Religion Is No Longer Apart Of My Life

Religion Is No Longer Apart Of My Life

I do not assume any justification on who is right or wrong and I do not discriminate between beliefs as I was raised to, mainly because having grown up around all different belief systems and ideals

Akoma52
Akoma52
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I believe and have faith in something greater than myself. I just do not give it a name beside the Universe, the Creator, a Higher Power, or the Source. I am more spiritual but have more so of a cocktail of beliefs from different beliefs I've learned and experienced. I do not assume any justification on who is right or wrong and I do not discriminate between beliefs as I was raised to, mainly because having grown up around all different belief systems and ideals. I have grown to realize that everyone agrees on the same things: love everyone unconditionally, remove those things that do not serve you, have faith in the source and just be a good fucking person!

At the end of the day, when the shit hits the fan and the world flips on its stomach, everyone will be praying anyway- FOR THE SAME OUTCOME! Even those who do not believe prayer of any kind works, they're gonna be like "please let this end!" To whom they're speaking- everyone has a name for it or a face or image they go to, or even carry with them. Every belief has a physical manifestation of whom they're speaking to- built up from having faith and love.

Guess what? I don't. I do not give the source a face because I believe the source is whatever I want it to be in the moment I need. And I am content with not having anyone image but many. I was raised to see a nigga with holes in his hands and feet spewing with humanitarianism but I changed to see a black woman full breasted, the color of caramel, and fruitful in every way then my image became like stars and energy waves flowing in nature...now I just am.

And this all teaches me to respect other beliefs both spiritual and religious. I understand growing up Baptist that Christians can only do what they've been taught is all they can do- "do what you can until you can't thanklessly then let go, let God, and pray." "Imma pray for you/Can I pray for you?" But plot twist... every belief does the same thing. The only differences are how prayer and worship are presented and executed. I'm just like meh, why trip? Why reject other beliefs because and only because I do not believe the same? I personally take the time to hear and give those with different beliefs to share with me. I would much rather give a safe space, or safer space, to share.

And with this, I do not take in with intent to convert or challenge but why keep someone from exercising what they've been taught, or attempt to change what they trust and believe as their own personal truth. I never understood how people can be that blinded and unsympathetic towards others. And for what? What does it prove to tell someone their beliefs are wrong? Why are their beliefs wrong and yours are not? I never understood this about religion in general.

I feel it is wrong to try to convert without consent. If I am not asking you to help me believe what you believe, please do not try and make me or tell me I "need to" or "should" or stop me from converting because "it isn't right". Who are you to judge someone else's decisions about what they believe? Why is that your business? If it does not affect you directly, shut the fuck up! And this is not a slight against Christians, nor Muslims nor Jews nor Buddhists nor any other religion or spiritual belief- no.

This is what I believe about religion, and why it is unimportant to me to force others or scare people into the same bind.

The root of religion is a Latin word Religare which means to bind. Why would I desire to confine my thoughts, my actions, myself to one belief? Why should I try when it doesn't make sense to. How am I supposed to find comfort in something or someone because someone else told me that is what I should do? Do I not have a choice in the matter? My parents would say no and that it is my duty as a "good Christian" to abide by the laws God set in place (which is not a fact...I can read) and spread to other people the "good word". Now, what does frustrate me is that there is written evidence of the spread of Christianity causing the total demise of entire civilizations- whole nations, including my own ancestors- and I know those who choose to be ignorant to that fact.

No, this is not something I would ever want to believe in, put my trust and faith in, or ever spread around. I do not see good in religion. I see good in people who act and are decent fucking people who allow themselves to sit back and not control other people and prevent them from also being decent fucking people. But that is also a choice.

Everything in life is a choice. The only thing that isn't is existing. Living and breathing- you. are. here. Live your life and let go. Be free. I do not see the point in confining to one belief when there are so many that all say the same things as yours. I do not like that life has been brought to us as a factor that needs control in every aspect. Life continues with or without you. Why try to control what just is? I make and made MY choice to not confine my mind and body to one belief. That's idiotic and frankly lazy in my mind.

