Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm a bad person.

Saw a guy from my band today at Toys R Us, where he apparently works.. I was struck by just how much I miss him. He's one of those people who's just a genuinely good person, who really grows on you. He's a good kid. Really. Anyway, he wasn't there when I originally told the band, so I never heard his opinion on it. For some reason, I got this idea in my head that he wasn't happy with me about it.. But I've been paranoid about everyone in the church, basically. Any little message or comment from one of them seems like a conviction. In reality, most of them don't even know for sure. I care too much. Anyway, he asked me about it, told me that they had told him, and then told me that they had pretty much made me sound like a bad person. I mean I guess I expected that but it still bugs me. And pisses me off a little. I mean I guess I'm not exactly the best "role model", and I always was a pretty big image in that sense, so they probably can't just be like "well, she left so she could pursue happiness." but it still hurts a little. But he said he understood and that he kinda felt the same way about the church. And it just made me respect him even more. This is a kid I could maintain a real friendship with outside of church if we were close to begin with. He sees that I'm still who I always was. I miss my people and my music, it hit me yesterday when I was practicing for a wedding with a girl from the band.. I miss singing with her and talking to her and just being around her. And man, I miss singing, period. I haven't found another outlet yet, and it's not easy. Just gotta keep looking. Can't let that go.
Also, I got a phone call from a guy who wants to "lend an ear" if I ever need to talk about my "struggles". Couldn't bring myself to call him back. Apparently he heard I was going through a "hard time" and wanted to be a friend. Because everyone falls in their faith sometimes, he said. That's sweet, except I'm not really going through a hard time. If you wanna be a friend then don't try to get me to come back, just hang out with me like shit is normal.
That's all.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Miserably Agnostic

I'd first like to mention say that I don't consider myself simply agnostic as much as I do Christian agnostic, and I guess I should explain what that means to me personally, since it seems so contradictory. I just got Weatherhead's "The Christian Agnostic" in the mail during the week, and I should probably get around to reading it, but I've already formed my own ideas.

First of all, I do pray a good bit, if you could call it that. Usually, it's a mixture of talking to myself or journaling and then meditating, but with God in mind- it's my way of maintaining calm. I'm not really a Christian like people in the "Christian community" are- the church goers, the ones who celebrate Easter and all that. I don't trust the Bible, I have no idea if there's an afterlife, I question God's (and Satan's) existence, and I certainly do not doubt that there has been sufficient evidence disproving the existence of any "historical Jesus" who physically walked the Earth. I don't know where the idea of Jesus came from, or why stories of him living were told if it wasn't true, but I admire him, fiction or not. I don't know if I can honestly say I accept him as my "personal Savior", but I would definitely like to live by his example. Am I making sense? It would be like if I were to follow Buddha's teachings- I don't actually believe in Buddha as a god, but since I live by his teachings, I would consider myself a Buddhist. As for the gray areas (Mary, the Holy Spirit, the Saints, icons, etc.), I'm not really sure where I stand. I've basically just detached myself, although I still have some crosses and things that I just can't bring myself to put away just yet. As for praying through anyone, I prefer dealing directly with God, though I did always feel I had a connection with Mary, so that was hard to let go of at first.

Now. My idea of God is what has been bugging me. I read a quote by Lisa Williams that said, "I'm the world's least happy atheist. I miss having religious faith, but having it seems like trying to be in love with someone you're not in love with." And the same goes for me and agnosticism, word for word. I was very happy in the church until I started thinking for myself. But I am a true agnostic, in every sense. I have slowly entered a doubt that I've realized I will never leave, which is ok for some people, but it drives me INSANE. I have a naturally curious mind, and I always want concrete answers, even when they can't be provided. I've made myself crazy over this a lot in the past.

