I envy those who can have it. The types of people who don’t need anything other than what they believe themselves to feel within – they don’t need reassurance, they don’t need evidence, they don’t need answers. They just understand. They believe they know.
And that’s enough.
Of course, this could be taken a multitude of different ways. Blind faith in a leader, or in an organization, or a religion – frequently a combination of all three. Or perhaps just the other side of the coin to anxiety – not having to worry about every single last little thing there is, and just knowing that all will be alright. Being able to close your eyes and let the universe take you – as it tends to unfold as it should.
I am not a religious man. After years of struggle and contemplation, I am an unswayed agnostic. I never could quite bring myself to make the delve into calling myself an atheist, only because I believe that it would be rather arrogant – I can’t say that there is a god, but who am I to say there isn’t at all? I don’t have the answers and I don’t claim to – I just have the information available and I use it to the best of my understanding.
I used to identify as a Christian. I did so right on this very blog, in a post talking about theocracy in America a couple years back. I am uncomfortable with that moniker – as I don’t like modern Christian thought in the slightest. I think Christians are rather un-Christlike. But I do know there are exceptions to the rule, to some extent – I currently date someone who would be categorized as an Evangelical Christian.
She’s not as hardcore when it comes to a lot of stuff. She’s politically liberal, as well. It’s just that her religious beliefs hang on that side, as do the majority of her family. She was raised in a home where it was taught as fact, with little outside influence. They’re also very traditional in their beliefs, unlike her – the fact that we live together outside of marriage is a particular point of contention, despite this being the year of our probably non-existent lord, 2017, and a rather common part of society.
The issue is, though, is that that doesn’t matter. Society doesn’t matter. The world doesn’t matter. Only the perceived word of god, timeless and everlasting.
They don’t like me very much – her father is fairly accepting of me, her mom is a little further away – and her extended family just tries not to think I exist. It stings a particular bit more when my side of the family – also fairly religious – tends to accept her with open arms. Even my staunch Conservative grandmother who doesn’t like us living together loves her dearly. Yet her side doesn’t want much to do with me.
At what point does this become an issue, or does it at all? Can one enjoy a long-term relationship with such contention on one side due to a fairly significant difference? The plan is to marry this girl – but how can you go through a life together while also trying to constantly avoid a good chunk of family?
I wonder how it would go. I can spot little details already – if I tag her in a couple’s photo or something on Facebook where her friends can see it, her side of the family comments something about her, ignoring the fact that it was either posted by me or includes me. On the flip side, the side of her family that isn’t very religious tends to talk about us as a couple, as a group, as a union. It may seem trivial, but I find it to be an interesting comparison – and it really shows me that, despite it never being said out loud, the big elephant in the room to them is the religious difference.
Is it significant? To a degree, but is it completely unworkable?
I’d like to think not. Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes together real hard and when I open them back up, suddenly I understand why belief in a god is still incredibly relevant in modern society. It would honestly solve a lot of issues – both internal and external.
But as I’ve gotten older and strayed away from religion, the ability to have blind faith has withered away. Maybe it’s cynicism. Maybe it’s residual angst. Hell, maybe it’s just depression, back at it again. But I can’t stand and say that I know everything will be okay, that everything will work out right. That I’ll be fine and do great things and that my significant other’s side of the family hating me doesn’t affect me when it really does. That I could go to church and feel like a deity has my back and not feel like I’m screaming at a void.
I pity those with blind faith and other times – for different reasons – I wish that I had it.
If I don’t end up posting again before the new year, happy holidays.
Things may be rough and you may feel terrible, and that’s okay. You have a right to feel those things. You have a right to feel those emotions run through you and understand them. I don’t know what is inside your head, but just know that even though things seem so bleak and out of focus – you’re not cursed. You’re not alone. You are you for all that you are with some brain chemicals that are a bit out of sync.
At the end of the day – we’ll all be okay.
Even if takes a little longer for some than others.