12 November 2016

Why Religion Is Personally Hard to Talk About


Several months ago, Livy, the founder of Crown of Beauty Magazine, asked me to review her book Secrets of Royalty, and I was super ecstatic about being able to write a review because one, it's something that hasn't been done on the blog before, and two, this sounded huge!  Amidst all the summer air and the bottles of lemonade inhaled during lunch times at the university where I spent much of my time, the book's message nestled on the surface, but time passed and there I sat at the computer screen, somewhat nervous as to how to write the post.

I'm Christian—but I hardly ever discuss the fact openly on my blog. I feel overly self-conscious, like a book removed of its flap. Sometimes I wonder how Lauren and Clara are just so open to speaking about religion as if it were second nature. The outside world urges me to engage in a place where religion is something that falls next to the categories of name, date of birth, and address whenever pried at for information. As I'm typing this, my mind is literally calling out to me, "Why is this uncomfortable task so freaking hard?"

Life has been kind enough to not belong to a church stifling every ounce of difference that comes around and demanding conformity. I'm not exactly what you'd call the model Christian, though. I attend church, Confirmation, and youth group-- the latter being something that hardly anyone in my grade level does. It's so minuscule than what you're being called to do. I know stories from the Bible, not verses. Never in my life have I been called to do choir or be an altar server. I am so far from living in the image of an ideal Christian. Most pancake breakfasts are left unattended by my family.
Even if one isn't in the same religion as I am or if they don't believe in any religion at all, anyone can relate that there those out there asking more out of what they can manage, sometime.

Is it all right to harbor some feelings of fear talking about one's personal religion? Feelings of self-consciousness? Doubt? Uncertainty?

Absolutely.

If one is spiritual, their spiritual life is going to have both its high and low points. I'm one of countless who ends up struggling at times, asking why certain bad things happen. It's probably the most common question that many Christians who turn away from the faith will ask. "Why did said thing happen to me?" It's completely easy to tumble down a road where the path is too hard to see through, where kudzu vines slap cheeks, mud cakes feet, and everything seems horrible to the point where one may exclaim that they feel kind of let down.

I'm not sure where I'm supposed to go, religious wise. I think that good and bad things happen for a reason. This has been proven countless times, from stories of crying to socializing to slowly conquering my fear of talking to people by the power of the written word, which is a slow problem. I think that everyone's existence means something, that it's valued. Call me a bit of a hopeful dreamer surrounded by a world that likes to showcase the negativity.

Livy's book affirmed that we are all accounted and valued, and that's incredibly important. We are cherished. We are more than what we think we can accomplish. We are royalty, in the eyes of God. I'm not sure if I'll write more posts like this; it all comes down to what calls out to me. However, I'd just liked to thank her so much for opening my eyes and giving me the opportunity to go out and have the courage to say this. I still struggle with my religious beliefs, but at least I'm going to try to understand more.

p.s. heading to a retreat & will lack contact with the internet world until I get back! Will reply to all comments then; wish me luck!

16 comments:

  1. I get this. I totally understand. Lately I have had trouble talking about my faith with other people. I have really been having struggles in my relationship with God for a long while now, and you know, I don't like it. I want to have a relationship with him, but there are somethings in the way. I totally understand about feeling uncomfortable, because I often do. I guess its just something everyone has to figure out for themselves.
    Love you, Morning! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings!<3
    -Clara

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    1. The trouble is that it's sometimes hard to end up trying to figure it out for yourself, because simultaneously, you're like, "Am I doing this right?" There really isn't a formula as to how to become a good Christian. Sure, there's guidelines: go to church, go home and pray, do acts of charity-- but in the end, it's difficult to really tell if you're doing enough. Hopefully we can go out and do enough, despite the fact that we may not know what "enough" is, in God's way.

      xoxo Morning

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  2. It can be scary and awkward to talk about religion sometimes. I can relate. Some people are better at it than others, and some just don't touch the subject at all for fear of conflict. I am a passionate Christian, and especially now I have been realizing just how much I need Jesus in my life. But I hate fighting with people, and I'm always so terrified to talk about my faith with those I don't know. It's awful, and I wish I were more confident, but I'm learning that it's okay. God calls different people to share what they believe in different ways, whether it be on a wide scale evangelistic type of model, or one-one-one personally with a friend. It's something I struggle with a lot as I try to figure out where I fit in in God's big plan. I'll be praying for you though, that God will give you wisdom and words in order to share what you believe.

