Friday, March 02, 2007

TO WRITE: Are You "Religious"?
Many, many people, I've found, bristle at this question. OK, those who practice the rituals of a particular religion, who attend temple or church or mosque regularly -- or even just once a year on a holiday -- have little problem with it. But what about the others? I've often heard the response, "Well, I was raised (insert religion here), but I never really practice it...."

Either of these responses can be fruitful to explore. Our relationship -- or lack thereof -- with a religious life sheds light on many aspects of our world view, our moral and ethical beliefs, our sense of spirituality outside a formal religion, and what we draw on in times of crisis, such as depression.

Play with this...
What religious beliefs did you grow up with -- Were Mom and Dad strict atheists? Did Grandma take you to mass every week? Did you learn to bow and pray several times a day? Meditate? Did you develop your own ideas about the mysteries of life?

How do those childhood beliefs and experiences affect you as an adult -- Do you practice any formal religion now? Where did you get married? What are you teaching your children? And how do your past and current beliefs affect you as you cope with depression?

Write for 10 minutes on each of these two main questions and see what you discover.

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