Personal Struggles and Religious Conviction

So here I am, sitting in my room feeling a little bit lonely and a little let-down by some things.  In a solely logical way, I know that my disappointments are bred of blind, idealistic naïveté.  From a purely intellectual standpoint, I understand that no people are perfect and that we all make mistakes and may, at times, choose things that, in their purest forms and essence, we don’t actually support or believe in.

For example, I’ve been eating chicken relatively regularly (and even had a fork-full of lamb..) over the last two weeks-ish.  Yet, I fancy myself pure enough in diet to have been standing under the safe platform label, “Vegetarian” for a good while.  That’s completely hypocritical and inconsistent of me to do.  Yes, I agree; I understand that.  You can’t be a “vegetarian” and SOMETIMES consume bits of long-dead chickens..  That makes sense to me.  You shouldn’t align yourself with something important and unified enough to have a label unless you’re going to abide by the accepted rules of that group and be able to stand alone as a respectable example of that principle.  To do anything other seems nonchalant to the point of sociopathy; almost borderline sacrilegious toward the movements we’re collectively creating for ourselves.

So, here I am, sitting in my room and openly admitting that I engage in the kind of behavior I look so harshly on, and STILL I can’t seem to bring myself to be any more gentle with the individual people I am thinking about.  How can I so clearly relate with these people and yet still be appalled by them?  Does this suggest to me that I might be also appalled by myself?  Does this show me that I feel somehow separate and superior to the people all around me?  Does this reflect an unhealthy sort of disconnect from the realities of my own existence?  Or does this simply remind me that I haven’t fully learned how to, in full practice, love and accept other people?

In any case, I seem to be more quickly and effortlessly compassionate with those who struggle silently…that is, those who aren’t so loud in their beliefs and convictions.  I tend toward patience and gentleness for people who keep their failures and losses private, who reserve their openness of sharing such pain to only a limited number of special people.  I find it easy to be around them.  I see them as frail, hurt, often-broken-seeming people.  This isn’t what I want to be true, but in the interests of self-awareness and pure-honesty with you, I have to admit that it’s a truth for me.  I pity and look down on these people because I perceive them as something weak and wispy, like smoke from a candle snuffed out by the light breeze of existence.  How shameful it feels to finally be admitting all of this.  I feel like crawling under this table.. O.o  I’ll come back to this later.  I’m off to meet with a friend now..

 

– Monday, 20 October 2014

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