“Coming Out”: Insights About Spiritual Openness

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.

And I [Jesus] have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.( John 10:16)

For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.      (Malachi 1.11)

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:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 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)

http://yapabout.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/religion.jpg

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:

https://joyfulcacophony.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/1d9a6-addams.jpg

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  ❤

Namaste,

Kaycie

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26 responses to ““Coming Out”: Insights About Spiritual Openness

  1. Kaycie,
    Question #1: Calmly and honestly. Yes.
    Question #2: Say “I’m sorry that I may have offended you, but I am being honest with you.” If the person has a closed mind yes. If open-minded, no.
    Question #3: Make up your mind that you are right and everyone else is wrong. LOL Couldn’t resist! Make up your mind that you will live your truth, otherwise you are living to please others.
    Never argue about religion or interfere with another’s relationship with the Creator/God.
    While reading your article I remembered an aunt who was in her seventies, a strong Christian who, after I expressed my being against the killing going on at the time in Central American countries, replied in all seriousness “but they’re communists.” She thought it was ok to kill people if they were communists. This was after I had read books on Central America and knew it was about natural resources and not ideology. It was a strange experience and goes to the heart of your post content.
    Thank you,
    Jerry

    • Jerry,
      I always appreciate your sage advice. your story really strikes a chord with me. I have a strong gut reflex when people talk about homosexuality as if it is a disease (or worse). It ignites a strong sense of injustice and anger inside of me that I really need to learn how to channel positively. I also love your advice about making up my mind that I’m right! I DO just need to live with my own Truth and take ownership free of fear. I’m getting closer. Sharing this blog was like a weight lifted off my shoulders, thanks for the support and encouragement!
      Blessings,
      K

  2. Kaycie,

    (1) How do I “defend” my spiritual views? Is it even right to do so?

    It sounds like you are defending (or at least explaining) them already, and I think it would be unwise to believe that you should not do so. After all, some beliefs really are inconsistent with each other (e.g., your view that that of religious fundamentalists). The kind of pluralism that you endorse comes from your own observation and experience; both of the debilitating effects of religious authoritarianism, and of the way in which people from very different traditions are able to find a kind of enlightenment. I wouldn’t put your sharing your observations and experiences on the same level as those who tell you there is only one way and you must accept it. One can claim that a religious or spiritual tradition is valuable for her and invite you to try it, but to say that you “must” (or else) is not something that can come from one’s own experience. That’s to attempt to impose one’s vews is different from sharing them.

    (2) What if sharing my views offends others? Should I stop sharing them?

    I don’t see why. You aren’t saying anything that a reasonable person could be offended by–unlike the sort of fundamentalism that some have tried to foist on you.

    (3) How can I learn to stop worrying about what others think of my spiritual views?

    I guess it depends on what you mean by “worrying.” I don’t think it’s possible entirely to set aside my concern for others and what they think. Apart from others, the self does not exist. I find myself concerned when others express opposition to my beliefs, and that motivates me to explain them–after which I usually understand them better myself. In that sense, maybe one never stops “worrying.” After all, my views would never change or improve at all if I were so certain of them that I had no concern for the opposition of others. On the other hand, I think that when one has explained long and often, there is a kind of conviction that counters being overly anxious about one’s beliefs. I could still be wrong, but if I am it will be in a very interesting way, and I’m not afraid to find that out.

    So, keep on doing what you’re doing.

    • blkbrook, thanks for the thoughtful responses! It means a lot to me that you took the time to answer my questions. I have a lot of fear and doubt around this issue. I am considering linking this post to FB. My intention is to encourage others to “come out” too, but I know that some people will take offense also. Do you think I should post it and just make a note about my intentions? Your advice is really great!!

    • I truly believe the Earth needs more Spiritual people. I could care less what faith they subscribe too, in my heart I think Spirituality can save us all. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement Mireille!! ❤ Namaste, Kay

  3. Thank you for having the courage to share this post. I have thought about this many times and still keep my spirituality in the closet. The illusion of fear. So tired of living the life of duality. Thank you! You are an inspiration.

    • openlife, thank you for this comment! Fear is an illusion, but it’s so powerful! I am tired of letting it control me and like you said tired of the life of duality. It’s time for change! I am glad you feel inspired, your support gives me what I need to keep moving in this difficult, challenging, but fulfilling direction. Let’s all speak our Truth!! ❤
      Namaste,
      K

  4. I am sorry … like your friend, I am a devout Sikh. There is one line in the word of the shabad that translates to something like this “I have searched in four directions; there is no other as great as You, Lord.”
    The Guru Granth Sahib is the boat to take me across treacherous waters.
    I believe and stand by that statement. To me, everything else is ancillary.
    But I don’t force or cajole anyone to simply follow my path. Like everyone else, I dabbled in a little feng shui, a little tarot and a lot astrology before I got into trouble with following “advice” too much and had to walk, no, limp, to the Guru’s door. I have encountered the Lord. I am happy.

    A translation of the “Jaap Sahib” begs an insight into what the Lord is like 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Much love.

