Sunday, May 22, 2011

saving my own soul

i'm still earthbound.  are you?

with all the rapture talk this weekend, i have to admit i was a little frightened.  scratch that.  a lot frightened.  so much so that i refrained from making or agreeing with funny comments about the much-predicted judgement day just in case it actually came to pass.  you see, i was raised by conservative baptist parents who truly believe that jesus will come back some day and save only those truest of believers.  they pounded me with fear of an eternity in hell and instilled in me the value that being born again coupled with regular church attendance is the only ticket to heaven.  i have vivid memories of being scared to death at age nine by the original "left behind" movie and being warned that the devil was behind such things as dancing and the study of psychology.  i remember being very confused and doubtful when told that dogs, the most consistent unconditionally loving and loyal companions i have known,  don't have souls.  i still remember the look of horror on my mother's face when i casually commented that heaven actually sounded kinda boring (especially without dogs!) and i kinda liked the challenges and quirky quandaries of life on earth.

years of spiritual exploration and exposure to people of different faiths has (mostly) quelled my end-days fears and i (almost) truly believe that each of us has the responsibility to save and nurture our own hearts, souls and lives.  still, i'm amazed at the power a certain upbringing holds over me.  from time to time, i doubt and worry that maybe i got it all wrong and jesus really does require a strict adherance to biblical doctrine in order to ascend.  then again, i've met some "christians" who make me shudder at the thought of spending all of eternity with them.  hatred and self-righteousness just can't be the ticket to eternal life. 

if it is, i guess i'm screwed, because i don't choose that.  at least all the bikram yoga will help me better tolerate the heat.

the bottom line is that i need more time.  i need more information.  i need more practice.  i need the wisdom and ability to see and accept those things that i know save me:  grace, love, truth, forgiveness, acceptance, tolerance, peace.  i need to trust my instinctual feeling, that "god" is our own internal loving, intuitive and patient north star (and not a vengeful, dictatorial and mean old-testamenty grandpa), is correct and worthy of my faith.

jesus, i need more human time please.