…things that matter…
I don’t post here frequently, and I never really intended to when I started this blog. I chose the name of this blog, My Weight in Words, to signify that when I did post here, it was because I had something to say that I thought was important.
There are a lot of things that are important, things we need to talk about, things that matter.
Today, I want to talk about religion. No. That isn’t really it. I want to talk about faith, about belief, about the indefinable, indescribable center of who we are.
I want you to take a moment out of your day to just sit still for a bit, to let go of the work day, the to do list, the bustle and hustle, the momentary distractions, the surface emotions, the snap-back responses…I want you to think about what you believe.
Not the rhetoric or the talking points or the sound bites. Not the dogma, the doctrine, the quotes or even, really, the words we use to attempt to express what we believe. I want you to move past those things.
Imagine a series of doorways, curtained off. Those doorways hide our most tender places. They offer protection at times, handles to help us grip our internal selves, they cast shadows on our external selves that shade how others see us. They are not good or bad, they simply are a part of us. Move through the curtains, each one in turn bringing you closer to the center.
It may be dark there. It may be bright. There is no right or wrong. I can’t tell you what you’ll find there. I can’t tell you what your heart knows, what your soul believes. That is for you and you alone.
But once there, I’d like you to sit with yourself a while. Just sit. Be. Let yourself feel. Let the core of who you are, what you believe, seep into your conscious self. This is the place where Truth dwells. There are no words (if you’re still thinking in words, you aren’t there yet).
Breathe. Take it into you.
Now, consider how much of your daily life accurately reflects that core.
I’m not talking about religious obligation, going to church/temple/mosque/synagogue/ritual. I’m not even talking about social obligation, volunteering, etc. I’m talking about the way you live your life. Do the words you speak come from the temporary surface emotions, frustrations? Or do you speak with the conviction of the core of who you are? Do you conduct yourself in all that you do so that you honor that which you hold most sacred?
I know I don’t. I mean, I try. I engage in a lot of conversation online, where, perhaps, it is a little easier to control. I have the option of venting the surface reactions, speaking in anger, throwing out hateful words…only to delete them and then type a response more suited to my commitment to what I know to be true.
But in real time? I curse like a sailor. I vent. I say mean, angry things. And there are those who will say that I’m justified in doing so, for whatever reason. The thing is, I know that isn’t true. There is never any justification for speaking to someone with words of hatred. I don’t actually hate the person I’m speaking of/to.
On a broader scale, when I look at our national dialog here in the US, when I watch people throw around hateful, spiteful rhetoric without consideration for how it might affect others, particularly when that conversation is about religion, about faith and morality, about right action and love, I see a people so out of touch with who they are, with what they believe deep, deep inside of them, that they can not respond with anything but gut level, whiplash reactionary bile.
Go back to that core, that center…behind all of those curtains. Sit a while. Breathe.
What you find there might startle you. What you find there might begin to change you. What you find there might begin to change everything.
It’s okay. I promise you. It’s okay. Whatever you find there, wherever that discovery leads you. It’s okay.
It might be uncomfortable at first. It might scare you. It’s okay.
Breathe. Take it in to your conscious being.
More importantly, bring some of it out with you again. Let it infuse and inform your day. Let it embolden your step, your smile. Let it guide you to reach out…and reach back inside whenever you need to. Let it light up your life, temper your words, enlighten your mind.
There are things that matter…things we need to talk about. Problems we need to fix. Stuff that needs to change.
One thing I’ve learned is you can’t change anything, until you learn to change yourself first.