Posts Tagged With: God

Crisis of Faith

I try to steer away from politics and religion on all social media forums… well, in life in general, because those are two topics, along with money, that destroy relationships, friendships, and any kind of ships really for that matter. It’s a hot topic.  Well, I’m not here to debate any of it, just share with you a little crisis of faith I’m having of my own.

No point going into my history, just know that I had both religious and non-religious parts in my life.  I became a Christian at 24 and served in the ministry for nearly 17 years. I don’t need a history lesson, nor am I about to give one.  I just added that bit of information so you’d understand that what I’m talking about isn’t some idea I pulled off a meme somewhere or  heard in passing.   I take my faith very seriously.  I think it’s probably the thing that broke my heart most  when my life fell apart a few  years ago.

I don’t have a problem with God, the concept of God, or really any of the teachings attributed to God.  The people who claim to represent God, well, that’s another story and one I’m not getting into.

In my meditation this morning I was feeling angry, but I wasn’t quite sure who I was angry with.  It could have been directed toward myself for having made a really stupid decision lately where I thought I was helping a friend, but instead was just enabling them to use me.  I could have been angry at another friend that had lied to me and made me feel unwanted.  I could have been angry at yet another friend that  left me high and dry when I needed them most.  I could have been angry at myself for being unable to make simple life decisions because I’m stuck, I’m in a numb place, a place of indecision and confusion.  I could have been angry just because my pre-menopausal hormones have been going crazy the last few days and have made me want to crawl out of my skin. It could have been one of a million reasons, but as the tears bubbled in the corners of my eyes, it was toward God I directed my anger.

I’ve been reading a lot of religious and anti-religious meme’s lately.  Not because I’m searching them out, but because many of my friends have been posting them in light of the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage.  I’ve seen them for both sides of the issue. I’m not going to debate that either.   I’m not gay and I’m not married, so it’s really none of my business. The majority of these memes I know were meant to be inspirational, to give hope in a time of hardship and pain.  But they weren’t.  Instead they came off as condescending.  Don’t tell me when I’m hurting so bad I can’t breathe that God has a plan for me – that He allowed me to go through this pain so that I can learn some proverbial spiritual lesson that’s going to make me a better person. Don’t tell me because something just became legal all the world is now rainbows and unicorns.  FUCK that!!!!  I’ll say it again, FUCK THAT!!!  If you got a problem with my language, then you don’t need to read my stuff. I’m free to speak my mind – and my mind sometimes uses foul language.

God’s got a plan for my life?  You, who thought the fucking world was flat a couple hundred years ago and crucify people daily for being different, thinking different, and believing different… have the right to tell me God has a plan for me?  Don’t get me wrong, I believe GOD has a plan for me, but YOU think YOU know what it is, what I should do, how I should do it, or what I need to do to help God help me????  I don’t think so.  FUCK THAT.  And just because you don’t believe in God, don’t try to tell me I’m using my faith as a crutch and can’t think for myself.  Both of you… get over yourselves and stop judging me because I might be different than you.

Shit happens, whether I’m good or bad, obedient or faithful.  SHIT HAPPENS.  I’ve had a lot of shit happen.  Instead of sitting on  your righteous high horses and telling me what you think you know of what GOD wants from me, for me, and about me… why don’t you just be real and tell me how you survived those low moments that happened in your life?  Tell me how  you picked up all your broken pieces and put them back together.  I don’t want a magic solution, a supernatural fairy tale, an example of miraculous faith of God swooping down off his throne and showing favoritism because you mumbled a few magic words.  Don’t tell me flowers and free love will solve all my problems.

What’s miraculous to me? Being able to love in the midst of such a cruel judgmental world, having hope for a brighter tomorrow, having the courage to chase a dream, having the guts to take a leap to follow my heart, having a compassion to love my neighbor in the middle of tension and hate. Stop telling me what God is doing FOR you, but what you’re doing for yourself, what you’re doing for your neighbor because you love them, not because your religion dictates  you appear compassionate, or your lack of religion makes you appear intelligent and all-knowing.  Show me your faith, what you truly believe with your actions, not your words, not your mouth, not your scripture, platitudes and memes.  Some of the most cruelest people I ever met sat in a church pew or stood in a protest line holding a picket sign.  Cruelty is on all sides of fundamentalism – whether conservative, liberal, gay, straight, black, or white.

