Do you struggle with the term God? Think of an old man sitting behind the pearly gates? maybe it makes you think of religion and you had enough of that at school or maybe too much of the use of the word God?
I know how you feel....I've spoke to a lot of people lately who have those thoughts and more. As i was growing up i associated the word God with religion and conformity, i'd hear people say "God is watching you" and i associated it with a "fear" which is what a lot of people do without realising. I also couldn't get my head around "him" watching but i could never see "him"
At school and still, i enjoy religious studies, learning about different religions and how a faith can unite and reunite people, all diversities but seperate beliefs, only a slight difference in some cases but a difference all the same. All have spirituality running through them, but also a dogma which a lot of us hold onto and others push it away. Which is where usually, the reluctance to accept God or even understand God comes in.
In my thoughts, i feel it's because some of us aren't ready to love ourselves or be open to our emotional side, the positive love side of us.
A man in a flowing gown has never sat with me, because how could it be a man or a human form if "God " had never been in physical form? So it didn't make sense to me, what does sit with me is this, God is an energy, a creative force that flows and as energy is never ending so is the flow of God. As energy has no boundaries unless harnessed so is God, an abundance of limitless boundaries. Because God is seen as a faith, hope and a trust, a creative force which is a positive, God is ultimately love which is the purest form of emotion.
I went through periods of not liking myself for whatever reason, i let the negative thoughts in, saw my flaws or what percieved were my flaws based on what other people had to say went on on the self sabotage and had a pity party..."why me?" "things went wrong because of something i did" and i ended up doing the "falling out with God" if there was a God why would these things happen, if there was a God why would he give me more misery, if there was a gOd why would he take people out my life, I became a negative person and envious towards other's who i percieved to have what i'd had. I was thinking with my lower self which is the jealousy, bitterness, envy and all the negative traits that are in us all and and maybe even think religion doesn't fit right, which it might not but only when you don't realise that religion is simply a belief and it can all be changed.
Thinking of God as seperate to religion for those who religion doesn't sit right , God is love which is in us all. The creative driving force which propels us on a daily basis to strive for better, be good people, be nice to our loved ones, those closest to us, but also to smile at strangers we pass in the street, think good thoughts when we hear of good deeds. This is the higher self, the God spark that fills us with love, confidence, boosts our self esteem, happiness and all the positive traits.
God is hope.
Religion is the belief in a controlling power which God is or can be for many, a trust, a way of life, a thought process.
As a child at school i had a healthy attitude to religion, for me it was unlimiting, it was one religion covered all, i'd join clubs held by different religions and i loved the mix. I'm very much the same today, i'm a spiritualist as i believe and know we live on, death doesn't end us. But i freely accept each religions and love to learn more about many religions, the different gods in religions and culture in general. I'm all for a melting pot of people, backrounds and religions. What doesn't sit well with me is when a religion rules your life and changes you, so if God is love and basically an energy we all carry, religion is a man made organisation it can only be a human that puts the dogma there and it is a physical human being setting the rules and regulations that are thrust upon us. This for me, is where the confusion happens, its actually not God we go against, its the religious rules and regulations we go against. My thoughts have always varied on this but ultimately i always come back to God is love and kindness in ourselves and when we "fall out with God" or "God doesnt sit right with me" we're actually not liking parts of ourselves or our life isn't going how we think it should.
It used to make me cringe when i heard people say the word "God" back years ago when i'd "fell out" and went through a phase that God didn't exist, i'd still go to church but would keep my head up and eyes open, when someone said "let's bow our heads and pray" i'd have my phone inside a hymn book and play a game when it came to hymns or songs and i'd mouth blah, blah, blah or just move my mouth to make it look like i was singing. These were my acts of defiance against a God that i'd fell out with. When i look back at those times, i chuckle to myself and think i must have still believed in something to be in the church in the first place, and ive went to church all my life!
My Mom would have to take me as a child because i wanted to go, then a sunday school teacher would pick me up as i grew a little older until finally i was old enough to go along with different clubs i was in...The Girls Brigade, Brownies, Girl Guides. At church youth clubs i'd always be drawn to the people who were interested in the God side of things and we'd find we'd talk to those running the clubs about God etc. I'd attend a baptist church, pentecostal, united reformed, catholic, protestant, methodist, brethren (can't remember the denomination) and would take part in regular bible studies, scripture searches and once a week would go with a few friends, to the home of one who would play guitar and his wife would sing and we'd all join in then enjoy pop and biscuits or cakes then chat about God, they were great times! One of my Sunday school teachers from my childhood, a lovely purely spiritual lady called Theresa, i visited her weekly until a few days before she passed in 2013, i'd help her in her home, i'd talk "god" and took my 2 children to visit her and she'd tell them bible stories, which they enjoyed and still remember her very fondly now. She hadn't believed in life eternal the way i do, but a week before she took ill, she told me she'd seen her beloved husband who was the pastor of the church and a lovely lovely man, she asked me if she had been dreaming but i'd assured her he was there to be with her through her illness and when the time came he would "take her home" this gave her great peace, and i was pleased she was happy to be reunited with her beloved Jimmy.
I enjoyed the coming together, the community spirit, even though i was a child and teenager but thats always carried forward with me, so GOD has always been in me which i do understand to be LOVE.
I can also recognise i've always been a positive person but have had my times of negativity and when i look back on those, i recognise those are the times ive "fell out with God" basically fell out of love with myself, not liked myself. Instead of recognising that at the time i'd blame God, because i didn't want to take the blame myself! why would i! it wasn't my fault! In reality it was my thought process and understanding that God was an almighty being who watched and saw all, he would have seen the times i "did bad" or "sad bad things" or "wished bad to others" so of course he was going to fall out with me, BUT he couldn't if i fell out with him first!