However, I do know people who do believe in one belief and are not closed minded to the idea of sharing beliefs across the board. For example, they believe in Christianity but not all of it. Instead, they stem their belief system from teachings in the Quran, and maybe a more Eastern belief, while also practicing shamanistic rituals. And they are decent fucking people who live their life. Questions are asked with an open mind and they're answered without conflict of interests. This is how one grows and gains a wealth of knowledge. Sharing ideas and flowing freely between them is how communication and love and how to simply be a decent fucking person.

STOP CONTROLLING SHIT!

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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I Could Brag, But Why Should I?

Being humble instead of a handful.

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When it comes to the opportunities that have been presented to me, I have always been someone who prefers to remain levelheaded and grateful. I have never been the type of person to take things for granted, because I always knew that nothing is guaranteed to me, or to anyone, and nothing is permanent. This can, in part, be attributed to growing up part of a family that had been affected by cancer.

I have been able to remain humble, and I am, quite frankly, really proud of myself for that.

I have crossed paths with many people throughout my life who grew up in a manner that one might refer to as privileged or spoiled. Some of these people really showed it. I cannot speak for all of them, and it would be wrong to do so, because this generalization is one that feeds into negativity. However, I can fairly say that I have spent time with people who grew up in a world where all they knew was getting what they wanted, and honestly, I don't envy this.

When I was young, I dreamed of having a life where everything goes right. I think all of us have dreams like this at some point.

But as time went on, I began to realize, just like anyone, that life just simply doesn't work this way. Or at least, not for most of us. And you know what? That's okay. Actually, that's great. I think it's better that way.

The struggles and strife are what keep us appreciative of the other end of the spectrum. Without the bad, how do we learn to appreciate the good?

I could sit here and tell you I've been through a lot.

I could sit here and write all of the sob stories, the heartbreaks, the grief, the losses, the undeserved backstabs. I could ask for your pity, or your sympathy. But I won't, because that's not the point.

All of us have been through some sh*t, when it comes down to it. But what is telling is how we come out on the other side. Whether we allow those experiences to harden us and turn us into stone, or whether we take those experiences, let them shape our outlook, and use them as tools to grow into softer, wiser, more humble human beings, especially when we find ourselves in a time where things begin to go right for us.

I like to think I am the latter.

Right now, I find myself living the best life that I have thus far, and to be painfully honest here, I could brag. If I wanted to, I could brag about my wonderful friends and the incredible people I have in my life, whether they have been around for a while or only just joined the crew. I could brag about being able to follow my heart in New York City, which is home to my college campus and my dream summer internship. I could go on about the people I get to meet, the things I do, the places I go.

But what's the point? Why should I brag? To establish some bizarre feeling of superiority? To put myself on a pedestal? To use what the universe has brought me as a means of making others feel worse or inferior?

Why the hell would I want to do that? Why would anyone?

In times where we find our hearts happy and our lives fulfilled, sure, it can be easy to fall into a mindset that leads you to believe you are "better than". The real test is fighting this.

I can't say I have never given in and allowed myself to adopt that feeling. I don't really think any of us can sit here and pretend we have never ever acted superior, or felt it. We are human, after all.

But I don't think it is right to allow that feeling to take over, and I don't ever want to let that happen.

When that feeling takes over, we lose our graciousness. Our gratefulness. Our humbleness and humanity. We lose the things that make us, down to our cores, human.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound so good to me.

So, I will continue my daily commute thanking the universe for allowing me to have that. Even when the train is delayed, or the PATH train is crowded, or the tour groups take over the city sidewalks. I will continue to sit at my desk on days when work is slow and I will thank the universe for even giving me that desk, or that work.

I will continue to thank the universe for everything it brings me, because why shouldn't I?

Why shouldn't we all?

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