Quote of the week by Confucius

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. "

Attention: open in a new window. E-mail

Struggling with Spiritual

by Charlie Phillips

    I have wrestled with this thing called your spiritual side for many a year. When someone would say to me, you need to get in touch with your spiritual side I would close down. I was brought up in a strict religious, church going family. I started rebelling against the church when I was a teenager, so when someone said I needed to get in touch with my spiritual side; to me they were saying go back to church.

    Now for me that was not an option. I had tried going back to a few different churches and I could never find one that I felt comfortable with. A few years ago I started re-reading the Bible, it had been at least forty years since I had even looked at one. I guess I picked up one that had been changed, because it was saying things that were different than what I had been taught as a kid. Of course it was the same bible that my folks had given me when I was about fourteen. I guess maybe because I was just reading it without any preconceived notions, or maybe because I read the whole thing and not just the selected parts.

    This started me on a quest, which I’ll probably be on for the rest of my life. The problem I have with most churches is that they accept the bible as the final word and won’t even look at any other evidence of history. If there is anything said that might contradict how they have been told to interpret it, they just say it’s not possible. To me that is just not acceptable. I’m sure there are those who say we don’t have to look because we know this is the truth. For myself, I have found that a lot of what we thought we knew as truth, turned out to be something entirely different.

    About this point your probably wondering ok where is he going with all of this, we’ve heard all these religious arguments before. True enough, I am just trying to establish where I am coming from. This spiritual thing is a whole new ball game for me.

    OK what is this spiritual side? To me it is getting to know and accept yourself. Once you start down that path, then you start to realize, you have to also love yourself. For those of us that have been around for over a half a century that is a little hard to come to grips with. After all, men had to be tough, showing emotions was not allowed. Wonder whom the insidious jackass that came up with that was?

    Lets go back to loving yourself, just what does that mean. Like any form of love putting it in words is never easy. I mean, gee whiz I want to be taller, more muscular, better looking, etc. I don’t believe that is what this is about. We have to accept our inter-self, how we think, act and react. When someone cuts you off in traffic, can you just forgive them? How about when it happens apologize to them for being in the way. Wow now he’s gone off the deep end. Well maybe, but I have read some who say that any negative reaction is caused by our own self and if we apologize to the person that we think created that negative reaction then both will benefit.

    If we can’t love ourselves then how can we love anyone else? Is love, hate too strong? Well if we are uncomfortable with who we are, isn’t that going to cloud how we see others? When you look up the original word for devil in the bible, one of the definitions in Strong’s concordance when translated into English is adversary. Now who is our biggest adversary? In my opinion our biggest adversary is our own ego. Does your own ego keep you from loving yourself? I think it does, because we don’t want to admit that we are wrong, or something we did caused the problem, no it had to be the other person. That brings to mind a saying I heard years ago, “My situation is myself.” Darn I think that means I’m responsible for myself.

    Once we can love ourselves, we can begin to love others. Now the bible says to love your enemy, that’s a tough one. Well how about when someone does something that we disagree with or is against your core beliefs. What if instead of getting mad or upset with that person or thing you stopped and thought to yourself, that poor person sure must be lacking in love. Put your love out, if you can’t direct it directly to that person or thing just put love out to the universe and let it go where it will do the most good. If they will accept it good if they can’t then someone else can have the benefit.

    If I had heard that a few years ago, I probably have said what in the world is he talking about? Has he become one of those New Ager guys with all kinds of wild ideas? Putting love out into the universe, how can you do that? Maybe that’s what this spiritual side is about. Because it makes sense to me now and I can feel love and wish love to go out from me to someone or just out to the universe for whom ever needs it. It’s actually a great feeling when you do it and as the old saying goes what goes around, comes around. Now I don’t know about you, but for me I prefer to have love coming back to me.

Charlie