I was an atheist. Now that I’ve gone to church three weeks in a row, I have a hard time identifying with that label. One day I decided that I needed some formal spirituality in my life in order to address all aspects of my humanity.
Spirituality is a part of being human, just like our emotions are part of being human. Many people connect spirituality with religion, and spirituality without religion is seen as fluffy hippy stuff. I disagree. Wikipedia defines spirituality as “to refind the original shape of man, the image of God.” I am refinding the original shape of myself. Whenever the pastor says “God”, I think of myself and everyone who makes up my experience. I am responsible for my salvation, but I cannot do it alone. We are never alone, and we can accomplish nothing without the influence of others.
Now, I said that you don’t have to connect spirituality with religion, while I am getting my spirituality from religion. You can get your spiritual experience from anything that connects you to yourself. Here is a list of spiritual activities:
- going for a walk
- reading a book
- riding your bike
- playing with your dog
- baking or cooking
- playing music
- looking through a microscope
Add your own activity to this list if it grounds you, makes you feel better and connects you to yourself.
I go to church because it’s an opportunity to learn about the human experience from a book that has been around a long time. I figure anything that’s been around that long must have a bunch of truth in it. Though I listen to the pastor, and respect his knowledge, I choose the truth for myself. No one can tell me what is right and what is wrong. I decide that for myself. This is the problem that so many people have with organized religion. They expect someone to tell them what to do, and are hurt or furious when they come to their own conclusions.
I have been lucky enough to start with a clean slate. I don’t need to be saved, but it’s nice to think about being a good person, forgiving myself and thinking about all the love in the universe that we are all hooked into.