Practicing respect

All spiritualities should be accepted


I remember sitting on the floor in between the pews at church every Sunday when I was younger, coloring in a coloring book instead of listening to the service. Because of my disinterest in church and within a religious community growing up, I knew Christianity wasn’t the religion for me.

My family grew up as predominantly Christian but when our lives got busier, we strayed away from going to church. This never bothered me, but it was awkward when we prayed before dinner or my grandma would assume I was a Christian. I never felt a connection with God, and I knew that wasn’t necessarily the thing I wanted to believe in. I now see the importance of believing in something, and I realize the true importance of a belief system and spirituality, but my take might be a little unconventional.

Personally, I feel a deep connection to nature and the universe around me, and I have become captivated with crystals, meditation and more sources of spirituality. These may seem stupid or weird, but they have helped me feel more grounded than ever and have made me become more at piece with myself. Whether I want to meditate or keep obsidian with me wherever I go to ward negativity, these aspects of my spirituality make me feel safe, and they make me feel grounded and aware of the world I am in. 

I think society has to move away from the concept of a spirituality being a belief in a god. It was so damaging as a child to think that just because I don’t believe there is this all-knowing god that created everything that I don’t have a spirituality. This sort of expectation that someone has to follow a god and go to church to have an accepted and seen spiritual journey is so unnatural to me. Why is this the automatic thought someone has when they think of spirituality? As soon as I realized this toxic mentality, and I set my mind free from this single path of thought I had to follow, I felt an immediate positive change.

It took me a long time to realize the flexibility of spirituality. It’s not about death, the afterlife and the gods and such. It is about values and how a person chooses to live their life. That may seem obvious, but as a kid I was never taught that religion isn’t just about the afterlife and God. I had to go through all of that on my own. Spirituality has made me focus more on me as a person and how I want to be and be perceived. I used to focus more on outer appearance and how my hair looked for the day, or how many pimples I had on my face. Now I focus more on my inner-self. How I emotionally react to things and how I can be my best self personality wise. I find myself now wondering why I focused so much on the most mundane and semi-permanent things. 

Spirituality and religion can be whatever someone wants it to be, whether that be worshipping a god, multiple deities or just having a strong connection with nature and the earth. I have learned that the most important part of spirituality is the fact that it is bettering me and the way I view my world.