My good friend, Janiece, introduced the idea of doing a blog entry called "This I Believe" for the new year. After investigating what that idea really meant, I decided to do it too. It's been a while since I've posted a "Deep Thoughts" post. Janiece followed through on her commitment, and here's mine:
To be brutally honest, this has been a difficult year for my belief system. The Universe broke up with me and I really had a crisis of faith (or, what passes for that for an agnostic). I am puzzled, frustrated, saddened, resigned, and feeling deeply guilty for feeling a lack of something when I am blessed with so much.
While I have heard "the power of positive thinking" much maligned in some venues I frequent, I do think that the idea has some merit. (People who try to be positive are more pleasant to be around and to aid in their efforts. People who are negative and bitter are best avoided.) However, I have found that my own positive thinking in certain areas have yielded me exactly bupkus. As have every other ancient advice bon mots on what to do and what not to do. So, in the face of blinding failure, I was left with a giant question mark. There was nothing else to try. Did I want to continue banging my head against a concrete wall? No, I decided, I did not. So, I gave up. (Which distressed my more positive friends, but c'est la vie.)
I think one song has really given me a touchstone to work towards:
Que serà serà
Whatever will be will be
The future's not ours to see
Que serà serà
My crisis of faith made me even more of an agnostic than before. My deepest belief at this moment is that I know nothing about how or why the Universe works the way it does. It may not even be my job to figure it out. It IS my job to do the best I can with what I'm given and to leave the world better than I found it.
This was excised from the post to make it more concise, but here are my rambling thoughts:
I'm not sure what beliefs I'm left with except some pretty basic tenets:
- How you behave and how you treat others (all part of what you think and feel) directly affects how people see you and how they interact with you.
- Life is unpredictable, in both negative and positive ways.
- Focusing on the moment is a good way to put worries and frustration in perspective. They are both about dwelling in the future.
- Focusing on the moment is also a good way to put analyzing past failures to rest. After a while, that kind of dwelling ceases to be useful.
- Comparing your life to others' doesn't help.
- Sometimes things are not in your realm of control.
We all need to figure it out, hon. I will say that my life is far richer for having you in it. LOVE YOU!
Anne, sometimes I think the most important part of faith is continuing to question - belief without internal debate and contemplation is just plain blindness. To everything there is a season...
I, too, send much love across the mountains!
I don't know about the "power of positive thinking" but I do know that changing the spin on how you view something changes how you feel in general.
When my friend was going through a rough patch, I'd try to take the day's tragedies and traumas and turn them into funny stories with which to amuse her. And when I did that, they were no longer tragedies and traumas, but genuinely funny stories that made me laugh.
Or to put it another way, nothing bad ever happens to a comedian--it's all material.
Thus, my advice is: try and be a comedian.
Thanks for your honesty. I appreciated reading this.
P.S. Came by way of Jeri.
Thanks, BM, and welcome! Any friend of Jeri's is a friend of mine. :)
Jeri, I love "to everything there is a season" and have actually posted it on the blog before. Thanks for reminding me.
Thank you to all for your affection and support! :)
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