Sunday, March 28, 2010

Society Doesn't Ask Questions, But I Do...

picture: my cousin Josh and I as little kids.

sometimes under the influence of Ambien (before I am knocked out to sleep) I have these great Epiphany moments and sometimes I'm smart enough to write them down and I had this one saved in my phone

"society doesn't ask questions but I do and that's why I'm being haunted by things that have no answers"

I have always been someone, even as a little kid, who asked a lot of questions and didn't accept answers that didn't seem legitimately logical. As a kid, I was raised as a catholic, my parents are pretty religious underneath their exterior (they aren't religious radicals and they won't preach to you but they go to church every Sunday and they practice Christianity to its fullest extent.) as a kid I went to church every Sunday as well, I went to CCD classes and I always hated it but it wasn't because I just found it boring, its because as I got older I found I disagreed with so much of the church and what the priest was saying every Sunday. I remember as a little kid they were teaching us how to pray and they were telling us that basically you are talking to God and if you listen hard enough you will hear him respond. I remember sitting there, and "talking" to God and I told my mom "he's not answering me" and I was SO confused, I didn't get it. they said if I talked, he would answer. and of course he didn't, not in a legitimately logical way and that's when I first started realizing what religion was and what role it was going to play in my life.

I sometimes feel guilty for not have faith in religion, when I'm sick (well I'm always sick but when I'm actually in the hospital) and someone wants to pray or the priest wants to come bless me, I just can't do it because I feel guilty if the only time I pray is when I need something. Its supposed to be a give and take relationship with God not just a take and beyond that there is a part of me that thinks "what if I'm wrong? what does that mean?"

but that is where the "haunting" comes into play; religion for me is something I will never have the answers too. I can't accept religion on the basis of faith, I need concrete facts. I have always wanted and respected concrete facts and answers. Its why I love reading about dead famous people (Howard Hughes, Andy Warhol, Richard Nixon, Hunter Thompson) you get real concrete facts after people have passed away, especially Howard Hughes all the investigations they have done on him and psychological profiles and biopsies -- you would never get any of those answers when he was still alive, and most of the research of his life would never have been able to be done as well.

I suspect my fascination and need for concrete facts and answers is another reason why I love Interior Design (which in all real senses is truly Interior Architecture. - I can build a house if I want I would just have to have an architect sign off on my drawings) I love codes, I love knowing that I have to have 4" from the door jamb to the door swing. I love knowing that all standard dimensions of a door are 3' wide and that light switches are standard 6" from a door jamb. A lot of people in design hate codes and all that little stuff, I'm always the only one in my class that ever likes them - but there is just something I love about it.

but again, I am haunted. for someone who loves, needs, respects and wants concrete facts and answers I was diagnosed with a disease that has NO answers. They have no idea what lupus is, what it really does, and how it does it. They know how to treat it but they don't know how to cure it its just this big question mark and I think its just so ironic that of all people - I get it. Its a little too poetic isn't it?

society doesn't questions, but I do, and I'm haunted by it.


  1. Questioning is good. I wish people were asking a lot more questions these days. I'm a horrible cynic -- I take very little at face value.

    But that said, I do have faith. I don't have religion so much (because the structure and rules are Man made, not God made, and mostly just push me back) but I do believe in a power that exists beyond myself.

    And I know that by definition, faith is the "assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen." If it requires proof, it's not faith.

    When I had my first biopsy, I prayed really hard for it to be not have to deal with it all. But then I realized that God is not like a vending machine...plunk in a $1 and make your choices.

    So I changed my direction, and started praying for what I really needed most -- the grace and strength to manage whatever was happening to me. And God listened.

    I discovered a reserve of strength and hope and faith that I never would have believed possible. And sometimes, when I need to be reminded, I go to God and am reminded of all that is and all that can be.

    I believe that you can't always change what happens TO you, but you have total control over how you deal with it. And that's how I've managed all these years.

    I've always been impressed with the way you have faced the hand that you've been dealt. You show great patience and courage.

    When you can maintain a positive outlook in spite of things that would overwhelm others, you've already scored a victory over that adversity.

    Keep your heart and mind open to the possibilites, Kylee, and don't ever stop asking questions.

  2. i dont find myself religion in ANY way but I do find myself to be very spirirutal there was a time that I thought I just had chosen the wrong religion so i studied up on alot of other religions and if I was to ever choose a religion it would be buddhism, but there are just too many rules LOL

    thats how i feel about religion, you dont get to choose when you want to "use it" I hope and I wish for things but I don't pray - for one I don't see the point.

    how is me sitting around praying to God to get me better going to get me better? my mind would be at better use and in a better place than waiting for God to do something.

