My Journey Through Faith

My latest article from Open Thought Vortex Magazine…
“My Journey Through Faith”

Open Thought Vortex

Trigger warning: sexual abuse, violence

Faith is something which our world polarizes in this modern age, with dogmatic rule still prevalent and the complete rejection of God becoming an ideology all of its own. Faith can feel like an amazing party with the best of everything at your feet, as well as the feeling like the “odd child” who was not invited. It is not innate, not something a child would understand, if kept away from the ideas surrounding the belief – based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. It is an indoctrination passed down, just as we tell children the sky is blue, children who are raised religiously are told that God exists.

My journey in understanding faith starts as everyone’s does – in childhood. I was raised as a French Catholic by my French Grandmother, who was one of my main caregivers as my parents were workaholics, neglectful…

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God and Mental Illness – Happiness is not a reward; it is a state of mind.

 I was tagged in a stigmatising post today which read:

“Happiness will never come to those who don’t appreciate what they have.”

And then they qualified this with:

“Did you know that the more we keep complaining about the things we don’t have, the more God keeps sending us worries to complain about..”

Quote by Charlotte Farhan

This is NOT helpful on so many levels, and I shall tell you why:

Firstly, happiness is not a reward it is a state of mind which can be affected by so many things, let’s say someone thinks someone else’s life is amazing but thinks that person is ungrateful because they are depressed, how does the person casting judgement know how the other suffers?

Do not judge people as you have not walked in their shoes.

Secondly, what if you have no stability, love, family or what if you are alone due to being on the outside of society with no rights due to your disability / ethnicity / gender / religion / sexual orientation.

Or due to being rejected by your community, friends and family? What if you have no food, water or shelter? Are you then ungrateful because you are depressed / unhappy with “what you have been given”?

Does God (who is considered all knowing, all loving and all powerful) then decide – that YOU are unhappy with what has been given to you to deal with in life and then decide to add more to your burdens? And this also suggests that you only have the unhappiness you have – because you were ungrateful. Not because life is cruel and unfair, but because YOU asked for it.

Lastly, this kind of rhetoric is so damaging, it shames people, it makes the most vulnerable people on this planet feel further isolated and judged for their misfortune or illness. It makes people with mental illness who are also believers of God think they are responsible for something they do not control, making them feel less able to discuss their issues with their community.

I am a Deist which means I believe in God, but I do not believe in God as a man sitting in judgement of us all, intervening on a whim to help people in their day to day lives but leaves out famine, poverty, war, child abuse, rape, natural disasters etc.

I believe in God as a word to describe our existence and the universes existence. As a Deist I rely on rational thought and logic, not on dogmatic beliefs. However this does not mean I judge those who do, my husband is Muslim and I was raised French Catholic, but I do wish to discuss the harm and mixed messages which arise within religion and spirituality with regards to mental illness. This is all I am doing here.

So all I ask is that next time, people think about what they are writing and posting out to the world on social media, think of those you judge with your post or those you may isolate.

Offer empathy and love, as this is the only thing which brings us all together.


Albert Einstein quote by Charlotte Farhan

Albert Einstein quote by Charlotte Farhan