Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My clothes arn't fitting me...

For so long I have had an identity, identities plural I suppose, titles that I made and confirmed WHO I WAS. It was never a difficult question for me to answer when someone asked what I did, qualities I liked about myself or where I was headed next. I was confident, I was secure and I had esteem. When you think esteem issues my guess would be all of us would defer back to our adolescent years when what was "cool" and being "hot" was not something limited to only changing with the weather. But not me, I was steady and secure. The soccer player, The pianist, The sewer, The socialite, The fish processor, The student, The 1st counselor, the girlfriend, The wake boarder, The snowboarder, The business owner, The counselor, The crisis worker and the wife. These are all labels I have worn throughout my life, some mutually exclusive while others simultaneous and some I still wear today. I have always been 2 steps ahead of myself, when I settled into something else, I had something in the wings that was always waiting for me to transition in to. My life has mostly been the pursuit and obtaining of something and I've always had something to obtain and pursue. AND I have always felt right about it...until now. At 27 when my current identities feel like old worn out clothing and yet I have nothing to change in to. I know who I have been but I continue to struggle with who I am right now. The question that replays in my mind like an old 8-track on repeat is this: How am I supposed to be spending my time right now? To be honest with you, when I look into the future I currently don't see anything, not like a depressive state where the future is bleak but I literally don't see anything. The canvas remains blank and I the painter stare eyes glazed with paint and brush in hand and no idea of what to paint next. The obvious next hat to wear is Mother, but what does that look like? A part of me wonders if this is my maker's way of finally turning to HIM to ask who I am, my purpose and how I should be spending my time. If that is the plan, it's working.--@DP

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Letting Go of God

I heard a woman talk on NPR a couple of days ago named Julia Sweeny. Julie has written a book called, "Letting Go of God" and travels around the country speaking about the idea of letting God go. She grew up in Catholothism and now is atheist after REALLY reading the bible. As the show was going on I was writing a couple of things down that I wanted to blog about because it was just so curious to me. She discussed how if people REALLY read the bible the would realize you can't possibly believe what's in their because it's crazy. God asking you to kill you son? She also said we have no evidence of GOD at all or for anything that happened in the bible. She feels like she has a higher level of thinking now after letting go of God because now she can actually think and question things. Next up was the caller who stated Sweeney has really helped him to Let Go of God but he describes the process as "graduating" from God and he has moved on to a more sophisticated level of thinking because of it. At the beginning of the call he talked about growing up Mormon and doing the whole mission thing and in the middle of the call said he had to move on from the church because he was gay.

I was so intrigued due to the argument, most often laid by far left liberals, that believing in God is frankly naive and to believe in God, you must not have stopped to question, challenge or critically think about anything. Because if you had, well you wouldn't believe to be quite frank. I can totally see how the stories in the bible are "crazy" if looked at through our modern day lens and not considered from their context. I can also see how the stories have gotten somewhat lost in translation. I also think it's sad when people get so into the intellectual process they miss out on the spiritual/intuitive process (I said spiritual not religious) and subtleties of life. If everything has to be scientifically proven well, that would discount a lot of things including my hips that healed due to fasting and praying? The group think is also not limited to Utah, I have found it in any place where their is a dominant cultural norm. Go to the bible belt and get your Baptist and Evangelical on, go to Utah and get your Mormon on, or don't, because religion is such a either or issue here (if you're not Mormon well then you're nothing), go to Hawaii and get your Polynesian on because if you're white in certain parts it simply won't cut it.

The call also reminded me of grad school in social work at the University of Utah where you literally had 30 people in each class divided into the "Mormons" and the "Liberated." The liberals, which included everybody that wasn't Mormon, would claim they were thoughtully open and liberated with their thinking--so open that they were closed to even discussing religion/spirituality period. Mormons were pegged, pinned up and not heard in those classes because "our arguments were naive and filtered through a religious lens." It was the first time I actually joined with 16 other students out of the 130 to talk to the dean to express some discrimination not just from the students but the professors. Mind you one of the aforementioned classes was a class on Diversity. I don't like Utah for that reason...religion is very polarized and it's just as bad if you are as if you aren't--at least in Salt Lake Silly.

As a self-proclaimed spiritual RepubliCrat who has found her place of expression and spiritual medium in Mormonism, I feel strongly to question and grapple with my religion, life's happenings and what is being taught within acaademia. I can question my Prophet and find out for myself if what he is saying is true. However, my process of questioning is not solely through my brain or science and what I know or can have proven to know. Does this make me naive, a blind follower? I think not, I think it opens me up to all of the possible ways to gather information through all of my God given senses--even the ones you can't see or prove.--@DP