I think we all want something to believe in.
A god, a deity, the stars, the universe, they all represent something greater than us that just maybe knows the answers.
Growing up, both of my parents were raised Catholic, but I think that was too much of a commitment for my family situation.
I remember asking my Mom, “What do we believe in?”
She gave me an answer somewhat along the lines of “A little bit of everything.”
There have many points in my life when I have been frustrated with this phrase. If someone could just tell me what to believe in, I would be okay.
I spent much of my time at a Methodist church which is a Protestant denomination. I did not ever really feel like I aligned with the views of the church, but it felt like something to be a part of.
Later, I am sure that most of us have had one of these experiences, one of my youth group leaders told me that I would have to be baptized or I would not make it into Heaven.
This was the beginning of my jaded view of religion.
I stopped going to the Methodist church. I missed this a lot because I was very involved in the musical production for services, but it felt awkward and like I was not really welcome.
My mom had us baptized because she wanted us to be able to choose.
I had a close friend growing up that went to a sort of Evangelical, Roman Catholic, modern church. (The ones that are involved in heavy politics and have the concerts that will pop up on your TikTok feed from time to time.) I am sure we all have one in mind.
One time, this friend invited me to a youth group meeting, and this was quite some time into my disconnection from anything religious. At the youth group meeting, the leader was talking about sex. You know where I am going with this. She got pregnant the first time that she had sex and she was so grateful that God blessed her with her child now it is her life’s work to inform children to not have sex until they are married.
Well, first this scared me, and then this left me confused and even more distant.
Out of all of my experiences, I do not think that religion is supposed to scare, turn away, or confuse people. I think I always knew that which is why it has taken me some time to find a practice and place that is good for me.
And I am still searching. I want something to believe in, but I do not think that it is just one thing. I think that, for me, it needs to be a combination of practices and places and times that I feel best fit what I believe in.
It has taken me so long to even get over the hump of wanting to be in touch with whatever I define my spirituality to be.
I am not alone when I say that I was jaded from spirituality for so long because I know so many people who still are. Even people now look at me funny as if I am trying to rebirth myself into something that is out of touch and exclusionary.
I now sing again at my church, the same church where someone told me I would not go to Heaven if I was not baptized. I now journal to the universe when things feel out of my hands. I go to a church with a woman pastor. I meditate with someone out there in mind when I feel really small.
I think it is okay to believe in something or at least to want to. Even after the not-so-pleasant experiences, we are still allowed to come home to whatever home is.
And it is always a work in progress.