30 Days of Truth, Day 19


Day 19 — What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?

This should be called “How to alienate everyone in your life in 30 days”.

My firstborn arrived a few months before my 19th birthday. He was the most incredible sight I’d ever laid eyes on and I could hardly sleep for days. I sat for hours, staring at his beautiful face and pinching myself in disbelief over having made something so spectacular.

His arrival turned what I thought I knew, upside down.

I was raised by buddhist parents, though my mom was a closet Mormon. We had Buddha on the mantle right alongside the nativity scenes. Nobody talked about God, and the only church I regularly attended was with my best friend in junior high. We were more about making a fashion statement than working on our faith, so it didn’t have much religious value.

But that baby boy of mine… that perfect little nose and those ten exquisite fingers… he sent me straight to church. I knew God was real after seeing him. I started going to Mass regularly when he was 3 1/2.

I took catechism classes and was baptized Catholic alongside my 5 year old and newborn daughter. I helped in CCD, planted the church gardens and really fell in love with every bit of it. The Virgin Mary hung around my neck and I could hand my baby to anyone in the rectory and she was content. We were part of a church family and I felt happiest after mass on Sunday.

Until I got divorced, and became the single lady at church. Something about sitting in a sea of intact families on a weekend my kids were with their dad, was a fresh knife in my heart. It wasn’t the same anymore and we were reluctant to give up our weekend to church when we began dividing them between two homes.

We stopped going and never heard from any of them, again. I could still do all the moves and say all the right things at the right times, but the feeling in my heart is different.

I’m far more atheist than devout Catholic and believe more in the goodness of people, than God. I think everyone should give a shit about who they are and their effect on people because you’re an asshole if you don’t, not because of some supernatural threat of eternal damnation.

I don’t really believe in any of it anymore and I’m just as happy as I was when I was on my knees, praying for guidance and forgiveness every Sunday. I’m still accountable, but more so to myself and the people in my life who love me.

I don’t really look at it as having lost my faith, but having found it in myself instead.

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