Hello, dedicated readers (or hello to the same person reading, I’m not sure!) It’s been a few days since last I was on here, I was just taking some time to explore some other hobbies and live. How’ve you been?
Today’s blog challenge is to share my views on religion. This is normally such a hot button topic, so please know that this is just my view on this, no one else’s and I’m not looking to start a debate.
I grew up Catholic; I have a strong, old school Catholic family. I attended Catholic school K-8th grade and then continued with CCD till I was confirmed in the 11th grade (my dioceses broke from the standard 8th-grade tradition of confirmation. Not sure why exactly but perhaps to make kids stick with coming to CCD till they graduated high school.) I have gone through all the sacraments I was eligible for, was an altar server for a few years back in the day, and attended those worship festivals for kids where everyone wears the same shirt and sing big songs with their hands in the air. When I started college it was finally my time to be in control of my religious affairs and I took some time away from the physical goings and comings of a church. I still went to midnight mass on Christmas Eve with my family and went to mass a few times when I went home after freshman year.
I have always felt a connection with a higher being or God depending on how you view these things. I always felt closer talking with him myself when I wasn’t forced to do so by a teacher, parent, or religious leader. I knew this entity was there and looking out for me, I just maybe didn’t always feel He was the same as what my church was teaching me.
Since growing up and being on my own I have widened my understanding and become more open with my own beliefs. I consider myself spiritual for sure, and if I had to check a box for beliefs it would be Pagan. I don’t follow any one specific religion anymore, I just reach out to who I believe in and follow what I feel is right for me.
I have always had an interest in culture and religions and the history that plays into those two. I loved learning about Native American beliefs and cultures when I was little, moved into what I’ll call an obsession with Greek mythology, and then branched off into Hindu and Celtic beliefs. I am nowhere near an expert on any of these things, so please don’t judge if I have certain details incorrect, I’m still learning.
For the past handful of years, I have been drawn towards Ganesha, one of the deities in the Hindu beliefs. He has always been around and with me, even when I didn’t realize I was being attracted to him. I don’t think I made the connection till my last vacation where I was in Texas exploring a little shop and found him atop a pendulum and couldn’t leave without it. I had a pendulum back home a friend had helped me find but this one I had a connection with because of Ganesh. He’s the remover of obstacles and helps you find your path, and through this pendulum, I found my next path in life at that point and I can’t tell you how much better my life has been since making that crucial choice. Ever since acknowledging my connection with Ganesha, I have known a peace I can’t explain, and also quite the collection of Ganesha statues haha!
I celebrate certain Sabbats on the Wheel of the Year while still celebrating more common Western culture holidays (Christmas, Easter). I also acknowledge the fact that most Western/Christian holidays are based after their pagan counterparts (Yule – Christmas, Ostara – Easter).
I’m not super vocal on my beliefs to the outside world, and my family, because there are stigmas out there still and my spirituality is personal. I have had some people give me eye rolls and laugh and make remarks, but more so I have known people and now friends who are similar in beliefs and who accept my spirituality as being a part of me.
I respect all religions and viewpoints and believe everyone has the right to believe in what or whomever they want to. I’ll leave you with a memory that still stands out in my mind: I remember when I was younger, perhaps 8th or 9th grade, talking with my mom and stating that what if everyone is praying to the same entity we just all use different names and forms of prayer?