Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Year Ago - Beginning of Questioning

Below is a reflection I wrote a year ago, in June of 2014, when I first started to reflect on what my postpartum lack of spirituality may mean.  I'm not sure where I am with this, but some of it still rings true.


Just because I am aware that the Jesus of Christianity is larger than life, the Santa Claus of religion for adults, does that mean I have any place to share this realization with those who believe I him? Would it be fruitless to try? Or maybe even damaging? Did it matter -to them, to me, to God/truth- what someone believes about Jesus/Santa Claus? They of course say yes from their perspective. 

What about from my perspective? There is no room for conversion or proselytizing. Every individual must walk this path herself, discover truth for herself, be courageous in accepting what is revealed by herself. What does matter from my new perspective is what do I do with this knowledge? Do I allow it to shape my ethics and self esteem, image? Can I grow from it, truly following the teaching of the would-be Jesus? Does it change anything for me to no longer believe that Jesus is a historical person? Is there any harm in believing in Santa Claus? No. The message is more important than the vehicle by which it arrives. 

The Santa Claus myth teaches reward for good behavior and punishment (actually, disappointment at worst) for bad behavior. It includes fun traditions, rituals, being a family together. It's a handy excuse for costume, story telling, caroling, gifts, decorations. Is the Santa myth necessary for all of this? No. But it's not harmful, so why burst the bubble of children who believe? Why take away the magic they experience thanks to the myth? 

The same applies to Jesus. I can continue to keep him in my life the way a child keeps Santa in her life. Or I can try to experience all the Christmas season wonder without the myth.

As a mother, my conundrum now is to figure out how to present the story of Jesus to my daughter, so that she can benefit from his "magic" (sense of community, meaning/purpose of life) without programming her to believe something much more difficult to outgrow than the myth of Santa Claus

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