Wanting to Believe

Hi Community,

For a couple of years once I had first left my abusive situation I turned to religion thinking it would help me. I don't know if I was just not ready yet or if was the stressful environment I had volunteered for,r it did not. After a while I stopped actively participating and went on my way, as I was prone to doing bouncing from one thing to the next thinking it would make it all better. I don't think I would be any where near qualifying as an atheist; I so much want to believe there is a greater purpose to things. One, that I am just ill equipped to understand, but I want to believe that nonetheless. I have had so many bad things happen to me and it makes me wonder why at times. I am not a bad man at all, I treat people with dignity and courtesy, help people when I can, I make a really hard effort to try and be the best man I can. I know this may sound selfish, but I was born late, and that comes with a price, I so much want to believe that I will one day see those who I loved so much who have departed this world before me. I love, and miss every single one of them, and it is my hope they are all in a better place. For my recovery, I will continue to try and be the best man I know how to be, and can only hope in the end that was good enough. I know we all have faults and fail continually, or at least I know that I do, that part worries me some. I wish I could just one again return to religion and it have the same effect on met that I see it have on so many others, perhaps I am just not ready for that either?
I miss you Mom and Dad;
I too have had difficulty finding a spiritual home. It was doubtless complicated because the sexual abuse that happened when I was quite young played itself out through my teen years when I was part of a church that had a creed spoken every Sunday that said "I am by nature sinful and unclean." You can imagine how that felt to a boy who'd been breaking into homes to steal lingerie. I needed to get away from the church when I arrived at college and the opportunity presented itself to explore questions about life. Atheism seemed a step too far but agnosticism seemed comfortable and so did secular humanism. I could be a good person, right?

Over the decades I've rambled the world spiritually... Zen Buddhism, Transcendental meditation, Tibetan Buddhism, Christian mysticism, Catholicism, Advaita Vedanta, Dzogchen, Mahamudra... there is a statue of the Buddha to the left of where I'm sitting at the moment, a photo of Ramana Maharshi opposite me with a block print of Mount Fuji and a statue of Kuan Yin holding a child. I have a meditation practice, attend 12 Step meetings, read spiritual books, say the Metta Prayer each morning. Christianity remains difficult because there is always evidence of intolerance cloaked in its language. I feel one can do better than that, but this is a personal judgment with deep roots. I'm inclined to believe a spiritual path needs to be grounded in compassion not judgment. I've had enough of that for one lifetime. We're either ALL saved or none of us are...