“It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through the opposite.”
The year has been a capricious one; upsetting then elating, elating then upsetting, confounding then enlightening, and then confounding again. It is as though fate takes a secret pleasure in watching us fumble like clueless thespians across a stage. This has also been the most intriguing of all my years, and if any should have the greatest influence on my thinking and attitudes, it would likely be this.
I remember during the Easter period, just days before my baptism, I had begun to doubt the honesty of my faith, and worried that my acceptance of the blessings might have come more from a mechanical need for progression than from a genuine desire to live in the spirit. But I went ahead anyway. Some days I drifted; rejecting the scriptures, and thinking them merely woven up tales. But at the same time, because my belief in God remained unfaltering, I thought myself perhaps in the wrong religion. I thought that perhaps I belonged to Buddhism, Hinduism, some other Christian denomination, or even to none at all. There were also days where felt as if I could accept, without qualms, everything about Catholicism. My spiritual compass was vacillating madly.
Finally, I arrive at the present, content and at ease. Though I am not as much convinced of the truth of the gospel as I am of objects of reality, I am convinced of its truth as it were a tale. I am also convinced that it is necessary in uniting all in the same faith, and in providing some semblance of direction towards which we can strive. If we each believed in a mystical God of our conception, then we shall only be able to pray alone, for no one else will know who it is you are praying to or what end and purpose you are seeking. This goes against the supposition that God serves to unite people, which quite seemingly implies that were anyone to reject the gospel, he were really rejecting God’s attempt to unify. So now, I believe in the gospel, not as a historical account, but as a parable told to me by God. And that has brought to rest all my anxiety.
I will also always remember this year for having plunged me into a state of heartache and despair. Love I had gained so unexpectedly, and so unexpectedly, love I had lost. I had only begun to settle into its profound bliss when it ended. In the days after, the shock continued its pulsations and I could find no joy in anything or in doing anything, and so I retreated into the confines within. I kept thinking about everything, and everything I thought echoed infinitely within those confines. Slowly, painfully, I learned from them – I learnt lessons about love that I shall never forget, I learnt that life springs all the time in possibility, I learnt to cherish all other things I had, in my mesmerized state of love, ignored, I learnt to give myself a personal direction, to live independently of another’s desires. Most of all, I felt more free, more liberated, more emancipated than I have ever been. Also, I am writing now only because of that episode, and retrospectively, I am glad it happened the way it did, as painful as it was and as much as I might have enjoyed myself still being in it. There is nothing that which God puts you through that does not have a purpose.
So it was, that I passed through the opposite of the many things I desired, and though some were disorienting and others tormenting, God had never once left my side. And when finally he lifted me from the dreary bottom, I reach the surface and find myself satisfied.