Updated: Apr 20
↠ Teaghen C.
Faith is a tricky concept. It’s something that can’t be quantified, seen, or touched, and yet it has the power to change our lives. Some people prefer to have faith in an organized religion- they have a church or temple they can go to when they want to worship, a group of people they can go to when they’re struggling or a set of rules to live by. But others might not be comfortable going to a specific place, or putting a specific label on what they believe in. And you know what? That’s totally fine!
So what if you don’t put your faith in an organized religion? Do you still have faith? Absolutely you do! Faith is not about an organized belief system. It’s not about what you do or don’t do on a Sunday morning- it’s about the ability to believe in something greater than yourself, a Higher Power or some sort of guiding Force, and your own ability to make choices. It’s about how you approach life, every day. Faith is what connects us all as human beings.
Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against people who subscribe to a specific religion! It’s a terrific way to connect with others who share the same values and beliefs, but it’s not the only way to find a community of support and inspiration. You can find that same sense of connection and community by participating in other practices that feel meaningful and bring you closer to your values. There are so many ways to practice and live your faith in this world without putting a label on it or sticking to strict rules- you just have to find the one that feeds your Soul the most! People who so strongly believe in something will always find a way to express those beliefs, even when they’re being told what they can and cannot do by an organization or institution.
And now to the personal side… Growing up, I went to a Catholic grade school that went up to the eighth grade. That’s a pretty long time to have it drilled into your head that if something bad happened to you or if something bad happened in your life, that it was “God” punishing you for something you did, and that you deserved it. A child’s mind is very impressionable and can easily be molded into a certain way of thinking, so that “fear” is a hard thing to let go of.
Even as a kid, I struggled with that concept. Not because I didn’t like what I was hearing my teachers speak about or because I didn’t like following rules. It was because I had my own ideas about beliefs- I thought that people should be able to decide what they wanted to believe in for themselves. I had a vague idea of what faith was and I knew it was important, and I knew I had it (or at least something that closely resembled faith) but I wanted to define it in my own way. I won’t lie and say I remember what my definition of faith was as kid but now that I’m older, I define faith as believing that there’s an ultimate purpose to life that we are meant to learn about it on our journey, trusting the process and the reasons and that there’s something bigger than me out there.
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