Why A Crisis of Faith Sucks

Why A Crisis of Faith Sucks June 8, 2012

Remember my writing about going through a crisis of faith? Yeah, that’s still happening. It’s been several months now, and no sign of getting better yet. A good story has an arc, a progression, and a satisfying conclusion. This isn’t proving to be a good story.

What happens is first you begin by denying that you’re going through a crisis of faith. You brush it aside and plunge forward regardless. Eventually it reaches the point where it can no longer be ignored. It pisses you off. So you decide to nip it in the bud with a prescribed course of action. You will fix this. You have a program. You will be smart about this and find the resources and support you need. You will shake up your practice and do something new. You will give yourself space to listen, relax and care for your own soul. You’ve got this.

And then months later you have to face that despite all your band-aids, all your programs, plans and resources, you are still in a crisis of faith.

That’s when you first begin to despair. That’s when you get wild-eyed and panicky. That’s when instead of being proactive and looking for solutions, you just want to hide under your blankets for a week. You want to cry and nurse a bottle of wine and stare at all your books as if they were silent stone.

This is where I am right now. It sucks.

I look back at my “brave post” and laugh. Did I really feel that confident I knew what was happening in my own soul and the best way to fix it? Did I think I was fooling myself? I read that post and see all the things I did not say, and the spin I put on the things I confessed. I wasn’t trying to fool my readers, but I was desperately trying to hoodwink myself.

Forgive the expression, but I was talking out my ass. Still am. I lack a depth and authenticity to my voice, and only know how to “fake it til I make it.” It should not surprise me that my horoscope for this week contains this wisdom:

The German religious reformer Martin Luther was fond of referring to the faculty of reason as a “damned whore.” He believed it gave itself in service to any old theory, often propping up specious arguments rooted in hidden emotional agendas.

I don’t know about you, but I have been guilty of “whoring out” my reason in the past. In the present. Maybe even in the future. Maybe without even realizing it. Maybe I’m doing it now. How the hell do I know? I’m in the midst of a spiritual crisis.

Along with your spiritual infrastructure crumbling around your head, you become wary of any light that shines in your spiritual darkness. While it may be the tools you need to save yourself, it could well be another false-start. Yet another program and schedule to try to make order out of something so blatantly destructive and chaotic. Analyzing a map as you’re falling topsy-turvy through the abyss.

But I have to say, that as a Pagan, the scariest part of a crisis of faith is that your only prior experience to draw on is the crucible that brought you to Paganism to begin with, and no one wants to go through that twice.

So this post is not merely to update folks on where I am spiritually, but to express love and sympathy for anyone going through something similar. It will get better. I hope.

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