This I Believe

Leslie - O Fallon, Missouri
Entered on April 26, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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My journey on the road of spirituality begun when I was a small child. I was forced to go to Sunday school on Sundays, church on Sunday mornings, church on Sunday nights, and church again on Wednesday nights, as well as youth group on Wednesday nights and sometimes on weekends. There was no choice involved, after all, I was just a child, and needed to follow the rules set by my parents.

However, I can say that from the time I began going to church, it just didn’t sit right in my stomach, and it was very unsettling for me. There were all sorts of questions I had that no one seemed to be able to answer, and if the questions were answered, they didn’t ring as truth for me.

As I grew older, there came a time when I had a choice on whether to go or not to go. My choice was to ‘not’ go. This of course came with the voiced reprimands from my parents, and still to this day, at the age of 31, these reprimands still continue. However it is my choice, and I will explain why.

First, I will talk about what religion taught me, and then, I will talk about my own spirituality. Religion taught me that I am separate from God, and that I need to communicate with and be a part of a larger group in order to access the Divine connection. Religion taught me that I must act a certain way and conform to the beliefs of the church, or I will face the fiery pits of hell. Religion taught me that I must tithe 10% of my money to God, but that the money goes to the church, in order to build a bigger organization. Religion taught me to feel ashamed, guilty, and dirty about certain things. Religion teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and in some cases, so is smoking and dancing. Religion says we are born with sin. Religion tells me I’ve got one life to live, and I better get it right because when it’s over, I’m either going to Heaven or I’m going to Hell. Religion has caused more wars and killing than for any other reason. Religion said to me that there is only one way to God, and that their way was the only way.

My own spirituality is a truth that I have found that resonates deep within my soul. This is my truth, a truth that no one else has to conform to or to believe in, because I personally believe that spirituality is different for every human being. Spirituality says to me that God is already within me. I do not have to look any further than myself to find Him. God is in each and every one of us. We are all connected to each other and to the Divine. I do not have to be part of a church in order to find Him. Spirituality tells me that I certainly have free will, and the decisions I make are mine and mine alone, and if I end up making a decision that doesn’t turn out the way I had hoped, that I am personally accountable. Spirituality is about unconditional love and non judgment. I don’t care if someone has a different sexual preference, what color they are, if they are rich or if they are poor, or even if they have done things that landed them in jail, for I will still love each of these people as we are all a part of one another, all connected. Spirituality tells me that God is a loving God, that I do not have fear Him, and that he is Love itself. I do not have to fear Hell, because there is no fiery pit, for when I end up leaving this physical vehicle that my spirit and soul resides in, I will reunite with the Source, and I do not have to fear judgment, because there is none. Spirituality tells me that I am free to choose my own path to God, and I have done so. Spirituality tells me that I was born with innocence and purity, NOT sin. Spirituality teaches me love and harmony, not anger, hate, fear and war. Spirituality teaches me to have faith in myself. Spirituality teaches me to search for truths that are Universal, as long as they ring true in my own heart.