It’s taken me a while to find my faith.
As a young girl, I attended a Baptist church with my family. We rarely went to church, it was usually just on holidays, and my parents always had mixed feelings about attending. My parents were actually very involved with their church when they were teenagers and that is where they met. Once my parents admitted their interest in each other and started to “date,” the church suggested that they stop attending.
At the time, almost 30 years ago, two women dating was a big problem. My mothers were ousted from church, giving me the impression that church, and by association religion, was a negative thing. My exemption from church is probably a big reason for my lack of belief in a god. I questioned why there were many religions and why one god was the “real” one and others were just made up. I wanted to believe in a higher power and have faith in something, but I just couldn’t. I had no idea where to start and I witnessed so much hypocrisy, that I wasn’t sure I could hop on board with any organized religion.
The Girl With Two Moms
What I had to learn, after a childhood of being the “girl with two moms” from people who followed all types of faith, or none at all, is that being a person with morals, respect, and an appreciation for life and love had nothing to do with what faith someone chooses to follow. My husband and I found the Buddhist teachings together a few years ago. For once in my life, I felt that I connected to a faith, a way of life that was shared by others. My life of respect, teaching, love for family and friends, and an overall desire for equality really aligned with the Buddha’s teachings. I am still in the learning process and incorporating more and more of his teachings into my daily life, but know that this is where I want to be.
Now as the mother of two young girls, I will teach respect, I will teach empathy, I will teach patience, I will teach the act of giving. I want to guide my kids to true inner peace and allow them to find the right life for them. I will encourage them to find a happy path and be who they want to be.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Gautama Buddha
About the Author
Heather is a wife, a mother of two daughters, and a special education teacher. She loves music, dancing, to-do lists, learning new things, and running. She’s an optimistic, energetic, and happy person who time and again looks past stereotypes and sees the good in all people.
Main picture @ Maddie Smith
Boat photo by Carol Bachman-Smith