Saturday, November 19, 2011

Shh. We're going to talk about...religion.

I should preface this post by mentioning it is spiritual in nature, and while it is not judgmental, if you are uncomfortable with such personal topics, you should probably go ahead and leave now.
Religion is a taboo subject in polite company.
Bringing religion or spirituality into a conversation is akin to farting on a first date - you just don't do it. One should never discuss religion or politics if one wants to keep the peace.
The thing is, I like to talk about spirituality. I find most religions empirically interesting - even if have no interest in actually following your beliefs, I'll sit and listen to you talk about them. We had Mormon elders (young Mormon men leave home for two years when they are 19-20 years old and perform a "mission" - living together and performing acts of charity wherever they are sent. Not old men - which is what I thought they were when they were first mentioned.) volunteering twice a week at the office where I worked. I asked them endless questions about their beliefs, which they were kind enough to answer without trying to convert me. I enjoyed these conversations immensely, and learned a lot about a significant part of our population.
Our spirituality is such an important part of ourselves, it saddens me that many people do not feel comfortable having a mature conversation about it. I personally do not subscribe to any one religion, but consider myself on a journey - an exploration of my own spiritual self. When my friend S. suggested to me in the spring that we start a spiritual discussion group, I jumped at the chance. An opportunity to have respectful and informative discussions about what people believe, or don't believe...this spoke to me on the deepest level. We began the group only two months ago with only two rules - be respectful and do not judge. We are there to learn and explore, not to pass judgement on others. We call it "a safe space for spiritual exploration."
We are a small group so far, and we have no name, so I've been calling it "my spiritual discussion group" which is a bit cumbersome for my taste, but it's the best descriptor I've got. One of the things I miss most about organized religion is the fellowship and spiritual guidance for my children, and I've been wanting to visit a Unitarian Universalist church, but have not wanted to go alone. Since we are so small yet, and the idea appealed to the rest of our members, we are visiting the church as a group tomorrow.
I feel that over the past few years I've neglected this so important part of myself. This discussion group is helping me to address my spiritual needs, as well as giving me a chance to talk about something I'm truly interested in with like-minded people.


Amie said...

So we're just going to abandon the idea of starting a coven? Damn.

In tangentially related news, I think it's verboten to fart on a second date, too.

hi_missy said...

No, that's the beauty of UU. I can believe whatever I want.