Religiosity To Spirituality
I was religious for about eleven years. I kept certain things on and off (according to the religious requirements) even before that long stretch of those eleven years. Even during that stretch of time, I did my best to explore what I was ready for and actually aligned with. Though, that was merely within the framework of being religious; meaning, more or less religious was the question that I asked myself. It took me over a decade to even allow myself to question whether or not I even wanted to be religious or if any of it actually genuinely made me feel good and happy. I blocked myself from any consideration of asking such questions. I was holding onto religion for all the wrong reasons.
Eventually, after a variety of reflective experiences, I finally truly looked deep within and wondered what the answers to these questions were. I reflected on this for quite some time before realizing what it was I really wanted. It had nothing at all to do with being or not being religious.
The way I reached my conclusion and decision was only through being completely open and honest with myself as to what it is about religion that drew me into it in the first place. From this stemmed huge revelations of new understandings as to why I did anything and everything I did in all areas of my life.
I realized that it was never about religion or the religious practices for me. It was about what I believed I was able to give, receive, how I can prevent bad things from happening and be protected as well as have others protected. I thought I had to be a religious person and keep certain things in a certain way in order to make any of that so.
What I was really in search of was: direction, guidance, connection, purpose, meaning, community, closeness, excitement, inspiration, something interesting and mysterious that is beyond my human mind’s understanding, rules that’ll keep me in-check, structure, goals, depth, always something to look forward to, family and friend get-togethers, a feeling of trust, support, having the things that happen “make sense”, answering my unique callings, morals, being a genuinely good person, etc.
I felt it was mandatory for me to follow these rules or else, because they were absolute truth. I thought that by following these guidelines on how to become a whole and happy person, as well as inspire others to do the same, only then would I be able to live a happy, fulfilling and satisfying life. It was the only way I felt then that I could ever feel truly connected and manifest any of the things I wanted. And, of course, it was my religious obligation.
My path, as far as I was concerned then, was already written in the stars. All I had to do was decipher the signs and messages I was getting from something outside myself, so I can figure out what my purpose here was. And so, I was forever searching, as opposed to, deliberately creating my purpose for myself and simply living it as I do today.
Religion is not my path. Not my truth. But, spirituality is.
It was a long time coming, but when I finally recognized my true reasons as to why I did any of this, only then, was I capable of realizing (intellectually and emotionally) what it was I truly wanted all along — A true connection to myself that is expressed in its highest, most satisfying and real form to and through me.
There were countless internal battles surrounding this topic. I had to break through so many of my own limiting beliefs and to be genuinely open and willing to explore what it is I really wanted and how I can give that to myself in the ways that would really make me happy.
For the longest time, I had trouble connecting to anything other than that way of being because of how well I programmed my mind to believing and proving to myself in reality that that was the one and only truth, which became my truth at the time. I did this until I opened myself up to finding that one of the main things that was so tempting to me in religion wasn’t religion at all. It was spirituality, connection. My version of spirituality. My version of connection.
A spiritual connection to who I really, truly am inside. A real connection to the highest aspects of myself. The kind of connection that feels so amazingly good. Pure. Natural. Real. A deep connection that allows me to feel this incredible flow and rhythm, passion, excitement, alignment — Where I’m entirely immersed in my allowing state (zero resistance and zero expectation of what the results should or shouldn’t be). A peaceful place within where there’s no right or wrong. No written plans in any book for me, but solely the ones I write myself. I realized that that is simply and purely my natural state of being.
This was and is the kind of real connection I want which has, is and I know always will be leading me to the kind of great life experiences I chose and choose to be here in this life to experience.
Religion was a tremendous part of my growth and why I am where I am today, living the life that I want to be living — the one I created for myself. Without religion being a part of my journey, I don’t believe I would have been able to accomplish and understand as much as I do today.
That path I chose to be on then, without a doubt, led me now to be and fully express my whole true self — To the person I want to be. Living the life I want to be living and inspiring others to do the same.