Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Losing my Religion

A few weeks ago I went to the Mind-Body-Spirit Festival in London, didn't stay long as I hadn't checked the program and I missed all of the lectures! Most of the exhibitors were either selling crystals which I don't have space for, or books that I'd rather get on Kindle. What to do? I made up my mind to get a psychic reading or a healing before I left.  Most of the stands charged for the psychic readings, and I wasn't really up for it because as part of my coursework I give and receive readings every week (as a matter of fact I've also lucked out and received two impromptu healings from accredited healers at school - one of the perks of exploring this path).

One of the stands had a big sign that read All Life Readings are Free.  I sat down in front of a nice  lady named Anna, who went on to tell me that all of the psychics at the stand were Christians and that they did spiritual readings. She wouldn't be able to tell me about my job, my relationships or what might happen the day after tomorrow. The realm of physical readings belonged to clairvoyants,  she explained, her purpose was to help me find my path. She also asked if I was a member of any religion, and I told her that I was brought up Catholic.

"Are you Catholic now?" she asked?

What a tricky question! 

"Do you go to mass?" she asked.

I go to mass on Easter, Christmas and the occasional wedding.  I also try to go to mass on my dad's birthday, but it’s about remembering him rather than attending mass.  This year I skipped it altogether and sat in Hyde Park by the Serpentine Lake instead. Being in nature makes me feel closer to God than any church, and the friendly tree spirits helped ground my emotions. When I'm that close to a large body of water I get the same emotional response that comes from pulling a tarot card with a strong water theme. I can't remember what I told Anna, but she listened and then asked another question: 

"Do you believe the things you learned in Catholicism?"

I shrugged. So how do I answer this one? I feel an affinity for the Virgin Mary and I call on Jesus to help with my healings, especially after he helped me heal a horrible sore throat that kept coming back whenever I got stressed. The throat chakra has always been my weak link (something about speaking my truth). I'd had the pesky thing for almost three years off-and-on. Once it got so bad that I missed work for a week. The last time I went to mass with my family I asked Jesus to come down and heal my throat, once and for all. I remember visualizing a white light, I felt his presence behind me and I could feel the energy around my throat even before I placed my hands on my neck. That was a year and a half ago and I haven't had a sore throat since then, which is pretty fantastic. That was the first time I called on Jesus in a healing. It rocked, I would even call it a miracle, and I need more of those!

I told Anna that I believe in the spiritual beings associated with Christianity, but I don't buy into the structure and the rules that come with the Church.  I call on the Virgin Mary for protection, as well as the Archangel Michael - though he's not unique to Christianity. So far I've only had one nasty experience with a little dementor that tried to scare me in a meditation. I panicked for half a second, but when I was able to push out the darkness Mary and Michael were both there. As far as faith in Jesus goes, the sore throat convinced me, but even now I hardly make an effort to get to know him (sad!).  When I went to Jerusalem two years ago I was really struck by the experience, and I felt closer to the Passion of Christ than I ever had. But even with all this I feel drawn to explore other spiritual paths including Hinduism, Mindfulness, and the respect for Mother Earth that we find in pagan belief systems.

Today I discovered that I still need to work through my attitudes towards Christianity. Maybe I just have to agree to disagree on some points? For example, any talk of salvation rubs me the wrong way. I feel that we're already saved - we're just working on perfecting the bond between human existence and spirituality - isn't that what we call enlightenment? We would have to do something extremely stupid and evil to un-save our souls (I'm now conjugating verbs the Facebook way!)  If I approach Jesus with that frame of mind, I feel no resistance asking him for guidance. He has a lot to teach in terms of love, healing and compassion. But if I approach him from the born-again Christian point of view that Anna was suggesting, alarm bells start going off and I pull away. I'm still having trouble with this, part of me says I'm being immature, but on the other hand I want to believe that doors to Heaven are bigger than that.

All in all, the reading I got from Anna was pretty good. She was 100% accurate in identifying a barren spiritual existence with potential to start flourishing again. I lived in the dark ages for most of my twenties, and only started to open up when I went to the Holy Land 2 years ago. My travels also took me to India and Nepal, the peace I saw in those communities was also inspirational. Anna was right in telling me that my life without spirituality would be bland and un-fulfilling. 

My intuition tells me to make sure I leave both the window and the door open. Part of growing up will be getting past the pet-peeves that keep me from accepting Christianity, but at the same time I know that my spiritual path will be filled with wide open spaces. The message I'm getting is that there isn't a Cathedral big enough to hold it. I'm pretty sure that idea is in one of the Gospels, but not sure if it made the official cut =)

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Reiki hugs, Regina 

Image: canva.com (updated 2023)

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