I began a recent post My Response to the Presidential Election with the words “I am not a political person. Nor am I a religious person. But I am a passionate person.” The post then went on to discuss my political (or lack thereof) views. And the part about not being religious was just left hanging out there undiscussed.
Not wanting to just leave it hanging there undiscussed, I figured now was as a good a time as any to share my religious views with you. They are quite similar to my political views. My feelings are this: if what you believe gets you through the day and the night and all the craziness in between, if what you believe helps you sleep soundly, makes you feel safe, gives you hope when you have lost it, soothes you when need it, heals you when you are broken, lifts you up when you have fallen, then what you believe is 100% absolutely the right thing for you to believe. And I support it…as long as it does not bring harm to others.
I was raised in a Christian household. I was forced to attend church my entire childhood. My beliefs waxed and waned throughout those years. I was in it wholeheartedly. Then I was out of it. My religious beliefs have cycled and swirled and changed direction and evolved throughout my 42 years of life. In college, I majored in Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies which had great impact on where I stand today on these issues. I have experienced darkness and I have seen the light. I have lost loved ones and I have come face to face with really bad people. I have changed my mind and I have changed my attitude, probably a million times, and ultimately I have landed right here.
And right here, where I stand on religion, is a place where kindness must rule, where faith in something bigger than us must exist, where love must prevail. I don’t care what religious label you give to yourself or what name you call your higher power. If that power teaches that goodness, kindness, love and caring toward yourself and others is the most important thing, then it is a good belief system.
I don’t necessarily like the labels for myself. But I don’t judge those who feel secure in the labels. I don’t judge those who feel that their religion has failed them. I really just don’t judge at all. To each his own. For those who have lost their way, I do hope you are able to find it again…somehow, some way, no matter what you call it. I hope you find your way to self-love, to kindness, and to faith in something.
I do not wish to offend anyone of any religious belief system. But since I grew up in an environment where I have read and studied the Bible, I am going to leave you with this final thought. The most important lesson in that book, the one lesson that I think transcends all lessons, the one lesson that permeates throughout most religions, the one that I believe if you take nothing else from it you should carry this one with you…regardless of what your religion is named…
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)
It seems now, more than ever, we need to have faith. Faith in ourselves and faith in others. We need to hold onto hope. Hope that goodness and kindness will prevail. And we need to practice love. Always practice love. In everything we do and say.
Sharing faith, hope, and love from the edge,
Linking up with These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up
*This is not a sponsored post. All clothing items, beliefs, thoughts, and opinions are exclusively my own.
Dress: Shelbee’s Shoppe ($34. Available in 6 colors. If interested in seeing other colors or purchasing, please message or comment as I am still struggling with getting my online shop set up.)
Sweater: Fort Drum Exchange.
Shoes: Payless (No longer available but similar here).