Husband kept expecting that my rest period would end with some sudden realization or conversion. But I knew that this journey was only just beginning.
I always assumed that Husband’s faith was just the same as mine, stubborn and unfounded. The more disillusioned I became with my faith, the more I started thinking that maybe He was brainwashed too, especially when nothing I could say would sway him. But the more we debated, the more I realized he really did know what he was talking about. At some point before becoming a Christian, he had done his homework. He knew both sides of the creation/evolution argument. He knew the tenants and philosophies of every main world religion. He even had experience with people from almost every walk of life. All I had was what my parents gave me: the ability to reason, and a thorough brainwashing. I had never studied other religions, I knew nothing about the evolution, and I had limited social experience. He could argue circles around me no matter what we were discussing. I was frustrated with some of his conclusions, but also shocked to discover he wasn’t nearly as hard lined as my parents had been. He didn’t believe in female submission, or spiritual headship. He didn’t think Catholics were going hell, in fact, he questioned whether hell was really the burning torture chamber I had learned about. He loved rock music and thought I looked nice in a bikini…
I realized I could never make an informed decision on religion until I was actually informed.
I started browsing the documentary section at the library and brought home a number of different DVDs on subjects ranging from Ancient Wicka to the Galapagos Islands. Husband watched them with me sometimes and listened to me talk about what I’d learned with patience and interest. I’ll list a few of my favorites here.
I watched a documentary called “in the name of God.” It was made just after 9/11 as a look into various religions and their take on violence, war, and where “god” fits in. It was beautiful and refreshing. I teared up a couple times throughout the film as my heart celebrated the goodness of humanity. It also helped me silence my inner conspiracy theorist. Religion isn’t all bad, it’s not all evil, it’s not a tool used by the government to control the masses. Religion comes from the hearts of people seeking truth, happiness, and greater good; there’s nothing inherently sinister about it.
Another of my favorites was a PBS documentary called “The question of God.” In this film, Harvard Professor Dr. Armand Nicholi examines the questions of faith and belief. He and a panel of prestigious psychologists and philosophers look at the lives and works of C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud. "It may be that Freud and Lewis represent conflicting parts of ourselves," Dr. Nicholi notes. "Part of us yearns for a relationship with the source of all joy, hope and happiness, as described by Lewis, and yet, there is another part that raises its fist in defiance and says with Freud, 'I will not surrender.' Whatever part we choose to express will determine our purpose, our identity, and our whole philosophy of life."
I continue to read and research in my spare time. I’m in Psychology 101 in college and I love every minute of it. I feel like a whole new world is opening up before my eyes. Why were my parents so afraid to educate me? As I grow more knowledgeable, my discussions with my husband get less heated and more intellectual. I love being a blank slate. I love not knowing. My healing process is slowly becoming a learning process as well.
I’ll periodically update my blog with a post about where I am in my spiritual journey. If you’re on the same path, just know that it might take you your entire life. And that’s okay! Lets learn to embrace this journey together!