religion

Confessions of an Agnostic: Why I Believe in God

Twice in my life now have I had the odd feeling of waking up…not in the literal sense, but more, I suppose in the metaphysical sense.

It’s very weird, and difficult to talk about because it is so personal. We’ve all experienced it, I’m sure, we just deny it because it messes with everything we take to hold true.  I’m not crazy, though I have certainly been treated as such for most of my life. In fact its the exact opposite of crazy.

The first time it happened it was very abrupt.  It was terrifying.  I literally thought I was dead.  I was sitting on my boy friend’s bed talking with him when I was hit with this sensation of divine stillness. The chatter in my mind stopped and I was just there. Purely Me. It was beautiful and frightening at the same time.

The self I had spent 19 years with, listening to her strive, worry, and grope and  was gone.  I mean completely gone, leaving me with this thing, this feeling I suppose one could equate with God.

I remember two friends of ours knocked on his dorm door and we let them in.  As they spoke I could hear everything.  Beneath their words I could hear their fear, their need for love and acceptance.  They soon left and I told my boyfriend what was going, crying for the loss of self.  He assured me I was okay.  He had known this feeling himself.  This in fact was something to welcome, he told me.

The months went by and like a good student I l asked questions to my boyfriend who seemed to know exactly what this was all about. But time passed and the magic of his insistent wisdom wore off.  It was all replaced with a new fear–a fear that I was loosing God, that it was slipping out of my hands, leaving me in the world alone.

Anxiety engulfed me like a raging fire and I plummeted into my own personal hell.  Suddenly no choice seemed like the right one.  I was paralyzed with the fear of failing God.

The boy friend and I went our separate ways and I eventual found my balance.  I did the only thing I could do, resorting to the comfort of psychiatric drugs and talk therapies that brought me back to this world.  I do not look back at this period of my life as not good or bad.  It is what I needed to do at the time.

So life went on.  I grew and learned, and continued to hold the unspoken knowledge in the back of my mind that this God-ness I experienced might very well be real, that love is all there is, but whenever I thought too much about it I was sent literally into panic attacks, for fear that the demons wouldn’t slip in again.

So now 20 years later I have an amazing family and devoted husband, life couldn’t be more perfect.  But for a long time I was not satisfied.  I wanted more.  I wanted the other, not what I had, but everything else.  I complained incessantly about people..my friends no less.  I didn’t just expect perfection from myself, I expected it from everyone else.  While I could feel God on my walks on the beach I couldn’t control my fear and anger.

So, this next part I’m hesitant to say, because it just feels so odd.  In the reality I help for 20 years this was not supposed to be.  I was not supposed to feel God every second of everyday, to look at everyone I meet with compassion and love.  These are not things meant for this little neurotic Jewish girl. My story went like this: you are helpless, the world is out to get you, you will try but never suceed.  Yuck!  I’m done with those thoughts.

I’m letting go of my need to be good. No, I’m not turning into some crazed sociopath.  Good is something that is my essense, I don’t have to try  I am good, because I let myself be…and sometimes I’m bad. If you saw what I ate for dinner, or what thoughts jjust crossed my mind, you’d see) But bad is all part of it…so ultimately that’s good too.  Does that make any snese?

I am the one writing this book. I choose where I go.  I have control because I have faith in myself.  I am God!  As are you! We are beautiful.

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Love Has Come for You

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As a child I was taught that love was something earned, specifically by keeping the people around me happy. This wasn’t about entertaining them so much as it was about emotionally feeding people’s needs. It was a pretty big job as a little kid and to this day it still takes on too much weight.

Now I’m understanding something, though. Love is not the emotional unit of two people grasping at each other because the world is too big and scary for them. Nor is it holding on so tight that the other person can’t move. Love is freedom, love is awareness, and ultimately love is connection.

Love is huge. It is the biggest thing in the universe. It is what makes everything tick.

It is diving into the world without fear. It is connecting from the heart, not from the socially constructed brain that says “love right or die”. It is living free, liberated from the fear that you might be abandoned and left hopeless on the side of the road.

Healthy relationships are about two beings who stand alone, yet perfectly together. As we tap into that cosmic love we acknowledge it within ourselves and each other.

Being human it’s easy to slip into a place of fear and wanting. We’re so attached to what we call reality that the threat of loss feels too much to bear. We don’t want to be alone, but what I understand now is we’re not. Not ever. Love is a force that pervades everything. It is more than our wants, then our fears.

Although I will always carry with me the loaded scripts I’ve been given as a child, I hope as I move forward I can pause to acknowledge the magnificent love within myself and everyone else and no longer feel the need to feed people to feel safe.

Love is alive around us reverberating in the trees, in the water, in our hearts. It is who we are. Our job is not to be security blanket for the people around us, it’s to lift the heavy bindings and let people fly free.

Peace,

Becky