Spirituality

Today I will be broaching upon a subject that is very dear to me, one which has had an impact on my life for as long as I can remember, Spirituality. Since I was eight years old, I have been a born again Christian, unfortunately, during that time, by admission, I have not been a very good one.

Christianity for me has been something more than just something to believe in, it has had a major impact in my life. I am not going to go into a deep and profound explanation of every single moment that I have felt the impact upon my life, but I will say however, that there have been difficult moments in my life, that although I have been at the bottom of the pit of despair, it has been my faith that has gotten me through it alive and sane.

As I have mentioned before, there have been times in my life where I have either pondered taking my own life, or been in situations that had it not been for last minute alterations, my life would have been extinguished. The reason I have decided to talk about this today is due to a thought that I had earlier today. It dawned on me that I had discussed all my frustrations and deep innermost thoughts, yet I did not ever broach the subject of Spirituality.

Ever since I was a child, I always believed in God, in a Creator, in a Saviour.  I felt such a connection to the Spiritual world and aspect of my life, that for decades since, I have yearned to have that connection once more. The problem lies however, that as I admitted earlier, I am not a very good Christian. I have done things that any Christian would think twice before doing so.  We all have our crosses to bear, mine is my tendency to react to things through emotion rather than thinking things through.  It has been years since I attended a church service, and prayer is something, that I do daily, yet struggle to fully express myself in.

My spirituality is something that has been such a large part of my life, that every time I allow it to fall to the wayside, I suffer for it, mentally, emotionally and physically. My struggles lie I believe, with the tumultuous religious upbringing I had as a child. My parents doctrinal position shifted so often during my formative years, often to and fro in subjects in such extremes that what they supported today, they considered an abomination tomorrow. This partially I believe is what lead to my fall from grace, so to speak. I struggled to make a connection to my Spirituality during that time, and the moments wherein I showed enthusiasm, were often shouted down to the point that I took a why bother approach.

As a child, I was involved in missionary and charitable work, and there were situations wherein I literally applied the turning of the other cheek when struck, because I believed, deep within my heart, that violence solved nothing, was sinful, and that it was better to forgive my aggressor than to injure them by fighting back. A stance, that frankly frustrated my parents to no end.

It disappoints me that now as an adult, wherein I have the chance to have a bigger impact and involvement in charitable and missionary work, that I no longer do so.  For years I have cited the fact that my responsibilities as a parent stops me from doing so, but I believe that was a lie I’ve constantly told myself over the years.

The truth lies I believe, in the thought that the dissuasion and constant changes during my formative years, sullied and spoiled the connection I once had as a child. What was once the very essence of my being, became a frustrating afterthought, and that notion, shames me.

I wish I could explain what Christianity means to me, and give examples of the good that It has inspired me to do in others, and as much as my ego would love to cite a few examples, the truth is that I have failed in such a task.  I have not done that much good in others, nor set an example, nor really given any indication that I am a Christian at all, again much to my shame and disappointment in myself and my own actions.

I feared not persecution nor mockery, truth is, I was eccentric enough as a child, and even as an adult, that mockery became such a common occurrence that it became water off a duck’s back. I believe that the disillusion felt during my formative years, had a larger impact upon me than even I myself ever truly realised.

I would love to sit here and make grandiose statements about how that will change, how I will change, and how I will do all manner of things that will restore my connection to my Spirituality, but I fear that it will be a theoretical statement and in practice, I would maintain the status quo. I would love to get back into charitable work again, as well as be a better example to those around me, and do good in others.  I think perhaps the simplest way to do such a thing, would be to begin by ensuring that I am the best example I can be to my children, and to have a beneficial impact in their lives, as well as educating them that compassion, empathy, love and respect are the best gifts to bestow upon others.

Society has developed into a movement of instant gratification, of actions granting rewards than actions being their own rewards.  A lot of this has to do with the constant awareness of the darkness that lies beyond the corner, of crimes and injustices, often covered daily by the global and local media, it has made cynics out of all of us.

I do not wish this to be the case for my children however, yes I wish to protect them from all that could possibly harm them in the world, however I do not wish to see them grow with the same cynicism that currently poisons my soul. The aim of every parent, is to ensure that their children becomes better people than they were, that they learn from their mistakes. My mistake was to allow the connection to suffer, to allow myself to become cynical, and to lose the attributes aforementioned above, instead choosing to become insular, to focus my thoughts on the things that directly affected me, or my family. To believe, that the financial aspect of life, was the core focus to allow my children to have the materialistic fulfilment that I always desired as a child.

Therein lies my problem, and this will be a tough challenge to overcome, we can often change things in our lives, but to change the way we look at the world, is one of the largest personal challenges that life has to offer. I do still yearn for that Spiritual connection to God that I once held as a child, and I will do my utmost to restore it, not by repeating the mistakes of the past, but by focusing on one moment at a time, and focusing on ensuring that my children, learn and cherish the gifts of compassion, empathy, respect and love.

Until next time,

The Raven

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