After decades of struggle and suffering around my spiritual identity, I've made my peace with God**.
So, now, God and me? We’re good.
Better than good, actually—better than ever.
I sketched a picture because it’s still a little hard for me to find words to describe, exactly, how my relationship with God has changed and evolved over the years… My understanding goes beyond words—into feeling and experience—and as most of us know, I think, it can be hard to contain the entirety of life's experiences in mere language.
This is the mose accurate (visual) description I’ve been able to approximate, so far (and for now):
This is how I used to understand God and see my relationship with God:
One-dimensional, incomplete, and lacking perspective.
This is how I understand God, now and see my relationship with God, now:
More complex, integrated, and infinitely more multi-dimensional.
Now, as for religion and me?
Well, after that same lifetime of not quite seeing eye-to-eye re: who I am or who God is or what God is—I’m not sure how I’ll ever have a place in organized religion…
Does NOT utilizing religion invalidate my spiritual existence?
Does it mean I can’t have a relationship with God?
Is it even possible to NOT have a relationship with the source of me—the source of all that is, was, or ever will be?
If religion is the gate by which I'm meant to access God, how do I use it while it’s locked against me because of my very existence?
It took me many years to reconcile my broken beliefs with my inner knowing, and once I discovered God (and my relationship with God) for myself and within myself, I didn’t know how to reintegrate back into religion. Now, I can only see it as a belief system that exists between me and God and that (I feel) keeps me a step removed from God. Within religion, I experience separation from that eternal and unconditional love because it's often blocked by fear and other, conditional and isolating beliefs that are so different from my personal experiences of life and God... and love.
It’s taken me this long (40 f’n years!) to find some semblance of peace around my existence on this planet, and here’s THE most validating thing I’ve discovered (for myself), so far:
God is Love, and I exist.
Although, as finite and limited human beings, I think it’s impossible for us to grasp the infinite enormity of what that sort of “love” actually means…
God’s "love" is much more than that warm and fuzzy, heart-shaped feeling we have for our families and friends and baby animal videos on the interwebs… It’s the energetic source of our very life—of ALL life—and God loved me—created me (“in His image/likeness”). Friggin’-ME, man! I’m here because a much (MUCH!) larger, energetic entity, "created" me by an intention that I'll be alive as a loving/creative/energetic entity, too.
So! I exist, and I am also a creator, and I am also love—whenever I allow myself to be, but often, perhaps, maybe, like Mr. Trump and certain legislators (and most-likely, like you, too), sometimes, I also get lost in fear.
And fear, I believe, is the exact opposite of love, and I also believe it’s a collective condition of most Earth-bound, human beings, AND I truly, sincerely, believe that we’re all navigating our way through fear as best we can…
Love (creation) can light (inform) the way for those of us who are still blindly feeling our way around in the darkness of fear, but for that to happen, I feel we must all do what we're here to do—to create and to inform, as best we know how...
So, that’s what I’m doing. Slowly and steadily; I will keep creating and informing as best I know how.
I think, as we all change, sometimes we rise in love and we teach/reach, and sometimes we fall in fear and we learn/grow… Push and pull. Yin and Yang. I think it's the contrast—that tension between who we are, when we're lost in fear and who we become, when we reach for the full potential of our greater, more evolved and expansive version of ourselves—THAT, I believe, is what makes creation possible at all.
So, hopefully we learn. Hopefully we teach, but to do either, I think, we must be courageous, and we must (continually) take action despite the fear. We must speak our truths and share our unique perspectives, and most of all, we must be willing to open our hearts and our minds and connect with the reality of other truths and other experiences and other lives, beyond our own.
I was born in a female body, and I always felt I had a male mind. I grew-up feeling sexual and physical and emotional attraction for other female-bodied people, and I grew-up feeling fearful and envious of male-bodied people.
For years—decades—I didn’t understand my gender or my sexuality or why I even existed, at all.
I couldn’t understand why God made me to be so different from everyone around me, and growing-up saturated in the fearful rhetoric of the church, I couldn’t help but think that maybe I was God's first mistake.
I struggled with intense shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, and many times, I didn’t want to exist, at all.
Eventually, I turned away from religion (and from God), and for a very long time, I thought maybe there was no God, at all.
I leaned into my own fear in a HUGE way for a VERY long time.
I was so, extremely lost, but now, I’m gradually finding my way back to where God’s been all along... Love.
I was blind, but now, I can see that we’re all in this together, and we can never actually be separated from each other or from God or from the energy of Love that gives us life... We’re all scared, and we’re all learning to move through the (seemingly) inevitable fear that comes along with this (seemingly) physical existence. I believe we're all learning to open ourselves to receiving and giving and creating and living from that source of love—in our homes, our governments, our consumption, our work, and especially within ourselves.