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Jun 20

Thoughts on Religion and Spirituality

Religion has always been part of my life and I have always considered myself to be spiritual but as I get older I find that spirituality and religion are not synonymous.  The God of my religion used to feel pretty far away to me and I thought probably fairly hard to please.  This is in stark contrast to the God of my understanding now. He feels so close and so accepting that I’m not sure how I ever could have seen Him any other way.

 “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.”  ~ Albert Einstein

So we enter that strange gray area where I try not to offend those of various beliefs and traditions, especially my own.  This is just how I feel, my opinion and my reflections on my own journey.  Oddly enough one of the most startling revelations for me was the idea that there can only be one God…. Not a new concept until you apply it to ALL beliefs and religions that strive to connect with the source of the energy we call love.  As I began to read and explore the nature of traditions of a more metaphysical nature I came to the conclusion that God must be God no matter what you choose to call Him and that anyone seeking to connect with the loving Source of Life is most likely worshipping the same Being.

Having been raised in the Lutheran tradition I didn’t hear anything at all about metaphysical teaching as it relates to the Bible while I was growing up.  My religious upbringing was quite strict; there wasn’t much room for thinking outside the box of that specific theology.  I did however hear a lot about God and for that I have always been grateful.  Along with a few frightening images of fire and brimstone I was taught that God was with me and that He loved me.  I was also given the incredible example of Jesus to follow and the promise of a life beyond this one.  That in itself was a blessing that I didn’t fully appreciate until adulthood.

My belief in the existence of a loving and all powerful presence in the universe sustained me in difficult moments even though I wasn’t sure exactly where I stood with Him most of the time.  I did find guidance and comfort in prayer, in worship and in the fellowship of the church but I always felt like I was most likely doing it wrong… Not praying in just the right way or not believing quite enough.  I had lots of rules about what God must want from me and how to connect with Him.

Those boundaries didn’t start to fade until I began to study metaphysics and energetic healing.  At about that same time the discipline of meditation started to feel an awful lot like prayer and the physical practice of yoga took on an undeniable quality of worship.  That’s when it occurred to me that I was the one who had been putting limitations on my Higher Power.  Without my restrictions God suddenly seemed much bigger.  Suddenly He had no limits whatsoever.  He was everywhere, in everyone and in everything, even in circumstances that I found unpleasant. He wasn’t just with me He was part of me, or more importantly I was in some way part of Him.  He was there all the time in the peaceful center of all things whether I was choosing to consciously connect with His presence or not.

I still embrace the faith of my childhood and I still have great respect for the study and practice of organized religion.  However, my own religious convictions no longer conflict with the idea that God might express Himself in different ways to different people.  Instead they seem to support that concept more and more with every passing year.  I don’t feel like my beliefs have really changed so much as I see them as expanding. Nothing in this expansion lessens the importance of what I was taught as a child, it takes nothing away from it, instead it verifies what I had always hoped was true about God and religion. In the same way my Christian faith continues to affirm and direct my ever evolving spiritual path.

To me this is the core of spirituality, to make an intimate connection with the God of your own understanding and allow it to grow without any limitations.  There is no greater gift than realizing the constant presence of the Source of Life and belieiving in this Absolute Power to create and heal all things.  This is the only ingredient required to experience the miracles we seek in every stage of recovery… The Presence of God.

  • CinderellaSue

    Beautiful-thank you for the gift of your thoughts and feelings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1361974626 Dara Michelle Mrotek

    This really is incredible

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