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.
Elaine has a working class backround, and understands the trials of life. Here she shares some of her thoughts on many different topics