    I think religion is great for some people, I think it truly did add years onto my grandfathers life but its just not for me.

    i TOTALLY agree about not being able to change what happens to you but you can control how you deal with it. thats what i have always focused on...

    I think because I was so young when everything got dealt I had a different outlook on how to deal with it and it definitley started with the same mentality of religion - sitting around wishing and hoping for things to be different isnt going to do anything and i'm too young to let it affect my life too much.

    i've definitley had my hard times when I wasnt the strongest thing in the world, but I had a great support system with my family, especially with Jo.

    Thanks Pearl : )

  3. oh, kylee, i just love that photo of you and josh!

    i agree with pearl. what i've learned after exploring faith and spirituality for a number of years is that all the dogma just doesn't ring true for me. i think a lot of people need that kind of structure around their faith, but it just gets in the way for me.

    i believe there is something bigger than me that i cannot and am not meant to understand. what i try to do is connect with it in a way that will help me to grow and become a better person. when times are hard, i pray/meditate/focus (whatever you want to call it) for strength and resolve to find my way through it. when times are good, i look at the beauty all around me and send out gratitude.

    another thing that i recognize when i am feeling challenged is what i can learn from it. i first remember thinking about that back in 1992 when i had a stillborn baby. at first i could only think, why is this happening to me? then i thought, this will make me stronger. and it did. and i've also found that with that, and every difficulty i've encountered in my life, it has given me more compassion and understanding for others who are going through similar difficulties.

    when we can reach out to one another and lend support in difficult times and celebrate and share happy times, i think we start to get to the root of what we call purpose and meaning.

    my acupuncturist gave me a little daily calendar of eastern wisdom quotes, and i really liked this one from yesterday:

    "A mature mind is one who understands the impossibility of knowing the ultimate, and with this understanding there is a new dimension: the dimension of being." ~Osho

  4. isnt it a fun picture?? :)

    yeah I definitley believe there is something out there, we got here somehow, but I dont think we are meant to know what it is.

    I think thats another reason why I dont have faith because when bad things happen it pulls my faith further away. some things i can understand need to happen to make you stronger, i can see the argument on why I have lupus (although I dont think i'd agree with the argument) but when things happen, like with Joshs' death, i dont care what you believe in and who you pray to, its things like that, that make me think there is no God out there, not with the kind of power that people think he has. but thats where I dont even like to dig. I dont want to dig and try and figure out "why" what is that going to do for me?

    but i agree, i find my faith in music and in friends... and in email. haha. when i need to vent i dont pray to God, I type out an email...usually to Jo haha

    I LOVEEE that quote!!! :) its speaking about me! haha

  5. When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I asked God "Why is this happening to ME??"

    But then I realized that the flip side of that is "Why not?"

    Since I got that perspective, things got much easier. It's not all about me. Never will be.

  6. And I'm glad I figured it out before the SECOND time I was diagnosed with cancer. Made it a lot easier to handle, because I understood.

  7. yeah I've always had a thankful perspective for when they first told us it was Leukemia (I mean they were telling my dad about how you can get really cool scarves for when I loose all my hair, I mean they were pretty sure thats what it was.) and then to find it out it wasnt - was for the most part good news.

    I had a battle at one point where I wished it was cancer because I could beat it and it would be gone and I was really upset with the idea of having lupus everyday for the rest of my life, with pills everyday for the rest of my life. but i found my peace with that argument eventually.

    I dont think I ever really asked "why me?" because I dont think I knew who I was asking or why it was a valid question - why did it matter if i even found out why it happened to me, it wouldnt change anything.

    i'm lucky to have this thought process, i know its what has saved me.

  8. I understand your feeling -- I have the kind of cancer that can recur, so I'm not so much cured as what we call NED (no evidence of disease).

    I don't have daily meds, because there aren't any.

    I just cherish and celebrate each and every cancer-free day I get.

    Cuz while I was actually a pretty hot looking bald chick ...twice... it's not a look I care to repeat again.

