Having a Catholic nun as one grandmother and a devout Catholic as another grandmother, I had a healthy dose of the Catholic experience growing up.
I received a rosary from each grandmother every year for my birthday (need a rosary?), and went to church weekly.
Every Sunday, dad would get us all piled into the car and off we’d go to St. Norbert’s church.
It was the time dad and I fought the most too.
I would go, but only by kicking and screaming. Some of it was just rebellion against doing what he wanted me to do, and the other was a rebellion against the church.
I remember sitting in the pew while the priest was giving his weekly sermon, looking up at the big cross behind him with Jesus nailed to it while he said, “to The Father (and look to the sky), The Son (look behind him), and the Holy Ghost (not sure where he looked).
My curious child like mind asked to no one in particular, “Why is God a “he” and The Son a “he”?” and from that I assumed the Holy Ghost was a “he” too.
After going to confessional, I asked another question, “Why does God say I’m a bad person for eating 6 extra cookies or hitting my brother?”
My child heart couldn’t understand what wasn’t making sense to me. Something felt off. “Why was God out there – like in the sky and not here with us? Why was he a he and not a she or an it? And why am I a bad person?”
On the other hand, I found incredible comfort in the church through other kids my age. We played and laughed together and found a bond which I didn’t have with kids at school.
Then at 16, I was done. I needed to leave the ideas and beliefs behind of the Catholic church and go on my own search for what resonated for me (not what was “right” but what resonated for me).
I explored Christianity for 2 years, and then was an unofficial Atheist after that. There was no God. You live, you die, and that’s all there is to it.
10 years later I noticed I felt empty. Life felt empty. I felt lost at sea. There was a hole inside and I didn’t know why, so I thought a relationship with someone would fill the hole.
Then – meditation found me or I found it. I’m not sure what came first.
Since then, it’s not only been a journey of the mind, but of the body, the soul, and opening up to the possibility of God/Spirit/Divine/Source.
I didn’t use the word God until recently, until I let go of assumptions, beliefs, expectations, and resentment of God for not giving me what I wanted when I wanted it.
I now have a new relationship with God, the word God, and religion that I want to share with you.
My judgment of the Catholic church is now gone. Of all religions is gone.
It has changed the way I see the world.
What I stopped doing was trying to get something from God. I let go of who I thought I was and God was. I listened. I rested. I practiced “being” in the silence between the words of the mind. Insights arose in this space. It wasn’t from what I read in a book, or heard in a sermon. It was an experience. Many of them.
It’s the experience that I write to you now from.
That God/Spirit/Divine/Source is not male or female, man or woman. God is an entity of energy, intuition, mystical, unexplainable, mystery, non-judgmental, indescribable love. There is nothing in our human language that can describe it, especially when our minds can only see the world thru the concept of duality (right/wrong, man/woman, black/white).
God lies outside of duality. God is in us all. God is in everything around us. God lives through us. God is earth and sky, and the smile on your lover’s face. God is the spots on the back of a lady bug, and the air you breathe. God is no more a man or woman as the sky is man or woman.
Here’s what I know. As my relationship deepens with God/Spirit/Divine/Source, the emptiness inside becomes more and more a distant memory.
Here’s what else has changed: I don’t worry anymore, I don’t get caught up in drama, I don’t have internal conflict anymore. I feel more at peace, at ease, listening and trusting this greater energy that can’t be explained.
Here’s what else I know: that there’s something bigger, something mystical, that’s guiding me. It comes through me when I slow down and listen. There’s no mistaking it. It’s a knowing, unlike any other thought that goes thru my mind, or feeling in my chest.
Am I saying that you need to go on a path with God? No. There is no “need” to. Only choice to – if it’s calling you. My life is far richer from it, and deepens with each day passing. I’m in love with this Source, whatever it is.
Is there a Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine? I’m exploring that and my sense says there is. I’m exploring it outside of the ideas I’ve carried with me, but more from an openness to what it means as God moves thru a man and woman and if that differs. Both are needed. Both have value. Both are love.
Categories: Meditation & Mindfulness