Inconvenient Religion

“The reason you don’t believe in god is because he is inconvenient.” I have heard this many times as a rebuttal to why a person chooses not to believe in any gods, specifically their god.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. Romans 1:28 NIV

TruthConvenient. Not long ago the elite believed that only whites inherited eternal life. I’m not sure where that leaves the Italians and the Spanish, or even the Jewish who evangelized religion and the knowledge of eternal life. Of course, the white men believed this when facing the natives of the Americas and the aboriginals of Australia. Whites were superior, and all others had no souls. All others were beasts alive only to live out their lusts, like dogs.

Ironic. It’s ironic that today you can take your pooch and have it blessed at a local church. Fluffy can spend eternity with you. All dogs do go to heaven, right? That leaves cats outside the gates.

God wills it. Why were these things believed? Are there writings by God stating this? It was believed because it was convenient. The only way to conquer a nation is to wipe out those living there. To conquer, to subordinate, you have to put your foot on the other’s neck and show no mercy. If you see the natives as animals, it’s very convenient.

The question I want to ask other people is, “Do you believe what you believe because it’s convenient?” My lack of belief these last few years hasn’t been convenient for me. It’s been excruciatingly inconvenient. But the truth is rarely convenient.

Strange beliefs

  • Touching a dead body defiles you
  • Women and lesser men are soulless
  • Praying to an ordained man will make you clean
  • Water can be made holy
  • Holy water can save your child from hell

and this is the one that starts it all

  • People are born full of sin and must be saved

New beliefs

  • I was born loved and whole
  • Belief should be personal, not a militant stance
  • If I harm someone, I ask forgiveness of that person
  • Water is good to drink and to wash my body with
  • My body is holy, and it is mine to enjoy
  • Children should choose their lives
  • Sprinkling only gets babies wet
  • Some people are flawed and need help
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Crowns, Horns, and Thrones

Self Esteem

A friend repeated a phrase back to me that I’d used many years ago. My phrase or sentiment was that I had to take care of myself. That I needed certain things out of a relationship and if those needs weren’t met then I would move on, instead of clinging to the hope things would change. When it came back from another’s voice it sounded shallow. Callous. Selfish. Cold-hearted. But that’s not how I’d meant it. Maybe that’s what they heard. I wear the crown for my life. Only I can make me happy or sad. And that’s how I feel about religion, God, and spiritual pursuits. I have to take care of me. Living my life constantly wondering if a god or a man is pleased with me is self abusive. Waiting for someone to come and rescue me, to heal me, to feed me or even to talk to me when I can get up and take care of myself is harmful to me.

Those who grew up in moderate religions may not be able to relate. They probably can’t grasp the concept of denying my rights to make choices for the sake of “deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me.”  “He who loves his family more than me, is not worthy of me.” This is the burden of Christianity. Not a suggestion, a demand.

I believed. I gave up my life, which as a child I never really owned. So I never claimed ownership of my life.

I believed strongly in the scriptures:

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. http://biblehub.com/matthew/16-24.htm

This was my creed, my belief in who God was. These were my mantras:

Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Matthew 25:39-40

When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I was so blinded by what I believed the bible said and what I wanted it to say, that it was easy to overlook the verses that said something opposite. Like I heard once, I had my God filtered glasses on. All I saw was the love.

I now realize there are scriptures that say other things.

Matthew 10:38

37“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. http://biblehub.com/matthew/10-38.htm

I Timothy 2:12

I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.

Do I disregard the verses that I don’t like. Pick off the offending vegetables? Maybe mark them out with a black marker? No, because there is scripture saying not to do that. Either I accept the total religion or move on. I no longer have to carry the burden of rescuing others from hell. My life is no longer carefully monitored to make sure I don’t offend. No one’s salvation is hinging on my behavior. I’m free to live my life.
Some articles I like:

Before you diagnose yourself with depression o...

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Teach the Children What?

Many years ago I wrote an article called, It Takes A Team. I admit, I was coat tailing Hilary Clinton’s book, It Takes A Village. I wrote about things that I still believe firmly in, that children and teens learn from all the people around them. It doesn’t matter if you were the one to teach them to tie their shoes or if it was their classmate, your little one learned an important lesson.

