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"Are you going to church?"
Let me let you in on a little secret--I haven't been to church in over 3 years. I know, I know. For anyone who is already thinking, "Oh this poor soul...", I encourage you to keep reading. Actually, I insist.
For my entire life, I've grown up with Christian values and beliefs. I was a regular at Spring Hill Camps, a back-row belter for church choirs (perk of being tall), a youth group fanatic, and a goody-two-shoes who never said the word Hell unless I was talking about a place. Nothing could shake me from my faith. It was just what I believed; it's what I was taught. I never questioned anything. It was what it was and I was comfortable with that.
As I have been getting older, I've been able to see things from more than one perspective. My intellect is far more cultured and I am beginning to question what truth is the real truth. Whoa, that's a bold statement, right? Honestly, it is, for me. There are many religions in this world; many that I don't know, or understand. But all of them are centralized around the same intent: what is the cause, nature and purpose of this universe. This place we call home; this place where we co-exist. Despite all of the differences in religion, every person wants to believe in something more. And who's to say that everyone's 'something more' is supposed to be the same?
Recently, I have been seeking my 'something more' in the things around me. I've been trying to make sense of my own life through my relationships, through the privileges that nature gives us, and through the immense desire I have to connect with the people of this world. Personally, I don't need to go to church to feel centered or to feel the love that I have for this life and all of humanity. And I am okay with that. Actually, I'm grateful for that because I know what my heart beats for and I know that no matter where I am, it's always the same.
If anyone knows me at all, you know that I am an emotional person. I will cry at the sight of the sun setting behind a mountain because I am amazed at it's beauty. I will find happiness in the simplest fact that my shoes match my shirt just perfectly and I will get teary-eyed if I think about the fact that my animals won't live as long as me (the development of cloning is enticing!). I've been realizing, that for me, my emotions are a big part of who I am. The yearning for an emotional connection with people and to soak in the sights of this world are what consumes me. It's not the responsibilities in religion where I feel compelled to seek more.
I choose to seek my truth and build my faith on what is in the now. I choose to reflect on the universe and purpose of my being through the areas of my life where I find the most joy. Maybe my truth isn't in a book. Because I feel it in my niece's laugh. Or in the view I see from the top of a mountain. I feel it in a hug from my mom and in a genuine smile I get from a stranger. My truth lies within myself and the joys around me. I believe its in my longing to do good deeds in this world, not because I am told to do so from a book, but because in my heart and soul, that is my something more. Whether that is driven from a God or simply the immaculate science of the human body, I don't know. But I do know that we aren't here to just exist and then die. There is something more. We are too brilliant of creatures and this world is too delicate to just live and die. My soul is too profound and intricate for that.
If you're like me, and you're trying to find your place in this mystifying world, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. I encourage you to discover your own truth. Don't feel ashamed or criticized for what you believe in or where you put your faith because each of us have our own 'something more'. Live your life with intention. Be capable of discovery. Don't settle for being comfortable. Ever.
Maybe I'm speaking to an audience of zero, it's quite possible. Or maybe I am sharing a little too much for someone's personal comfort and maybe I am just writing this out for my own reflection. Probably a little of each. But I will tell you this: my heart lives for something more. My soul pushes me to discover more of this world and to attach myself to the hearts and minds of those I love. I believe that deep down, we are all seeking out our own purpose and whether you believe in a God, the universe, or nothing at all, it's my hope that you have genuine contentment in your life because, surely, we all should.
So, no. I'm not going to church. And no, I don't feel bad about it and you shouldn't either. It doesn't mean that I don't believe and it doesn't mean that I am "lost". I'm just at a point in my life where I need to discover my own truth, for me. Because I do have faith in this world and I do have immeasurable joy in my heart. It's good to express truth, faith and belief differently. It makes us diverse and that's okay. What matters is that we live and love on repeat.
"We all co-exist with love and that will never, ever change."