Friday, May 14, 2010

Spiritual But Not Religious

Greetings, Gentle Readers...

Today on Facebook (yes, I'm a FB junkie), a group in which I participate (Spiritual But Not Religious) posted a comment on being SNBR is being on the road between strongly held religious belief and atheism. I found this an interesting description. And it is mostly true. I don't know how I feel about the atheism part, but I do know folks for whom that is true.

For me? It's been such a journey. And I've chronicled most of it here. But if I may, I'd like to share that amazing journey with you.

As a child, my family went to Protestant churches. We stopped going when I was about nine years old. I think that for my parents, it became about how much money the churches needed and about how they struggled to put food on the table, clothes on our backs, and shelter over our heads. And I went for years without any spiritual or religious influence in my life at all. But I think for me, there was always that Spirit tug on my heart.

As a child, I had the ability to see spirits and sense paranormal "things." Over the years, that went away. I remember as a young child, watching out my window at night at the cemetery across the street and all of the activity that happened there. My house had two boy spirits that occupied it. We would talk and play. My "imaginary friends", mom called them. Shame I grew out of that and was brought kicking and screaming into "reality."

When we moved south as a teenager, I had already approached my dad about "religion." He gave me permission to check out whatever I wanted and offered to go with me to help me understand. He told me I could meet with pastors, priests, rabbis - no matter - to encourage me on that journey. (I don't think he expected it to lead me to where I am today!) But, as we moved to the Deep South, it was pretty obvious that everyone I knew was a Southern Baptist, Pentacostal, or some other conservative Christian. I wanted to fit in. So I became one, as well. And I lived that way for many years.

Even after I realized my sexual orientation, I tried to live the "Christian" life. What I found was, although I may have wanted them, they didn't want me. It was crushing. But in hindsight, it led me on the most wonderful spiritual journey!

I left the Christian church. Oh I tried to go back several times and every time I was shunned. I started looking into my ancestry. I found such interesting things to read. I looked into other religious thought and faiths. And what I found astounded me! So many of the "faiths" out there are similar in story! What a revelation! As I searched, I started to hear and feel that spiritual stirring in my heart again.

The energy that one feels from the heart of an old oak tree, the voice of the rocks, the whisper in the wind all speak to me. Interesting that the Christian bible says that if no one else worshiped, the rocks would cry out? I wonder in my heart of hearts if this is what the verse meant. I had a revelation! The rocks do cry out! Such wisdom in Creation. I found that female Diety had been worshiped for years and removed from religion by men in a patriarchal society. Oh my, I do have access to the female Divine! What freedom that brought!

So now, what is my journey? (And it is a journey.) I find myself drawn to Celtic paganism. I find spiritual strength and wisdom in all of Creation. I find comfort in Mother Earth. And I find love in the arms of Goddess.

Will this be the end of the journey? I certainly hope not! It is a thrill to see what each day brings. Join me in the journey and find your own spiritual place. You won't be disappointed!

Blessed Be!
And so it is!