Let me start by explaining my husband and I's background concerning religion. We both had completely different upbringings and experiences and yet we somehow ended up pretty damn parallel in our beliefs. No two people believe the exact same thing so we do have our differences. That's one reason why we feel the politics of organized religion is bullshit.
I grew up in a house where we only went to church on a holiday. My step mom and father believed in god and we had a bible but we didn't pray before eating and we didn't go to church. My real mom is catholic and had some religious paraphernalia around her house, such as a rosary, but we also didn't pray before eating and never went to church. When I was in 10th grade I decided to give god a try. My aunt went to a non-denominational church where youth group was like a party so I joined and tried my best to experience what everyone was talking about. I helped form the christian student union in school called BOC (Blood of Christ). In my senior year something changed. I went through some things and didn't find god to be helpful or comforting. I came to the realization that I didn't need god or anyone else. I realized I was enough. I had the strength and wisdom within myself to over come anything. I believed I had the power to love, hate, forgive, change, grow, grieve and be happy all on my own.
My husband @xtrodinarypilot grew up in a catholic home. They went to church at least three days a week. He and his brothers went through Catechism, were baptized and confirmed. Once a week, his parents would turn all the lights off, light candles and say the rosary around the house for hours. He talks about it like it was a creepy seance. He never believed in the christian taught concept of god. He always had questions and when he asked the priest those questions he got his ass whipped. In high school he played around with mysticism, casting spells and wearing the pentagram. I think that was mostly rebellion. As a young adult, he intentionally inserted himself into experiencing other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
Eventually, I think we both came to the conclusion that we didn't believe in any one god and definitely felt strongly against organized religion.
This is my daughter's Prayer Bear that her Mimi bought her for her birthday.
To sum up what we believe now and what we teach our children: We do not know what the truth is and we do not have the right to judge others on what they believe. We teach our kids it's OK to ask questions. We teach them that we believe everyone is right. God is who they all say god is to them and maybe god has revealed him/herself differently to different people because we are all so different. So, if they decide to believe in something they know they have our support. We challenge the ideas of religion every chance we get to teach them not to blindly believe just because its expected to believe. They are also allowed to go to church if they want and when they come home we discuss their experience. It's been very interesting. We display many various religious items in our house that speak to us. We are not Buddhist but we have Buddha's and we are not catholic but we have a rosary that my husband had when he was kid. There's an Om hanging above our door and on the wall next to that is a pendulum. Our library varies From Bibles, The Koran, The Kabbalah, A History of Witchcraft and a book on reincarnation. Our kids are encouraged to learn about them all. We focus more on spirituality than religion but want our kids to understand the world around them.
The Laughing Buddha is the Buddha of abundance and prosperity. He is known as the “Buddha of Wealth”.
It's believed he will bring wealth and prosperity to a home or business. The laughing Buddha is usually the
depiction you see in Asian owned businesses. We need all of that we can get!
One of the more common rupas is of the Buddha in Meditation. It is used for people who are either looking for peace in their lives, or for those who wish to improve their own meditation skills. This depiction is usually found in meditation rooms and yoga studios.
Using a pendulum is a form of dousing and has been used as a divination tool.
The most common interpretation of the pendulum's movement is in answering YES and NO questions.
The Om is a mystic symbol not to be confused with Ohm, a unit of measurement for electrical resistance.
It is the sound considered the most sacred mantra in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism.
It appears at the beginning and end of most Sanskrit recitations, prayers, and texts.
The Rosary ( Latin: rosarium, in the sense of "crown of roses" or "garland of roses"), usually in the form of the Dominican Rosary, is a form of prayer used especially in the Catholic Church named for the string of knots or beads used to count the component prayers.
The Hamsa Hand is an ancient Middle Eastern amulet that symbolizes the Hand of God. It is a protective sign and is said to bring its owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.
These are the various books we have in our library available for religious reading.
This is a book my youngest son picked out to learn about books in the Bible.
In our house we do not pray before we eat. One Thanksgiving at my husbands brothers house everyone went to pray before eating and our kids did not know what was going on or how to act. We realized then that we needed to educate them a little more on traditions and teach them etiquette. We decided that at the table before we eat instead of praying we will say what we are thankful for that day. There are variations of things said that range from being thankful for going for a walk to winning a tball game. Sometimes its very simple and sometimes its something deep. I think what's important is that we teach our kids how to be grateful, even for the small things in life. That was over 2 years ago. We still do this every night and sometimes for breakfast or lunch.
While we may not have all the answers for our kids I think the most important thing to teach them is to ask questions. They can find their answers themselves. When they do find their own answers they will feel confident in their beliefs because they are their own. This not only encourages self exploration but also tolerance and respect for others. As for me, I am thankful for this opportunity to share a little of myself and my family's traditions with the steemit community. What are some of your family's traditions?
Cover: Source Unkown