So I have decided to write for an hour everyday for the next 30 days. I am going to have to take something with me to Hawaii for writing, be it a computer or a notebook. I thought about waiting until we returned home to start this, but I like the idea of being away from everything and continuing to write. I’m hoping that by the end of the 30 days that my writing isn’t as painful as I feel that it will be these first few days. I used to be able to just sit and the words would start flowing in a way that was at least easy to follow and could get a specific point across. I feel now like I am struggling to just get the words to come out of my head and on to the paper or computer.
Maybe I am just being affected by the people around me? Is it possible that my brain has decided that in order to protect itself that it had to shut down to the ignorance around me. Or maybe, and most likely, I am just lazy and out of practice. I am currently listening to three kids next to me trying to discuss speaking Spanish. The first kid said that he spent a summer in Spain, and therefore speaks the “People’s” Spanish. He then said, “it’s like college professors and Ebonics. The people in Spain that I was around, they spoke like Ebonic-Spanish and you would have learned in your classes like ‘Professor Spanish’.” The girl then said, “Well, isn’t it more like Old English versus slang English? I thought Ebonics had been termed a different language?” I feel just a little bit dumber for having heard this conversation and even dumber for having heard what it through its resolution. But again, I am pretty positive that I’m more out of habit and lazy than anything. Here’s hoping for better writing horizons.
I have been having a reoccurring conversation these last few days revolving around religion. I have stopped myself several times from writing about religion as my very first topic, but I can’t get it out of my head and it seems as well that the world or universe is hell-bent on making me talk about it, so why not write about it?
I have CHOSEN to be non-religious. This does not mean that I have decided to live without morals or without a greater purpose. It also was not a decision that I took lightly or made without consequence. I have been searching for God and the truth as I can comprehend it for almost as long as I can remember. Seriously, I have. The first conversation that I can remember having about it was when I was six. The answer to my questions at that time was, “There are certain things that you are just going to have to take on faith and accept that it will be made known to us when we die. If you keep looking to science to give you answers you will fall away from the church and that is a path that leads to hell.” I feel it is important at this time to say that I understand the things that were told to me then and that I am not mocking, discrediting, or speaking badly of religion or theologies, but that I am trying to paint a picture of my own spiritual journey and decisions. I decided that I would have to accept faith as the answer and not look further into my doubts. This worked well for me, but I was always on the outside borders of being a good follower. I would accept and be faithful and then start to question more and more until the point of breakdown which usually consisted of a few hours of intense sobbing, music, reading, searching, and praying until I could find peace somewhere in the scriptures to help me “feel” God again in my life. This would honestly happen consistently about every 6 months, where I would have to reinvest myself into the religion, from the time I was 9 until I was 19. When I was 20 I went to college and started a nonstop journey to solidify faith and commitment to religion. I started searching and devouring the scriptures and literary works. I went to religion classes in college, engaged in as many conversations regarding religion as I could. Some were positive, some were not. I decided, unsuccessfully, to try to serve a mission for my church and when that didn’t happen I just continued to tread this path of spiritual progression. I would falter and fail at times and have to start over. But I was determined to do good by my God and to follow the ways I had been taught. After failed relationships, marriage, school, and attempts to escape my life, I ended up in the ultimate display of my beliefs. I was married and sealed forever to spouse, I was involved with the young women and scouts in my church, and living life to go to our temple every week. After all of this my marriage fell apart, I left my positions in my church and I back a ground zero. I was constantly struggling with anxiety and feelings of extreme guilt.
This was my breaking point. I didn’t decide to leave the church all together at that time, but I did decide to let go for awhile. It was a hard choice and not one I took lightly, even though it may have appeared otherwise. Shortly after my 27th birthday and my break from church and the divorce I moved to Nebraska. I was suddenly 1000 miles away from the closest person that I knew and surrounded by a new culture and environment. I had no car, no friends, and nowhere to shop that wasn’t online. I quickly lost myself in this anonymity and found that I liked being able to start over. I tried it on for fit, and loved the way it looked on me. Have you ever heard the term too much of a good thing? Well, let’s just say that there were many moments in this new life that I am not proud of and that I had to learn some hard lessons from, but, all in all, I started to realize that without the heavy presence of God or religion that I was much happier all around, I had less stress and more peace in my life. I still had my ups and downs, and as I just stated I had a lot of learning and growing to do-some of which I excelled at and others I failed at- but I came to love the town I was living in, the people that surrounded me, and felt like for the first time I had a real home and place where I belonged. I had my place. Finally sleeping without the aid of sleeping pills and no longer struggling with anxiety I made my permanent break. I was still going to church here and now and after several meetings we decided to part ways. Council was held and I complied and said that this was what I wanted, and I understood the decision that they would make, whatever it may be.
And that was that. It was my 29th birthday when I received the letter informing me of their decision and I decided to move forward with trying to really develop my own belief system. By the time I was 30 I had come to the conclusion which I now believe, and strangely it feels very much the same as what I believed when I was six. I do not believe there is a God. I do not feel vain enough to say that I know there is no God, and I accept that I could be wrong but it is truly what I believe. I know what this belief means to all of my dear friends and family that do believe and I am sorry for any pain or concern this may cause you. I have not decided to believe this because of pain or hurt or anger, but because it is what has afforded my life the most comfort and peace. I will always respect and understand the beliefs that you have and I will not try to make you believe as I do. I know that you are happier with God, but I do want you to know that I am truly happier now in my life choices and ask that you try to accept that with a true knowledge of the teachings that this is the decision that I have made and that I accept as truth.
I love all of you. And as I enter my 33rd year of life as a new mom and with a family around me that I love and cherish I look forward to what I will learn and share with and through all of you.