Congratulations and welcome back! You have decided to embark on your own personal Spiritual journey. As with any journey, you will need to gather a few things before you start. A journal to write down memories and other things that come to your mind as we go along. Make note of important questions you want answered, because once you start this process, the answers will come to you. You might also want a section dedicated to all your ‘aha’ moments or discoveries. Find a comfortable and quiet space where you can write in your journal and connect with God. Finally, the last thing you’ll need is the willingness to understand what happened in your life in a different light.
When we learn certain Spiritual words, the definition we understood at the time, gets filed in our memory as ‘the definition’. Our definition is usually the same as our parent’s, unless we were encouraged to determine our own. If we attended a religious institution, then our understanding of many Spiritual words will be dependent on the religious teachings of that institution.
In this Spiritual journey, words like God, pray, miracle, sin and forgiveness may end up having a completely different meaning for you. In any relationship, your understanding and your feelings toward the other change as you get to know them. It is the same with God. The more time you spend alone with God, the deeper your relationship will become. It will also become more and more apparent to you that the God you thought you knew is very different than the God you will come to know. First of all, God does not punish. God does not judge, and God is not something or someone you need to fear. God is not a human being with human traits, so He does not ‘feel’ rage, jealousy, hate, anger or disappointment. As difficult as this might be to understand at this point of your journey, you will eventually learn that a relationship with God teaches you about love and acceptance, understanding, compassion and forgiveness. There is nothing to fear when you connect with your Spirit, form a relationship with God, and embark on a Spiritual journey.
Prayer might start out as asking questions – why did this happen to me, or why must I suffer through this - but as you work your way down this Spiritual path, prayer will become more of a communion with God rather than a petition. You may find writing in your journal to be a form of prayer for you. Perhaps you will use meditation or yoga as a means or prayer. Maybe going for a walk in nature will be the way you choose to pray. The specific manner you choose to commune with God is totally up to you. I promise you, God has no preference.
The word miracle is usually associated with some fantastic feat that ‘science’ cannot explain, or is so incredibly rare, the recipient must truly be ‘special’. Miracles happen every day, to every person, in every walk of life. Miracles are the ‘aha!’ moments in every day life that generate a feeling inside you that is comforting. When a person says something to you that immediately solves a problem you’ve been thinking about, or answers a question you’ve been asking God to answer……..you’ve been the recipient of a miracle. You know how problems can become so huge in your mind you think of them as mountains that you’ll never be able to climb? Well, the answers to life’s problems, those ‘aha’ moments you get – that is how miracles can move mountains.
The word sin is usually used as way to shame, humiliate and attempt to make a person feel guilty about something they thought or did. The context is usually used in a way that makes the mistake or thought seem so horrible that you should bow down on your knees and thank God that you are still here, because God could have smited you right off the earth if He wanted. Remember, God does not punish. People punish by suggesting that someone else (or something else) is to blame for the guilt you feel. It’s not true. Sins are just mistakes. People try to determine a level of severity for every sin that a person could make. The ten commandments are sometimes presented in such a way as to instill fear in every person. If you take a little while to think about what they say, they are really common sense rules that a group of people trying to live in close quarters ought to follow if they hope to get along. If a person kills another, then the hurt and anger of the friends of family of the victim will want vengeance for the death. It is not God that seeks vengeance – it is hurt people that want vengeance. If a person takes something from another – steals – then the victim of the theft feels betrayed and wants the thief caught and punished. God has nothing to do with the betrayal – it is the person who took something that wasn’t theirs to take that betrayed another.
People hurt people, and the cycle continues because where there is sin, judgment and fear, there is hurt. Where there is hurt, there is anger, and where there is anger, there is fear.
The final word we will come to understand differently is forgiveness. Forgiving someone for something they did does not mean that you condone or accept their bad behavior. Forgiveness is about understanding, and understanding leads to compassion, and compassion leads to love. Forgiveness is not achieved until you are willing to set aside blame and truly understand what happened to cause you to feel hurt in the first place. Without Divine Guidance, true forgiveness is not likely going to take place. A pledge to forgive is not the same as the act of forgiving, for once a person has been forgiven, another miracle takes place. The memory of the hurt disappears, and love replaces the anger, frustration, rage, disappointment and grief.
Complete forgiveness is possible, regardless of the weight you have given to the injury. As you continue along this path, you’ll learn that there is no degree of ‘bad’ when it comes to mistakes. Emotional pain is emotional pain. Each person determines for themselves how heavy their emotional pain is. No one needs a court or a God to determine it for them, but just as a person determines the weight of the emotional pain, they can also choose to heal it. Choice is always ours. We can choose to hold on to anger and hurt, or we can choose to work through it and heal it. God cannot magically take the pain away, but God can provide you with answers and understanding, and those are the things that heal emotional wounds.
Join me next time where we’ll discover how the weight we give to things we think are important impacts our lives. Until then, know that you are loved and always Divinely guided.
Namaste (Spiritual lingo for: I bow to the God in you!)
© 2017 Penny Hodgson. All rights reserved.