Honestly for the past few days I haven't been able to post because i) I left my phone in England and therefore my data and hotspot and ii) I was deciding whether or not to share with you what I really wanted to share. I'm not one of these bloggers who don't believe in privacy, of course I like to be an open book but with that said, there's always a time and place for some things.
Last week I spent the most spiritually enriching week ever at FSY, a Latter-Day Saint event hosted worldwide across many cities including Nottingham where I was.
Growing up in a violently Christian childhood home, in Ghana, I had a grandfather who was a devout Methodist, I've a Presbyterian grandmother and a Jehovah Witness Great-grandmother both of whom are incredibly dedicated to their respective religions. With such influences it's easy to see why my mother and her seven siblings grew to have the faiths they do now.
My sister and I lived in Ghana with my grandparents until I was about nine when I moved to Ireland. Within that time we attended church regularly every Sunday and sometimes during the week. I've been Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and a JW but to a nine year old child what does that mean?
When I was 11 years old I decided to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, at the time I had followed my mother to so many different churches that this one didn't really make much of a difference except that the people were nicer in this one. Of course a few month after my baptism we moved on to another church as was the way things were.
Out of my sister and I, I wasn't a child that questioned things, I just did what I was told and accepted my pat on the back,while she ran around and spoke her mind not caring what others thought,and although at times I was jealous, that was the life I knew and I liked it that way but moving to Ireland made things very different. I suddenly found myself having opportunities to do my own things, different expectations and different standards but I didn't know how to be me.
Not so long ago I did my Skin Deep series within which I explored my life, I now feel it is time to find some spiritual comfort. I used to ask myself 'If I didn't grow up in a house of religion would I believe in God?' 'Do I believe in God?' but I never gave myself the chance to even dwell on it, more often than not feeling guilty for even thinking of such things.
I've always been a religious person and I don't know if that'll ever change. When I look at the world around us and the many blessings in my life, some I can't even comprehend and the great love I feel, it's hard for me personally to think there isn't someone out there looking out over me.
I always feel that talking about religion, you're automatically excluding people but Atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, etc. I believe every individual has a right to believe or not believe what they want and practice whatever they believe so long as they're not imposing these beliefs on others around them. Now in an ideal world we could all coexist happily doing our own thing but that's not how it is. I honestly do you think there are any bad religions out there, essentially all these beliefs circle on loving one another and being kind.
There is no wrong religion just misinterpreted worshipping.
Then there are the times when religious views clash with personal principles. When I choose to follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it's not because that is all there is and I have to follow it. As humans we always have a choice, no matter what the situation at hand, I have a choice. I don't know everything there is to know about the church, and I certainly don't have a testimony of all that is taught, I am learning and that's okay. I have questions and I have doubts but I will look for answers and keep an open mind.
With that said, I as an individual with a mind of my own who is able to think for myself and not the foolish religiously endorsed robot some people like to think those of faith are.
I don't drink not because neither of my parents, grandparents or great-grandmother don't but because I won't, I don't want to. I don't smoke not because of the obvious health risks but because I won't, I don't want to.
I don't sleep around not because I'm not cool enough but because I genuinely believe the power we have to bring life into this world should not be abused and I should I choose to, I'd want to experience that with someone who I know won't leave me after a week. Call me a hopeless romantic but I have a fragile heart.
However, should you choose to do any of the above, and I do mean this in the nicest way possible but, I don't care! There are bigger problems in the world i.e famine, government corruption, war etc. to worry about that who's doing what with who behind closed doors, males, females, trans, no offense but it's your life and what impact will my opinion have if at the end of the day it's not even me who will be judging you, if you even believe in that?
To end, I don't really know where I stand on the grand scale of religiousness, I don't fully know where I stand on some things when it comes to religion in general. The past week at FSY has really helped strengthened me and me put a start to this journey of spiritual discovery. I feel more directed and enlightened in a way and I can't wait to learn more about the world and people around me but so long as you're happy living your life, doing no harm to others, who the heck am I to judge? Peace, Respect and Love, that's all I ask.
What are your thoughts and views on religion? I always feel it's easier to learn from others and their experiences than just reading about these things so I'd love to hear from you!
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Till next time my pretties xxx