I was always positive of God's existence in the past, but I'm obviously now skeptical. All of the evidence I had now seems trivial. And I feel as though I've gotten as much proof as I ever will get, so my belief is more of a personally embedded thought. Since I can't prove His existence, I've started looking in the other direction: disproving it. So far, none of what I've read or watched has changed my mind. It's all been very interesting, and I probably couldn't have watched it without getting angry two years ago, but I still am not convinced. All it's done is open my mind to possibility. So I will never be swayed either way- at least it seems that way.

I could never go back to that blind faith, because I've seen reason, and I'm not so ignorant as to just throw all that away and pretend it's not there. But I can't discount the possibility, either- no matter how much science or math you throw at me, how logical it is, how far away from the church I become, or even how far away from God I become, I don't think i can ever truly believe there is no God. But why? It's not ignorance, because if so then I wouldn't even be open to discussion or other options. Maybe it's partly the need to believe. And I won't deny that it's partly my own human weakness, which I'm not ashamed of. Maybe it's that I've believed for so long, that it's just stuck there. But really, I think it's just this: How can you disprove something that doesn't even reside in this world, or have a true definition? For example, it's easy to prove Santa doesn't exist, because he's defined as a big guy in a red suit who comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve with presents while you're sleeping. Works for a while, until you catch your parents doing it instead of him. How do I know my "answered prayers" really are just coincidences? God apparently says he doesn't want to prove himself to us, because we need to believe without proof, so there wouldn't be any scientific evidence if He was real. Even if you can define the biblical God and disprove Him, there still might be a being out there. Because there's no definition to disprove. There's no way we could catch someone else in the act, or find out what really happened back when the Bible was written.

You can technically prove to me that Jesus didn't physically walk the Earth, and that the Bible is full of contradictions, and you can even prove that the biblical God is a sham, but you can't prove to me that there in no higher power at all. I just look at the world, and it's so big and wonderful, so beautiful, intricately made. I look at our bodies, and they are so perfect, function so well to help heal minor illnesses and digest foods and do simple things like taste and smell, so we can experience this beautiful world. It's so hard to believe it all happened on its own. I honestly don't think I ever will. I will keep trying to understand, because my mind just works that way. I always seek answers, I never can accept "I don't know." So I'm incredibly agnostic, and I will be miserable that way, unless I can find a way not to be miserable. I will probably always be agnostic. I just can't accept either side fully.

So what should I do? I'm constantly praying, and sometimes I wonder if it's pointless and feel foolish, but mainly I feel peaceful- it can't be pointless, because it calms me, whether there's a God or not. It makes me feel like everything will be ok. So, I don't want to let go of God. I get too much good, and have gotten too much good in the past from Him, or at least the idea of Him. But maybe I should become more independent, for lack of a better word. Sort of, see God as an energy rather than an all powerful being. When I left the church, one of my reasons was that I was tired of always questioning whether or not what I was doing was right in the big scheme of things.. I was always so concerned with my "path", that I obsessed about not straying from it. I simply wanted to stop caring and just live my life. I just wanted to get to the point where I didn't even think about it anymore. Just woke up, went about my day, went to sleep. Quiet. But if I keep praying to the Catholic God, or even to just a personified God, it will feel like I'm asking for guidance, and the all too familiar "voice of reason" will probably invade my thoughts a lot. Maybe I should let prayer turn into meditation. And let God be the trust I have that things won't just go to shit. Lately, I've had complete trust in Him to keep me going and keep me sane, and that's what's gotten me by, but maybe I can turn Him into that trust itself, a certain strength. Because I've obviously made it this far, so I can make it further.

And most importantly, I think I should stop seeking answers so fiercely and instead start trying to accept that I simply won't find them, or won't be satisfied with them. I've got a long way to go to finding peace, but I'm determined, dammit.
I like this quote, feel like it suites the situation:
"The sense of spiritual relief, which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being, is enormous." -Julian Huxley
I just need to define my idea of God and accept it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thanks for "helping".

