This week, I want to give you a piece of myself. It’s up to you to accept it or not. This week, under the influence of Ms. Lauryn Hill and her beautiful song I Gotta Find Peace of Mind from her MTV Unplugged album, I delve into the subject of religion. I understand religion, and my compromise of spirituality, is a taboo subject for many, but I figure if I lay my bones out there, then the five people who read this blog will have a deeper understanding of me and how I work.
I’d encourage the handful of people who read this blog (I’m also big on self-deprecation if you could not tell), to do the same for themselves. You don’t have to write it out, but question yourself. Do what you need to do in order to find yourself that peace of mind.
I would like to believe that we all have a spirituality about us. I’m not saying that we all are religious, and I am not saying that we are all comfortable with religion. No, I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is that we all believe in something. Even those of us who claim that they do not believe, can at least say that they believe in that non-belief.
There’s that self. Honestly? I believe in something that is bigger and greater than me. As I approach my thirty-fifth year in this World, I can say that I am not that religious. However, I can say that my spirituality is a part of my life.
I was baptized into the Anglican Community in 1982. It wasn’t my choice, obviously. I was a mere babe surrounded by my parents, my god parents, and the priest. In the years to follow I attended church regularly as my Mom wished me to. I was communed into the Anglican Community in 1993, accepting first communion on my 11th birthday. I attended Sunday school, I sang from the Hymnal 1982, and I read the Book of Common Prayer. I was a proper Anglican.
However, like most young people I eventually became skeptical. My college experience was marked by attending two catholic colleges, which meant I was exposed to even more religion. My freshman year of college, I took a World Religion course. Religion was mandatory, of course, but I figured a study of world religion would be more interesting to me.
It was. I was already experienced to Judaism. The first 18 years of my life, I lived next door to a rabbi and his wife. I never really asked him any questions about Judaism but I learned a lot by observation. Since there was also a Palestinian family on my block, I got an up close view of Islam. Their children were my friends. Once again I never asked any questions but I learned a little from them. The World Religion course filled in the rest of the blanks.
I was intrigued by Islam, Buddhism, Baha’i, and Judaism. However, I paid little attention to Christianity when it was taught in the course. The weeks covering Christianity were beyond boring to me. I absolutely tuned out the professor during that part of the semester, and I showed little interest in the church we visited, even though it was an Anglican one.
In the years since I decided I wasn’t going to church every Sunday morning, I became one of those “part time” members. I went to church on Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and the occasional Good Friday. I figured that would make Mom happy. I did that until I stopped going all together.
It’s been a few years since I have last attended a service. I haven’t even stepped foot inside of a church since 2013, when I was there for a funeral service. I’ve blogged several times how the events of 2013 and 2015 have impacted me. The deaths of loved ones in quick succession in 2013 was damaging, and dealing with the health of my mother, and the passing of another close family member, definitely dimmed my light some in the days and months since.
Those events definitely dented my spirituality. The same guy who would seek out a church on his lunch break, despite the fact I wasn’t actually attending a church service, is gone. I used to love nothing more than to sit in a church and meditate by myself. I have not done that in years. I’m still a proper Anglican, but I’m not sure where to turn.
I’m a man of nostalgia, but returning to my old church does not seem like an option. I still live in the neighborhood, and I drive by it often, but I cannot see myself walking inside. I feel like it’s a place that contains memories both good and bad, that should be left there. So, since that is not an option, I have been asking myself these past few days, weeks, and months: where to turn?
I still look to the heavens, and I pray. I still look to the heavens and imagine that my loved ones are looking down upon me, and despite my statements that my light has been dimmed, I still hold onto some element of spirituality.
This life isn’t good for everyone. Some may look at the negative and wonder if a higher being still exists. I’m not that guy. I have always been pessimistic by nature but I’d be hard pressed to not look at the simple joys of life and think that there isn’t something out there bigger than me that made it happen.
I’m just lost. I don’t write these blogs with a woe is me attitude. I think I do it, because it’s a way to outline my thoughts. Even if they ramble and ultimately do not make much sense to those who read it. That is how life works, I guess. At the end of the day, I am lost. I’m still clinging and searching for something and some days I need to find that peace of mind. It may not be today though. It might not even be tomorrow. I’ll keep looking to the sky. I’ll get that answer … eventually.
Thanks for reading.
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