Wednesday, March 17, 2010
You know, I can't believe I've spent so many years stressing about things that aren't important. It feels like I've just waken up from a long bad dream and missed some of the most important points in life. And all the church sermons and Bible preaching never really hit home. Yes, I knew that God would provide. Yes I knew that I was to be content in all things. Yes, I've survived some horrible circumstances and learned a lot about how much one woman can handle. But for some reason I felt that I deserved an explanation as to why some people have worse luck than others. I've spent countless hours on my knees praying and anguishing over questions only to be met with silence. When I questioned silence, I was blamed for not being patient enough and not having faith. Yet I still felt that I would never be good enough for God to take the trouble to answer me. I wasn't worth His time. And many times I felt abandoned and reject by God Himself. That somewhere I had done something wrong enough for Him to just say “fuck you”.
It's been a very rough road indeed. And it wasn't until I searched outside the church for my answers that made all the preaching click with absolute understanding. It seems that other religions and beliefs have better ways of putting the Bible's message. It seems there are a LOT of very wise and compassionate people who are willing to help me understand the “whys” in life when the church either couldn't or wouldn't. It wasn't until I began studying other philosophies and befriending people of other faiths that my love for people grew even beyond my previous love for people.
Take for instance the brain. Yeah the brain. Studies say that humans use only 11% or so of the brain. Well what's the rest for? God doesn't make unusable stuff or trash. I believe everything he's made has a purpose. So what's the other 89% of the brain for? And I started thinking about my gifts (my other blog) and the supernatural and things which no church I've asked could offer answers. I prayed, I sought and during my yoga meditation, questioned. I wondered how monks were so peaceful if they weren't Christian. They were so hermit-like and it fascinated me. My searching led me to a very old book about yogi philosophy. My honey bought me both volumes as a gift. The funny part is that I actually thought I would be able to just pick up the books and read them....well...like books. But what I found instead is that these books were so deep and profound, that they needed to be read in small chunks. Read a chapter...ponder, meditate then apply to life...master that before going on to the next chapter. Kind of like a very rich dessert that you just can't have more than a couple bites at a time. And so began my study of yogi philosophy.
As I learned more about yogi philosophy, the more I understood that the questions I had weren't all that difficult or out of the ordinary. Take poverty. As a single parent (before I got married) I struggled financially. And as I clawed my way up through the ranks and finally made it into the corporate world. I found myself away from home for longer and longer periods of time. I was exhausted, stressed, the phone was embedded in my ear even on my days off. I was constantly excusing myself from the presence of my children to take phone calls, complete paperwork or to answer emails at home. I was respected in my field and while all that was great, I really just wanted to flop on the couch and watch a movie with my kids. And so to make up for my guilt, I worked harder. It wasn't until I missed my son's recital due to a business trip that I broke. I laid on the floor in a very nice hotel room in Manhattan and sobbed that things had gotten so out of hand. I missed my children so desperately and upon returning to my office, I turned in my notice of resignation.
Since then, I struggled financially and had such a hard time understanding why if I did the right thing by putting my children first, why I was still so unhappy. Now that I finally had time for them, I was hounded by bill collectors, threatened with eviction and struggled just to keep food on the table. I began second guessing my decision and was tormented with worry. What the hell had I done?
Fast forward a few years. After taking up yoga seriously. After learning how to meditate. After starting on the path of enlightenment with yogi philosophy and still loving my Christian faith. While I was learning to control stress, it was still difficult and I still had a lot of questions. When I saw an interview with the Dalai Lama he was asked, “why is it that the poorest people of the earth seem so happy?” His response was that “If you have nothing, you have nothing to worry about. The more you have, the more you have to worry about.” This made sense to me. I was like....”yeah, that makes sense”. But it wasn't until just a couple weeks ago when I befriended a gentleman from India (a blog entry coming) that it ALL fell into place. We were discussing spouses, jobs, etc. He asked me how many children I had. When I mentioned that I had five, he responded with, “Wow! You are rich!” I was stunned. I just sat there looking at those words on my screen. While I had always appreciated and respected cultures where family came first, it had never dawned on me that to the rest of the world, a person's wealth was determined by the amount of children they had. And it ran through my head....”I AM rich... I am already rich” It doesn't matter what thread count sheets I sleep on, what I drive or who designs my clothing. Not that those things are bad, but they are not what defines wealth. They are the perks of having a high income. However, material wealth means there IS more to worry about. And it does not mean the person is any more loved by family nor does it mean they are getting into heaven any easier. It doesn't make a person less lonely nor more compassionate. It doesn't make them kinder or more lovable. Does it mean I am anti wealth? Don't be ridiculous, of course not. But this realization and embarrassingly newfound appreciation of my family and what I DO have has FINALLY answered these questions that have plagued me for nearly 20 years. And now, instead of missing my children when they are gone, and mourning not being able to kiss them good night because they are either gone or “don't need me”, I text them on their cell phones EVERY night to let them know how much I love them. Just a simple “I love you” text every night around 11 pm....and when my phone chimes five times as they each return the “love u 2 mama”.....THAT'S when I feel like the richest woman on earth........
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