I’m not religious, but I am spiritual.
By this I mean that faith is part of my life but I don’t consider myself to be Catholic, Jewish, or of any other religion.
I'll be honest: I attended a Catholic college not because it was a Catholic institution but because the campus, students, academics, and Division I volleyball program was of interest to me. I’m going to be even more honest and admit that the only time I attended church during four years at a Catholic college was before final exams when they offered free food.
I have not attended church regularly (or much at all) since I was in elementary school. Back then, I think my mom got us involved in church activities because she considered it the right thing to do and she wanted us to engage with the community of “good” children at church.
In other words, I almost felt it was more for social purposes than religious. With our church groups, we went Christmas caroling, made crafts, sang songs, etc. Great stuff for kids, whether it be under a church roof or at a daycare or camp.
Religion did not play a major role in my upbringing, and before I had gone through puberty I found myself spending Sundays on a volleyball court instead of in a church pew. Is this a crime? Not at all. I still had strong values and morals and turned out to be a wonderful person (if I do say so myself). Perhaps sports provided for me what religion did not, or maybe my parents just did a good job of raising my siblings and me to be strong people.
I am not against religion in any way; it's just never been a large influence on anything that I do. But I think there is something incredibly valuable about a Sunday routine of church-going that I can and should incorporate into my life as a conscious, aware, healthy 20-something and participant in this universe.
Church forces you to reflect. Whether you attended church voluntarily or because your parents made you, church forced you to sit down and think about your own actions and the world around you. You considered those who were suffering and gave thanks for all that you have. This is something valuable that anyone and everyone of any ethnicity and domination can take away.
If you’re like me and church no longer has a place in your week or hasn’t in over a decade, why not meditate on Sundays instead? If you read MindBodyGreen at all, you're well aware of the benefits of meditation. Yet we all have our own excuse for not doing it, the most common being that we don’t have the time, which is bullshit. If it means something to you, you will find a way to make it work.
Why not meditate each Sunday like you used to go to church every Sunday? If you grew up in a Catholic household, Sundays meant Church – no excuses. Why not make Sundays your day for meditation – no excuses?
Instead of catching up on laundry on Sundays, I’m going to block time for my own reflection and bettering of myself. I don’t have to put on a dress or chat with neighbors afterward over coffee. I just have to get my ass to a cushion, be still, and breathe.
There are no rules for worship, just the intention to improve yourself and your world through it.
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