On gods and beliefs…

A friend of mine suggested I write about my beliefs today… and I just don’t know where to start. It’s not exactly a light topic and it’s a concept I’ve always struggled with…

I was born and, until the age of 10, grew up in Eastern Europe… one of the Baltic countries to be more specific… and I don’t know a 100% for sure if it was just my family or everyone (because religion and belief were not discussed in my school), but believing in Christ alongside ‘Pagan’ deities was sort of…. normal. We didn’t exactly worship these deities, but I always kind of believed they were there, and that was comforting. I still remember my grand-aunt telling me about the god of thunder and how he rides in his chariot across the cobblestones of the heavens, making a ruckus, the hooves of his golden horses sparking up lightning as they go… and I know that many will think that story was just a way to explain to a 4 year old that thunder is nothing to be afraid of (a must considering thunder storms are quite common during the summer, when the heat and pressure in the atmosphere just snap), but I saw the truth of it in her eyes… it’s what she really believed in.

My grand-aunt also used to say (this was more when I was a teenager and learning about the witch trials in Europe) that because Eastern Europe didn’t really have a persecution of witches, it allowed the old set of beliefs (and remedies for ailments… something I may speak of in the future) to remain along the “new” belief in Christianity. The old gods were (and still are) spoken about during festivals, in museums and in children’s books.

From the age of about 8 (until we moved to Ireland) I also attended the local church for bible study. And thinking of it now, it wasn’t something my parents pushed me to do, nor was it out of some sudden wish to believe in god… I just really liked the stories, they were filled with good deeds and miracles and just seemed so real!

Fast forward to moving to Ireland… and Donegal specifically… where in the eyes of the other kids, everything is just black and white. ‘So are you? Are you Catholic or Protestant?’. While I was in Ireland I was baptized as a Catholic (which coincidentally is my fathers religion). I don’t remember ever saying ‘I want to be baptized’, it just kind of happened. I know that at any moment I could have said no, but everyone in my class (this was 6th grade in a Catholic Primary School) was preparing for their Confirmation, and I just wanted to fit in with my friends.

I never forgot the “old gods” from Eastern Europe, and I never will. So my current belief (something that has been firmly in place for the last 8 or 9 years) is a mix of Christianity/Catholicism and Paganism. And a method of worship is a little funny too. My boyfriend of 6 1/2 years is a strict Catholic… he will go into a Protestant church if sight seeing, he might even sit through a service (but only if he had to), but he will never pray there, nor will he light a candle or acknowledge that that religion is also a valid way of believing in god. So my view is this… What is the difference if you pray to Christ, or God, or Allah or Yahweh or Zeus or Mother Nature or the Flying Spaghetti Monster… and it doesn’t matter how you pray, as long as you are a good person, and help others, you will get where you need to go.

I believe that there is something out there, whether its a god or  goddess or something gender neutral or even multiple deities… And even though I do believe in theory of evolution and the big bang and all that… who’s to say that the big bang never needed a little push from something? Because looking up at the sky, it’s hard to believe that all of this is just a coincidence and that such beauty and horror exist just because of a spontaneous combustion…

Digging deep today, but hey, that’s what mid-week slump does to you…

Next time I’ll speak about something lighter

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