No matter what your opinions are about religion, ‘tis the season when religion is all around.
I have mixed feelings about religion. I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish household and have observed many benefits of religion, including life-organizing traditions, strong family and social connections, important moral codes, explanations for troubling questions, and sustenance and comfort during darkest days. I’ve also observed, throughout my life, how many people have been hurt and divided by religion.
Whatever our religions are, I think we can agree that people have very strong feelings about religion. My son, who grew up with a lapsed Orthodox Jewish mother and a lapsed Roman Catholic father, once upset a librarian in the children’s room of our local library by asking her what her religion was. This was around the time when Aaron was formulating that God might be a giant goose and we had noticed children’s books about religion in the library that day, so I think he was just honestly curious about her experience. He and I were both taken aback by her obvious discomfort and annoyance, so I quietly explained to him that religion could be a sensitive subject for some people.
Yesterday, my son, my ex-husband Leon, my husband Michael, and I were discussing another sensitive subject — politics — trying to make sense of Trump’s appeal to millions of people, wondering if religion played a part in that, also.
Do you see religion in today’s images?
If you had to answer any questions about religion, would you choose to answer the ones included in this blog post?
When I search YouTube for “religion,” this comes up:
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Colbert — despite their differences about religion — share a great gratitude for existence and so do I. Thanks to all who helped me create this post about religion, including YOU!
Living with uncertainty is very difficult, yet we do it every day. Certainty is often an illusion — a denial of mortality and the constant changes we are barely aware of.
Here and now, as we live with the uncertainties of the pandemic and the results of the USA election, the level of uncertainty is very difficult to live with. I’m certain how this uncertainty is affecting me, my family, my friends, and my patients:
changes in appetite,
lack of motivation,
a reversion to old unhelpful habits,
the rest of the cognitive distortions (which I’m certain you can find here).
I’m uncertain how I and millions of other people are going to live with so much uncertainty in the days ahead.
In a sea of uncertainty, I’m certain that routines — like daily blogging — help. I’m certain I have new images to share but I’m uncertain exactly what they are.
I’m certain that I felt less uncertainty about the future when I took those photos than I’m feeling now.
Here‘s “The Courage to Live with Radical Uncertainty” — a Ted Talk given by “Compassion-Driven Oncologist Shekinah Elmore” in March 2020, right before our current age of uncertainty.
Here‘s “Coping with Uncertainty” by MindTools Videos:
What are your thoughts and feelings about living with uncertainty?
No matter how I’m living with uncertainty, I’m certainly grateful to all who help me create this daily blog, including YOU.
1: the seat of life or intelligence : SOUL “give up the ghost” 2: a disembodied soul especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness 3: SPIRIT, DEMON 4a: a faint shadowy trace a ghost of a smile b: the least bit “not a ghost of a chance” 5: a false image in a photographic negative or on a television screen caused especially by reflection 6: one who ghostwrites 7: a red blood cell that has lost its hemoglobin
These days, it’s looking like the current U.S. President does not have a ghost of a chance to get a second term. Those of us who almost gave up the ghost four years ago when he WAS elected — despite polls saying he had not a ghost of a chance back then — are barely showing ghosts of smiles about the possible outcome.
I know that some of his supporters might call me a snowflake, but I have felt haunted since November, 2016, inhabiting this world like a ghost of my former self. When I look at the posts I’ve written since then, I see faint shadowy traces of the spirit I had before. However, it’s never been so bad that I’ve considered getting a ghostwriter for this blog.
Also, many of us feel haunted by ghosts that others just do not see.
What ghosts do you see in my photos from yesterday?
Among others, I see the ghosts of Oscar the cat, the people who have been killed by gun violence, trust in our leaders, and the normalcy of our lives before the pandemic.
Also, that last photo shows the ghost of a blog post I considered writing for today — “Day 2881: Grains of salt.” There are many ghosts of posts never written in my draft folder and in my mind, but those don’t haunt me, perhaps because so many posts have seen the light of day.
That “SPECIAL ATTENTION” tag is from a dry cleaner, informing me that they gave special attention to a stain on a silk skirt but were unable to remove it. When I picked up the skirt yesterday, I said to them, “Thanks for giving this special attention. We all need special attention sometimes.”
When you pay special attention to that last sentence, do you agree that we all need special attention sometimes? When do you need special attention? How do you get that special attention when you need it? Do you ask for it? Or do you hope that special people will know that you need it without your asking?
In two thousand, one hundred, and fifty days of daily blogging, I’ve never written a post with “animals” in the title. That seems strange to this blogging animal, since there are so many animals in my blog posts.