I’ve been having a lot of trouble with faith lately.
Faith, believing, and trust.
I’ve always thought about these things, but lately, in the search for “what’s right”, I’ve been trying to figure out where (and on who) to place my faith.
And it does seem like there’s nothing we can put our beliefs in, doesn’t it? Bear with me for a moment while we go through a few links and facts about the world we live in, so that I can illustrate my point. Keep in mind that there’s a lot to be said about the different topics, so I tried to keep it brief but that doesn’t mean there aren’t numerous other points that could be added to each.
In Politics: If you begin with the government, for example, I probably wouldn’t have to go too far to explain to you how corrupt the system is. And I wouldn’t be the right person to do it anyway, but there’s very simple things that I can point out to you. For example in the house of representatives, (according to their site) there are 435 people supposedly representing the population of the United States. Most of them are Republicans, and out of those 435, only eighty-eight are women when women actually make up MORE of the American population than men. Not by too much, but enough where in order for it to be truly “representative”, maybe we should have half of that number be female. And it isn’t. Blacks and Native Americans have been handed an absolutely horrible card in history, while we still continue to celebrate the violent wipe out of entire cultures (“Columbus Day”? Really?) we continue to learn about them as if Native Americans are something of the past or just as a one big group, when there are actually 562 federally recognized tribes with different cultures, languages, everything. And we’re still sitting here going “haha I’m going to dress up as an Indian for Halloween” like it’s not totally adding to the the problem. (And no, that’s not like dressing up as a French person or a Mexican person.) And most people I know still want to ignore the inherent and institutional racism in America. I could go on and talk about Asian-Americans, Hispanic, Gays and Other but what I’m trying to get across is that when it comes to politics, I don’t really feel like we’re being represented equally seeing as to how it’s 2015 and women are still getting paid less than men, and gay people still can’t marry in every state. In the land of the free, the land of such modern and forward thinking, those two things are still an issue. Let alone the finer details that go into transgender folk and so on. Politics aren’t there to take care of us, they’re there to keep the powerful people powerful, and to keep the country rich. I think Obama looks like a super sweet guy, but I don’t think he has as much power as we’d like to think he does, and even if he did, I don’t think it’d be fair to have just one man to all the bidding, which is why it’s ridiculous that the house of representatives looks the way it does. Does voting even actually make a difference? With the government set up like it is, I don’t feel like it does. But I do it anyway. The point is that the government is a business, and it isn’t in the business of truth, peace, or love.
In Religion: I don’t want to attack any one religion, but as it stands, most texts were written thousands of years ago, and were written by men, where women are severely under and misrepresented and where we continue to face the problems of religious chauvinism. Religion is at its core, a patriarchy. I also to this day cannot swallow the discrepancy that is the Vatican’s solid-gold existence as I do not understand how spirituality and such exaggerated wealth could ever go hand in hand. Isn’t there something in the bible about sharing and not being greedy? I know that the Bible has some seriously questionable history and stories in it that are left to be loosely interpreted too many times, being too complicated and not enough about just love, and peace, and connecting to God, but rather how to be worthy enough of Him. I admit that I am by no means a scholar of religion (or politics for that matter) so I can’t speak about it with the graceful intelligence that I would like. But the bits and pieces that have come to me about different religions has not really been a lot about connecting, love, and peace…Instead, it’s been about how we aren’t worthy, and how to become worthy with a series of rules and regulations and “you should feel guilty” and the threat of an eternity in either hell or Heaven. Which honestly, even if you’re a serial rapist who shoots and kills women and children on sight and stabs kittens and puppies…a God that sends that person to hell for all eternity, just doesn’t seem like a very forgiving God at all. And anyone who thinks that they can be a spokesperson for God doesn’t really seem to understand the concept of God, because I don’t see how anyone would think that they’re human brain could understand the immensity of the potential energy that is God. We barely understand our own Cosmos, I just don’t trust anyone who thinks they Know and Understand God better than someone who just has a complete connection with their heart. So religion isn’t here to take care of us either, though perhaps selective religious leaders are.
