April 16, 2013

BLESS YOUR HEARTS


Bless your hearts.

If you are from the South, you likely just read that title in a southern accent, and then you probably smiled.  If you’re not from the South, then I almost feel badly that you probably don’t receive these blessings nearly enough.  This is Southern Speak.  It’s just who many of us are.  “She got so drunk she lost her shoe, bless her heart.”  I’m not sure any of us really put great thought into what the word bless means.  We’re just southerners.  We bless people.  Around here, black people always tell me to “Have a blessed day.” I love that!  I love being blessed.  I love feeling the positive energy from a fellow person spilling over into my own personal energy field and offering a soothing vibration.

Here in Louisiana, we even have a special blessing-type slogan regarding our football team, the Saints.  It’s “Bless You Boys!”  That’s right.  We bless the heck outta those boys.  That’s why they kick your asses regularly.  Umm hmm.  Dat’s right.

Lately I'm more aware that the invention of Facebook has caused the neat and tidy little bubble that I was raised in to burst.  I’m not sorry about it.  It’s good to know stuff.   Good to expand your world.  I’ve realized that some people don’t appreciate ‘blessings.’

In fact, they are downright offended by ‘blessings.’

This photo appeared on my feed yesterday.  It was posted by a friend.
 
It’s a traffic sign on the Causeway over Lake Pontchartrain.  The first comment about the photo was from an agnostic person, who posted to say that he was OFFENDED by this sign.  He cited the separation of Church and State provision.  He asked what about the people who don’t use blessings.  Of course I responded by saying something that I LOVE TO SAY…”It’s called freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.” 

I couldn’t help but wonder why this person was so bothered that some highway workers wanted to offer blessings and good tidings to the people of Boston.  People are DEAD.  An 8 year old child is DEAD.  That hurts my heart in a special, stabby kind of way.  It causes me to get that familiar hurt-y lump in my throat, and then I breathe fast and wonder if I shouldn’t take my kids to the Jazz Fest or any large sporting events.  I am immediately reminded of the trauma we all lived through here in this house.  I'm acutely aware that these families will be facing similar trauma.  And I know without a shadow of a doubt that the blessings and good tidings and well wishes and positive vibrations from others are indeed what carried us through a period where we could not have been left alone.  We would have certainly survived without those blessings.  But don’t we want more than to merely exist?

I’m here to tell you all that I’m offended that you’re offended!

That’s right.  Ya hurd me?  I’m OFFENDED that you are OFFENDED.

Here’s the thing.  A blessing is really the same thing as saying “Good tidings”.  No one is asking you to kneel down and pray, heathens.  We are simply spreading good will. 

I’ve heard many agnostic people stating that they are ‘not bad people’.  They are not harboring evil.  They just don’t believe in what others believe in, and they don’t want to pray or be around people who pray.  And to that, I say, “OK.”  Sounds fine with me.  I will refrain from kidnapping you and tying you up with jump ropes and driving you to my Catholic Church and asking you to kneel down and pray.  Yeah, I’m gonna stop doing that to people, okay?  Because to each his own, right?

But I am not going to stop blessing people.  I’m going to keep saying GOD BLESS YOU when you sneeze and expel that demon and I’m going to keep saying BLESS HIS HEART, HE’S SUCH A PRICK, and I’m going to keep bursting with happy when black ladies tell me to HAVE A BLESSED DAY.  Sometimes, I even pretend I’m black, because I almost am, and I say HAVE A BLESSED DAY too.

Why be so offended by those who wish to release good vibrations into the universe?  Are we brave enough to ask people to stop spreading joy?  After all, our prayers and blessings are joyful.  After yesterday, are we brave enough?  After Connecticut, are we brave enough?  After all the BAD that is in this WORLD, would you really dare to say no, we do not need these good tidings at all.  In fact, let’s try to live with less positive energy in the universe.  Less blessings and prayers.  
Some agnostics will no doubt say, “The prayers aren’t working!”  They will say that Boston and Newtown are proof.  And to you I say, how do you know?  Might it actually be worse if all these lunatics weren’t praying and blessing us all up and down and side to side? Have you thought about that?  My prayers are not hurting you.

I’m getting pretty damn tired of being asked not to pray. In fact, just to piss you off, I’m praying FOR YOU.  That’s right!  How ya like me nah?

I’m blessing you.  I’m blessing everyone.  And I’ma keep doing it.  You can’t stop me.

So, GOD BLESS YOU.  BLESS YOUR HEART, YOU POOR SOUL WITH ONLY A HORIZONTAL VIEW OF THIS UNIVERSE.  HAVE A BLESSED DAY. 

