I am not someone who is for ‘spirituality’ and its quote-unquote “calming effects”. I have been as spiritual as an atheist is thus far. My inhibitions of the spiritual are still fresh and extremely active. But since I have talked about depression, there have been suggestions to get in touch with my spiritual side, a side I was sure didn’t exist. But I was willing to do anything to get out of this situation. For such a long time my parents thought I was not spiritual because of my fascination with horror as a genre.
But no I am not possessed by the devil, I just believe in ghosts a lot more than a greater power. And if history is anything to go by, if there was a greater power, I wouldn’t be depressed. Spirituality is not my forte. But at home, I was forced to try, because everyone seemed to think there is something beyond the world we know. But can it really fix me? Can it help? I am not so sure. I do it to make the people I love happy, I do it so they’re relieved not because I genuinely think it’s going to do me any good.
But maybe I am being a stick in the mud about all this. Maybe belief can turn into power. It’s not that I have to believe in the ritual aspect of it or whatever stories that come along with it. But maybe spirituality is just about believing in yourself, not really in something beyond you. It’s so easy to be angry at others, whether it’s something bigger than you or smaller. It’s very hard to confront yourself and accept that half of the reason you’re here is that you didn’t believe in yourself enough.
I relied on others to believe in me, and push me forward while I forgot to believe in myself. That would have made a huge difference to what I thought of myself. Now as I begin therapy and all that comes with it, I have to give myself a chance. All the decisions I took weren’t just a stroke of luck, I made them consciously and destiny had no role to play in it. If really it was destiny things would be so different. I’d be trying to make a career in roller-blading. But that’s not the case.
So the question is not about whether there is a greater power or not, it doesn’t matter. The question is, are you willing to bet on yourself, trust yourself and just trust that whatever you do, you’ll do the right thing? The question is, can you defend yourself morally when people question your decisions? And that’s spirituality or the kind that will actually work for me. We all have something in us that keeps us going, and you can’t switch it off. Biologists may think it’s the heart but you know there are some things that are unexplainable. Some things just don’t make sense no matter how you look at it, like the Stonehenge or the Bermuda Triangle. Why do you knock on wood? It’s because you want to reassure yourself.
It’s alright if you don’t believe in God, as long as you believe in yourself. But if you have nothing to believe in then life is bleak. I used to believe in the books I read, in my parents and my sister. But I need to believe in myself. There’s only so much they can convince me about, they can’t carry the weight for me. The job of living and being happy is mine, not theirs. They might go visiting temples and saying prayers, to keep themselves strong, it’s their choice. But I need something to believe in and be spiritual in my own way. God or human, I choose me.