I’ve been really clear that I don’t believe, “Everything happens for a reason”. I’m unable to trust in a higher power, because I see no rationality in the world.
Sh*t happens, and I’m on cleanup duty.
The biggest challenge I have with the whole “higher power” rationality is that viewpoint means that children with cancer were either meant to suffer, or they did something wrong in a former life.
Seriously? Think about that, “they did something wrong in a former life”. If you imply that atonement is possible, why must a person suffer? If they are truly remorseful, then why does torture need to be added into their lives as part of “atonement”?
I say this with all seriousness because I’ve struggled with this topic my entire life. I spent most of the first 5 years of my life in a hospital, either recovering from yet another bout of pneumonia, or recovering from a surgery. I lived with death every day, as many of the children around me didn’t make it home after every course of desperate treatment.
So, I came to the realization at a very young age (after Vatican II, when they changed all the statuary in my church to make them beige and ugly) that what we believe are the lies we tell ourselves in order to get through.
I’ve never been much of a fan of lies. I’m wicked big on fantasy. Werewolves. Vampires. Aliens. Those are clearly fantasy and lies, but I don’t mind them as they are proud of what they are. Escapism.
The whole Church thing bothers me, though, because the Church I grew up in lies. It gives no comfort to desperate mothers, wanting last rites while she buries yet another unborn child. It claims its children for its pedophelia priests, looking the other way and valuing the priests over the innocents sacrificed in the name of “greater good”.
I had a wonderful older brother, “Golden Boy”, who died a horrible death from brain cancer. He wasn’t in any pain that he complained of. He wasn’t an evil person. In fact, he was one of the best people I know. And that’s saying a lot, because we were siblings. Siblings know where ALL your bodies are buried, and he had none.
He had a wonderful wife. 2 great sons. He gave back to his community. He was a hockey coach. He gave to the troops. On top of all of this, he enjoyed his life. He traveled the world with his wife and sons. He truly enjoyed molding young skills, getting them to find their own pride in their bodies abilities to slap a goal, to mow the lawn, to waterski.
However, if I’m to believe the bromide that “everything happens for a reason”, it flies in the face of everything I *know* to be true. Nonsense. Things are what they appear to be, and not what some homily says they must be. Because to believe otherwise tilt’s the world on its axis.
Someone got on my last nerve this morning by sending me yet another homily about how wonderful their God is, and how I must be thankful for every day on this world and praise his name.
Really? I’m sitting here trying to make my life work, juggling the need to stay warm in the Winter against the need to eat and pay for my medicines, and then yesterday’s windstorm caused damage to my house.
Damage that I don’t know how I’m going to pay to repair.
Yes, its shallow to focus on my own petty issues when there are people suffering in the world. However, I can’t help anyone else unless or until I have my own act together. When things are going well, I help. When things are sucky, I try not to do any damage. That’s about the extent of my thinking on the whole “philosophy of life” issue.
As for the damage to my home, if I believed in bromides then I’d know that this particular act of capriciousness was God reaching out to smite me because I’m challenging the status quo.
Believe whatever you want. I still have to make my life work as I juggle lawyers, withheld funds, restricted 401Ks, get my taxes done, and hope that I *will* make it to my final bucket list trip later this year.
I’m struggling on whether or not to cancel this trip, or continue to bet the house in the hope that my various pending pools of money will arrive in time to keep me from screwing things up worse than they are. A bromide isn’t going to do squat for that.