I think that when people consider what spiritual growth looks like that they picture something beautiful and serene. Maybe they imagine being out in nature, having powerful epiphanies, and feeling super connected to something more powerful than themselves. I know people who do that and feel that.
That’s cool. It’s just not me. There’s bugs and shit out there and no climate control.
I know and sometimes envy folks who have strong religious faith. They do church and bible studies and they look forward to worship and fellowship.
That’s cool. It’s just not me. I’m a minister’s son. I was taught that church was supposed to be a community of people who share their spirituality. I never felt a connection. I sat on the pews and thought, “If heaven is like church then I don’t wanna go.”
I’ve attended services in every denomination. I met a lot of folks who seemed pious. They looked beautiful and never professed to have any problems and I was all fucked up and didn’t feel like I could tell anybody.
They seemed afraid of going to hell and I was trying to get out of it.
Blasphemy: I don’t believe in hell as an after life. I could never reconcile the idea that an all powerful, loving, and forgiving God could send a well intended misfit like me to an eternity of suffering.
That’s why I like spirituality – I get to pick and choose and nobody can tell me I’m doing it wrong. There’s no rules. There’s just me and my people and a whole lot of weirdness that always turns out great sooner or later.
I actually believe that the key to being a spiritual person is to have a high tolerance for weirdness. The most spiritual people I know have really weird lives.
We tend to be pretty open about being wounded. We’re really, really real. (If you can wrap your head around that last sentence then there’s a good chance you’re spiritual). We crave connection and we give away what we want to receive.
Pretty simple, but it’s a lot to get used to.
I love talking to people about their beliefs and Higher Power(s). What makes me sad is that for most folks, how they talk about their parents/caregivers is how they talk about God. I suggest that maybe they choose a different HP.
God, to me, is the perfect mother and father…times infinity. I choose to believe that God only puts good things in my life. I don’t believe in a God who tests or puts hardships in my path. I know myself too well – I do a fine job of fucking things up all by myself.
(I may very well seem blasphemous to you. I’m sorry if that offends you. The God of my understanding doesn’t make a big deal of things like profanity).
Most of my growth has occurred in very simple ways: I have suffered and I have born witness to the suffering of others. I seek to facilitate healing and I allow others to facilitate mine. That’s spirituality in a nutshell – connection, learning to let go of pain, learning to take in good stuff, becoming something greater than you are, repeat.
I like simplicity and I preach the Keep It Simple System. It’s like my hatred of exercise. Instead of staying fucked up about it I gave myself two simple choices: walk every day or continue to buy bigger pants.
For my way of being, (given that I’m a misfit) I have only two options:
– Continue to grow spiritually and be happy, joyous, and free or
– Be lonely, infinitely sad, and vaguely self destructive
Simple. Powerful. Unexpectedly fun and way better than anything I ever planned. Life is good when you get out of your own way.