A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".
Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.
Monday Mantra: Just…stop
For a long time I thought about writing something about religion on here, but I try to be very cautious with this hot topic item because it really, truly makes people go crazy. Like, freak-out-and-yell-at-you-because-you-don't-believe-what-they-believe kind of crazy. I don't like crazy. Crazy is exhausting. But I had an assisted epiphany this weekend and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Thus, this post.
When I was a little girl I went to worship service every Sunday, thought of my church as one of the happiest, funnest, best places to spend my time, and said my prayers nightly. I even made a promise to God that I would never be one of those adults who forgot to say their prayers each night.
When I was a teenager I slept in and missed some services, I felt less and less comfortable at church, and I completely forgot about my prayer promise to God. I would pray occasionally, but it was usually only when I needed something.
In my early 20's I suddenly remembered my promise and it bothered me greatly that I had broken it for so long. I also realized that I didn't need a building to worship in. I could do that anywhere, any time, any way I wanted. Now, I pray every single night - when I need guidance and when I'm just grateful for my awesome life. I go to church when I go home and visit my mom, but church doesn't mean anything specific to me anymore. I stopped believing everything that was being shoved down my throat and I started believing what made sense and felt inherently right to me. I've never felt closer to the God I believe in and I feel like I have an amazing relationship with my God, but because I'm not a text-book believer I'm constantly being told how wrong I am.
Wrong because I don't think homosexuals are or should be going to hell because they have a different sexual preference. Wrong because I don't think it's wrong to live with your significant other before you're married. Wrong because I don't necessarily think the Bible is the end-all, be-all of everything because I wasn't around a kajillion years ago when it was written and I don't know if it's been interpreted correctly, if it's real, if it's stories, or if it's a bunch of tests meant to make us really think and half of us are failing them because we don't actually get the message trying to be delivered.
I'm wrong because I freely admit that I don't know.
I'm wrong because I don't know what God looks like or if God is a person, a universe, or the Wizard of Oz. Wrong because I believe in a God that is kind, loving, and compassionate and understands that being a person is absolutely the hardest thing in the world to do. I am wrong because I don't stand up and agree 100% with something that can't be proven. I am wrong because I admit to the idea that I could be wrong in what I believe, even if it feels right to me.
When I get told how wrong I am and how my soul is in danger, I like to remind people of all of the other things that I very clearly have not done wrong in life. For example, I'm not a serial killer. Pretty sure that's a big win right there. I've never touched a drug in my life, I don't lie, steal, or cheat. I don't torture animals and I don't take candy from babies. I'm financially independent, I pay my taxes on time, I have never stopped pursuing knowledge, I donate to charities, I hate Monsanto (uh, this should count as extra special bonus points), and I usually, mostly, almost always drive the speed limit. Ultimately, even though I fail at this all the time, I am in a constant state of trying to be a good, kind, open-minded person who loves and respects everyone.
But apparently, none of that matters because my boyfriend and I are buying a house together, and *gasp* will be living in it - together! And we're not married! Everyone should start wearing black around me because hell is right around the corner, or so I'm told.
Here's my frustration, if you haven't already picked up on it.
I really, truly don't care what other people believe in. If you're Atheist and happy, I'm happy for you. If you're a Catholic-Hindu-Hippie and happy with that, I'm happy for you. It is completely beyond my interest to judge you on what you believe in. In turn, I very much expect this same respect back. I don't want what someone else believes to be pushed and shoved and forced at me every 5 seconds. When that happens, I believe you less. I think you are the one who is unsure. I think you are actually quite afraid. Afraid that you might be wrong, afraid that there's more to all of this than you think, afraid that you can't control me.
One more time, in case you missed it. You. Can't. Control. Me. Or anyone. You absolutely, positively, cannot force someone to believe what you believe.
The harder you shove anything at someone, the more they'll go the opposite direction. I'm positive this has been proven 41,738,362 times and yet there are people out there who do it daily. Find a new hobby, people. This one is dead.
I'll bet you $10 right now that I'm going to be told my Burn in Hell chances just increased because I wrote this post.
I'll be Googling flame retardant clothing if you need me.