Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thou Shalt Not

Warning - gonna go deep for a moment. Avert your eyes if necessary.

So, yesterday, Pappa Razzi decreed that there were new sins. Among these are no-brainers such as "polluting the environment" but also questionable categories such as "genetic modification." But, as I was learning about our new list of No-Nos by the Vatican, I wondered about that phrase in general: No-No. By it's very essence, it negates.

Being a recovering Catholic, the young Me would never have questioned this. Don't do this, don't do that -- it was all commonplace. Lying = bad = don't do it.

But, in contrast, why not live life in an affirmative?

The older Me questions worldviews that cut life up into black and white and tell people what not to do. In other words, instead of telling us not to pollute, why not tell us to respect the Earth? It may be semantics, but semantics are sometimes powerful things.

I look at it this way. There's lots of people that say "I don't/won't eat: meat, sugar, cooked food, carbs, dairy..." And so if you (accidentally, natch) consume one of these things, you are breaking a rule. You are bad. (And, of course, if you live by Church tenets, then you have to go to Confession and be absolved of all your sins by an outside force, a Father).

BUT ... if you say, "I eat healthy," well, that can mean a lot of things. For me, that means not consuming meat and trying my best to rely on local and/or organic and/or less processed foods. But if I happen to really want to eat that box of Caramel Delights I bought from the Girl Scouts, well.... I just might. Because sometimes sugar and chocolate and coconut and caramel formed together in a chewycrunchy combination of sweetrichness feels healthy for me.

I'm trying to live my life less and less in a state of negative absolutes and more and more in a state of positive acceptance. That doesn't mean that I'm allowing myself to do everything. (For example, still choosing not to drink on schoolnights.) I'm just trying to realize that maybe life isn't about rules, so much as about attitude. Approach it with a sense of gratitude and acceptance and life itself becomes much more fulfilling.

I think. I hope. We'll see.