Too Many Religions And Yet None At All At My House

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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.

 

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Comments

  1. Hey Julie! Great post! As to your kids (watch out, here comes an unsolicited opinion), let ’em find that Truth which resides within them and all of us. They’ll figure it out. As well, a belief is something one picks up from outside oneself and accepts as one’s own truth (when it’s not, plain and simple). You state your youngest already read the Bible. A favorite quote of mine is: “that which you seek, you already have.” Recently, it has become abundantly clear, and keeps coming up, that we are born fully equipped. We lack nothing. Simply, if we’re not born with it, it’s not ours. Though many may argue to the opposite, we ARE born perfect. And perfection cannot be undone. Sure, we can and do pick-up things along the way as we travel through life (and it seems these acquired “things” are usually to our detriment), yet anything “picked-up” can also be as easily discarded. It just boils down to Beingness. Just Be. If there’s effort, if we’re trying, then we are not just Being. Peace, Love & Light ~ ricky

    • Hi Ricky, Yes, I love that – if we’re “trying” we are not just “being.” That is something we can all work on all of the time (except it’s not supposed to be work!)

  2. With this post you did answer my question that I asked myself and “my team” as well just last night. Thank you for your wonderful insight:)

  3. Sounds like you’ve had a harrowing week and one that calls for lots of patience for other people. This week has been wonky, energetically-speaking, and for sensitive people it’s just harder to manage. I’ve gone from elated to feeling lower than I’ve felt in ages. Is that me or the hormones or my empath feelers? Probably a combination of all 3.

    Ohotto is right, of course. And he’s a huge inspiration to me. I’ve taken a couple of his courses and learned so very much.
    Lindsay recently posted..Forget New Year resolutions – make a life list insteadMy Profile

    • Hi Lindsay, I really did manage to keep myself “totally myself” about 90% of the time, which for me is a record. Ohotto had several shows in a row where he was discussing how to manage holidays, and it really did help enormously…I simply reminded myself each time I was faced with ridiculousness and it allowed me to recognize the dynamics of what was happening at least enough to get through it relatively gracefully. We also had a happy surprise in the middle of it all which I didn’t write about, and that took the edge off. It was like getting a gift in the form of a person! I would guess you had all three things working 🙂

  4. Anne McCarroll says:

    Read this post twice. You’ve packed a wallop in this one! I bow to your patience, and learn from it
    And I must say – that critical moment when your husband suggested synagogue and you church and nothing was going – how you realised it was mot going to happen rather than attempt to cram into that portion of the way we live was/is quietly brilliant. So very often the religious ‘arena’ is what causes us to sell out or cover up or give in or whatever. And we do it without question! You had quite the epiphany and I dare say it was for the better in your situation! You may have really not been able to see the forest for the trees had you been hiding in some sort of …construct of —– we’ll, you know what I’m getting at here.
    I am sure Robert Ohotto would be cheering for you and thrilled his words meant a revelation for you! He is wonderful, I will say.
    Glad we are all on the other side of the holiday!! Hooray for the post!

    • Hi Anne, Yes I am sure you are right. You don’t have to join any organization in order to connect to God or the Universal Collective Intelligence – it’s not like it is a requirement or anything, and in some cases it may be a detriment, whereas other people find their way through it. I suppose the most important thing must be that however you find you way to Source, that you find it.

  5. I am a christian, but the only time I attend church is a wedding, funeral, etc.

    I am a believer that you don’t need a building to be in touch with (pray to) god. I have prayed in my home, my car, others homes, outside, etc. It is said and I believe that god will always hear you no matter where you are. So why do I need a special building for that? I don’t, I guess you could say my special building for him is in my heart, and soul. And I am not of any one religion but the one in which is between him and I in that building. As I said I do consider myself a christian, but rather it is defined by any organized religion or building is no matter to me, but rather what is in my belief and that special building I share with the heavenly father.

    I would never tell anyone not to goto church, but sometimes building can feel imposing or nerve racking, to others it’s safe and calming, to each their own. — I am also the type who won’t go out and get all preachy and stuff so I always had a saying for both religious and political views, “I won’t shove my beliefs down your throat, if you agree not to shove yours or lack there of down mine”. Seems to work out wonderfully thus far.

    I do admit I like to look into religions (more likly google info on them) it not only helps me to maybe learn a little something I didn’t know (is that ever a bad thing when it comes to god?), but it also helps me when I am dealing with people of an organized religion. But in the end I have my own wherever it is I am that I pray, I believe he hears me. Do I have doubts sometimes? Yep I’d kinda be off my rocker if I didn’t.
    Thats why when you read all the time, ALWAYS be positive, if you feel a negative coming on booted it in the butt lol. The problem I find is that while true it shifts the balance for the good to happen I always wondered if it also sometimes doesn’t throw something out of whack. I always thought that for every negative thought have a positive thought or two, balance it out.
    I can’t say I was always a negative person, but I wasn’t always positive I was more “meh” most the time (for personal reasons maybe?) and yet good things still happened to/for me for which I am grateful.
    But to be “always positive all the time, 100% of the time” even the thought gives me a headache, lmao.

