It’s been a hard few days on planet Earth. So much suffering. So many people, just trying to live their lives, in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught up in violence and death. So many beings of all kinds, seeking safety and finding none.
Sometimes I get so angry about it all. Why haven’t we figured out how to be better to one another, after so many millennia, so many generations? What is wrong with people?!
But when I really sit with it, I realize this:
The one I’m really angry with is the One who created this universe in the first place.
Call it God/dess, Spirit, Mystery, or any of the thousands of names for the unthinkable, unimaginable creative force beyond everything—that which brought forth this material universe, and this little planet, and we embodied beings.
That’s who I’m angry at. Because, seriously: Who thought it was a good idea to create this planet and set it up so that we’re all in these vulnerable, fragile bodies that hurt and break down and die? It is so obvious to me that the source of all our violence toward each other is our feeling unsafe in these bodies, and afraid in a million different ways. Wanting to be safe. And our fear leading us to choose our own safety over that of others. Isn’t that how it is on planet Earth?
I mean, yes, there is tremendous beauty too. There is love, and laughter, and delight! But always we are in these bodies that get hurt and feel scared and crave safety so badly.
So, I’m asking with the utmost seriousness: Who thought this was a good idea? I get why so many people these days are atheists, because honestly, the whole thing makes no sense on the face of it. Why are we so fragile and fearful? Why is life so hard? Why would a loving creator do that to us?
And yet, for those of us who have come to feel and know a loving connection with Spirit—or please use whatever name resonates most deeply with you—we can’t just walk away and be done with spirituality, any more than we could decide to be done with breathing.
So what are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to make our peace with the source of the universe?
Ultimately, each of us has to work that out for ourselves. But sometimes hearing others’ stories can help.
Many years ago, I was so relieved to learn that in the Jewish tradition, it’s completely OK to argue with God. Even encouraged! There’s a whole tradition of being angry at God, pushing back, and demanding that God explain what the heck is going on, from the Genesis stories to the Psalms to the book of Job and beyond.
For me, learning about that tradition made all the difference. It’s given me the freedom to bring my own anger and frustration and confusion to Spirit as I understand it. To demand a response.
And a while back, through my shamanic journeying practice, I finally got an answer that made sense to me.
What I heard was that this embodied life on Earth is just one small part of existence, not just for me but for all beings. And that it’s easier in other phases and realms of existence. This life on Earth, I was told, is basically a very difficult internship, an extended training in compassion. It’s not all there is; it’s just a tough chapter.
That made sense.
I still don’t like it. I still don’t understand why it has to be that way.
But it gave me a broader perspective that made sense, and felt hopeful, and helped me trust again.
I share this with you in the hope that you, too, will stay in the conversation with Spirit, however you understand it. That you will know yourself free to share the deepest questions of your life, and demand answers from the Source that brought you into being. And that, one day, you will hear an answer that heals your heart.