A friend asked me recently what she should teach her young daughter. The grandparents are religious but she, the mom isn’t. My kids are raised and at that time I was religious, but I’m happy that they are not. Although I did put them in the middle of some indoctrination, I also raised them to think. For that I am happy. What would I want them to learn if I were raising them now? Would I raise them in a religion or not? 

  • I would teach my children to think. Compare. Look. Explore. I would teach them that messing up or being wrong is just another step in learning. It’s more important than getting an A+ on their spelling test.  The trying, failing, and trying again keeps your brain active.
  • I would teach my children that we are all living beings. We are made up of tiny parts and those tiny parts make up the entire universe. The water that flows from my faucet at one time may have been at the top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps or in a stream that touched the feet of Alexander the Great. The same water, the same air, the same dirt was here 1,000 years ago. It was here 10,000 years ago.
  • I would teach my children to show kindness. But not only kindness. I would teach them to show anger and fear. To see people for what they do, because that’s who they are. Not to be deceived by pretty words or words that they want to hear, but to listen to the other person’s actions as well.

If children know these things, they can know people. It’s not necessary for people to know the facts of all religions or beliefs in the world. Most adults rarely stray from the religion they were brought up in. They also believe it’s the right one. I heard someone say that he believed his religion was the right one so it was important that he preach to the others who unfortunately were born in the wrong religion. Really? That seems so arrogant. Being arrogant is the first step to being deceived. This world we live in now is not a world for the sleeping. It’s a world that we and our children need to be awake and ready to live in. Most of all, I think I would teach my children to enjoy their life and if it’s not how they want it to be, change it.

Resources:

http://www.skepticmoney.com/breaking-the-cycle-promoting-critical-thinking-in-children/

http://evolvefish.com/fish/kidsbooks.html

I must admit, I want to read this book, K-PurpleDragon.gif

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Ruthless

There’s a time when we have to face the truth. Ruthlessly walk through the fog and never look back. There’s a time to cling or to fight without mercy. If only we knew when those times were. Because just as there’s a time for ruthlessness, there’s also a time for mercy. For kinda-sorta-maybe. Gentleness is strong also.

I know ruthless. When I was growing up in a small town, I tightly gripped my faith and would not let it go. I believed. And no one could shake it from me. It wasn’t that I was afraid of punishment. No, I believed because I loved. I loved what my faith stood for, the God of all creation and all the stories of redemption that I learned. The prophets that spoke to me from pages of paper and ink. The stories were real to me, more real than any story I could read in a history book.

I was aware of how different I was at that time. Different than the other students in my classes. They let me know with every word and every glance. By the time I was in junior high I knew not to talk about these things. This created a cycle of hiding and shame. I connected to the stories of the lone prophets more and more. They were different and when I read passages like, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb, Jeremiah 1:5 or…Do not say, ‘I am too young, Jeremiah 1:7 ..I felt they were speaking to me. They brought me courage.

It’s hard to say what came first, the hiding or the connecting to the solitary. Maybe if it hadn’t been the Bible, it would have been another story or book. Harry Potter is a favorite of many kids because of his uniqueness. He’s misunderstood. He has special abilities. And in the end he triumphs.

When I was in therapy a few years back, my therapist talked about how common it is for children to connect in this way. It helps them cope. Helps them find a way out of their fear. Sometimes they believe they are adopted. Or they are an alien child. In the old Irish tales, people believed that fairy children were sometimes switched with human babes. Changelings.

As I step away from the religion I grew up with, I’m not yanking my roots away. All the same I know I want to let go of the tradition. I’m not bitter. I’m not angry. In a strange way it served it’s purpose. Like an imaginary friend, the stories kept me company. As I learn more truth it’s easier to let go, a little at a time. I can’t relate anymore to the lone, orphaned child or the misunderstood prophet of truth. That’s not me. And no, it never was, but somewhere inside I felt like that.

When you’re involved in Christianity, your life is constant abandonment. What does God want for me to do? It’s constant proving that you are loyal and dedicated. Jesus said to follow him and forsake all others. Pick up the cross and lay down your life. Anyone who loved their family more than him was not worthy of him. It was ruthless. It was constant. It was merciless.

I’m now picking up my life. I’m dusting myself off and standing. Even if no one understands, I feel stronger just by doing it. I’ve decided to learn more about the world around me. Physical things. Science things. People and humanitarian things. This time of gentleness feels so much better.This is true compassion and love.

