"I'm in repair. I'm not together, but I'm getting there."
This question, though generally applicable to almost every aspect of my life, is particularly geared to where my head and heart is at spiritually. I know I rarely talk about this here (or anywhere, for that mater) but a conversation with a dear friend sparked what is growing to be a particularly unruly flame of discontent.
Have you ever sat trying to wrap your mind around or identify something that is perpetually out of reach--even if only just barely? What's amazing about such a predicament is that it sometimes takes only a few words from an extrinsic source to transform that cloudy, nebulous "something" into a clear, distinctly important, conception of an often deeply affecting part of your personal reality. Making this specific to my situation, I’ve known for a while now that a once barely comprehensible concept has been making itself more and more apparent. Narrowing this broad stroke even further, I'm coming to the point where my spiritual journey is, for the first time, being laid before me.
* * *
As the aforementioned friend intimated, the hand holding process has ended and the path to self-discovery and spiritual fulfillment is now mine to choose. With all of this before me, I'm wondering if the way that I've been led-- a way that has been anything but "less traveled"-- has hindered me from ever being able to make it on my own. If I'm walking the path that those before me have walked, how am I supposed to choose anything other than what those before me have chosen? I guess I'm wondering if my confusion lies in the fact that I'm expected to come up with an individual understanding of something that has hitherto relied on (and, presently, all but demands) communal construal.
* * *
I don't agree with half of what most people believe in this faith. This makes things all the more difficult considering that I can't seem to differentiate between the plural reality of "the" faith and the--more important--singular reality "my" faith. I'm stuck with walking the thin line between what is progressive and what is blasphemous, and it's completely clouding any vision of the future. I'm not quite following in the footsteps of those I have grown to respect and love, and I am nowhere near coming into my own. Instead of venturing down a discernible path, I'm pushing my way through the dense, inhibiting, brush that lies between the two, and I don't know how long I can keep it up. The foliage is stinging, blinding and disorienting, and I'm loosing sight of either way.
Do I play it safe, or boldly go where none has gone before? Seriously, either way I choose I'll be letting a part of me down. I don't want the religious answers, despite how comfortingly numbing they can sometimes be. I don't want a connection based on a historically perpetuated system that has become disconnected from its founding principles. I want a relationship. One that is not predicated on what I've done to atone for past occurrences I could not control. I want to be loved, and to love unconditionally. I want to feel needed and to need. I want to consistently practice what I preach and follow a God that does the same. I don't want the God that my mother, father or peers believe in. I want the God who truly loves me despite my (many) faults and who I can love in return; the one who is as ashamed of what "our" faith has become as I am; the one for whom I am enough and who is enough for me.
I am truly sorry if this offends anyone, for that isn't my intent. I'm merely verbalizing what has been stirring up so much internal dust as of late. Hopefully, this will be the first step toward some rehabilitating clarity.