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    1. Conflict is definitely something that's hard to avoid when you have to talk about religion-- actually, an incident occurred in one of the lower class levels and this entire thing about religion got a bunch of people in a whole lot of trouble. One of the things that I didn't know about colleges until I actually started looking at them is that there are religious affiliations, and even though some of them have those, a lot of them don't force their religion on those who may not be the same denomination as them. Finding how we fit in God's plan is something I struggle with-- I'm sure that most likely writing is involved and having one-on-one conversations with people, but I'm still uncomfortable and still am waiting to see what He has exactly. I'll pray too-- may both of us find out where we fit in into His plan and may we try to accomplish that plan.

      xoxo Morning

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  3. Hey Morning,

    Religion can be a hard subject - whether that's talking about it, sharing your beliefs, discovering your beliefs.. It really is a difficult thing. And it can be scary, too, because of all the possibilities out there, all the different opinions and views, all the conflict that arises from peoples' strong passions for it.

    I'm not very religious, but I fly under the Christian label. My family has always had and been raised with a Christian perspective, and so I tend to believe the basic, fundamental Christian things. But to the devout, I'm a terrible Christian lol. I never attend church service. I've never even read the Bible, save a few pages or lines here and there.. Religion just doesn't play a big role in my life. I have a personal relationship with God that pretty much stays internal.

    I think there are many different reasons for why talking about religion is so hard. But it's a really personal thing. It's as deep into you as you can go, pretty much. And there's no sure answer to any of it. I'm going to stop there, because honestly, I think Hannah above put it really well. :)

    Enjoy your time at the retreat!!

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    1. Hi Eve,

      It's been awhile since I've heard from you! I think the thing is about engaging with other people with different beliefs and trying to talk about religion in general is the idea of avoiding ad hominen, which is so hard to distinguish. This is so evident with what's been going on election wise, too, people attacking people. With the things that are going on right now... *sigh*

      It's okay to have a relationship with God that stays internal-- I have one friend who went to a religious school for two years, although her family isn't really practicing Christianity, she, like you, does the basic Christian things. Some people are called to do things, others aren't, and that's okay as long as we're trying our hardest. Kind of a cheesy way to look at it, but I feel like this is one of those times where it applies.

      xoxo Morning

      P.S. The retreat was super fun! Except for the five times I slipped on the ice. XD

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  4. Morning, this post was very relatable. For about a year, I spent a lot of time questioning my religion and doubting everything I believed in, tried to convince myself I was a certain religion, and felt way too influenced by my friends who believed in things I had never been drawn to in my life before. I realized that I also spent a lot of that year feeling unhappy and doubtful and lost. When I started focusing on only the way I felt, I began to see what I truly believed. I may not believe in many sacred things but I do have things that are sacred to me. It took me a long time to figure out what I believe, and I think that it's up to everyone to make that special, sometimes difficult journey inside their soul to find their place of comfort. And respect everyone else for their respective beliefs too <33. Have a lovely retreat!

