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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Faith and Existence

Faith is a difficult thing. We are taught in school that theories need proof. We need to be able to support our arguments with hard facts and scientific data. And finding information is easier than ever, thanks to the internet -- unlike the days of my school reports, which required a library visit and rifling through a card catalog in hopes of finding something related to my topic.

Yet, we are still asked to have faith. To trust abundance. To surrender. To believe in a divine plan or miracles or the law of attraction or God.

This universe is a magical and scientific place. Sometimes it’s hard to trust what we cannot see for ourselves.

My friend Kristin wrote a post that resonated so deeply with me. It’s called I’m an ego driven skeptic and she begins, “My name is Kristin and I basically doubt everything.”

It’s definitely worth reading, so hop on over there. These are the words that I read over and over:
“I don’t usually believe in myself and I know I exist. I don’t have faith in myself, and I can see myself in the mirror. So why would I believe in something that I have to have faith in and I can’t see?”

Juicy, right?

I don’t usually believe in myself and I know I exist. I exist. You do, too. You can see yourself right now by looking down, just as I can see myself. We exist. That is easily provable. But do you believe in yourself? Do you believe you are worthy? Do you have faith in yourself?

Those questions are much harder.

Now go back to the second part of that quote. If you don’t have faith in yourself, and you can see yourself in the mirror, how do you believe in something you can’t see?

So much harder.

And yet, does operating from faith make the experience of life invalid or not worthwhile? Definitely not.

Faith is worthwhile even if it is hard.

Faith, when carefully placed, enriches our ego-driven, body-based experiences. It makes for a well-rounded life alongside science. Both are valuable.

Read Kristin's full post here: I’m an ego driven skeptic

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I Am Not Colorblind

I grew up in a place that I am realizing is somewhat of an anomaly. I grew up in schools where kids were white, black, Middle Eastern, Korean, Chinese, Hispanic, biracial. My friends, neighbors, and classmates practiced a variety of religions, or no religion at all. I had babysitters who were white, who were black, who were deaf.

Normal to me was that there was no normal. Everyone was different, everyone had a story, and it was worth learning as many stories as I could.

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.

My mother sang that to me when I was little, and I knew that it was true because I could see so many colors and lifestyles around me.

As an adult, and especially now that I’ve moved around and seen other communities, I’ve realized my childhood was perhaps a bit different than what many people experience.

The gut-wrenching news stories we keep hearing prove we have a long way to go toward peace and justice. The racism and religious animosity that I “knew” were things of the past as a child, I know now are still issues.

With emotions running high, it’s sometimes scary to speak up because words with good intentions behind them can be met with disdain.

One of those well-intentioned words that I keep seeing is “colorblind.” As in “I am colorblind; I see everyone the same.” I understand what you mean.

But when I see that word, I question it. Because we are not all the same.

If I am colorblind, I am missing a very key piece of who you are. The color of your skin is part of what makes you you. It is part of what makes you beautiful. It is part of your story.

I absolutely believe we should all be afforded the same opportunities. I want to be clear about that. However, I can’t ignore that maybe you haven’t been afforded those opportunities. And that is unjust.

Your experience — whether or not you are white, like me — is different from mine, because we have different bodies, different histories, different racial compositions, different parents, different personalities.

I am not colorblind. I don’t ever want to be colorblind. I see in color. Full, rich, vibrant color. That’s what makes this life interesting.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Act Loving to Feel Loving

Sometimes I read things that are so… tough and important and consciousness-raising. I don’t necessarily have anything to add. The author’s words are enough on their own.

This post from Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery is one of those posts: Life is Hard But They are Brave.

Please go read it. But, if you don’t have time right now, at least read this…
“My friend stopped by five hours after I started this love project and she said: lord. You are so loving to do this for them. And I said No, no, no. I don’t do these crazy things because I’m loving. I’m loving because I do these crazy things. Love is not a feeling. Love is the result of hours and days and years of using your hands and heart and mind to show up in a million different ways for other people. We don’t wait to act until we feel loving — we act so that we will feel loving. You don’t wait for love – you create it.”

…and this…
“The quote is from a mother who wrote four hearts and then the words: I ache. The hearts on this poster symbolize babies who were taken before they were named. And I looked at her four hearts and her: I ache and I thought: There is nothing I can do about your ache. You will ache forever. But there is something I can do about the I. I can make it a we. We will ache with you. Your sisters and brothers will ache with you.”

We are on this earth together. We are in this life together. Act loving and you will feel loving.