Live Your Truth

I heard someone say this statement on TV about a month ago or so. As you can see, I’m still mulling over this one. This person (I wish I could remember who it was!) said it in response to a question regarding the key to her success.

Is this a new buzz phrase like “shift your paradigm”?

Anyway, ever since I heard this phrase I’ve been asking myself, “Am I living my truth?”. And, then I’m asking, “What the hell does that really mean, ‘living your truth’?”

For me, it means that you are being yourself in every moment, not hiding. Is that how you would interpret that statement?

That seems really hard to do. Maybe I’m the only one, but I don’t let just anyone in and see the complete Jenni.  Some trust has to be earned first. Yeah, I have rejection issues. I will admit that sometimes I still feel like the awkward 7th grader that just wants to fit in and not be rejected. Part of that girl has never left me.

So . . . . . Am I living my truth?  When the hubs and I were talking about it (after I told him my post topic), I told him that I honestly didn’t think that I was assuming my definition of the statement was accurate.

Why? The big one that popped into my mind immediately was church.

I confessed to my husband that once the kids stopped attending Sunday school, that I would probably no longer attend church. He was surprised by my statement, and in turn, I was surprised by his surprise (3 surprises in one sentence!). I suppose that’s the first time that I have voiced this aloud to him.

By the way, I’m not an atheist – I would call myself spiritual. I am open to the idea of a higher power, so it’s not that. It’s the rules and constraints of organized religion. The concept of “it’s my way or the highway”.  Christianity seems like an all or nothing proposition, right? Either you believe there is the one and only way to heaven or you don’t. Either you believe that Jesus is the Son of God or you don’t. Fence-sitting is not going to get you everlasting life.

Other than the love I feel for my friends and family, I’m not 100% sure of hardly anything in my life (My kids would roll their eyes at this one – to them, I appear to be very certain on most things).  And, I’m a little wary of those people who are. How do you grow and evolve if you’re not constantly questioning?

I feel that by attending our church (I’m a practicing Presbyterian, by the way), I am tacitly agreeing that my Jewish friends are doomed or that I whole heartedly agree that there is one way to heaven or – you get the idea. I can’t reconcile taking communion and feeling the way I do.

The hubs offered up the idea that maybe I wasn’t unique in this regard. Maybe that’s so, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel like a big faker each time I go to service.

I heard someone on the TV say that she believed in all paths to God. I really like that statement and it makes more sense to me.

Anyway, you may be wondering about my children – I have always been honest with them on my feelings toward organized religion. I’ve also told them that they need to figure it out on their own – I will not tell them what to believe when it comes to something as personal as faith. They love Sunday school, Bible study, church camp, caravan, and their church friends and I won’t be the one who gets in the way of this.

I do have many friends and family that have what I call “true” faith – these are people who attend church because it’s meaningful, not because they want to be “seen”. These are people who have shown me that their faith truly has helped them through really tough times. These are the  people who accept the Doubting Jenni “as is”. However, I’m sure some of them are praying that I eventually come around (right, dad?).

I’m not dismissing faith and religion all together – I have witnessed the meaning and comfort it brings to those in my life.  And, my church does really nice things for the community and the church members. I can’t argue with that!

I guess, if I were living my truth, I would stop attending church because I’m tired of pretending. But, I won’t because I still have my kids at home and they really enjoy it. Shhh. . . . I will have to continue with my little scam for a while.

Wow, I feel like I just sat in the confessional (and I’m not even Catholic) or just came out of the religious closet! 

Are there other areas where I may not be living my truth? Maybe. . . . .but, I have rejection/trust issues as I eluded to earlier and we’re still just getting to know one another so I will leave those for another day. 🙂

What does “living your truth” mean to you?

Tuesday’s Random Thoughts

With school in session, it’s too hard to post every night so I’ve decided to post weekly instead of trying to post daily.  As soon as it becomes a Have-To instead of a Get-To, then the fun has been sucked out of it.  I’m enjoying my Blog and don’t want the fun sucked out! 

My random thoughts over the past week have been on running and religion – kind of strange, I know.

