Friday, May 23, 2014: Do you like attending religious services?
**Warning: This is a raw post.**
This may surprise most people that I know, but I actually do enjoy going to religious services. I am an atheist. I came out to my mom, so to speak, when I was 17 years old. It was a pretty rough discussion. I stopped believing in a god or higher power when I was 14, but the reasons for my atheism are for another post. My grandparents didn't know about my beliefs, which they are beliefs contrary to popular opinion, until I was 24 years old when my mom told my grandma.
Until I was 17, I went to weekly mass and went through the motions of the good Catholic girl for my mom. I continued going to mass with my grandparents until it was no longer necessary. You might wonder why I kept up the charade for so long, but I have my reasons. Much of my life has been about keeping up appearances. You don't talk about what's going on at home with anyone and if anyone asks you're "fine." Going to mass was respite from home. No one is allowed to talk to you during and you can be alone with your thoughts. I appreciated and enjoyed the solitude and community of it. Mass was safe.
I no longer attend Mass or any religious services at all. The solace that it once afforded me is no longer required and I have found other ways to move on. This is probably for the best. Now when I need to clear my mind or find inner peace, I do yoga. Like I said in a previous post, yoga provides all of the inner peace I need without any of the inner guilt. In many ways, Catholicism is a religion based on triggering that one particular emotion. One is never good enough for god and, by simply living, one cannot simply be happy with one's choices. I made a choice to be happy.