One thing I might mention: I have Bipolar Disorder. There's a point to mentioning that, though.
A long time ago, before I was diagnosed, I was going through a rough time.. I was in a major depression, wanted to kill myself, etc. I had just lost a couple friends due to my own issues and I was feeling sorry for myself, so I went on over to the chapel and wrote some pitiful entries in the community prayer journal we keep there. And I probably sat there and moped and sobbed for a good while, I'm pretty positive I posted a facebook status about how miserable I was and how I just needed some contact, a hug, something. Yea, it was ridiculous.
So at some point, a friend of mine comes in and goes up to the front and prays a rosary. So I waited for him, and he came over to me when he was done, offered to talk, gave me a hug.. I felt like my prayers had been answered. Of course, this particular person and I were radically different.. He was insanely conservative, and I had started to "rebel" and move away from the Catholic norm at that point. He hated my tattoos and piercings, he commented on how my hair was always changing colors, and it seemed like he had this holier than thou attitude that I could never get past. We had definitely butted heads before. But he was there, and I needed someone.
So we start talking, and I tell him how alone I feel, and I tell him about how I think I'm bipolar but can't do anything about it because I can't afford therapy or anything, etc. And he sits and listens for a long, long time before I'm finally done. Then he starts.
He tells me about the Pieta Prayer book, and all the things in it. He tells me how powerful the Rosary is. He tells me how wonderful daily mass is, how it strengthens you. He tells me all the ways you can learn more about Catholicism.
Now tell me, how the fuck does that comfort or help me at all? All I needed was a hug, an ear, someone to listen to me cry and vent. I didn't need or want a spiritual counselor. And God isn't medicine, he can't cure my mental disorder, hate to tell you, boo.
And that isn't the first time he tries to push shit like that on me or other people, either. He's constantly writing little suggestions in the prayer journal for books to read, things to do, what mystery of the rosary to pray today. He doesn't ever get personal, try to be helpful. Just makes suggestions. Often the same ones over and over. And I can't shake the feeling that he has some need to earn credits.. not to help people just to help them, but to know that he's the one doing it.
It sickens me when Christians spread the word because they want points. That's the vibe I keep getting from him. Not telling me cause he genuinely wants me to feel better, but because he wants to be the one to tell me. And he wants to know that I went and did what he said. It's like he's afraid of damnation for me instead of just for himself. He gave me a prayer book not long after he told me all that. There's a fine line between telling someone how you found peace so maybe they can apply it and see if it works, and telling them how they should do things so that they can find peace, and saying it as though it's the only way to go about it. People are different, we find our happiness in different ways, and as it turns out, daily mass didn't work for me. Rosaries didn't work for me. Church didn't work for me. And the Pieta prayer book definitely didn't work for me.. I gave it to an old lady I met at a nursing home I worked at, and she absolutely loved it and told me so every time I saw her.. seeing the joy in her eyes made me happier than all the mass and books and church in the world could've ever made me. If I could always do things for people just to see that joy, I would live my life to the fullest and die happy. I don't mean to sound vain, but if you were to judge me solely by that quality and by my slowly developing agnosticism, how could you say I'm going to hell simply because I don't have the blind faith that Christians have? It's all so flawed.
I used to have this screwed up logic that God controlled everything in my life. Literally, everything. I thought that when I got more hours at work, it was because I had prayed for it. Not because I was smart enough to call work and tell them I was looking for a another job since I wasn't getting enough hours, which in turn made them give me more hours. And then I felt like I had to be on my best behavior, because if I did anything wrong, if I defied God in any way, he might just take away those hours. I honestly believed that. And when I started straying from the "rules", like I always do, I started getting worried. Every single time I thought I got something from God, I thought I had to be good to keep it. And every single time, I went back to how I've always been, flawed and human, because that's who I am. And a lot of times I did lose what I had. But of course it wasn't God taking it away. It was the natural process of life.. You gain, you lose. At one point, I was so mindfucked and confused because God has supposedly given me everything I could've asked for.. fulltime hours at work, an amazing boyfriend, and an overall sense of joy and peace within myself. And just like that, my patient died, my boyfriend ended up being a needy, clingy idiot who couldn't survive without a relationship and had no original thoughts, and the fact that I had lapsed in my medication for a few months came back full swing and I had a severe melt down, complete with serious suicidal thoughts and everything. I didn't understand why God took it all away, because I was so happy. It took me damn near forever to realize that 1. I don't need to have stuff to be happy. 2. God didn't give me that stuff to begin with. 3. He didn't take it away. It just happened. There wasn't some deep meaning or reason behind it. It just happened.
Jeez. I think back to all the delusions I've held in the past and it almost makes me sick. And I think back to all the times I've been told something was wrong and I believed it before forming my own opinion. And then I went out and argued against it. The times I argued with atheists, the stupid arguments I used, the ones they make fun of. The time I felt sad and sickened when my friend decided he believed in Materialism, hoped he would find the church again, wondered how he could fall away from something he had once loved so deeply. Faulted him for it. Still cared about him, but faulted him. If religion can do that to someone, brainwash them.. I want nothing to do with it.
"I have no need for religion, I have a conscience."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What's right?

