Worship is important to me. For some reason, I am only just realizing this. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I would go to a different church each weekend. I would alternate between various Catholic churches and a Unity church. In undergrad, I rarely ever went to church. It’s hard finding a church when you’re in a city/town that’s not familiar, and you don’t have a car. I tried a non-denominational church near campus, but I wasn’t feeling it. In an effort to be general and not too religiously specific, the services ended up feeling spiritless to me. I also tried a Universalist church near campus, but that felt more like taking a science class than going to church. There wasn’t enough focus on the soul or faith for my taste.
Over the last few years, I have pretty much stuck with a Catholic church, a Christian church, a Buddhist meditation center and a Hindu meditation center. It used to be that when I chanted at the Hindu meditation center, I felt the most connected to God. I would feel this intense energy running through my body, and I would cry (Tears are a tell-tale sign for me since I prefer to avoid emotionality.), but lately the Hindu meditation center has been feeling basic to me. Now, I cry damn-near every time I go to the Catholic church and the Christian church, especially the Christian church.
I enjoy the Christian church so much that I am entertaining the idea of joining. This is madd strange because I am not a joiner. Outside of childhood, I have never been an official member of a church. Before I make the commitment, I wanted to try some of the different classes and volunteer opportunities the church offers. Their Bible study bored me although the people were cool. I found the questions and evaluations to be simplistic and surface. The volunteer opportunities are nice. I feel like I’m contributing and serving my community, which is important for me. Recently, I noticed that they offer a depression support group, so I figured Why the hell not?
The group was small. The people were friendly, but not in that bullshit way. They seemed genuine, which is requisite. We’re not allowed to curse in the support group seeing as it has a Christian focus, so you know that was fucking hard for me, but I still liked it. We delved deeply into various forms of depression, medication, eastern healing, coping options, even cannabis options (that surprised the shit out of me). There wasn’t a heavy focus on the Bible or Christianity, but there was the right amount for me.
I usually feel numb as I walk through the world, but after the group, I felt okay. Okay is a form of peace for me. When I feel okay, that means I’m really kicking ass on the self-care front and/or that I’m surrounded by good people. Numb is my normal. In an extreme state of depression, which is rare, I feel fearful, anxious, angry and sad. In an extreme state of anxiety, I feel euphoric or excessive boredom. I recently read that boredom is the opposite manifestation of anxiety. I never thought of that, but it’s so true for me.
I never feel happy. Haven’t felt happy since I was about three years old, but I’m damn good at riding the happiness wave that other people feel. I tell myself: This is a moment when normal people feel happy then I look at the happiness in their faces. I love that their happy. I love that they feel safe and secure so I smile and feel a sort of residual, albeit muted, happiness. Sometimes I get a sliver of contentment, like when my husband and I are hiking or just hanging out and he smiles at me as if I’m a crush who’s become his girlfriend. I think contentment is another form of peace. I feel unadulterated peace when I meditate. Peace scares me, which is partly why I meditate begrudgingly. Peace is the opposite of anxiety, and without anxiety, I’m left with a ravenous whole. Worship (i.e., chanting, meditation and prayer) fills that hole. It remind me that peace is not scary. It’s actually a good thing.
When I start crying during worship, it means I feel joy, which is a gradation of happiness. It’s such a nice feeling although it’s short lived. Like, this one time at the Christian church, the pastor said, “You can’t be in charge of your life and have God be in charge of your life. God will take over.” I wanted to be mad because I want to be in charge of my own life, but when I’m in charge of my life, all I do is destroy things. Then I started crying because I used to love to fuck shit up (I kinda still do), like my relationships, but now, I can’t do that anymore, and trust me, I try. I used to like to pick fights with my husband because I believed that creating a little anxiety on the outside would balance out the over-abundance of anxiety that I felt on the inside. Now, when I feel antagonistic and I know I’m about to start some shit, I feel this tiny speck of peace then it grows and envelops me. It checks Worldly-Me, shuts her down with the quickness. It’s like Godly-Me takes over, and I feel this ubiquitous calm. My brain stops running like a psycho marathoner, my heart rate slows, and I feel okay. When I’m not worshipping consistently, Worldy-Me has free range, and it’s a fucking anxiety fest!
Godly-Me is kinda boring. She rarely ever drinks. She always wants me to exercise, and she’s always trying to get me to eat green, leafy shit rather than fun shit like cookies and ice cream, but she’s so fucking sweet and consistent. She’s kinda growing on me.