Post 3: Conversations
A huge source for my interest in learning about the potential of a god is my boyfriend. He is a Christian, but does not follow any church and denies most of the rules put in place by organized religion. The god he believes in is one who loves love, loves to create, and does not condemn anyone to hell based on their sexual orientation, how often they go to church, or anything else that is so simply definable. Rather, he believes that doing good for others, spreading love, and simply being a good person is the way to live, and is the most pure form of Christianity, supported by Jesus and the Bible. He also does not care much about heaven or hell, but does believe in the power of Satan, angels, and demons.
I don’t know if I will ever believe these things, and I really don’t have an obligation to. The way he talks about spirituality and tapping into that side of myself makes sense. I’ve always said that the idea of God does not make sense, and he agrees, but adds that that is where faith comes in. I’ve also said that I’m fine not believing in god or having a faith based system, but he has pointed out to me the limitations of staying in this mentality. I’ve always personally felt that, on an individual level, having faith is a great thing that helps with anything in life. This is cause for me to believe that trying out faith cannot hurt me.
Talking about god has been hard for me. It seems like every time it comes up in conversation with people I know or meet, even my boyfriend, I tense up and feel uncomfortable. My boyfriend has implied that this is Satan’s work, trying to keep me away from faith and spirituality. I still don’t believe that that is necessarily what keeps happening to me. Not Satan at least. Maybe some darkness though. It’s possible that my adverse reactions are also due to me feeling like I’m missing out on something, and getting defensive rather than trying to learn more. I tend to close up and analyze things on my own rather than going out and asking for explanations and help. This has been a general trend over the course of my life.
Although it’s uncomfortable, I am happy on some level to be exposed to discourse about god. It’s possible that the reason I’ve been so closed off to these conversations is that I’ve only been exposed to organized religion with rules and judgment. It is quite a relief to understand that one can be spiritual and have a faith based system without subscribing to an institution.
Another huge conversation I’ve had with myself and my boyfriend when figuring out why I am not a woman of faith is that of never feeling the presence of a god. I have had spiritual experiences since being with my boyfriend, which I will discuss in further blog posts, but I have never felt the touch of a god or angels or anything like that. How can I know something I’ve never experienced? After presenting my view, my boyfriend said, “Well, you’ve never asked.” (Disclaimer: my boyfriend is absolutely not trying to convert me to any religion, including his — he simply thinks that spiritual growth is crucial to my personal growth and happiness.) He brings up a good point here. The one memory I have of trying to speak to god is when I was about 6 or 7 years old, trying to do cartwheels in my bedroom. I couldn’t quite get one perfect, so I said, “God, please let me complete one cartwheel right.” The next time I tried to do a cartwheel, it worked. Now, my success may have been something of a placebo effect — I believed that prayer would work, and it did. But wait a minute — is that not what faith is? Why do I have that one memory to this day? Is it a sign? Whatever the answer is, I have not tried to talk to god since that time, and I reckon that I should take the advice I was given and give god another shot.