still don't really blame God. I sometimes look up and think, "C'mon! C'MON!" I know I am an inherently good person, I wouldn't hurt a fly, yet I am cursed with this useless brain that likes to play tricks on me. I chose to have a child and he happened to be autistic. But I still know that there are children that die from starvation, or live forever as a vegetable, and even though you would think I would be giving props to God for sparing my child, I get even angrier that these innocent children have to be born just to suffer. I think that's ultimately why I chose to stop praying, because as we all know, life will go on whether or not you tell God daily, "I know I ask for a lot, but I appreciate everything you have done for myself, my friends and my family and the good people around the world".

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