16 November 2008
Winding journey: Part One.
I won't get into the early history because if I did, it wouldn't be in English; I rarely write about my pre-adoption upbringing in English. And honestly, I might get into the early influences at a later date but I don't have the time to dwell on it right now. It's rather complicated.
Anyway, for the majority of my life I've been introduced to various religions, some for a longer period of time than others. All my experiences helped form me and form my ideas on Divinity, and I assure you, not all experiences were good. Nor were they all typical of what that particular faith had to offer. Some of these faiths showed themselves to me in their best light and some were revealed in a darkness that I now know to be caused by misunderstanding and confusion.
Two major paths I've walked off and on throughout the years are Christianity and Paganism, and with both I studied ideologies behind several denominations, for lack of a better word. In each path, there were good lessons and bad lessons, and with each path I gained knowledge and understanding, regardless. Until I was well into my 20s, my immediate family was passively Christian: we didn't attend church, and Christmas was strictly commercial in nature. We didn't pray before meals, or before bed, and I'm not even certain any of us owned a Bible. We lived, in a basic sense, by the Golden Rule, and that was the extent of it. After the intense religious experiences I had as a child, I searched tirelessly for a peaceful and healing faith to latch myself firmly onto. I found Christianity first, when I was 15 or so: I got obsessed, my family became a little concerned--which was a good thing--and the fire died down after perhaps a year and a half. I discovered Paganism, and told no one; but because of serious unresolved issues in childhood, I abandoned it abruptly after about a year. I cycled back and forth, and then felt only a tenacious connection to Divinity for years. I channeled it into Christianity, because my husband is Baptist and around that time my parents became practising Lutherans. I tried to feel the connection they felt, and prayed to understand. I was told I lacked faith, and that only by believing fully without exception and without questioning would I understand. I distanced myself from anything potentially "demonic", such as the Harry Potter series and Discovery Channel programs on Stonehenge.
I think it's because that almost immediately after abandoning Paganism, I still felt the draw. I still knew on some level that it had chosen me, as odd as it may sound to some. I fought it nonetheless, drawing on fearful childhood experiences and the idea that the draw I felt was not natural, but rather the work of the Devil. I prayed--though I didn't meditate, of course, as that was demonic--and fasted and read Christian literature. I went from pastor to minister to elder to priest for advice; I even went so far as to consider exorcism.
The point is coming, promise...Part Two is coming soon. Really soon.