I feel like I’ve been having a bit of a spiritual dilemma lately–not that I don’t know what I believe–but that I don’t know where to go to “practice” what I believe. I’ll explain further…(this ended up being a much longer post than I had originally intended…)
Several years ago, I felt a longing to find a Spiritual home–my father had just passed away, and I felt him close to me, closer than I ever had when he was alive, I just knew he was near me and in the energy around me (for lack of a better explanation).
I wasn’t raised with any religion and my spiritual beliefs tended toward the agnostic, it was hard to find a church or spiritual centre that believed what I believed. The only thing I knew for certain was what I was not–a Christian. One day, I was talking to a friend from work about my beliefs and she said “you sound like a Unitarian”. I hadn’t heard about the Unitarian faith so did some research and found that it sounded like a place I could “fit in”. I joined the Unitarian Church in the city where I live and, for a while, it was the right place for me. But…as I continued to go I felt more and more that I didn’t fit in. I found the congregation very “clicky” and couldn’t seem to find a foothold in with any “group”. As this also didn’t fit into my thoughts of spiritualism–coming together–and as Unitarian Universalists seem to believe in “everything” spiritual–it’s really not wonder that there were so many groups within one spiritual centre. So I stopped going. But I was very sad, because I still felt a longing for a spiritual community. I debated about going to one of the local Buddhist Temples, but that was not a real fit for me either, because I did believe there was a spiritual power–call it God, Divine Presence, whatever, I believe there is something.
About a year or so later, I decided to “let my fingers do the walking” and looked in the local yellow pages under “churches” and found a place that seemed like a fit “The Centre for Conscious Living”. I had long felt that I was living unconsciously–I had gained over 100 lbs in the past 10 years, you don’t do that by being conscious. So, I checked it out. The music was phenomenal, they had a live band that played real music, not hymns or spiritual songs, but real music that had a “feel good” vibe. I loved that. I didn’t go back right away, but found they had a “Discovery Class” where you could learn more about their teachings. So I went to that, found some kindred spirits in class, who are my friends even now. But, I still didn’t go back to the church right away–it wasn’t until several months later, that I decided to go. And, the energy of the church was very uplifting, the message mostly made sense. Except they used the word, “Jesus”–which concerned me at the time because I knew I was not Christian. But over time, the words made more sense to me…Jesus was a prophet, someone to aspire to be like “what would Jesus do?”. I started taking classes, met more people, felt I belonged–but still had some trouble with the teaching. Just wasn’t a “true fit” with my innate beliefs. But, still, I thrived. I felt loved, and accepted, and was happy to be there.
Then, slowly, things started changing. I found myself losing respect for one of our ministers who didn’t seem to be walking the talk. They also seemed to be distancing themselves from the congregation. As they were someone I relied on for spiritual guidance, I was troubled that I didn’t seem to have their attention when I was talking with them.
Then, just one thing or another, just started making me feel less and less like I wanted to be there. The last year has been a struggle, because I still have such a great community of spiritual and personal friends there. I feel a longing for a spiritual home still. But, I don’t believe there is anything that is offered in my city that may be the right place for me right now.
Here are my results:
1. Liberal Quakers (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (98%)
3. Reform Judaism (89%)
4. Neo-Pagan (89%)
5. New Age (83%)
6. Mahayana Buddhism (80%)
7. New Thought (78%)
There were actually more results (I think about 20) but decided only to save the top 7 because “New Thought” was the spiritual teaching I had been following the last few years and thought it was very relevant that it was only 78%. I had always felt that I was close to what I believed, but not quite there.
I was very surprised to see Liberal Quakers at 100%??? So…I’m doing some research into that, but don’t think there are Liberal Quakers in the city I live in. There are Quakers, however.
I do understand the Unitarian Universalist, but, as I said know that isn’t the right place for me either.
So, I began to wonder about my Sundays, a day that I do believe should be a sacred day.. It came to me this week that perhaps it is time for me to be studying any of the several dozen spiritual books I have in my possession–Wayne Dyer, Cheryl Richardson, A Course in Miracles, the Bible…I don’t need to be at a house of worship to do that. I feel a strong affinity for what Wayne Dyer and Cheryl Richardson teach–stronger than New Thought–so why not?
And here we are, today is my first Sacred Sunday. I vow that each Sunday I will make it sacred by studying the texts that I have, turning inward, and meditating. I will not turn on the TV or use my computer in any other way than for my spirituality.
I think that, for now, this is my path.
Thanks for listening (reading).