Tuesday, September 19, 2017
I went to Catholic school for 13 years of my life.
My parents didn't have a lot of money, we were fairly poor, but it was very important
that we went to Catholic school, mostly because we lived in the city and the schools
in the 1970's in St. Louis were pretty rough.
My family was not overly religious, although my mother did have an altar in our apartment
and plenty of "Bloody Jesus" pictures.
I am not opposed to the Catholic religion at all, it is really the only one I know.
I am not a practicing Catholic, but that is mostly based on my own choices, not true opposition.
I say that because many people are either very religious or strictly opposed, I am in the middle.
As long as you're not hurting anyone, I think I am ok.
Anyway.....I went to church 6 days a week for about 9 years of my life.
We went everyday before school and on Sunday.
It was all I knew and it was more or less......scary.
It was frightening. Men and women dressed in black and plenty of pictures and statues of bloodied
bodies. As a small child, that is alarming and scary.
I was told from a very early age by these people in black that God loved me, but only if I behaved.
If I did not behave, I would be sent to "Hell"......and the "Devil" would obtain my small soul and it would burn for eternity and I would never see my loved ones again.
It scarred me for the rest of my life. I lived in fear for years. As a small child I laid in bed at night
afraid to go to sleep for fear that the "Devil" was going to come get me or a "Demon" would enter my bedroom and take me to "Hell".
I do believe that the above is basically torture and child abuse.
Why would grown men and women teach small children this shit if not to scare the "Hell" out of them???
I understand that the majority of what I was taught was to love one another, treat everyone the way I would like to be treated, to be fair and honest and generous.......but there was always this underlying
message of "sin" and "hell".......the "gnashing of teeth"....good Lord that one always sounded so awful it made me shutter.
It created a fear of the unknown that would last well into my 30's.
I was so fearful of what I could not see and of what was coming for me if I did not "behave".
It created these mental problems that would take half a lifetime to overcome.
I realize today that it is all bullshit.
There is no such place as "Hell" except maybe here on Earth.
There is certainly no "Devil" or "Demons" that are coming to get me or anyone.
That is crap that other men have invented to control other men.
Fear is a useful tool when you are trying to rule and oppress.
Most important today is that I realize I have nothing to fear but fear itself.....(thank you President Roosevelt)
It is true to the core. Fear is born of loneliness and being tired.
The mind will play tricks one us if we do not stay sheltered in love and the spiritual principles.
When we do not spend time helping others and doing service work, we become very selfish and self centered....and there is nothing more self centered than thinking that something is trying to "get you".
Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, that doesn't really matter.
No one should have to live in fear, and many people on this planet live with real fear today.
Fear of not eating today, fear of an oppressive government or rogue army coming to chop off heads and kill everyone, fear of losing everything they own....again, Fear that a loved one will continue to abuse them......the list goes on. There is real fear in this world and it stinks.
Life is painful at best. Adding to this pain with mental fear is useless and morbid.
BUT......I did not just decide to release myself from this bondage of fear overnight on my own.
This is called "conditioning" and it is a form of mental illness.
The same way we could alter the physical shape of a living animal by keeping it in a cage or by trimming the limbs of a shrub, the world around us shapes our mind from a very young age and often times not for the good. Belief, Racism, Sexism, Hatred, are all forms of mental illness.
No one is born with this thinking, it is taught from a very early age.
My "conditioning" began to change when I turned my will and my life over to the "God" of my understanding. When I worked the steps of a recovery program that brought about a psychic change and spiritual awakening. This psychic change made new beliefs possible.
It helped me to question my old thoughts and my old beliefs.
Maybe everything I knew was wrong.
Slowly over a period of time I began to understand that most of these fears were based on things that other men had told me. Books that other men wrote to make people believe a certain way.
I learned I did not have to count on other men anymore to be my guidance, I could have a direct
conversation with my Higher Power and listen and learn all on my own without any indirect contact.
None of the fear I had lived with came from "God", they came from man.
My Higher Power would not ever do anything to harm me or scare me into submission.
My Father told me something when I was young that I will never forget.
When I was about 6 years old we drove by a cemetery and I got scared and hid under the seat.
He said "What? Are you scared of the dead people?"........I said yes.
He said "What the hell are scared of them for? They're dead! The only ones you need to worry
about are the ones that are alive"........so true.
Fear is not necessary for me today. I have concern, and I have worry from time to time,
but I do not live in fear. I know that I am safe and that nothing is "coming to get me" that is not of this world. I am one of the fortunate few. I live in the western world with food and no war on my doorstep. My children are not being taught to live in fear of some childish, made up monsters....
the cycle is broken. I pray for those in this world that live with real fear today.
I pray that those that fear having no food will have food today.
I pray that those that fear war will take their loved ones, they will be spared today.
I pray that those that live in fear of continued abuse will be set free today.
Free your mind and the rest will follow.