I’ve never considered “being practical” a fun way to live before these last few years. It’s hard to imagine sometimes that I’m almost 50 years old and yet I’m sitting around in an existence I still struggle to comprehend and accept. I’ve been confused, scared and ashamed most of my life; these demons, when they speak, can be vicious in their chatter. And as I alter my approach to my own reality in order to thrive in my own existential journey, I find myself actively observing and questioning the space I occupy and the path upon which I find myself. So what is the meaning of life after all? Don’t we all want to feel happy and content with our lives? Am I the only one who feels so confused and overwhelmed by my own existence? Is it possible to live an existence of sustained happiness with a strong foundation of self? Is God real? Will I ever find love that doesn’t hurt? How can I finally find the peace of mind that allows me to live this life well. Actually, not just well…How can I live my life extraordinarily? How can I simply fall in love with my life?
Over the course of my life, I’ve been all over the board with my faith in a higher power and host of souls. My grandmother was a significant role model in my upbringing and she loved me very well. She not only was my grandmother, she was also my Sunday school teacher and she was a strong, resilient and kind woman who lived an extraordinary life in my eyes. It seems only logical that modeling my faith after my grandmother’s strong belief system would lead to some form of personal redemption. In other words – if my grandmother, beautiful soul that she was, believed it and lived her faith so devotedly, her example is one with a high probability of being a good one to follow. So practically, if I want a life in which I’m the best version of myself, I should follow my grandmother’s example and find God and find God fully, permanently and intimately.
So I’ve started tackling the hard parts and really asking myself the questions I’ve skimmed over before in my search for answers. Much to the dismay of some very beautiful people who love me, I’ll likely never identify myself as being a Christian. I believe in the story of Christ, the divinity and the example given through that story, but the rigid “trinity” doctrine of Christianity is confusing and there are too many acts of hate and anger being committed against others in the name of Christianity these days. If nothing else, I’d never call myself a Christian as long as preachers like Joel Osteen preach so successfully in the name of that faith system. I don’t know a lot about other religions and I’m not trying to learn. I’ve decided instead to find my own answers and my own personal relationship with my creator. Religion, as a whole, seems entirely too flawed and inconsistent to provide any practical approach to finding a flawless and perfect God.
I swim through the confusing doctrines of religion and the chatter within my own mind, looking for the little gem moments when things make sense and I start to feel my soul align with itself in a way that gives me the chance to breath before I dive back into the murky depths again. I am no longer trying to choose what I believe…that task is entirely too overwhelming. Instead I’m working on just believing in what I feel when I feel good. And when I feel good, I’m believing in myself and I am believing I am a divinely sparked soul who is loved perfectly by my creator. And if I am going to live my life in a way that honors this loving creator, I need to be the best me I can be while I’m here. So, in very practical terms within this paradigm, I am not in control of my path, God is. But I am 100% responsible for being the best version of myself through even the most difficult parts of my path.
Just as I am. Broken and living in a broken world. Believing in a creator with a perfect plan to make my path one well-traveled. Practically speaking.