They say you should never talk politics or religion in mixed company, right? Both are such loaded topics and particularly religion is not something I’ve ever discussed on this blog. But I’d like to touch on it this week.
I believe that religion and spirituality are incredibly personal. To me, every religion or belief system has its own merit. I would NEVER tell anyone what or who to believe in, just as I’d hope for the same respect.
I was born and raised Catholic. In fact I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through college, but I no longer consider myself Catholic. In fact, I no longer consider myself Christian. It makes me nervous to say that to you, partly because it was so ingrained in me for so long, but also because I know many of you have a deep relationship with Jesus. While I truly believe that’s wonderful for you, I’d hate to think I might lose readers because I have a different belief system.
So bear with me and let me tell you a little bit about my own spirituality and how my many years of religious education and beliefs affect me as a woman and mother.
I do believe in God. I believe in the energy of the Universe. The power of positive thinking. I believe in angels. That we go somewhere when we die. I believe that Jesus is the son of God just as each of us are beautiful sons and daughters of God. He was probably a very great man in his time, and spread very positive messages.
I also believe that other non-Christian religions are right for those who believe in them. At its core every religion teaches the same message of love, and that’s a very good thing.
But I’m also ok with those who don’t believe in God, a higher power, or life after death. They have a right to those beliefs too. It does not make them intrinsically bad or on a path to hell. In fact, I don’t even believe in hell.
There is both good and evil in this world, good and bad in people who are both religious and not religious. Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, etc who do both good and/or bad in this world.
As a mother, I want to teach my children respect for all belief systems. I want to let them explore all faiths and determine what they believe as the unique people they are. It is their right as human beings to find their own path.
As a woman with mental illness, I know believing in a higher power can have a great positive impact on my state of being. I can pray to God or the Universe on the bad days and by putting those positive thoughts into the world, bring positive thoughts into my heart.
I know many people who put their trust in God, give themselves over to Him for safekeeping and find joy and fulfillment in their lives. I also know people who put faith in themselves and create positive actions in their own lives to find their bliss. Both points of view to me are valid.
I’m going to be sharing a few varying points of view on religion, spirituality, personhood and parenthood in the coming days. I hope you have a chance to read each of them with an open heart. And perhaps learn something about our fellow human beings.
Does spirituality impact your own mental health, well being and parenting?