With all these free time to myself, my mind wanders around quite a bit. Even though I keep myself busy by going out, my mind still wanders quite a bit.
My soul is tired.
I’m starting to wonder if my soul is tired because I haven’t been spending time in prayer and meditation. I’ve been filling my time with things that satisfy me for awhile but there’s no genuine joy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pious – not like how I used to be. I still very much want a relationship with God but I am so tired of people and the word ‘community’ gives me great social anxiety and brings about feelings of anger. Let’s be honest, people of faith can be the world’s best at praise and worship but the world’s worst with empathy and inclusion. Lately, there’s been things about people of faith that’s been bugging me. I feel that some of the things I stand up for such as a plant-based diet out of compassion for animals, or the elimination of plastic straws for the environment, are things that people of faith immediately find faults in. I do not get it. I won’t speak for the other religions, I’ll only speak for my own here. I feel that the church has a lot of empathy for the poor and the needy, and that’s all good, but sometimes they leave out the animals or the environment which should be a global concern considering the fact that we are living on Earth and killing it slowly or pretty rapidly these days. Why is it wrong for me, as a Catholic, to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle or to stand for plastic straw bans? One of the articles I’ve read concerning the plastic straw ban is about how we need to be mindful about including those with Down Syndrome, Dementia, Stroke impairments etc who rely heavily on bendy plastic straws to facilitate drinking. The article goes on to call those who carry reusable straws ‘hipsters’ which gave me an immediate ‘WTF’ reaction. The tone of the article was negative towards those who are calling for a plastic straw ban as it not only calls these group of people “hipsters” but the movement a “self-righteous policy”. You can read about the article here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-for-many-with-disabilities-plastic-straws-are-essential-not/To further aggravate me, the person who shared this article on my Facebook news feed is a Catholic.
Let me first address this article’s statement and what I felt was wrong about it -While I appreciated the fact that they brought up the issues that those with Down Syndrome or Stroke impairments etc would find, I didn’t appreciate that the tone of this article made it sound like people who are actively trying to save the environment get called ‘hipsters’ or ‘self-righteous’ as if they are doing this to be cool or start a trend. These people are not doing it for themselves, they’ve seen videos and have read up about how Earth is dying from our excessive use of plastic. Trying to save the Earth is anything but “self-righteous”. What do you think would happen to us humans if Earth were to die? And we are only calling for a ban of plastic straws, not a total ban of all plastics even though that’d be ideal. It’s just 1 small item, and a simple action that can help to decrease plastic waste and the effects it has on Mother Earth. Please enlighten me on why this is a self-righteous act? Of course they do not want to exclude those who would face difficulties without a straw, but does this apply to everyone who doesn’t have difficulty going without a straw? Maybe instead of a total plastic straw ban, perhaps companies can have some plastic straws available for those who REALLY need them and it would be up to their discretion. Might not be the best solution, but at least it’s a solution and not just simply calling people “self-righteous”. Or if these group of people have difficulties washing their reusable straws, perhaps instead of giving out plastic straws, we can have straws made of biodegradable materials which other companies are already doing. Again, please enlighten me why the ban of plastic straws is bad when companies are offering some solutions to this?
