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A Spiritual Journey

Outgrowing Tradition

The Spiritual path may seem lonely, but you are not alone.

Everyone is born into some type of belief system that can/will shape their life. Most stick with their given beliefs for any number of reasons, others step outside of what they’ve been taught to believe in search of a personal truth. 

Some people grow up religious, but this is not about religion. Some people have strong political views, but this isn’t about politics either. This is about the spirit in everyone and everything that is pure unconditional love. 

I guess my journey started about six years ago, I was at a decent place in life, I had a secure job, car, and a home.  Things were great, but after a number of bad decisions and lack of self-love I found myself at rock bottom. On top of that I felt alone; maybe because I knew it was my choices that put me there. One bad choice and the unresolved guilt and shame led to more bad choices and in turn more guilt and shame.  Being at such a low place mentally and emotionally I was running out of ways to “fix” myself, eventually, I turned to God (Christianity is what I was born into). I needed change and I was committed. For years, I dedicated my time to that belief and I can say that there was a lot of growth. 

I know I said this isn’t about religion, so I’ll be brief. What I realized about myself from my religious experience is that there was something missing in my life. Most people would say that it was God that was missing, but I know that it was more than a religious perspective of the man upstairs. As I said earlier I was dedicated, devoted and determined to “make heaven my home” so I know that I had God in my life. Still, there was something missing. During this time there was a debate on doctrine and which way was the right way to believe. I was not interested in this because I had “God,” so I watched people debate and disagree; some to the point where some left to worship elsewhere. I saw some return to their lives before church, others simply found another place that lined up with their beliefs. Through all of this, I never chose sides because I didn’t understand how people that believe in the same God can dispute how to believe. It was this that set me on my own spiritual journey. I ended up leaving that place also, but not because I had been done wrong, but because I wasn’t fulfilled. What was I missing? 

For the next few years, I visited some other churches but none filled that void. I began to looking into other beliefs and practices, but still nothing. It wasn’t until I came across meditation that things really started to fall in line. I realized that I had an extremely narrow view of the world. The way I was raised left me very closed minded and because of this, I had been isolating my self from the beauty of life. Through meditation, I was made aware of the simplicity of existing in the moment and enjoying it for what it is, instead of what it is not. I began to look at everything different, now I saw with an open heart and mind. 

Being open enough to try meditation, and seeing the benefits, helped me to be more open to things that were outside of the norm for me. Before I knew I was well on my way to spiritual growth. Meditation causes you to look inward and all the changes that start within will show outwardly in day to day life. Along with meditation I also started yoga, which is great for the body, and I began to feel much healthier mentally, physically and spiritually. Although I have grown a lot, I know that there are still many areas I can grow. I now understand what it is to be spiritual. 

You may be wondering if I found that missing piece, and the answer is yes, the missing piece was love! I needed to love myself and love others unconditionally. I didn’t learn this in church, even though love is the message, I believe it gets smothered by our intentions to be perfect and please “God.” I learned to be kind despite my feelings, I learned to let go of anything that doesn’t add positivity to my life, I learned to live from a place of love regardless of my views. I learned to see things from a place of non-judgment. Most importantly I learned to love and be kind to myself. This is spirituality, understanding that everyone has a path and is moving at a pace all their own! 

Becoming spiritual I learned to believe in myself. Because I am. I am here now, in this present moment. I am the see-er experiencing this life.

blAke

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