Running

Maybe some of you are interested in how I am doing on my 8-week running training program.  Well, I finished Week One this weekend (run for 30 min total, but alternate 1 min of running with 2 min of walking along with 3 min of walking warm-up and cool down for a total of 36 minutes). I was supposed to do this every other day alternating with 30 minutes of just walking.  Not too bad, right?  Well, I don’t feel that I did well enough to graduate to Week Two (similar to above except it’s 2 min of running with 1 min of walking) so I’m repeating Week One this week.

The one thing that I’ve noticed is that my knees are beginning to feel it a bit 😦 .  I have found some stretches that are supposed to prevent knee pain and I will be adding those to my routine.  I hate to think that my running goal is already in jeopardy after a week and a half!!  Man, I’m old and out of shape!

Religion

Um, this seems like a heady topic to take on and I’ve never meant for this blog to be controversial in any way, but I must bring this up because I can’t stop thinking about it due to the Gay Marriage and Ground Zero controversies in the news.  I usually avoid the topic of religion because it evokes strong emotions, is very personal and no one budges an inch (it seems) after a discussion. 

Growing up we were mostly Easter & Christmas Christians and thus, religion was not prominent in our household.  At some point in my parents’ lives after my sister and I left the fold, their faith has deepened and is very important to them.  I’ve seen how their faith has comforted them through the trials of life and I can respect the peace it gives them.  However, I have to say that much to my parents’ dismay, I’m still a raging agnostic.  I’ve always been a somewhat of an empiricist and skeptic and of course, the existence of God can neither be proven or disproven, so therein lies the conundrum for me. 

Going to church does make me feel like a fraud once a week, but it’s one of those things I do for my kids.  What I mean by that is in making the decision to attend church, my husband and I had committed to go “all in” and not be the C & E Christians.  We both think that it’s good to expose them to religion and let them ultimately make their own choices.  I’ve been completely honest with all three of my children about where I stand on the topic and with the fact that they will have to come to their own conclusions about faith and religion.  Like I said earlier, it’s a personal choice so I (or anyone else) can’t make that decision for them.

I was having a discussion with someone over the weekend and religion popped up as one of the topics.

Statement made by companion:  “The Qur’an is an inherently mean-spirited, hateful book”.

I asked this person if he/she had ever read it and the answer was “no”.  So, how can that comment even be made?  That’s how hate speech and rumors are spread (on any topic).  I couldn’t offer an informed rebuttal because I haven’t read the text either.  I’m sure some state out of ignorance that the Bible is an angry book after hearing Old Testament stories (it seems God was a bit angry in the Old Testament – do it my way or I’m going to drown everyone on the planet (except Noah)!).  The point I made is that any religious text (Bible, Qur’an, etc.) can be perverted by the zealous and turned into something hateful and angry.  Our World’s History is rife with unspeakable actions done in the name of religion (pick any religion).

So in an effort to be more informed, I have ordered my very own copy of the Qur’an from Amazon.com – it’s 1300 pages long!  It’s annotated and provides historical references, so maybe I will actually learn something.  It will definitely not be an easy read.

Statement made by companion:  “God has a special place in his heart for the Jewish people”.

This was in response to one of my hang-ups about Christianity.  I had asked my companion, “Do you really think that my Jewish BFF is going to Hell?  Because I can’t accept that.”  Okay, so God really likes the Jewish people, but not enough to let them into Heaven.  Hmmmm…  Since Abraham is the father of many religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism – doesn’t that mean that God in all three of the religions is the same entity?  If so, are there separate Heavens for each one?  You know, Separate but Equal, like segregation?  Does God give a knowing wink at the Christians as he tells the others that he likes them best?   This may sound irreverent, but that is one of the many, many issues I have. 

 Statement by me:  “If you believe in Heaven, you have to believe in Hell.  The Yin and Yang of life so-to-speak.  Do you believe in Satan?”

My companion answered in the affirmative.  I personally don’t think that there is an evil entity walking around whispering in people’s ears to commit evil acts.  I think that people are capable of evil acts and it’s by choice.  So, now I have to consider the fact that if I don’t believe in Hell, can I still believe in Heaven?  Hmm….I guess I won’t really find out real deal until I leave this earth.

I have other dilemmas/questions about religion in general and Christianity specifically, but it would make this post TOO long.  Sorry for the randomness of this post, but these were the things swirling around in my brain this past week.