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Where is God this Christmas?

I think it was about four or five years ago (probably more) that I stopped going to church on Christmas Eve. It’s not that I stopped being holy or whatever, I just felt like a poser or a fraud cause I stopped practicing Catholicism a long time ago.

Recently, over the past several months, I’ve tried really hard to practice some kind of spirituality. I’d meditate, or at least try to meditate, and periodically do the Rosary during meditation not cause I was trying to be a good Catholic or anything, it just helped me keep my mind blank without the usual ongoing thoughts. I think being hypo manic the majority of my life made it hard to redirect my brain to stop constantly thinking, and doing a ritual that I did way back in my childhood that might have helped seemed to be something I could try, and could work. Most of the time it worked. I’d sit still and say the Rosary in my head and block out any outside thoughts. Do I consider this practicing Catholicism? No. To be honest, I was using an old childhood ritual to help me meditate which was not about “praying” so to speak, but more leaning on a tradition that might curb the bursting thoughts that never seem to cease from my existence. Mood stabilizer or not, I’ve accepted that my mind will continually have thoughts left and right so obviously meditating was a huge achievement, which luckily had a tool or formula for success: An our Father, ten Hail Mary’s and a Glory be to the Father at the end.

Sometimes during my meditation session, I would give up. I felt like I was quickly speeding through the ten Hail Mary’s which didn’t seem fair. Fair to who? Fair to what? God? I guess so, but like I said, I wasn’t using the Rosary to pray but more to focus on something that was ingrained in me at a very early age. Part of me felt like it was helping me with my meditating, yet, another part of me felt like a fake. The same fake that would have previously gone to church just cause that’s what you do on Christmas. So, I stopped meditating for awhile. What a shame. No Rosary, no meditating. Not good.

Having said that, I don’t think you have to practice religious prayer in church, or say the Rosary with religious intentions to be part of a bigger higher being. I’ve also decided that I can say the Rosary during meditation without necessarily praying to God or Jesus or Mary, and that’s ok. Whatever religion you practice doesn’t have to be confined to traditional practices, and having a religious chant without necessarily praying is ok too. Whatever form of religion or spirituality can be whatever you want it to be.

So where is God this Christmas? Wherever I want him or her to be. In the pines of the Christmas tree, over dinner with my family, in the laughter of my nephews, wherever I want him or her to be. I’ve learned that using a traditional Catholic practice like saying the Rosary, without the intent to pray, is fine.

Next time I am having trouble meditating, I am saying the Rosary. Even though I am not exercising traditional prayer, it’s doing something for me, and that’s really all that matters.

Rosary photo available from Shutterstock

Where is God this Christmas?


Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough and Undressed.


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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2015). Where is God this Christmas?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 15, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2015/12/22/where-is-god-this-christmas/

 

Last updated: 23 Dec 2015
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