The Collegian
Thursday, February 29, 2024

What to do when doubting doubts and other related things

I think everybody wants to believe in something. Whether it's a god or people or nature doesn't necessarily matter. Creating a belief system is seemingly easy, but I've come to find that often during the process of searching for meaning in life, many doubts arise.

In a world in which earthquakes can kill thousands of people in one day, and a man can hate another man just because of the color of his skin, I have many doubts.

A big personal struggle of mine is with the existence of a higher being, so who would have thought you'd find me at the Office of the Chaplaincy at the University of Richmond last Friday? Yet there I was, sitting in the lobby of the chaplaincy waiting for my scheduled appointment with Associate Chaplain Kate O'Dwyer Randall.

I must admit, I wasn't there initially to talk about myself at all, let alone the things I believe in. I was actually there to interview Chaplain Kate for a journalism class. Thus, I was even more surprised when I found myself having to fight back tears while she asked me questions about God, my family, grief and some of the things that I believe in.

I wasn't upset with Chaplain Kate or her questions by any means. In fact, it was nice having someone ask. It was almost as if the more I talked the lighter I felt, and the lighter I felt the more I talked, until the next thing I knew an hour and a half had gone by.

I was actually upset because hearing yourself say things that you don't want to believe, but do, is really scary. But Chaplain Kate's laid-back attitude and cool tattoos put me so much at ease that I felt as if I was talking with a peer and not a religious representative. She wasn't trying to convert me or make me see the light. She was just there to talk and listen.

That Friday afternoon Chaplain Kate helped me realize some things. I realized that it's OK to not know everything. I discovered that life can be exciting when you don't know what's going to happen. I truly think that living in this anxiety-ridden society has warped our view on not being in control from a positive to a negative one.

Chaplain Kate and I also discussed our own personal dealings with grief. Whether it is grief from losing a loved one, grief from leaving a place that truly felt like home or any other type of loss or situation that causes grieving, I realized that grief is a never-ending process of healing and reflection. Everybody grieves in his or her own way, but we all do it. This is a part of what makes us human, I suppose.

Chaplain Kate has really inspired me because she does what she truly loves, which is listening to others. I only hope that one day we can all say the same about what we have done and are doing with our lives.

Maybe it's time for us to put down our Blackberrys and take a look at what we want out of life. Maybe we should ask ourselves what it is that we believe in. Figuring out where to start is the hardest part. My recommendation: Find yourself a Chaplain Kate.

Contact staff writer Liz Monahan at

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