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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Question How do I have the courage? - May 18th 2013, 03:12 PM

I've struggled for a long while religiously. When I was twelve, I worshiped the Greek Gods for two years, and loved it. My friends convinced me to give Christianity another try, and after about six months of that, I'd had enough. I researched a lot of different religions, but still the one that sticks with me -- the one that I really felt like I grew up with -- is the best one for me, I think. Not to mention I already have faith in the Gods, so there's no having to build up to that.

The thing is, I'm going to college either this fall or this spring (I'm an early grad, so we have to make sure everything's alright with the college I choose before I go, in the way of paperwork and such). My mom and I have developed a really sound, mutually respectful relationship lately. The only thing she doesn't know about me is that I'm not a Christian, and I'd like to change that.

I'd like to sit down with her and discuss Hellenismos, my views on evolution, life, and the hereafter, before I go to college. I feel that if I'm able to speak to her about it now, I will be in close enough proximity that even if she doesn't agree with my views, she'll be able to see that I'm not any different than I was before -- that maybe I've even settled into my beliefs and become a better person for it. Even more, I'd like the blessing said at my graduation party to be asked of my Gods. I'm willing to meet in the middle and have my cousin say another blessing via her God, but nothing in the world would mean more to me.

The trouble is that I'm terrified. I know she's sane and respects my opinion, so I know that I shouldn't be so afraid; but I respect her opinion, too, and when she inevitably tells me that I'm unstable for not being a Christian, I'll probably break down crying without really meaning to. I'd hate for the closeness we've had lately to break apart because of my Gods, but I feel that I need to hear what she says about it, and more importantly, I don't want to keep trying to be something I'm not to please my family and the people around me.


I have a list of things that I'm going to talk about, which I just have to print out so that I have it when I speak to her. The ideal time is any time: We live on a farm, so I've planned to just ask her to take a walk with me, then explain it to her as gently and respectfully as possible. It's going to come as a huge shock to her, and if she cries, I'm going to choke up and not be able to talk.


Any ideas how I can gather the courage to go through this?


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1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: How do I have the courage? - May 20th 2013, 01:18 PM

Hey Ana,

If you have good communication with your mom, I would recommend trying to bring up a discussion about her religious and philosophical opinions. That way, it can be a back and forth thing where you can agree on common ground, then introduce your own beliefs within the conversation. This way, it's not like an awkward "mom...there's something I want to tell you...I'm not a Christian" but rather, a discussion about religion that introduces different ideas one-by-one.

However, I'm going to say that there is also nothing wrong with keeping beliefs to yourself. This seems like odd advice, but while my parents' and I are of the same religion, we're not of the same philosophy, and I just choose not to discuss my opinions because of the way they are. For example, my mother is very anti-illegal immigration (to the point of bordering racist, don't even get me started) but I don't argue with her. For me, it's not worth it. It will only cause unnecessary bickering and awkwardnesss.

What I will say is that if you don't believe that your mother will make this uncomfortable, then by all means, you should be able to have an adult-to-adult discussion with her about religion. But there is nothing wrong with not being out to her about it; religion, philosophy, these are very personal things. These are not "I have cancer" or "I won the lottery" or "Sexual orientation news" that would change the foundation of your relationship if kept secret since they affect so much of your daily life; these are integral points of your personal being and I don't see anything wrong with not talking about it. It depends on your relationship with your mother.


I said to the sun, "Tell me about the big bang"
& the sun said “it hurts to become."
Andrea Gibson, "I Sing The Body Electric; Especially When My Power Is Out"
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