I keep hearing this comment and question. Are you spiritual or are you religious? Like you must be one or the other. This is a question Oprah likes to ask a lot on Super Soul Sunday of her guests. Most of them say spiritual. But what I think is there is room for both, inside me, at the same time.
We were in a discussion in class last night regarding practice and devotion. How do you see that differently? Is it different? And for me what came up was spiritual vs religious. I cannot separate the two, I need both.
For me spiritual is how I live my life. It is the inner work that I do. It is my personal connection to something greater than myself. It is in the decisions I make, it is in how I view myself and others. When I decide I want more love in my life and so I stay in a place of love, that is Spirit. When I realize I am judging someone else, and stop, that is Spiritual. When I sit out in nature and listen to the call of the birds, that is Spiritual. When I read a book that moves me to tears, that is Spiritual. When I say I want peace and joy in my life and go out with the faith it is already so, that is Spiritual. So spiritual, for me, is my personal daily connection to God (or whatever your name is) and how I take that into my world.
Religion, I thought I didn’t need it. I thought I could basically wing it. I’m all about God, I’m all about Love. And that worked for a long time. But all the humanness became mixed up in that and I didn’t have structure to help me through the happenings of my life. Yes, it is fine to sit on a hilltop and feel the Grace of God. But now, I have to go down into the world and try to live my life with grace and ease. And I need support around that.
So I get that through my church. I go almost every week. And I go because I need the lessons that give me support during the week. I attend the Center for Spiritual Living, which is a Religious Science church. I found this belief system works for me. We do a lot of work around the here and now. You can look it up more if you like. I am not saying it is the only way, I am saying I have found this to work for me.
So religion, why do I go? I need the structure around me. I am reminded each week to do my daily practices. I am inspired by the lessons I hear. I am given tools to help me maneuver through my emotions. I am reminded over and over that I am worthy, that I am loved. There are classes to help deepen my knowledge, of both myself and the Creator. There are people who are like minded that remind me why I am Spiritual.
I know I need both. I think they go hand in hand. If I am simply religious and not taking that spiritual connection into my life, I am missing the whole point. If I am spiritual, but not including religion, I am not grounded and supported enough to sustain it.
Am I spiritual? Am I religious? I am both. What I am is whole. I use everything available to stay that way. I can’t separate them and I don’t need to. Why would I? I have the best of both worlds.
please visit our Facebook page EdgeofAnAngel