You always seem to be able to get a really good reaction from me - usually by your unending way of looking at the world as a good place, but also very often because your sense of humor is absolutely amazing.

Like the last two words? Belly laugh-inducing. :)

Interestingly enough I am quite devoutly Christian, but I am happy with life for almost exactly the same reason. I don't tend to ascribe malice to anything, really. And I've always personally felt that sure, God may be up there and aware of my every move, but that He's not the least bit interested in interfering with my life. He saves that sort of behavior for special occasions, and I don't particularly need divine intervention in my daily affairs, so I'm not going to get it. And that doesn't bother me at all. I pray, now and then, in a sort of "look this is important to me, but if You think it's silly don't bother" kind of way sometimes, but generally I figure that I'm in charge of myself, so I had better just take care of things, and if I fuss at Him all the time for help I'm just going to get Him mad at me for being such a wuss. Or something like that... These things are surprisingly hard to put into words.

*grin* For some people, it may be the "breathing down the neck" aspect of divinity that's important as much as the "personal" bit, I grant you.

When you figure God's breathing down your neck, you almost gotta assume that everything's personal It's a personal world.

Strangely enough, that's not entirely true. I believe in God (well, my version, anyway), believe that he's keeping an eye on me, but still not take things personally. In fact, it is this faith which allows me to not get too bent out of shape at life in general, because I know the big guy's looking out for me, and that it will all turn out OK in the end. It has to, you see, because God won't let me down in the long run.

I think you're right about one thing, though, that being happy is a skill. I'm pretty certain anyone (assuming their brain chemisty isn't serious out of whack, and even then it's not hopeless) can learn it, if they want to, but some folks just don't see the benefit.

Let's see, what's the quote? "I know God won't give me anything I couldn't handle, I just wish He didn't trust me so much."

I've reached the point in my life where at any time when negative things happen to me, I break into hysterical laughter right before it becomes too much to bear. Honest, genuine bellhaching laughter, and then everything lifts. People need to laugh more.

You sound like a coyote....

Bad things occasionally happen to me, same as everyone and I occasionally get disgruntled or upset, but get over it. But every once and a while everything will go wrong and it will become ridiculous. I start laughing at each new disaster as every single little things blows up, breaks, gets lost, etc. For me, I describe them as Coyote days (the SW mythos Coyote that is).

I think American Football would be the real trifecta-rounder.

Me, I love it when they burn the effigies, I can generally sneak into the crowd and roast some marshmallows.

Oh, and because my kitten hit submit for me before I was ready....

Storytelling to turn pain into humor seems to fit big into my coping strategies. A lot of my friends as well. Turning stuff into jokes or trying to vent while making the audience laugh instead of rolling their eyes or wanting to avoid you... I think it's something more people should look into, perhaps.

I have a terrible history of taking everything personally. In part because of serious bullying as a kid, in part maybe because of a very schizophrenic Catholic upbringing and schooling. Not things like flat tires or waiting in lines- at least not anymore- but it certainly took a few decades for me to realize the "You're a bad person, you deserve being kicked in the teeth for being so unworthy of Heaven/God's Love." stuff I was edumicated in wore off.

These days while I'll say I'm quite spiritual, my view of *Religion* is only perhaps a tad more organized than a game of Calvinball. (If at all more organized).

Your grandma's outlook on things is admirable!! I'm glad that you also look at thigns the same way.

So many people run around screaming 'WHY ME WHY ME' And I never understood why honestly. Shit happens and you deal with it how you can, you have to remember as well..it honestly could have been worse.

I have to say I admire your outlook and your way of finding humor in damn near everything. Your sense of humor is truly a gift and one I am very glad you share with us ^.^

Thankyou

Why do they run around, screaming "Why me?! Why me?!" - maybe that's some outside influence's version of Jerry Springer.

Amen, sister. :) That's one of the more logical and concise definitions of, well, of this way of thinking/believing.

Okay, now I hate you. You've just given me yet ANOTHER idea for a novel. *grin*

I'm TOTALLY blaming the weird story that comes out of this plotbunny on you. TOTALLY.

