Years ago I was what you might call faithless. I had given up on the religion that I was raised with. Once I entered adulthood, I found that it just didn't match up with the world that I was experiencing, so I rejected it. But ironically, I still used it to define myself. I became an atheist, but not the kind of atheist that refuses to take mythology literally and finds more meaning in rational exploration of our experiences. I was the kind of angry, reactionary atheist that wasn't really an atheist at all. I was the kind of atheist that was mad at God for not existing.

Eventually I found my anger and rejection of faith to be hollow. I felt a need for meaning in my life, and I noticed that event though I didn't believe in the aspects of religion that I would call "magical", there were still some things that I did believe in. I believed in right and wrong, and I believed in love. I believed that there must be some kind of meaning to life, even if I had to make it myself.

So, I started searching. And, I found very quickly that there are a lot of options when it comes to faith. Humankind has been wrestling with these questions for all time, and there is a vast wealth of information out there from those who have gone before us. I found that I didn't have to accept a cookie cutter, one size fits all explanation of life in order be a person of faith. I found that faith is not what happens when you stop asking questions and blindly accept things that seem unbelievable. Faith is what happens when you start asking questions, and searching in itself is part of the answer.

I also managed to make peace with my past and can now find a lot of value in the tradition I was raised with. Once, while I was taking a meditation course from a Zen priest, some of the students made some disparraging remarks about the Catholicism that they were raised with. The priest advised, "Don't disparage your past. It's what brought you here." Years later, I'm still practicing Buddhist meditation while studying to become a Unitarian Universalist minister at a Catholic university.

I'm still searching, but I've left the need to have all of the answers far behind. I've found that faith is not a set of statements that can be memorized, or a bunch of rules that I need to follow. Faith is something that I live, and it is enriched by every new experience and perspective that I add to it.

-Seth Fisher

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