Calista shared a conversation she had with her friends today about religion. She was a little confused that her friends got so upset when she told them she doesn't believe in heaven or hell, and she was somewhat taken back by the place of fear that they were coming from. She told me she didn't think 10, 11, and 12 year olds should have to worry about such things. She feels like everyone thinks they know everything and they REALLY don't and no matter how much you contemplate such things you will not KNOW the answers. She feels like everyone should just stop trying so hard to find the answers and just LIVE. I listened with open ears and an open heart. One thing that struck me is that her beliefs on religion and God are somewhat different than mine and that's what really started me contemplating tonight.
Most children who come from a Christian background believe what they believe because that is what they have been taught to believe. They don't even know how to make their own opinions about their beliefs because they've never been given that option. I was told by a pastor one time that 80% of Christians became Christians as children. 80%!!! What that tells me is that 80% of Christians don't hold their own beliefs but rather have been brainwashed to believe that. That's just astounding to me! And it always seems to come back to this thing they call hell, and the fear of it. I lived most of my life, well into adulthood, living in that same fear and I'm so thankful to be free from it!! I'm even more thankful that I'm raising my own children with that sense of freedom and that they will never have some of the same silly hang-ups that I have spent the last 8 years releasing myself from.
I have my own spiritual practices and they are different than every single one of my children, for my children hold their own opinions and have come to their separate beliefs on their own. I would never dream of getting in their way or trying to sway them to believe one way or the other.
At the end of the conversation she said, "Mom, if I was going to be any religion I would be Pagan because it makes me feel good and I love doing rituals." It made my heart smile that she is being authentic to who she is and what is speaking to her. That is what I want for my children in all aspects of their life, that is my goal as I continue to raise my children in freedom; that they will be completely authentic and true to themselves.