Seriously, though, I pretty much agree. I'm pagan, but I very much believe that if I whined about every little thing, my Goddess would smack me upside the head and suggest I grow a spine.

In my pagan days I followed the path of the Smith God. You can't complain much to Someone who considers getting hit with sledgehammers continuously to be something normal.

Yep, that pretty much describes my attitude about religion.

People who are all whipped into a frothing, blazing frenzy of self importance NEED to feel like humanity in general (and thus, themselves in specific, as they are the very pinnacle of humanity) were created by some Divine Force. Which means they, in particular, are Divine, and that The Divine Force cares deeply about (and/or influences) their every bowel movement or lack thereof.

If there is a Divine Force, it's probably got a heckuva lot better things to do than piddle about with my pathetic mundane random life. I certainly hope so.

See, me? I'm just lazy. Being offended is WORK.


Gods are humanity's tech support.

Pfft! It's a good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read that. Hee!

I see what you're saying, but I have always thought of it from another perspective. I figure it's the people who (for some reason) need to think that everything is personal who subscribe to the religious sects that teach that belief.

I was raised in an independent Christian church where I was taught that God cares, but that everyone in the world has free will. So when bad things happen, it's not happening to me particularly, it's just happening, either as a result of something I did or a result of someone else's actions. I was taught that while God can intercede, He usually doesn't do so.

Hmm, it's certainly possible that I'm putting the cart before the horse--the one may be a symptom, rather than a disease.

Problem, of course, being how you TELL... *grin*

Ah, the wisdom of grandmothers. Mine did not pass along any sort of patience with the world, but she did teach me to rely on myself and trust myself to accomplish whatever I set out to do. (This combined with genetic pigheadedness from my father's side of the family. Instead of waiting for shit to go away, I go "ARRRGH HULK SMASH" and then promptly set off to divert the nearest river into the stables. Sometimes I only manage a small creek but hey, it's something.)

It's a different approach, but I think it arrives at the same place. Gods do me favors once in a while, but I do what I can to look after myself, and if they don't have time for me one day, it's no biggie. Ultimately if I get rained on it's probably my fault for not going inside when it clouded over.

Heee communal navel-gazing!

I have gazed at my navel and seen the Lint of Glory!

Have you read anything by Lois McMaster Bujold? She has written three books in a fantasy universe (The Five Gods Universe, for want of a better term) which has a pantheon of Gods that I think you would enjoy. Very much doing the best they can with a very limited ability to actually intervene in anything. And their saints are so very put-upon. I want these gods to exist.

The books are Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt, and Paladin of Souls is one of my all time favourite books ever.

love

Catherine, who will not try to convert people to religion, but will certainly try to gain converts to Lois McMaster Bujold!

You do know that her new book Beguilement is coming out in October?

Shakatany fellow LMB fan

Some of this may also have to do with what social -- and, increasingly these days, urban -- creatures we are.

It always amazes me that people assume a happening is not just Stuff but the fault of some particular person or entity. I grew up on a farm. We regularly got the smackdown from random forces of nature... in small ways, in big ways, in highly expensive ways... and eventually, you just learn to deal with that shit. Sure, we cursed and flailed and attributed The Badness to gods, goddesses, the mistake of commenting on how well things were going, and global warming, but in our hearts we knew: it was Nothing Personal. It Just Happened.

This didn't stop us doing rain dances and deliberately leaving all the car windows down during the five-year drought, but still, we knew.

Whereas a lot of the city folk I know are genuinely shocked when something genuinely random and uncontrollable affects them, and their immediate response is to go looking for someone to blame. This is reasonable, in a way: nine-tenths of the Badness they encounter is caused by other people. It's just unhelpful.

Sadly, humanity is not good at stopping something just because it's ceased to be helpful.

