Friday, 25 January 2013

Bone of my Bone

So I think I have to write about religion because people who know me well know that if they call me religious I may well smack them upside the head. In Christian love.

But i'm not sure if I've ever really explained why.

Here is why: Religion is evil. Straight up, pure from the 'pit of hell' evil. It traps us in our (self) hatred, it pushes us to wage self righteous war with our words and guns and thoughts stamping around on people less good than ourselves because we're completely and secretly terrified that we haven't got it right enough to still that pit of fear in our stomachs, our questions we try to ignore in our heads and our gut level inability to love others more than ourselves. Or even to love ourselves in the first place. 'I'm failing but that's ok 'cos look at all the people failing harder than me. At least i'm better than them.'

I get told a lot that 'I like your writing but i'm not religious'.
a) Thanks!

b) Yup, you are.
Everyone is. We worship something, everyone serves something with slavish devotion. Something shapes our days, gives us focus, a taste of love and acceptance and everything is going to be ok. Until you fail again but you can just try harder tomorrow. Shaking feet on shaky ground.

Nope you're not religious. You're just trying to be cooler, thinner, hipster-er, cleverer,  wiser, richer, liberated, kinder, better...pick your religion. Beauty? Coolness? Style? Fashion? Occupation? Security? Atheism? Christianity? Islam? Sexuality? Your individuality? Your community?

Are you winning? Is it working? Come on satan let's fill our heads with lies and put our hands in the cuffs and follow where this road goes - more self obsession and failure and the same old cycles and relationships that don't work and nothing takes away the pressure like alcohol or cutting or earning or buying or achieving but let's keep going and trying harder but no, i'm not religious.

Lately i've been struggling with the whole trusting that i'm loved in my marriage thing. You know those women who wear only designer vintage, who create and dance through life like sexy queens and their babies sleep from week two while they run multinational corporations and adopt donkeys and bake cakes? That's not me. I get compared to Miranda Hart. Often.

I had a baby and they cut my tummy muscles and now I don't even wear mum jeans, I wear leggings. The other day I wore my old skinny jeans and people literally shouted out loud so shocked were they to see me in denim. I took them off after a few hours and put on pyjamas. I spend my life weightlifting a creature that likes to be carried at all times and gives me lovely gifts otherwise known as 'vomit down your t-shirt' and 'peeing on the floor and then playing in it'.

I have been going along with a few little religious rules that our nice culture feeds us - you have to be SEXY and HOT and COOL and STYLISH and DIFFERENT and here are some images of what that looks like, you crappy little failure. Sexy looks like promiscuous, hot looks like a pre-pubescent boy, cool looks like instagram and uniform individuality and so. much. effort. and stylish looks like a lot of money crossed with thrift store crossed with an eating disorder and different looks the same as everyone else.
But hey, this is our religion and these are the rules so I just need to try harder - run more, buy more clothes, get up earlier to straighten my hair and generally hate myself more every day. Change driven by guilt.

But. I have two people fighting for me and for my wholeness because they love me a lot.
The first one is my husband-man and he is strong. Strong enough to stand with me and speak truth into my ears and hold my shoulders in his big man arms until i'm still enough to hear him when he kisses me. Because he never signed up to religion - he stood in a room full of people that care about us and promised God that he would love me. As I am. 

Bone of my bone.

I have another person(s).
His name is unpronounceable in this language and it sounds like the verb to breathe. Or to be.
And he takes my religious tendencies and he asks 

Why? When all your questions and struggles are answered within my glorious self, when the love in which I made you and the faithfulness in which I died for you and the power in which I rose again and the friendship in which I came back for you

why would you bother with religion?
Why would you choose shackles?
Why would you hide from me?
Why would you avoid me, and the things I say that will destroy your comfy little misery?
Why wouldn't you choose me? 

To which the only intelligent response would be to get on my knees/ do a dance/ give away everything I own/ paint something/ hug my family/ make someone a cake/ sing my face off/ take someone's hand. 

So don't call me religious or I may have to smack you upside the head.