Before the age of 14, I cannot remember what my thoughts on religion really were. I do not know what I believed. I probably at least thought that I believed in god–there’s a good chance of that. I went to a Southern Baptist private school when I was 14. They insisted that I believe in god. Since there was a boy I liked that believed in god–so did I. When I left that school, my father had been dead for 4 months. I was no longer dating that boy that found god. I met another boy, he said he was atheist. Guess what? I was too! What a coincidence. This went on until I was 20. When I was 20, I went to rehab.
Through the first few years in recovery, it became very apparent that although I may have believed in god, I wanted nothing to do with that business. When I finally got unhappy enough, I accepted someone else’s beliefs and it worked for a couple of years. Then it again became apparent that I did not know what I believed and I was no longer willing to bend to those around me.
I really wanted to believe in god. I really wanted to be Christian. Maybe I wanted to want to be Christian. It would be so much easier, so much more comforting, if I believed that a god had a specific plan and purpose for my life, and that I would live eternally after I died. I just could not get behind this. I tried mixing beliefs. Buddhist beliefs about an afterlife and Christian god. There may be a god, I obviously don’t know for certain. I have been floundering around, becoming fearful of thinking too hard on spiritual beliefs because this always led to death and what happens. I am a controlling person, I like to know what is going to happen to me.
Recently, someone introduced me to Taoism through a recommended book. Next, I heard a women tell her story and she said something about god taking her defects of character away. My mind snapped shut and the levy broke. I went outside with my best friend after and I began talking about how action brings consequence. I cannot ask a divine being to remove a character trait I have and not try to remove it with my actions. Furthermore, if I want to not be a liar anymore, so I stop lying, I feel this was me, not a higher power, changing this. I believe that I am the chess master of my life. I do not believe that there is a being in the sky with a plan for me and I am just fulfilling his desire for my life. That does not make sense to me.
So I admitted this. I admitted that I do not hold with the idea of a divine being. I also admitted that I have been internally struggling with my beliefs for years. I did not realize that I was experiencing so much guilt and shame about not believing, so I just kept trying to talk myself into believing.
I was scared to tell my fiance, he is Christian, as is his family. I told social media first. I remained fearful of the conversation with him.
I told him, he said we need a 4 foot statue of Buddha in the house and also stated that he wants to know more about Buddhism because he doesn’t know much about it.
So now I am in a place where I get to pursue the spiritual path that I want. The more I learn, the more I love the ideas. I can’t not eat meat, that will never happen. That is okay, though. I get to believe whatever I want.