One thing I found confusing in the early days of my venture into the “mindfulness community” is the wide variety of language used to describe the same idea or concept. For example, one person will use “God”, while another will say Source, spirit, the divine, the cosmos, the universe, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Xenu, etc. It doesn’t really matter to me what you call it as long as you understand the concept I’m describing.
My religious background is Christian. Church was something important to my parents and therefore, I was raised in the church. I did the whole bible study experience, but in my teens I was having difficulty with the church.
Throughout my life, I have done a lot of exploring of other religions. I found several aspects of many different religions fascinating. Buddhism really called to me, but at the time my 20 year old brain heard that part about releasing your worldly possessions, that was out. 🙂 Some of the Native American practices were interesting to me too, but I’m super WASP-y, so that seemed out too. I decided to go it alone. Pragmatic. Logical. Reasoned.
However, that disconnectedness from spirit might not have been the best choice for me. Instead of that belief in a higher power who was watching out for me, I replaced it with the idea that the world is out to get you and you have to be quick or life with crush you without a second thought. That wasn’t going to work for me either.
What I found most interesting in my exploration of different religions and philosophies is the similarities between them all. There are basic rules that all the major religions seem to follow. Most of which boil down to, don’t be an asshole and help where you can. 🙂 And that’s basically what I carried forward into adulthood.
I’m trying to find my way back to believing in something bigger than me. I’m not sure I’m ready to accept the idea of a benevolent father in the sky who wants the best for me, but I do feel something larger. There’s an interconnection between people and places and experiences. I’ve had magical experiences with other people and can’t discount there being some kind of something there, but I can’t yet define it. And that’s okay.
The other issue I wanted to address is that I’m just a regular person, trying to figure this all out. Probably a lot like you are. We’re all on this crazy journey of life together and I’m hoping that by talking about these issues here, we can come together and find a little clarity on what is important and beneficial in our lives.
I make no claims to be some kind of highly-evolved guru or mentor. I have plenty of days where I find myself looking in the mirror and asking, “What the hell are you doing?” 🙂 Clearly, I do not have the answers.
What I do have is a little bit of clarity on where I have been, what I’ve been through, what has worked and what hasn’t to improve that. As I’ve walked this path, I’ve seen signs of others. I don’t know who you are, but I feel you not too far from me, walking this same path. My hope is that I can point out some of the pitfalls and missed turns I’ve taken and save you a bit of the heartache, time and energy that I’ve spent to get where I am today.
Thanks for listening!