Throwing Buddhism in My Face Makes me Want to Punch Someone in the Face
I went to Catholic school for 8 years of my life, until my parents decided to put my sister and I in a public high school. For those 8 years, I learned about Jesus, the disciples, the 10 Commandments and the whole nine yards. Once high school began, I realized I had no interest anymore to be a Catholic, and my identity as an atheist began.
Was I a true atheist? No, don’t think so. But what I KNEW was that I didn’t identify with Catholic philosophies. They were so restrictive and limiting, and to me, a bit judgmental. Always giving rules as to what I can and can’t do. It was a major turnoff and throughout high school and college, I didn’t even THINK to research another religion or faith. I was always BUSY doing something. That is, until things got hard, and I literally HAD NO CHOICE but to make time.
Something happened to me that nearly broke me. After all these years of reckless behavior of drinking and driving, I finally got caught and was charged with a DWI. It was the lowest I’ve been in a really long time. For some reason (well, reason being, intuition), the week of my final court date, I got myself to a Barnes and Noble, went straight to the religion section, and bought my first Buddhism book. I read it cover to cover.
Flash forward two and a half years later, and I am still practicing. There are many things that made me fall in love with Buddhism, but the main one is, it’s not really classified as a religion. It’s a spiritual practice. It actually has no rules or regulations, just one goal: the end of suffering. What people don’t realize is that life IS suffering. There is no way around it. Buddhism offers us a way to cope with the suffering in this world by using compassion, empathy, and most importantly, LOVE. It is the most beautiful thing in this world, and I’ll tell you, sometimes I feel plain foolish not realizing this YEARS ago. It’s so simple, it’s brilliant.
So with all that being said, I practice Buddhism in almost every facet of my life.
Let me emphasize PRACTICE. I do not claim to be perfect, I do not claim to be better than anyone (well, sometimes I catch myself acting this way, but quickly identify it’s my ego taking over), and I do not claim to be an enlightened individual. If I could have anything in this entire world, I would choose to be this way. But the truth is, I’m just a spiritual being having a human experience, and like I said, I practice every day.
So when people bust my chops when I say, lie to a homeless person about not having money, OR yell at an obnoxious club goer for stealing my cab, OR not call my grandma for a month, it really GRINDS my gears. Do I know that I’m not choosing love in these situations? Yes, I’m very aware, I’m very CONSCIOUS. I am also conscious that I am human. Do I feel guilty? Yes, very much so. I practice Buddhism every day, so that one day, I can choose love even when my negative emotions and ego are running rapid. Spirituality is about progression NOT perfection.
It offends me when people roll their eyes, or throw my Buddhism in my face. It’s hard when something means so much to you, and people disregard it like it’s another ‘phase’. I know it’s not a phase and I know it’s something people don’t exactly believe, considering I am a Gemini infused with ADHD, and I can change my mind from one idea to the next in the blink of an eye. But some things you just KNOW. Your intuition tells you so. How can something that feels like home be a phase? Because it’s not.
I know this blog title is somewhat of an oxymoron, and I’m aware, I’m just having a little fun, although it accurately depicts my frustrations with the judgmental people in this world. So to everyone out there, I have one thing to say: judgement can only exist in the absence of love. So, I forgive you, and accept that your opinions are your opinions, and you are just human, too, JUST like me…..