So I was asked at the checkout today by one of the cashiers I’ve built a very good rapport with “Are you by any chance, a Christian woman?” I had to ask her again to repeat her question. “I’m sorry?” “Are you a Christian woman?”, she repeats. I blinked a couple of times to think of my answer, and before I replied, she said, “Oh I ask because you seem to have the values of a good Christian woman.”
I grew up in a family who are ALL Christians, with the exception of my late paternal grandparents, who were Buddhists. When I was a little girl, I went to church every Sunday, went to Sunday school and even sang in the church choir (even though I’ve got a terrible singing voice but I guess everyone there was very forgiving !).
After high school, I started going out on Saturday nights and could never wake up in time for church. And that’s when I stopped going. I was also a very angry teenager right up to my young adulthood. So I rebelled, drank too much, smoked too much and even dabbled on recreational drugs. All this time, my family members (and external family) continued to go to church. I was probably seen by them as the lost/black sheep in the family, the one who broke away and lost faith in God. But little did I know at the time, I was on a journey from self hatred and hatred towards the world to being able to stand on my own two feet.
I admire people of all religions who turn to their God, it always seems like there’s peace when they give gratitude or if they go through a hard time, they leave their fate to the hands of God.
However, I, being who I am, have chosen to do it slightly differently. I don’t believe in religion per se. I don’t pray to Jesus or to God. I kinda just try and do the right thing as a human being. I fail plenty of times, especially when I’m angry. I can be sarcastic and I swear so much that I can make a grown man blush. But I am a fiercely loyal friend, wife and mother. I volunteer, give to charity or simply help out a friend in need. I don’t do nice things because my religion tells me to do so, I do nice things because it’s the right thing to do.
I don’t want to put a label on what I believe in. I believe in something but I don’t know exactly what it is. I believe that there’s life after death in the form of reincarnation and I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I believe we all have souls which continue to move on after we die.
My brother once asked me “Why are you so angry with God?” And my answer to him was “I’d have to believe in God for me to be angry with him. But I don’t believe in any God, so there’s no anger there.”
I believe in myself.
And just like anyone with faith, sometimes they get down and question their faith. Well, sometimes I lose faith in myself too. And like them, they pick themselves up and put their trust in God, I pick myself up and start to believe in myself again.
I believe that as long as I try everyday to be a good(ish) person, I should be ok, right? As long I teach my kids right from wrong, to be respectful and conscious of people around them, to be kind to others, to show compassion, they should be ok too, right?
I’ve forgiven the hardest people to forgive, and even found compassion for them. And I’m always grateful for everything that I have.
I really don’t care if you’re religious or not, as long as you’re a good person, hey, you’re doing things right.
So I answered the checkout lady “No, I’m not a Christian. I’m not anything, I’m just me!” I giggled, and so did she. While her question shocked me a little at first, I will take it as a compliment. As what she’s really saying to me, is that she likes my values. And that makes me proud, very proud of myself.