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Posts Tagged ‘God’

  1. One Good Reason to Stay Alive

    February 12, 2017 by Diane

    Praying Woman

    On Twitter, I saw this plea:

    Could someone please suggest reasons it’s a good idea I should keep being alive?

    Reasons to keep being alive. In 140 characters.

    This was a challenge I couldn’t pass up.

    Chocolate. If you’re thinking of checking out, you won’t be taking your taste buds. So stick around for chocolate.

    Okay, I didn’t tweet that. There was nothing humorous about the tweeter’s question, although sometimes humor can be the lifeline we need when drowning in despair.

    I knew of a comedian who worked the suicide prevention hotline, and when asked “Give me one  good reason I should stay alive,” he told the caller, “Give me a break. You called me.”

    Yowza.

    Isn’t it interesting, the plea is always the same? Give me a reason to stay alive. Because being alive, in and of itself, isn’t reason enough. Being alive, for the person pleading, has become too horrible to endure.

    What we really want, when we’re that desperate, is a reason to endure the pain.

    I heard Bruce Lipton, the author of The Biology of Belief, say: we live in order to experience life through our senses, for God. (Or something along those lines. I jotted the phrase in the back of the book, but the book is stashed away, along with about a hundred others, in storage.)

    If indeed it’s our duty to experience what God can’t, that seems like a pretty swell reason to stay alive.

    Provided you believe in God.

    And provided you accept that experiencing life sometimes involves the sense of pain.

    I read recently: to strengthen and build muscles, we need to tax them, break them down a bit, give them time to recuperate, then tax them again. That’s how they grow.

    It’s the same with people. We’re given circumstances that tax us and break us down. If we take time to recuperate, then we build our strength and grow with each new challenge.

    Now, I could come up with a long list of good reasons that are meaningful to me and don’t mean squat to the person on Twitter. But somewhere in her vast file cabinet of life experiences there’s one thing that matters. Deeply.

    If I had more than 140 characters, or we were talking on the phone or in person, I might have said: “Instead of thinking about ending it all, sort through your memory banks, or take a look around you, and track down that one thing that matters. By the time you find it, whatever brought you to despair will have shifted. Just enough, so the light can shine in.”

    But this person chose to plead for her life on Twitter. So I replied:

    Don’t choose a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The pain will pass. You’re meant to contribute something positive to this world.

    Last I checked, the tweeter did find a good reason: she chose to start painting again. That one thing, painting, helped crack open the darkness.

    If you ever find yourself backed into a corner feeling like your only option is to throw in the life towel, please please please remember this: that one thing—whether it’s your spouse, your kid, your parent, your sibling, your friend, your cat, your art, your dream, or that philodendron in the windowsill—it needs you.

    Then drive down to See’s Candies, pick out a luscious piece of chocolate, and savor it. For God.


  2. The Big Questions

    June 7, 2015 by Diane

     

    curious young woman looking through the binoculars

    Here’s a question. A big one:

    What is God?

    Now…I don’t claim to know the answer one way or the other. But I’ll bet this question has come up for you in conversation, or debate, or when you were eight years old lying in the grass gazing at the clouds.

    Is there an entity—a Being that many call God—that orchestrates our universe? And if so, what is it?

    This is a question that has intrigued humankind since the term “God” came into our vocabulary. A question as perplexing as, What came first, the chicken or the egg?

    What is this thing called God, or Source, or Divine Mother, or (fill in the blank). What is this thing that created the universe?

    Does it hear us mumble our wants and needs and thanks? If so, what kind of hearing apparatus does it have?

    Does it intuit our prayers? If so, what is the mechanism for its intuition?

    Does it sense our needs? If so, with what does it sense?

    Is this mysterious Being that sees without eyes, hears without ears, knows without a brain, and remains invisible to we who have named it, is it the force behind the energy that swirls around the universe? Or…is the energy that swirls around the universe the creator of the entity that many call God?

    What came first…

    I could ask a scientist, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Shaman, a Wiccan, a Hindu, or any person of any faith (or non) and I would get as many different answers.

    The beauty is, in the good ‘ol US of A, we all get to choose our path. We can choose to believe or not believe (which is actually a form of belief). We can stand in front of a painting and experience art from the angle of perspective, or color, or dimension, or style, and still experience the painting.

    I think we get hung up in the labels.

    I think we get hung up in trying to define something that is undefinable.

    I think there is something beyond our ability to categorize (which we love to do), something that is beyond our ability to explain (which we insist on doing), something that can lift our spirits (another inexplainable term) and nudge us in the direction that is good for our souls (something we pretty much all agree exists) if we are silent and aware.

    Is this “something” our own inner self?

    Or something beyond?

    Or both?

    These are the questions that humanity has wrestled with, and fought wars over, and felt compelled to define since…well, I have no idea how long, but eons at least. These are questions as baffling as the one I puzzled over as a child:

    If the universe disappeared and ceased to exist, what would remain? And who or what would know?

    I drove myself squirrely trying to figure that one out. My brain couldn’t fathom it. Stumped ya, didn’t I, smarty-pants.

    What would remain?

    “God!” someone might shout.

    “The Source!” might insist another.

    And so on.

    Here’s another question: can’t we all be right? If whatever we believe sustains us in the dark hours, and gives us hope, and brings out the best in us, and humbles us with gratitude, and fills us with compassion…do we have to confine it to a box, a label, a name? Can’t all paths lead to Heaven or Mecca or Nirvana, or to whatever Shangri-La exists?

    Or do we need to name the unknown in order to know it?

    Someone near and dear to me once said, (and I paraphrase): “I don’t know if God exists. But I choose to believe that He does.”

    Maybe that’s the bottom line. Belief. Whether this Being exists or not, the belief is all powerful.

    Like I said, I don’t have the answers. Just the questions. And I respect anyone’s right to question their own questions, and find their own answers, their own belief system to study, their own inspirational text to pour over.

    Or not.