God has no religion.
God is more of a practice, a kindness, a divine love that dwells deep within us all.
A flow, an energy, a feeling.
Over the course of my life, I have denied God, yelled at God, blamed God, criticized God, ignored God, and tried my damnedest to bend God to my will.
I attached God to religion (which is a man-made thing) so that I could have my own opinions about God. I tried to intellectualize God.
None of this got me anywhere except right here—where I am convinced of two things:
I know nothing
That when I insist on “managing” my life the way I see fit, I stumble, fall, and make a right good mess of things.
Here I am, someone who has driven myself crazy through life trying to know, to figure out, to have it all together and to be ahead of the game, and now it just doesn’t matter. I no longer need all the answers. And more profoundly for me, I no longer think I have all the answers.
Which brings me back to God. I choose the word God for lack of a better word to convey my point. (Sometimes words just fall short.)
God, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Brahma, Shakti, Ganesha, Jesus, Mary, Zeus, Nature, the Universe, Mother, Divine Father, Heavenly Father, Great Being, Great Spirit. Call it what you will. Worship how you will. Choose a religion or don’t. It doesn’t matter—that is the beautiful part of all of this.
Labels need not apply here I’ve learned. Religion is not necessary to love and honor the Divine. That is what I never understood.
I came to a place where God had to die. In a very Nietzschean way, I had to kill my concept of God. When we kill a belief, a new one can be born.
I spent many years judging and condemning anyone who was religious. “Religion is a crutch for the weak,” I used to say, as I pointed out all the wars and killings through history in the name of God and religion. Little did I know that was just my ego and my so-called intelligence speaking. Judging what I couldn’t understand, thinking I was free.
How misguided I was. I don’t say right and wrong because I practice non-dualistic thinking—and who am I to say I was wrong—it’s just what I thought at the time, and that doesn’t need to be labeled and judged.
There’s a bigger picture at play in the world, way bigger than the pictures we get caught up in. All it took was a shift in my perspective to see it.
The lesson I wish to share with you my dearest readers is this:
I can approach the world in two ways:
As though the world and universe owes me something, that I have control over anything that happens, that I have a right to judge myself or anyone else, and that if I just obsess over something I can change the outcome. I can make myself crazy trying to force my will into effect. I can live in a place of concern for myself and my striving rushing through everything I do, going at maximum overdrive just trying to find “success.”
I can see the world as the beautiful gift that it is, approaching each day as a new opportunity, asking for guidance and wisdom from something greater than myself, and I can live from a place of love and compassion that I have found deep within myself. That place that we all have deep within. I can accept people and circumstances for what they are—experiences—rather than labeling them as good or bad. I can look for what I can add to the world rather than what I can get from it. I can include God in my life.
I learned that when I approach each moment from the second perspective, my life is peaceful, serene, and overflowing with love and abundance. It’s the prime example of getting back what we put out. I have found that in living from here, I genuinely want to be kind, loving and helpful and that the return happiness and abundance is just an amazing perk of living this way. My head is quiet and I am love.
When I approach from the first perspective, I live very unhappily. Sure, I may convince myself that I am happy somewhere in there, but that is just delusion. This perspective gives me an attitude of edginess, sarcasm, what’s in it for me, and I drive myself crazy obsessing over things that I have no power over! My head is noisy, chaotic, mean and full of judgement. It’s unpleasant. When I lived in this perspective, I thought I was just really funny. From my current perspective I see differently—I was mean.
Which is just a byproduct of unhappiness. Because I lived there, I understand it. What I see in the world is just a reflection of what I feel inside. Now that I feel divinity within I see divinity everywhere outside and in all beings.
I realize that both perspectives can exist on any given day of life.
This is why I choose to practice humility which means I admit that I am not the end all be all of knowledge and decisions. In admitting that I admit there is greater things at work.
I believe that we all have the same place deep inside us, the same divinity and love. Though our experiences shape us all differently and bring us to the realization of this at different times in our lives, I believe we can all get there whenever we choose to if we just get out of our own way.
We will not find divinity in our minds but in our hearts.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Matthew Fearnley