by Daniel Flores
I remember the first time I told my parents that I was going to go to therapy.
They both said all of the right things and were there for me, but there was still a sense of worry in their eyes.
None of us knew what to do next.
Naturally, I went to watch something on the television to move on with my day.
After some time had passed and the dust did it’s settling, my Dad walked into the back room and told me to pause the shitty show I was watching.
He said, “ You should consider going back to church.”
Church? I hadn’t gone in over a decade.
And my Dad is the one bringing this up?
While both of my parents still attend a Sunday service for the major celebrations, my Dad has always seemed indifferent about religion.
When I was younger, and we didn’t have to go to church, I was ecstatic, and my Dad always seemed relieved to get an hour back from the church.
But, my Father explained to me that the sense of community, hope, and dedication is good for the mind and soul.
This conversation didn’t work at the time because I had lost my faith in religion.
Not only was I happy to get that hour back each Sunday like my Pops, but the news that had surrounded the church in recent years had shown the cracks in the organization.
It wasn’t till recently that I had given a second thought about this until I started meditating.
I remember seeing those Calm advertisements that told you to just do nothing for 30 seconds with the sounds of a rainforest or an ocean to get lost in the process.
Then while coursing the Laker channel, reliving those first three titles of my life (Kobe + Shaq), they show Phil Jackson going around burning sage around the locker to get rid of the evil spirits.
The players agreed Phil was a bit wacky, but there was a real and tried method to the Zen Masters quest into molding players into champions.
Then the icing on the cake was when the LeBron James commercials began popping up for Calm during the three-peat documentary on Spectrum Sportsnet.
With all these Lakers related signs, I began my mindfulness path.
After a few sessions, my mind started to become more clear, and I started thinking back to that conversation with my dad.
I started to realize while my catholic upbringing taught me a lot of things.
It showed me how vital compassion is, that everyone is as essential, and betrayal can come from anyone.
That helped me understand that even though significant corruption and horrendous crimes were being committed on the most vulnerable, that the lessons I learned from the stories in the Bible still apply.
Institutions and people are bound to let us down, but these values and principles will not.
These same lessons taught are by so many different religions, but the names and places often change.
Making it seem like each of these religious leaders were given the same book of mad libs that was meant to teach people the fundamental lessons of life, but they got to change some nouns and adjectives.
This again brings me back to the present.
Most of the people in my life don’t even think about their spirituality daily.
I also assumed that spirituality was an option, but what I have come to realize is that spiritually is a way to find one’s self and find out what is important to us.
Through my meditation, I have found that my life feels the most full when I am surrounded by friends and family, helping others that are in need and traveling from place to place learning about the world around me.
Mediation has become my prayer, and political rallies/worker’s unions have become my Church, people like LeBron James, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Ezra Klein have become my prophets.
When I found my religion, I made it my own and I suggest you do the same.
Daniel "Sheb" Flores is the Editor-In-Chief at Faded Morgana and an active civil warrior. Daniel "Sheb" Flores likes The Lakers, Funky music and Workers Unions. He loves to sleep and works as a Patient Transporter at a Hospital in Southern California.