I grew up in church. Every Sunday, without fail. I didn’t even bother to ask if we were going on Saturday night; I just handed my dress to Mom so she could press the wrinkles out. Life’s like that when you’re a preacher’s daughter. And then, I suddenly wasn’t.
The context changed, but the routine stayed the same. Until high school. Older brother went to college, and attendance was no longer enforced. Still, I put on nice clothes and sat in the back row, because I knew my parents wanted me to.
And then, the context changed again. Away at college, I didn’t understand how to hold religion and my own beliefs in the same set of arms. So I let religion go. Learned to meditate. Tried yoga. Graduated with a 3.96. And got into grad school.
Grad school was a new set of classes, same struggles as before. And with Easter approaching, my heart is quite conflicted. The Dalai Lama (who’s my favorite llama of all) said that the religion you were raised with is where your heart has roots. And I miss the community.
But I don’t agree with much of the doctrine, or the leaders. And I don’t like some of the people. I’m pretty sure that makes me a bad person.
There’s no conclusion to this essay, because I haven’t reached one myself. Maybe this is something I’ll continue to struggle with. For now, I’m just trying to be the best person I can- give help where it’s needed, offer kindness and understanding, and never be in too much of a hurry to listen to others- even the words they’re not saying.