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    1. You hit it spot on-- everyone hits their own personal "walkabout," in a sense, going through difficult things does more us and shape us, and often times religious stuff gets kicked in. Yes, there are people like Emerson who say that religion is sort of like a crutch and it doesn't last much (it's in his work The Conservative). And true, we all have things that are sacred to us. We just need to hold onto them, because honestly? I'm not sure what may lay after us once we pass away, but the things that are important to us while we're living (the actual important stuff) are the things we need to look out for. <3 <3 <3

      xoxo Morning

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  5. Wow, Morning, this is such a relatable and amazing post. I agree with you, on the fact that religion can sometimes be hard to talk about. I feel like religion is made out to be such a taboo subject to talk about, which makes us all feel ashamed about bringing it up, or sharing our beliefs. Even in general, religion can be difficult, specifically discovering what exactly you do believe in. Like you, I also tend to get self conscious when the topic of religion arises, wondering if the people around me would judge me for voicing my beliefs. Altogether, it's a difficult and complicated subject, but like Oakstar said in the comment above, that it's up to us to figure out the things that we believe in, and also that we should always respect everyone else's beliefs :-)
    Anyway, have a nice retreat! <3

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    1. Doesn't it feel like it's taboo? It's kind of funny though-- most religions go out and discuss the idea of spreading the word of their beliefs out to others, but it's something that doesn't happen because the rest of the world say that it's not something that should be spread. And yes, I agree with you and Oakstar-- there are many religions out there. Maybe they're the ones we're brought up with, but ultimately it's up to us to decide if we want to partake in that or not.

      xoxo Morning

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  6. Allow me to say that I struggle with talking about my faith as well and your post made me feel so much better. So, thank you for this. <3

    I hope you have a fabulous retreat. :)

    xx Mackenzie

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    1. This was difficult to write about, but like I say about my thoughts post: if it's something that is important on my mind at the time, I write about it. It's incredibly important to convey your thoughts. We don't just share-- we should create things that are true to what we believe. It's a good mantra to live by.

      xoxo Morning

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  7. I struggle with talking about faith, too. I don't know why, I just get so self-conscious about it. Aside from a few close friends who I feel super comfortable talking with, it just seems to be a hard thing to discuss. I'm working on getting better about it, slowly but surely!

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    1. My friends and I often have conversations where our discussions would range from something either deep, philosophical, or introspective (i.e. lots of mainstream music and the themes that relate to them, and whether those themes reflect exactly what we value as a society or visa versa) all the way down to the most normal things ("Want to be friends? Sure! Want to be enemies? Sure! Want to be dead? FACE HUG!" -- Harry Potter in 90 Seconds HISHE). But even with them, we hardly ever talk about religion. Let's work on getting better about it together for this new year!

      xoxo Morning

      P.S. If the time stamp says that I messaged late, I ate dinner so I wasn't able to respond right away. ^.^'

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  8. Thank you for opening up and sharing this, sweet Morning! Since God is something I try to focus on and spend a lot of time reading His word, it's something I can't help but talk about in written words. Verbally speaking about it is a lot harder for me, though. However, I think this is just because I've started with a Christian blog from the start and my fan base is primarily Christian readers. So, I think if my blog from the beginning had been created for a different niche, I think I would be in a similar situation as you are.
    I think faith is so hard to discuss because it means you have to be vulnerable with it. Most people won't want to listen to a bunch of verses thrown at ya, you know. They wanna hear how you relate to it in your own life, like you shared today.

    Thanks so much for sharing this <3

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    1. It's so much easier to write about things relating to Him in word rather than speaking about it out loud-- out loud, it's in the moment. Everything that you say has to come after the previous thing you said, and sometimes, our thoughts don't come out processed well in word form. I do think that it is easier for you because you started a Christian blog-- most bloggers are in similar niches to you. But ultimately, it does come down to how we apply it into our lives, and honestly, that's the reason why I love reading your blog so much. <3

      xoxo Morning

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Hi there, reader! Thank you so, so much for having time to read my posts and comment; I really appreciate it, and I promise I will try to reply back! I'd also love it if you would follow my blog too and spread the word; that would make my day. :D Have a great day!

Stay strong and wonderful!
xoxo Abigail Lennah