I’ve Fallen!

Are you there, God? It’s me, Bebe.

No, really. Are you there? It’s a question I have asked myself ever since I paid attention in science class and learned about televangelist hooker habits and hell and brimstone for imperfect people.

As a child growing up in Catholic schools, I was convinced that my brother tripped and hurt himself immediately after swearing for the first time. I just knew it was God. When I wanted to spend the night at my best friends house, we would lock ourselves up in her armoir and pray to a glow in the dark rosary so that her mom would say yes to us. During the passing of the plates in mass I actually envisioned a helicopter flying into the heavens towing our money every Sunday to God, who would disperse the funds to all who were in need. I had a delightfully clear conscience not because I didn’t want to do the wrong thing, but because I was petrified of God. He made my brother fall in the street, and he was cute as hell and by far the favored male of our clan. What would he do with me? A bastard child in the third grade with the soul of a 45-year-old waitress working double shifts and bizarre ability to read minds?

I remember very clearly the day I stopped being afraid of God, and started thinking of him as my personal ATM of requests and superiority. I was running through the woods through a sand dune in the backyard of my new house out-of-state. I swore. I waited to fall and I didn’t. I swore again. And still nothing. I was astounded. So much so that I literally said out loud “I didn’t get punished!! God has more important things to pay attention to!” and that was it for me. From now on, I pulled the Catholic card out when I thought I would look cool or scary in front of the Baptists, or when I wanted a boy to like me. Or I wanted new pants or something. Also I should add that by this time my mom felt it was necessary to share that she didn’t believe that Jesus was a holy deity, but more so a great man who did great things, and loved Mary Magdalene. She taught the golden rule and showed me Jesus Christ Superstar. My mom could have been Dan Brown years ago, having taught us The DiVinci code all on her own. She also could have saved me a lot of fear if she told me that shit sooner. But oh well. She never told us things in a manner in which we weren’t ready for.

So let’s fast forward many years. To now, specifically. My feelings about God have devolved, evolved, changed, gone away, come back, gone away and come back again. Buddha joins him, science joins him, and doubt also always drags along. I made the decision a few months ago to look at life extremely clinically. The world that ebbs and flows as just part of life and science. I took God, and faith, out of the equation completely. And at first, it worked. Everything made sense. Without God or faith (which I actually think this post is more about than anything) everything was what it was. The good was good. The bad was bad. And all would pass. I felt so liberated. I stopped taking everything so personally. But after a while, I just felt a bit cold and ugly inside. Things that I thought had passed came back. I would go and talk out loud to God, but then I stopped. Because I didn’t believe in that anymore. When I had a lovely day, I would go to thank God, but would stop. Because I didn’t believe that anymore. My faith was gone.

Everything was gone.

I remembered the times where God, or faith, or whatever it is that brings me back to life worked for me. And there were many. I had to admit to myself that there is a higher power within that I need to rely on.

I just don’t know what it is.

Listen, I believe that there is an energy that drives us all. I believe that Jesus existed, and that he died for radical beliefs. I believe that humans, some, not all, ruined everything he tried to teach. I believe those people corrupt more than any sinner can. And here is how I feel about God; the energy that drives me. He is like my own metaphorical sweet old uncle who hugs me when I am down and puts me back on this foundation and helps me to breathe. I do not believe in all of the other pomp & circumstance that goes with it. I don’t believe that he needs to prove anything to me any more than I have to prove anything to him. And I guess, ya’ll, that is what faith is.

Since figuring out this middle ground, I have felt relief where I ached, and clarity where I was confused. I felt pain and embarrassment about things that I had done in the past. Things that I don’t exactly regret. But I should have felt something when I didn’t. And once I had good old Uncle God back, I felt it. It hurt. It’s almost gone. The fear and worry I have about my family during stressful times is still there. I just feel the ground under my feet a little more.

This isn’t the most cohesive post I have ever written, but that’s because my relationship with my uncle isn’t cohesive. But it’s there, and I wanted to write about it. I have no quirky ending or resolution other than I swear like a fucking truck driver still to this day and I only fell off a bus once, as an adult.

I still have the scar too.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Self(ish)portrait | Blog

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