  9. yeah I think it has ought to be scary to kind of live in fear of it coming back. is it not called remission?

    oh my daily meds are quite a large plethora! its about 20 pills a day (maybe more if i need to take tylenol or sleeping pills or things like that) and im pretty sure it will always be 20 pills a day - most are supplements though like calcium and prenatal, things to prevent because of other pills im on (prednsone)

    yeah im really glad i didnt have to go through the bald phase, that would have been really hard while i was in school, although my hair did get really thin and it was hard because my face was so plump from the prednisone i just looked like i gained SO much weight and i couldnt style my hair to try and compensate. did you get a wig or did you just do the bald thing (i'd imagine it was nice in cool in that hott hawaii weather!)

    my face is all plump again now that ive gone back up on my dosage of prednsone (im at 20mg now) but luckily since ive been on the same pills that made me loose my hair i didnt have to thin out this time. but i hate the prednisone plumpness because its not like everyone i see knows why, im sure some people see me and just think i gained a ton of weight.

    but at the end of the day im thankful that it wasnt cancer, that i didnt loose all my hair and if i have to take 20 stupid pills a day to keep me out of the hospital, then i'll do it.

    just gotta keep everything in perspective!

  10. I had a couple of wigs. Got them styled proper so that they didn't look all wiggy. But when I got home from work at night the wig would come off right after my pumps and before the bra/pantyhose. Husband used to say he could find me by the trail of accessories on the floor.

    All the meds suck on the one hand (side effects and inconvenience) but they sure beat the alternative, don't they!!

    Go hug Oliver.

  11. haha thats pretty funny. i wont lie i got a smidgen excited about getting wigs because i would never have to style or do my hair i would just have a bunch of different wigs for different styles - but im sure that i romantized(sp) it and its not all that special haha

    it defintiley does beat the alternaive :)

    as we speak, i sit in my bed with my laptop on my lap and oliver is sitting next to me nuzzling his head inbetween my neck :)

  12. Kylee, I can so relate to what you are saying about religion. Ive been reading and searching for awhile now. There are so many great blogs out there on this and some very good reading. Scary for me to admit and it feels much like Im in the closet (and most likely will never totally come out), but I feel I lean toward atheism....

    which is SUCH a scary word that even typing it makes you scared you will get struck down with lightening!! I prefer the word agnostic because it is easier to admit that I just dont know...
    (not that I would come out of the closet anymore on that one in my boony community!!)

  13. crap!! I never finish my thoughts befor hitting 'post'!

    I do think Pearl and Barbara both make excellent points in their posts....

    and Barbara, I was wondering, are you going (liking) the UU church?? It sounds like something I would like to look around at if only the nearest one wasnt an hour away.

  14. Kylee, have you ever watched Julia Sweeney? I havent seen either of her shows except for little clips on youtube, but being that you liked 'Religulous', I think you would like her too. She did 'and God said HA' and 'Letting go of God'. Check some out on youtube if you are interested. She is really funny and smart in telling of her journeys in life and faith.

  15. yeah I have a really good friend who is from France (with a thick accent and everything, she came over here as an exchange student, fell in love and married and american and has been here ever since) but its a lot more accepting in france to be aetheist, and she is aetheist but she said in America she has to watch who and where she makes that statement known. it is really scary.

    my parents dont know i consider myself agnostic, i think they would flip a noodle! i came down a day early for easter to spend the night and hang out with them and they asked if i was going to church and i laughed - they think i need religion, my dad says im "missing" something -- but i dont argue religion with them or tell them how i truly feel because its not somethign they will understand. Ive talked with my dad before and just makes him upset, but i really dont think i "need" religion

    why do i need religion? i live my life with good intentions, im a good person, i live a good life. Half the people that sit in church aren't "good" people they cheat and beat on their wives, maybe they cheat on their taxes, look at how many gang members are religious!

    i think if you have religion, great, but its not something i can believe in.

    but what cracks me up is my parents get so mad about c&e parisoners (people who only go to xmas and easter mass so the church is PACKED and they end up sitting in the way back on the rickety chairs lol) but every xmas and easter they try (xmas they DO make me go to mass) - i told them then they cant get mad at the c&e parionsers because its probably everyone whose not that religious being forced to go by their parents -- although i think its really just people going with their extended families before the big family dinner

    my parents feel that because i have lupus, i need religion and i dont see it that way at all. its because i have lupus that i feel so far away from it, when josh died i REALLY fell behind - if there is a God and he has as much power as he does and he is all-powerful, all-knowing, AND all-good (as they say he is) why didnt God save Josh? thats what I ask myself and that is a BIG reason on why I cant believe in faith. because obviously God is NOT all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, and like i mentioned before i dont think i can ever accept "things happen for a reason" for Joshs' death because nothing is worth his life...

    I have not even heard of Julia Sweeney I will have to look her up.

    I remember LOVING religious thinking the whole time "ahh i can have my parents watch it and they might be able to understand!" the whole movie I thought Maher was making valid points...but then the very end of the movie he pulled a Maher and basically attacked religion and I thought he lost all credibility :-/ (i think he could have captured the more religious audience without that last scene)

  16. Funny that your friend feels threated as an atheist. These days, I feel the same way about being a believer -- especially a Christian.

