Losing My Religion (1 of 5)

Image from istockphoto.com

Just when I say I believe in the ‘afterlife’, I declare I’m no longer affiliated with a specific religion. The two aren’t necessarily incompatible.

I remember as a young child I used to join religious processions. Once, when I was around 5, my mother couldn’t go for some reason but I insisted in joining a procession being held around the town’s church during a festive season. She sent me off with a little basket of flowers to join other little girls also bearing flowers.

Along the way, not surprisingly, I got lost (still happens to me today even with a map in my hand). It was probably just around a corner but I couldn’t find my way. By the time I saw the long line of people marching in the procession, they were on their way back to the church. It wouldn’t have mattered as my mother explained later but, already self-conscious at that age, I felt too embarrassed to join them at that point. Hesitantly, I turned around and somehow made my way back home.

Of course, my mother was none-too-pleased. Not only did I miss the procession, I also came back without the basket of flowers in my hand, which I gave away to a stranger. My giving nature was evident then.

My parents were steadfast in their belief but they didn’t practice it to the extreme. And I never heard them make disparaging remarks about other people with different beliefs.

Once, two American Mormons attempted to convert us to their religion. My father enjoyed discussing religion with them and welcomed their visits a couple of times. In the end, he told them he was happy to stay as a Catholic. My father always said all roads lead to the same place.

With just myself as company, I’m a person who can sit still for hours and not get bored. I have a knack for ignoring all the noise around me and lose myself in my thoughts. I’m also not a nag. However, somehow as a child, I was both very impatient and a nag. I exhausted my parents’ patience for my insistence on leaving the church before the mass ended.

One day, to placate me, they promised to leave after the choir had sung its 3rd hymn or song. BIG mistake. From then on, when the 3rd song came on, that was my signal to start nagging them incessantly to let us go home.

On my 10th birthday, too busy with housework, my mother sent me off by myself to church not far from where we lived and gave me a new red dress to wear. Although never been fashion conscious, I’m very picky with the type of material I wear. The dress was pretty but the outer part felt rough on my skin. I wasn’t happy. Not only because I didn’t want to wear the dress, I also didn’t want to go to church.

While my two older brothers were probably playing in the neighbourhood as usual, enjoying themselves, birthday girl was sent off to go to church. I dragged my resistant, resentful self to church.

Inside, I sat next to a young female. While she noticed I was alone, I noticed she had a pretty face. She saw I was fidgeting. I volunteered the information that I was out of there after the 3rd song. She was very nice to me and tried to convince me that I should stay till the end.

As she was bent on making me stay, I was bent on leaving after the 3rd song. With my parents not there to prevent me from leaving, no one else could make me stay after the 3rd song. On cue, as soon as I heard the piano started playing, I jumped away from my seat in case the woman grip me by the hand and don’t let me go. I saw the disappointed look in her face, but I was intent on not staying any minute longer.

Over the years, there was always this pressure not to miss mass on Sundays. Everyone always trying to make you feel you’re upsetting God for not doing your weekly sabbatical duty. As I grew older and got used to going to church most Sundays, while still not appreciating it, I started to bear staying past the 3rd song and until the complete end. Sometimes, I even sang along! Picture me singing along with the choir and parishioners during the 3rd song and not feeling the urge to bolt!

Don’t get me wrong. I find peace and solace in chapels or cathedrals when it’s quiet. Living then in a tropical country, the heat, the crowd which often spilt out into the streets and the noisy distractions used to bother me. During a priest’s sermon, those times when I made an effort to listen, it often didn’t tag at my heart.

I believe in the power of prayer. I was sometimes amazed when something I asked for happened at exactly how I wanted it to happen. And during the lowest point in my life, when I felt abandoned by everyone except for a loving few, Mother Mary was my constant companion and praying the rosary and novena were my refuge and consolation.

However, one day in the early 90s, I started on a long, gradual and lonely journey to take on the road less traversed of soul searching. I read copious amounts of books, including the bible, and indulged in even more introspection.