I don’t know if there’d be a difference if someone who wasn’t a Catholic or a person of faith posted this. I’m not entirely sure if I am projecting emotions on people. I didn’t have a very good experience with church people in the past few years. I didn’t feel very much included in church communities, and one time when I was attending mass and had the flu, I kept sneezing non-stop and this elderly lady infront of me turned around and glared at me in annoyance. Mind you, I covered my nose and mouth when I sneezed. I could only think of one reason why she would give me such a reaction – she was annoyed that I was sneezing non-stop. Another time, I was with Marion and fetching my dad from a church meeting. He told me park the car as he’ll be going to the coffeeshop opposite for awhile. So I parked the car in church, wound down the windows and waited for a good 20 mins or so. A lady from the church parish, parked her car next to mine and when she was done, she asked us if we were here to play PokemonGo. Can you imagine the reaction I gave her? I had half the mind to tell her off but calmed myself down a little and told her that we are from this Parish. We had the crucifix in our car even, I have no idea why she’d even bring this up. She then proceeded to tell us that she’s just asking to make sure cause there were incidents where people who weren’t from the parish parked their cars in the church’s limited parking space and that cause some problems for those who had passengers who were handicapped. She also mentioned how this area was a hotspot for PokemonGo. Okay I get the concern but was that really the right approach? She could have just asked if we were from the Parish instead of assuming we were here to play some stupid game. It didn’t help that 10 minutes after that, a pair of guys in their 20’s who were clearly not from the parish parked their car next to mine to go to the market opposite. People like to use the church parking space because it’s free.Again, I’m not saying ALL church people are bad. It’s just that I haven’t had the best encounters or experiences with them in the past. I feel that the values I believe in goes against the values of the church but I am also standing for good causes. I just can’t understand why people of faith feel the need to attack the causes I believe in or to tell me that God actually allows us to eat meat. Yes, but did He allow us to do so ruthlessly? Do you know the processes behind the meat industry? I’m not going to go into that, but I believe that God wouldn’t want us to treat his creation with abuse and torture. And even if He allows us to eat meat, I don’t want to because I find it hard to reconcile two things – loving animals and eating meat. It’s either you love animals and don’t eat meat or you don’t love animals and you eat meat. People love their dogs, do they eat their dogs? Of course the argument would be that dogs are pets, and cows, pigs, chicken, fish etc are meant for eating. I think that’s Speciesism. For those who don’t know what that means, “it’s the assignment of different values, rights or special consideration to individuals solely on the basis of their species membership.” But again, I won’t get into that too much here.
All I’m saying is that I feel that the Catholic Church needs to be a little more open-minded and try to understand these movements and causes and why people are doing it. I wish there was a way I can reconcile both my faith and these causes I believe in.I’ve been watching Naruto and he often says this line “that’s my way of the Ninja” because there was a scene where he didn’t believe in one of the ways of the Ninja but he still had this dream of becoming a Hokage. Let’s just say in this case, the Hokage is the equivalent of an Archbishop in the Catholic Church. I know the Catholic Church doesn’t believe that people should come up with their own way of doing things in the faith. Groups of people who have done so have been excommunicated from the church such as the mafia whom Pope Francis excommunicated. It’s often said that the way to heaven is through a very narrow gate. I don’t quite know what is right to do anymore. I’ve always been a black or white person in most cases, especially when it comes to the faith, but these days, there’s been a few grey areas. I love God, I do. And I want a relationship with Him but the Catholic Church and the rules and the people is something else. It shouldn’t be, but it is. I have been struggling with this in my faith. I am honestly afraid to have a kid next time because if my kid confesses to me that he/she is gay, what am I supposed to do? I want to be supportive but my faith says otherwise. How do you reconcile the two? I stopped talking to God because I felt it’d be easier if I just do what I feel is right but my soul is growing so tired. It’s tired because I’ve been doing all the driving and not knowing the directions. I’ve been relying on my own strength when I really need God’s. I feel ashamed to pray because if I ask Him for help, I feel the guilt of only praying when times are bad. But God is a loving father right? So why do I feel all these feelings?
I thought that if I found a Spiritual Director, it’d help me make sense of things but to be honest, I don’t know if there’s a Spiritual Director out there who understands my internal conflict and if there is one, how do I begin to look for him/her? I know I can’t keep going at this alone. This being life. I am a little lost and very drained at this point. I have suppressed emotions – most of which is anger, bitterness and disappointment, and even though I acknowledge these emotions, I don’t want to be bothered by them so I keep suppressing them. It’s just tiring me out. I miss the days where being prayerful led me to a treasure chest of wisdom. There is no wisdom in my thoughts these days because I haven’t been meditating.I am not happy about the way I am these days. This isn’t who I am. This isn’t me. I am more than that, I’ve just been lost.