Two years of research have finally brought me to a nonsensical fork where it ALL came into perspective. I never thought it would all make such sense when I began, even if I did end up no where near my goal. It's still a great place to be. (Fights or not, I'd take a day perusing this forum over a day trying to find my way through ANY book on Paganism geared toward keeping me away from it. You've all taught me so much just by sharing simple things about family and such!) Oh yes, it was very hard to make sense of anything when I began, rituals, spells and whatnot. I'm going to leave that to good time, but I solved my main question: Why, exactly am I so dissatisfied with the concept of Jesus, God and the Holy Ghost that most people see as 'The Norm'? They aren't 'my' gods, so to speak. And after going through and back, I was faced with choosing one or the other out of three - Claiming agnosticism for the Goddess and scientific foundations, claiming back my LDS 'roots', or just saying that I simply don't believe in anything. (Like tug-o'-war, but I don't think I like that game much...)
I find this so confusing, like picking the kind of ice cream you want and Coldstone. Pagan, or Mormon, black or white...
But then I can't choose a single one, and lately I've been thinking along my gray line - No good, no bad, but the gray and only those who desire it may make themselves a different shade of either. (And before moving on, keep in mind I see Jesus/God as the big guy on the ant hill with water guns and magnifying glasses... they don't exactly suit my needs but I'm not allowed to complain or I'm toast.)
So to pick a religion? I find it impossible. I do believe in some sort of force of magic and gods, but I do find it's very hard to believe only in that and ignore all the scientific facts. It's been like that for a while, my little struggle between science and religion. But I found that my reasoning for believing in a God or Gods is reasonably sound. I need anyone to have blind faith in, nor anyone to lead me where I can lead myself, but for those times when I am only myself, it is comforting to know that someone else in this big, scary world knows all my thoughts, understands then like no one else can, and can send me off again in the right direction when I am confused.
There was only once I believed Jesus was with me, but I was not exactly thinking of much then, just walking blind into brambles. And then it seemed as if whenever I got tangled, I was on my own. Because I had denied my beliefs to keep people from cutting me out of the group and so then I was denying him and, possibly, forfeiting his help. (They say that God and Jesus can love all, but I always felt stupid repenting for things I was in a habit to do from birth, little harmful, but necessary habits like occasional lies.) As I slowly found the God/Goddess I tend to acknowledge now, though I place my beliefs nowhere specific, I notice that no matter who I deny her in front of, as long as I do not deny Her presence to myself, and to tell only those close enough to me to not judge me just for my beliefs, She will not question or turn her back.
But then science comes in, but lately I've found a balance. I had imaginary friends, but were they less than my real friends? No. The Goddess/God is in me, and around me, but she is unexplainable and shall remain so, because as my dad says about Heaven, "If everybody knew what it was like they would try to get there." (Suicide.) So if everyone knew she was nothing more than say, a flea in your ear, they would squash her or ignore her.
Why do I not believe in Jesus if I believe in her? I was not forced to see her in my world, and I am not obligated to either. She is like the mother I've never truly had. She'll acknowledge my choices, dislike or like, but no matter the path I choose, she will never forsake me even if I don't believe in her. She won't force me to ignore all the other pantheons, or to ignore my curiosity for other possibilities. She won't put all sorts of limits and rules and expectations to get into the next life in my way. She accepts that if I am to become a 'bad' person, it was destined. If I am to become a good person, it , to, was destined and she will not leave me when she cannot control my path. The least she expects of me is to harm none and to make wise choices. Like a watchful, but respectful parent allows their child to make the proper choices at times, to trust in OUR judgment and know when their time to intervene is there. Not to tell us our choices and put walls up around us to keep us safe. (So I finally found the reasoning behind my true dislike of 'fancy white churches'. That religion is perfect for all my friends and family - But not for me. Too much control and too many rules cow me and I simply become and apathetic mush on a pew. The truest 'sermons' I ever hear are the strikes of lightning warning that to be stupid and confident and trifle with nature is to be a dead or maimed person. Not even God can control the nature.)
But then, what do I do when people ask me for my religion? Of course I never say directly "Hey, I think I'm Pagan." because most Utahns are Mormon, and Mormons are, fairly put, just as spiny and thorny as Christians sometimes about protecting their own little religious corner from a 'heathen'. And I can't rightly claim I'm Mormon because I dislike church and I don't pray. (I recently had this... "Why don't you take seminary?" I wasn't trying to be rude or anything, but I do NOT like the idea of mixing religion and school. I know what I need to about being LDS now, and sometimes it seems almost as if the people I know who are LDS are in a cult of some sort...)
I can't be agnostic either because I believe mostly in Pagan forms of gods and worship. Not atheist - of course - I believe in my Goddess/God whoever they are.
But then if I told someone I'm not 'this' or 'that', they would be the worst of my persecutors because I am the only person who cannot seem to 'choose a side'. And why should I have to? I see Pagans all around who never cursed another religious person of another alignment, unless they have grounds to do so, but many of the 'others' go after Pagans when the world isn't to their liking.
So, what's a person to do? This... all of this, has come from two years, almost, exploring the 'other side' and rightly so. I have a lot of people to thank for leading me to this little 'grove' to find who I really expect to be religiously. (Even if they were the ones driving me here as a last resort.) My thanks to the Lady and her Lord above and around us, those who may see her and those who may not. Without her, I might never have realized that nothing has a true 'black' or 'white' option. You only see what you want, only believe what you choose. And right now, I see quite a bit of light at my current crossroads of knowledge. Perhaps it's a train come to flatten me for my 'heathen' ways, or maybe it's a lightnin' bug come to lead me off into more questions for the NEXT two years... (And sorry if I ramble. A sleepy person tends to do that...
Off to bed! Just felt like emptying my mind of all these little 'revelations' of the last few months.)