Sunday, September 30, 2012

My thoughts on Religion

I know that most people strongly believe in their choice of religion and will not ever be moved. Great. I say perfect, stick with it. Hold firm. Don’t be swayed. This post probably isn’t for you. I’m not trying to run you off but I’m giving you fair warning that you might not care for this post. I hope if you stay and read it, that you will read it with an open mind and understand that we all have the freedom to make our own choices and that is okay.

Now to the meat of the thing.

I grew up in a family that believed in God but did not attend church. My grandfather’s church was his recliner on a Sunday morning watching Oral Roberts. I was at his home almost ever Sunday morning and I watched too. Friends invited me to church and I went a little here and there. Sometimes I’d go when I visited my step-granny, Granny Lucy, who never missed. In my early 20’s I started dating a guy who went Sunday morning & night and Wednesday night. He talked a big talk when it came to being a Christian but he was by far probably the least Christ like man I’ve know up close and personal. I dated him for almost 7 years and I played along and went to church every time they opened the doors.

During those years I went with the boyfriend Sunday 2x and Wednesday night. I really got steeped in the belief system. I studied hard. I tried to be as good as I could be. When I’d have a personal fail I'd go home on my lunch break and beg Satan to leave me. I learned that from Oral Roberts. It just seemed like no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t find peace.

Spending all that time at church I began to notice that it really wasn’t feeling right anymore. I had at one time believed so strongly but it was starting to move from belief to confusion. Every sermon seemed to condemn someone sitting in that room who wanted to be a better person. I was one of them. It started to make me wonder what good could come of it. I know there wasn’t a soul there that had a greater desire than I had to be better and I couldn’t help but feel condemned during some sermons.

We know God as the Father of all men and I started questioning his parental skills. I was a parent. Being the mother of two sons I couldn’t see myself not loving my boys no matter what. I know they say God loves you no matter what but the Bible shows that isn’t true. Numerous times he commands the murder of children and the rape of women. He even saved Lot when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorra after Lot just the day before offered his two virgin daughters up for a gang bang to save his houseguest from being raped. Do women not matter to God? If His ego is so great that He needs that kind of sacrifice and fear then what is the purpose of even being a God? These are the traits of men. I don’t need a God that isn’t better than that. I need quality in the God I choose to believe in.

Looking at all of this just made me think if this is how God does it then I want to be better than God. I want to love people for exactly who they are. I don’t succeed everyday but it’s not because I’m not trying. I didn’t quit church right away. I kept on trying but I finally had to come to terms with the fork in the road. I could keep on my old path or go my own way.

When you walk away from a religion that teaches you not to question it or face going to Hell to burn for eternity it’s not an easy walk to take. The authors were pretty crafty to have thought that up. Over time it does get easier and the more steps you take in the other direction the more beautiful the world looks.

My belief became that there isn’t a separate being to be called God but God is a collective of that bit of goodness that is in each of us that allows us to love perfectly without ego. We are all a piece of what makes up God. We are God. I didn’t know anyone who believed this but somewhere inside of me I determined this to be my truth.

I was in Tower records February 12, 1994 with the then boyfriend and I purchased Kindle My Heart and Quantum Healing (my First Deepak book). I know because when I recently pulled out “Kindle” the receipts were still in it. I obviously couldn’t afford them because I purchased them on my credit card. Thank goodness for that card. I essentially bought a new life philosophy on credit and had to pay for it on monthly installments.

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When I read Kindle My Heart I was never the same again. I recognized it from the point of my soul. This book (since then there have hundreds more) was the first evidence I found to support that what I felt in my heart was true. It’s been so many years I can’t remember a lot about the book but I do remember the theme of God within you. I found this on the back of the book and it kinda makes the point:

Gurumayi tells us that the Truth, the essence of our being, is present at every moment and we must make the effort to go within and find it. In the beginning you might think that it is esoteric or beyond your reach…but when the experience of the Self takes place you realize how close it is to you.”

God is within, beauty is within, divinity is within: This is an age-old message. However, just saying it is not enough. We have to contemplate it. It is said that man is what he thinks…When you contemplate the Truth, you become the Truth".” And the Truth, she tells us, “is always full…absolutely satisfying.”

I knew I would never look back. It opened me up in ways that grew me so largely outside my old shell, I couldn’t have fit back in if I had wanted to. I didn’t want to. I felt free of judgment for the first time in my life and I knew it didn’t matter if I couldn’t be perfect because all I had to be was me, flawed as I was.

You can live so much more open and honest when you walk away from the judgment we are taught by most religions. Just because you stop feeling judged doesn’t make you start being a bad person. You actually start doing good for good. You do what is right because it is the right thing to do not because you’re afraid of the consequence of Hell.

The point of this post is to let you know that if you question your beliefs, you aren’t the only person in the world that ever has. My advice to you is not to follow anyone’s path but to seek your own. If that leads you back to where you started at least you know you arrived there on your own terms.

Note: Please don’t comment in any way to try to save me or tell me where I am wrong. I’ve heard it all. If you follow a different path that is okay. Just know I have the same right and know that I have studied long and hard to arrive at my beliefs. It wasn’t a switch I threw in the heat of the moment. If you want to counter what I’ve said here you have the whole internet at your disposal. Maybe say it on your Facebook page or your own blog. This is labeled personal philosophy and this is my blog.

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