As the anniversary of my father’s death approaches next month and my mother deals with her own health issues, I find it even more necessary to live in the moment and not predict or live in the future, nor even the past. Not that it brings heartache nor depression, not even sad melancholy. Just a reminiscence that makes me view the world and my life differently. The perpetual “what if…” questions we all have as more people we know pass on from this earth or continue their journey to whatever they believe happens afterwards, still make an appearance in my own thoughts, though these are happening less and less the older I get. This also goes for my past negative experiences as well as encounters. Really, it must be said that I am calmer and more balanced than ever. Sure, there are off days when the pressures do bring back old habits and less than desired emotions. I try so hard to not let these get to me in any negative ways. I’m not always successful. Always a work in progress and that will continue till my last breath.But lately, a new feeling has cropped up.
Over the 8 years since leaving the Jehovah’s Witness system of beliefs, most of those who were part of my extended family seemed to disappear. I rarely saw them anywhere, whether out and about or shopping at the market. Also realized that their preaching work had changed as I never saw them in either door to door work or on street corners. Occasionally I would see these new book and literature rolling carts appear at parking lots and the airport. And even then, those “working” these positions never seemed all too happy to be doing so. Sure, a few smiled and seemed to be OK with this. All I can say is, I’m glad I moved on. But where did they all go? Seems that time has arrived for them to reappear in my life, at stores, walking or the malls. And the same response as before is noted….snubbed at, noses in the air and a vibe that gave off the unmistakable scent of arrogance and a “holier than thou” attitude. Don’t smile or talk to me as they might become afflicted with the same worldly disease that plagued the other 4.99 billion people on the planet not privileged to be one of them. I truly find this sad, hypocritical and horribly destructive to not only those around them but themselves. Still, that is how they believe and it is hoped they will live again in a future without people like me and those I love.
Seeing these folks again has enhanced my own thinking and restarted my own mindfulness, each and every time it happens. Noting that the shunning and inability to even say hello or inquire as to health and well being of someone they once”held dear”, even after 30 years of being family, had begun to chip away at their appearance. Forlorn, drowsy in appearance and as if moving through life grieving every aspect of their existence. Really? Is that what I would have ended up like had I stayed? Those who left when I did or shortly thereafter that I have been in contact with have, for the most part, led MUCH happier lives with bright futures and a LOT less stress. My words here are not meant to be punishing those who stayed for maintaining their morals, ideals,beliefs or ideology. It is simply my own visual observation as well as one of feeling their energy, or lack of it. No passion, no fire, no happiness and a lot less of that positive attitude I saw years ago. Are they tired? Depressed? Sick of the rules,regulations and servitude to other imperfect men? Or a gathering of all of these dynamics? Fed up with never having time to themselves or their own families, giving all of it to the church? No matter what way one looks at it, I can honestly say that even though these folks are for the most part, good people, and kind, they just don’t seem to show it. And every day I live I’m happier I did not follow that same path.