A friend who is a devout Christian recommended I look up spiritual gifts in the Bible. She is a very kind and loving person who I enjoy speaking to very much. Our spiritual views are very similar in many ways, except for one rather large piece: she believes the only path to salvation is through Jesus Christ and the Christian Bible. I too believe this is possible, but I also believe there are countless other paths to the Holy Spirit, and inner peace and freedom.I told this friend about a time when I was in college, at the height of my search for “faith.” I went to church with some friends. I didn’t find it to be a particularly spiritual place. It was one of those “Super Churches” with a big screen TV and rock band. I felt bombarded with noise and distraction. (I have since learned that I prefer sitting alone in nature or at my altar for prayer and meditation.)
The sermon eventually did strike a chord with me, despite my initial judgments. I was experiencing a lot of upheaval in my life at the time. My parents were going through a divorce and I felt guilty about going to college and leaving my younger brothers behind to deal with the drama at home.
When we were leaving I began to cry. My friends tried to console me, but out of nowhere a complete stranger came up to me and hugged me tightly. She spoke in a language a didn’t understand (I found out later she was speaking in tongue). She then translated her words into English. She first told me everything would be OK and not to worry about “them” (as if she somehow knew I was thinking about my family). She also said a few other things that made me feel as if she could read my mind! (or better yet, my heart)…
She then looked into my eyes and gave me some advice. It sounded something like this, “you and I have a gift. We are meant to share it with others. You will learn to understand it someday. Do not be afraid of it and do no be afraid of sharing it.”
And that was it. I was left feeling shaken, a bit freaked out, but oddly better somehow. Healed, you might say.
I told this story to my Christian friend and her eyes lit up. That’s when she told me to look up giftings in the Bible. This is what I found:
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-6)
I am learning that I am a gifted Tarot reader and Reiki practitioner. I felt naturally drawn to these practices and I clearly have an affinity for learning them quickly. The people I have worked with always give positive feedback and say that I have helped them. It is time for me to stop being afraid of my gifts and to openly accept my spiritual beliefs.
I believe I have a gift for healing. This post is the first time I am sharing these thoughts publicly. I am nervous about it, but ultimately I feel a sense of inner peace about embracing my views.
I have been told countless times, by Christians with good intentions that they are praying for me and that I need to accept their religion. I know they mean well, but instead of helping me turn to God, it always just makes me feel judged and afraid of being open about my beliefs. I know I need to let go of these fears, but it is difficult when you are told over and over again that Christ is the only way and that all other paths lead to damnation.
What I can’t understand is why so many people believe accepting Jesus means excluding all other paths to God. The funny thing is that I do accept Jesus’s teachings (both in the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls). I find his teachings extremely valuable and beautiful, but I also find the Tao te Ching, the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and Buddhist Sutras and other holy books equally as moving.
This Bible quote really speaks to me:
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
For a large portion of my life I resisted having faith in God because of how others pushed their views on me. They told me how I should worship and commune with Spirit, but it never resonated with me. I always felt restricted, uncomfortable, and ultimately judged.
Now that I am older I have developed confidence in my Self enough to build my own firm foundations. I believe that the concept of God transcends man-made religious doctrines. Through meditation, prayer and Yoga I am able to access the inner stillness of my soul and within that space I find my own inner Light. I believe that Tarot cards help me access the collective unconscious and get in touch with my angels and guides. I believe that Reiki is a divinely guided form of energy that promotes love, acceptance forgiveness and ultimately healing.
These practices and beliefs constitute a large portion of my spiritual connection to God and I am no long afraid to own them publicly. I have no intention of letting these things go, so long as I can feel my self growing more peaceful, loving and balanced through them.
I encourage everyone to subscribe to the values that give them the most inner peace and guidance, but I think we should ALL be careful of assuming we know the Truth and that our way is the best. What works for me, may not work for others.
I like this quote because it reminds me of the importance of perspective:
I believe each of us has the ability to determine our own spiritual path. Only I have the power to determine what is good for me and what is bad for me. What feels right and what doesn’t. This is, after all, my journey and it is my soul.
I am left wondering, now that I am “coming out” of the spiritual closet, how can I lovingly respond to those who believe my faith is misguided?
How do I “defend” my spiritual views? Is it even right to do so?
What if sharing my views offends others? Should I stop sharing them?
How can I learn to stop worrying about what others think of my spiritual views?
I am open to all suggestions (but please don’t be offended if I don’t subscribe to all of them).
Thank you in advance for your feedback and insights ❤