In medicine: The fact that doctors make a lot of money makes sense to me. I feel like they should make good amounts of money, since their work is such a noble cause. What I don’t think makes sense, is that you have to have some kind of privilege or prestige in life (read: money) to be able to afford being healthy. For one, I think it messes with the whole evolutionary system. Instead of survival of the fittest, it’s survival of the richest, and that makes me uncomfortable. Western medicine has abused the use of antibiotics and we are becoming immune to them, Not to mention, being sick is much more profitable than being healthy, so how we trust a field that has so much profit in not actually making you better? And try talking to someone about how your doctor practices Chinese medicine (or use the words “holistic” or “homeopathic“) and what you will get, depending on your friends, is a collective big eye-roll from Western Society. Pretty much, people want to separate science and the nature and spirituality of the human psyche, like they can’t just be complementary to each other. So my options are either to trust in a healthcare system that I can’t afford and doesn’t actually want me better, to one I can but I need to believe in for it to be effective. So it’s a business, and even though it is single-handedly the one business that should be taking care of us, it’s selective, not really there for all, and a complete snob when it comes to including more spiritual practices that might help us humans out as a whole. Detaching the body from the mind makes no sense, as we have time and time again experienced an emotional issue that takes a physical toll on our bodies. If those two things are linked, why don’t we get prescribed a better diet for things like depression, or anxiety? Which leads me to the next topic.
The Food business: We know sugar is absolutely horrible for you, and yet it’s in everything we eat which makes me wonder what the hell the FDA and AHA are even for. That along with a bunch of other chemicals found in food dye and preservatives, GMO, hormones, the way that the animals we will ingest are treated, which if you don’t morally care about then at least you should for your own health. Fast food and convenient food that end up barely being food is what most of us ingest on a daily basis. Not things that are healthy, and good, and will fill us up and help us be better and go to work feeling better, but things that are toxic, addictive, things that are convenient. That’s what we’re being sold, and that’s what we’re buying.
Literally everything else we use: One time I saw a movie that talked about all of the toxic ingredients in make-up, and then during another period of my life I once read that dandruff shampoo actually contributed to dandruff. I’m not going to do the research right now for everything else like soap, lotion, or how the chemicals in shampoo actually hurt your hair because it’s downright depressing and makes anyone with even a little bit of anxiety stress out for hours.
I just wanted to show you my point, in how there’s resources to back up what anyone is saying. There’s resources that say that everything is toxic, everything causes cancer, everything is harmful and keeping me complacent, and then other resources telling you that those resources are wrong, and having very legitimate arguments against them.
Who can we trust? When everything is about business and power and information can be manipulated and words can be tossed around (like “pseudo-science”) that will kill everything you believe in, what is there to believe in?
And then you have proof of people that live healthy lives but are deeply depressed, or people that are highly spiritual and positive but still got cancer.
So here is my point.
There is no one-size-fits-all way to live life. Science will only go so far if you make it your tell-all, spirituality is useless if you don’t truly deeply believe, and nothing –I mean nothing– will do anything for you if you don’t actually believe.
What this ends up showing me, friends, is that ultimately, you can believe in whatever you want, so long as it isn’t causing harm to you or anyone else, and it may or may not allow you a long prosperous life. Some people might choose to believe in things that make them miserable, just because it makes them feel like it’s “true”, and reliable. But I wonder whether or not that leaves room for intuition and instinct. What happens when your gut is telling you one thing, but what you’re seeing is telling you another? Why can’t there be room for cold hard facts but the sensitivity of intuition?
All of this is enough to make anyone anxious, and seriously question everything. But that’s what I’m trying to get you do. Question everything. Because it is my hope that if you question everything, you will find the loopholes that will show you how much of the information you’re looking for “out there” might actually be within yourself.
This is also me giving myself permission for what is not the first time and will most likely not be the last…to believe myself. To follow my own gut. That even if close friends might raise their nose at something that I deeply believe in, I can still believe in it, and it doesn’t have to be something I then categorize as ridiculous but instead, an opportunity to sharpen my intuition.
It’s me giving you permission to believe in different things as well. In your religion, in your God, in your science, in your myths. If you want to believe in fairies, go ahead. I think when it comes down to it, we should all strive to be intelligent, yes, but that goes hand in hand with being open-minded, and not being foolish enough to believe that there is one authority in absolutely any topic of life. There can’t be. There’s too many of us, too many lifestyles, too many ways the human mind and identity has evolved. I understand the need to make a world for ourselves where everything makes sense and everything is absolute, I sometimes wish I could allow myself the release of trusting one ultimate truth in different topics. But don’t rain on other people’s parades when they’re trying to explore something that works for them. Sure, Reiki might be silly in certain context, but you can’t argue the validity of human contact. Don’t take other people’s beliefs personally unless you find them truly hurtful to society, and even then, question yourself. If it’s worked for some people, why undermine it? Why ignore the amazing power of placebo effect? Why pretend that healing or changing something simply by believing it isn’t proof enough that faith in something is everything?
And above all, know that I am open to all, to challenging my own mindset constantly, so kind, thoughtful, and provocative statements and questions are always welcome in the comment section or in a private conversation.
Feel good. Be kind.
All my love,