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Why Bad Times Make for Good Lives

I sometimes call it the leaky life. When your life slips away so un-noticeably, it’s like your storage tank has a leak. It’s just one drip at a time. What causes it? And what can you do to stop it?

Don’t let your life be driven by the automatics.  You turn 16 and buy a car. You get a job. You go to college. Find a boyfriend/girlfriend. Fall in love. Get married. Buy a house. Have a baby. This is a life that ran away, one trickle, one dribble at a time. Stolen away by the force of automatics.

In the case of the automatics, the normal stoppages are considered roadblocks. Bad times. Scary events. We’d like to think that success brings a satisfying life. Winning the lottery or getting a promotion you wanted doesn’t usually bring satisfaction. There’s no feeling at the end of the day that tells you, Completion.

This is why people say strange things like “losing my job was a godsend” or “getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.” It’s not that cancer is something to seek after, we all realize that, but cancer was the tool that helped them notice their own life. Most of us go on with our lives, one event leading into another until the next expected event isn’t there. You’re happily married and planning a family but you can’t conceive. You go the next step. You try fertility treatments, special diets, new positions and still no baby. Frustration sets in. Now you have to stop and really notice your life. You take a good look at what you want. Am I content without a child? Would I like to adopt?

Don’t let the automatics steal your life. You don’t have to wait for a near death experience to get a handle on your life. This moment right here and now can be lived without expectations, without the normal predictable patterns. You just have to wake up. Do the unpredictable thing. Don’t do the beach vacation, give the time and/or money to the homeless shelter. Go overseas and help a small village with their water supply. Or vacation at an unusual spot. World’s Most Unusual Beaches

Wake up!  It’s not about what you do or where you go. It’s about waking up and noticing your life. Are you proud of your life or is it just a life? Just one in a billion normal everyday lives. If all you ever want to do in your life is to read the current best-selling books, make it happen. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing what you want. Myself, I’m not a world traveler. I don’t have political aspirations. I have pretty simple needs and part of them I’ve already experienced. My life is very satisfying to me.

I have people ask me often, don’t you want to get married? My response is, why? I’ve experienced that. Because I have stopped and evaluated my life, I have a better idea than most people what I want. This is my little spark of life force, given to me by the stars and the universe. It was a gift for me to decide what to do with. It’s inherent with responsibility. Just like with our children, there are expectations not to waste our lives. Isn’t that the meaning of Jesus’s parable of the talents? Parable of the Talents

When you see a drug addict, you automatically think it’s a wasted life, and yes I think so too, but what about the person whose whole life wrapped up in becoming famous? Or getting money? If what you want is wealth or fame, it’s all there for the taking. If what you want is a satisfying life, fame and money are not your answer. Decide what you really want or what makes you smile the most and experience that. You don’t have to have a terminal illness to have a good life.

Prince Charming – Did you hang up your hat?

As many females of my age group will relate, when I was growing up, love was where you hang your hat. Love was the biggest item on the shopping list. How do you know whom to marry? Do you love him? There you go. My family had a second criteria. Is he a believer (of the same faith)? Yes? Well, you’re good to go. Tie a knot on that man and marry him. It was never thought, do you get along? Does he show kindness? Is he a control freak? Does he like cats? Do you both enjoy music? Like kids? Want to do adventurous vacations or quiet walks? What is your idea of wealth?

We were told in books, by preachers and teachers, and our families, that if God was in control and you loved him, all the other things would work out. I guess someone missed the memo. Or got it wrong. Truth is, God has little to do with any of it. Congeniality and kindness goes a lot further than a religious practice once a week. If one is religious and the other not, considerate people would allow the difference. Dogmatic folk require complete compliance.

I admit, I once was dogmatic. I once esteemed being right over common kindness. It makes me want to hide in shame when I think of this. I wasn’t loud or arrogant about it, only in my mind I judged. I disagreed with my paternal traditional upbringing in some things, like abortion, racism, and feminism, but in most things I thought no differently.

So we got it wrong. Many of my generation got tons wrong. Times were changing and traditions were falling down. If I had to do all over again, I’m not sure if I would change much. It was my roots, and I won’t  become bitter about my choices and mistakes.

