Faith vs Reality

I have been going deep into the moment. I have been meditating, checking in with my feelings, doing awareness practices, etc. I bought the latest edition of Lion’s Roar, a Buddhist magazine. What is the issue’s topic? Death. It has lots of good articles about the reality of death, the inevitability of it. I listen to the wind blowing outside my window. I feel a sense of urgency I do not understand. I feel like the wind is speaking to me in a language I do not understand. It is all very intense.

Then I talk to my friend that moved back to Michigan from Maryland. She is a Greek Orthodox Christian, as I was when we met at the Lansing, Michigan church. I think her thinking has been compromised by covid. She had it about a year and a half ago. In my opinion, she has not been making great decisions since her last contract job ended in April. She is now back in Michigan, living with her daughter in the thumb. I asked her what church she is attending and she said she was still doing virtual church from Maryland. She says she does church where she is “fed” spiritually. This does not make a lot of sense to me because, as an Orthodox Christian, you are actually, literally, fed through the sacrament of communion. To me, her perspective is very Protestant, emphasizing the personality and theology of the pastor, not the sacraments of the historic church.

She also plans on purchasing property in Maryland at auction, renovating it, and flipping it continually. That, also, would need to be done on the East Coast.

She is waiting for her job to start as a contractor with the FAA. What?! The woman hasn’t had a paycheck since April. At what point do you become reality-based, walk into Walmart, and fill out an application? Her not-yet-real job pays $76,000/year. My current job at Goodwill pays $9.65/hour. I am currently making more money than she is, which, to my knowledge, is zero. My job is a crappy minimum-wage affair, but a whole lot better than zilch.

She says she has “faith” that she can purchase property in Maryland. What does that even mean? Faith, according to the book of Hebrews (11:1), is the “evidence of things not seen.” To me, that reeks of, “Do not look at the man behind the curtain!”

What have I done this weekend? I got mucho sleep Friday night. I bought groceries. I called the Cologuard people regarding the kit I got in the mail last Wednesday. I did laundry.

I think she is living in her head. I make this diagnosis because I have done it my entire life. I know what it looks like, both from within and from the outside. It looks an awful lot like denial. The only thing over the years that has prevented me from going into serious denial about things has been my complete inability to tune anything out. I have to see everything. Then I want to know where it came from.

Buddhism talks about hope and fear being poisons. I get it. Anything that removes you from dealing honestly with the present moment is not a good thing.

It is hard for me to try to help someone who thinks they live in Maryland while their body resides in Michigan. And she is going to need someone to lean on when it hits her that she has no income, isn’t buying property anywhere, and finds it almost impossible to improve her diet while living with her daughter that has six kids, all while living in a state that virtually nobody wants to live in.

All I can do is to keep my own head screwed on straight, handle all my responsibilities as well as I can, and keep trying to heal myself. This is a full-time job for me.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

3 responses to “Faith vs Reality”

  1. Ninasusan says :

    Living in denial and typical Christian church mentality!

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