    A little advices, as your kids grow let them expand, research the religions, his, yours, or maybe they will find another they vibe with. Until then as you would say let them go with the flow, if they have questions, help them out and look it up, might help you too (even if your team talks to you) you never really know it might help to open you up when dealing with clients.

    I hope some of this made sense. It did in my head lets just say that. 😉

    • Hi Susan, Yes the whole thing made sense 🙂 Usually I just share with the kids my own ideas, thoughts, and possibilities. Who knows if they will appreciate or take in any of it? I will support them no matter which way they go, and help them with resources and learning if they show an interest, whether it is my “thing” or not.

  6. Anonymouse says:

    AH! I love it. As a non practicing Catholic (but am I? I refuse to think that the pope is closer to God than us plebes, it flies in the face of so called Christian ‘equality’…etc) I am reticent about formal bible schooling etc. Um maybe b.c of all of the child abuse scandals? My dad married a Jewish woman and we did both Hannukah and Christmas, ah extra presents!

    I am amazed your 5 year old read the bible on his own!

    What part of Jersey did you live in? I have family who live in Vineland (granny ws there since she was wee) it is kind of small town.
    Happy holiday and I too exhale in relief it is over now. So wiped out!

    • Hi Anonymouse, Yes I like the idea of learning all about religion (all of them) from a knowledge and history perspective. Belief is a whole ‘nother ballgame, but information to banish ignorance is always a good thing!

      It was a children’s bible that he read, but he was an early reader, that is his “gift” – he has an astonishing ability to read voraciously AND comprehend what he’s read. He is a little older now and tests out at college level, so the main challenge is to find him new things to read that aren’t full of adult situations and language. World Religions actually is a brilliant idea, thanks for making me think of it!

      I have a SIL from Vineland. I grew up in the Trenton/Princeton area (which is near Philadelphia).

  7. It all depends on what you want and need. It is a very personal thing. I am not a big fan of just sending people off to see things when they don’t have any direction, but that is my deal.
    Josh recently posted..Your “Captcha” Is Killing Your CommentsMy Profile

    • Hi Josh, You mean send them out to a church or synagogue? It’s funny, my older son has a lot of Jewish friends and one of the families has three sons and both parents are doctors. They belong and sometimes when it’s Purim or some other holiday my son loads into their family van and goes with them. Naturally he takes it all in, gets right up on the stage with the rest of the kids, and reads everything in front of him. They have suggested that we join but the $$$$ is not in the cards at the moment. We’ll see what happens.

  8. Oh my my my. You and my boyfriend would get along sooooo well. Come over here for Christmas next year, if you like. No cell phone talkers (or not obnoxious ones, anyway), and definitely no passed-out alcoholics. Maybe a carb-coma, at the very worst, and we can all go to L.L. Bean in the middle of the night, which is super fun. Shall I pencil you in? 🙂
    Jennifer Flint ~The Aura Reader recently posted..Word Up!My Profile

    • Hi Jennifer, I went to that LL Bean on my honeymoon, which we did up in the White Mountains with some side trips. It was so much fun! When I was a high schooler in NJ, LL Bean was “it” for clothes. By all means, pencil me in 🙂

  9. This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read. Really. Are you putting this in a book?! Or writing a movie/TV script? Too perfect. I was totally entertained. And managed to grab some wisdom as a bonus. What happens is the answer. Love it.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..On the Razor’s EdgeMy Profile

    • Hi Galen, You see, this is why I love you! Not only are you encouraging but you regularly read my mind and give me a little push in the right direction. I actually HAVE been thinking of segueing into writing a family story – not sure yet why or how, but I’ve had the suggestion from a lot of people. We’ll see 🙂

      • As my daughter says (with great affection…and accuracy), I have the memory of a gnat. How delightful that you reminded me of this post, which I loved the first time I read it, and again just now! This time I’m going to print it out! Funny that the quote didn’t imprint on my brain the first time–I was absorbed in the story. Then the person in my group mentioned the quote and here it was right here all along. Ha!
        Galen Pearl recently posted..To Question or Not To Question?My Profile

  10. I wish I had been a fly on your wall for Christmas. But then again I didn’t need to be – you told the ‘story’ so well.
    This year our Christmas was all I wanted it to be – because I truly visualized it to be so. There was a big temptation to do something ‘more’ for Christmas, but I have been down that road before and I decided not to take it again.
    What happens is your answer – that’s going to be something I’ll dwell upon until next Thursday, when I’ll show up like a good little girl. I did promise you that, didn’t I ?
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Christmas Joys Or Christmas Woes?My Profile

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