I'm not a "bible basher" nor a "religious freak" nor do i live my life by a religious rules or regulations, but i live my life as me, by me but with God by my side and within me, that is love.
The universe is energy and a greater power, a cosmic power that has it's own universal laws which are natural laws, i prefer to live my life by natural laws and the universe.
So if it helps you to understand what God is and how you can build that relationship with God, think of love and letting love in, allow yourself to let love into your heart.
It genuinely gives you a lift and puts a smile on your heart.
So let God in and watch the changes for the better within and in your life. When you hear anyone say God bless, remember they are saying be blessed with love.
Vision boards, dream boards have been shown to work in many ways. Celebrities and business people use them and i've used them a few times.
What your actually doing is physically creating a vision of what you want to manifest, and it's one of the simplest ways.
I'm going to explain the easiest way to make one, that will work for you
A quick tip to finding your hearts desire.
Our busy lives mean we lose sight on our life's purpose at times, this exercise helps to bring that back.
1 ~ Find a quiet space and sit as comfortable as possible, with your back straight, uncrossed legs and hands in your lap
2 ~ Set an intention to relax deeply, remembering everything that happens during the visualisation, to truly benefit from it
3 ~ Close your eyes and take a deep breath, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Take a total of seven breaths and with each exhale, imagine your going deeper and deeper into relaxation, becoming calmer as your thoughts slow
4 ~ Now imagine you're walking in a town centre, along a busy street. Imagine the shops and buildings as you pass by. Notice if it is daytime or night-time. Walk with a spring in your step and watch yourself as though you were watching another person. As you walk, people jostle you as they pass by. You come to a street corner, turn left and ahead of you is a huge advertising billboard
5 ~ Stop and read the billboard, it's promoting and acknowledging what is great about you. Does it show a picture of you with someone else? Have you won an award? Is it a book you have written? What does the text say? Set your intention to recall all your first thoughts about it
6 ~ Now take a deep breath and slowly bring yourself back into the present, breathing normally
7 ~ Take a few moments to write down what came to mind in your visualisation and reflect on any insights.
This is a great way to remind yourself about yourself!
A few years ago after my husband had passed, i wasn't feeling in the best of places, i realised i had turned into someone i didn't like.
I'd had a lot of negativity around me, people, gossip, rumours and influences, the activity leading upto and surrounding Peter's passing had finally pulled me down and turned me into a person who just didn't like or love themselves. Everything i seemed to do turned to mush, felt everything was karma coming back to me, though my intention was pure (or so i thought, not realising i was carrying the negative energies i had soaked up) I, like many, thought i needed love to make me feel "whole" or "better".
I was talking to a friend who is a white witch and asked her about spells or anything that could help bring love into my life. She told me a couple of ways, reciting daily affirmations (i didn't try it then, as i wanted FAST results!) and setting an altar, which i thought was a bit much or a bit too witchy but thought i'll try it...it worked in a way i definately didn't see coming!
It worked for me so i KNOW it CAN work for you!
Peter Somerville, gone but not forgotten xx
23/9/55 - 02/08/2008
My thoughts on this have differed over the years. When our loved ones pass over to the spirit side they are able to contact us straight away IF the conditions are right. If there is so much grief that we think we want to only hear certain things, when we don't get to hear what we think we want to hear or we dismiss the evidence they give, then we normally think they havn't been in touch. I've realised this is just ourselves that's closed off a bit? it's usually because it's the actual physical person we are missing and probably not in the right frame of mind to accept the physical has gone. It's hard but when we are ready for someone to pass, either we don't want to see them in pain any longer or they don't have the energy to stay and we can see it's their time. It doesn't mean we don't grieve, it means we're ready to let them go and be in peace and pain free knowing it's out of love, it's putting that person first. When my husband Peter passed, i didn't want him to obviously, the same as anyone, but i was ready and prepared for his passing and accepted nothing, no amount of praying, sending out thoughts, new treatment, meds etc was going to make that difference. I rang at 9.30pm nightly to the hospice to speak to him, say goodnight from me and our kids and tell him how much we loved him. The night he passed 2/8/2008 i'd fell asleep and missed calling him, at 1.22am i felt as though i was shook by the shoulder and i woke up, reached for the phone and something instinctively told me i wasn't going to get an answer, i felt the love from him and heard him say "I love you and the kids, tell them and look after them" . He'd came to me as he took his transition, he passed at 1.25am..my kids obviously took it really hard and i had to be strong for them, the most heartbreaking thing in my life was to tell my kids their dad had passed and they wouldn't be able to see him, touch him or talk to him again, but he left signs all over for them. My daughter would wake up to find feathers on her pillow (not feather pillows) in her books, amongst toys and special songs would play, my son would get feathers or he'd want to go somewhere and miraculously he'd get opportunities and he'd smell his dad too. It's nearly 11 years and he still gives us signs he's about. Our loved ones are always drawn where there's love and there's lots here for him!
On the other side of things, i've known people lose someone and want them through so much,it's took a long time in some cases years for them to know they've been through but hadn't been ready to accept them as the grief has been so overwhelming and they've not been ready to let go.
Before you think letting go means forgetting someone, it definately doesn't, it simply means your ready to let go of the hurt. Grief is love with nowhere to go, it comes out in tears and many ways. And grief definately comes in stages, not many people like to admit but anger at the person that passed is one of the stages, and how you overcome it depends on yourself.
Elaine has a working class backround, and understands the trials of life. Here she shares some of her thoughts on many different topics