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Thursday, 10 April 2014

On Journal Day #08

"Would you consider yourself a religious person? Quite simply- what do you believe happens when you die? Have you always believed this? Do your current beliefs align with what you were taught as a child? And if not, what was the turning point? This week, talk about your religion or spiritual beliefs (or perhaps your lack of), and try to sum up, if you can, what you believe happens 'next.'"

Firstly I just want to say that everything I've written in this post are completely my personal beliefs, I don't claim to be right, in fact, I have no idea at all if I'm right. I respect everybody's beliefs, or lack thereof if that's the case, and I think that it's great that we live in a world where we are so diverse and, for the most part, people are allowed to express their own beliefs. 

From here

I had was brought up Roman Catholic, I did my first Holy Communion, Confession, and went to Church every Sunday with my Mum from as early as I can remember. But then, when I hit the age of about 11 or so I started to not like going to Church so much. Whenever I did go, I'd somehow end up feeling guilty. I didn't even know what for. But at that age, it was a very disconcerting feeling, especially when you don't know what you've done wrong. So I stopped going to Church with my Mum after that and luckily my Mum isn't the type to make me go so it was never a problem, we actually both slowly ended up not going anymore, even though my Mum has always had a much stronger faith than me.

I think it was also around that age, maybe 12 or 13, that I started becoming more aware than I ever had before of death. It started to scare me and there was a period of time when I used to get almost panic attacks about dying quite a lot. In those months when I was feeling like that, I started to question religion and my faith, realising that I'd never thought about it before, that really I only believed in God because I'd been brought up with the belief and never considered any other option. For about a year or two in that period of time I just wasn't sure. I wasn't sure whether I believed in God, what happened after death, any of it. But then I found a comfort, prayer. There were times when I was scared, tired or just having a bad day and I would find myself praying, without even thinking about it, and it would comfort me to 'know' that someone had a plan for me. And since then I have had faith, and still do, in the belief that there is a God. I wouldn't consider myself to be a traditional Christian though, I don't go to Church and never got confirmed but I do have faith and often pray.

Sometimes I get asked 'but what if there is no God and you're just talking to yourself when you pray?', which is a fair question. And yet, for me, that doesn't matter. I could be completely wrong with my faith, and I'm happy to admit that. But that's what faith is about, believing in something despite the fact that there is no concrete evidence to say that it is 100% true, otherwise it would just be fact, and there's no faith necessary to believe that. So now, I like to believe that there's a heaven and that that's where we go when we die. I hate to think that when we die it's just nothing, it would kind of seem to me like nothing had a real purpose, and I don't think that that's true. Although, of course, it absolutely could be and I could just be being optimistic.

It's a very difficult question, one that people have probably been trying to answer since life began, and definitely an interesting topic to write about. So, if you want to, let me know what you think about it, and what you believe happens when we die.

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