I see god and enlightenment all the time in a touch, in a smile, in an act of kindness, tenderness, and compassion.  Please, please, please for the love of all that is, stop trying to save me and just love me. If God is love, then love is what will heal me and help me. If love is your god, then show me that love. Just stop.  It’s not YOUR job to save or enlighten me, only to love me.  Let ME save ME.  Let me learn what I need to know, because I’m the only one that can.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

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No Beauty in Indifference

No Beauty in Indifference

I clearly remember the day when after years and years of running, I finally stopped, turned around, and faced the God I feared, the God I hated, the God I loved but was certain hated me. I was 24 years old and had already lived and survived three lifetimes, I knew hell, and hell knew me.

I remember the moment I put my nose to the carpet of a little country church, warm tears dripping from the tip, darkening the fibers as they fell.  I sincerely prayed for the first time since I was a little girl.  I didn’t ask for blessings, or prosperity, or health, or love, or proof of existence, or even a miracle.  With every fiber of my being, I asked God to open my eyes and ears, so that I could see something different in humanity.   All I could see was the ugliness.  All I knew was how to survive monsters, to look for the danger in their words and actions, to assess my risk, to read the body language of liars, crooks, thieves, and predators.  I needed to believe in goodness, gentleness, kindness, trust, and love.  I needed to see the good potential in people, to be able to see God.

There wasn’t a flash of light or the sound of a trumpet call, but somehow over the years I began to see and hear differently.  I still saw the ugliness, the risk, the danger, the lies… but I also saw the potential for goodness, the motive between the lines, love colored with hope and sewn with faith.  I begin to love humanity even as we writhed in the midst of our ugliness.

What breaks my heart is how cruel we are to one another.  Cruelty doesn’t always come from monsters.  The greatest cruelty I’ve ever experienced didn’t come from the hand of a violent predator, but the gentle hand of indifference.  To not care, to not feel, to not fear, to not love is a great cruelty.  It’s just as cruel as being overbearing in narrow-minded views, excluding those who may think differently or outside their boxed ideas – this includes all religious, political or social mediums.  The way humanity treats each other is both great and tragic.  I see and hear the good and the bad, love and hate, and the cruelest of them all is indifference.  There is no beauty in indifference.

Love me or hate me, but at least feel something.  The cruelest act I’ve ever experienced is to simply be forgotten. I seem to be easily forgotten, dismissed, passed over as if I don’t exist. God tells us to love one another.  That doesn’t mean overlook our ugliness and blindly cling to false truth and allowing the people we love to continually abuse us – but to see both our sins and our goodness, to see the truth and the lies, and then in the face of that truth choose to love, choose to hope, choose to see the potential for greatness.  Forgive.  Not forget… never forget, and sometimes walk away if needed, but forgive.

The thing I love most about my friends are not what they do, or what they have done, but what I know they’re capable of doing and becoming, and their capacity to love.  We all have sins, failures, attitudes, hurts, triggers, scars, and walls.  ALL of us.  None are perfect or perfectly good.  But with love – all things are possible.  That is why I choose to love, to hope, to believe what my natural eyes can’t see or my ears can’t hear.  It’s why I still hope when people push me away or put up their walls to block me out, and continue to love them even when they stop loving me.  Yes, I walk away, but that doesn’t mean I stopped seeing them for the beautiful creatures, the beautiful, complex, deeply layered human beings that they are comprised.

My faith in God has been shaken, especially these last few years, and especially facing mortality.  While I can’t always see and hear who, what, where, when and why… I am still that same young woman with her nose pressed in the carpet and opening her heart to her god, wanting something real, something more and bigger than what she was capable of doing on her own.