I’m happy with my life. There is no substitute for satisfaction. The things I would hang my hat on today are different:

  • tolerance
  • similar taste in recreation or willingness to go it alone
  • know your true likes and don’t mold yourself to others. It’s not healthy
  • enjoy each others company whether relaxed or active

My Skepticism on Religion

My take on Religion, God, and Spirituality has changed over the years. Although I grew up Christian like many others in my part of the world, yet, I can no longer claim it as my faith.

When I was a kid, if I wanted something from on a top shelf I had to ask someone to get it or scoot a chair to reach it. Our cereal was on top of the refrigerator. Guess what I wanted. I was so excited when I finally could reach the top of the refrigerator without using a step-stool or asking for help. It was a milestone for me. This is how I see religion. Not that we can physically touch any god on our own, but that we can approach the spirit without tradition or allegories.

Face to face. In our infancy and childhood we learn stories to help us understand. The birds and the bees teach us about reproduction. Apples and oranges teach us math. Religion teaches us about God. Whether God is worshiped, feared, deified or loved, we learned from the teachings of our religion. Growing up in a very closed-minded religion taught me that my thoughts were not to be trusted. That whatever I thought was true probably wasn’t. Maybe not everyone’s religion does that, but for me that was what happened.

Religion was the highest power. The highest authority. Even more so than personal experience. It doesn’t matter if God or an angel came down to talk to you, it was not trusted above the unchanging dogma of our religion. Even if you found it in the Bible, underlined it in red, circled it, highlighted with glowing color, if it didn’t match what you were taught as truth, it was a trick of the enemy. Don’t let anyone fool you. I grew up in this stuff and I’ve argued it and studied it. If it wasn’t taught in the dogma, it is a lie.

When religion tells me to ignore those things I see around me such as science discoveries, cultural issues, or astronomy, it is basically telling me to ignore factual evidence. Ignore the truth and just believe. To the point that those people with the greatest faith ignored the most obvious laws such as gravity or chemistry. Yes I do know there are things I don’t understand. And I will admit there are times when someone seemingly did amazing metaphysical, supernatural things. Water turned to wine. Water turned to gasoline.

It is amazing to me that when we look at other cultures and religions that we can see through the veil. It is also amazing that whichever religion you deem as true, is probably the religion you were born and raised in. It was passed from your parents and their parents. Tell me truly, do you believe that your grandparents way of living was the only way? Was Grandma’s superstitious beliefs how you want to live your life? Is it spilled salt over your left shoulder or your right? There are some strange superstitions around the world. The conviction of belief does not make them true. It just makes them believed.

In Russia, its considered bad luck when a cat, especially a black one, crosses in front of you when you’re walking. Some people will avoid them by chasing out or outrun the cat.
If the cat already crosses you, then you have to break the spell by spitting three times over your left shoulder to avoid the bad luck.

In England, it is believed that meeting a spotted or black and white dog on the way to a business appointment is a lucky sign.

In Sweden, it is considered bad luck to place your keys on the table. In the old days, it it believed that prostitutes will often signal their availability by leaving their room keys on the bar.

http://worldsuperstitions.blogspot.com/search/label/Bad%20Luck

I love this short piece I found while reading various blogs, http://wyzzz.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/choices-religion/.

Also, It’s not about the Colors and There is no Savior

Aging Is Not About Wrinkles

Strawberry ice cream in a cone.

Aging is not a disease. None of us want to grow old but we have to learn a new way of dealing with it. If we treat it like a plague and attempt to deny it’s very existence, then in our avoiding we will slam into it like a brick wall.

I look at my pictures from 20 years back and miss the firm skin and not so puffy eyes. I miss not being able to eat 3 hot dogs and two ice cream cones in a sitting, without feeling guilty and regretting the excess when the heartburn develops. I miss being able to jog 8 miles nonstop. I miss feeling excited about the possibilities that tomorrow will bring and the belief that everything will be alright no matter how horrible today seems. These are the standards of youth that can never be regained by a new facial serum. No vitamins will bring the innocence back again. But is that really what we want?

When I speak today, I have something to say and I can say it with confidence. This is the truth that only experience can give. Would I wish to forget my knowledge? No! What I have learned cannot be unlearned and I don’t want to forget. My experience has taught me patience and kindness.

English: Picture of Waffle ice cream cones fro...

