My Journey from Discovery to Acceptance to Change
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Hope Through Authenticity

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What You Believe and Why You Believe It

“When you hear the same thing from the person who had the power … you believe.”

Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb

This quote – this topic – can go a thousand different directions. But since I’m currently wondering/questioning my spiritual nature, I decided to let this quote bounce in my mind on that subject.

Are My Beliefs Mine?

Many people are raised in a specific religious environment. To use the quote, those in power place us in religious settings and therefore we believe. Now, at 52, I’m trying to decide what I believe versus what I was told to believe.

Let’s start with what I was RAISED to believe:

  • There is ONE Father, ONE Son, ONE Holy Spirit – the Holy Trinity
  • There is ONE TRUE God – the God of the Old and New Testament
  • The Old and New Testament are truly God’s word transcribed by men – and therefore everything in those 66 books is perfect
  • There is ONLY ONE WAY to reach heaven or be in relationship with God – and that’s by saying specific words with a contrite, sincere heart
  • God wants to have relationship with His human creation (and yes, I was taught to believe in a “male” God)
  • The New Testament replaced the Old – we moved from Law to Love
  • Jesus is the SON (born of a virgin) and the ONLY WAY to God
  • All other religious beliefs (including Judaism) are WRONG and those followers will GO TO HELL unless they say the magic words
  • God does not approve of homosexuality, adultery, etc. (Apparently, God has a check-off list). And, if these people don’t repent, they too are heading to hell.
  • HELL is a real place – fire and brimstone (oh, I remember those revivals)
  • God answers prayer (yes, no or maybe later)
  • God cares about every detail – and every detail will work out to my good IF I follow His lead
  • The Church is God’s creation (and, of course, He created the world in 6 days – according to the human definition of a day)
  • God will tell me what to do – He has a path planned for me
  • God expects us to be in church, in community
  • God expects His 10%

I know there is more. Lots more. Please, please don’t tell me what I have wrong. All I’m doing is telling you what I was raised to believe. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing. Yet.

100% My Beliefs

I am not rejecting any or all of those. Right now, I’m letting them stir around in the grey matter of my brain and in my blood-pumping heart. When I’m done (if that ever happens), I will stand on what I believe – not what someone else told me to believe – and I will structure my life, my relationships, my decisions around those beliefs. I have settled on a few things:

1. There is a CREATOR. I sit writing this at my kitchen table. Outside my window there is a fruit tree littering my drive with pink flowers. Three squirrels race and chase each other up and down the trunk. My kitten stands in the window, watching and desperate to ‘play’. The grass is green, the bushes even more verdant. I know, with 100% certainty, that in a few hours a sunset will brighten the sky with amazing pink, purples and oranges. These colors will move off stage and glittering stars will enter. I BELIEVE IN A CREATOR.

2. Two-thirds of the world’s population is not Christian. 2/3 of the world’s population has NOT said the magic words as prescribed in the New Testament. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE in a Creator who will doom 2/3 of His/Her creation. It follows, therefore, that I BELIEVE there is more than one path to God. (Um – but that forces me to question if there is a path at all. Does the Creator simply create?)

3. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE in a Creator that condemns people because of who they love. My neighbors are gay. Two wonderful men who bend over backwards to help those in need. Two wonderful men who smile and wave and laugh and cry and experience joy and pain. So, does this force me to reject the “truthfulness” of the New Testament?

There is nothing else I know. Nothing else I’m willing to defend.

I did decide, as I write this, that religion is about rules and rituals. Spirituality is about the state or progress of the soul. I’m not sure what that means in regard to my own quest.

A Path??

I bought a book – My Best Self: Using the Enneagram to Free the Soul by Kathleen Hurley and Theodore Dobson. I chose this because I recently did an Enneagram test and was shocked by how accurate the results were (even my husband was flabbergasted). I stumbled across this book just playing on Google. And, a spiritual leader I admire endorsed it (Richard Rohr, OFM).

When I was at a local diner today, the book sat next to me, unopened. A woman, maybe a few years older than me, walked over and told me how wonderful the book is. So …

Maybe I’m starting to believe that God/the Creator works in strange ways, that She does care about the day-to-day health of our souls. I don’t think I’ll ever believe She cares about what kind of car I drive. I have chosen to call this Creator the GODIVERSE.

I’ll keep posting about my search for the Godiverse. I’d love feedback – but I would not love judgment.

By the way, my Enneagram test labeled me Personality Type 4: The Intense Creative. If you want to know more about the Enneagram, the best way is to just Google it. There are free tests but I paid $46 for one Integrative Enneagram Solutions because I thought it gave the most comprehensive feedback. https://www.integrative9.com

Kindred in Death - JD Robb
My Best Self - Using the Enneagram to Free the Soul

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