So, what if I was born into Buddhism? Or Hinduism? Or Judaism? That would feel right to me, it would be right to everyone around me. Right? That would be the right religion. It would feel right to me, it would feel like my god is telling me to stay there. So how could I ever know that Christianity is the right religion? So I just, by chance, was born into the right religion? How is that even possible? Just cause I was born into it, just cause half of the people there were born into it, it's right? Forget all the reasons anyone else converts to it. Maybe someone tells them it's right, maybe they need something and the comfort is there, the people are there, at the exact time they need it. Catholicism is so known for their holier than thou fucking attitude. It's the right religion, with all it's traditions, it's bread and body, it's icons, it's terrible past that no one there seems to want to see.. the corruption. The huge, beautiful buildings and churches in Rome that could feed so many if they were sold. But does anyone ever realize how many people are just born into it and never leave cause they don't care enough to try anything else, or question it's validity? It's all bullshit. There are Catholics who care so little that they stay, and noncatholics who care so much that they leave. Why is that? Why be a Catholic your whole life if you don't give a shit? I'd much rather be around a nonbeliever who cared enough to look into things and discover his take on the world than be around a Christian who doesn't even care enough to ask who Christ is, what he was like, and if he existed. They'd be surprised to find out that he's nothing like what a lot of them are like. They're too scared that maybe there's something scary in truth, so they stay in ignorance. Comfort.

Questioning is SACRED. And if you question, you'll find answers that maybe you don't want to see. But it's so much better than not knowing anything. I question everything, because that's what we should do. Why do atheists know more of our bible than we do? They study it, question it. A lot of us take advantage of it. But to them, it's a tool. It's funny how much more useful it is to them.

Doubting is a way of life. It's human nature to doubt, we will always doubt, so why wouldn't we doubt a higher power? It's one of the most unbelievable things in this world. When we see a magic trick, we ask how it works. Look at the teachings of the church. It's all magic tricks. Water into mine. Multiplying fish. Curing incurable diseases. Raising the dead. Ask how they work, please. I feel so much happier being open minded about such things. I've been doubting for so long and never wanted to acknowledge it for fear of finding something I didn't want to see.
"And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity to be offended by those who doubt His existence." -Bertrand Russell

Here's what I think. So long ago, things like gravity couldn't be explained. There had to be a reason things stayed on the ground, right? There had to be a reason we came into existence, right? Oh, someone else must have done it. A higher power, a God. And then science came along and said that gravity kept things on the ground. And that evolution brought things into existence. Even though religious people will still argue that it was creation until they die. Men lost their faith over those findings. Because it shook the foundation of religion. But science didn't kill religion. It didn't make religion impossible, because how can you prove something's nonexistence if it's got the majority of the world following it already? No, it made irreligion possible. It made it possible to see that there are explanations other than a higher power. I believe I got that from the Steven Weinberg segment of the Atheism Tapes. No one can be blamed for coming up with their own ideas.

