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12 October 2013 @ 01:59 pm
75% less convention  
I find myself drawn to pray in the strangest circumstances. Or better to say, I find myself connecting to God in odd ways, ways I wonder if other people do.

I was explaining how I like to go to rock concerts alone to find alone time with the Divine to my last girlfriend, and she thought it was delightful.

I may not have mentioned how much I find God in Final Fantasy games. Today, I wake up struggling with guilt and worry I've had since yesterday, and I go to FFXIII to shake it for a bit.

Vanille (my current Xbox avatar and my favorite character in the game) is trying to act cheerful while carrying a massive, and growing, burden of guilt. She knows she has to address it soon, but not yet . . .so she tries to keep a brave face on and take in the sights of a theme park city and a light-show festival.

I'm watching her, identifying, and suddenly I find I have space and peace enough to reach out and tell God, "I feel like I've messed things up, done them wrong, and I don't know how to fix them."

And prayer's a weird thing to describe, for people who don't pray. All I can explain is that sometimes on the heels of my own words (usually silent) I feel there's a response. An image flashes in my mind's eye, or I have the impression of words spoken back to me. In this case, the impression I get is, "that's a good start."

Just the confession and the sense of being heard brings more peace, enough to ask for help, enough to say, "I'm screwed up, I've hurt people, and I want to change."

And that's a start. It's enough to let my ribcage expand more easily and go back to the game, knowing the world at large remains and I've asked for help to be better at navigating it, at restraining myself so I don't cause more harm, even though change seems hard.

I was addicted to a lot of things, once, and then again, when I relapsed six years later. And both times, asking the invisible for help gave me the belief that I could change, and I did, and I got better. If this all sounds very AA, I never went to AA. These are just my experiences. Alone in a room or alone in a crowd, sharing my delights or fears or regrets or hopes, and feeling heard.

If my religion's an illusion, I find it a damn persistent and useful one.

Even if no one's gotten around to building the First Church of Final Fantasy yet.
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