(Note: This post is a little scary for me to publish. In the last year, my spiritual beliefs have changed and this is the first time I mention some specifics. Enjoy.)
I was thinking about my spirituality today. With someone new in my life, it occurs to me that sharing my spirituality with people I am close to is really important. Many people in my life have different spiritual beliefs than me, but I am still able to connect with them spiritually. When I started to question what was really important to me about this, it occurred to me that there are three significant aspects of my own spirituality.
The first part is what used to make me feel a huge disconnect with other people. I allowed my specific spiritual beliefs to isolate me from anyone that was different. As I mentioned in my first post (go read it!) I believe that God created the universe. I believe that He is perfect, and that I am not. I believe that His Son Jesus was perfect, and because of that and because He was both fully God and man, he was qualified to be the final sacrifice for the stuff I do wrong. I believe that by trusting in this information, I have a connection with God and a feeling of assurance that I get to go to a good, happy land when I die. I believe in the Bible and that it was inspired by God.
The second part is what I have developed the most over the past two years. My connection with God is a very personal part of my spirituality, and it is just between us .My relationship with God has become much more intimate. I trust Him much more. I have an inner confidence that everything is happening for a reason. When my car broke down and the repairs were expensive, I knew God wanted to take care of that and there were reasons that it happened (that I may never know). I know there is a lesson in everything, and it is much easier to walk through life knowing that even the bad is ultimately for my good.
When I pray, I rarely ask for specific things. I pray about ideas, and ask in generalities. For instance: instead of praying for a pay raise, I pray that all of my needs would be met. I thank God that I have *everything* I need already, and a LOT of what I want. When I keep praying this way, the things I want manifest. Rather than praying and begging for it, I trust that what I want will come exactly at the right time, and at a time that is best for me. This really works.
The last part is the newest realization and what inspired me to write this post. I don’t even know if what I named it is an accurate description, but I’ll explain what I mean.
My spirituality has changed in such a way, and my mind has been opened in such a way, that I can connect and relate to most people. You see, I used to believe that my beliefs represented the only truth. I shut out everyone else, and could not even begin to relate to them because I could only focus on how to change them.
I still feel confident about my own beliefs, but my perspective has changed. I no longer arrogantly think that I know I am right, and I accept that God is much bigger than I could ever imagine. I used to believe that Gandhi must be going to hell because he didn’t believe Jesus was God. Now, if someone were to ask me what were happening to Gandhi in the afterlife, my answer would be: I don’t know. And right now, while I share my beliefs anytime I get the opportunity, changing anyone’s mind about theirs is not a priority. Loving and accepting someone where they are at is.
THAT is a very freeing thing. It makes God feel so much bigger to me. It makes me LISTEN and become really interested in what you have to say. It enables me to see how He is working in every single person’s life – not just how He works in mine. It is precious to me to see His grace, and how He cares and provides for everyone, even when someone doesn’t believe in a higher power at all.
I experience things differently today than I did a year ago. I see love and light where I didn’t see it before, even in myself. When I make a mistake, I forgive myself so much more easily.
I believe that I can pray and meditate with people who have different beliefs, and I feel connected to them and to God when I do so. I can share my spirituality through art and music with others, and I believe God is the center and the inspiration for it. Cycling is also one of my favorite spiritual pastimes. The more I bike, the more I feel connected to God while I bike. At this moment in my life, I think biking is one of the most spiritual things I do. Even if I have never talk about God with fellow cyclists, I still feel spiritually connected to them.
My other favorite spiritual thing to do right now is vision boards. I prayerfully make one every few months…it’s kind of like a list of short term goals. I feel like designing it with images/thoughts/feelings/desires makes it really open ended to how the results can look. Without specific expectations, I am always surprised, excited and grateful for how God works. I am rarely disappointed these days, and frequently amazed.
Much of my belief system has not changed regarding theology and whatnot, but to be perfectly honest? I care a lot less about the intellectual side of my faith today. That might change, but if it doesn’t? I’m really okay with that. Saying this “publicly” is what scares me a bit. The places I come from tell me that I shouldn’t feel this way. While it is scary, it is also liberating to be transparent.
So, there you have it. I don’t know why I am anticipating people’s reactions to this post- maybe no one will read it. I make up a story that some will be surprised by this post. Some will be excited, some inspired, some disappointed, some confused. Leave your comments! I want to know.