Faith and Why It Matters

faith

I Googled “faith” and got boring motivational stuff, so I’m using her instead.

It’s taking me longer and longer to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve always said that I have one goal in life and one goal only: to wake up every morning not feeling like shit. I almost always fail. These days, I tend to get a decent amount of sleep, but want to spend the first couple hours of my day sitting in bed dicking around on my laptop. We’ve all been there, right?

The problem with this is that it throws off my rhythm. I think of myself as a morning person, but sometimes I don’t get around to eating breakfast until 11 or later. Then, since I like to wait a few hours between meals, I might not get around to eating lunch until 2 or 3. Dinner could be 8 or later. That’s not that late, but it’s later than I’d like it to be, especially because I like to go to bed around 10:30, but often don’t finish the stuff I need to do each day until close to midnight. This needs to change. You should go to bed because you’ve done what you need to do, not just because you’re tired. It’s not a sustainable mode of living.

I’ve been in and out of therapy over the years. I saw a shrink once, too, although she wasn’t very helpful. I’ve had OCD and hypochondria so bad that I could barely even function in day-to-day life anymore. My family could see that something was wrong, but they didn’t really help all that much either, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. I’m not going to go into any more detail there. If there’s one thing I don’t need, it’s people feeling sorry for me. I’m good at wallowing in self-pity. I do it all the time. In all honesty, I think it can be quite healthy. Did you just get dumped? Eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and rewatch The Princess Bride, followed by Casablanca. Bring a box of tissues. It’s okay.

I think part of the reason people tend to either overshare or avoid discussing serious matters on the internet is that they still don’t know what to make of it. I’ve been told that I shouldn’t argue with people on Facebook because it’s harder to communicate through writing than through face-to-face interactions. Of course, the person who told me that did so on Facebook, so I’ll go ahead and assume that his intentions were to put me in my place because he is a self-righteous douche. There is nothing wrong with being honest on the internet, and besides, if you honestly think arguing on Facebook is pointless, you shouldn’t wait until you realize that you’re losing to tell the person you’re arguing with that you have better things to do. There are more important things in life than getting the last word.

I don’t much care for this Republican idea that anyone who doesn’t or can’t work for what they have doesn’t deserve to have it. No matter who you are, I can guarantee that somebody has helped you out at some point in your life. You are not special. The rules that apply to everyone else apply to you as well. If your response to somebody asking for a favor is, “What’s in it for me?”, you’re doing it wrong. What’s wrong with this view is simple: it’s shortsighted. Sometimes, what you did comes back around, and the person who you helped out ages ago swoops in to help you at a crucial moment. And sometimes it doesn’t, in which case you should definitely do the whole wallow in self-pity thing that I just talked about. That’s not as much fun as it sounds, but it’ll help.

My mother still goes to church every Sunday. My father identifies as Catholic, but doesn’t go to church. I gave up on that years ago. Catholic masses are boring anyway. That said, I have little use for this Richard Dawkins bullshit that people who believe are simply “childish” or intellectually immature. I may think the Bible is a load of fairy tales, but I can think of way worse places to start trying to understand the unknown than there. Believers aren’t after facts; they’re after stories. It’s about trying to make sense of the universe by looking for meaning in the things that we do. You might think that they’re reaching, but so what? Don’t we all do that from time to time?

The reason so many people need religion is that it helps them get through the day. It’s as simple as that. I try not to live my life with my head in the clouds, but it’s hard sometimes. I spent a year getting a masters degree, then, after months of trying unsuccessfully to get a job in a field related to what I’d studied, settled for a job in a coffee shop. There are worse places to work. I’m trying to get down to what really matters, to build up a daily routine that makes sense so that I won’t feel so bad when everything goes to shit. But there are infinite ways for something like that to go wrong. Things were looking promising in New York, but all of that depended on my finding a roommate who was not a total psycho. I failed at that, so the rest is irrelevant.

I hope to read the Bible someday. So far, I’ve read only a few books in the New Testament. It’s slow going. There is a lot of historical context and stuff that can throw off one’s understanding, and you might want to just skip all the stuff about who begat who. What I do know is that it was a text written by humans, not God, in an attempt to make sense of what was by definition unknowable. I respect that, even if I think they got a lot wrong.

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