So, yes… I’m peculiar, strange, different.  I’m a sinner like anyone else. God granted me my prayer. I can see and hear beyond the image, the masks of flesh we project and think protects us, covers our sins, hides our vulnerabilities, and colors our beauty.   It was so much easier to hate humanity.  Loving them is the hardest of all. Loving them when they don’t love me back is downright cruel.  I wish I could close my eyes and cover my ears and go back into the darkness.  Instead, Beautiful… these tears now fall for you. I wish you could see what I see and hear what I hear and know… what a beautiful soul you truly are. My last hope is that my god sees me in like manner.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Philosophy, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eyes That See

Eyes

Eyes that see – I love to look into your eyes, yet fear it at the same time.

Those dark orbs are full of truth, full of knowing, full of fire.

They see through me, past my mask,  and straight  into my fear,

Exposing my deepest hope, my greatest dreams, my darkest regrets.

They intrigue me.  They inspire me.  They see the truth of me.

But do you see it, or do your eyes only reflect the truth back to me?

You have eyes that see everything, even when you look at nothing.

I’ve tried so hard to hide – my mask is elaborate and hand-carved with great detail.

I’ve spent a lifetime adding thread  by thread, bead by bead, scar by scar,

Garnishing the perfect elaboration, building the perfect distraction.

But can you see me, or do your eyes only reflect me back to me?

I’ve looked into many sets of beautiful eyes,

And they have shown me the splendor of their hosts.

But in your eyes I don’t only see your beauty, but mine.

The first time I ever met their gaze it felt like the foundations of the earth shook,

My knees wanted to bend in worship to the god standing before me.

One glance and a fire ignited deep into my bones.

I’ve tried to run. I’ve tried to hide. I’ve tried to ignore and to deny.

But can you feel me too, or is the fire I feel my own passion reflecting back to me?

Eyes that see – will you look at me and tell me the truth?

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Philosophy, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expectations

Expectations

 

I wish there were no bad days or bad news.  I wish everything always worked out and the plans we’ve made for ourselves go off without a hitch.  I wish everyone loved everyone and that dreams really do come true.  There are a lot of things I wish, and I’ve learned over the years I’ve built those wishes into expectations.  When those expectations fail to be met, I then become overwhelmed with disappointment, depression and despair.

What do I do about that?  What can I do?  Do I never dare to dream or wish again?  Do I stop expecting the unexpected?  Of course not, but that’s easier said than done and vice versa.

Life sucks sometimes and it certainly isn’t fair.  It always seems as if chaos and karma target me personally more than anyone else, and as long as I am self-absorbed and wallowing in my despair, that’s all I can see.  I KNOW, I’ve been stuck there for some time now.  However, I’m beginning to look around me, take notice of other people’s pain, other people’s disappointments, and other people’s despair and expectations.  This evaluation doesn’t erase mine or take away the real pain and fear I constantly feel, but it does help me realize …I’m not alone.

My depression lies to me and tells me I’m on my own, but I’m not.  I’m so thankful for the friends who have stuck by me, with me, and beside me through this time, because I’m beginning to realize just how much of a ‘downer’ I’ve been.  Yes, I’ve been hurt and afraid.  Watching those I really love and care about around me also hurting, makes me realize how much they’ve really been there for me and put up from me.  I feel so helpless to their situations, but I’m filled with compassion because I truly understand how they feel and know what they’re going through.  I only hope and pray I can be even the tiniest bit the friend they’ve been to me. I love them dearly.  I appreciate them more than I could ever express.

Do I still have expectations?  YES, even greater ones.  I don’t have the facts and figures, the studies, the charts, or the evidence, but I have faith in myself and in my friends.  No matter what happens in this world and what we all have to go through, whether good or bad, the love we have for each other is really the only thing that truly matters.  Money, success, romance, fame, achievement, or status doesn’t mean anything without having people you care about share your life with you – and you share your life with them.  Their love for me and my love for them is truly where I draw strength and find the courage to live – to live fully.  I’m beginning to understand… our love for one another is truly where God lives, at least the God to which I believe.

We only get a short period in this world.  Life is too short to waste it being angry, disappointed and hurt.  Help me keep my focus on the love and friendship I have – and you know what… I will make it, I will survive and I will LIVE life to the fullest.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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