“I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual.” This is a phrase that people like to use, make fun of, or both. But why does this phrase garner so much attention? I think its because the word “religious” or “religion” is so weighty.
I found this curious, so I looked up the etymology of the word religion. Basically there are two schools of thought:
1) One dates back to Cicero in 1st century BC. This theory states that the term religion comes from the Latin words ‘re-legos’ essential meaning to re-elect, re-consider, or re-choose something.
2) The other theory dates a bit more recently with Lucius Lactantius, an advisor to Emperor Constantine I. He used the Latin term ‘re-ligare’. This essentially means to re-connect.
These two origins have something in common, and that is a constant renewal or recommitment to something larger than yourself, whether that be a process, a deity, a person, or a community. The point is, being religious is more than just attending a church service regularly. In fact, I believe most church-goers do so to avoid a sincere recommitment to something greater than themselves. Because of this, I think the word gets a bad wrap.
After a TBI, it is vital to form better habits in order to lead a fulfilling life while wading through the challenges that life after TBI throws at you. Of course, forming habits don’t come from half-ass tries, or partial commitment. Habits come from a daily commitment to the values that will lead your life. In this sense, we are all religious. All of our habits are formed by the things we re-do over and over again.
My point is, be religious in the habits you want to define your existence. After a TBI, we all understand how precious life is, so it is that much more important to be extremely diligent and intentional about what we are religious about. Choose wisely, and do so religiously.