Tell me about your spiritual journey..

So for the past, I'd say year or so, I've been trying to slowly go through a process of figuring out what I am/am not comfortable with spiritually. I can't figure out why, something is just calling me to explore.

I went to a religious school, but never connected with it. I was also christened Catholic but never raised in a religious household. My mom likes to say on Easter that we are Catholics and acts appealed when I say I'm not really interested, but other than that she never mentions it.

I like the idea of God, but I just can't really buy it in the organized religion sense. I have looked at some churches around here but the idea of going to one really kind of gives me Heebie Jeebies.

I feel like I relate better to the idea of Buddhism but I also can't turn away completely at this point from a God.
I have researched Buddhism and religions etc, and I know that ultimately where I end up will be a combination of my own creation and I'm happy with that. I think I will start by attending a service at the Buddhist temple here in the next couple weeks to feel out that side, and maybe the non-denominational church on my block to feed the other side.

Tell me of your experience coming to terms with and finding your beliefs
I realize everyone's journey is their own, I'm just new to this navigation process!

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Born & raised in a Christian household, but we have never been "bible thumpers."
Just the basics, you know?
For many years I was intentionally pulling away from my faith, and had no concept of what exactly it was, or what it meant.

Junior year I transferred to a Christian High school (by my own request) and never looked back. That was the single most important, best decision I have ever, or will ever make in my life, hands down. My HS was the most positive, encouraging and loving environment that could possibly exist for teenagers, and I learned so much. JC's my first love, and I'm forever grateful I had the opportunity to go to that school, meet the people I did, and learn about what Christianity really is.
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I'm going to apologize in advance because this is going to be long...

I was raised Catholic in a pretty religious family. Not just church every Sunday and no meat on Fridays during Lent religious. Like grandma had her own key to the church so she could pray the rosary there everyday and sewed the vestments for the newly ordained priests graduating from the seminary religious. When I started high school I began my feminist journey and began feeling conflicted. A few months before my Confirmation, I read an interview in Sassy magazine with Laurie Cabot (a practicing witch in Salem, MA). I went through Confirmation, but shortly after my Confirmation I spoke to my parents and my priest about the conflict I was feeling and explained that I wanted to take a step back and explore what my beliefs actually were. I saw the peace that my family seemed to get from practicing their faith, but I felt nothing of the sort. I just felt conflict.

I spent the next ten years looking at every religion from Buddhism to Witchcraft. I started from square one. Do I believe in God (in some form)? Yes. Ok, I can cross off atheism. Do I believe in Satan? Do I believe in Jesus? Do I believe that Jesus is the Son of God? I eventually came back to Christianity (at least in its most basic form). I studied religion at every chance and in every form I could- I almost ended up with enough credits for a minor in Religious Studies when I was in college.

I ended up right back where I started on Palm Sunday, 2002. I had spent the weekend with my parents, and out of respect for them I went to church with them whenever I was home. The time around Lent tends be troublesome for me- my PTSD kicks into overdrive and I've noticed that most of my personal challenges arise at that time. That year, I had just found out that my uncle had pancreatic cancer. It was the same cancer that took my grandmother's life the year before (on the Monday before Easter). I was in the pew with my parents, and the choir was singing the meditation hymn (Were You There). All of a sudden I just broke down. I remember hearing my father ask my mother if I was okay and my mother telling him that it was the Holy Spirit. All I knew was that I finally felt that sense of peace that had been missing all those years before.

I'm not saying that I agree completely with the dogma of the Catholic Church (trust me, that will probably never be the case). It's still a tough balancing act, and sometimes a bit of a contradiction to be a snarky, outspoken, pro-choice, liberal feminist, practicing Catholic. I've been lucky to find a church community where I feel welcome. I belong to both adult choirs, where I met other people my own age who share some of my more liberal views, which has made me feel like a bit less of an anomaly.

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I went on a sort-of spiritual journey in my early 20's. I had been raised in a bible-thumping christian environment, although my parents mostly just dropped us kids off there and didn't participate much themselves. I explored several churches and denominations and even became "born again". Then, I joined a very charismatic church...speaking in tongues, healing with laying hands and stuff. And one time I went to two separate services and the very same woman who had had a miracle cure and stepped out of her wheelchair and supposedly walked for the first time in years...did it TWICE. I thought...well, this is probably bullsh1t. Theater for the Gullible.

That started my REAL journey...looking at religion with a more jaundiced eye. Over the next 10 years I gradually became non-theist. It's been VERY freeing to live without gods. I highly recommend it.
This might be long so my apologies in advance.

My immediate family wasn't religious at all. My dad's family wasn't that religious either. My mother had grown up in a strict, Baptist, Bible-thumping household. Unlike some other members of both sides of the family, we were the type that went to church on Christmas and Easter-if that. We hardly went to church at all.

