i was raised as a non-practicing christian. we celebrated christmas and easter and that was about it. at the age of 18 i met a wonderful man that was a muslim. he introduced me to a new way of seeing spirituality and the world. from that point on, i considered myself agnostic. i believed in god, but i followed no particular religion. that worked well for me for the past 10 years. but a few months ago, i found myself wanting more. i'd always said that if i followed any particular religion in the future it would either be islam or buddhism. i liked that islam was about inner discipline while buddhism focused on inner peace. i wanted peace. i needed peace. i was so angry about all the stuff my ex put me through for years and then deen and his bullshit that i'd actually become violent against deen. its not something i was proud of but i swear there were times he pushed my buttons in a way that only he could. and i'd punch him. we'd always make up. i hated myself. i'd let 10 years of an emotionally abusive relationship with one idiot plus a 2 year relationship full of lies and jealousy with my son's father turn me into a volatile stranger. the woman that was once about peace and love would suddenly end up putting scratches and whatnot on the father of her child. what happened to me? i needed to center myself. i turned to buddhism.
it helped. i felt better. i didn't yell as much. one of the cool things is that buddhism isn't really a religion, its a philosophy. you can be christian and be buddhist. i was still able to hold on to my view of god being a higher power. because buddha isn't a "god" he's merely the only person (or the first) to reach enlightenment and tell others how to reach it. buddhism worked. i'm a buddhist.
but buddhism didn't answer everything. why did bad things happen to good people? why do good things happen to bad people? if there is a God how can people still suffer? if God really loves us, why would he make us suffer to prove our love and devotion to him? wouldn't that make God a sadist? what kind of person claims that they love you, yet puts you through all kinds of crap, and tells you that as long as you believe in them till the end, you'll be cool once you're DEAD? it made sense to me before, but now it seems kind of silly and impossible. suppose someone had a girlfriend that said "i love you like no other" to her dude. then she then burned down his house. she lent his ear whenever he needed to talk and stuff would be good for a minute. and then she'd get him fired from his job for some crap. but she still lent an ear. and whenever he said to her, "why are you putting me through all of this crap?" she replied with "just keep believing that i love you and eventually when you're DEAD you'll reap the benefit of our relationship." sounds stupid like that, huh? i've had people say to me "well you can't really say there isn't a God because you're in america and stuff could be worse." which brings me to another point. yeah, the government is pretty effed up here, but stuff could be way worse. my son was a whopping 10 lb 9 oz monster. because he was so big, i was unable to deliver him vaginally so i was given a c-section. i later asked a nurse what would have happened if i'd have had the same dilemma in a country that doesn't have as advanced medical care. she replied that the baby and i would have most likely died during birth. yeah, i was lucky, dare i say BLESSED to live in a place where a relatively simple procedure brought my son into the world safely. so what makes me so special that i'm deserving of a huge healthy baby and not women in underdeveloped nations? where was God for them?
when i think about some things its hard not to think there's a higher power looking at us. the light of my life, my son, was created during a simple act with his father. the baby was originally a single cell. and then he was the size of a grain of rice. and then he got bigger. and bigger. and once he was born he continued to grow. now he runs around the house saying "mumma" and "da-da." soon he'll be creating his own single cell. if there is no God, how can something is miraculous happen?
once it occured to me that there may be no God i felt TERRIBLE. i felt like i'd discovered that the only mother that i'd ever known was found to not be my mother. it was like i was adopted. i wondered where i came from. was there really a power that loved me? was i really on my own? it hurt like hell. i cried. i wanted to believe in God. i just didn't know how. no matter how much i wanted it to, it just didn't make sense anymore. i couldn't shake the feeling of knowing that my life is better than that of others (relatively) and i'm no better than anyone else, so why would i get better treatment cosmically?
on the good note, with me thinking that there's no God, i felt in control of my life. suddenly if there's no God to determine how my day is going, i'm the only one that determines it. it was up to me to determine my fate. rather than just blaming the heavens for my misfortune, it was on ME how and where i ended up. it felt good to know that it wasn't up to a random spook how things would go. it was my call.
i wish i could talk about God to people, but here in the south its hard enough to talk about there being a God that had nothing to do with jesus, but when i start talking about there possibly not even being a God people get personally offended. in other places the thought of there being no God may be a tad more accepted but here that's not something to sneeze at. so i'm alone. i wish i could bounce ideas off people, but i'm alone in my spiritual imbalance. is there a God? i don't know. but i wish i did.