It's pretty sad to read how often religion goes hand in hand with unpleasant memories and strictness... :/
I can't say they shut me down, and I've definitely been nurtured because my own mother had premonitions and these kind of feelings that i had as well, especially through dreams. My grandma was/is a strong character, and my grand-grandmother used to help the wives of the soldiers with readings during WWII. It took me years until she finally told me this, because it's a bit of a taboo, borderline between being right and wrong, especially with my mother.
With me, I had a strong "calling" towards learning more and I've always had a special thing for children, animals, people in need and so on. I'm also a confessions magnet at times, and the one people spot first when they're lost in the city or at the subway and looking for directions xD
As far as religiousness goes, my family was a bit, but not so much, we just always respected the major dates that were a source of celebration/party and happiness/being together with friends or family so, it never ever got bad connotations. We each had our own vision on religion and when we felt like of course we did a prayer or went to the church... sometimes... not often lol. But still. I had a period when I went more often, but it was purely out of personal curiosity and searching for meanings, history and a lot of stuff, so it was during the same period when i was reading about astrology, occult branches and so on. I kinda mashed them together. Went to a Reiki course that I did not enjoy much (the after feeling was... to say at least, weird) but I was also welcomed by an energy therapeutist lady and I liked those sessions more. It was more calming, and it was hand in hand with healing and using natural medication to treat affections or whatever... she was quite well known in my city actually). During the thingy I used to feel a tingle on top of my head so strong it made me smile widely or laugh, I couldn't control it, it made me happy. As far as my vision goes on it, I believe every religion has something beautiful to teach, and I am sad our priests for example don't focus wordly issues such as pollution and respecting nature and animals, something people were I live lack a lot... respect for nature. I don't make religion a central subject in my head, though it remains an important part of the society here, and while I will always keep my own ideas (mostly related to certain distorted images created by the human mind when spread further through speech or put in words), I also believe in Christianity to a certain extent from a historical point of view.
Where I lived, having feelings about something that is to happen was never something "omg the devil" blah blah. Anything spiritual of this kind was seen as something that could possibly help, but it needed pondering over and deciding whether it's good or not to give it much attention. Usually people wouldn't speak about it in these contexts that we are on this forum though. The branches that involve communicating with spirits, using gemstones or cards and whatnot are on the forbidden/not safe side and no priest would like hearing you talk about them as a "yo hey I do that in my free time" xD. I have my doubts when it comes to these things as well, and the steps are really small and careful. Generally speaking I don't like certain colors of it, but I feel more at peace when associating or delving into the Norse/rune reading culture for example, rather than the french, italian or arabic roots of the tarot, and also more than some of the chinese bone/turtle shell/etc practices. It's also related to the character of the individual. If you had a good image, were doing good things, were calm or from a good family and so on, people would respect more when you had premonitions or these kind of things, as opposed to someone with a less fortunate start in life whose "dreams" might have been equally true.
Looking at what i wrote I wonder if some people feel like calling it a Fantasy World i lived in xD it surely wasn't, and while I had a fine childhood as far as family, travelling and everything related to them is included, I was the one willful enough not to accept bad things happening to me or trying to calm the waters. I also meditated over what happened to me and over time filtered out the unpleasant things, though I sure remember them, I don't feel remorse... or anger. It also helps talking to someone about them. It was pretty bad when it came to school and classmates though and I only mean the social side of it... :/ I didn't like it. I had my trust in people lost for a long time. And I'm social by nature but simply sensible to the negative stuff so I was a bit lost. Had issues with bullies too... What i believed in was always challenged more or less. Grades & relationship with teachers or bigger people were always ok.
The major issue I noticed within the society is being taught to disregard inner feelings and emotions, or not follow them. This is a huge mistake I wish it was no longer taught within families as well. Instead of strengthening/empowering the individual or teaching balance/consideration for the people within society, you weaken it to make it more malleable or less resistant to other people will? That's how I felt about myself, and I've always been about figuring out what I want to do, what I have to do, who I am, what I am capable of ^^. The need for boundaries and personal limitations (Especially coming from essentially... well, having a body xd as weird as that sounds, I wish I could do things without being bothered by sleep or need to eat sometimes). Well...
My bad for a not that correct English.
updated by @kate: 04/09/17 03:31:15AM