Someone Is Looking Out For You

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I got a fortune cookie that said this. Someone is looking out for you. I received it over a year ago and I still have the paper taped to my door, at eye level, so it’s the last thing I see before I leave home.

I don’t generally feel like someone is looking out for me. I usually feel like I need to stand up for myself, protect myself, make things right for myself, because if I don’t, no one else will. It’s probably one of my issues. But I’m working on it.

That’s a pretty tiring way to live! And kind of depressing, I guess. I read a book once – a self-help book – and it suggested thinking of your “protective person” – a grandparent or an older person who gives you advice and all. I couldn’t think of one. I haven’t been horribly abused or anything. And I’ve done okay. I haven’t given up on life or turned to drugs. There have been isolated incidents where someone stood up for me or whatever, and it was nice. But I don’t feel like there’s one person who protects me.

Obviously, for some people, it’s God who looks out for them and protects them and gives them guidance. I grew up without any religious background. I never went to church or got any religious training from my family or school. My grandfather was a minister. Weird, right?! I think so too.

I am kind of checking out churches now. I’m 35, so it’s pretty weird.I mostly felt excluded, and concerned that people would judge me very negatively for not going to church before that. I worried that I’d do something that offended people, or that made it immediately clear to everyone how clueless (and how in trouble with God!) I was. Not exactly that I’d be struck by lightening at the doorstep, but something like that.

A friend once said that going to mass was like a warm blanket. He even talked about not going up for communion – you need to be practicing Catholic to receive communion – as nice. “You just sit there…” I was so jealous! I LOVE warm stuff. And it just sounded like a comfort that I’ve been excluded from my whole life. This is probable a little over dramatic but it’s how I felt.

In any case, growing up like that, I certainly never felt like God was looking out for me. I kind of passively believed in God, if you can call it that. I didn’t ever actively dis-believe. I suppose that believe wasn’t very well developed. I guess the upside is – I’ve never been angry at God. I’ve never asked why bad things happen to good people. How can genocide happen? Because people have free will. Works for me! (Not to make light of genocide in any way… I’ve lived in a country that was very affected and I think mass killing is wrong, of course. It just doesn’t pose any conflict for my thoughts about God because, well, of course bad stuff happens in the world).

I like the idea that God is looking out for me. That God is always paying attention. That it will all balance out, all the rights and wrongs, in the end. But believing this just doesn’t come naturally to me. At all. And I wish it did.

 

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