Today’s a struggle, and I thought long and hard about whether or not to even put this post out here. Sometimes I write because I feel it’s something I want to say. Sometimes I write what I believe needs to be said. Then there are those times that I write just for myself.
It’s a cheap form of therapy and, even as I hit the “publish” button, I wonder if today isn’t one of those days.
Obviously, I decided to put it out there.
And I decided to air this not because I was searching for some sort of confirmation, or even some sort of sympathy or encouragement. Not really.
I did it because, when it comes down to it, I know I can’t be alone. I’m not the only one who feels, or has ever felt, this way.
This is a “me, too” post, because today’s a day I’m really struggling with faith.
Today is one of those days where I can understand those who feel that religion is just an opiate for the masses.
Today is one of those days where I can see that a belief in something beyond myself is a necessary part of existence for a species blessed (or cursed) with a higher consciousness; if we don’t believe in a “something more out there” what’s the point of our existence at all?
Today is a day that I see the argument of those who believe that faith and religion are panaceas for the poor, the marginalized, the “less than” of the world; those who’ve realized that they will possibly, probably, never make it in life, at least to the extent the world’s advertising would have us believe is possible; or, to the extent of those we choose to compare ourselves to, always coming up short because there is always someone on the other side of the someone we’re emulating.
Maybe it’s because the bootstraps we’re supposed to pick ourselves up by just aren’t long enough. Or we’re wearing the wrong boots altogether. The poor, the marginalized, the widows and orphans, we need our brass ring, too. Even if it’s something we have to wait for some fine day, when this life is o’er.
Today is a day I get all that.
And there’s one thing this kind of a funk makes me realize (maybe this is even where my hope is, at least for today): having a faith in something beyond ourselves is not an upward trajectory. It is not a slow climb up a long mountain. It is not even the constant unveiling of truth upon truth.
Sometimes—most times—faith is a roller coaster. Sometimes we’re at a peak. Sometimes we’re in a valley (and the transition can be swift). Sometimes there are twists and turns. Sometimes there are brief moments of respite.
Sometimes the goal is to reach the end, wide-eyed and winded, excited to find out what’s next.
And, sometimes it’s all we can do to reach the end without losing our cookies.
Today just happens to be a cookie day.