I would like to take this moment to straighten something out. I. am not. religious.
What does that mean for you? Absolutely nothing. You aren’t going to go to hell if you associate with me. It’s not a communicable disease that you will die from nor do I need to be beaten over the head with bible verses or the book itself.
Does this mean I don’t believe in “God?” Absolutely not.
Does this mean I’m just an unorthodox Christian (since I was raised that way) and I do believe in “God?” Nope.
“So you don’t believe in God?”
“You’re agnostic, then?”
I guess, if you had to put a word to it.
Here’s the deal: I was raised to fully believe in the Christian religion (as my entire family did). My entire family still practices this religion. I have nothing bad to say about this at all. Somewhere in my life, I had a few terrible experiences. One of them sitting in Sunday school (5 y/o), being among mixed company, and told that the reason God destroyed the tower to heaven was also the reason “all black people are cursed.”
This most definitely offended me even though I didn’t know what that feeling was called. I didn’t believe him, never did. Ever. Up to this point, I had believed Adults would never tell me a lie. Why would they? This changed everything and inevitably caused me to start thinking for myself.
Religions became a fascination as a teenager. I was curious about all the teachings they had. I researched and visited many places and asked many questions. I wanted to know why they did what they did and how it made people feel.
Feelings. Morals. Tradition.
It was only a couple of years ago that I really abandoned tradition. Why? Was there a traumatic event? Sort of, but only personally. I went through a really tough time, a depression. The darkest, deepest rabbit hole I had ever been in. I felt secluded and orphaned. I didn’t have anyone or anything (so I felt). My world had been shredded and I was left, frozen in the vacuum of space, laying on the bathroom floor.
What brought me out of it? It wasn’t reading the bible, praying, others praying, or going to church. There were a number of contributing factors, but the initial first step was Alan Watts, this video, this video, and this video.
This lecture has a new message for me, every time I listen to it. At that moment, though, it freed me. I started looking upward and absorbing the life and light around me. I stopped caring about abiding by a rule book and started working on being in sync with the universe. Regardless of anything, I realized that we are connected with everyone and everything little thing (#savethebees lol). I opened my heart and grew a backbone simultaneously. It was the most wonderful moment I had ever had and it was all because of me. I did it all by myself.
My family was one to never really force their viewpoints, but only because it was thought that you would adopt them into your own. I still respect that, as it played a large role in my upbringing. I still pray with them, acknowledge and support their beliefs because despite anything, it is real to them.
Can I prove that God is real? No, but I can’t prove that ‘he’ isn’t, either. I have my own feelings and ideas. I refuse to be stressed about it or conform to something that doesn’t make me happy. If I keep blinders on all the time, I’m going to miss something. I’m not a bad person. I am kind, giving, loving, forgiving, funny, bubbly person. That’s what is truly contagious.
My advice: Find your own way. Love and be loved. Be mindful of the world around you and appreciate all it has to offer. Don’t just follow the ant trail. Be Free.
Thanks for understanding.