Coming from a Bible-belt state, I often get asked about my thoughts and beliefs on religion, faith and spirituality. Growing up I went to both Seventh Day Adventist and Baptist churches. My parents believed we should be exposed to both. I took things away from both that I still use in my life today but I could tell, even at a young age, Christianity did not have all the answers for me.
Getting older and being exposed to more people, opened my eyes to other types of religions, faiths and spiritual belief systems. I began to realize the world is so much bigger than the Bible and Christianity and all its denominations. Education through talking, listening and reading really opened me to a better place. A place of love, understanding and a belief system that accepted more than just the Bible as the only “right” way to live life.
Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Wiccan and all the other faiths and religions have their place in the world as well. Life is not easy and as human beings, we need something to believe in to help keep us stable. Faith, religion and spirituality are about personal belief. About what feels right to the individual. Personally, I took something from all of them and joined it into something that works for me.
I cringe when I see people attempting to cram their ideas and beliefs down other’s throats. That they have the only right way to believe and anyone who does not is going to live a horrible life. No one ever has a right to try to force their ideas on someone else as the only right way. Believing other’s ideas and beliefs can have value or add something to our lives is the only way we grow. Without the ability to think and process for one’s self, we stay stunted, stuck in dark places.
I am still learning, so I attempt not to judge. I have to admit it gets hard at times when extremists enter the picture. But I believe with any form of faith, spirituality, religion or any point in life, everything is better somewhere in the middle ground then at the extreme outer edges. People have a right to choose how they want to represent themselves to the world in these aspects.
I am still be exposed to the world, as a result, my faith, spirituality and ideas of religion are constantly changing. I continue to grow. Proudly, I considered myself spiritual. I do not believe in one religion more than another. Parts of all of them make sense, while other parts do not. I have faith in the people or things that help make me strong, loving and continue to grow. I have faith in those who chose to make this world a better place. I attempt to be one of those people.