When I was a young girl, learning about the religion we were taught, I was under the impression, the rest of the world had the same beliefs.
We all believed in Jesus. We all believed he died on the cross for our sins. We all believed we are born sinners and remained sinners, regardless of any kind acts we may perform in our lifetime because we were not worthy.
We were not allowed to touch ourselves in any erotic manner and no one was allowed to touch us unless they were going to be our future spouse. It was forbidden to have any interests in the same sex, being this was the ultimate of all sins (probably worse than murder, depending on the family values you were raised in) as we would experience the ramifications of hell.
Considering I was told I had one life and fucking it up meant I would be stuck in a purgatory concept; it was either believe in Jesus or you don’t go to heaven.
Of course, when I grew up, I found these concepts were a bunch of lies to bring about control over my choices in life.
Again, these are my own personal thoughts and opinions.
I have family members who hold their Catholicism in high regard, and I respect them, simply because they don’t push me to practice in something that doesn’t work for me anymore.
I was about 16 years old when the God concept stopped making sense. There wasn’t a priest I knew who had real answers, instead, they absolved me of my “sins, told me to say a bunch of “Hail Mary’s” and go in peace. It certainly didn’t make any complexities or questions I had go away.
Granted, a lot was going on in my life at that time, however, it was because of these experiences, gave me my own awakening to see the real world.
It wasn’t just a matter of making discoveries about the variety of religious faiths and their practices, it was about discoveries of social dilemmas, talking with different people, listening to inspirational messages, tangible experiences so that I can learn.
When I got clean and sober, I would hear time and time again, religion is for those who want to be saved and spirituality was for people who wanted to build better relationships with self and their higher power.
Daily self-discovery teach me to keep an open mind. Meditation and my relationship with a higher being, helps me build trust and faith in everything I wish to build upon and aspire to achieve. It also attracts those who want to be around positive energy. Not all the time, but most times.
Let’s start off with what is the difference between religion and spirituality.
Religion and spirituality are related but have distinct concepts.
Religion typically refers to a set of beliefs, practices, and values that are organized around a particular faith or deity, and often involve membership in a formal institution, such as a church, mosque, or temple. Religion may also involve adherence to specific rituals, moral codes, and authoritative texts.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is often seen as a more individualistic and subjective concept. It refers to a personal connection to a higher power or a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life, often independent of any specific religious tradition or institution. Spirituality may involve practices such as meditation, prayer, or observation, and may focus on personal growth, inner peace, and the development of a deeper understanding of oneself and the world.
While religion and spirituality are not mutually exclusive, they can be approached in different ways, and some people may identify more strongly with one or the other. Some individuals may find fulfillment and meaning through religious institutions and practices, while others may find a greater sense of connection and purpose through personal spiritual exploration and practices.
Ultimately, the difference between religion and spirituality is a matter of individual interpretation and experience.
So now that we have a better understanding of the difference between religion and spirituality, why are people, especially the “right wing” evangelists and media, continue to push their agendas. A lot of it has to do with money.
Let’s not lie to ourselves. Tax exemption means “more money” in their pockets and buying out as many politicians they can get to do their dirty bidding. Extremism is never about morale and the goodness of mankind, it’s about power and control.
I don’t want to make this article about politics, but more of outlining an understanding of how extremism works or rather, doesn’t work.
No one wants to be controlled, I certainly don’t.
It also isn’t right to give people a false sense of who they should be, according to the “eyes of God”.
And while for me, God is a faceless, non-binary being, having opening myself to other concepts gave me a better understanding and respect for a wide range of people who practice other religions and spiritual concepts.
Earlier today, I was having a conversation with a lady who is gay. She mentioned how she’s been with her partner well over ten years. When I chimed in “when was the wedding date”, her response floored me.
She mentioned how she believed in God yet struggled with the ideology of marriage and the meaning behind it. At first, I thought, perhaps she felt a piece of paper didn’t define her relationship, and she said no it wasn’t the idea of a paper but in some form, she believed it was wrong, in the “eyes of God”.
“How is that?”, I wondered to myself.
Love is love. Isn’t that what we all say? How can wanting to make a legal and binding commitment to your partner be wrong in the eyes of God.
This is the reason why I addressed the shit above about extremism. For me extreme is cult mentality. One person giving a group of people zero options on choice, and having them believe they all need to live the same way, have the same thought concept and one bit of diversion from that or even questioning what’s being directed to them, will suffer the ramifications of questioning the “leader”. And not the consequences of hell, but the consequences they will suffer right now and that can be anything, from verbal and physical abuse and probably even worse.
Think about the people who believe in Trump. Same concept. He is no different from Jim Jones, even without taking people to an island to “rebuild” and create a world just for them. The same way Jim Jones preyed on people who were weak minded, is the same way Trump has reached out to people who fail to think for themselves and who are not fully educated in American History, the laws and just basic human rights.
The extremism Trump spewed, gave permission to these hateful beings, to outwardly express themselves, never considering they would suffer any ramifications by their own actions. In the day and age of cell phone technology, videos have become viral just from recorded attacks, including racial and transphobic comments, while others take matters into their own hands by destroying food cards or harassing neighborhood children who set up lemonade stand.
None of these hateful beings, who felt exempt from punishment, never thought they would lose their jobs or businesses, even having those tremendous losses, (and rightly so), would never take under consideration, their own actions created the downward spiral, and all for what?
Because they believed they can express their hate without consequences, claiming freedom of speech. Yet, they will still try to convince anyone who would listen to their outrageous sort of nonsense of “they’re right and you’re wrong”.
It's the same concept of two people who are both thieves, and by a chance meeting, both convince one another why it was okay to steal.
Yet, none of these extremists admit, in all the shambles they have created for themselves, has Trump come to personally help them? Nope. It’s like the guy who impersonates Trump on the Howard Stern show, “I don’t like spending my money, so give me your money, so I can spend it.”
And people gladly fork over their money, never realizing they will get nothing back in return and no guarantee any of these tee shirts will be of value in the future, considering they are of no value now.
What religion teaches us and doesn’t seem to divert from that concept is, no matter how kind of a person you are, no matter how many kind acts you perform, you will always be regarded as a sinner, a person not worthy of God’s love, unless you fork over enough money to your local preacher to make you believe you are worthy enough.
And even having that knowledge, lest not forget, that private jet you just paid for needs fuel. The private jet you don’t own, but your preacher does, and will continue to perpetuate the lies to keep that money coming, while you sit at your modest home and they sit in a lavish mansion with a pool and servants.
Everything we learn about ourselves is what we need to trust. The Universe will always have something better, for as long as you keep the faith in that road less traveled. Even if you meet up with that fork on the road, know the choice you made, may be the best choice with the knowledge you have. And even if it does become a mistake, there’s room for improvement.
We are not perfect beings, and we will fall short. It’s a matter of recognition and giving it our earnest and commitment to do better.
The best way to start, just like the famous Martin Luther King quoted, “Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”.
In our instant world, we want to see instant results. We anticipate the results to be rapid and make us rich at the drop of a dime. And in worst case scenario, people can just simply steal your ideas, hence the reason the many projects I am working on remain top secret.
As the saying goes, don’t die a carbon copy, be your own original.
Your journey is yours and you don’t have to do it alone.
You can always connect with me for the various services I offer, from coaching to tarot and oracle readings.
For collective full moon candle work, you can link here, pay for the rest of the year and never have to worry about your wishes missing out during the full moon season.
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