Are We Who We Are Born, or Are We Who We Become?
Coffee's hot, juices are flowing, and as November blows full steam ahead into a wintery chill, I am reinventing life as I know it, once again! Edging ever closer to 40 has that effect. Over the course of the last two, mostly-interrupted days of thoughts-to-myself, I'm coming up with a plan. I've pondered politics, eBay, money, a new wardrobe, the condition of my skin, writing, religion, marriage, astronomical cell phone bills (thanks to those aforementioned teenagers), and the incredible Pacific King Salmon I had for dinner. Not necessarily in that order.
And, in the course of those random thoughts, I'm discovering a thing or two...BIG things. For example, for years I've proclaimed myself a Republican - and then waffled for a few as an Independent. However, digging deeper into the seat of the soul to uncover some core beliefs, I'm a Democat after all. And, to top that off, raised a Catholic and raising my sons Catholic has led me to the issue of recent weeks - the Sacrament of Confirmation. I decided they should all prepare for Confirmation this year - before it's too late. "Bad mother" fear encroached my thoughts and I feared they'd never be able to marry in the Church. This is really the ultimate irony, because despite every attempt to marry my husband in a swanky club in St. Paul, we gave in to his mother and were married in the Church. And through this process of trying to examine my faith, I'm not sure I can even define what Catholicism means to me anymore. Alas, we've become fair-weather worshipers - Easter and Christmas, and that's it for our family. My husband rejects the notion of Church altogether, and I believe spirituality is made of the small acts day in and day out that make up our lives. Spirituality is how you live your life. And I pray - nearly every day. Not formal prayer. Usually as I close my eyes at the end of the day. I thank God for the blessings of that day, for keeping my family safe, for allowing us a decent roof over our heads and food on the table. And I ask for the strength to face whatever the following day might bring. I ask for forgiveness if I need it, but I don't think it's because I'm Catholic, I think it's because I'm human.
As I explained my version of spirituality to my mother last night, she said "Well, that would make you Jewish." Part of me enjoys that revelation, part of me wonders why we all need to be labeled one thing or another. Labels are the root of a plethora of evils in the world.
So, are we who we are born? Or are we who we become?