I recently began reading the second part of Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” and I can’t seem to wrap my head around the spiritual parts. I understand “Eat” and I think I’ll understand “Love”, but “Pray” has me baffled.
I’m not a religious person, but I think I know why that is now. Religion is not a subject to be learned or a sport to be practiced. It’s just who you are. Christians rely on the bible and prayer. So many religions rely on prayer, but how do you pray when you can’t speak your thoughts and emotions aloud? Is it okay to write such things down?
How do your “learn” faith? I tried to find faith when I was young. I read and prayed and went to Sunday school, but I never had that feeling of devotion. I have never been filled with the Holy Spirit. It never felt like anything more than learning. It was never any different than attending school and learning math, history and science. I can handle being a student. That’s how I am, who I am. I am a student, always searching and always learning.
Am I wrong in thinking that faith is not something to study? It wouldn’t seem right to turn any religion into a learning experience. I have heard that it can teach people a lot about themselves, but I know who I am. I am a strong, honest, caring, and morally driven person. I’ve never understood why I would need to believe in a higher power in order to be a good person.
I don’t even do yoga for its spiritual aspects. Yoga is simply exercise for me. Sure, it has connected my mind and body and made me very aware of how it all works together, but it has never given me faith, or the feeling of any power higher than my own mind. All it has done for me is given me the ability to do anything I choose, from running and skating to skydiving.
I don’t think I will ever have a personal relationship with God, Abraham, Buddha, Vishnu, or the Prophet Mohammad. It doesn’t matter how much studying I do on the subject. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who doesn’t feel this connection that everyone around me seems to have been born with. Could faith be the one thing I’m unable to achieve in my life? Could it be my one and only inability?
The one thing I do know is that I love my family and friends. I care about the well being of others and I strive to always do what I think is right. I believe what I can see and feel. I’ve never seen God or felt his presence, but I know whom I am and what kind of person I have grown into. Maybe I was never meant to believe in anything spiritual. Maybe I’m just too stubborn.