Today I am going to mix it up a bit. I am not going to give you the next part of the Unfinished Letter to MR BIG BLUE (because I am sure you are a bit fed up of hearing about this man). Instead, we can talk about my relationship with religion. I am hoping we can stir up a bit of debate on the blog as religion tends to be a bit of a contentious issues.
I’ve never been big on religion or God. My dad always taught me if I wanted something I needed to get out there and work for it instead of sitting on my butt all day praying for it.
From the outset I knew MR BIG BLUE had some strong religious beliefs. At first I was open-minded and I went to visit the Hare Krishna temple with him. It was pretty cool and bit strange (isn’t all religion though?) but the people had a sweet nature about them (although a bit airy fairy) and they were welcoming.
For the first couple of years of our relationship I was fine about his religion. We went to the temple on and off. We went to eat the restaurant connected to the temple at weekends. We were both vegetarian (it was an easy enough transition for me as I didn’t eat much meat anyway). We used to watch documentaries about his faith – some were really cool and others were boring (he’d get upset with me for saying something like that or being in any way critical of the faith). We even took a city break once and went to visit a bigger HK centre.
I didn’t mind religion in moderation. We could still do fun activities. Go on hikes. Dinners out with friends. Movies. Concerts. Vacations. Picnics on the beach.
Then things changed. I don’t know exactly when or why but it felt like overnight. MR BIG BLUE had a crisis. He said he wanted to eat meat again, started smoking cigars and drinking a lot. It upset me. I didn’t understand why. I didn’t want to eat meat again or self-destruct.
But this phase didn’t last long. He soon sobered up but he felt so guilty for his lapse. Because of this he started to spend more time at the temple. Too much time in fact. He started to go to the temple instead of going to work. In the end that contributed to him getting fired from his job. With no job to give him structure and wages he started to spend even more time at the temple. This angered me. While I was busy slaving away at my desk. He was chanting, dancing (and busy chatting up the Other Women) at the temple. He wasn’t bringing in any money. With just one wage we couldn’t afford to do anything fun. He wasn’t even looking for a job, it wasn’t a priority for him. I felt like he didn’t care about me anymore. He was always with them because they allowed him to escape the problem rather than tackle it head on. I started to hate the Hare Krishnas for this.
This made me draw away from them. I felt they had brought him down and would bring me down too. I needed to surround myself with go-getters. So I found other friends and spent more time with them doing normal fun things. The same things I used to do with MR BIG BLUE. Even during the brief moments we’d spend together he was so fanatical. I couldn’t listen to any music other than Hare Krishna songs. We’d have to always say special prayers before eating. We’d only watch Hare Krishna documentaries. I was being suffocated.
So I ended our rental contract. As much as it broke my heart I said if he wanted to spend so much time at the Hare Krishna temple he should move in there. I decided I would move into a flat share with a random to get my space. I was over all the fighting. So that is what we did…
After he moved into the temple I thought that was it. He had chosen the religion over me. Finished. But we were still in touch. He’d visit me at my flat and bring prasadam (special food that had been offered to the deities) and he invited me to special festivals at the temple.He gave me a special copy of the Bhagavad Gita As It Is (the same scripture he would later swear he hadn’t had a relationship with me on.) and wrote a message inside the cover saying that I should seek shelter in this book if I ever felt sad or missed him. We also started to do other fun things like going to the beach, picnics in the park, weekends away, hiking, camping. He even got a bike and started cycling with me.
Because of this element of balance I started to take more interest in the religion. I started chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra and it felt good. I can’t tell you why but I felt peaceful. I wasn’t so angry anymore. During Kartik I started to offer lamps to Lord Krishna in my home and make small offerings. I felt good waking up early to chant a few rounds before work. I even got to attend a Hare Krishna wedding and MR BIG BLUE and I joked that maybe that would be us one day. I though we had found a middle ground somewhere we could both be happy. I was wrong.
Then all the drama happened. My world got shattered. I began to question everything again.
If there was a God, why would he let something so awful happen to me at the exact time when I had actually taken to religion for once in my life? Should I have trusted my gut instincts that religious people are just hypocrites – saying one thing and doing another? Does religion force people into making choices just to impress other members of the congregation? Can I truly believe anything I learned from the Hare Krishna movement or is it all false? Is there any space for religion in my future without MR BIG BLUE? Would it be better for me to stop going to the temple all together?
Hmmmm….Somethings there for all of to think about, right? So please do tell me about your own religion experiences and how you would approach this situation.
A bit of a long post to keep you entertained over the weekend. Lets get talking peeps.
Till next week my darlings LOVE and hugs
Cinders x o x o