Divine? Is That You?
Who am I? Why am I here? How do I fit in? Why is there suffering in the world? Why is there inequality? Is there something more than this? What is faith? What i
Do you ever wonder about stuff like that? How do you feel when you think about those questions?
We have beliefs that cover myriad topics, from whether to drink tea to whether God exists. We like to think they are our own beliefs, and we certainly own them, but so many of them have to do with how we were raised, and even who raised us.
As small children we look to our adults for guidance. We pay a lot of attention to what they do, not so much to what they say, at least to us. We tend to adopt their beliefs around politics and religion. Sometime we rebel against those, but there is always an influence one way or another.
Why am I spiritual? What makes me look at my life? How do I choose?
Sometimes we feel an emptiness inside. For me, some of that went away when I connected with myself. I call that emptiness “lonely.” When I am lonesome, I can go to a coffee shop or other public place, have a chat, and the lonesome goes away. When I am lonely, I need to pay some kind attention to me.
Sometimes that emptiness is a spiritual hunger. Some of us find food for that hunger in religion. Even just being in a religious structure like a temple or church will feed us. Or the music or art, or the prayers. Some of us find the opposite to be true, and we feel emptier in those places, in those activities.
We may try to force it. I know I sure did. Those things just didn’t work for me. AA came closer. I liked the idea of an undefined Higher Power, one that was personal to me. I knew a man who considered his Higher Power to be the knob on his front door, which led him either to the bar and misery or to people who understood him and helped him find comfort and sanity.
Some of the people I knew thought of others as their Higher Powers. Some considered museums as their place to connect within, to find their answers.
For me, the connection comes with nature. Even my little bit of urban jungle will do that. Watering my plants at the office, examining a bug up close, or a lovely stone. My spiritual life is about connecting with aliveness. Making music with friends does it for me, too, music of many different kinds. Intimate conversations, certain kinds of encounters with strangers, time with my cats, or pet snails, or creatures outside. Creating stuff does it, too, food, art, socks.
I connect with the sacred in many aspects of my daily life. I do that by relaxing, taking a moment to get present, to be aware, to really breathe up good air deep into my lungs and to let it out and do it again. When I relax, I connect with my aliveness.
Over and over we have the experience that relaxing about stuff is a huge part of living a nice life. Practicing in little bits where we can during the day makes it easier and easier to relax when we are doing other stuff. Remembering to take nice deep breaths, remembering to uncurl our toes, unclench our butts or bellies, soften our shoulders, stretch our jaws, let our thoughts wander to a place of tranquility. These little exercises help us integrate a feeling of relaxation that makes it so much easier to get to when we need it.
How have I changed from feeling lost to connecting with my spirituality?
(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 07302014