Almost end of the 2013, and so much has happened. Beyond reading articles, blogs, and learning new ideas such as subaltern, it has led me to step into 2014 with a stronger “you aint seen nothing yet” perspective! Meeting different people has forced me to really understand that there are an infinite ways of living life. For example, as much as I grew up with friends of different religions, and as curious and accepting as I was about their ways of worship, I never met people who either didn’t believe in a God or were on the fence. It had become the norm for me that God appeared and related to the diverse people I knew in diverse ways and they had the right to safely worship that way.
However, it seemed (even for the open-minded lady I thought I was) to understand that others didn’t believe in God was hard. It was hard for me I guess because it seemed in conflict with my understanding of the world and it forced me to question my own beliefs. When I saw people who went about their lives with what appeared to be a limited involvement with spirituality, I thought they were just busy or consciously taking a hiatus from the religious guidelines. For some, it may have been the case but for others it wasn’t. There are people ok with not returning to the folk or finding a flock. This was odd for me to digest.
I have experience with people who are so sweet and do not identify with God. They do not seem lost or misguided or in need to belong to flock. At the same time I know people who solely identify with their faith leading them to at times come across as intolerant and judgy. I think there are a lot of positive services spiritual communities can provide for society and I have enjoyed them. Spiritually based organizations have had hurtful impact historically and currently. There are developing shifts within religions that might speak to atheists. Preaching on prosperity and hope is very popular and Joel Osteen is providing that. But this is not with no debate if its right. Thinking of all these things has allowed me to experience clarity at one point yet doubt the next.
This feeling of confusion, I feel has led to a trend of it being almost the cool thing to not have a conviction, to be on the fence, have no emotions towards Big questions of life. I think its great to point out inconsistencies but also to do your own research and come to a conclusion…even if its wandering. I think that’s what agnostic is, but who needs a label?
I find it difficult when people ask what am I as I know they automatically will assign judgement on what they think I am. The world has changed when stating your christian was the norm. Now, its seems trending to mock others beliefs more than ever. That is something I wish would stop for all lifestyle choices. I wish it didn’t matter what form of spirituality you adhere to. But I guess it does. Religion is a powerful tool in society and always has been. It has been used to do great things and used to do horrible things. As an Afropolitian, I think what my ancestors worship, what peace did they derive from it and how difficult was it when everything around them changed including their religion. The way religions have changed over the centuries leas me think that maybe we as people are more than their detailed rules and guidelines. And that if groups of people can switch religions, groups of people can opt out and it’s not the end of the world.
As a child, I always had the big questions but always felt a spiritual connection to learning about the Bible and other sacred texts. I now as an adult enjoy philosophy and learning about other religions that aren’t mainstream. I’m frustrated, excited, happy with my spiritual journey. I enjoy the freedom to wander that the society affords me. We are on the right track I believe.
I enjoy learning more about spirituality and different options. I have experience attending various denominations, youtubed informative debates on religion and the state, had great conversations with a Muslim cab driver, and intense debates with friends. I plan to share my opinions on various new spiritual ideas out there on my blog. Many are searching, questioning, and it’s okay. It’s okay to wander a bit, there should be no pressure on anyone to find a label if they don’t feel like its the right one. The lesson have learnt going into 2014, is not to judge if someone is super confident in their atheism or their religion, or if they are wandering. It will take bravery to set on this journey and courage to become comfortable with wandering and confidence that you are not lost.