I start this post with an apology; I have been gone WAAAAYYYY too long! The Holidays were in control in December! I spent a large amount of time out of state visiting family which was delightful but I have been away from this Blog and missed it. I missed my new home. I missed new friends. I missed the Spirit of this place. So it's very appropriate that this Blog talks about how after a 'life-long' search how I found a Home for my Spirit.
“The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.”
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
There must be something larger than us out there. There must be a Spirit world of some kind. Look around at the perfection of how everything works in the world.
I had no religious training as a child unless you call atheism religious training. And the atheism I learned was not through any formal training, it was by example. My mother did not believe there was anything that could even come close to being a God. She believes that when you die that’s it! She believes when you live that’s it! She holds nothing but contempt for those that are involved in any kind of organized religion. If there were a God how could her life have been what it was?
Even though I also never offered any kind of organized religious training to my children I did encourage them to visit as many of their friend's secular gatherings as possible. I wanted them to find their own way; to find their own place for their own Spirit. I certainly had no base of knowledge to lead them in this respect. I was searching myself. My daughters have seemed to find places comfortable for them through their husbands. One of them has studied and been baptized in the Catholic Church. I am so happy they have found their place.
Richard had been raised a very strict Catholic but had his own questions about all of their teachings. I had never found anything organized that felt comfortable for my Spirit but, different from my mother, I was sure I had one. However, in a world filled with so many organized religions, how does a person choose one to be the truth? How can one actually be the truth? Is there a different God for each religion? They all seem to be sure theirs is the one - the only. And there seem to be so many supposedly religious people that behave and believe things completely contrary to the Golden Rule.
We grew up in a time of social discourse and injustice much like we are seeing today but without the Internet (more discussion about todays' chaos in a future blog). People of other races were not good enough to drink from the same fountain or go to the same schools. People of different sexual orientations were to be scorned, laughed at and even physically harmed. There should be no unions of those with different skin color, ethnic background, religious beliefs, or sexual differences. How ‘unchristian-like’! Would God not preach the Golden Rule or at least something like it? Would God not teach something like ‘Live and let live?’
So many organized religions believe they are the chosen ones and everyone else will be excluded from Heaven. And a child, no matter how good, will be excluded from Heaven if they are not baptized in certain sects because they were born with Sin!. And where is this Heaven? For that matter where is Hell? There were so many unanswered questions. At least they weren’t answered to my satisfaction. I struggled to find a place for my Spirit.
Becoming an adult during the ‘flower child era’ had piqued my interest in the unorthodox spiritual world. The Zodiac fascinated me. I am an Aquarian and it was the Age of Aquarius. How could I not be fascinated? Psychics fascinated me. I read voraciously. Reading about different beliefs always revealed something real for me.
“People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours.”
Over the years I read and discussed many different opinions. Richard and I talked about numerous views together and with friends. We had many heated arguments with zealots. I found others that were searching and we explored various theories and cultures. A little piece of this view, a small bit of that theory, this culture draws me to it. I was slowly forming my own place for my own Spirit.
At a particularly difficult time in my professional life I had the opportunity to visit with my favorite cousin and his equally fabulous wife for a long weekend to explore a new Spiritual training program they were developing. I was exploring it to determine whether or not any part of it might apply to a training program I was also developing with partners. And I was still on my personal Quest.
We had always been very close and had many deep conversations regarding Spirituality. I knew they had recently found a church that they had become very involved with. If nothing else, I was looking forward to discussing their discovery and spending the weekend with them away from the stresses in my professional life at the time. Their program is called ‘Great Explorations - An Experiential Journey of Authentic Self’. I have done a good amount of work on my personal self in my life so I didn’t feel as if I was searching to find myself. I know who I am and what I am here on earth to do. I thought I was quite clear. But I still had not found a solid place for my Spirit and it had grown immensely over the years. I didn't realize how much clearer it could become.
We had agreed that they would take me through their training program the first day and I would take him through mine on the second. We could then both determine if there was anything in each that we could share. The daylong program included quite a lot of affirmations and meditation. There were several worksheets they had developed that assisted the student in delving deeply into who they really are. It was a very personal exploration.
During this journey we discussed their belief regarding the Spirit world at length. We discussed how it aligned with the place I had come to over many years. We talked about a number of different authors of books we had read and they gave me a couple of books that I hadn’t read. One that I highly recommend and have purchased for others is Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. We attended the Sunday service at their new church. The service was inspiring and the sermon by the pastor of the church made perfect sense to me. It went straight to what my heart had felt for so long. The entire weekend was a floodgate opening for me.
But suddenly I found myself in the throws of a terrible migraine headache. I think my own newly discovered Spirit was struggling with the old for its place in my life. Wendy, my cousin’s wife, said she thought she might be able to help. She sat me in a straight-backed chair. She stood behind me and placed her thumbs and palms at the base of my neck and held them there. I could feel heat coming from her hands. The heat permeated itself into my skull at the base of the pain. The pain moved. It moved up towards the front of my head. Without a single word, instinctively, Wendy’s hands moved with the pain. After approximately half an hour of Wendy chasing the pain around my head what had been an overwhelming migraine became a small pocket of pain at the base of my neck.
We were both exhausted and I went to bed to hopefully sleep off the remaining headache. Within moments I had to rush to the bathroom to vomit. At the very moment I vomited the last bits of pain left me. I slept like a baby that night knowing that the last bits of negative Spirit had left me. My new Spirit had won the battle with Wendy’s help. At long last I found the missing pieces to the place where my Spirit dwelled. It felt right, it made sense and I felt like I was finally home. I won’t delve into the beliefs or teachings of this group. Every Spirit needs to find its own place. But if you’re searching I encourage you to investigate the metaphysical belief of New Thought. Henry Thoreau lived his life by these beliefs 150 years ago. It's all about love.
I now have a place where I know that all that I want and all that I need is there for the asking. It’s a place where the Creator is loving, not punitive. The center of this belief is love. It’s a place where we are all a part of that Creator experiencing something for that Creator. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience by design. I’m home.
Since moving to Asheville I have found a place that 'oozes' with Spirit. My personal Spirit has been becoming stronger and stronger. My Intuition and my senses have grown sharper.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as if everything is.”
LESSON: Don't settle blindly for what you may have been taught or led to. Explore. Question. Never stop exploring or questioning. Follow the roads that feel right. It's all about what you can feel.