As a freshman in college, I decided to join a Christian fellowship group. I had started to question my beliefs and was wondering if I could gain a deeper understanding of the faith. I had been a loner in high school and the tight-knit community they had appealed to me because throughout my life, I hadn't felt as if I belonged anywhere. For the first couple of weeks, I felt welcomed and accepted and went to a couple of services. Then one night, I went to a meeting they had where they had missionaries come and speak about spreading the gospel to various parts of South Asia and Africa. The more they spoke, the more uneasy I felt. Because to me, it seemed arrogant and colonialist. Who were they to tell these people that Christianity was better than worshipping their ancestors or Buddhism or whatever other religion they had? When I announced my misgivings and my intention to leave the group a few days later, some of the members tried to persuade me to stay and warned that I would be damned to hell if I left. I wasn't the most assertive person then and in other circumstances I would have been persuaded to stay because I wanted to belong with a group very badly, but that time, I stood firm and left. No one from that group ever spoke to me again. I never regretted my decision.

I still believe that there is a deity. I find a lot of comfort in one. It's organized religion that I have an issue with. I can't stomach the proselytizing that some faiths espouse. I can't stomach the arrogance and sanctimony they tend to have in which they believe that their religion is better than any other. It's also my belief that organized religion is one of the major institutions that perpetuate racism, misogyny and homophobia. If God supposedly views me as perfect, than why does organize religion then espouse that I'm subhuman because of my skin color or that I'm an evil temptress due to being a woman? I actually have an entire post in my blog where I go into a little more detail about my beliefs. The link is in my signature. Look in November 2011.
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Last edited by LadyV69; 04-11-2012 at 09:03 AM.
I was raised evangelical. when I was 12 I begin to ask question because I made that "mistake" of reading the holy bible (very interesting read, I suggest it to anyone). No one ever said it, but I think the people in the church though I was satan's spawn.

So I rejected all religion for a couple years, until a wiccan friend told me about her beliefs, I was really into it, and loved the idea of being so intuned with nature. I was a practioner for a few years, but then I just stopped feeling "it". you know the way you feel when you feel a higher power is looking out for you, (i'm sure someone out there understands what i mean by this). So I stopped practicing.

After this i decided to make no commitments, until i get to know myself better. i quickly discovered about myself i dont need any religious dogma to navigate my moral compass, i need fine on my own. i also didnt feel "pressure" to do good.

Eventually i started hearing more and more about Buddism and the idea interested me, but i wasnt making any commitments. In 2009, i came to the realization that while I was not trying to be a buddist, my beliefs were very much like one. In 2010, I went to the world peace talk with the Dali Lama in DC. The whole moment was amazing. I met buddist monks and nuns, and other buddist from around the world. I learned so much! I also made life long friends that day. I havent taken my vows, and i'm not sure if I will. But i continue to do my best to follow in the ways of the buddah. I'm still learning and i will continue to do so until I reach enlightenment.

If anyone ask my religion, I say I have none, I'm an atheist on the path to enlightenment.
I was raised Southern Baptist, moved onto Born Again/Evangelical in my teens. Witnessed people throwing themselves on the floor, speaking in tongues, 2 hours of worship because they were moved by the Holy Spirit, weekend retreats, etc. Throughout this I had also attended some Catholic services, which are the norm for the area I live. And my mother was the religious type that watched televangeslists all the time, went to Bible studies, highlighted her Bible, and always referred to 'if God wants it to happen' and to pray for things.

In my 20s I went through a rebellious phase. I still held my onto my beliefs, although I wasn't practicing. I've always had the same feelings toward religion, I was jusr now free too explore them differently now that my mother wasn't forcing church down my throat every minute.

In my 30's I kind of hold the same beliefs. I'm against the idea that there are rules we should follow. I believed in a creator, and Jesus. I pray, but its usually my own revelations, being verbally thankful for the things I have in life. I think in religion some things have been restricted, and twisted. I believe in being good to each other, helping people out, and learning from each other.

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Last edited by iroc; 04-11-2012 at 03:40 PM.
Wow. This thread is right on time for me. Short history:
I grew up in a non religious home. We didn't go to church, read the bible, none of that. Every Christian church I went to seemed fake, loud and nothing reached me. However I only went to a few.
I read the bible sometimes on my own time and I liked it but I didn't really get into it like a "Christian" would.

I always thought there was a God, believed n Jesus etc.
A few of my friends have been going through crazy situations and problems. They said they pray about them, asked God to reveal to them what they needed to do, for help etc. The crazy thing was that I saw for MYSELF how God comes through when u need him. I would also pray and I'd forget what I had prayed about, then weeks or months or whatever would pass and what I needed would come thru. I wasnt looking, it just would occur to me that the prayer was answered.

Anyway, recently I have had God on my mind. Like all the time, in some kind of way. Something just kept urging me, b-nessa u need a bible. Every day when I would list out what I needed to do, a bible would come to mind first. Yesterday I got my bible. And let me tell u, I hadn't even opened it yet, but it felt so good just to have. Ppl who aren't religious in any way don't understand what its like to feel compelled to do something and once its done, it feels so good.
My spiritual journey is still on going. My heart feels like I'm doing what I have to do. Um, yea if I think of anything else useful I'll post it

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My parents aren't religious, but they wanted me to grow up with a Jewish identity. So, I started Hebrew school when I was seven and continued until I became a bat mitzvah. The attitude at my synagogue was, "Hardly anything in the Bible refers to actual historical events, and nearly all of the commandments are outdated and don't apply to our society. But the stories of the Bible give us insight into our relationship with God."