That's an interesting point. I think it has to do with the fact that people in urban environments have lives that are heavily constrained and regulated. I remember when I first moved to Seattle and started hiking and rafting and things like that, and my mother (who spent her entire life in New York City) said, "Well, it's not dangerous, is it? They wouldn't let you do it if it were dangerous." A totally demented statement on some levels, but it makes a certain amount of sense if you grow up in a place where nature is completely constrained by rules about how to interact with it.

If you extend that attitude of some "They" who is in authority, you get the idea of a personal god as someone who "lets" or "doesn't let" you do things --sort of a divine Big Brother.

I have no idea if that theory holds any water, but I can see it.

The creepiest fortune I've ever gotten from a cookie said "God is watching you especially."

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i'm pretty good on the faith and god thing.. i just figure s/he has got other shit to do ... like sculpting pouches for marsipuals.

shit happens.

god gave us chocolate and coffee.

what more do we want? :::: grins :::: the rest is just shit you step in until you can find a patch of lawn you can scrape your shoe on.

just don't track it into my firebird :)

So basically, you're saying that your attitue to your atheism is a lot like mine to my polytheism. ;)

My slightly more cynical attitude is "never ascribe to malice what stupidity can explain." You're right -- most people are just trying to do their best and get through the day. But judging from experience some folks have lost the map to bedtime.

Ah, well. Turning even rotten experiences into stories makes them a lot easier to live with -- and I find, oddly enough, that the stories don't even have to be funny. All it takes is that one step back from my own head so that I'm looking at the circumstances with enough objectivity to engage my vocabulary. Then I can settle down and stop stewing.

Of course, when it becomes clear that malice actually has been involved, objectivity doesn't help me a whit. Fortunately a friend has come up with a way to help me sleep. Whenever I'm angry at someone at two in the morning I ask them "what the heck are you doing in my bed?" and then kick them out and go to sleep.

*grin* 'Course, that just makes me wonder if there are stupid gods, too...

Word up to both storytelling as therapy and happiness as a skill. Both very handy concepts when dealing with daily life. I am religious, but I seem to manage both religion and a general "shit just happens" attitude, so maybe I have more of the happiness talent than many of my fellow god-fearers. :) I just figure that happiness is more decision than circumstance and that I don't have to be unhappy unless I really want to be. Given the choice, I usually choose the option of making a snarky comment and then going away to write a funny LJ post as opposed to getting bent out of shape.

I have a similar approach to life (not taking it personally when things don't go my way), but I'd never considered that my lack of a religious, though not necessarily spiritual, grounding might have something to do with it. Huh!

Oddly enough, those people I know who DO think that the world/God is out to get them seem to point fingers and call the more laid back people 'apathetic', when that isn't really it at all...

*adds to memories*

*ponders* For me, religion and a belief in something outside of myself is what makes life work. I've never held to the " we're all born sinful " theory and I'm rather glad my religion doesn't teach that either so therefore I don't have to deal with guilt. Faith's something that for me is kind of like breathing, something I don't really think twice about, it's just there, it happens, it's a part of my daily function. However personal beliefs aren't something I really care to get too preachy about to other people since they are, well, personal and I tend to take a " live and let live " attitude about things. If you've found what works for you, then there you are :) it's all good

Hmm... have you read the back archives of the_hunter?

I don't know, it seems to work for me to both have a god and to figure most everyone's working really hard. Well, fairly well, but that's just how life goes. =^n.n^=

As others have commented on the happy and the religion, I'll take the cranky old lady.

There is a condition that many many people get when they get old, and that is they are the most important person in the entire universe. Therefor if they have to wait, something is HORRIBLY wrong. And if they stroll in several hours late for an appointment they should still be taken Right Then. And if they want to go to the bank and chat with the teller at 4:55 on a Friday, they should be able to go chat as long as they like, no matter what the line is like behind them.

My own grandparents became like that when they got old, and my parents have seen it happen more times than they can count in businesses.

Now, one thing I like, the local pain clinic has no emergencies, so if you are over 10-15 minutes late to your appointment, you LOSE it and have to reschedual. This keeps things running on time.

You don't need to be old to act that way.

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