Overcoming Personal Skepticism and Childhood Guilt

To give a little background, I was raised in a strict Christian household. My parents were (and still are) missionaries to India. I even went with them to India on a missionary trip when I was 13. This was an unexplainable wonder and joy to me for so many reasons but also became a catalyst for my religious curiosity, much to my parents dismay. There was a moment on that trip when we had stopped at a store and I wandered into a small Hindu temple next door to it. I was enthralled, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and so different from anything I had ever experienced. I felt things when I stood there. My dad came to find me and I was reluctant to leave. He scolded me quite harshly for this and actually looked embarrassed because I wanted to stay and look around.

I had many books about Greek and Egyptian mythologies growing up (which were considered “safe” because they were fictional according to my parents) and became even more fascinated with learning all I could about other religions once we got back from India but all my research had to be done in secret.

I had never felt any kind of connection to my parents faith and resented them and it very much. Since the Christian religion had been so forced upon me since literally birth, it has been extremely hard overcoming that way of thinking. Even though I don’t believe (and never have) what they do, any time I have tried to set up my own path I feel blocked by so many years of Christian influence.

I feel very drawn to Ganesha, Aphrodite, Hathor and Thoth. I have read so much about them all and continue to do so. I have had a small altar for a while and I have loose rituals I perform. I find it beautiful and comforting.

But there is always a tiny voice in the back of my head that is saying, “This is wrong, there are no other gods! It’s Sunday morning, why aren’t you putting on your church shoes!” It weighs me down and is so discouraging.

I know this is probably something that will never go away but I feel that it hampers any real personal spiritual progress that I long for.

Have any of you dealt with something similar? What helped you overcome it?