When I was a dragon slayer

My uncle died last week.  Brain tumour.  It’s naturally been a bit of an emotional year since the doctors diagnosed him last September.  Naturally this event leads to questions about what happens after we die.  Is there a heaven and a hell?  Do we just die and that’s it?  What about reincarnation?  A lot of people seem to have firm beliefs about what happens to us on the other side.  I can understand a level of certainty in people who have had near-death experiences….who saw (or believe they saw) the other side….but everyone else?  What makes them so sure they know when they don’t claim to have seen anything?  My certainty came from faith that what people have told me since I was a child about heaven and hell was the truth.  The absolute truth.  Just gotta have faith.  But now?

I kinda like the idea of reincarnation.  Many friends have told me I am an “old soul”, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that I looked that term up to see what it really meant.  I found some intriguing ideas about reincarnation, specifically a non-animal version.  The idea of coming back as a cockroach never really appealed to me, but that of coming back to live another (human) life and experience different things…I have to admit it sounds rather attractive.  Like a second chance.  Or fifty-sixth chance.  Whatever.

Perhaps I could come back as a trapeze artist?

Honesty

“We cannot be ourselves unless we know ourselves.  But self-knowledge is impossible when thoughtless and automatic activity keeps our souls in confusion.” –Thomas Merton

Honesty is important.  It is vital for freedom.  One of the hardest things I’ve had to do is to learn to be honest with myself.  Honest about my questions.  Honest about my doubts.  Honest about my failings.  The absolute hardest, though, is to be honest about my successes and my good qualities.  

As hard as it is to be honest about both the bad AND the good, that’s what I want in my life.  I want to live honestly.  Be myself.  Live intentionally.  I think this ties into my earlier post about experiencing life.  I can sit all day and think about who I am or who I seem to be and write pages and pages and pages of self-analysis in my journal…but until I go out and start experiencing things and testing my limits, I’ll never really know who I am and what I can do.  I hate saying that here because someone will read it (I know my mom does) and make me go out and do something.  And honestly….that just sounds scary and uncomfortable right now.