I've a big, fat, ugly problem with the idea that one cannot be happy or blessed if God or Jesus isn't thrown into the mix.
Y'all, this idea is everywhere lately.
A very very very Christian friend of mine wrote, "I may not see myself as anyone worth much of anything, but Jesus loves me, cherishes me–who could ask for more?"
It reminded me of a local Methodist announcement board (y'know, those that they have outside the church with often quirky and "clever" sayings for all to see?). It said "In order to make God great, you have to be less."
I rolled my eyes at first, but an acquaintance said "truer words!" and mine eyes were opened.
This is the problem. Not humility! But the feeling that without god, I am worthless and with god, I am worthless. The same church had before advertised "If you follow yourself, you've a fool for a leader" or some shit like that.
Do you feel awesome about yourself yet?
Then--and I don't frequent this discussion board at all anymore because it just pisses me off--I ran into a blog post over at Feminist Mormon Housewives because someone I like wrote it. Nat discusses the YW value of faith and asks "how can we best put this into action?" She talks about faith being nothing if you've no faith in yourself. It's well worth the read but the comments...well, here's your cliff's notes:
"Where's the mention of the Atonement? Of Jesus Christ? Of our Heavenly Father? Faith in oneself is nothing without Jesus."
FUCK. THAT. Y'ALL.
It made me so mad.
On a related note, there's the idea I've ran into all my life--Mormon and not--that if I just gave my anxiety to god he'd take it away.That I lacked faith if I couldn't or "wouldn't." Even my father, who knows how awful our condition is, gives some credence to this idea.
Dad, Dad, Dad.
He of all people ought to know better. I think he has an inkling, but we know how hard it is to deny lifelong teachings. You tell yourself that even though life is hard--nay, damn near impossible--now, it could be tragic if you changed anything.
But God doesn't take anxiety away. He adds to it.
Just because you walk away from God doesn't mean the anxiety and bullshit goes away with him. Not entirely. I've this sneaking suspicion that it's because God doesn't exist. It has nothing to do with God or his religions. It has everything to do with chemicals and constructs and how your brain is structured.You only have so much control, but you do have some control. I've learned this and am still learning this, and it has nothing to do with God.
Learning that you're worth it gives you faith. Denying your problems don't work. Trusting in God and not in yourself doesn't work. At all.
There's something amazing about the process of discovery of your own worth. That you, not God, can do it. That you, not God, did it. All because you believed in yourself. That's powerful. That's hope. That, y'all, is harder than belief in the divine.