"I think you're awesome," a very close friend of mine said. "Why?" I asked. "Because you're so spiritual. I wish I had your faith. You have no doubts at all."
I do not consider myself to be anything special or profound. I'm just a man being himself and doing what he loves and believes in. But at the same time, there are some people in my life who think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. And there is certainly something undeniable in what they said, I have always had incredibly strong faith no matter what has happened or hasn't happened in my life. Growing up dirt poor, struggling through my young adult life, having a premature child, enduring years of hardship as a parent; there were many things that would attack the spirit of some other people. But not me. Why is that and how do I release myself from doubt?
For starters, I think my spiritual upbringing plays a part, even though it was an entirely different theology. Several religions, despite their vast disagreements, can at times agree on some human values, or at least not devalue them. I grew up in a religiously conservative community and environment in the South. Enduring faith as a concept in and of itself, was instilled into me. I was taught that belief in deity was vital, and simply childish to only be loyal when something goes your way, and turn your back when something goes wrong. In short, a tremendous sense of honor.
Is it also possible that someone could be born with inherent faith? I certainly think so. We are born with schema, which enables us to look for Higher Powers in the universe, and so we are always looking for Gods even from the time we are born. For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with the natural world and could always see the powers and minds behind it all. I still retain that mindset and interpretation to this day. I can't disbelieve in the Gods just as I cannot disbelieve in anything else around me. I can't disbelieve in the Sun, Moon, the forests or oceans because they're obviously there.
Finally, I would call it bliss. I've heard people in the Hellenic community say that we do not worship the Gods because we want something in return, but simply because it makes our lives more blissful. I cannot logically deny that the Gods have given me so many blessings and helped me through all of my hardships. Yes, life has had trials, but the Gods are the goodness we can always experience, and that can help us overcome our problems.
How do I release all doubts? I suppose it would boil down to a simple factor. No matter how long they've been in the religion, whenever a fellow Hellenist tells me they are scared or worried, I always say, you still haven't learned to trust the Gods yet, my friend.
In the Goodness of the Gods,