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Back in August I wrote a post about building your own faith. I have long believed that one needn’t follow an established religion to have faith. However, there are issues that can pop up when you’re creating a faith that works for you personally. Recently. I’ve been having some of those issues, and it’s caused me to take a deeper look at my beliefs.
What was really getting to me is that most faith systems lean on either practices, or a way of living, or some combination of both. Most faiths have a code of behavior that they follow, and some regular practices that they engage in. I was feeling lost in both respects. What is my code? What are my practices? When you don’t follow a set path with rules laid out for you, how do you act on the faith that you have?
Since I was feeling lost, I sat down with someone who actually did invent their own faith system. We talked a lot about our practices and ethics. He helped me to start working out what practices I believe in, and what my personal code is. I still feel like there are some things missing, but I feel like I have a better handle on what I believe, and therefore, how I want to live.
It was quite interesting to me that my “code” feels more important to me than practices. I do chant and meditate and believe in magic, though I use it sparingly. However, the way of living seems more important. I suppose it’s the traditions and dogma of some of the larger faiths that makes me feel that’s odd, and I should focus more on prayer or ritual, but I know I should follow my heart. My heart says that who I choose to be, and encourage others to be, is more important than any other activity. And I do believe that repetition of ritual does not make a faithful person. Faith and love are in your heart, not in a church or at an altar.
It has become apparent to me that I need to put more thought into my faith. As part of that I’m going to take the notes I made during the conversation and try to write them out here on the blog, and go into more detail with them. By writing it down I’m sure I can solidify my thoughts and find new ones. I’ll share it because any comments made may help me to sort things out more, and having it available to the public may help others sort out their own beliefs.
I do think it’s important for all of us, whether we have a set faith or not, to take a long, hard look at what our faith consists of. What do we truly believe? Does it hold to the rules of what faith system we may belong to? Is it time to change or move on? Do the things we think we believe still ring as true in our hearts now as we once thought they did? It’s important to know, and to live a life and hold a faith we truly believe at a soul-deep level.