Her Story: Changing My Religion

 

Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams- they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do- they all contain truths” 

-Muhammad Ali 

 

 

From birth, Christianity was stuck to me. I breathed, lived and ate all things bible. Growing up in a very religious home didn’t give room for self-exploration; propaganda of why Christianity was the only true religion was fed to me from every corner and ceiling 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t say I regret my days of going to church because those were the moments that shaped me to be who I am. By being so devoted to the church I had vowed celibacy till marriage, adopted generosity as a staple act and followed the wishes of my parents without hesitation. Through undertaking these characteristics I developed self-respect, grew to have empathy for others and created a strong bond with my parents. Although, however “pure” my actions were, they were always governed by fear; fear of going to hell, fear of not being able to live up to the demands of being a Christian, fear of being judged and fear of not having a purpose in life. However, I can credit my lack of teenage rebellion to my desire to be the best Christian 

 

My family are rather close with the Pastors in the church we attendthus I had the inside scoops of the governing within the place of God. One would expect that a place that teaches the word of God would uphold the same principles they taught but my observations consisted of gossip, hypocrisy and hatred (this is my own experience, I’m not saying that all churches operate in this manner). Of course, these observations only came in my late-teen years when I started to question a lot of things. Even with my doubts, I continued to embrace Christianity as my religion because my mother once told me that “Christianity is about your personal relationship with God”. So, I closed my eyes to how other Christians operated, focused on myself and tried to build a relationship with God. 

 

When I started University, I decided that I would focus on finding God, among other things. I joined a church, started reading the bible (not just learning the bible through the church) and prayed… a lot. The more I tried to get closer to God, the more I got confused. The bible contained a number of things that went against my values; I couldn’t connect with the church I was currently at, often unable to relate, and the desire to pray just wasn’t there. I was very much lost as a person since part of my identity was being a Christian.  

 

One day I was browsing through YouTube, when I came across a video by Simply_Kenna called Buddhism//How I See It (YouTube is not necessarily the best way to learn about religion btw). Everything she said intrigued me and that trigger an all-night research into Buddhism and the teachings of Buddha. I found that some of the values within Buddhism were within Christianity as well, however I felt that Buddhism conveys more of my beliefs and values and that Buddhism is more of a guideline/lifestyle, therefore more action-based rather than religion, which I feel is more faith-based 

 

 

 

 

                                                        https://i.ytimg.com/vi/l4DgASaxsws/hqdefault.jpg 

 

In no way am I bashing Christianity because it is a wonderful religion with great lessons and values; it just didn’t work for me. I even tried being atheist but I always felt like something was missing, and that’s why I think its always best to find what works for you as an individual, whether its being Muslim, Christian, Atheist etc.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am only a month into my transition into becoming a Buddhist; therefore I believe I still have a lot to learn about Buddhist practises and Buddha’s teachings before I can fully make Buddhism part of my identity. The greatest challenge will most likely be informing my very Christ loving family about the path I have decided to take. I’m not surwhen I’ll be ready to tell them; probably not anytime soon, considering how they reacted to me telling them I’m vegetarian (not well), but I am very excited about the journey ahead in discovering myself as a Buddhist.