I don't talk about my faith very often on this blog. I'm pretty private when it comes to my spirituality and I don't think it's anybody's place to tell another person what to believe.
I have friends from a variety of different backgrounds and spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof. Some are devoted Christians. Some are fairly hardline atheists. Others don't give faith and spirituality much thought at all. I've noticed for a long time now that the most vocal people about their beliefs, in Ireland at least, are atheists or people who, for one reason or another, have a beef with the Catholic Church.
Ireland is becoming more and more disillusioned with the Catholic Church due to a frankly shocking amount of child abuse scandals. This has led to calls for the separation of church and state, and to a mainstreaming of atheism. I've started to be surprised when one of my friends says they believe in any kind of higher power. But that's fine. I think people should question their beliefs. How else do you learn if the path you're on is the right one unless you look into your heart and ask yourself if it still feels right to you?
I admit to sometimes feeling intimidated by the views I've seen people express. I've wondered how they would treat me if I mentioned my beliefs around them. I think people should be judged by their actions, not by the beliefs that lead to them.
So I'm going to open myself up a bit and ask some questions.
I believe in a higher power, a force that created the universe and set it in motion. You could call it God. I believe it is benevolent and loves us, like a parent loves a child. I believe there is good to be found in everything, somewhere, somehow, if we just allow it into our lives. I believe that positive thoughts can lead us to positive opportunities. I believe in the healing power of Reiki. I believe that when we die, we go on to another place and eventually come back in another life.
Do things happen that make me question my faith? Absolutely. Do I think there are people in the world who misuse others, our world and the gifts they've been given? Of course. But I also think there are people who do great things, people who I'm blessed to have in my life. And they are the people who remind me of my faith.
I'd like to ask people to share what they believe, or don't believe. How does this enrich your life? Has there been anything to make you doubt? Did something in particular lead you to this belief in the first place? And lastly, how do you feel about people who don't share your beliefs?