(EDIT: There are 613 commandments in the Jewish Bible, so I'm not just talking about the Ten Commandments. And stuff like "Don't murder" would definitely be a commandment that still applies today.)

Around the time that I became a bat mitzvah, I decided to try praying to God each night. After a couple months, I realized that talking to God was exactly the same as when I'd talk to my stuffed animals as a little kid. It was just me pretending to be two people.

So yeah I'm an atheist.

Last edited by Eilonwy; 04-11-2012 at 06:40 PM.
I could have almost written your post, Narnia.

My firm statement on the subject of religion is that "No man has the right to dictate my relationship to God"

I believe that God is the Love energy that created everything. We have the power to magnify it whenever we want.

I believe that our mission here on earth is to learn to let go of our egos, to detach and accept and love this life we've been gifted, unconditionally.

I believe that we can find peace and serenity and we can stop our own suffering by helping others cope with the world by detaching from the ego and seeing that love is the answer to everything.

That love energy in me is the same that is in every person on earth. Some people do not know they have any, some try very hard not to. Some have had such poor luck, they have never had the influences to know how to love. But we were all the very same when we were born. Perfect creatures, ready to love love love.

I see so much God bashing on youtube and people trying to prove other people wrong about their beliefs, including ppl who say they are Christians. As a Christian ur supposed to let others be aware of the word and if they refuse then oh well. I see so many who try to force ppl to believe and that's where they go wrong. It's a choice like everything else we do.

And I feel like, you can't go wrong by following the principals n the bible and applying to ur life: forgiving ppl, helping ppl, not doing crimes etc. But that actual conscious belief can't be forced and that's what a lot of ppl don't get. You don't need the "church" to have a relationship with god. Many of the biggest hypocrites are in church everyday of the week. Some of the most humble are not in church at just have to do what u feel is right for you, be proud of ur faith and let ppl know about god.

Btw I'm totally talking about youtubers an fbers, not yall lol
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I don't really know if I can say I've been on a journey. More so just gone with what feels natural. To clarify I will start with my very first religious/spiritual memory. My 2 older brothers have a different father than me. He was murdered, in front of my brothers when they were 1 and 3, by a drunken neighbor. 2 or 3 times a year my parents would take us to my brothers family's church. Very evangelical. I can remember feeling so small in the church pew and terrified when people started speaking in tongues. But all of a sudden, I felt warm and at peace. I can't fully explain it what I felt other than... Wonderful. At that time my brothers Aunt, who is paralyzed, stood up out of her wheelchair and walked to the front of the church. After that I can't remember anything until we got in the car and drove away. I remember seeing my brothers Aunt being carried to her car as we were leaving. Several years later I recanted this story to my parents, in greater detail, and watched them turn white as ghosts. It turns out, I wasn't even born yet. My mom was 7 months pregnant with me when this happened. There are some camps who believe memories are passed down from mother to baby in the womb. Could it be this or did I witness a miracle? Both could be debated but the clarity of memory and feeling I experienced have always felt like the later.

Now, I was actually raised Southern Baptist but contrary to some popular beliefs did not go to a "hell, fire and brimstone" type of church and a Bible was never thumped in my home Granted, I know many who thump away. My preacher, who I adored, was a very sweet and soft spoken man who often preached of loving, understanding, and accepting others. I didn't understand a great deal of what he was saying as a child but I always walked away with a feeling love and appreciation for the differences in human beings. What I could not tolerate, as I got older, was the horrible comments I heard from other church members. Adults making fun of a farmer wearing overhauls or a single mother for wearing the same dress 2 Sunday's in a row, etc... They were always trying to run someone out of the church because they were seen having a beer, in another county. "They" being members of the congregation, never the preacher. It became unbearable and because of this I have not set foot in a church for, anything other than weddings or showers, in 28 years. But I have always been fine with this.

I have never felt as if I "had" to attend church. I've never really felt the need to worship with others or preach to/at others. But I have always loved speaking to people of different faiths. I love learning about other religions because I believe something holds true in most. The Golden Rule is the same in 12 different ones, and that says something. A large number of my friends are atheist, and that does not bother me at all. I do not feel the same about various "Christian taboo's" as many around me do. I've had life long friends lose their faith after coming out to their parents, and one attempted suicide after his family and church shunned him. This I can't even fathom. He's one of the purist souls I know. I do not begin to judge someone for their "sins". There have been so many revisions to the Bible that I would not even begin to stand my ground on what some "sins" are, aside from obvious heathenry. I go by simple principals on how to treat my fellow man/woman, and how they treat me in return. I'll learn the lessons I need as life goes on, and one day I'll learn alot more. Until then...
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Last edited by Fifi.G; 04-17-2012 at 07:53 AM.

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