In response to the Daily Prompt…
In order to have faith in something (or someone) you need to believe in that thing (or person) first. It won’t work otherwise. Over the years I have come to the realization that I have lost faith in many things (and, sadly, many people). I didn’t want to. Believe me when I tell you that I liked being able to have faith in something or someone. It was a comforting thought to have. Kind of like a safety net of sorts. If something were to go wrong, that person or thing would be there to help, in however small or big a way. It was simply nice to know that someone had my back. I don’t feel that way about a lot of things these days. I haven’t for a long time now.
My faith in God was the first to go. I was raised Catholic and was a practicing Catholic until about the age of twenty. I was away at college when it happened, when I lost my faith in the Big Guy Upstairs. It wasn’t something that happened overnight either. It was a slow and gradual progression. I wasn’t happy about it but I was also kind of pissed off that it was happening. As a Catholic I was taught that if you were a good person, that God would be good to you in return. That He would “take care of you” and that, in the end, you would end up in Heaven for being such a good person. I used to really believe that. So I did my best to be one of those “good people”.
I kept being as good a person as I could be but shitty things began to happen in my life (for example, my parents were getting divorced and I had to have major surgery to remove my defective ovary) and no matter how “good” I was as a person, those shitty things kept happening. Suddenly the idea that being good meant God would be good to you began to not make sense to me. Here I was being a good daughter, sister, student and friend to the people I knew and it felt like God wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on in my life. WTF? By the time I was halfway through college I had reached the point where none of it made sense. Everything I had learned when I was in grade school felt like a lie. And it wasn’t just the things that were going on in my life that made me question it all. It was everything I was seeing around me. The older I became, the more I began to see that life was, in fact, not easy or fair. The rose-colored glasses that I had worn during most of my childhood had gotten lost somewhere along the way and I was now seeing everything as it was. Talk about a cold slap to the face.
By the time I graduated from college I was pretty much done with religion as a whole. Since then my life has not gotten any easier and the world, as I know it, has gotten a lot harder, a lot crueler. It’s difficult for me to believe that there is a God who seems to be okay with things going as they are and not doing a damn thing about it. I could pray all I want but it’s really not going to change anything because “God” has nothing to do with anything that’s of this earth. Will I be afraid if, after I die, it turns out there is a God after all? Not really. The way I see it, if He really does exist, he’ll let me pass through the Pearly Gates anyway because I’m still the good person I was from years ago. That much hasn’t changed about me. Personally, I don’t think there is a Heaven. I think that once we die everything simply goes black and that’s it. You cease to exits.
Would it be cool if He were to somehow prove me wrong? Maybe. I say maybe because then it would mean Heaven exists and the afterlife would be the great place it was described to me as a kid. I would get to be with my wonderful four-legged companion, M, again and get to sit on a cloud for all eternity. But maybe not because it would also mean that God let all the shitty things that happen in the world happen. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would want to believe in a God that did that.
Faith, especially in religion, is a complex belief that isn’t meant for everyone. It wasn’t meant for me. Life is complicated enough as it is without adding that into the mix. But I will say this, my faith in people has been restored a bit since meeting W. I didn’t think it would have been possible for me to meet a man that was not only kind and generous with his heart, but also willing to share it with me. W is such a man. So maybe I can believe in that, in him. I think I will.