Archives for December 2012

Too Many Religions And Yet None At All At My House

Thank God the holidays are over.

I said I wasn’t going to write a blog post this week but it’s late on Wednesday night, everyone (theoretically) has been sent off to bed, and here we sit.

I come from a long line of people who were from mixed religious marriages – both Jewish and some version of Christian – and therefore (as far as I know) did not do too much in the religious education department.  It wasn’t a conflict.  No one seemed very interested in religion.  When I was a kid we had both Hanukkah and Christmas and let the chips fall where they may.

So naturally I married someone who was technically Christian, but hadn’t gone to religious school either and probably has never intentionally stepped foot into a church in his life (it’s not come up in 17 years, so… ).  I recall a story where the maid (or the lady down the street, or someone) marched him off to a church and had him Baptized, and the discussion was more about which Christian denomination she had done it in, because it was Methodist, and they were Episcopalian.  To which I believe the lady said something which could be loosely translated to,”If you’re such an Episcopalian, why is he five and not baptized?”  I doubt very much that shut my mother-in-law up, but since I wasn’t there at the time, who can say?

When we had children I was bound and determined not to let our children grow up in ignorance.  I still recall being a Jew in an all girls’ Catholic high school without a religious education of any sort behind me.  What was this thing, The Lord’s Prayer?  I was supposed to know it, and understand all the getting up and down at Mass, and know what Hail Marys and rosaries were, and it was like being an alien in a foreign land.  Then dating Catholics and having to go to church on Saturday night (Saturday night!) but not being permitted to get up and take communion.  Sure, I had to kneel but I couldn’t just walk right on up there with everyone else – I had to stay conspicuously seated.

So I thought, when we have children I won’t let this happen to them.  We needed to pick one and go with it, right?

I casually left the Bible for Children laying around the house and my five year old read it backwards and forwards.  I was actually learning from him.

So I looked at my husband and he looked at me and he said,”Well go ahead and take them to synagogue if you want.”  To which I answered,”What do you mean, take them to synagogue?  I don’t know anything about synagogue.  What about you take them to church.  I could probably deal with church, I’ve been in enough of them.”  To which he answered something like,”You take them to church if you want to take them to church.  I’m not taking them to church.  I don’t believe in it.”

At this stage I realized the futility of the masquerade I was trying to put on.  I knew nothing about being a Jew (apart from a very vague sense of a few things you should and shouldn’t do and a lot of Yiddish expressions and good stories, because after all, I did grow up in Jersey).  There was no way I could look at Christ on the cross and actually feel I was a part of that, either – and I had a lot more practice with that one.  So pretty much the answer was I couldn’t go to either place and feel like I belonged there, even peripherally, and kids being kids, they would see right through that.  Especially mine, who don’t miss a trick.  No one in my house was a Believer.

Now at this point I am very sure you’re finding this whole thing bemusing and are checking which website you’re on, but rest assured you are still at A Clear Sign.  My spiritual side was at this stage completely dormant, and I suppose the answer is that organized religion wasn’t taught to me in any kind of specific way, and so I just missed it.  Which is probably for the best, as it turns out.

So in my house yes we did light candles for 5 out of 8 nights and then on Christmas Eve we decorated the tree (yes I completely understand that this makes no sense and is not any way a proper tribute to either religion – in fact, quite the opposite indeed, and apologies to the many people this will possibly really offend.  Maybe.  Most of you will see this for what it is – hopeless.  Most of you will probably also see how irrelevant this is to my actual spiritual life.)

I let the kids decorate the tree this year. It looks hilarious – lopsided and only decorated on the bottom half. Because they are short.  Incidentally, my husband requires us to GROW our trees in pots as he has a thing against cutting down trees for some odd reason, so it’s the same tree as last year, rather spindly, and about 3 feet tall including the pot.  On the bright side, we have a 12 foot tree planted in the yard that was once 3 inches tall – so there’s that.

For the past few weeks I’ve been listening to Robert Ohotto’s Soul Connexions show.  He mentioned one he did years ago where he brilliantly said:

WHAT HAPPENS IS YOUR ANSWER

This gave me a lot of pause because it’s also true that when you are NOT getting a lot of signs and synchronicity in your life, I always take that as a clue that something is up.  Maybe we’re off track.  I’ve had a lot of things not show up lately.  There have been any number of delays.  I also feel like my intuitive hearing has been turned down a bit because the volume of my life turned up quite a bit.

There is also the element of just being disgusted.  You know how you have certain things that you’re completely knowledgeable about, an expert even?  Maybe it’s your work or your hobby or your kids, but there is at least one something you just know like the back of your hand?  And then people come along and try to tell you that you are wrong?  Or, worse yet, that something you did right in the first place but they perceive as wrong in their blessed little pea sized heads is,”Not your fault?”

Well sometimes I can ignore it, blow it off, let it roll right off my back.  Every once in a while I just have to look up and ask,”Really?”

One of those happened recently with a reading I did as a favor for someone.  I got very little information, because the person was in a fight with herself.  That’s the short version. I’ll explain the long version another time.    It was patently obvious to me for a variety of reasons that what I got was a direct reflection of the games she was playing with herself.  It never occurred to me to blame myself, because I am just the conduit of information from Spirit, and my role is to report what I get and sometimes to shed some light in the form of an opinion as to what that might mean.

Out of ignorance, I got the blame.  She wasn’t angry, but she expressed surprise that I would admit I got so little.

“What does she mean, admit?”

It means, she thinks I would make things up to make myself look good.

That means that’s what she does.

It reminded me of the expression, it takes a thief to catch a thief.  If you’ve ever studied archetypes, you might recognize the Trickster here.

She also reneged on her end of our arrangement because of what she perceived to be me not living up to my end of the bargain.  Which, let’s face it, is not a little ironic.

Anyway, I found the whole thing appalling and it at least temporarily made me wonder why I do what I do when those with eyes cannot see.  It feels to me like a complete waste of my time.  I don’t mean that in a high and mighty kind of way.  It just means that I have to up my game if I am going to get done what I came here to Earth to do.  So actually it was helpful.

Remember, everything happens for a reason.  There are no accidents.

This holiday I spent Christmas Eve in an apron, made a turkey and a ham and had a cookie explosion. We were also visited by Grumpy, Cell Phone Talker, and the Passed Out Alcoholic Who Missed Dinner. I went into the experience braced for bad family behavior and I got it.  But I managed to stay cool and relatively detached the entire time, so I consider that a bonus.

We had people claim to give gifts that they didn’t give.  I heard a 45 minute explanation of a gift card with an amount of $12.53 which was supposed to be sent as a joke by an uncle who thinks he is funny.  Two people had to point out to me that obviously this was a re-gift of a card that had a small balance left (I’ll bet you got that one right away).  We had Condescension. Judgement came and had a long stay.  We had people who live in glass house who threw stones with abandon.  We had a touch of dementia.  We had people picking up gift wrapping that kids were throwing around, practically before it hit the floor like life depended upon it (and blocking the view of those who actually wanted to see the kids’ reactions).

Tonight I lost a contact lens as I was taking them out and I asked my team for a little assistance.  Nothing doing.  I knew it had to be right there, but I couldn’t see it.  I put on my glasses and closed one eye.  Finally I said,”I know I haven’t been doing a good job of hearing you this week and it feels to me like you aren’t around, but I know you are there and it’s just me who can’t hear right now.”  And sure enough, my contact lens popped out at me from nowhere.

What Happens Is Your Answer.