Welcome to Heaven…

Heaven.  My parents were Roman Catholic so heaven was the place where God lived with (the Virgin) Mary on one side and Jesus (his Son) on the other.  Heaven.  The place where there was no pain.  Everyone was happy.  There was no anger.  No jealousy.  Nothing bad. I think I summed up that theory of heaven.  Sorry if I offended anyone, but this is just my theory and version on this topic.

I have actually studied many religions because I was curious.  After high school I decided to major in history.   Wiseguy loves to quiz me all the time about historical facts.  FAIL.  (Why are the years so important in history?  I know, some historian right?)  I LOVE history just because of the drama and social aspects in all the his-stories. 

Anyway, let’s return to the taboo topic of religion.  Being brought up RC I went to church every sunday.  I was a soprano in the choir.  At the age of 14, I wanted to be Mother Teresa.  Honest.  However, meeting boys kind of changed that.  They were cute and I loved to danced and MT never really did that did she?  So, my goal was just to be a good person.  Yup, that should do it for my RC soul.

In keeping in line with “being a good person” I was very open about many things.  My parents (bless their hearts) believed that “birds of a feather MUST flock together”.  So, keep the same heritage / religion when you are looking at potential dates.  The awful teenager that I was, I decided to date someone of the Muslim persuasion.  Ouch!  It was more based on personality and not religion, but I really learned a lot . I actually read the Koran (Quran), took notes, asked the boy questions about stuff I read.  The one thing I learned (which I think is the most important thing I ever learned) is that rumours and the unknown breed fear.  Not to mention that scriptures taken out of context (as is the case with many writings) can really do a bang up job in creating and breeding fear in any society.

Each religion (and there are many) talk about love and forgiveness.  They talk about patience and understanding and loving.  So, my amusement has always been that anytime there is a war, and “God’s people” are brought up, I can’t help but feel happy and sad at the same time.  Really, I don’t want to stir the pot (I am a peace-loving person after all), but after studying ALL religions (honestly…ALL religions…even the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) the basic message in each is:   love and understanding and inner peace and community.  How shooting other people was derived from THAT message baffles me.  

My blog today is not a lecture.  In my opinion (yes, opinion) I believe that every religion is right.  I also believe every religion is wrong.  Weird right?  But I strongly believe that if we followed the basics of any religion, we would actually be happy.  Every religion  believes in a higher power.  Each one believes that we must love ourselves and by accomplishing this feat, we can and will love everyone around us.   Love and forgiveness leads to happiness.  That is the root of every religion.  If we mixed up all religions with only the parts on love, kindness, tolerance and discarded the parts on how to dress and who can beat whom and who goes to heaven and who doesn’t, then I believe the most perfect religion would exist.

Today I think it is important to realize how important loving yourself is.  It’s not about being a narcissist.  I believe that when you stop looking at what others have that you do not, you can start to appreciate what “wonderfulness” you have in your life and in yourself.  When you feel that beauty inside you, that rose-coloured world returns and life starts feeling and looking good again.  THAT world is a beautiful place to live in.  The more happiness and joy you emanate, the more the same kind of happiness is attracted to you.  You are amazing and beautiful and wonderful.  Once you appreciate what you really have and stop concentrating on what you believe you are missing, you will have a clear path to that wonderful place.  Welcome to Heaven!  That happy place where there is no pain, anger, jealousy.  Just lots of Happiness and Love. (Right John?)

The Next Generation..

Nope, not talking about Star Trek in case that is what you were thinking this is about.  I have been in the midst of assisting my niece with her wedding which will happen in a couple of weeks.  This weekend I shall be attending another family wedding (second cousin).  Next year will be an exciting time as well as we have two family weddings that will be full of nervousness and adventure as The Debater and The Artist shall have their much awaited nuptuals in the spring…April to be exact.  Then The Wiz and The Baker shall be enjoying their fall wedding in October.  Yesterday, on a long drive home from my niece’s place, I thought about all these beautiful youngsters (ahem…adults) and what the Next Generation is going to be like.

In the eyes of parents, it doesn’t matter how old your child is, that child is always about 5-7 years old in your eyes.  From birth, you watch them, you teach them, you correct them, you encourage them, you praise them, you give them grief and they give you grief back.  It’s the way of the world with parents and children.  Even once they have their own kids, you watch them and encourage them in their parenting and you are so proud as you observe the blossoming growth of your grandchildren.  You watch them nurturing their children, teaching and educating them and having that beaming pride look when their youngsters do something and achieve something on their own. 

This weekend we were watching The Princess and Little Kennie run around and laugh and giggle.  Kennie is going to be two years old in a couple of weeks.  We have noticed over the last little while that, besides imitating and mimicking what we say, she has learned how to vary intonation in her wording.  She came up to a little statue that we have and said, “Hi Princess.”  Where did she come up with that?  Yes, Little Kennie is growing up and getting an identity of her own.

As parents, we get annoyed with OUR parents when they treat us as if we don’t know things.  We will try to do something and suddenly we are doing it wrong.  We are adults with lives of our own and children of our own.  I am now beginning to understand this challenge. Your kids are always your kids no matter how old they are.  If they run into hardships you want to jump in and put a bandage on it by helping out in some way.  You want them to be healthy and happy and you would give your own life to make sure that they would never have to suffer. 

I realize now that sitting back and watching is something that, as a parent, is of one the hardest things to do.  Before I jump in with “the answer” I think about how I would feel if FIL or one of my parents came and pointed out if I was doing something wrong or instructing me on what would be better.  Would I appreciate the interruption and the advice or would I just wish that they let me do things on my own?  Yes, that is how I am learning to become a better parent. 

Being a parent of small, crying babies, older people would always say, “Oh, this is easy, wait until they are older.”  What?  At least then you would be able to sleep all night right?  Wrong…you hit the teenage years and oh my…you just wish that you could jump ahead 5 years and get over that hump in their lives.  Dealing with their right to independent lives while you struggle to keep order and sensibility in their lives.  AAAAGHHH!  You sleep even less then as they are going out with friends and coming home at two in the morning.  You actually get even less sleep than you did when they were newborns.  Really, if you survive that you can survive anything right?  Well, then they become adults…in years only.  They will always be your children.  Now you have to learn patience and have them learn adult things on their own.  Sure, you will be there when they need you, but sometimes the adult growth pains are even harder to watch than the bumps and scratches they got as kids.  There is no magic bandage or salve to fix some things and all you can do is sit back, watch, and hope that things you taught them will help them figure out the trivia of adult life.  If you are really lucky, you can actually sleep and not worry too much about it.

Yes, this may seem like a sad or depressing topic, but it is actually quite heartwarming in my mind.  I have learned much about being a parent of adults (oops…almost said adult children).  There is a wonderful sense of happiness and pride when you see how happy they are in their lives.  They live, they laugh, they love.  Sure, there are bumps in the road, but having those bumps makes them appreciate the repaved roads of life that are smooth and wonderfully happy.  The wonderful homes.  The great nights out full of fun.  The family get togethers where everyone laughs about silly things they used to do because, at this age, you can laugh about the silly childhood things that were done.  They are now adults, those were funny stories.

I am so happy and proud to be able to take a deep breath, sit back, and watch our wonderful future society unfold.  We wll have with such amazing new adults in it.  This is the next generation and it looks beautiful.