Praying. I forget how.

“When the world pushes you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray.” – Rumi

When people are down on their luck or going through hard times or ill health, so many of them turn to their faith to help them through. I feel a bit faithless, which never bothered me in the slightest before, but now it’s something I am thinking about having been more exposed to other religions than me own.

I was raised a Catholic, though most of my religious education was through school as my parents weren’t excessively religious. I received all the sacraments (baptism, communion, confirmation) and once I finished school I never really went to church again, except for occasions like easter, Christmas, funerals, christenings, weddings etc. I’m sorry to say I haven’t even gone to a Christmas mass in over two years. I just didn’t have any belief. Religion to me was a subject at school, something to be learned off and then prayers and hymns recited on command. I never thought about it being real, it just seemed like an epic story.

Where I live in London is predominantly a Muslim community. There are the odd few like myself in rented flats around the area but the whole area is based around Asian families. The shops, the foods, the schools and mosques everywhere, my first time hearing the loudspeakers blaring out the prayers I got a serious fright! Also, my best friend over here is Asian and Muslim but although she isn’t strict about it every day she still does plenty of praying with family and goes to various things with them. Because of this I’ve been interested in the religion and culture and I’ve wanted to learn more about Islam and the teachings.

At the moment it’s Ramadan which is a 30 day fasting and praying session. In this time you may only eat between the hours of sunset and sunrise, which at the moment means people are fasting from 3.15am until 9.15pm approx. I can’t even imagine being able to do that for a weekend, let alone a month. To me it seems like these people must have the strongest beliefs in their religion, their god and their customs. It makes me feel good about Islam in a way, some of their teachings are very understandable and can provide moral code to live by.

Now, I’m not saying I want to convert to Islam but it’s been good to see other religions. It’s got me thinking is there a religion out there that I can really put my trust and faith in? Is there a god or gods I can turn to when I need that reassurance? I don’t know. But I do know I’m on a bit of a mission to find out more about worldwide religions.

Growing up I always thought Rastafarianism was the way to go, until I started to research it.. Now I think I’m too westernised and independent for those kind of beliefs. I’m not being owned by any man, I’m certainly not having dreads and I do love to wear deodorant… All manmade things and cosmetic items are not allowed. And to be honest early Rastafarians really disliked white people and believed in black supremacy so I can’t really identify! Probably the one good part is when you get your period no one can eat any food you have cooked so you either take it easy and the men do their own things..or you still cook and eat it all yourself. Win!

Maybe eventually I will stumble into something I can believe in, something more than just a nice story written years ago that we all must believe is gospel truth! ‘Til then, i’d rather be an atheist!

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