I was raised Christian. My daddy and I would go to church every Sunday, I had Sunday school year-round and vacation bible school in the summer. It all seemed very loving and I found comfort in it because that is the way I was raised. “God is up in Heaven, and he protects me from harm and makes sure I follow rules. Like a giant father in the sky, always watching.” Then as I got older and started to question what I had been be taught all those years, I got a lot of opposition from my dad about the whole thing. He told me I had to go to church if I was going to visit him, and that I had no choice. Maybe that is what made me rebel so hard. Maybe it was the combination of that and the new preacher at my dad’s new church kicking my dog in a moment of frustration at a church picnic. But from that period on, I never had a desire to go to church again.
Luckily my mom has always been the sort of person to encourage educated decisions, and supported my decision to explore other paths. At age 14 (in 1994) I was at a friend’s house and saw the book “Earth Power” by Scott Cunningham. I flipped through the pages and was fascinated. Everything I read seemed to be singing to my soul! I borrowed the book and read it cover to cover. I did more research online (my dad’s computer and the school’s were the only I had access to), and learned all about Witchcraft and Wicca. Not long after that I did my own dedication ritual. And from then on, I have considered myself Pagan. I have researched, read, socialized, and absorbed as much as I can about the faith.
Until recently. In 2009 my fiance died of a massive heart attack in front of me and my children. It was the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced, and it caused a huge crisis of faith for me. Due to the emotional and spiritual trauma, all of my intuition seemed to be stripped of me. I felt no connection to anyone or anything around me. I made a lot of bad decisions that were not healthy for me. Looking back, a lot the 2 years that followed his death are just fuzzy memories. Once I really got to healing in 2011, I started to get my intuition back a little at a time, and started to trust life a little at a time.
I started getting back into reading books about Paganism, I joined a few public gatherings and started making friends in the Pagan community here in Iowa and online through the Pagan blogging circles. I must say, I have made some great friends and had some amazing times. It has restored my faith in humanity, at least a little bit. I will always have a deep respect for the Pagan community, both locally and online.
But about 5 months ago (in March 2013) I found myself in a crisis of faith again. I had started getting more into researching the origin of human presence on our great planet Earth. I started researching the formation of the universe and everything within it. And I started putting together the pieces that I always knew fit together – Gods, Goddesses and all other religious explanations of natural occurrences around us were just our primitive minds’ way of making sense of things we didn’t understand. Now that science has evolved so much, and has been able to educate us as to why things happen, how things were made, and how things work… religion, to me, is rather obsolete. The more I learn, the less I believe in religion. I’d even go so far as to say it takes a great deal of ignorance (chosen or not) to put such great dependence on religion, both as a society and as individuals.
Now, I’m not saying if you are religious, you are stupid. I am intelligent enough to understand the psychological importance for religion. The need for company, so you don’t feel alone in this big world and you have the sense of hope to get through day after day of living. Trust me I understand. Some days I wish I could remove some of the knowledge from my head so that I could go back to blindly believing in the things that made me feel safe and secure. I have tried to relax and let go, but I faith cannot compete with the knowledge in my analytical mind.
So I am no longer associating myself with Paganism. I no longer claim a religion. However, religion and spirituality are 2 very different things, and I am still spiritual. I believe in energy. It is both scientifically and spiritually proven to affect everything, all the time. Positive and negative thoughts and feelings affect our physical bodies and the course of action that happens through a life time. If you believe bad things will happen, they will. If you believe good things will happen they will. And I also believe everything happens for a reason. Not a pre-planned, God-given reason… but a reason so we can grow and learn as spiritual beings. Hardships make us stronger, whether we like it or not. And everything that is lost, is not really lost. It still exists because energy is constant. It does not go away, but simply changes form.
In regards to my way of life… I still have respect for all life. Just because I don’t have a religion doesn’t mean I am going to go out and kill people, be harsh or cruel, hate, rape, or anything awful. That would be ridiculous. Because like I said, you live the life you believe in. I want a peaceful, happy life. I want to live in harmony with the planet on which I was born. I want to nurture and enjoy the land around me so that it gives back the same happiness and health to me. That is a big part of the reason I have decided to start natural living, as explained in many posts previous to this one. It is one of many steps I plan to take to make my carbon footprint as small as I can.
So anyway, that is where I stand today. Non-religions, spiritual, peace-loving, and free! Any questions?