In preparing to make this particular essay, much to my consternation I could not immediately think about a conflict that may be appropriate to nor have I found something that must be worth telling. After debating about the onerous and numerous conflicts that had already occurred in my life, there is a particular problem that I had found worth telling. It would not be amiss if I had chosen to talk about the inner turmoil that had surfaced in my life –the turmoil that is religion. Upon reaching the age of awareness and understanding, it had been a long standing question for me whether or not I would take up the religion that my parents that had adopted or to continue tradition and take up my grandparents long standing religion.
The background of this familial conflict is dated when I was still small, approximately, at the age of 9 or 10. My inner turmoil then continued on when I was in my adolescent years and finally resolved when I was nearing the age of nineteen. My inner conflict, my religious affiliation, had been resolved by deciding not to just choose the two religions that were pushed to me by my elders but I have chosen to open myself up with the possibility that religious affiliations will not be the only way for me to come to terms with my faith in a Higher Being.
Notice that I have used the term Higher Being? I believe it to be a wise decision especially when later I would present the main reason for it. Relating this tear-jerking experience is at some degree hard for me. It was tear-wrenching since I remembered myself crying over it a couple of times and I remembered myself frustrated and flustered with the idea. At the young age of 9 or 10, my grandmother poked around my own feelings about the change in religion that my mother, and eventually, my father had taken.
Raised to an honesty policy, I found it hard to just let the topic die down with a simple affirmative answer. I confessed to them my confusion and my own conflict, since for at least 9 years of my life I had grown to know my grandparents’ religion. It was just innocent enough and maybe too naïve and unguarded. After that particular conversation, I saw my mother crying in my parents’ room. Guessing the reason why, I had come to a realization that I had put my mother in a deeper fix than she was before.
My grandparents are Catholics and my mother chose another religion that my grandmother was skeptical about. This particular religion still involves worshipping God but its ways are different from that of my grandparents’. My grandmother and my mother had a row about it and eventually there was a rift between them. They were still in speaking terms but both of them had conveniently forgotten about the issue of religion. In fact, my grandmother tolerated my mother’s decision and my mother tolerated my grandmother’s opinions. This was the routine until I was about to enter high school years.
It could then be seen here that my conflict started when I witnessed my mother crying over something that I had said to my grandmother. It seems that my grandmother blamed my mother for the state of confusion that I was in at that time. After the incident, I have learned a little tact and learned to curb my tongue when it comes to religious outbursts. Personally, this would have been left as is given that I was still young and playing was my main concern. But the incident has glued on to my head for a few more years.
I did not anticipate that it would take a better half of my life fighting over and pretending that I believed in what both parties were telling me. Eventually, I had taken up my parents’ religion for a while and I was content at that time. But as time passed by, I became restless with the mind boggling experiences that I have witnessed. Take for example my other relatives; they began seeing my mother as a deviant and that her religious choice was highly dubitable.
As an adolescent, my parents had provided me certain independence and other liberties to explore my own self. They may still have influenced me greatly but in this particular subject, they could not sway me from my convictions. I had given my parents’ religion a chance and engaged in activities that were thrust upon me. The fusses that the activities had made me forget, temporarily though, my inner turmoil. Only when I began school again that I was able to fully recover the idea from the back of my mind.
During this time, my grandparents had slowly changed their opinions about my mother seeing that this change did not become destructive. But the scene kept playing in my head and it grows more vivid by the time passes by. In school, I would ask other people regarding religion and still could not find a satisfactory answer. My inquiries had taken me nowhere but deeper than I was before. It was later that Sunday service could no longer satisfy my growing need for an answer. It came to a point that I almost became an atheist, and blamed my parents for it. The redeeming factor that came into my mind was due to the pastor’s statement that God loves me regardless of what I have become.
This display of unconditional love had made me realize that there is more to life than just religious affiliations. I could even remember having a heated debate with a friend regarding my opinion. It is in my strong belief that a Higher Being, regardless of who he/she is, would actually accept me for what I am. I do not think that my values and/or virtues would have a direct link with what religious affiliation that I would take. Seeing other religious people and their fervor in proving whose religion is much better only makes me shake my head in disbelief.
The shock that such juvenile bickering could still ensue among adults, like my mother and grandmother, had led me to a decision that would not hurt both adults and would benefit me as a person. What is religion then? They say that religion is a certain system of belief but this definition may have been problematic still and that the problem of the definitions are still at large now (Robinson). For me, religion became a hindrance to a contented life. It made me agitated thinking that I had to choose and that I had to set myself with the restrictions and limitations that the religions have.
In the end, I had chosen a path where I could actually be satisfied with. Some people would still nag me about it and some people may scorn me about it but this decision actually works in my life. It may sound too pragmatic and impermanent but this is how I could cope with after the pressures that I had. I learned here that inquiries and a degree of skepticism would not be bad especially when a decision is something that could be of great importance. Doubting should not be taken negatively but it should be embraced especially when it could help resolve things as well as finding satisfaction in decisions and how it was arrived.
Robinson, B.A. “Definitions of the Word “Religion””. 2007. September 23 2007. <http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_defn.htm>.