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Finding my religion

By Erin Shriver
On March 31, 2015

Photo Taken by: Erin Shriver

As the celebration of Easter creeps up on us this coming weekend, the thought of religion keeps going through my mind.

Growing up in a very Catholic family, I went to church every Sunday, and attended private schools from kindergarten through high school. 

When I got to college, I began thinking more about my religion…what religion am I and what religion should I practice?

When we are children, we tend to believe what our parents teach us; this includes religion.

Growing up Catholic, I thought this was really the only religion out there, and I felt like I was kind of sheltered when I got to college and started learning about other religious beliefs.

It dawned on me that I didn’t need to be a Catholic just because my parents were. I am an adult and I need to find what religion is right for me. I need to find something that fits my personal beliefs, not something that fits what my family wants me to believe.

I have been searching for the right religion for me since my sophomore year of college, but lately I have been thinking more about how I am going to search further after I graduate.

Now it sounds silly, but I went to the Internet to search “how to find the religion that fits me.” I know what I value and what my personal beliefs are, so I wanted to see if there were any religions out there that came hand in hand with what I already thought.

There are over 4,200 religions in the world; this could be a different sect of one religion or branches off of certain religions, so it might take some time to find the perfect religion, but I might as well start somewhere.

I want to help you guys figure out what to think about if you are also struggling with finding what religion is right for you.

Some things that I found that have helped me as I am searching for my “perfect” religious fit are the following:

  • You must keep an open mind. I grew up Catholic so I have a lot of things engrained in my mind from going to church for more than 12 years. I need to now make my mind a clean slate so that I don’t reject a religion right off the bat from previous beliefs. It is good to go read books about different religions and learn more about them.
  • Listen to yourself. Think about why you want to find a religion that is right for you. What is the real reason that you want to find a religion?
  • Don’t make a quick/easy decision. It might be easy to go back to your roots if you can’t seem to find the right religion for you right away. Go talk to people who you know practice different religions and ask them questions.
  • You can find what you’re looking for. It may take a long time (I am still working on it after 3 years) but I know that one day I will find what I am looking for, even if it ends up not being a religion.
  • Look at all aspects of each religion. Some religions might sound great, but you have to make sure you look at all sides, the positives and the negatives. You don’t want to believe in something that you don’t agree with fully.

Other things that I have been doing is just being open minded and non judgmental. When I came to college many people judged me because I was Catholic; this isn’t what you should do if you want help finding your religion.

You must also question and research everything. No question is too small or unimportant. To be educated about the religion you find as a fitting for yourself is something I see as very important.

If you are struggling with finding your religion, make sure you talk to your friends and family about it.

When you find what is right for you, you will know and you will feel so much better about yourself and your values and beliefs.

Also, don’t be afraid during this time; it is very common for people to branch off from their families or beliefs they were brought up practicing.

Everyone has a path in life, you just have to follow it.

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