i was raised as a christian; baptist to be specific. as a child, i was required to attend church each sunday and wednesday. the church was our primary social system. in my adolescence, i had questions about and longing for other paths to truth. sadly, i was judged and rejected for this curiosity.
for the past twenty-five years, i have had a love-hate relationship with religion. i crave the spiritual and run from the dogmatic. i've discovered that too often these two things coexist in many churches, no matter their claim of acceptance and enlightenment. long ago i gave up any hope of finding a church home that meets my needs.
here's what i do instead:
- i pray. every day.
- i listen. i look for answers in the beauty of this world, in the words of a trusted friend or a kind stranger, in the challenges and pushback of everyday life.
- i'm working on practicing silence and holding space for more answers, deeper understanding, awareness, courage and love.
- i read and listen to the words of jesus, the buddha, mythology, history, the great prophets and the ordinary people who cross my path, the poets and artists and writers and thinkers and yogis and peacemakers of our world. the god i pray to is not the scary angry grandfather of my youth; more like a brilliant and enthusiastic orchestra conductor of these instruments and voices.
- my home, my body, my work, my art, my relationships are my places of worship. i want to fill them all with love and light and acceptance and wisdom and truth.
- oddly, i still crave a sunday service; i listen to this each sunday morning to fill this ritualistic space. there's a new show every sunday. also, i read this every morning; i find the words serve as a touchpoint along the path i'm choosing to explore.
- i try to remain open to the energy of grace. i pray to recognize and accept the grace in the ordinary and in the sublime alike.