I appreciate my idea of God much more than I ever appreciated the bible's view of God, or the church's view of God. I don't want to be afraid of God or feel like I have to be something or act a certain way to please him. He's just there, when I need him, he sees me as I am, loves me as I am, and if I ever were to doubt he was there, he probably wouldn't mind. He would still be there, he is unconditional love.

If every other religion is wrong, and everyone but Christians are damned, that just sucks. I mean really, that's stupid. And I just don't subscribe to that belief. So I have to believe that the important thing in life is to live a good life. But if every religion is right and the important thing is to believe in something, then shouldn't our higher power be what we want it to be, individually? If we need comfort to get us through life, then how can we find comfort in something we don't necessarily like? Regardless, there is no important thing. Life is just life. It's not about anything. You just live it, and then die. All you should really care about is being as comfortable as you can while you're here. If you die and you go no where but in the ground, then your memory lives on, don't be selfish and wish for a second life. If you die and go somewhere.. well fuck, we'll see what happens then. I honestly don't believe God is so cruel as to send a truly good person to hell for eternity simply because he listened to logic and asked questions and did research and did what felt right to him, and the result was that he lost faith. I'm just gonna go ahead and live life, do good cause I want to and not cause I'm trying to win a prize or get in good with the boss, and I'll see what happens in the end. Fuck it.

Oh and another thing that bothers me: atheist and agnostic people have morals. Religion didn't invent morality. We don't have to "borrow" it from God. We can have it ourselves. Atheists aren't all just pieces of shit who sit around plotting murder and raping women. They aren't all whores or drug addicts or alcoholics. I actually know a lot of Christians who do worse things and pretend they don't. That's so, so much more terrible. Don't deny who you are for a god and a stupid book of rules. You will never find happiness that way.

I believe in God, because I choose to believe in God.. there's a certain sense of calm in that for me, and I give my troubles to him each day, every time I feel out of place or out of control, I close my eyes and remember he's there if I want him to be, always will be, and I'm calm. But I'm not denying that it could have all been something man made up to explain what he didn't understand. Look at all the other religions of the world, all the other gods. We're all atheists to those gods. How do we know we picked the right one? And if your argument is that it's just a comfort to know that there's a second life, that there's a being looking out for us, guiding us.. maybe we don't all need that comfort, and maybe we should stop looking down on those who don't. Who are we to say what gives people peace, how they should live? Stop hoping they find something, start asking if you're just following the herd. Do what makes you happy, what gives you peace, not what people tell you will make you happy. If church is it, hey, that's cool. It's not for me, but I'm not one to try to change anyone's opinions. The thing that makes me disrespect and dislike religion in general, besides the personal reasons, the stuff that made me leave, is the wars it's caused and how it makes its members think they can judge those who choose not to live the way they live. Faith causes people to do things they wouldn't do normally, because they think God is telling them to do it. That doesn't mean I disrespect people who choose to go to church, as long as they still respect me and anyone else who has differing beliefs. I still really love everyone from my church, and miss them terribly. And I respect them for doing what they do, putting so much time and effort into everything and being so faithful. Some of them are the best people I know, the most caring and most beautiful people I've met. Those people are how religious people should be.. too many people think they can judge. And if church is what makes people happy, what feels right, then they should stay there. But keep in mind, what feels like god saying what's right might just be years and years of thinking that's what's right.

"Life is good. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid."
-Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Feels real.

First day of not going to church, it feels more real. I feel pretty good now.. I mean there's still conflicting feelings but I still feel good. There's still lingering catholic conscience telling me I'm making the wrong decision, but the rest of me is telling me this feels incredibly right, run with it. So that is exactly what I'm doing.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Told the parents.

