Are you there God? It's me, Lisa.
I don’t have a religion. If I do, I created it.
I recently began speaking with God again. I’ve known him my whole life, and even in my rebellion, my exploration of other faiths, my anger, and disappointment, at my root, I still believed. I just wasn’t speaking to him much anymore.
A friend of mine recently commented, “My position on religion has nothing to do with God.” I feel the same way. I believe in God, in The Gospel, in a collective energetic spirit that flows in and through us all, through everything He created.
I don’t have a religion. If I do, I created it. I have merged my exploration of Judaism, Wicca, Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism, Spiritualism, Psychology, Holistic Medicine, and Natural remedies, and distilled it down to one main message: “Love one another.” Love other humans, animals, trees, bugs, plants, dirt. Love your friends and family; love yourself. Forgive others, forgive yourself.
I love the term used often in yoga, “Namaste’.” The divine in me honors the divine in you. We are all God’s children, all forgiven upon the asking, all flawed and struggling in some way, all somewhere on a lifelong spiritual path.
If you have trouble using the term, “God,” choose another. Native Americans use the term, “Great Spirit,” Julia Cameron (author and creative coach) refers to him as “The Great Creator.” If you simply want to envision a higher power, that’s cool with me too. You may simply choose to be more mindful and aware of your own spirit — which I believe is connected to the Holy Spirit. But my point here is that I’m not here to judge.
My comfort zone just recently moved me from using “Great Spirit,” and reverting back to “God.” In all actuality, my explorations (spiritual and psychological) brought me back around to God. It’s all connected somehow, (traditions, faith, soul, energy, mind, spirit, processes. It’s all from the same root, connecting everything. My spiritual journey now is for me to explore those connections.
Do you have faith of some sort? In a greater power, in yourself, in the future? Does your faith bring you peace? After two years of the pandemic, my faith in God brought me peace — an ability to relax, enjoy the present, forgive myself for my past mistakes, and leave my worries for the future at God’s door.
When I was a pre-teen, the book, “Are you there God? It’s Me, Margaret” was a popular read for girls my age.
Paraphrased From Wikipedia: “The award-winning book by Judy Blume follows sixth-grade Margaret as her family moves from New York City to the suburbs of New Jersey. Each chapter is like a diary entry, a letter to God. A broad theme in the book is about the need to fit in with one's peers, as every child character in the book acts in some way on his/her insecurities about fitting in socially or even physically. But Margaret, whose parents are Christian and Jewish, also goes on a quest to explore her religious identity.
For a school assignment, she chooses to study people's religious beliefs, hoping to resolve the question of her own faith in the process. Part of her study involves attending different places of worship, in order to better understand the religious practices of different religions and to see if any of them might be right for her.
At one point, Margaret stops talking to God. At the end of her study project, Margaret has not resolved her religious identity, but she has learned about herself and become more comfortable with her lack of affiliation. On the last day of school, Margaret gets her first period. Relieved, she resumes her previous relationship with God, saying, "I know you're there God. I know you wouldn't have missed this for anything! Thank you, God. Thanks an awful lot…"
Now, not all girls are so grateful when they get their first period. But the point, I think, is that we don’t need an affiliation or religion to have a relationship with God. I don’t think I realized it back then when I first read the book, but now that I have come to resolve my own religious identity, I’m going with the label, “Celtic Christian.” And yes, I’m Irish. (My grandfather was a McDermott.)
I don’t want to push God on anyone. However, I do think we need to know ourselves, and our own beliefs in relation to the spirit and soul. If you don’t like my personal approach to my spiritual journey, perhaps you will align more with the perspectives and experiences of our other spiritual renaissance columnists.
I will soon be publishing podcasts concerning mindfulness and meditation. (I just became a certified mindfulness coach.) I once read that “prayer is speaking to God, meditation is listening.” How often do you take time to just be, and to listen?
Perhaps you’ll enjoy these upcoming podcasts - available only to paid subscribers.