Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on…
“It just makes me not want to be religious anymore,” I said.
She couldn’t handle it.
So she had him call to clarify the things I was confused about.
He explained how he was just as confused.
And somehow that made it all much clearer.
At one point I told him how I felt.
I told him how hard it is for me.
How every time I do something I don’t fully understand, I have to choose to believe that it’s right.
How I need to accept the yoke of God every single day for the burden it is…because it’s a burden for me.
How, when I see thousands of people screaming together about the God I think I recognize and the Torah I assume is the one and only there is, I am tempted to throw the yoke off because I will never be validated for my struggles.
Then he had to hang up.
“I love you,” he said.
I burst into tears.
“I could have used this 15 years ago,” I sobbed as I put down the phone.
“It all could have been so different!”
I cried and I cried…
Because my father taught me how to question but forgot to tell me he was still looking for the answers…
Because I thought there must be something I was missing if everyone else seemed to be happy just accepting things…
Because there was an entire world that was collapsing into itself and no one else thought to care…
Because I wanted so badly to connect to the religion and the culture I was born into but just couldn’t…
Because I felt so isolated in my quest to find God…
Because they should have sent me to that school that wasn’t religious enough for my family…
Because they should have shown me grey in a black and white universe…
Because I didn’t have to fight it so fiercely when there was another, legitimate way…
Because I didn’t mean to hurt them by rejecting what I thought was their belief…
Because all I ever wanted was to be as satisfied with life and religion the way I thought they were…
My father is the most brilliant man I know.
He has never stopped learning and changing and growing.
And I am watching him muddle through things I can’t navigate…and it doesn’t seem to shake his belief.
So for today…I will stay strong.
I will stick to my code…the one he taught me…and I will follow the law I believe in.
Because no one has the right to take that away from me.
It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fear that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all
Let it go!