After some soul-searching, I've come to two difficult conclusions.
- I want to be religious
- It would be very difficult for me to successfully convert
I'm not sure if this is a very common mentality. I could go on and on about my personal reasons for
1, but I won't right now simply because I don't want to give an incomplete explanation.
2 is what I'm more concerned with, and it has to do with the ideas of conviction and faith.
As anyone who has observed any mainstream religion has seen, conviction and faith are fundamental drivers of religion. Worship seems silly if you don't have conviction in your heart, you know? And that's exactly my problem. Without having been brought up under a religion (and without a major conversion event, of which you might hear from clickbait ads or YouTube anecdotes) I find it incredibly difficult to, with conviction, participate in or imagine participating in any religion's practices without feeling self-conscious or stupid. As an outsider, too, I can't help but notice numerous major flaws in both individual religious practices and with religion as a whole, not to mention a cultish mentality that I have seen exhibited in various ways.
I am relatively certain of both of these conclusions. How I will deal with them remains to be seen; for the moment I remain frustrated.