Tag Archives: religion

GIVING IT A REST

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I had decided after my last post in July, to give blogging a rest. I had a lot to say and most of it was hateful, hurtful and downright mean. So stepping away was a good idea. My mouth and temper are quick and if not filtered properly, I can blurt out some very mean things to dig the knife deeper. Add a bit of depression to the mix and the recipe turns out dry and tough to swallow. I immediately feel awful afterwards, even when what I say is true. So how do we get past hurtful words said in anger? Especially when they come from someone you were close and never thought would treat you that way.

The people closest to us have the ability to hurt us in the deepest ways. I know when I am hurt I take it very much to heart and relive it and relive it, not on the outside but in my head and heart. I think at these times we just need to excuse ourself from the situation before we have a chance to respond badly. If we stop and cool off for a time both people are more likely to respond better. So I decided to give it a rest. Find a way to deal with all the hurtful and angry words.

So after two months have I discovered anything? Well, yes. I have discovered that the person who says hurtful and angry things is only human. He or she may be struggling with things I know nothing about. Depression, illness, anger, bitterness, self-loathing, and fear just to name a few. What sets me apart from this person is that I have the ability to forgive. To be a better person. I don’t pretend for a second it is just that easy. It takes work, a lot of work, each day. Forgiveness is a choice we make each day through a decision of our will. We forgive by faith. Seeing that person through a new heart lets me care for that person. God doesn’t withhold his foregiveness from me, what right do I have to not forgive others?

It is normal for us to feel anger towards injustice, however it is not our right to judge.

Our Path

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Let me begin by first saying, I do not enjoy writing about religion. I rarely discuss faith with anyone other than very close friends or George. It isn’t something I enjoy. I am going to make a rather small exception this time.

Over the last year George and I have rediscovered our Catholic Faith. We were both born and raised Catholics. I am not sure I speak for him, but I got a little lazy. It was easy to say I was Catholic and believed in God, but I never really did anything about it.

About a year ago George and I started taking the kids to mass at St. Aloysius on the Ohio. It is a small parish in our neighborhood of Sayler Park. Many of our neighbors attend St. Al’s. Many of their children go to or have gone to St. Al’s school and then onto Catholic High School here in Cincinnati. George’s twins went to PSR there on Sunday. It is a lovely parish full of wonderful caring people.

For a few weeks, we went thru the motions of being church goers. Then one day as we sat and listened to Fr. Rick’s homily, George and I looked at each other as if a lightbulb had gone off over our heads. We realized our lives had a path. A path that had been there all along, clearly lit for us. All we had to do was open our eyes and our hearts to see that path. It is lit with compassion, benevolence, humility, charity, courage, and unselfishness, among other things.

Another thing that we have learned in the last year is how to pray. I think many people pray to God to give them things. We treat God like a drive thru…we ask him for things…”Please God can you give me just this one thing super sized and for dessert can you make me prettier?” God has already given us what we need, our path. And from the beginning, he made sure it was clear and brightly lit. It is up to us to keep it luminous for ourselves by not giving into feelings of anger, bitterness, revenge, and greed, among others. Those are what thwart the peaceful and smooth ride down our path.

None of us are perfect. And it is not always an easy ride. For example, yesterday the thorny vines of revenge were spreading down my path, and me without my pruners. And as I felt the vines grow stronger, I realized I was the only one that could find a way to dissever and remove them from my path. As I sat with George, we discussed our path and how we wished to live our lives. I said a prayer, not asking God for anything, but praying that I find the strength do the right thing with the gifts he has already given me. And in the end, those vines were destroyed and my path was lit clearly again.

If I were sitting with a close friend or George, I would continue this conversation about religion and what is means to me now, at age 47. But at nearly 600 words, I am already treading the line of comfort for me. So for now, I will just say, if you hear George and I discussing our path, it is something we work hard on clearing every single day. Some areas are easier for us than others, but together we cut back those vines that wish to grow and block our path and make the path of our life more difficult. Now, off to Home Depot for some Round-Up.