Real Talk: Religion
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Real Talk: Religion

Real Talk: Religion

I'm from Louisiana. Our claims to fame are Mardi Gras celebrations so fat you'll want to move here, Duck Dynasty, and good old NOLA cuisine. We say y'all and bleshyou; we'll axe you a question and give you some lagniappe once you buy a few pounds of andouille sausage. With all this culture comes lots of comradery, but, at times, you bump into people who don't quite fit into the easygoing New Orleans lifestyle. Growing up in the south, I've had a lot of experience with religious people. For the most part, they are accepting and loving people. Despite my general belief in the overall good in humanity, I have come across some people who just don't make the cut for Santa Clause's "Nice List". We can all think of at least one person we've met that has just been a little too judgmental if you don't believe in what they believe.

That being said, for the longest time, I have been afraid of admitting this to my extended family… I am not religious. My dad's sides of the family were all born in either Texas, Louisiana or Mississippi… the very heart and home of extremely religious people. My mom's family members are, for the most part, from Spain- they are all Catholic and were baptized as such due to the former dictator, Francisco Franco, who fronted the new age reconquista and mandated that all children born in Spain were to be given Catholic names (the reason why half of my family is named "Maria of the {fill in the blank}").

I was born and baptized an Episcopalian by my very own grandfather (a priest). My parents were pretty set on allowing me to make my own spiritual choices, so I didn't do vacation Bible school or go to a parochial school, and I didn't really ever go to Church, except on special occasions. I have found that organized religion is NOT the best path for me. My goal in life is simple: I wish to be the light I want to see in others. What that exactly means, I do not yet know. I think my grandfather would understand and accept this principle- I mean, I hope he would... I would want him to be proud of my choices. There is a line in Shane Koyczan's poem Heaven, or Whatever: as he remembers a conversation he had with his grandfather about Heaven, the grandfather states, "You don't have to believe what I believe; its enough to be good. Be good." So I will be good. I will be light. I do not reject Christianity or any other religions, I just do not see my collection of thoughts and beliefs as something that needs to be labeled. I do not want to put a box around the light that I already am and cap off the knowledge I can learn from life.

I see life as a tree- yeah, you can keep climbing, but that tree is going to keep growing as long as it gets the nourishment it needs. I am never going to get to the top of that tree, BUT I can look out from my perch on the branch that I'm on and look at the beautiful view that I have. I don't see becoming a better person as a start and stop. You will always need some improvement.

Becoming the light that I want to be is going to be a never ending journey. I don't know if I would say I believe in reincarnation, but I do believe in The Law of the Conservation of Energy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. I think that the story of our soul, our energy, is never over. When I die, in any life time, somehow, I will get back to the tree. There will always be another branch to climb to and see the world from a different light.

On that note, during a time of so much global strife, do to judgement, hatred and bigotry, I urge you to double think your stereotypes you may have. Try to change your perception and see things in a different way. You might just end up making yourself happier.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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