In this teaching, we have a set of beliefs that are based upon a series of statements by our founder Ernest Holmes. You can find those statements here.
One of the things I love about this teaching is that we don’t have to believe what Holmes did, or what anyone else does. We are free to believe in such a way that allows us to live joyously.
If your beliefs allow you to live joyously, if you don’t question, if you are happy and comfortable in your own skin, then keep your beliefs. It is that simple. But if you aren’t, a look at what you believe is in order.
As a minister, I get to present options to people, so they can live better lives. I get to extend invitations to live differently if the way you are living isn’t working so well.
This morning I got to thinking about what I believe. I present it here. My invitation is to consider it, and see if anything resonates with you.
I believe that I don’t have to live an over medicated life of quiet desperation. I believe that I don’t have to be a blind follower of my mind and thoughts. I believe I don’t have to believe in a god that makes no sense to me. I believe that god is not some separate entity, out there somewhere pulling the puppet strings and judging yet somehow having my back.
I believe in a god that is a part of me. And because god is a part of me, I get to experience and be all those wonderful god qualities that make life worth living. Things like peace and joy and passion and enthusiasm!
I believe that through spiritual practices such as meditation that I can change my thinking. I can change my thoughts from those that do not serve to those that do. And I believe that since my thoughts become my reality, that it is incumbent upon me to meditate regularly and continue that training of my mind that allows me to change my thinking to change my life.
I believe that through the spiritual practice of introspection that I know my truth. I know who and what I am. And because I know who and what I am, I get to make intelligent decisions regarding my health care.
And I believe that through continued study I can enlarge and deepen my relationship with my godself, so that I continuously become more peaceful, more powerful, and more joyous than I ever dreamed possible.
Because of these beliefs, I know that it is my job as a minister to facilitate these wonderful awakenings in others, so as to allow them to know that they do not have to live over medicated lives of quiet desperation. They do not have to be blind followers of their minds and thoughts. And they don’t have to believe in a god that makes no sense to them.
This is my affirmation for you, dear reader. Come, join me on this journey of rich wonderfulness. Come and learn that conditions don’t dictate happiness. Come and learn just how beautiful life can be. Come and be joyous.
Lately I’ve been having a lot of discussions with a lot of people about God. I suppose that’s pretty normal, since I’m a minister and all. I’ve learned a few things. One is that we live in a predominately Christian society, where even if people don’t claim to be Christians, they still talk like Christians, in that God is still something outside and separate. Some people call it the Universe, as in, “The Universe provided for me.” Some people call it the Divine, as in, “The Divine One always loves me.” These are all nice, but something within me always cringes a bit when I hear it, because God for me has always been a part of me. It’s always been inside of me. It has never been separate. To think of the Universe doing something for me makes me feel like a victim, and to think of something loving me is nice, but that implies that there is a choice to not love me. And both statements imply, to me, a sense of separation that simply isn’t what I believe.
For me, God is so much more. I really like the way it is worded in the “We Believe” statements on the main Centers for Spiritual Living web site: “We believe in the individualization of the Spirit in Us, and that all people are individualizations of the One Spirit.” To me, that means God lives in me, and that I am an individual expressing as God. God is within me. I am a part of it, and it is a part of me. I guess that’s why I’m such a cheerleader for Centers for Spiritual Living huh?
I find it very comforting, and a source of power and joy, to know that I am a part of God and it is a part of me. It means that whatever I choose to call It (my current favorite is The Force, as in, “FEEL the Force Luke!” from Master Yoda in Star Wars), It isn’t something I pray to, It is something I pray from. I am responsible to enlarge and strengthen my Godness, my attributes of Spirit. I do this through spiritual practices like meditation, introspection and study, and through my own personal embodiment of God. God doesn’t do things to me or for me, God doesn’t have an opinion on how I choose to speak or dress, and God really doesn’t care. It simply is, and It experiences life through me, and through you, and through everyone else.
I realize a lot of people are very uncomfortable with this concept. I guess I can understand that, after a lifetime of training and conditioning that God is something outside of ourselves. I personally find this concept freeing, and it is the message I will repeat over and over again in my role as minister of the Center for Spiritual Living Carson City, while I also provide suggestions to find out what God is to you, and how it can better work in your life to make it happier, more rewarding and richer than you ever dreamed.
If you are having trouble with the God you grew up with, if somehow it just doesn’t feel right, you might want to come visit us and check it out. No one will tell you how to believe at a Center for Spiritual Living, but we will show you how to find out what you believe. We will give you tools to know and embody your own truth, and to be happy with that.
I look forward to seeing you!
Written with love from your minister, Rev. Karen