Is there a God? Is there an afterlife? Are we reincarnated? How many lives have we already lived? If there is no God – is that why there is evil? If there is a God – why is there evil? Can I have hope without believing in a God?
What do I believe? What am I willing to believe?
My curious 8 year old daughter has become more and more curious. She is starting to ask questions. About Jesus. About Religion. About the meaning of Easter. And I am OK with that. She goes to an After School Martial Arts program where the family has very strong religious convictions. So I know she hears what they talk about at the School.
And even though we, as a family, do not believe in 1 supreme being, or 1 God, we do believe that there is some thing in this universe that is higher than all of us. What that some thing is – I am not sure yet. We are also a family that welcomes all people and their beliefs…as long as they don’t try to guilt us in to following their religion. So I am OK with her getting more information. Maybe not from us because we have very extremely limited knowledge.
With that being said, I am starting to question what exactly I believe. I should clarify – I know what I believe, but I am trying to find out what “label” my beliefs fall under. I feel more comfortable when I have a way to easily explain what I am, who I am, why I am.
As my daughter is curious for answers, I too, am starting to look inward to what beliefs I hold dear, what they mean to me, and how my beliefs will help lead our lives to a much more wholesome existence.
Am I a Humanist? Maybe a Pantheist? Or how about an anti-theist? Perhaps a Spiritual Atheist? What about a mix of all of the above and then some?
This is what I know I currently believe:
- I believe all humans, all animals, are sacred and should be treated as such – with kindness, love, acceptance
- I believe in being honest – even when the truth may hurt more
- I believe in adventure
- I believe in living life with no regrets
- I believe in apologizing and forgiving
- I believe in understanding
- I believe that evolution is real
- I believe that there is more than 1 God, more than 1 Religion
- I believe that not 1 God, not 1 Religion, is better than any other
- I believe that the world around us was formed by something greater than, but possibly with the help of, Adam and Eve and God
- I believe that peace and happiness comes not from material items or spiritual beliefs alone, but from helping and caring for others as well. Through spreading love and joy.
- I believe in holidays as they pertain to the spirit, but not necessarily the religious meaning
- I believe that Karma exists
- I believe that everybody has their own way to meditate, to connect to their spiritual power
- I believe that random occurrences, mere coincidences, miracles, and fate, happen
- I believe that if we work together, find solutions and compromise, the world will be a better place
- I believe that hope exists – even when a God is not at the root of that hope
- I believe in your religion, and accept the God that you believe in
- I believe in your convictions, and accept that they hold a special place in your heart and soul
- I believe in listening to, and hearing about, your convictions and your beliefs
- I believe in our shared human existence, and accept that we share this planet we call Earth – that it is our 1 and only home
- I believe that after we pass on – our life is not over, it merely takes another form
- I believe in you
I don’t know what label I fall under. I will be searching for just the right label, for a long time to come. Mostly because my beliefs ebb and flow, more are added as the days pass by. Maybe I don’t fit under a label. Maybe that is OK.
But the ones I have listed above – are ones that I hold near and dear to my soul. They guide how I interact with my children, with my community, with my world around me.
I strive to teach my kids to love one another, regardless of ability, background, race, etc
I seek to make sure my kids know that everyone has their own beliefs, and while we may believe strongly on one thing – that does not mean everyone views the world the same way we do.
I aim to show our kids, that apologizing and forgiveness, will help build bridges.
And I yearn to make sure our kids understand that patience, humility, responsibility, and honesty, will help their souls blossom and open them up to all the world around them.
These lists, these reasoning’s – it is not exhaustive by any means. But I am hoping this will be a basis for how I parent, as well as a guiding light as to how we live life. Because while we may not believe in Jesus Christ or God per se, I believe that by living every day like its your last – full of joy, and hope, and having a thirst of adventure – will ensure a life well lived.