Religion + Spirituality =)

We all desire spiritual fulfillment, specifically, to know our purpose in life. That being said, what do we need to keep in mind during our search for this fulfillment?
 
For me, I grew up a devout Christian – devout as in, when I was working 80-hours a week, the only two things I did aside from go to work were attend Bible study and church. Church and religion provided an amazing outlet for me to connect to my spirituality, find a loving community, and explore deeper spiritual questions.
 
But I also began to see how I was using religion for self-serving purposes. I thought that as long as I believed in Jesus, I would be fine. As long as I adhered to certain rules, I would be saved so I did not need to delve in deeper into my mess. The Holy Spirit would plug up all the holes in my soul. God would provide manna from Heaven and as long as I ate that, I would not need to ensure that my soul has sufficient nutrition.
 
I stopped being a critical thinker. Instead, I had faith. I was told what I could and couldn’t do, say, and feel. That was the only way to salvation; the alternative was burning in hell. Thus, I began to engage only within those boundaries. I was the obedient child who only colored within the lines.
 
Ironically, in trying to find myself, I became defined as ‘being a Christian’ and inadvertently lost my own identity. I, however, do not see this unique to Christianity or even religion in general. I just happened to have been born in the U.S. to Christian parents, so my attachment was to Christianity. (In case people are curious, my parents immigrated from South Korea a few years before I was born.)
 
To provide a concrete example of how this kind of thinking is not limited to Christianity, I admit to having had a preconceived notion that everything was going to be blissful once I sought out spirituality. I thought that I could put my active mind on hold and just bask in the sun, being full of healing energy. (Note: I have experienced the tremendous benefit of meditating to quiet the constant negative self-talk of the mind, which I believe differs from having an active, keen mind. Also, healing energy and Akashic records have helped me transform!)
 
In the spiritual community, I was told by some that if anything bad happens to me, it’s probably because I did not trust the universe enough. Or put another way, I didn’t have enough faith. But if I had enough faith and trust, the universe would provide me with perfect health, millions in my bank account, and unflappable happiness. (Do you see the similarities of this line of thinking with that sometimes present in Christianity? I do!)
 
My main message here today is – no matter the package – it’s easy to get sucked into the illusion that once we connect with something (a particular religion, spiritual modality, relationship, job, etc.), our life will magically transform. We don’t have to engage anymore – we can go on autopilot.
 
Well, though these things may help us along our path – one of the main purposes of being on earth is to experience the ups and down and to grow and learn from them. Rather than being confined to certain boundaries, we’re here to stretch ourselves, expand, and grow.
 
Moreover, we are given excellent tools to help us through this process, and you don’t need to give up your power to gain them; they are within us. Some include understanding that we have the divine within us, knowing that we are worthy of love, our intuition that provides us much wisdom, and last by not least, our engaged minds.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this quote by Caroline Myss, from her book, Anatomy of the Spirit:  “Our goal while on this earth is to transcend our illusions and discover the innate power of our spirit.

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One excellent way to jump-start your exploration is to work with a skilled spiritual guide, who can provide you with support through your process. 

If you are interested in exploring how to remove emotional and mental blockages and uncover illusions that limit your connection to God (the Divine), I would be happy to chat with you about how I can help. You can call me at 917-830-7010 or email at sera@serahwang.com.