the point of this blog

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 in Blog | 4 Comments

this blog is for everyone; especially for those who have trouble with, and enjoy, food and life.

i am a medical doctor, but i am also much more than that. here, i share the “anita simply human” parts of me. i share quite a bit about my struggles. i hope it helps you. it helps me to get them out, learn and move on. or learn and deal. i do so to be seen, and also to shine a light on some of the secrets we have, so that we might find our way out of the sickness, together. i do better when i do things with people, instead of alone.

having said that, sometimes my doctor shit will weigh in on some of the things i discuss. it has to. it’s a part of me. and i’m glad for that. even if, really deep-down, or right on the surface–i wish i could have become gwenyth paltrow!!!!– instead of a doctor. i mean, JESUS, what a life!

speaking of jesus, he’s kind of a good jumping-off point for giving you some background on me.

i was raised with Jesus being the most important thing in my life. i am the third child in a family of four. we were an uber-christian family. the henderson family.

my parents are still together. my dad is (still) an avid evangelical christian. my mom is more of a  diffuse believer–she thinks there is something, but she’s not sure what. and she doesn’t need to figure it out–that’s enough for her.  she’s beautiful that way. the rest of my siblings each have their own thing going on. i am the only atheist in the henderson family. i never thought i would be one. never, ever, ever, ever.      ever.      NEVER.

i had Jesus in my heart from the age of 2, going on 3. so i hear. my mom brought me to the Lord with the story of the little lost lamb. Jesus left the 99 sheep in the fold to come get little, lost me. and i loved him very much, for most of my life. i built my life around what i thought was his will for me.

but it happened to me. i became an atheist. at the age of 32. i was listening to terri gross interview greg epstein, the night i lost god. greg epstein is the humanist rabbi at harvard divinty school. i had been on the brink of agnosticism vs. atheism for a couple of years. my journey of trying to know god better had brought me to this point.

by the way, i hope you don’t care that i don’t ever captilalize. i know capitalizing could make it eaiser to understand when something is an important noun, or a title, or something. but honestly, screw it. i like to write free-form. if it bothers you, perhaps you can pretend i’m a female ee cummings, and it will bother you less? his ghost has inhabited me, and i don’t know how to hit the shift key.

hahahahahahahaha

ee cummings. i think he and i would have had great sex. made a great couple. he seems so passionate, from what i can tell, from susan cheever’s biography of him, “a life.” the part that made me think we could have made great lovers is reading this paragraph from her book:

“Although in the 1950s and 60s Cummings was one of the most popular poets in America, he sometimes didn’t make enough money to pay the rent on the ramshackle apartment in Greenwich Village on Patchin Place where he lived with the incandescently beautiful model Marion Morehouse. This bothered Cummings not at all. He was delighted by almost everything in life except for the institutions and formal rules that he believed sought to deaden feelings. “Guilt is the cause of more disauders / Than history’s most obscene marorders,” Cummings wrote.”

what a great guy to date–a sexy writer who “was delighted by almost everything in life.” wish i could have been that incandescently beautiful model!

eecummings

 

 

 

 

 

and isn’t he a good looker???? wouldn’t you love to have a smoke with him? i would! on his knee!

so, that didn’t happen.

okay, and back to my terribly strict up-bringing, or rather, how i lost my faith in god.

i hear terri gross interveiwing greg epstein. he wrote a book called, “good without god.” i am cutting up vegeteables for dinner that night. alone. in my house in bend oregon, where i lived alone for three years, trusting god would bring me a man.

god never did, and right about this time, i had reached a point of hating and doubting nearly everything, with all my life and studious research of god and jesus– i realized i had been sold a BILL OF GOODS, when it came to JESUS BEING DIVINE AND BEING THE ONLY WAY. i had built much of my life around seving that “truth!” i was on the verge of simply no longer BELIEVING IN ANY CONSCIOUS MANAGER OF THE UNIVERSE.

