It’s officially Good Friday. As this is usually the time for reflection and prayer (or vacation?), I decided to share some thoughts on faith and religion. I know. Such a touchy topic. But really, there’s no better time. I promise it’s nothing too heavy though. And I know this was supposed to be a food blog. However, when I created the name appetite for sanity, this blog was meant to be an outlet for me (and now my brother as well) to keep our sanity intact. I’ve always thought a lot about things but kept a number to myself, so now’s a rare moment to be generous.
If you’ve read my post about my current medical condition, then good, you’re up to speed. As someone who obsesses about finding reasons to why things happen or turn out the way they do, I make sure to come up with at least two or three answers. Why do I even do this? I find the reason for my success to make sure I keep up what I did to achieve it or improve on what I’ve done so I can get somewhere else better. I believe we can always do better than where we are now- continuous improvement, “kaizen”. On the other hand, if the outcome was not in my favor (let’s say a tumor..) then I think about what I could’ve done differently. A natural feeling of hopelessness is an immediate reaction but I give myself a slap to realize that changes can be made if the willingness is there.
Things have a funny way of perfectly aligning that when you realize it, you understand that there was a purpose. Was it coincidental that my tumor was discovered during Lent? Maybe, we really don’t know and can never be sure. It’s been years since I’ve lost my way. Spiritually, I am impaired but am not beyond repair. I still believe in God. There are just some aspects about my religion that I don’t agree with anymore. I have personal reasons that made me question my faith. But since the discovery of my tumor, I’ve had some time to think and evaluate the possible causes for my fate.
I finally had to admit to myself that I’ve been silently angry all these years. I started thinking that praying was such a selfish action. We always prayed whenever we wanted something. Physically, I would attend church but I would not be spiritually present. I also believe that when we accomplish something, we did it through our own merits, not through any holy intercession. So many other thoughts have been flooding my head that I knew I was secretly and silently holding a protest against my own faith. Why in secret? My mom. She must be one of the most religious people I know. She already is disappointed that I didn’t take a liking for the religious practices of constant prayer and adoration. It would break her heart if she knew just how lost I’ve been.
If you think I’ve gone on a tangent, please bear with me, I promise it will all tie together. So yes, a reason and purpose for everything and anything can be changed if we want to. My tumor, was it a call for me to return to my faith? I decided this could be a possibility.
The usual and all too familiar emotion of frustration and anger kicked in when my mom and so many other people kept telling me to pray for my speedy recovery. That anything can be solved through prayer. I was stubborn for so long, fighting the temptation to give in because I knew praying would be my declaration of defeat. But more than frustration and anger, weakness overpowered me. I’ve honestly been feeling helpless which I’ve kept hidden from so many people throughout this ordeal. I’m not the type to make people worry about me so I put up a front and act like nothing really bothers me but I do crack like any other person with emotion. Since I can’t bear worrying the people I care about any further, I knew there was only one way to deal.
For those of you who slightly agreed to my belief that people pray so much more when they need something and are probably thinking I’m such a hypocrite for starting to pray only because of my condition, well in a way, yes consider me a hypocrite. However, I’d like to think my prayers are constructed differently. 1) I pray for the people I love. They’re not the ones diagnosed with this brain tumor, but I pray that everything does get better so that they don’t worry about me anymore. I pray that they be given strength so that through them I feel stronger. 2) I pray to thank for the people in my life. I noticed that I’ve started loathing myself for being such a burden to everyone. My immediate family has been so supportive. I couldn’t ask for another group of people to call my own. But a Europe trip was already planned out almost a year before I was diagnosed. I wouldn’t have wanted them to cancel everything so my relatives stepped in to make sure that I would be attended to while they are away. My tita who accompanied me here to Singapore and my cousin who opened her home to me have been such a blessing. So I stopped giving myself a pity party and digested the fact that people don’t think I’m a burden, I’m just being loved and cared for.
I promise I’m almost done! It hasn’t been too heavy has it? Thank you to those who took the time and interest in reading this whole post. These are just some of the thoughts that have been running through my head the past several weeks. I still cringe a bit when I think about prayer because I honestly don’t feel I’m worthy of such a privilege. I do consider it a privilege because I always thought you had to be a certain person who met certain standards to be able to do such a powerful action. But I still remember what I’ve learned from my religion classes, that everyone was born with original sin so hey, nobody’s perfect. Prayer is still for everyone. So taking each day one at a time, I find that slowly, I’m trying to find my way back. I’ve decided I’m keeping the faith. 🙂
P.S. I had my first appointment with the doctor here in Singapore yesterday. I will write a follow up post on the latest updates.