Something to Believe In

20 years ago this week 39 members of a religious cult committed mass suicide in order to transcend to the alien spaceship following the tail of the Comet Hale-Bopp. I remember hearing about this tragedy and wondering what kind of madness could take over a large group of people and convince them that this was not insane. 

People need something to believe in. As humans we are blessed/cursed with the need to know why. The questions of why and how are the engines that keep humanity moving forward. If humans don’t indulge their natural curiosity, they die. Some people believe retirees die shortly after they retire because they believe they don’t have purpose once they stop working.  People need a reason to believe. 

Atheists may not believe in a God, but they have beliefs that keep their engines moving forward.  For a person deeply rooted in their religion and sacred rites, they may not understand the more secular beliefs rooted in science and reason. The extremes of religious beliefs may not agree with each other, but they have a lot in common in regards of having something to believe.  

In my opinion, I believe people steep themselves deeply into their belief system because of a personal trauma or tragedy. Christians call it a come-to-Jesus moment. I think once someone had hit rock bottom they need to find something to believe in so they don’t drift further away from life.  Maybe that is why many recovery programs have a religious component. As a good shepherd, churches and religious leaders are poised to welcome all lost sheep into the fold. The welcoming sheep are there to say how Jesus (church) was there to save them. For this salvation, the saved members press their roots deeper into the soil of this manmade concept and curse anyone who does not believe like they believe. 

Unfortunately, there are many predatory religious factions who lead the sheep to slaughter. It may not be as final as the Heavens Gate tragedy, but in many cases the collective brainwashing of a group of people looking for something to believe in could be just a different shade of the same color. 

Keep your engine running with questions of why and how, but keep your eyes and ears open. Not everyone is a shepherd, but most are sheep. It’s normal to be a part of a flock, but it’s not normal to turn off your brain and let the shepherd lead you away from your natural instinct to learn, move forward, and survive. Be wise and always question the narrative whether your belief system is religion, science, and/or politics. If you stop asking questions, you may find yourself wearing the metaphorical uniform of madness that seduces you to drink the poisonous Kool-aid. 

Don’t mistake my smile as acceptance

It’s my default to get through life

And weed out strangling vines

That causes all the strife.

Don’t mistake my sugar for sweetness

That’s folly through and through

If I’m always perceived as sweet

That doesn’t  bode well for you.

Don’t mistake civility for meekness

I’ve read the social contract

To get along, you go along

My motives are that exact. 

So go your way and I’ll go mine

My framework now is listed

If I treat you like a stranger

Just know you got it twisted. 

 

Watching the breath move in and out

Soothing the organs

Caressing the spirit.

Life fueling breath.

Soul soothing breath.

Inhale

Exhale

Invisible friend

Serving this mortal coil

Until the sun sets

One last time.

It oozes through the veins

Like moldy soft cheese

Coats the walls

In yellowish green

Putrid slime

You found hard to believe

Could have ever once

Been anything pure

Good.

It oozes through the arteries

Making it hard to move

From one place to another

Without feeling sick

In its wake.

It oozes out of pores

So small

You’d need

A microscope to see the

Holes.

The smell surrounds you.

Everyone can sense

Decay,

But too polite to say a word.

They watch you fade away

Slowly

With smiles and platitudes

It oozes.

Sitting in her car

In the stifling garage

Breathing in deeply

the air of freedom.

So sweet and clean

He’s not home.

Thank goodness

But HE’S home

Oh goodness!

Sitting in royal robes

Made in Africa

Preaching God and Religion

Wishing she was never born

To be there.

The sweet air of freedom

Her hair falls out

Combs over the bald spot

With a painted on smile.

How did she get there?

How can she leave?

She’d rather be alone

Because she doesn’t want

to go

home.

Done

How can a good idea

Be so wrong

A short time in 

And I am done. 

A dream in theory

A nightmare in life. 

The promised joy

Nothing but strife. 

Smiling past tears

Looking for the lining

That’s promised in silver

The masses were lying. 

The joy is minimal 

No detection of fun

A short time in this

I’m already done. 

Every year I abstain from something that I take great pleasure in for 40 days.  One year in college my sister/friend and I gave up chocolate.  That was a hard 40 days.  We convinced ourselves that Tootsie Rolls were not chocolate, so we ate about a pound of the faux chocolate for 40 days to make up for the good stuff we craved.  The horrors!

This year I went old school and I gave up sugar in the form of anything that can be looked at as a dessert. Today I was showcasing my Just Desserts Pinterest board with over 350 pins.  My sons were shocked by all the delicious looking treats I was casually gazing at without a moment of angst.  I’m hoping I am demonstrating willpower. In the meantime, my youngest asked me to make at least one thing off my board every week for the rest of the year so I can actually accomplish something off this particular board. To his delight, I shook hands with him and said I’ll start right after Lent.

Will I do it? Yes. They have heard the stories of me taking cake decorating classes where I made a cake a week.  They have encouraged me to take another class, but I rather do other types of desserts.  Anyway, now my sons are counting down the days until Easter.  

She walks with wolves

They know her name

She adorns her body

Without the shame.

Tribal markings

Frame her royal face

Beautiful woman

Her skin, her race

A shadowed friend

Attempted to mock

Wolf woman stood tall

Immune to shock.

Her grace are pearls

Wasted on swine

She leaves them mocking,

Yet wanting to climb

Into her skin

And be so free.

The friend now banished

The wolf sips her tea.

Lately, I’ve copped this phrase to prettily sum up how I feel about most things.  I go through the motions of life but that kernel of caring is getting more elusive everyday.  I wake up every morning embracing my yoga practice.  Then the day starts with a cup of courage brewed from that single kernel of caring.  I teach my sons, cater to their needs, and maintain the house.  As the rest of life barrels around me, I couldn’t care less.  I don’t clutch my pearls or get my feathers ruffled over anything.  My Twitter and Facebook feed are filled with an abundance of things I should care about, but it’s overwhelming.  Day to day concerns that would’ve had me in a state do not faze me.  I don’t care.  I shut it all down and wait for the next day to roll around so I can do it all again.

It’s a curious state of being.  Have I found my zen?  Maybe I’ve found nirvana! (hello, Kurt)  Living day to day with no expectations or caring allows me time to just be.  The minutia of life is really not as important as living in the moment.  Life is too short to rage at the machine.  If no one hears you scream, don’t scream louder, find a different way to express your displeasure.  If your family and friends do not know you, don’t try to make yourself known.  Get to know yourself and all else will fall into place.  Clean out that closet you just crammed your emotional baggage.  Find that single kernel of caring and nurture it for what matters. 

Maybe I’m not dead inside.  Maybe I’m enlightened.

Can’t Turn Away

His life ticked by

Like a broken watch. 

The media and Web

Trained him to pick a side. 

He rolls down the velvet path

Clicking on choice pieces

Of carrion so dry and tough 

The maggots reject them

Looking for juicy truth

Over dried flecks of bitter dreams. 

He fools himself looking

At the other side

Tick tock tick tick

Bastards are wrong

Nothing is right. 

The slave to the master

What else should I believe

  • My life is gone and you’re my pillow.