Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Isn't this a stunning photograph by Corey K. of Union Theological Seminary, with the spire of Riverside Church behind it? I live among such beautiful buildings in my neighborhood. This image probably speaks to me right now because I am having a quiet crisis of faith. I am not a particularly religious person. My favorite part of any church service is the singing because the way a congregation of voices weaves and vibrates feels like prayer to me. But I do believe in God and the human spirit. I do not say it out loud very often, because it sounds like blasphemy to some and I'm not interested in proselytizing or convincing people of anything, but I believe God is the spirit inside us, expressed in how we treat each other, most present when we are being loving. As for that heaven in the sky, I have no idea. I would like to think that what I learned in science class is so, that energy cannot be destroyed, and there is a realm where I will be reunited with my loved ones who have passed on, but who knows? Since I don't, I choose to think my father, who died seventeen years ago this month, is watching over me. And if it's all fantasy, I won't be any the wiser when I'm gone. But this isn't what my crisis of faith is about. The challenge I am having is in loving myself. My self-talk is so unforgivably harsh, I feel so wrong, and as a therapist noted in a story I was editing yesterday, "When you fail to accept yourself, you accept that others won't accept you too." I sometimes play with the idea that our universe is plastic, that it mirrors back to me whatever I send out, and arranges itself roughly according to what I believe to be true. If this is so, then I need to get busy changing my beliefs about myself right quick, because it feels as if the universe is kicking my proverbial behind. It's not really visible to other people. It's all happening in the world inside me, challenging me to confront myself, to be so much kinder to myself, to heal the places that hurt. All my life I have depended on the world to give me back a vision of myself I can live with, that I can embrace, and now it turns out that this is a trick I will have to master and perform for myself.