Spinning Plates

Lately, I’ve been spinning a lot of plates, looking high and low for those elusive answers to mental health and spirituality. I was raised Catholic and quite involved with church during high school. As is the trend for this religion, I fell off at age 18 when I started college. [Supposedly, I’m going to return […]

30-Day Challenge, Day 4: My Views on Religion

So I’m REALLY not sticking to this whole 30-day thing… it all goes along with the free spirit you will find below.

I was raised Catholic. I am not a “crazy Catholic” shoving my beliefs down other people’s throats or condemning everyone who doesn’t live by Catholic values. I don’t even live by Catholic values. The best I can do is try.

On religion in general, it’s kinda like with drinking: Do you, boo boo. Religion gives people a set of guidelines by which to live. However closely one wants to follow these guidelines is up to his or her discretion. Some people don’t even need a set of guidelines, as intellectual advancement has challenged us to form our own views. I’ve always been interested in hearing about other people’s religious experiences because this crazy world gives us so many paths to choose from. And like I said in my drinking post, when your beliefs or ways of life are interfering with the the well-being or yourself or others, then there is a problem. Although people all over the world have beliefs all across the spectrum, there is a certain level of tolerance and acceptance of which we are all capable. That is my general understanding… then we have extremist groups, different social factors, and societies that don’t function like the one I live in… and then it all gets crazy. From there, I settle into my own niche of faith and hope that the work I do and the life I live promotes the journey for inter-cultural understanding, religion included.

I am satisfied with my framework and I think that it challenges me in a number of ways. Admittedly, I am a part of that large percentage of 18-30 year-olds who fall out of the church after high school (it’s easy to keep close with confirmation classes and a permanent parish) until marriage. I hope that in the coming months, I can explore my faith more so I have a better holistic understanding of myself upon graduation. The society I live in in quite a dynamic one… and so, too, is my religion. Others may not see it that way, especially since religion is rooted in tradition. But we are human. We do things how we want. Then we justify it. It’s not always right, but I’ma do me and you do you.

We all need to have faith in something. Faith drives us in our day to day lives when things start getting monotonous. Whether that “something” is religion is up to you. And what religion it is, for that matter. I had a choice to practice Catholicism and I symbolically sealed that choice through the sacrament of Confirmation. But in our given social environments, we are presented with a set of options–raised a certain way, indoctrinated, influenced by others–and we might not feel so free to choose. Continually challenging yourself is the key. Keep learning. Keep growing. Use religion, whatever your religion is, as a tool to further develop yourself.