Monday, July 09, 2007

A Question of Faith

Now that my brain has cleared somewhat from the fog that had overtaken it last week I shall turn my attention to a question that Al asked last week (or was it longer ago than that?). Let's see if I can answer it relatively intelligently.

What role does your spirituality play in your life, how does it relate to your sexuality, and how is being spiritual helping you through this trying time.

Spirituality plays a large role in my life, maybe not in the way that a traditional church-going Christian would consider a large role, but to me personally it feels vitally important to me. If I did not have my faith, I would feel utterly lost in the world, and often it is when I lose sight of my faith that I struggle the most with my emotions. I don't participate in tons of church activities. I don't read my Bible every single day. I don't do a lot of the typical religious stuff. I do pray a lot though. I converse with God a lot. I should become more involved in a congregation somewhere, would like to do so, and intend to do so although I will never ever be the uppity holier-than-thou Christian.

In terms of my sexuality, my faith has helped guide my behavior although I have not always adhered to the ideals in which I believe. However, I know that I am human with human frailties. I believe that adultery is sin, and a sin of which I am guilty. Do I feel remorseful for it? Yes I do. Am I going to stop? No, not right now. Now I know a lot of people will disagree, but I believe that the act of betrayal, the going behind W's back, is the more sinful part of the act of adultery rather than the act of sex. Perhaps it is rationalization on my part but I believe that sex in an open relationship if agreed to by both partners is not sinful but merely a sharing of one another with others. Yes, I know adultery is one of the Ten Commandments and therefore so much worse than some other sins. However, who among us can say that we haven't broken one or more of the Commandments? Except my mom of course. She swears that she has never committed a sin since becoming a Christian. I guess she can be one of the first to throw stones at me.

Having faith in God is a huge help to me in this trying time. It is only through my faith that I have made it this well for this long. Without it I would be completely adrift and lost. It has made me think long and hard about the issue of divorce. It has made me really search my heart (as well as seek counsel from more religiously learned people than myself) to come to the place where I can see that divorce is not always the wrong choice or the immoral choice, but it is also something that one does not undertake lightly. I have moved beyond the point of feeling a moral obligation to uphold vows that have already been broken. It is no longer a moral issue to me but rather one of courage, or lack of courage, to take the step. I am a huge people pleaser, and that has been my struggle of late. Obviously I am working on, and sometimes succeeding at, overcoming that struggle.

My faith and beliefs are not really mainstream though they also aren't quite as liberal as some of the more liberal churches. Sometimes I (half-jokingly) say that I should start my own church as that is the only way I'll ever find one that fits my beliefs. Years ago, my dad said that he thinks people find the religion that most closely match their personal beliefs not that a person's religion molds that person's beliefs. To a great extent I think he's right. None of the various churches of various denominations of which I've attended and/or been a member have ever changed my mind on issues of faith. I believe what I believe, and I talk to God about it through prayer. I figure if He and I are good with each other it really doesn't matter if I'm in sync with the rest of the world, or mainstream Christians, or any other group of people.

Boy oh boy. I'll bet I've just opened myself up to criticism from all types of people now, huh? Thanks so much Al. I'll let you help me respond to comments to this post. ;-)


Al Laddin said...

Like I figured Tru...that's a bottom-of-the-ninth game winning walk-off bases loaded homer right there.

Well thought, felt and said...and I feel about the same way. Shit...let's start our OWN church. And yes Ma'am...anybody that wants a piece of you over this goes through me first!!!

Fiona said...

We all have our own beliefs, our own framework of right and wrong. I think the important thing is tolerance and understanding.

Prayer is channelling positive thought and it helps some people to focus on a deity or a representation of their belief. I speak within myself, to whatever power exists within myself. I speak to it to be strong, to choose good over evil, to do no harm. Those are my goals. And like most people they are that, goals. Daily life causes transgressions, I'm as imperfect as the next person.

I pick the ohm in your picture as best reflecting where my beliefs lie :) And I'm happy in that place.

That's the other thing. One should be comfortable with one's beliefs. Not feel pressured by them or pushed in any way in a direction that's not comfortable.

I'm not familiar with the trivial pursuit pie-holder symbol, TS. What religion uses that :)

Fiona said...

ooooooooooh hahahahha it's the eight-spoked wheel of Buddhism, I've never seen it in such a simplistic form!

Trueself said...

Thanks Al. Apparently you and I are such a force nobody wants to take us on. I find it interesting that when I post on religion I get very few comments. Why? Perhaps because my beliefs are so eclectic nobody knows what to make of them? Or perhaps they've given me up as lost forever and not worth the time? I don't know. Anyway, thanks for appreciating my efforts.

Fiona - I so agree that tolerance and understanding is of utmost importance. I have my beliefs. I stand firmly in those beliefs. However, I'm not out to convince others that my beliefs are the only way to believe. I do wish, though, that some people, the extremists found in so many religions, would just lighten up.
Oh, and I didn't "get" the whole "trivial pursuit" symbol either when I first saw it. But it was part of the picture I found so I left it there.