I was sitting in a pub last night with someone talking .Those who know me would tell you how uncommon the former is- son2's cry of "you have no friends springs to mind. The latter, however is common, as Groucho once said of someone else, I must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle. And as it happens, we talked about things that had a major influence on us and the subject of my loss of faith came up.
There are few people in real life, (although I must write about my use of that word sometime) who I talk to on that subject, other than hubbie. One of my most painful experiences, for me to share it face to face takes effort and trust, to delve into it in the exposed air of a pub lounge, teens nearby chatting each other up, brings me close to the tears that are held back so precariously.
And we talked and I shared, risking that he would not abuse this knowledge of my vulnerability, my devastating loss.
And he asked "Are you proud of what you did?"
Not something I have thought before.
Am I proud that I turned upside down my life, my family, my relationships, when so easily I could have carried on pretending? After all, if I had not been so open, so declarative, who would have known? I could have gone every week to church, mouthing the words, singing the hymns with a pious look on my face, eating what I felt was an ordinary mass produced wafer, returning and kneeling, hands held together, eyes shut.
People would have continued to see me, Cath, the guitar playing, scatty working mother, who leads the congregation in singing words that inspire and teaches little children the wonders of the faith. And every week the priest would have said, "Body of Christ" and I could have said "Amen"- Yes, I agree, it is, I believe.
So was it selfish to say, "No, I don't agree, I don't believe, cannot believe" and walk away?
Or the only thing I could do?
I think the latter and therefore am not proud, there was no choice, not then. Where the choice was, well, back in September 2005, when I decided to put it all to the test, to research on my own, and trust that whatever came out, I would accept.
Because I think, deep down, then, I knew what the outcome would be. Something inside me told me none of it would hold up to serious scrutiny. It was in September really, that I knew and I chose and I chose to let it go.
Should I be proud of that?
But perhaps thinking on this has made it clear to me that yes, this loss of faith was the result of a conscious choice, the choice to question and to allow myself to move on.
Something I shall keep on trying to do, to question, to consider, to not accept things on face value but to burrow underneath, and tease out what is true, what is right, for me, and for those around me.
Moving on......ever keep moving on, ever keep questioning and testing, but ever keep loving and living.
Have a good week.