Thinking about religion and spirituality hurts my head. So many theories exist that I often find my thoughts spinning and searching only to arrive at no better conclusions than when I first started. There is one thing that I firmly believe, though. I believe that human beings are connected to each other and to the world we live in and as such we have a responsibility to treat each other and the planet on which we reside with respect. For some people, rules help guide them in their decisions and actions. For others, an internal sense of right and wrong provides all the impetus they need to embark on missions of good will.
Whatever motivation my children decide upon in their search for their purpose in life, I hope that some of the following concepts provide insight on how they view their own tiny role in the fabrication of life during the brief time they inhabit this world.
- Love yourself so that you can then love others, your community, and the world.
- Be kind to yourself and others.
- Recognize and acknowledge the thread that connects you to others.
- Remember to use your talents and gifts, and never be afraid to use them in order to help others.
- Remember that you are never alone.
- The Bible’s definition of God is, “God is love.” Nothing more, nothing less.
- You can – and will - learn about God through many different avenues, not just through church.
- Always be open to the lessons God is teaching you. And also to what God is saying to you.
- God reveals himself/herself in many different forms.
- Who you are in the stillness of night and the quietest moments of day is your truest self – your inner being and your soul. Find a place of solitude and quiet each day in order to allow yourself the opportunity to connect with this personal, authentic self.
- Always be respectful toward others’ spiritual beliefs; remember that you do not have the market cornered on knowledge of spiritual truths.
- I don’t have all the answers; you probably won’t, either.
- Each individual’s life experiences contribute to his perceptions of reality. Never discount another’s journey along the path to spiritual awakening. Chances are, he won’t understand your journey and conclusions, either.
- Even though you might get discouraged and frustrated, never stop learning and seeking. We experience the greatest epiphanies at the least expected moments.
Most importantly, it is my sincere desire that my children endeavor to find inner peace and personal spiritual growth instead of focusing on superficial displays of religiosity. While Society often rewards those who outwardly profess a certain spiritual frame of mind, I believe that true spiritual transformation only occurs when we look inward and privately consider our personal thoughts and actions and how they impact others. This focus also helps us become more empathetic to the plight of those around us, providing us the opportunity to share love instead of fear or hatred. And, after all, isn’t that what God wants us to do?
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