Holy Week reflection 

Despite being a humanist now I still take time to reflect on things during Holy Week. Habits that formed during my time as a member of the Church of England seem to die hard. It is something I have done for on and off for around 30 years.

What am I doing with my life? Are there anything things that need changing. These are questions I do ask myself but it always seems easier to criticise and point out other failings rather than my own.

It’s easy to look at others an judge. I don’t like the way you talk or what you are saying. I don’t like your lifestyle or the priorities you have in life and not worthy of any time.

Do the things that others do have any consequences that could affect your life? If someone steals or murders then it could. This could end in the person being convicted and having to spend time at our majesty’s pleasure and that costs money in an indirect way.

Are we giving to others that would make their life better? Do we give our time and money to help those who are less fortunate that ourselves? If you are making an excuse while you reading this you probably need to.

Reflecting in rather than on Holy Week is a good thing. It makes me think of spring time and new possibilities and chances that we have been given.

What will I try to do more off to better others lives and less of that makes me more of a selfish person. Surely that has to be a good thing.

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Faith and accessibility 

It has been a strange day. I went to a funeral service for a neighbour of mums who had passed away a few weeks before. I went instead of mum as it’s more difficult for her to be at these sort of events.

Mums neighbour was a devoted catholic and the local church is just on the end of my estate. A short walk to the place and so I was on time.

Entering the church was strange. No one to greet you or tell you where to sit. No one giving you a hymn book and the specially made ‘order of service’ had all been taken.

The service was rather alarming started by a clanging of a bell but I was baffled at the texts and responses both mumbled by the priest and the congregation.

“RumpletumpleJennyAguttertoo”. The priest said. The congregation replied “Lalatittletattlelemonypledge”. I was rather confused at what and where if at all I should be saying anything.

There was a lot of signing and genuflecting. I didn’t want to try and join in not for the lack of faith but looking like a dislexic sign language interpreter.

It become apparent that if you weren’t a part of the church or a had experience of the Catholic mass you were going to be at a loss. ¬†It felt sad that I just didn’t feel a part of the service. No welcome and no explanation of what or when things took place.

My knowledge of religion and experience of places of worship has been varied. I would have thought someone coming into this environment would be overwhelmed to say the least.

Accessibility and faith should be a priority. Those who don’t practice both will alienate even more to come.

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Imagine you have been dropped off at a party. You hadn’t been invited but you are told that you should go and make the most of it. You go in and people turn and look at you. It goes quiet for a while but then people get back to what they were doing before you walked in.

Some people are dancing others are drinking and talking to each other. After a while, you talk to others and things seem to a be a little more comfortable the longer you stay. They have explained why they are there. All seems to be going well.

Then you order a drink and you cannot taste it. You order another one from the bar and it again is without flavour and taste. Others ordering from that bar don’t seem to be having the same problem. Asking someone else they dismiss it and say there is nothing wrong with the drink and I should just enjoy yourself while you are here.

Walking back to the dance floor you notice that some people have stopped dancing. They have sat down. You go over to them and ask them if they are okay. They explain that they had been dancing and now all the fun seems to have stopped. They don’t even remember why they came to this place in the beginning.

Suddenly the lights that were once colourful and flashing turn to a greyish dull colour and the music to a monotonous buzz. Someone grabs you and tries to get you to dance. Point blankly you refuse. They insist and you try to move but it’s like walking through thick mud and all your movements are slow.

This isn’t turning out what you expected. Things have become awful to look at and you just sit down. You know the best thing to do is leave.

6223 suicides were reported in the UK 2013. 78% of these were male. It was reported today that this is the highest suicide rate this country has seen in over a decade. With the increased awareness of mental health issues, why is it that this rate is increasing?

I have heard it all before where people have been told to “pull yourself together”. You have nothing to be sad about. But time and again people aren’t understanding what mental health truly is. It’s not just that continuous feeling you get of being sad it’s much more than that. If your team loses you feel bad. After a few hours, you are upset. But try telling the true supporter it’s only a game right after they have lost. You wouldn’t think of doing it as you would try to be more sensitive.

As with the party so, many take the decision to leave life. The purpose, reason and joy of life have gone and all you are left with is the pain.

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Reckless

Got to that point in life where I feel like being reckless. Is it because I am approaching middle-age with the feeling that I am totally unhappy with my life? Or is it because I really need that tattoo or sports cars neither of which I can afford.

I have a hormone imbalance which has left me entirely knackered on a permanent basis. I am now the size of a small province and I have the mood of bad temper ill-advised old goat. I am not even happy with my own company never mind trying to make idle chatter or pleasant chitty-chat around a dinner table.

Horribly depressive I would be a nightmare to live with. Having a friend to stay last week was a both painful experience for him and myself. I am totally to blame. He was pleasant full of energy and ideas. I was morose and grouchy.

My planned visit to the doctors today ended in him asking for blood tests. How many more fucking tests do I need before someone tells me I am true depressive? Sick of tests and therapy. Peoples comments and suggestions. What I truly need is … Actually I don’t even know what I want anymore myself. Should I be reckless or stick to a routine of three glasses of wine and a sleeping tablet?

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Shelf life

When I was about five I remember cutting the grass. I was allowed to use the lawn mower. A push lawn mower. This was about the limit of my involvement in the house. This didn’t change for most of my childhood and going into my adulthood. I have thought a lot about my childhood and really wondering what my father taught me. The conclusion is that he didn’t teach me that much especially when it comes to things like diy.

Never put a shelf up in my life so when I ventured to the local B&Q I needed guidance on what I was buying. I have got to my forties and I just don’t know.

Paris

This week has seen the side of humanity that is psychopathic and insane. Listening to reports of how gunmen brutally murdered innocent journalists and descriptions of their barbarity towards those who exercise their right to free speech and democracy.

When something like this takes place closer to our shores it makes us take a fresh look at our lives and beliefs. Most would condemn such violence knowing it’s beyond their comprehension. How on earth could you ever live with knowing you had murdered so many people in such a cold and calculating way?

In these times of grief and pain though we see a side of humanity. The true side. The one that cares and loves. Those who have shown solidarity with the loved ones left behind by a tragedy.

Living a godless life and maintaining a humanist standpoint I don’t look to a god to blame but those who have radicalised and brainwashed those men who carried out the attacks. Those who have taken a religion a perverted it for their own means.

My thoughts are with the victims families and friends.

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