The parents know now too, told em last night, and in a way the reaction was better than I thought and in a way, worse. I didn't expect the complete submission, which was nice, I didn't feel like another grill session attempting to change my mind.. But there was this tone of disgust there from my dad I almost didn't expect, I mean I didn't even expect to have to tell my dad to be honest, he doesn't notice shit. But when I told my mom she said I should tell him. I timed it all 20 minutes before I had to leave for work.. Nice little strategy. Of course, they kept talking even when I said I had to leave and I was almost late. But anyway, you'd think it would've been easier.. You know, I'm 21.. This shouldn't be this fucking difficult right? Wrong. I wove myself into that church and everyone around my saw it, including my parents. They're heartbroken. Heartbroken? Cause I'm leaving a church? To find peace within myself? They don't understand. But that's how it'll always be. My dad bitched at me for telling the choir I was having trouble with my belief in a lot of the church's teachings and stuff. Literally got pissed at me, because he said I shouldn't burn bridges. So I'm supposed to lie instead? Ok. So then he goes on to tell me all his other opinions, how he stopped going to church but he never questioned god, which number one, I hadn't once said I didn't believe in god, and number two, if you question something and your faith remains after, is it not then stronger? Of course I question god, I have to. I question everything, because if I don't, then I'm following something blindly. I don't believe in that anymore. So then the last thing I hated was that he blamed one of the most wonderful things in my life for the "change", said he was a bad influence, said he was afraid I would get hurt.. I understand the concern, but that's what hurts me. I put my trust in someone after a long time of forgetting trust, because this person is te opposite of lies and deceit to me, and he always encourages me to think for myself, come up with my own ideas. And my dad thinks he's the problem. Of course, that's the first way he would think. Well, I have one person left to tell- the youth minister. Anyone after that doesn't absolutely need to know. Then I can start my journey to finding my fucking self. Without this burden.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Feeling better today. I feel better able to just put shit behind me now. The two hours of grilling from last night is starting to fade away, things are going back to normal, but I feel free. My mind is emptied, I can be the one to fill it now. Went to the chapel.. It's where I go to gain some calm. And every time I go, I feel more calm than before. Like just this overwhelming sense that everything will be ok.

On another note, just watched Naked Lunch.. What the fuck.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I officially left the fuckin catholic church tonight. Man. It feels good. But fuckin horrible. But GOOD. I feel so fuckin free. I went in there, fuckin sure, you know? I'm fucking doing this. Nothing will stop me, I made my decisions and it was MINE, no one is fucking changing it. I made my own fucking decision for once. Because damn they tried. And I respected that, god they care.. It hurt me. To hurt them like that, cause they truly think I'm doing something bad. And they love me so much that it hurts them. So they tried, hard, harder than I thought they would, and it sucked, and eventually I just stopped talking, and several times I second guessed myself, but my mind just kept saying "no, fuck this, you made your own decisions, stick to it." and I fucking did, first time ever. I don't remember the last time I stood up for my own decision, didn't let myself be swayed.

Doesn't change the fact that this fucking hurts. Hard.
My support group.. Fucking gone.
Nothing will ever be the same.

But shit, something had to change.

Getting through the miserable

I'm fucking miserable. But I can remember a lot of times being fucking miserable at the church and sticking with it and eventually balancing out. Sometimes I was just not fucking happy, I knew I had to turn to god to make shit better but man, all I wanted was to turn the fuck away. But even that felt empty. And now part of my instincts are telling me to run the fuck back to the catholic church faster than ever before, but that feels wrong and I can't make myself do it. Going the other way feels empty as fuck but I know it'll balance out. I'm so lost and I feel so fucking out of place, it's insane, but going back to the church won't make it better, it'll make it worse. I tasted these waters, I'll be lost until I swim in them.

I hate the real reasons I'm fucking miserable, but I'm not gonna talk about that in detail. I just feel like it's all falling apart, this plan, like it's all stupid and I should just give up and do what everyone has always expcecyed of me. Why did I ever dream of being fucking different? I feel fucking alone, and I'm relying too much on one person to make me happy and I hate it.

And sometimes I just need to get shit out, so that's all.