How Purple Changed My Life…

I come from a very spiritual, but Christian family. Christian, being the way that most older generations identify with. Spiritual meaning, most of them do believe in the same God, that the others do. The difference, however, is how some of them showcase their faith. My grandmother, for example, goes to Church and participates religiously. My father is one of those who still teeter on the edge, not really knowing, but knowing. Me? I was lost for a while. Not knowing who or what to believe or believe in. The words that were being said to me, did not make sense. I am to believe in a person who knows who I am inside and out, however, there are some things that he cannot tolerate. Or I am to look up to someone who did not seem to once look down at the trials and tribulations that many minorities have gone through in this world. I was ashamed that it did not make sense. That I did not understand the unconditional love I was supposed to have for a man or being that did not have it for me. I remembered the very moment that I turned my back on the God that my family loves. It was the 10th grade. School was finished and I, like the wonderful student I am, was doing my homework. It was for a history class, where I was to look at the life of a slave. I had to read the hardships of the man’s life. What he had to go through on a daily, what many of the people who look like us had to go through. I cried. I cried because I was suddenly thinking, ‘Why would he allow this?’ ‘Why didn’t he stop this, make them see what they were doing was wrong?’ I remember looking up to the small, but effective picture of the last supper. A picture that my father placed right above the wall leading into the kitchen. It was staring right at me, as I battled with myself. I did not think of religion for a good two years after that. It would have lasted a lot longer if I did not read the book that changed everything. The Color Purple, a classic that I was made to read in the 12th grade. Like many high school students, I had already lost my will to read words on pages at that time. But something compelled me to read it. In it, I learned the life of Celie a young girl who battled with so much abuse from those around her and even herself. I saw myself in her. The experiences she went through were mine. Her journey was like deja vu to me. Something that I had lived before or was about to.
At the end she too stops believing in God. Beginning to write letters to her sister, instead. She boycotts her religion, angry that a young girl like her, and many more must go through so much. That through it all, must keep their composure for the sake of ending up in a Good Place. It is not until Shug speaks to both of us that we both realized something. We put our faith into one man. A single person meant to bear the sins of his people. She wondered why we believed in him when we could believe in it. Why we blamed the sins of others on someone that most could not feel or see. However, we can feel the wind that blows the flowers. Or the rain that allows for plants to grow. Or the weird ways that people are put into your life.
I made the realization that day that God was no he, but it. It was something that I could always count on to make me happy. Why? Because it was in the things that already made me happy. That will one day make me happy. God is in all the bright things and places that I have seen in my short life.
Upon my realization, I figured that the tragedies I used to blame on God were not its fault. But instead, the fault of the people. It was people that caused chaos, people that turned back on their own will. Since then, I have felt a weight lift off my shoulders and heart. I am no longer ashamed of what I believe or do not believe. Instead, of the rushing of thoughts and confusion in my brain. There is only solace.

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