I remember I could stare at the night sky for hours. I still can. The stars felt and still feel like home. I would lose track of time and disappear into what felt like a blissful eternity where nothing and everything existed all at once. I often asked myself why I was so madly in love with the sky. What was the deep connection I felt in my heart to whatever was up there? I didn't know at the time. The only thing I could associate the sky with, was God. For a period of time, I would say a year; I genuinely thought I had found God. I went to church by my self and wholeheartedly read the Bible. I was 14 at the time. But something happened. I read the Bible, loyally went to church and talked to religious leaders and people from the Christian community, but something felt very wrong.
I've always been a stubborn girl wanting to figure things out on my own and do it myself. In Christianity I felt somewhat robbed from that. I didn't feel it was enough room and flexibility for me to interpret my connection to the sky and the universe in any other way then what was written in the Bible. I started thinking thoughts like; do these people believe this because they've been told to believe it, taught to believe it? As a young teenager I would question everything with a big question mark. I was a curious little philosopher so I asked my self; would they really believe exactly what they believe today if nobody ever taught them to believe it? The follow-up question was; what do I really believe if I eliminate everything I've ever heard or read? What do I believe if I chose not to listen to anyone but myself? - I didn't have the answer, but I had a feeling religion was not my own way. It was someone else’s way, teaching me to wander in their direction. Well, as I mentioned, I was a stubborn young girl who did not settle for less then what made perfect sense to me, so I closed the Bible. I would only settle for a belief system I created myself where I found my own way and a truth that was my truth. And so it began.. My spiritual journey.
I rarely go by the book. I didn't want a recipe written in stone on what to believe or why I should believe it. That wasn't what I was looking for. Yes, I was looking for answers, but answers to guide me in directions leading me to my own answers, not someone else's. Along the way I read a book by Deepak Chopra and as I Googled him a quote appeared which validated and put words to why I wasn't feeling connected to a set religion.
"Religion is belief in someone else's experience.
Spirituality is having your own experience."
- Deepak Chopra
So I looked into that and really chewed on that piece of information for quite some time. I actually still do. What I learned growing up is that every belief in religion, is a personal belief. They find their own way and their own truth based on the religion, which also makes their religious belief their own spiritual experience. This makes religion a great introduction to their own spirituality, as it was for me. So religion offers both and in that way I somehow disagree with Deepak Chopra, but I understand his point of view. The only difference is that some continue their spiritual journey within the religion and some don't. I'm one of those who didn't, but I see how religion, even though I didn't see it then, did lead me further on my way to my spiritual experience and journey.
As I was learning, growing, thinking, feeling, changing, I found that for me, it's all about the love. Love is actually what I believe in. Love is all I need. All I want. Wherever there's love, that's where I want to be. Who ever teaches love, is someone I would like to learn from. Who ever writes about love publish books I want to read. And whoever consists of purely unconditional love, is someone I want to follow. I distance myself from everything that is not love or a ripple effect from love. I've gathered a lot of messy thoughts and feelings and put them all in order and systems for me to understand them. And every time I do that, it all boils down to love. It's all about the love.
What my religious leaders forgot to teach me in the clutter of trying to convince me to just believe and have faith in God, was the basic fundamental values of Christianity; the love.
That God loves all, unconditionally. I realized this after expanding my awareness, knowledge, conciseness and after opening the Bible again. That God and the energy I believe in are the same; we just call it different names.
So what is love? Love to me, is me having that experience Deepak Chopra wrote about in his quote; my own experience and my own interpretation of the connection to what I can't see, but know is there. Because of that, that love is my spirituality, then spirituality to me, is love. Spirituality is love. And religion is love. It goes hand in hand. We do somehow, on some fundamental level, believe in the exact same thing, we just interpret it differently and name it differently. We're not that different, as a matter of fact, we're not different at all. It all boils down to the belief in the highest power of love energy. A force, a creator, a spirit, a purpose, a soul, destiny, strength and faith in this power and that we all come from the same energy within this high power. No one less than others. No one greater than another. No one more worthy of love than anyone else. No one more important than the other. No purpose greater or smaller than another. We're all different with individual purposes created by the same force. So if everyone is here with each a purpose not greater than anyone else's, who are we to judge where they are on their journey towards that purpose?
There is no right or wrong definition to spirituality as spirituality is different for everyone. There are some common themes associated in the definition of spirituality, but just as I found my own definition for myself, I would advice anyone to do the same. Finding their own truth. Whatever feels right for you is right for you. My truth isn't always your truth or the other way around. But I would like to share with you my interpretation and definition of spirituality and how I see it, how I live it and how it has changed my life to be nothing but a loving and positive focus on the greatest gift of all, life.
Spirituality to me is love. Spirituality is to distance myself from everything that's not love. Love is more than a collective term for family, partner/spouse or being in love. Love is compassion and caring. It's happiness, joy and dreams. It's inner peace, zen, kindness, authenticity and goodness. It's light, uplifting and enriching. It's to love and be loved. It's passion and inspirational actions. It's having faith in yourself and others. It's listening, giving advice, a hug or a kiss. It's offering a helping hand, a smile or a warming look. It's tolerance, understanding, appreciation and acceptance. It's optimism and seeing the good that resides within each and every one of us. It's support, honesty and loyalty. Love exists where there is absence from fear, ego, hatred, bitterness, jealousy and possessiveness. Absence from curses, prejudices and criticism. Absence from bullying, racism and ostracism. It's also absence from expectations, judgements and demands, but spirituality is full of hope and wishes. Love is in its entire purity good intentions without hidden agendas. So again, what is spirituality to me? It's the journey of becoming and being only love. It's the knowledge that the recipe for the optimal life for myself is only where I distance myself from everything that does not come from the ripple effects mentioned above. Spirituality is love. Spirituality is beautiful. It's greatness. A spiritual journey is a wonderful, but a demanding journey. A journey to pick yourself apart and get rid of all the negative. Piece by piece. It's to break destructive patterns, blockages and overbearing thought processes. It's not an easy journey, but the prize is the absolute best version of you, for yourself, for every one else and everything in the universe.
May you find that love, not only around you, but most importantly; inside of you. What I've come to realize is that the love I attract in my life vibrates at the same frequency as the love inside me. My life is an echo of what I radiate. As long as I radiate the love I wish to attract, that's exactly what I get. Now that's something I believe and know to be true. Am living proof that life is like a magnet. What you give is what you get.