35 comments:

  1. LOVE YOU! LOVE THIS POST! I have many friends who are atheist and agnostic and are still able to respect my feelings and thoughts - so it always bugs me when others are so closed minded. You are not only being mean and hurtful you are giving others a bad name. Grrrrr...
    My mom is from Boston, she met my Dad in Boston. I love that city (as prickly and pissy as it can be). As a Boston lover I would like to ask for all the prayers, all the good thoughts, all the love in whatever form people are comfortable sending it. Pray, meditate, donate to the Red Cross, give blood locally, tell your family and friends that you love them. The more we can respond to things like this with love and positive action the better off we all are.
    Plus you know what? It's what Jesus would do.

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  2. I love this! Bless your little pea pickin heart! 'cause that's the way us okies say it! Positive thought and prayers for you and yours and all of Boston. Peace to all of us!sb

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  3. Preach, mutha! Thank God for you and people that keep spreading the positive vibes, even when people get all bitchy and try to shut it down! They even tried to shut down the Easter Bunny this year - Spring Bunny my ass.

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  4. Well, as long as there are Southerners, we will keep right on "blessing their hearts" and offering them a big ole glass of sweet tea!

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  5. It is a shame how ignorant people are. I for one am an atheist (mostly anyways, I believe in energy more than a God) and I have my own very good reasons but it will never stop me from praying for others because it takes an entire 30 seconds of my time and just may help others. It doesn't hurt me. Nor does it hurt me if someone prays for me or blesses me. It would be nice if agnostics and other atheists could quit being shit heads. I look at religion like a penis, it's fine, it can be beautiful, and it's all good until you shove it down my throat. I, as an atheist, will pray for these people, and guess what? It won't hurt me. Keep on speaking the truth Jerri, you rock!

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  6. I LOVE this<3

    I totally respect other people's rights to believe as they want, however; I have the right to pray for you whether you like it or not... I won't expect you to pray for me:-).

    Fabulous post... as always <3

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  7. Here, here! If I want to bless you whether you accept it or not, how does that hurt you??? In no way whatsoever! Thank you mad woman for another great blog post :) Be blessed and bless others (you already do that though!)

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  8. Lovely Post! I am not a religious person, but I think it lovely for others that do believe to bless someone else. Really it is to have hope that the other person is take care of, and that things will be good, or get better for that person. Thats how i see it, as a caring guesture. Its silly what people take offence to. Its almost like they are afraid of religion.

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  9. As an agnostic, I'm offended too when people brush off other's faith. I wish I had it. I really do. But that does not stop me from taking others blessings. Or when they say "I'll pray for you." Hey, I'll take all the prayers I can get because clearly I'm not doing it. I don't know if it helps, but it can't hurt. Just as I don't want people pushing their faith on my by telling me what I should do - I don't push my lack of belief on people telling them what they should do. I think that is the right kind of person to be if you're a non believer.

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    1. WELL Said!!!! That is the right attitude to have.

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  10. I love this, and bless your heart for writing it! While I may not believe in the same things other people believe in, I am not ignorant enough to think I know best. I say keep on blessing, praying, sending good vibes and love and light. Even if someone feels you are just throwing mud against a wall, throw enough of it and something has to stick...

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  11. I always say 'Merry Christmas' in December and am often times responded to with 'Happy Hanukkah'. Blessing all around. Great Post! Bless you.

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  12. I HURD YOU! I was born and raised in Baton Rouge and now live in the New Orleans area. I have a Saints shirt that proudly says, Bless You Boys! Prayer does change things. I see and hear about it every day. I'm living proof of it. I hate being censored. Probably why I blog. BTW, Have a blessed day! ;)

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  13. Awesome. There's nothing else to say except...AWESOME.
    The whole freedom of religion thing is going away because so many morons whine about separation between church and state. But this is just a loop hole they can use to be asses and put down Christianity. I'm scared for those people. Eternity is a long time to be in a bad place.I'm in the south too and I say bless her heart as much as I say hello. ;)

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  14. This has got to be the best post I've read in ages!!! I'm from Georgia and it pisses me off too that people are offended. I suppose they'd be happier if we condemned them hell? Anyway....great post!! Bless you sugar ;)

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  15. I LOVE this post! Blessings!!!

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  16. Being a local & a Southerner I always thought when I'd hear people say "Bless her heart" that it was the polite way to say "What an idiot, God help her, God help this stupid idiot!!" But I am all for blessings- no matter what you believe, being good to one another is universal.

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  17. Bless your sweet mama heart! I loved when I moved from Kentucky to New Orleans after graduation and people in N'awlins would call me dahlin' or babeee. It made me feel so welcome. More importantly, God bless all people, especially those affected by the tragedy in Boston.