We all long to grow up. We want to learn. The inner drive to mature is strong. How can we not open the door and satisfy our curiosity? We can pretend all we want that we wish to stay young, but I don’t know a single person who can leave the door closed. We open the door to peek because that’s our nature. What does it feel like to be grown up? What does it feel like to have the answers? We are all intrigued by climbing to the top, by achieving and when we get there we want to shout for joy. We have done it! And our lives will never be the same. We now have experience. Others join in our cheering and congratulate us and silently envy us. They want it too. So why do we not do the same with age?

I once thought my dad knew all the answers. I’d ask him questions all the time. I was young and he seemed so wise. He read, he learned things and he encouraged me to learn. I worshiped him. As I grew older he told me that he didn’t have all the answers and that I needed to search for them myself. So I did.

double scope ice cream cone

As I learned, he didn’t lose his wisdom, but I gained some of my own.

If we look at faith, religion and God, it often looks like that child that worships her father. He knows so much. Maybe one day when we ask him a question he will also tell us to search for the answer ourselves. It’s possible that God is still learning. It’s possible that he wants to share experience with us. I don’t know for sure, but it’s possible God will still seem wise even as we grow old.

 “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt

“Don’t exist.
Live.
Get out, explore.
Thrive.
Challenge authority. Challenge yourself.
Evolve.
Change forever.
Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don’t stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn’t know your name doesn’t mean you dont matter. – Brian Krans http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/424703.Brian_Krans

“Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you do not wish to be one of the tortured slaves of Time, never be sober; never ever be sober! Use wine, poetry, or virtue, as you please. – Charles Baudelaire

It’s not about the colors.

 

When I was around ten years old, I was very concerned about Hell. I tried to do right and not wrong. I was careful not to lie or to steal. I wanted to do good things because I truly believed in Hell and God and punishment. I believed there was a definite right and wrong.

Like many in America, I believed that only Christians went to heaven. My faith was, even more, extreme. We also taught that only those of our belief, Pentecostal, followed the true path. Certainly not Catholics or Mormons or any other faiths. Baptists and Methodists were questionable. And that scared me. How did I know which belief was right?

There were definite steps my religion taught me that insured salvation.

  1. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
  2. Confess your sins.
  3. Believe that Jesus was the only begotten son of god. And he grafted us into his vine.

This was my only way of confirmation. This took away any rights I might have of interpreting for myself, any twinge or spark I might feel is true. My thought, my belief was always wrong if it didn’t meet the 3 requirements above. So there is a right and a wrong at that point.
This lead the 10-year-old me to wonder, what if? What if my religion got it wrong? What if we were the religion that was incorrect? How would I know? Mormons believe their faith just as strongly as I do mine.
If you think any religion is right or wrong, you are entirely missing the point. The Pentecostal aren’t right or wrong with their extreme exclusiveness and certainly the Unitarians aren’t right or wrong with their extreme inclusiveness.

You may come to think of all the colors of the rainbow are good. They are all okay. We are all okay. But that’s not the point. It’s not about the colors of the rainbow. It’s about the rainbow. It’s also about what makes the rainbow. We perceive the colors, but they are not colors. They are light, refracted through the water particles and the dust in the sky that is light pulsing into your eyeball, and your brain interprets it as color. Keywords are perceived and interprets. When you get that, take another look around you. At ten years of age, I had no understanding. I was 10. A child has no skill to interpret an act committed by someone. I translated others intentions and put them into boxes that were provided by those around me. Right, Wrong, Saved, Damned.

It’s not about the colors. Red is right, and Green is wrong. It’s not that all the colors of the rainbow are all right or all wrong. Inclusive or exclusive. We are all one light shining through the water particles, creating the beautiful rainbow. It’s all about the light.

Writing Like Mad

Tattoo Art Fest (082/290) - 04-06Jul08, Paris ...

What else can I say? Keep on writing. Just keep swimming. Go Johnny go, go, go. Is there anything else? You go until you feel the momentum shift. The need changes. When the need is gone. Why? Why do you just keep going? Can you do anything else? If the desire is there, if the vision is filling your head, is there any other life for you?

I often wondered why I couldn’t be normal. Why was I not happy or content with just being an average person? Why did I feel the continual urge to move things? To shift things? I hated the fact that I wasn’t content with the house and the car and the children and the dog. I loved those things. I adored being a mom. I loved the feeling of family and nurturing involved with that. But it was always as if I had on the inside of me a pulsating need to change things.

