In the more recent months, I have noticed a shift in my spirituality. I grew up in a non-religious household. My parents both grew up Christian, even attending bible study on the weekends. However, my parents felt that they never wanted to pressure us to follow one religion or another. We didn’t attend church growing up, or discuss religion in our daily lives. I also spent a significant period of my childhood overseas, where the majority of people were either Muslim or Hindu. Because of this, I have been exposed to many different religions. While I found them all fascinating, I never felt motivated to follow any particular faith.
Logic over Faith
I am also an engineer, with a logical and math-based mind, so I always fell more on the side of science, not religion (not saying that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive of course). I grew up on one course- high school, college, full-time, big-girl job. I knew my path and I knew exactly how hard I would need to work to get there. I believe the phrase goes “we make plans, and God laughs”? I am no longer on that path, due to a myriad of reasons, and I’m not sure how, when, or if I will get back on it.
Now I am forced to question a lot. Am I still an engineer if I don’t have an engineering job? What is my degree worth? How about in 5 years? Or 10? I have been rethinking my career path, and my identity as an academic, hard-working individual. I’ve been reconsidering what I thought I knew about myself and the world. I have noticed I am feeling more spiritual, and exploring more belief systems about the universe, and the idea of connection between all living beings in our universe. I want to believe that things aren’t random. That there is a greater reason for this pain.
Searching for Answers
I think a lot of people who go though struggles search for answers. Whether that struggle is dealing with a chronic illness, losing a loved one, or just having a bout of bad luck. For the longest time, I felt that religion was for the weak. That these people needed something to believe in to get through their daily lives. However, as I grow and learn, I realize that there is so much about the world, about medicine and our universe that even the brightest scientists don’t know. It’s quite normal for us as humans to seek for a deeper meaning behind things. And that there is nothing wrong with looking for answers, especially on your darkest days.
Being more Receptive to a Different Path
I am not saying I’m going to start attending church daily (not that there is anything wrong with that of course), but I have noticed a gradual shift in my thinking. I am more open to alternate views of the way our world functions. Ever since I first got sick I have become more open to eastern medicinal practices and more holistic methods. Some may call this desperation, and I’m sure this is partly true. However, I think it’s about humility. Realizing that we humans don’t have it all figured out yet. Sometimes there aren’t absolute truths, only a variety of theories. I want to explore some of these other paths in life, and try to find a deeper, and more meaningful connection to this Earth and to all beings that reside in it.
Do you find you are more spiritual when you go through hard times? What helps you when you are feeling down?