Within the past couple of years I have come to a place of feeling like I do not need to know all of the answers in terms of religion. My faith has increased tremendously and I feel closer the Divine Source of all things than ever before. Don't get me wrong I have many questions, I just don't have to completely understand everything or have a need to subscribe to organized religion. I believe my connection to the Most High and my inner knowings will be my guide as divine wisdom is imparted to me continuously. In my experience religion has felt like an attempt to completely figure out and place God in a box then tie a ribbon on it. The way that I see and experience the Divine doesn't allow me for me to remain on that path. So in a way, I have had to lose my sense of religion in order to better find God, strengthen that relationship, and truly find myself.
Many of us have been taught that God is limitless, all seeing, all knowing, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Yet, through Christianity we are given a narrow viewpoint of how we must see, experience, and worship God. Each religion has their own perspective as to why their viewpoint is correct and some of them are more aggressive than others in trying to prove their point or convert others. I can't help but feel like all of this takes away from the beauty and power of a God that is ALL. People all over the world eat cookies, call them by different names, and likely describe them differently. Fun fact: In the French language a cookie is called le petit gâteau--meaning little cake. I think that's so beautiful. Nonetheless, I have grown to see and understand that I don't need to be offended because someone has a different name for who or what they experience God to be. In the words of good ol' Shakespeare. "A rose by any other name, would smell just as sweet."
I don't have to experience God in a way that anyone suggests and neither does anyone else. I also have grown to understand that I should not feel entitled enough to believe that my beliefs should override the beliefs and experiences of others. Spiritual relationships are personal and tailor made, just like the relationship between two people. I believe this perspective and approach allows for deeper experiences and connections not only with the Most High, but with others. For myself, I have found that I feel most close to the Divine when I am in nature, not on a church pew. I receive messages/sermons intuitively as I experience life and in my dreams. For me God truly is everywhere. When I am looking at the night sky, see a pregnant mother, cut open a piece of fruit, or am studying astrology I could not be more impressed with the Divine. My heart swells, soul expands, and my spirit is deeply in tune. I become amazed at how deliberate and intricate of a creation the humans, the Earth, and the universe are.
Speaking of finding myself. I have been an astro-nerd probably since middle school. Earlier this year however I decided to go all in and become serious in my studies. It has been one of the best things I have done for myself, as it has been a great tool and helped me to better identify and address areas of needed growth; and help others to do the same. It has also helped me to reaffirm, redirect, and fortify some of my interests and talents. In hindsight I realize how the parameters of my religious beliefs made it difficult for me to connect, (without guilt or shame) to something that is actually a major part of who I have always been. I am not the only one who has been boxed in by beliefs. I find, and (astrology supports) that there are many individuals going through spiritual awakenings at this time; losing their religion and redefining their belief systems and who they see themselves as outside of Christ. To those in that space, I see you and I feel you.
It can be difficult breaking out of the traditions and patterns of your family, being the odd one out in your friend groups, or feeling like you shouldn't express yourself because others will berate you, judge you, damn you to hell, or feel the need to pray for you because you are "lost". There are many others like you that are learning, growing, figuring things out, exploring other religions or nothing at all. As you make these shifts, give yourself grace, exercise wisdom, keep our intuition strong, and know that as your inner world changes the outer must match. Don't be surprised if some of your relationships change, you no longer feel comfortable in old environments, or your sense of purpose evolves. You may even experience some anger or grief associated with a loss of identity as you are redefining self with a new set of eyes. It is all part of the process.
Find comfort in knowing that you WILL definitely meet people that are on the same wavelength. Just give it some time. Also be open to finding spiritual groups on social media (if that's your thing). Do know they are not all created equally and you must measure, weigh, discern, and research things on your own. In every season of my life in which I felt like I needed a certain type of friend, my prayers were answered. So don't be afraid to ask God or the Universe for what you need.
May you find your tribe and journey with joy and freedom. You are not alone!