I remember studying with a Zen Buddhist Master. One night we had a small group and he asked each person what they were looking to achieve in their studies with him. There was a young college student who was raised to find her own beliefs who said emphatically, “I want to be something.”
This is a stage and a way we have been socialized to believe to look outside and see where we fit in and with whom. Instead of being free we search continually for our tribe who defines us.
Many groups have benefits and teachings that open our heart and soul and deepen our life walk. You might explore deeper teachings on the mystical side, and away from the radical beliefs, in order to find more answers within a system or religion.
For some reason people can be attached to only one way and will try to make it work despite their strong aversion to the teachings. Each one has pieces of the entire puzzle and yet many have missing pieces that send you onward to discover and learn from other sources.
Trying on different belief systems can be a journey in itself. All religions have man made restrictions or rules that do not make sense. Fear, control – subtle or obvious, and having to be good by following and being loyal to the system or group are often a part of the experience in religion and all aspects of life.
We do not feel safe when we are conflicted or controlled to believe something, or say prayers or practices that do not feel correct. They may say one thing and then do another or speak for both directions, which leaves you confused and nowhere. Anything that makes you feel bad or wrong instead of loved and supported is to be questioned.
Using discernment is important and so is not giving your power over to others or a system. No one saves you or defines you except for you. Going inside instead of outside gives you the true answers for you. Learning to do this is a process and a practice.
Letting go, of what does not feel true or following something that does not make sense, is important to learn and practice. For some reason many humans want to give over power and be lead blindly in order to not be responsible or in control of their life. It is worth looking at this if you do this.
Fear of being wrong or not receiving approval from family, friends or greater community keeps us in bondage to a religion or group even when we do not feel it is our truth.
It was important to me to break free from looking for approval or submitting to control. When I do something against myself I feel it in my body and know I must find peace to be healthy and happy and find truth.
Early on I knew the truth in some teachings and the lies of others and they were both being taught at the same time. Unconditional love and an angry punishing God are not the same belief. You do not get love by being good. Love is always available to all of us and good is always changing.
There will always be people wanting you to follow them or tell you what to think or feel as they have since we were born. Some will say you are right and some will say you are wrong. Its what you know that counts and you can change your mind.
We are each as lovable as we were the moment we were born and can find our way back to that place. It is important to let go or remove power over you from people or groups that are attacking, mean and punishing.
Spirituality is your connection to the divine and living a divine life. Finding your own way to experience and express this is the adventure.
Everyone deserves a good life and any way that creates that pathway is good to learn from or practice. In my journey of exploration I have studied with Masters in many religions and traditions and jumped in 200% in order to learn what they had to offer.
I felt my way through and mined the gold. I experienced the places of hypnotism, fear and control and held myself away from them as much as possible. I did my best not to throw away the great teachings because of the ones that were against unconditional love and truth.
I appreciate and practice some of several traditions everyday. Even the native traditions have some superstition, fear and being wrong to keep people in line. It is a worldwide problem that hopefully will be transformed in these times. It takes for us to speak out and help change things with groups or systems, or walk away.
You may find your way in one tradition and take it all the way. You may find a group who is aligned with who you are now. Enjoy the community and learning and supporting of one another. Heal fear and ego and find peace, love and unconditional support wherever you are.
Find your own way. Trust your inner knowing and follow your intelligence and heart. Honor who you are and all others and our planet. Whoever you are and where you are now is perfect. Ask questions and find answers. As you grow and go deeper on your search you find that both the questions and the answers change.
Love is always the ultimate answer for all questions.
Blessings to All.
Enjoy the Journey,
Be the Medicine, Live the Power of You!
In case you were wondering, my answer to the Zen Master was that I was looking to deepen my journey to myself. I did not want to be anything but who I am. This is the journey we are all here to explore, discover and live inside the systems that we re in now or by looking and experiencing in many places. In living our truth and loving our self we share compassion, love, gifts and purpose in the world being all one.
We are all special, and we all can only save ourselves by living love and releasing ourselves from all that is not love. This is the center of my findings so far. Best on your exploration and experiences on your journey.