So I was raised Catholic. I was raised to honor the ten commandments, study the bible, go to church weekly, confess, and be a good person. But as I went through college I started to see the things that Catholics are blind to; that the church doesn’t mention…and that hope, that faith went away.
I didn’t see why people had to be convinced to do good things…because God would save you? Why can’t you just do them? Why can’t you just hold the door, help a friend fix their home, donate money to good causes, without the persuasion of salvation?
I always thought I lost faith because it was so forced on me. When I started to collect Buddhas it turned my mom off completely. When I explored other religious practices like Buddhism, Paganism, and the various cultural myths it posed a threat to my religion. And then it clicked one day; I don’t study the bible, when I moved from home for school I stopped attending mass, and I stopped seeing the purpose of the persuasion, the lecture of “how bad of a person I am” during the sermons, and the weekly dosage of flat bread.
Atheism got into my system through some science majors that I am friends with and the subreddit I followed. And I don’t necessarily think there is much of a power out there, and if there was, why would I let it scare me into being a good person? Why couldn’t I just be a genuinely good person without an affiliation? Why did I have to say I was doing everything because of the word of God, and in God’s name.
While all this is true, I explored other religions and decided to make my own philosophy built around Buddhism philosophy, and just living a good, moral life. I understood the arguments that started to grow during the eighteenth century, that people NEEDED religion as a guide, like politics for morals.
But what if I have morals? What if I choose to help someone carry something heavy, help a girl who dropped all her papers on the ground while walking to class? What if I decide to be there for my friends, to love whole heartedly without a religion to tell me so? Why can’t I make my own life decisions, and my own choices without being told I am “bad” and a “sinner”? Why do we need to complicate everything?
Truth is, I am not challenging anyone. If this is what you believe, than stick with it! But I am allowed to believe my own truths. I drink wine for fun, eat bread with sandwiches, help people when I can, and love unconditionally. I make time to meditate, to think, and to practice some self-improvement. But I don’t need God or anyone else to tell me how to live or pick my views.
And honestly, I find this more fulfilling. I find it better this way in my life. I feel good when I help someone, when I donate blood, when I do what’s healthy for me. And though I may never tell my parents all of this, and though I may hide the fact that I’ve sided with a weird combo of philosophies, I am doing doing OK. Mom and Dad don’t need to know every choice I’ve made, and try to revive my Catholic past. They don’t need to know anything. Just that I am an adult, and happy.