I have a difficult time listening to the news. It’s hard to listen to the idiocy that people debate over. The whole Democrat versus Republican and throw in a dash of the Tea Party, with a splash of Independents on the side. It doesn’t matter what cloth you drape over it, it’s still all in shambles. They still are arguing over the same petty bridges and hills. So I walk away.

They won’t be changed. In the words of Hugh McLeod, Ignore Everybody. “Don’t try to stand out from the crowd. Avoid crowds altogether.” Gaping Void-Avoid Crowds Altogether 

There are times when the voices in my head tell me to just sit down. Why am I bothering? What am I trying to do?

Honestly, I’m not trying to do anything. I bother because, I can’t not bother. I have to. Once someone asked why I write. Without thinking it comes out so simply. I must. All of these thoughts and emotions are bubbling up inside of me and the only way to get any peace or calmness is to write them down. When I write it’s like the door opens and the herd of horses storm out of the barn all at once. I write down the main ideas and go back to fill in the middle, because I can’t stand the thought of not remembering something. When I’m with someone and I talk about these ideas I have, these emotions and thoughts, it’s difficult for me to express them with any sensible understanding. It comes out as gibberish. In my head it all sounds right. I know what I want to say, I just have trouble putting order to the words. At least with writing I can do that.

I still think how simple life would be if I were content with my place in life. But then if others were content with their “place” where would society be? No change happens by merely being content. When I was in high school and was running an eight mile fundraiser, my friend said I needed to learn how to pace myself. Surely they knew what they were talking about. So I believed them. I took their critique and tried to pace myself. And I remember it all the time. The funny thing is, it never works for me. It’s not my style. When I worked in the church and Christianity, a different friend said I needed to learn to pace myself again. That Jesus wanted us to walk along beside him hand in hand. Guess what? I believed that person also. And truly I tried. I cried out to God asking why I couldn’t be a better more thankful child of God? But you know what? God never told me to pace myself.

Did you ever go on a walk with children? They are either lagging behind picking flowers and playing with the lizards or running ahead to see what’s around the corner. Exuberance. Alive. Free.

Some people cannot stand that you're moving on...

If you have been around on Christmas morning with a couple of kids, you’ll know one thing for certain. There is excitement in the air, whether there are 20 packages under the tree or just a few. They can’t wait to open those presents. My brothers and I would beg my parents a week before Christmas, “Please, just one. Can we open just one now?”

Would you want it any other way? What if your kids were ho-hum about Christmas morning? “Later mom. I want to finish this cartoon first.” Not on your life. As adults we forget exuberance, because friends and experts tell us to pace ourselves. When was the last time you felt that alive? The thrill of a roller-coaster,  the mud between your toes, the wind blowing in your face, or the taste of ice cream all cold and sweet. Remember what it was like as five and excited about riding your bike or playing chase.

Do I want to be content? Do I want to pace myself? No! I want to burst out laughing at stupid jokes. I want to run as fast as I can. I want to stand on the bridge and feel the cold wind blow against my body pressing me backwards. I want to live. Sometimes my life’s full of the “just keep swimming” mantras. I’m okay with that.

A funny thing happened to me. I went to a different physician. My insurance had changed and my favorite doctor was not contracted with the new insurance. My new doctor seems fine, but she had her agenda and I had mine. I wanted to get in, get out, and get things scheduled that I needed scheduled. There are medical things that only a doctor can offer so I go through the routine that’s required. Her agenda was to instruct me on eating healthy. Eat 3 servings of dairy a day (I don’t eat dairy). Women are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in their diet. When I commented on the lack of vitamin D being from working in the office and not going outside, she quickly countered. Sun exposure causes cancer and we need to shield ourselves by applying sunscreen and avoiding long exposure.  Somewhere in the lecture my mind shut off.

My diet is not approved by my doctor I guess. And as far as avoiding the sun, not likely to happen. I love the sun. I can’t live my life avoiding life, being super cautious and playing it safe. As I mentioned, I want to live. I want to feel the rain on my face and splash in mud puddles. I love to get lost in a book and forget to go to bed. Those are the moments of our lives. The exuberance of running ahead or lagging behind is what proves that we are human. We can delight. We can be sad. We can lose our temper. We are alive!