Saturday, April 03, 2010


Every year on Holy week I feel like screaming at the top of my lungs: I WANT TO BELIEVE.

Sometimes I do, I really do want to believe. I wish I had the comfort of religious faith. I wish I had been brought up in an environment where magical thinking came naturally, where I could accept mythology as truth and believe the random horror of this world responds to a higher being's plan, one that I should not dare question because I am after all, a lesser being. But I wasn't brought up that way. I was brought up to believe this life is all we have, and that it is up to me to be the best person I can be, to make the most of my life and to try to live with integrity. I don't always succeed, but I try hard. And for the most part I am grateful that I grew up without spiritual crutches, except on days when I wish someone could lighten the weight of the world on my shoulders.


  1. Wow! I feel very similar to you. I wasn't brought up to believe that everything is part of God's plan (or anyone else's really). I've never been comfortable being a part of those types of discussions either, I'd like to believe that there is some devine plan and that I am a small piece of the puzzle, but I need more than a person's word. I also struggle with how to address these things with my kids. How do you deal with the girls?

  2. Gosh, it's so hard, Nichole! I have had most of my religion/spirituality conversations with Paula, and the approach has varied over the years. Mostly, I say that I do not believe in God as conceived by Christianity, an anthropomorphic conscience with rules and codes, but that I believe in god as life force, as the energy that created and powers this universe we live in.

    I have also told her that she is free to decide what she believes in, and that it does not have to match my beliefs.

    I have not had these conversations with Isabel yet, but I supposed she has overheard conversations between Gabe and I about these topics. A couple of days ago she surprised Gabe in the car on the way home from Pre-k when she told him, out of the blue: "I believe in God. You and mommy don't." He says she said it quite matter-of-factly, just as if she was telling him about her day in school. She did not ask, she did not judge. I was surprised when he told me about it, and quite impressed at her intelligence.

  3. I have mixed feelings about "God", even though I was brought up Catholic. At this point in my life, I have more questions than answers. Happy Easter!

  4. Kofla, my husband was brought up Catholic, he did all the sacraments and went to Catholic school. Nowadays I think he has more questions than I do.

  5. I think that sometimes the constraints of religion make it very difficult to "believe". I was raised a fairly devout Protestant Christian but one who was allowed to question and doubt--because a lot of what most religions teach is pretty hard to swallow intellectually. Yet there is an important part of my soul that demands belief, even when my head is on the lookout for those red flags. One of my favorite stories in the New Testament (Mark 9) is the one where the father of a sick boy approaches Jesus looking for healing. He says to Him: I believe; please help me with my unbelief! That's kind of how I go through life. Your young girl has insight!