My own spiritual journey began when I was 26 years old. At that time in my life I was suffering from the most God awful depression. I was literally at the end of my rope. I have always had a strong belief in God, who at the time was the Catholic God of my childhood. I had dabbled in fundamentalism for a while, but found it very restrictive and not very accepting of personal interpretations of the divine that did not coincide with accepted theologies and scripture.
I remember I was acquainted with a woman through a friend who was a converted Buddhist. She was slightly older than I was, and she went on to tell about her crisis of faith and how she left Christianity for the Buddhist faith was a better fit for her. I remember saying to myself, “How could you possibly reject Christ? Don’t know it’s through Him is the only way we can get the Heaven!”
A few short months later, I too had my own crisis of faith. I questioned everything I was ever taught about God. What was the foundation of my faith? What makes what my priest says or the pastor says true? What about the Bible? Is that true? What is truth? These were very personal questions. A lot of people I found accept their religion based upon the conditioning of their youth. I know that I did until I had the courage to ask what was really there. When I went to the altar of my soul, I found a God of my understanding there. Not the God of Christianity, or Judaism or Islam (which if you read the Bible correctly are all the same God) but a God of my own understanding.
My journey from there has led to some zany New Age beliefs and a flirtation with Buddhism until I reached a point of synergy between Western thought and Easter Mysticism. This works for me. When I am able to stay focused and connected with God as I understand Him/Her to be my life works well for me. Conversely when I get away from my guiding principles (of right action, right speech, right thinking, as well as treating other the way I wish to be treated, personal responsibility and taking time out to pray and mediate) my life begins to unravel.
Today I find myself much more accepting person. I realize my beliefs are my own. No one needs to believe as I do and I don’t press them upon anyone. I am Open Minded and tolerant of others. I am much more comfortable with my personal spirituality than I ever have been. I realize I no longer worry about the Salvation of my soul and focus instead on its evolution.