I have spent an awful lot of time in my life trying to reconcile some pretty impossible conflicts.
It all started when I was very young.
I grew up in a religious system which was very fond of emphasizing Just How Bad We All Are. How we are all born into this world as terrible, wretched sinners, and how everything about us is offensive to God and makes God very angry, and how all that we deserve is to be eternally punished by God. But maybe, if we grovel and abase ourselves enough, God will grudgingly agree not to smite us down from the heavens-but only if we agree to remember in every second that we really do deserve the smiting, and never ever dare to think of ourselves as anything better than the sniveling worms we truly are.
(I know that I tend to exaggerate a lot in the interests of humor, but I’m actually not exaggerating this. See: Why I No Longer Participate In Organized Religion)
And at the same time that I was under constant bombardment by this dogma, I was also being told that I was supposed to love God, and do everything for God, and want to spend all of my time with God.
Um, I don’t think so.
It never made sense to me, why I should want to have anything to do with a being that was reported to hate me so much, but because I wanted to be A Good Girl, and I wanted people to like me and approve of me, and I certainly wanted God to like and approve of me, I did my best to follow this convoluted system, which pretty much boiled down to agreeing to lose my mind.