Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spiritual but not Religious

Why is there so much controversy over the cliché “spiritual but not religious?”

There are wonderful people I admire and respect who aren’t affiliated with a church. It’s not that they don’t believe in God. They simply don’t want to be identified with the term “religious.” Unfortunately, it has left a bad taste in their mouth. Therefore, they have rejected traditional organized religion. They see themselves as being spiritual but not religious.

I understand this cliché “spiritual but not religious.” I’ve walked this road, and it does hold some merit.  

A few years ago, I was at a crossroad. Organized religion had imprisoned me. I felt boxed in: the dos and don’ts, the who’s in and who’s out, what we were against rather than what we were for, it all lead to exclusion. The line in the sand where Jesus was portraying the need for unity had become one of division between “us” and “them,” especially toward the LGBT community. These distractions left me questioning my faith. So, I left the church.

I didn’t, however, leave my faith. I, instead, found spirituality. In others words, I went inward. I returned to the person God created me to be. I went on a mission to discover who I was as a child of the light, not what others thought I should be.

Through this mission of enlightenment, I’ve returned to church, with both spirituality and religion interwoven in my faith. Both have helped me unlock my truest self, to think outside the box unobstructed by the constraints some leaders of organized religion can impose on us.

But, I would have to say, it’s my spirituality that keeps me grounded, that allows me to look at our humanity with an open mind and an open heart.

Because, at the end of the day, we are all flawed human beings, searching for guidance that, in my opinion, can ultimately be found by awakening the divine Spirit, which is planted within all of us.

Be who you were created to be. Seek the Devine within. When you do, you will look beyond the bonds of human limitations and find the beauty of Grace, a place where spirituality and religion are united.