I've been reflecting a lot on my youth lately. I've been reflecting and regretting.
See, I was brought up from 13-20 to be a "born again Christian." Of course a lot of that upbringing was of my own consciousness and volition but I regret a lot of what it made me.
I found some old emails I wrote in that time period and people I never really befriended in that time period that are actually quite amazing people.
This is what bothers me. I missed out on a lot. I'm not talking sex and drugs. I'm talking about experiences, friendships, lessons learned. I traded those things in for judgment, piety, and haughtiness. What's worse, is that in the small circle of Christians that we called "family", there were cliques, circles, and "bad seeds." How does that work? How do you say to a member of your family, "Hey sorry but you're not quite as 'spiritual' as us so we cant associate with you."
It was my understanding that only God is to judge. Doesn't it say somewhere that "God will judge the living and the dead"? It is also my understanding that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and sinners, the worst of the worst. Yes he didn't partake in what they did, but he did spend time with them in the hopes of winning them over with good deeds and kindness.
I am in no way shape or form saying God doesn't exist. That is exactly what I'm NOT going for here. I don't regret being introduced to God. I honestly feel like I am, in spite of a ton of crap lately, pretty lucky and blessed. I have a beautiful baby girl, a house to call my own, a great boyfriend, and money to pay bills and feed myself, Josh, my cat, and my baby. We have a great family and know some pretty amazing people and have done and accomplished some pretty amazing things. What I am saying is that I regret letting a system of beliefs dictate my life in the way it did. I think God wants us to be kind to others, to do good, and to love. I honestly respect Buddhism a lot for its philosophies and teachings. I feel like that is true Christianity- to find the opportunity to do good and be kind and to do it - and there is ALWAYS opportunity. I don't think it is in my place to judge anyone else because I am human also and with being human comes flaws and shortcomings. I don't think Christianity is meant to have "levels" and that someone is higher up than someone else and much closer to God than someone else. Who are we to judge the heart and mind of an Almighty being?
This behavior caused me to ostracize members of my own family- blood relatives. I don't want to bring my child up to behave or think that way. I want her to embrace everyone, to have her own set of values and morals, to do good, be good, and think positively. Maybe it's a pipe dream and I'm grasping at straws, but this is my hope. I will talk to her about God but I wont force it upon her. If she chooses at whatever age it may be to visit a church, I will take her, but I wont make it a mandate in her life. I want her to be free to choose...free to think..... free to love whomever comes across her path.... and free to be whatever she is meant to be. I wonder if not bound to the set of strict rules and guidelines I grew up under if I would be different. Again, I am thankful for the morals instilled in me because I was kept out of a lot of terrible situations, but I was also robbed of some amazing opportunities, experiences and friendships because of how sternly and rigidly I was made to upkeep these ideals.
Maybe I have offended some or many with these ramblings, but it is my hope to publicly make amends to the many that I offended, insulted, ostracized, shunned, and irritated with my barrage of bible quotes misused and taken out of context and my holier-than-thou attitude that kept me from being truly humble and real with myself and others.