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  18. I just stumbled across your blog.....and I am from Boston. We are heartbroken and devastated here but seeing your blessed post warmed my heart. It is a beautiful thing to see the support from across this blessed nation. So many good people in this country and we have to believe that good will always beat evil. It's a wonderful sign and thank you for blogging about it. Might this Boston Catholic dare to say "Have a blessed day!"
    Michelle

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  19. I could not agree more! I'm from southeast Texas and live about 45 min away from Kountze, if you haven't heard, their cheerleaders made signs for the football games last fall that had Bible verses on them. I'm sure you can google it, it made national news. ONE parent complained that it offended them and it ended up in the court systems. The judge ruled they could continue to have the signs but the actual trial is this summer I believe. Why does there even have to be a trial? It's ridiculous. I'm with you, I'm offended their offended. If we don't start standing up for what we believe it soon things are only going to get worse for this country.

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  20. I love this and needed this in my heart today to make me realize that I am not the only one shaking my head at this messed up world and wondering what is wrong with people! BLESS YOU!!!!

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  21. I LOVE YOU! A friend of mine just turned me on to your blog today. I'm 35, southern, live in Atlanta, my husband took his own life almost 6 years ago, he was 36, have an 8 yr old little girl and am now your newest, biggest fan.

    Keep up the good work- your blog totally made me smile! And I needed to smile!

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  22. As an atheist, I can understand feeling weird when someone ASKS me to pray for something. It's uncomfortable, the same way I imagine it's uncomfortable when someone wants to pray for someone and another person explicitly says, "Don't pray!" It's almost an invasion of my choice to do something in my own head.

    But, to get offended because someone else IS praying. Not asking you to do it, too. Just going about their business praying and blessing and all that--that kind of offense is just bizarre, and wildly inappropriate. I have the right to not be subjected to religion in the sense that no one can tell me to do it, but it doesn't mean that it invalidates other people's right to believe what they do. Atheists are a minority in this country, and while we have the right to go on believing and acting as we wish (as long as it isn't hurting anyone), but in a true Democracy we must accept that sometimes majority rules. Majority believes in some form of God. Live and let live, ya'll.

    So, you go on blessing people, and praying. It's not hurting anyone, and some who were harmed may even draw some comfort from it, and that--more than anything--is what truly matters.

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  23. I re-posted Thank you..SO well said!

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  24. As an Atheist, I am not offended when someone offers me prayers or blessings any more than a Christian would be offended if I wished them a nice day or told them I was thinking of them. Positive energy comes in many forms. I accept all of them.

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  25. Thanks for blessing me! The devine is everywhere, I believe. So no, I don't do church and speaking to jesus, but I pray, for people, for myself, when I feel like it. And I love that people do believe in Good and spread it. I actually wish people where more spiritual. I feel spirituality is not e evenly spread. Some are *really* pushy, hardcore believers, and then there are the allergics.more *moderate* believers would be nice if you Ask me. I admit I was offended once when a woman Who never was really nice to me asked me to sit down and send healing thoughts to my mom, She said She would make sure my energy would get to her. Might sound nice but I was spending all my time with my momma and gave her my love directly. So I told that lady She could do that by her self, thanks for the good intentions.

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  26. Premenstral in KCApril 18, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    The atheist, agnostic and offended people out there have raised enough conflicts and lawsuits that anything religiously based is seen as a liability in the public sector. I am offended that my kids do not have a bible in their school library because of this liability paranoia. That is fine because we have plenty at home. The atheist, agnostic and offended people out there that try to oppress the rest of us have nothing to worry about because their products will be blessed with a bible when they go to prison. That is right take the Bible out of the schools, but you get one in prison.
    Feel the higher power and hope when told to have a blessed day. All others, shut the hell up.

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  27. Thank you from Singapore :) And here's a dose of South East Asian blessing right back at you!!

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  28. I love you! I am a northern white girl and I am not a big Religious supporter as far as picking one religion and sticking with it, I believe in the good in this world wherever it comes from! And guess what....... have a BLESSED DAY! The world over!! Bless Everyone!! And Keep it coming!

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  29. Gurl, this post is totally awesome! Bless you!

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  30. Where are you Mad Woman?!?! I check this page every day for a new post.. I'm super sad I haven't been able to read your amazing and thought provoking stories. Please come back soon!

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  31. I have been absent from reading your stuff for a little while. This was the first one I picked at random. You crack me up! I still want to give you one of my little books.... at least look at the cover and send me a PO Box on FB so I can share this with you.. www.thesoundofsnow.weebly.com Either way - You Rock! God Bless You and God Speed Ahead!

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