Religion May Not Be for Everyone and That’s Okay

I envy people who believe in religion. I envy people with faith. My father was Catholic and my mother was Christian. I grew up in a mainly Hispanic/Mexican community so it’s well known that religion played a big role in the daily life of every individual. However, growing up, I never went to church and attended public school while my sister and brother both went to private Christian elementary schools and went to church before I was born. The only thing I know about religion is from a children’s bible picture book, which isn’t much because I read that book when I was  5-8 years old. I didn’t grow up with religion embedded into my daily routine. Occasionally, my father would read me the bible picture book and I would pray (at least what I thought was praying). I remember the feeling when I realized I didn’t feel the enlightenment others would talk about when they prayed. I remember hearing stories about people praying and how they would feel a sense of nostalgia. I never felt that but I began to understand more of what religion was suppose to be.

I gave up the idea of religion during my middle school years because it was not talked about often but in high school, it become a subject of interest again. I began to have growing questions about religion and one of my closest friends (who practiced Christianity regularly) would answer to the best of her ability. I asked her what time she would pray, what she would pray about and how she would pray. She told me she would pray about anything she felt like at the time, she would pray when she needed a help on a test, when she felt really good that day and when she just needed reassurance. She said that praying made her feel better.

She made me want to get into religion. I wanted to believe something was protecting me and I really wanted to feel good about myself. I even went to church with her on a few occasions. I will admit, I learned and cried a lot but it wasn’t because of a deity. It was because my friend’s mother prayed for me and strangers prayed for me. I didn’t receive any enlightenment or nostalgia from going to church or praying. I got it from the love of others. I went to church one more time on my own terms and that didn’t go well. After that, I decided that religion was not for me. I respected people who went to church and prayed.

Sometimes I wish I was religious and maybe I wouldn’t be feeling the way I do sometimes. I think  why I am envious of people with religion is because they can turn to someone or something for guidance, for reassurance and they don’t have to feel alone. I struggle with that so much. I am not saying people with religion have all the answers or are better off than me. I just I wish I had that faith. The faith that their religion has something good planned for them and that it will all come together soon.

Life is complicated and I respect what your beliefs are. I think all religions are beautiful, especially eastern religions. My feelings of nostalgia usually come in forms of animals, scenery and the random acts of kindness I receive from others.

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