As some of you may know, I think a lot about religion. I was raised Catholic, but had Jewish family members and friends as integrated into my life as tightly as Neil Diamond in a pair of blue jeans on a 1975 Christmas Album.
I was raised around a lot of stories, talking and the hustle and bustle of laughter and events. Whether it was Christmas, a birthday party, or a last minute Saturday dinner with friends, our house was always alive with people.
I am not saying that my life was a Saturday Evening Post of Happiness. We had our share of alcoholics, manic depressives, over eaters and perfectionists. But everyone was able to work through their issues with respect and understanding. No one was expected to be anything other than the best they could be.
I have often told my mother that if she did anything wrong in raising me, it was that she gave me a level of acceptance that was very unrealistic in this modern world of cynicism, anger, judgement and pride.
I think my Norman Rockwell tendencies have adjusted quite nicely to the high definition take it up your butt television screen that our world often really reflects.
But every once in a while, I'm racked with an anxiety that, if it were an earthquake, could quite possibly take down the Golden Gate Bridge. I know that worrying about the future is futile. I know that my body can no longer help its pangs of fear anymore than a blind person can help seeing in darkness. It's just a part of my system. But, if a blind person can use a stick, then I can use one also. My stick is my family, my friends, my intentions to eat healthy, my acceptance for the days when nothing but an Apple Fritter and Diet Coke is going to do, and, once again, my religion.
I don't know why bad things happen to good people.
I don't know why marriages fall apart.
I don't know why some people are born brilliant while others have learning disabilities or live two days.
I only know that as I go through post after post, there's a synergy and connection between people that inspires me to keep writing. To keep going. To keep trying to make a difference.
To me, this is God. It dawned on me recently, after a bad week of anxiety, that my innocence of the world does not have to go away simply because I'm no longer a child. If there is a prescence out there that loves me unconditionally, as my family once did (or at least as I naively believed that they did) then I can still find hope. And joy. I don't have to allow the jadedness of our times to kill my love for the small pleasures.
For those of you that have other methods of reaching this same epiphany other than the God route, I think that is fantastic. I am a terrible Christian, because while I couldn't imagine my life without my rock of church, I can't imagine that any God out there could condemn someone for not believing what I do.
I am writing this post because I realize that sometimes I don't share as much of myself as I possibly could.
Or want to.
So, now that you all can label me as a religious nut job, I'd love to hear your thoughts on staying pure in a world that so badly wants us to fail.
Or is that just my anxiety talking again?
Let me know. I'd love to hear from you.