    It's just so much more fashionable to be an atheist or agnostic, and they (especially people like Maher) love to treat believers like we're retarded or worse.

  17. About Josh -- I understand that it is painful. Death always is, and suicide is the most painful of all because it is the ultimate act of free will and is absolutely inexplicable.

    When someone chooses to take their own life, that exactly what it is - their choice.

    Blaming God for a suicide is blaming God for letting us have the free will to make our own choices.

    And at the end of the day, we have those choices. It is beyond my understanding why anyone would choose death.

    "Things happen for a reason" is as much of a cop-out as "If God is so all-powerful, why does he make bad things happen?" I'm not of the belief that God is some cosmic puppet master.

    But I don't believe that we were just thrown together here out of some totally random confluence of events either.

  18. I dont much care about being fashionable and I can only speak for myself, but would never think
    people are strange just for their faith/religion/beliefs, etc. Well, maybe cult people or those people in Kansas. We all know there are good and bad people in all walks of life.

    Believe me, you cant live in the boony town I am in and be out of the closet if you have doubt about God. I probably wouldnt care but I know my daughter would suffer. There are people around here that have nothing to do with us because we havent been in church for a long time, so if I ever dared to share my inner thoughts, feelings and doubts, I know they would look at me like I sprouted devil horns.

    That Julia Sweeney (she used to be on SNL) puts it in a way that I cant put into words, but is like 'yes, that is what I was thinking!' - she's no Bill Maher for sure, who has some valid points but in such an ass-holy way. You can find her at or on youtube.

  19. I understand your situation, grits. In some parts of the country you're suspect if you're even Catholic, or -- the horror -- a Jew. That's not God at work - it's man.

    I read Sweeney's first book largely because that was when I was a professional cancer survivor and read all that kind of stuff. I don't share her take on things, and her video is a lot more strident than the first book, so I won't be reading the second.

    My sister's faith grew thin through all the many years of dialysis and then the side effects of the anti-rejection meds following the transplant, but she was able to find it (or perhaps it found her, who knows?) in those darkest days in her last year. I'm glad that she was able to find that peace which passeth understanding. It eased her way.

    I don't proselytize, but when you have that peace, it's so wonderful that you can't help wanting people you care about to feel it too. Except it's not something that you can give.

    PS -- MH - Mass this morning was so full of C&Es that they had to set up folding chairs out in the breezeway! But better C&E than not at all, they feel. Never understood it, myself.

  20. yeah i think its all about the setting of when to reveal your religious beliefs...

    I definitley don't blame God for Joshs' death but it definitley keeps me away which I know can seem like a horrible thing - but i just cant wrap my head around it, but joshs death certainly isnt my reason for lack of faith, i lost faith long before that happpened...

    yeah i think the reason i call myself agnostic is because I dont believe or disbelieve anything i'll find myself saying "yeah i believe God is like a puppet master" but then the minute i say it, i regret it and dont believe it... i just dont know what to believe, and im more content with that. if i dont have the answers Im not okay with settling with what someone has just told me. (not that i think that thats what everyone with faith is doing, that would just be the case for me.)

    i believe we make our decisions but i wonder if a powerful being up there already knows where going to make the decision or if we have some parallel life out there based off all the decisions we made differently (like the moving 'sliding doors'...)

    yeah my grandpa was VERY religious and I think it truly did add years onto his life, i mean he was like a cat with 9 lives after so many big procedures (

    (OMG LOL The commercial on TV right now is "if you have been away from the catholic church, its time to come home" LOL how ironic!)

    anyways, my grandpa, open heart surgery after open heart surgery and he just kept pulling through but i think that was more of the hope and faith that he had, God was going to get him through, he didnt give up and i think thats what it was that saved him for so many years - which is why i dont think you necessarily need religion, as long as you have something. my dad always says im missing something, and i dont think i am.

    yeah! i mean i agree with my dad, the pariosners (sp) who go every sunday should get the regular seats and the c&e's should sit in the crappy chairs LOL I think most of C&E-er's are based off tradition (thats what they always did on easter and xmas) i think another part are people who are going with their family, i know when we have xmas eve at our house our grandma comes to our mass because then its just 10minutes to the house and we can start eating --- and then i think there are the people like me who are home visiting and their parents make them go. i didnt go though, they didnt like it, gave me a small lecture and i just smile and dont say anything lol


    hope that link works - interesting article - not about parenting lol