Religious Roots: Part 2

In Religious Roots: Part 1, we explored our religious upbringing and the reasons we broke away from that path and found a new one. In part Part 2, we would like to delve deeper into our current path. In our many conversations on this topic, we have found the important realization that we are most definitely on a journey, we realized we have not arrived at any one destination or profound conclusion. We know that we are still learning, exploring and growing and want to simply share what we have found out along the way and what has worked for us. I have realized that my current relationship with God has nothing to do with religion. I feel that is a part of my past that I do not want in my present or future. I thought for a time that I did not want anything to do with God or faith, but I realized more and more that it was still very much apart of my life and certain beliefs would always be in my heart and soul. I would still find myself praying during a stressful moment or giving thanks to God in a moment of gratitude. I realized there were beliefs that I could not, or did not even want to shake off. I went to a faith based college for my graduate studies. Going to Christian grad school helped me come to see some beliefs in a new light. I was able to see the intersection between faith and education, something that I felt was seriously lacking in my own upbringing. There were still some things I definitely did not agree with, but I also met professors and other classmates who were more open-minded and used critical thinking when describing their faith. I begin to find new ways to connect with and draw closer to God. I soon realized that I found a deeper connection when I was completely away from church and out in nature. Nature became my sanctuary to worship and as I started exploring more and more of this beautiful earth, I found my gratitude for all of God’s creation increasing and a shift happening inside my soul to be more open to the unknown. DSCN5819 Strangely enough, the largest catalyst to helping me reconnect with spirituality has been yoga. Yoga, I believe has helped me find God more than anything. I first started doing yoga for all the physical benefits to my outside body, but once I started learning and opening myself up to the benefits for inside my body, a big change occurred and I felt my heart opening up more and more to all things spiritual. You can read about how yoga helped me through grief and loss here. 100_0991 The tenants of yoga and Eastern religion make so much more sense to me and although my knowledge is still very shallow, I am coming to see there are many parallels between Eastern and Western religion, but the similarities are convoluted with legalistic barriers. I now strive to live my life with compassion, gratitude, kindness, love and peace. I hope to embody all those qualities and share them with the world around me. I constantly fail. However, the fearful and anxious feelings previously associated with failure are no longer present and I am at peace with being imperfect, with falling short, with not knowing, with questioning and with discovering new information that challenges my previous/current ideals. Thank-you for reading and sharing our journey, thus far. In love & sisterhood, ~Angelina “I love being a mother. My children fill me up in many ways, and inspire me in many ways…” Madonna As I venture forward toward the beginning of my own personal spiritual path, there are some wounds from the past that I’ve had to deal with in order to heal.  I use to hold a lot of resentment towards my parents (who hasn’t) due to their lack of direction in life.  Although we grew up with all the basics to live well, I wish they would have prepared me better for life.  But there came a point when I realized that they couldn’t teach me what they didn’t know.  Today, after having experienced my fair share of heartache and disappointment, I completely understand why my mom used her religion as a coping mechanism. Life Can Be Difficult My mom probably made the best choice when she couldn’t handle my ADHD brother, diabetic sister and me – she picked up a rosary rather than a bottle. In that one little act, she showed me, without knowing, how instrumental faith can be when life becomes difficult. As a teacher of a low socioeconomic neighborhood, I see the difficulty parents go through when trying to support their kids in an education system that’s completely foreign to them.  They’re so busy trying to pay the rent and put food on the table that education unfortunately takes a back seat in their list of priorities. I see my parent’s struggle written all over the faces of the parents I work with today.  How could I judge my mom and dad so harshly when they did the best they could with the abilities they possessed? Like Angelina mentioned earlier, my knowledge of God is still shallow in a universe that’s surrounded by the Divine; I had to strip myself of the old in order to experience my new.  It can be very challenging at times and a bit scary but there’s one thing I know for sure: if my mom could do it with the help of the Creator – so can I. Love and sisterhood, Ed

11 thoughts on “Religious Roots: Part 2

    • Eva the difference I’ve found in today’s journey is that I see it as a journey. When I was growing up Catholic, it always felt like a destination – heaven. If I continued the old way today, I’d still be denying my feelings, experiences and total self. Today, I’m all about my experiences and understanding that they are important, not sinful. If I kept trying to deny those “sinful” experiences, I would have never felt what it’s like to be in another person’s shoes. It’s been a humbling process.
      Thank you for taking the time to read our blog : )

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      • Although I sometimes wish I had been brought up within a religious framewwork I’m definitely glad that I missed the whole ‘sin’ thing. I find life tricky enough to navigate without the extra issues that ‘sin’ and eternal damnation would bring to the table.

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  1. I think you will find this link I share with you, insightful, especially as you are into yoga and like Eastern religion: http://vedabase.com/en
    A plethora of free online Vedic texts into Eastern religion. I’ve read all those books and more, and I’ve adopted that way of life, having previously grown up in a christian environment. All the best 🙂

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      • You’re welcome. 🙂 The transition for me was relatively easy, in that, I never found the answers to questions I had in my mind, when I was in the Church. Imagine, I had to pass Bible as a subject before I could graduate and still felt unsatisfied. Not just that, a lot things didn’t make any sense to me. But when I was introduced to Vedic knowledge, my heart danced with felicitous abandon 🙂 My search was over, when I met my guru many years ago and I began to study and adopt the teachings therein, into my life. 🙂

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  2. Pingback: Religious Roots: Part 3 | a girl. her gay. and God

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