I grew up in the church. My family identified as Christian, but to be honest the practices of Christianity weren’t heavily implemented by my family. We went to church on Sundays, said prayer sometimes and that’s about it.
As I got older, I wanted to know more about the religion. I am not one to blindly follow anything and if I am going to be apart of something, I will make sure I thoroughly research first. So that’s what I did. I spent countless hours reading the Bible. I researched the history of the religion and devoted myself to learning all that I could about the religion.
From doing research , I began to have questions. My mom didn’t have the answers nor did my pastor. I thought how could they follow something they don’t know everything about.
From that moment, I opened myself up to other belief systems. At the time I was already in University, so it was the ideal climate to explore different things.
I researched Eastern religions( Buddhism, Hindu), the 5 percent nation, the Islam faith, and atheism. I inquired and looked into it all.
What I came to realize was that they were all similar in some ways. There was a larger than life figure/s whom they followed. A set of values they lived by and if you were not to follow through with the values there were some consequences.
Even in atheism, you are commiting to not believing in deities. That’s a belief in itself.
“Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat wearing Muslims.”- Yann Martel
I thought, I don’t need any belief system to tell me what to do. I know what is right and wrong. I wanted to be freeeee. For me, what that really meant was I didn’t want to hold myself accountable to anything. So I said I would never follow another religion again.
As I travel and learn, I’ve come to realize almost everyone has a set of codes they live by. Whether it’s dictated by a religion, a group, or a choice of career.
Let go of the idea of perfection
As humans we are flawed. Even though sometimes we know the right thing to do we still don’t do it. What religions and ways of life offer us is rules to abide by to hold ourselves accountable. It offers us something bigger than ourselves when our human qualities fail us.
And while they may be flawed themselves, we have to realize nothing or no one is perfect. There will always be a negative side to everything. So it’s more than just about choosing a specific religion or way of life. It’s about choosing it and then staying dedicated and committed to follow the codes it provides. No you don’t need religion or anything outside of yourself, but you do need to have a set of codes you live by.
Also with relationships. THERE IS NO PERFECT PERSON OR RELATIONSHIP, it’s about choosing who you want and then staying committed to them, if that’s what you want.
I do think one of the flaws of my generation is that we can’t stick to anything. While I think it’s good for us to break away from what we were told we should do or believe, after we’ve had our time of exploration there has to be a decision made. Once that decision is made you have to hold yourself accountable to stay committed.
Nothing great comes from wavering and not staying committed. Whatever you choose, stay the course.