i hear this interview, on 12/31/09, and i am like, “that’s it. this gives me permission. i don’t believe in god, either.” i had been hanging onto it. my faith in God. i was going to miss having him in my heart, if i gave it up. i was going to miss communicating with the one amazing thing that made the universe–especially communicating with that thing about me, a nearly-equal amazing thing (being made in his own image), and like, who would i figure shit out with, if not god???

upon hearing greg epstein, who had a thorough understanding of the christian-judeo background, and respected it– hearing him deny belief in god, in a respectful way, and seeing him continue with a reverence toward life, showed me a viable way of disbelief! also, he and i had travel and seeking, in comomon–at the age of 25, i lived in india for six months to explore/test my christian faith. in greg’s young adulthood, he traveled all around southeast asia.  he does not believe–he’s telling terri how happy he is, without faith, and explaining how humanism is a lovely thing that allows you to be nice for the sake of being nice– god’s not telling you to do it, or threatening to send you to hell, if you don’t (be nice).

i lost god that night. he lost credibility to me, and i simply gave myself permission to no longer hang onto what i was afraid to lose. it’s been a journery, ever since, exploring my new self-hood, and trying to scavange the pieces of me that were shredded or stomped on, with all that religious shit.

people often ask me, “what happened?” –what led me to lose god? so many things. in short,

reading the bible and biblical commentaries,

traveling to india, la’bri in switzerland, central america, israel and palestine, iraq,

praying, having experiences and thinking about them,

listening to the podcast “stochasicity” on NPR’s radio lab,

reading “constantine’s sword,” by james carroll, reading “meeting jesus again for the first time,” by marcus borg, reading “the god delusion,” by richard dawkins, reading “the god part of the brain” by matthew alper,

buying my first home and a year later, having a lady move in next door with a dog that wouldn’t shut-up, and god doing nothing about it, no matter how much i prayed about it;

at the same time, god alllowing the cousins and lovers and dads and aunts to die in iraq, from the families i lived with, while observing them praying dutifully out of the koran.

that shit. made me lose my faith. in a word, placing value in thinking over value in trusting something that no longer rang true!

what else to say? perhaps we just jump in.

4 Comments

  1. Kerri
    February 2, 2015

    Anita! I love this blog. Mostly for these reasons: 1. It is (and i have no doubt will continue to be because it is who you are) bravely and inspiringly honest. 2. I can relate so much to the loss of faith and you articulate that so well without being disrespectful but also without being in any way anything other than honest. 3. I have always loved ee cummings but i have never thought of making love to ee cummings, well oh my i did not know how striking he was until you brought that to my attention.

    Overall, you are an incandescently beautiful writer and person and i am so grateful to have a glimpse inside your head. It reminds me a little of my own.

    Reply
    • anita
      February 3, 2015

      yes, kerri, our heads are very similar! that is why i liked you from the start. i saw in you a person who enjoys joy and silliness, and also has a capacity to experience/witness pain, without being crushed by it. you are insightful, hilarious and kind! i love journeying with you.

      i’m glad you get the loss of faith thing. it can be huge. i love how you and jeff are moving forward with your eloquent spoofs on religiosity. kicking it in the balls, the same way it kicked you.

      much love, a

      Reply
  2. Robert
    June 21, 2015

    Hi Anita,

    I appreciate your fierce honesty! The search for truth and meaning is essential. I was brought up with parents who were agnostic but lived by Buddhist principles,. As I searched for meaning in my life, I found the principle of Grace gave me hope. I found that my relationship with Jesus transformed my heart and allowed me to see beauty in a world so full of hurt and tears.

    Anita- you are a special person. I sense your passion for life and purpose and peace, For a stillness and brilliance that expresses awe and wonder, and Love.

    You are in my prayers,

    Robert

    Reply
    • dranita
      June 26, 2015

      thank you, robert. i’m so glad you found grace and jesus. he is a gracious one! his principles still minister to me….
      best,
      anita

      Reply

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