When you think Kardashian, devout probably isn't the first thing that crosses your mind. Believe it or not, I come from a very religious family.
My father was Christian Armenian, and I've always gone to Presbyterian or Catholic schools. Growing up, I remember going to one Catholic school where we went to Mass and would take Communion. Of course, you weren't supposed to take it unless you were Catholic, but I was in second grade and I did it anyway. At the time, I didn't understand the difference between Catholics and Christians — I didn't understand why I was being told I couldn't take Communion. I just started crying. My dad explained it to me by telling me I was dedicated to the Lord and that was all that mattered.
We went to church every Sunday, religiously. When we started getting older, my dad stopped going to church, but he still read the Bible every single day. Sundays then became about his bringing church and religion into our home. He would play gospel music — it had so much soul, and he loved that.
I've always been a very spiritual person. I believe with every fiber of my being that there is a higher power. I love theology and I enjoy learning about other people's religions. I've read about Buddhism and the Quran, and I've gone to Seder dinners with Jewish friends.One of my exes was Muslim and observed Ramadan, which is a month of fasting. You fast from sunrise to sunset to commemorate the first time the Quran was revealed to Muhammad, and I practiced it with him to be supportive. I don't believe you need to be a certain religion to embrace someone else's religion. It's a matter of respecting someone. I'm a Christian but I don't think a church necessarily makes you religious.
Believing in a higher power is what guides me to make the right decisions. While I believe in heaven and hell and angels and spirits, I don't judge people for their beliefs. And I don't understand how others can sit around casting judgments on people because they have different religions and a certain point of view.
One of the most profound experiences of my life was when my dad passed away when I was 19. When he was dying, he wasn't himself. He was talking like a baby; it wasn't him. At one point he was calling me Kim, and I remember how frustrated and mad I was. I couldn't come to terms with it. But later, I understood that he wasn't fully there.
After he passed, I was bitter and angry — I was VERY angry at God. I didn't understand why someone who was so great, my dad — why he would be taken away. My dad was such a believer, so I couldn't come to terms with how someone with such a deep relationship with God could be gone. I was young and I needed someone to blame for what had happened. But then I started to process the end of my father's life, and it changed something inside me.
I started to read a ton of near-death-experience books. I read Embraced by the Light and Angels Among Us, and they both helped me understand death better. They changed my views and helped me to not be so angry about my dad.
Embraced by the Light explains that your spirit leaves your body before you die, which made sense to me when I thought about my dad's behavior in the last hours of his life. The priest at his bedside even said to us, "He has a few hours, but he's already gone. Be at peace with that." That thought actually made me happy, because I didn't want my dad to be in pain. Some of the near-death-experience books I read also talk about how our spirits essentially "sign up" for different challenges in life, so that our souls can grow and serve a higher purpose. Now I believe that every person serves a purpose and that they have chosen their path.