I’m just so tired of people that I have loved and cared for pushing their religion down my throat.
I very much respect that someone has found faith. They have created a purpose for life and a reason for breathing. I am happy for anyone who has the audacity to live out their true love and passion to sustain a life fulfilled. I can only hope and assume that they will use this faith to enrich their lives and anyone else who is on the same spiritual path. I know these Christians. I know they exist and many of them are my friends. We can live together peacefully knowing that we, at the very least, have a few things in common-love, passion and compassion.
But I also know the type of Christian who thinks that the only way is God’s way and anyone who does not follow in the same footsteps can and should be “saved.”
It’s incredibly disheartening that people that I have known inside and out for years have considered me to be less than their faith. They have discredited my heart, my soul and my mind simply because I am an atheist who refuses to be governed by any religion. I have spent years searching out the truth in churches, in bibles, smashed deeply into shelves upon shelves of books, in music, in friends, in family, in hymns and on pews, and though I know that I may never find it, the one thing that I know for certain is that religion does not always equal to compassion, acceptance and equality. I have learned that some of the people in my life who have truly accepted me for who I am, with no intentions of persuading me otherwise, do not base their values on a godly platform. Maybe it’s because they too have been ostracized for their lack of faith and afraid to speak out in fear of belittlement. Maybe it’s because they were also raised like me: strong-willed and told to question everything. Maybe it’s because they were once believers too and no longer found solace in their once beloved faith.
I don’t know.
I just know that this religious bigotry consumes so much of the world around us and it breaks my heart to admit to myself that I have to finally cut ties with those people who are not accepting of anyone outside of their own religious moral standings.
Believe in your God. Believe in whatever makes you the best person that you can possibly be, but please don’t believe that we all need to share your same beliefs to strive for love, compassion and a reason to keep breathing.
That Feeling of Meaning in Life
A friend said:
Spirituality is very different than believing in god. Among the most spiritual people I know are scientific minded people that are also atheists. Spirituality has to do with seeing interconnection between things, beauty in existence, the importance of life and intelligence, transcendence of limitations and trusting human condition can be improved by cooperation and compassion for oneself and others.
Suicide In Our Schools
Such young kids…ten, eleven, twelve years old…ridiculed until they take the “easiest” road out. These kids aren’t even old enough to realize what death does to everyone around them. They have no idea of the impact they make on the world around them when they take their own lives, starting with their families and trickling down to people they might not have ever had the chance to meet.
When I was in junior high, suicide was unheard of amongst my peers. We knew that Kurt Cobain had killed himself in those recent days, but we didn’t know why, we hardly knew how, and we had no idea the enormity of it. We knew to be sad, but we didn’t understand that mourning. We had not yet learned what real love and appreciation for life was. We didn’t value much of anything and it would be years until we started to grasp any meaning of the word “living.” I’m not saying that we were not intelligent or sensitive…in fact, we were mostly instinctual and emotional…but barely intellectual. Just green. At thirteen, you can’t expect much more than that. Smart but inexperienced.
So now, this recent suicide spike is not only unfortunate but also extremely alarming. How are we raising our kids? Is all the processed food that we’re shoving into their mouth’s only feeding their depression? Are we not teaching them how to stand up against bullying? Are we not teaching them how to cope with hopelessness, how to be thick-skinned and how exactly they are supposed to lace up their boot straps? Are we too busy to build a solid home and foundation for our relationships? Do we avoid real conversations with children about how to deal with stress, pain and hazardous people? Are we passing off violent gestures? Instead of discussing their feelings, do we offer them loads of candy and video games?
Do we not teach them compassion, strength, resilience, and love?
I certainly am no expert in parenting nor do I specialize in suicide prevention, but there are certain questions that we obviously have to ask ourselves. There are so many factors that affect these individuals and their situations that it’s impossible to place the blame, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
Offering a solution is something that I may be incapable of with no education in this field, but I’ll keep asking questions until I spark something in someone.
We should all be asking questions, because something needs to change.
“The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.”
Isn’t it true? What we lack in courage, we make up for in judgement.
Refuse to be a critic. As I grow more confident as a creator, I find more strength in my connection to other artists. As I become more comfortable in my own skin, I see beauty in other’s. We all have something to offer.
I call myself a creator because I can’t quite call myself a musician, nor a writer. I am not just one, I am both. I also create other things, but the most important creation to me is my voice. Not the sounds that come from the vibration of my vocal folds, but the voice as a collaboration of my written thoughts paired with music, used as a tool to reach. My voice and a collective voice.
It’s not totally understood why I place so much emphasis on this voice. Maybe because my entire life I have found it easier to put my pen to paper instead of opening my mouth. It’s been difficult to wear my heart on my sleeve and connect with other’s. Always a communication barrier; a wall of brick and mortar. Although with age, it seems to get easier but it’s still an uphill battle. So for me, it’s pertinent to overcome these obstacles for others and hope that I can overcome them myself.
There is no doubt that I focus my energy on my music and writing even when most probably think that I should be devoting my time to building my business in the salon. But hair is just that: a minuscule form of art that only incorporates a fraction of creativity that my mind and heart can give. It’s my trade. Music is, and always will be, my heart. Writing is my work. Performing is my passion. Connecting to people is my driving force. My work is fueled by the chance to overcome all language barriers to unite souls like puzzle pieces.
So I am called to share this. I am called to reach out and spread my compassion to other’s. If I can inspire one person to be a better human, to love themselves, respect their peers, love and cherish animals and their relationships and dive deep into their passions no matter what, my work has been rewarded. But the job is never finished - I will work until my hands collapse and my voice box bleeds.
Momentum. Such a great word. Something we must keep. But it must be a controlled motion; a slow, steady burn of a candle, not a holiday sparkler. Those sparklers only come once a year and will dazzle your eyes for a mere 45 seconds until we move onto the next. But that candle? We leave it out year round, adopt it as a daily routine and a regular fixture in our homes. That’s what I want to be. I hope for longevity, not to be remembered as a quick fling. I want to reside in the subconscious of my receivers.
Good work takes time. Hard work is a lifestyle. Only support from here on out.
Apologizing: A difficult concept.
I am left in the dark as to why the three small words “I am sorry” have a difficult time escaping mouths in a sincere manner. Often, all I hear is a shortened version plagued with sarcasm. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not hear any words than that smart-ass reply, because you know when it’s said in that manner, the words are meant to hurt and pass the blame…often in the form of “well, I’m sorRY, but you _____.”
It seems as if people would just start owning up to their mistakes or just showing a little compassion when another is hurt or offended, we’d be much better off. I make mistakes just like anyone else and I’ll apologize as soon as I’m aware, I’m just not sure how often that same respect is reciprocated.
Living Without Religion
Saw my first CFI billboard in Grand Rapids.
“Holy shit” were the first words to come to mind…how odd!
It’s obvioius that I cannot group myself in with the conservative Christians in this town, but I can only guess some are livid about that sign.
I appreciate this. It’s far too often I find self-proclaimed Christians who are anything but. They commonly will throw the religion card into conversation and use it as a right to judge others. I could write a novel about my opinions on the hypocrisy, but I will spare my fellow followers that petty soap-box stance.
The fact is, we have believers and we have non-believers. It may be too simple of a notion for our complex human minds to comprehend, but if we could just respect eachother instead of running our mouth out of spite…maybe we wouldn’t have to post billboards like these.