I talk to God a lot in my car, driving to and from work. Sometimes I talk to him at other times too, like when I’m in the shower or cleaning a house. Lately I’ve been getting in the habit of talking to him first thing upon awakening, even before my morning coffee. I think this is progress.
I guess you could say what I do is basically prayer, only it seems friendlier to to me think of “prayer” as having a conversation, and that’s what God and I seem to be doing. Even when it seems to be just a one sided conversation, with me doing all the talking (which it usually is), I just know that God is listening. And God does provide answers–maybe not right away, and maybe in ways I don’t expect, but my prayers do get acknowledged.
All relationships have their ups and downs, and my relationship with God is no exception. Sometimes I’m filled with gratitude and have nothing but praise for my Heavenly Therapist; but there are times when I’m mad at him. I mean, really furious-mad–spitting foam out the corners of your mouth enraged. When I get that mad, I yell. I know God can take it. Humans are more fragile; you can’t just go around screaming in their faces. Some people do that, but you might get beaten up for doing it. I know God won’t beat me up if I yell at him, and he won’t send me to hell either.
I used to be afraid to get angry at God. But I’ve come to know God well enough to know he’s not going to judge me for stating my opinions or even blaming him for the things that have made my life so ridiculously difficult. Like any loving father, God loves his children unconditionally, no matter how badly we behave. God knows what’s in our hearts, and yelling at God at least acknowledges I know he’s present and listening. And so, yelling at God becomes a form of prayer.
I screamed at God again this morning in the car. I woke up feeling triggered again by issues that were brought to the surface of my consciousness by my dad’s death almost a month ago (has it actually been that long?) I was feeling sorry for myself, bitter, enraged, sad, guilty, and regretful all at the same time. But the primary emotion I’ve been feeling is anger (which I know is a flimsy cover for the hurt and pain that lies beneath that). I wanted to get it off my chest and needed someone to blame, so I blamed God.
“Why did you let an emotionally fragile person like me be born to callous, hardened narcs?” I screamed at the top of my lungs, making the driver in the next lane stare at me curiously (my windows were rolled down). “It’s not f__king fair!,” I bellowed, not giving a damn that I dropped the F bomb in the presence of the Almighty. He was going to hear it from me!
“You are Almighty,” I continued, “you have all the power. You could have made things different, but YOU CHOSE NOT TO! WHY? You could have let me be born to people who knew how to love me and wouldn’t abandon me and turn against me later. Who would have helped me build healthy self esteem, who would always be there for me no matter what. You could have stopped me from marrying a sociopath narcissist who tried to obliterate me and almost turned my kids against me too! You could have let me develop enough confidence to be successful at something in this world and take a few risks instead of being a little pussy too afraid to come out of my box. But, NOOOOOOO,” I screamed sarcastically like the late John Belushi. “You let me suffer instead! You let everyone keep victimizing me even though YOU COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT! WHY? WHY? For the love of God (yeah, that’s you–OWN IT!), WHY??? (this said banging my fists on the dashboard after each “WHY?”). Why do you keep letting me struggle to survive, live paycheck to paycheck, even though I work and work and work and work until I feel like I’m going to die? And then get looked down on by my own family for not being as successful as them! Why does everyone else get all the breaks in life and I never do? I don’t have ANY advantages, NONE! I don’t have financial security, own my own home, I don’t have a supportive family, I don’t have a large circle of friends to stand in for family because I lack the confidence to reach out to anyone! I have no self confidence, I have no husband or lover, I’m all ALONE in the world, ALONE! DO YOU HEAR ME? Dammit. I can’t get close to ANYONE! And I’m SICK of it! You let people who do NOTHING throughout their whole lives, who had everything come easy to them, who haven’t suffered more than a chipped fingernail, people who never lift a finger for anyone else, EVER, who ABUSE others, then they get rewarded even more than they already are? WHY? WHY? WHY? HOW IS THAT FAIR? I DEMAND an answer. Dammit, I am MAD. What did I do to deserve this, God? WHAT? Nothing, that’s what! Sometimes I think you hate me! Sometimes I wonder why you let me even be born–it would have been better if I was aborted because the pain would only be for a minute or maybe not at all and not for a whole f__king lifetime! WHY, GOD, WHY? I DEMAND ANSWERS!”
After one of these rants, I’ll feel a bit better–exhausted and a little out of breath, but kind of relieved and relaxed too. Sheepishly, I’ll apologize for my outburst, and ask God to forgive me.
What I imagine then is a bemused smile on God’s face, for he is all forgiving and doesn’t hold grudges. I think he’s glad I turn to him in my moments of need, angry or not. He isn’t going to judge me by my moods or emotions. Ever so gently and quietly, he reminds me that adversity breeds wisdom and God has given me a difficult path because he has something planned for me that requires that particular kind of training–not because he hates my guts and wants me to suffer. Finally, in his patient and gentle way, he’ll remind me of all the things I do have to be grateful for right now, that my life is really much more blessed than it seemed 5 minutes ago when I was ranting like a banshee from hell.
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