Do you struggle to connect with faith? You are not alone. Most Millennials and Gen-Z’s grew up being taught some form of religion, but despite their parent’s best efforts and intentions, many later become disconnected from that faith. Instead of parents fostering their child’s curiosity for spirituality, they strapped their kids to pews in a church or synagogue for eighteen years and then expected their teens to just arrive at a mature faith. True spiritual exploration and questions were rarely encouraged. This has led to a generation that wants to be spiritual but does not know-how.
What you, and your parents, will need to understand is that spirituality is a very personal journey. Just because you were raised in a Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, or similar household does not mean that you must accept that religion blindly. You should feel empowered to ask the tough questions, practice how you feel is right, and find your community. Your faith journey is yours to cultivate.
Taking Your Own Spiritual Path
When deciding to explore your spiritual side for yourself, what is essential is that you follow a spiritual path that makes sense to you, and not one you think will please your parents. No one else can tell you what to believe in your heart. This might mean switching to another religion entirely, attending a new house of worship, or practicing out your parent’s faith in a different way. While it might sound scary or foreign to explore other spiritual practices, it is vital for understanding who you are.
When you confine yourself to only what your parents taught you about spiritually, you shut down possibilities for new experiences. You might be bored to death sitting at your parent’s favorite Bible study. Instead, you might find yourself feeling spiritually uplifted through prayer and meditation, volunteering in your local community, spending time in nature, or by studying other religions of the world. Take those unique interests and explore them more. When you connect and develop your own healthy relationship with a higher power, you will begin to discover and align yourself with your life purpose. So don’t be afraid to open your mind and your heart to new avenues.
Talking to Your Parents
If you were raised in a particularly religious household, talking to your parents about faith might feel a bit overwhelming. You may have parents who are a bit hesitant, scared, or confused as to why you want to do not agree with some of their spiritual practices or ideologies. Try to keep it an open conversation about faith, rather than bashing their religious rituals. Gently remind them that they gave you the strength and courage to question the world and find God on your own terms. This allows you to develop a relationship with God that is just as strong as your parents. They may be skeptical, but down the line, you all can start talking about spirituality more openly.
Give yourself the space to explore your spiritual side. What your beliefs may look like tomorrow, a week from now, or years from now might differ extremely from what your parents brought you up to believe. You can still love the same God your parents do but want to show that love in different ways. Accepting that your path will look different will give you the power to find something that speaks to your heart.