Today I spoke with a minister. I haven’t stepped in a church for 2 years other than for tourist purposes. To be honest I didn’t know what kind of response I was going to get I simply knew that I needed to discuss a part of me I hadn’t spoken about yet- God.
I was brought up with Christian beliefs and going to church. I’ve been an employee in religiously affiliated workplaces but there were always aspects to faith that I never understood. For all the good that I received from knowing how much I was worth at a very young age I considered believing in a higher power to definitely be worthwhile, believing in God after all had helped me to process, believe and achieve so many things in my life already. But I was deterred by the religiosity of faith instead of people simply having faith, the kind of belief that passes all human understanding. The kinds of belief humans show one another when they express immense kindness and with no purpose other than to serve others. In any case after 2 years I sat in the church office and asked the minister, ‘Why did God allow me to feel immense pain?’
Daniel looked at me and said, ‘What a great question. I can’t even answer that for you, we are always wondering. Everyone wonders. It doesn’t make sense.’
He hadn’t given me an answer but in some ways he had. Knowing that I am not alone in the frustration helped. We kept talking for quite sometime and I told him about how angry I am, how that angriness makes me unpleasantly human and Daniel did something he probably didn’t even understand he did at the time- he told me, ‘it just makes you human. You are allowed to question what you don’t understand, you have a right to and you should ask him where was he when you needed him.’
By removing the word unpleasant from his response and allowing me to see God as my equal and not on a pedestal it made me recognise a few things:
1. God doesn’t want us to be a slave and fail to question him
2. God wants us to have a relationship with him even if we are angry
3. God calms the anger inside of us when the emotions are allowed to be unleashed.
This time last year I took a trip to San Francisco, for all its loveliness I also witnessed a lot of sadness. It is a reality that is a long-standing history for a country with very little health care. I saw women screaming on the streets and my mind took me to places I imagined they are forced to endure at night. Their screams were screams I wanted to let out for over a year but I’d supressed emotion so much that I oddly envied the shrieks of these unknown women. In the past 3 weeks I have cried more than ever before and I don’t quite understand it. After all I don’t have all the answers but despite feeling a little lost for words I also feel on the verge of great success. I often think about the relationship between these two things- struggle and success. I’ve felt it before but this, this must be shaping up to be something magnificent because it feels like the final puzzle of my healing- reconnecting spiritually on some level is finally happening.
As the conversation continued Daniel told me about how people in his home country, India, cry for weeks on end. The elders and community members come around mourning individuals and encourage them to let out their emotions. Every last drop of tear and heartache is left in the open and then at the end of the week the mourner looks up and says, ‘its done, I can move on.’ I absolutely adore this cultural norm.
Western society has encouraged us to stay silent, to hold our hurts until our chests are tight, our hearts hard and our minds stressed. It is so good at it that it prevents other people from looking with their eyes to see how they can help people feel their grief, mourn and overcome the pain to showcase the success on the other side.
The past few weeks has been tough for me because I have been quite the Westerner, sharing snippets of what I have been dealing with via Instagram (mainly) while my heart bleeds in private. I am still grateful for many things in my life, I love without fear like just before but on some days I am human. Some days I need to fight with God and tell him that he needs to answer my questions. Some days I need to just let it all out.
Feeling feels good. I have been doing it for years but sometimes life asks you to deal with a little left over bit of emotion, some untouched parameters of your heart and it keeps poking and prodding you until you react. I am so grateful for my friend Therese for encouraging me to pray because without even thinking about my anger towards the man upstairs I wouldn’t have gone and spoken to Daniel and he wouldn’t have added tonnes of value to me in a short space of time.
If you are reading this and something is bothering you it’s asking to be dealt with. Deal with it. This is the best way to show yourself some love when life seems challenging because let’s face it being positive is easy when you aren’t challenged but being a person who has their life changed by struggle yet chooses to turn it into a positive that is something else.
I hope you liked this post. Please leave any comments. Of course you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to deal with the issues that leave you stuck, I am more than happy to help.