God, for me, is both personal and simple.
Simple spirituality is what I craved for years, and I craved that in a deeply personal way. Though faith-centered group fellowship can be a fortifying part of exploring God, it is an option, not a requirement. It feels almost voyeuristic for me to sit in a space and attempt to commune with God amidst the voices of other people. And I know I am not alone in that feeling. For some, group interaction does not heighten a deeper spiritual connection with God; it dilutes it.
One of my Old Knowings is that I am made from the same Light and Love as God, and can communicate with that Light and Love Source in countless ways, including—and perhaps vitally—through the exploration of myself, at times in solitude. And though I am often encouraged to be part of a church, especially because I am a parent, I will continue to define myself for myself, and trust my process, and my God to guide me.
It is in the spirit of discernment, not dissent, that I choose spirituality over religion. In those moments when you feel called to discern, to feel through the options for your personal relationship with God, consider these three ideas about the personal nature of spiritual exploration.
God is experienced in a myriad of ways.
Allowing space for our own intuition and cravings to unfold into inspired thought our action is one way many of us experience God.
The community of God+Self counts as fellowship.
When we say common phrases like “Let me get myself together” or “I want to feel whole” we are (perhaps unconsciously) acknowledging the layers, the aspects, the gestalt, that comprise our Selves.. When we seek to commune with God in a more direct way than general daily acknowledgement, we are also seeking the opportunity to gather those aspects in one space with our Source. All the parts that make you who you are, also comprise your fellowship team. Feeling whole or together is a reflection of a sense of cohesiveness between what you crave, what you are grateful for, and the Source that created those things in a state of Wholeness.
I am not inherently flawed.
Everything that is part of the fiber of me rejects the notion that I am born a sinner. I do not see myself as inherently flawed or inadequate. I do not need to be saved from myself or from the world. I need to understand myself through my Source in order to rise above the things in the world that can pull me outside of myself and into relationships with people and things that do not enhance my spiritual practice.
In her brilliant story, the Color Purple, Alice Walker’s character, Shug Avery said, “Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me.” I find that so very empowering! Take that with you as you leave the space we created together when you gave your attention to my words. Use discernment and not fear when you can, in all things, including and especially your spiritual journey.