And then about 12 years ago, I made a conscious decision to stop going to church altogether. But it wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy going to church, or I lost my sense of gratitude for two revered beings who I turned to the most during my hour of deep need.

There were 4 reasons that prompted me to question my faith. (To be continued)

Next topic (a funny one): My [censored] moments.

Share

Advertisements

About Earthianne

A lover of OSHO, non-fiction books, fun and laughter, music, philosophy, life, animals, world peace.

Posted on 07/05/2010, in Memories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. To be continued!?! …. very soon I hope 🙂

  2. please don’t let us wait too long…

  3. C, This has been your passion that has escaped you and I know deep down you knew what you are intended to become. Very impressive…your writings are interesting, stimulating, and inspiring. You have done what most people are afraid to do – step out of the comfort zone and pursue their dreams. Whatever inspires you in life, have faith in knowing that no matter what, you can do whatever you put your mind to. We, your friends and family are here to support you.

  4. We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, but we are spiritual beings having human experiences. I believe you are living your spiritual beingness in sync with your human daily desires. I admire your courage of self declaration and self preservation. I must admit it has a big impact in my own self retrospection. Please continue to inspire others, like me.

    • I don’t know about being ‘in sync’. It’s actually hard to try and think on 2 different levels. You probably know what I mean.

  5. pareho na ta duha, gamay rakan kuno, mabuang na. joke only, that is.

  6. your father sounds like an evolved guy. my dad was a catholic, but an agnostic, which i picked up from him for much of my life. my dad used to say that if a good god did exists, then would that god hold it against my dad that he doubted god existed?

    you, like so many of us, seem to have transitioned from traditional organized religions to a more spiritual path. the answers, if there are any, lie within us. that i believe. that all the masters throughout history have said. their messages get corrupted by the organized religions that spring up in their honor.

    once in a while my mom is like, will you please go to church, and i say okay. and i always get something positive out of it. but if i went regularly, i wouldn’t.

  7. A good point from your dad. A simple question: If human beings are capable of ‘unconditional love’, how much more God? That’s why I said in my ‘Viewing Life through Rose-colored Glasses’ post, God doesn’t think the way we do.

    I actually have, and my next post (delayed by another week or so, lol) explains the rest of how I came to search for meaning… and, as the cliche goes, found myself (well, just a tiny bit of it). I still have a long, long way to go before I can say I’m really awake.

    @everyone, Ed Pilolla, as Joe (jaco223) said in his blog, is an ‘enthralling’ writer. His ‘Touch Me’ post, touched me. His writing can make one (at least the women!) ‘gasp’ and want for more!! Haha… I’m learning from the masters of their craft. One day, I hope to ‘touch you’ as I have been, if not exactly the way I have been, by fantastic writers. To have a taste of it, visit Joe’s blog http://joer223.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/guest-post-touch-me-by-ed-pilolla/

    • Oh, good! 😀

      There was a cute quote I saw the other day: ”I think therefore I am… a vegetarian”. Let me reprise that and say, ”I think therefore I am… religionless”.

      Did you convert to another religion? In my case, I’m happy to be a free spirit. 🙂

  8. I relate to your story, as I have had similar experiences during my life. I was brought up a Catholic, but much more strictly in some ways and more liberal in others. I have left the church or to put it more correctly the church left me in some ways. I have tried to join other Christian denominations, but don’t feel the same. I am beginning now to realise at 56 years of age that I don’t need to go to a church on Sundays. However I do miss the social contact, community prayers and meetings etc, but I am finding also a sense of real freedom and happiness that I never experienced as a regular church goer.

    • Good on you, Wayne, for seeing that now. Let’s enjoy our freedom – freedom from fear, a sense of obligation, guilt, etc. I wish more people wake up to this realisation.

  1. Pingback: 20 Thoughts on God « Earthianne

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: