I told myself that I wasn’t going to write about the topics that people get ALL IN A FLURRY about… and yet here I go. The reason is that I truly believe in standing up for your beliefs, but at the same time…everyone needs to be respectful of another person’s beliefs. This is a BIG, BIG world, with so many different cultures and beliefs that have gone on for centuries, that it is truly impossible for one person to say that they have the “truth” and that is the “truth” and that is that! Not only is that really the height of arrogance to assume that you are the only person with the so called “truth”…but to be honest you are doing yourself the biggest disservice in believing that because you officially have decided that you now know “everything”, so no need to keep on learning. Now instead you are going to make everyone else see what you know, because you are the right one! What makes a person think that they have reached the point of knowledge? What makes a person think that they know more than another? I recently have gone through a “paradigm shift” in my life. I will tell you about my own experience and maybe you can relate or understand what I’m talking about. I was raised with the christian belief. That was just the way it was. I went to catholic school. I went to church every sunday, and I did communion, and prayed in school, and did confession with a priest at the age of 7. Never really understanding the idea of confession because I never felt that I was that bad of a sinner at 7. Moved on to my teens, and became pregnant at a very young age. Being a mother before I was even 18 was a new experience in my life. I was the youngest in my family, and didn’t have younger siblings to look after at the time. ALL I knew was that I loved this perfect little life and I was so happy that she was here, and I needed to take care of her. Her father and I were so young and trying to figure out the whole being a parent thing, and just trying to make a life out of what we had, which wasn’t much. We met some friends that reintroduced us to a church and we started to go. It was a great experience in my life, and I learned many things, but at the same time….came to a place where my life was going in another direction. If you always follow the exact same path…how will you experience and learn, and more importantly..how will you evolve? We are designed to evolve in mind and spirit, it is important to keep on moving and not become stuck. After starting to go to this church, we got married and both of us became baptized. It was his first time, my second. I believe it taught me many great things….but it also taught me that it may not be the right path for me. It is what I needed then….not what I need now. Many years later, and many kids later…I found myself in the predicament of having a very shaken, unsure belief system. I no longer felt inspired or even accepted by the christian way. This was very traumatic for me. I knew of no other way to live. I was raised this way, told that there is no other way…and that is that. Yet…my mind, heart, and soul felt that there was something else. and no matter how much I fought it…the thoughts were still there. I tortured myself…LITERALLY tortured myself with these thoughts. These thoughts were very real to me. I couldn’t deny that my mind was wandering away from the “christian” belief system. I had started to question…but even beyond that, I had started to see things that I never saw before. They were always there. I just chose not to see them. All of a sudden everything seemed to become clearer to me. For example, my views on homosexuality… Why was I caring about who somebody else chooses to love? In reality…I didn’t care…but I was told it was “wrong” and I should be against it. Yet in my heart….I felt that each person has a right to love who they want. It is not hurting me…it is not even affecting me. I’m the one causing the issue for myself because I have to tell everyone this is wrong, and I’m so upset..but the thing is, I am not upset about what someone else chooses to do. The hardest part of the “christian” belief system for me was that as a christian…I was suppose to believe that was the only way to be, and unless you believed exactly as me, then you were wrong. So my only purpose was to make you see things MY way, and then you will be “right”. WELL…I can’t accept that for my life. Not anymore. I am sorry…but with as many cultures and beliefs for the many , many years this world has been churning…you can not tell me there is only ONE way to the top of the mountain. It’s just not possible. I left the church for my own reasons, but I have absolutely nothing against anyone who believes that is the way for them. All I can tell you is that for me….When true peace filled my heart…was when I stopped realizing that I know anything. ONce I let go of it, once I opened my eyes…I truly became peaceful. It is a hard thing believing that you have to change everybody to see it your way because they are all wrong. What a burden! One day I decided to go to the farmer’s market…and there was a group of religious people with mega phones screaming at the crowds of people walking by about how they are sinners and going to hell. I can guarantee that no one walked up to them and thought…wow, you seem so at peace, so I think I will go to church because your screaming has showed me the way. If someone chooses to go to church, or find their path to god through that way, then they will walk into a church because they felt it in their heart to do it. That is it!! People do what they do….nobody is changing anyone’s mind!! Trust that! Not even me. I am just writing of my own experiences and what has brought me to here. This will change nothing, but maybe show someone that could possibly be going through the same thing, that it is okay. As a mother, I still tear myself up about this. I want to always do the right thing for my kids. I want them to always succeed in life and find their way without judgement. I know judgement exists, and there is no escaping it…but if I can equip them with the strength and knowledge that it doesn’t matter and to just keep moving on, then it will be okay. I want them to always question everything and not just believe something because someone told them too. I want them to search it out, and find out for themselves. Always learning..and always evolving! The church was not the right path for me. I no longer felt as though I was evolving there. It is okay though because it is the path for so many others. If only we could accept everybody just as they are! NO matter what their beliefs are or what they choose to do in their life…just accept them. No need to change anybody. It is their path! Their journey! and it’s all okay!! How can you say to someone that they should be one way when you have never been through their experiences? How is that even possible? There is no way to tell a mother that lives on the other side of the world, and her life consists of finding food to feed her 5 children everyday, and she lives without water and heat, that if she doesn’t believe exactly this way….she is wrong! What if her convictions are as strong if not stronger in her belief system than yours? How can anyone know what is right for another. All I know is that for the first time in all my life I feel like I finally see. FOR ME…I finally am at peace. I hope for peace for everyone…however it is that you get there….and it is ALL OKAY!!!