There is a crack in everything,
that’s where the light gets in.
~ Leonard Cohen
Just came across this on FaceBook. I do not know the writer.
Someone explain higher power to me. I just don’t get it. I’m supposed to surrender to something I cant see or touch.
I seriously don’t get it.
I can’t hug my higher power. I don’t have a clue what it means.
I don’t know if I believe in God and I sure as hell don’t believe in a MAN in the sky watching and judging me. I’m so fricken brainwashed by my catholic upbringing that every time I hear or say the word God I immediately think of a judgmental prick in a beard telling me I’m going to hell.
In a dark place.
What I’d say to her if I could:
Welcome to the ranks of spiritual seekers.
I suspect many of us will be joining you shortly.
We’ll have to.
Life has taken away not just our sense of control, but of safety and agency and freedom.
We’ll need something else to lean on, something bigger than ego, or logic, or (certainly) politics or organized religion, bigger even than science.
This, I think, is a good thing in disguise.
There is ecstasy in paying attention.
~ Anne Lamott
One way to start is by looking at the faith you already have.
Do you roll out of bed and trust there will be a floor under your feet? I mean, without checking to make sure?
That’s a kind of faith.
Can you drive the highway and trust you won’t get crushed by a semi?
Can you eat storebought groceries and trust they’re not poisoned?
When you cut your finger, can you trust it will heal itself with just a band aid and a few days?
Do you expect flowers and grass to start growing again in spring?
Do you expect babies to grow into adults without being taught how to do it?
Do you expect the person who loved you yesterday to still love you today?
You’re a musician, I see. Do you expect that playing music and singing will heal something in you?
Those are all sorts of faith.
And obviously essential.
We need them to function day to day, hour to hour.
We’d go crazy otherwise.
I say to those I supervise: “Find out your
patients’ religions even if they say
they don’t have any.”
~ Scott Peck
You mentioned your Catholic brainwashing.
I’m not Catholic myself, but I’ve worked with many clients who were.
Also with victims of other denominations.
It’s the main reason I distrust organized religion.
For many of them religion was like an abusive parent who taught them to hate or distrust themselves and, in so doing, robbed them of God.
The ultimate sin, I think.
Ultimate, but not necessarily fatal.
You can grow past your religious conditioning.
You can bypass dogma and proselytizers and religious hucksters.
You can even grow past your antireligious bias.
You can take your spiritual life back.
It’s work worth doing.
Compared to what we ought to be,
we are half awake.
~ William James
I once wrote a post for survivors of alcoholic families which included this:
Have faith. Develop your spiritual life. No, you don’t need a church. You don’t even need to believe in God. You do need to believe in something bigger than you, something you trust even when you don’t understand it. Call it Nature. Call it The Force. Al-Anon calls it Higher Power, but you can call it what you like. I used to reject the idea of God, but I always believed in psychology. Then I heard Scott Peck suggest that it’s not unreasonable to replace the word God with the word unconscious. That permanently reframed the idea of God for me. I realized there was some intelligence inside I could listen for, and which would guide me if I let it. (I might doubt the existence of God, but who can doubt the existence of that voice? That part that Knows Better?) So that gave me something to trust. Hey, we all need some invisible support.
Best of luck with your seeking. I’ll be thinking of you.