    • gill, thank you for sharing! First of all, I’m glad you have encountered the Lord. It is a truly wonderful experience!!
      I appreciate that you don’t cajole people to follow your path. I find that force never works when promoting others to change. The desire to change and grow comes from within. We can help one another on our spiritual journeys, but as the old saying goes: “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
      I’m content where I am right now. I feel my thirst for fulfillment, faith and love are being quenched. I see that you have found that too so I celebrate where we are and pray that we continue to find spiritual nourishment.
      Best Wishes to you! Thanks again for sharing so openly! I truly appreciate the perspective you bring! ❤

  5. Believing in something very important. But you have the right to choose for yourself what you believe and how you want to do this.
    Religions are sensible for people who can’t handle to open the mind for the bigger thing in life. They give them support.
    You have opened your mind. In a way you outgrew the strict boundaries of religion.
    Believe in yourself and your beautiful gifts. You can talk about it but don’t try to persuade people who are indoctrinated by a religion. Any type of religion. There is a French proverb which says: There is no worse blind men than he who doesn’t want to see. Trying to convince is like fighting against windmills.
    Respect their believes but don’t let them bring down yours. They have to respect you too.
    Cheers,
    Virginie

    • Virginie, I really appreciate your advice and supportive comments! I definitely do not want to fall into the habit of trying to convince others I am right. I am opinionated and loud, and also very passionate, so sometimes I rub people the wrong way by accident. I am working on that. What I find most difficult is learning to stop being defensive when someone insists that their religion is right and that their religion says I’m so wrong that I will suffer for my views. I hope that someday I can let it slide…your words are a big help! thank you!

      Namaste,
      K

  6. Gill,
    Nice to meet you. I have just scratched the surface with regard to the Sikh tradition but am familiar with The Morning Prayer (I think Jaap Sahib is same, yes?) and it is extraordinary literature. If I’m not mistaken The Guru Granth Sahib is your tradition’s main text. I remember one of the first translators mentioning that, as compared to Jesus, Muhammad and Buddha whose writings were not recorded, Guru Nanak’s writings are recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib. My experience on reading The Morning Prayer was one where every line made me think yes, yes, yes…The passages which related to Kay’s article were those which described the millions and millions who have tried to describe God, and that it was the effort of a fool. So according to that description of a foolish effort, anyone who thinks they have an idea of what God is has been mistaken. Perhaps I am looking for motivation to read Sikh writings but may I ask, without worrying about sharing your spiritual views (LOL), how has your being a devout Sikh helped you? If you have no desire to reply, no worries, I understand, I ask this as one who agrees with the teachings of every spiritual tradition.
    Thank you,
    Jerry

  7. Hi there Jerry 🙂

    I do believe that the text “whoever tries to describe God is known as the biggest fool” is also included in Guru Nanak’s writings. The morning prayer that you are referring to is the Japji Sahib though the Jaap Sahib is also a morning prayer ;).

    However, I am not about to contend with Guru Gobind Singh’s writings on God in the Jaap Sahib. The Jaap Sahib is a prayer extraordinaire on its own and brings “heart” power to the meek ones like me.

    I am however “composing” a book about my spiritual experiences and I’d be glad to send you an e book once published if you could let me have your email address.

    I am steadfast in my faith with Guruji simply because of these spiritual experiences. However, I do not doubt that there are many ways to reach God and appreciate those who agree with the teachings of every spiritual tradition.

    Please do not worry about asking questions or making comments as a Sikh is a learner or a student and I would love to reflect on constructive criticism.

  8. Jerry and Gill, I really appreciate the discussion!
    Gill, I am looking forward to learning more about the Sikh spiritual philosophies. I, like Jerry, am open to all teachings. Do you have any suggested readings for someone with no background in Sikh terminology, values and practices?

  9. The only constructive criticism that I find necessary to express at this time regards the horrible situation in Syria and the Middle East. Both Jesus and Muhammad professed love of your fellow man, yet the voices of adherents of Christianity and Islam are not being heard. It is very confusing and frustrating that love, oneness and brotherhood seems to never be mentioned as an option. Perhaps this is a turning point where humanity will come to realize love, oneness and brotherhood is truly the highest choice.
    Best of luck with your book. I am sure it will be an outstanding work.
    Jerry

  10. Hey miss lady! Lovely post. I’m glad you’re coming out, so to speak. 🙂 Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone, and am proud of you for standing in your truth, and better yet, being courageous enough bear witness.

    I don’t think you need to argue or defend your spiritual beliefs. The only time I discuss my spirituality is with people who are interested in discussing it, not debating it. I understand the desire to defend and protect but have decided those feelings are my own, that I have to deal with personally, not with another person in the form of debate. Truth is, everyone’s path to God is intensely personal and completely different. So to convince someone they should follow my path is robbing them of finding theirs. The only thing I can do is be a living testament to the absolute beauty that exists when one human is completely connected to spirit. How I get there is inconsequential. I can’t really explain it, I can only live it. My life is my explanation.

    You’re on the right path. We all are. All roads lead to Rome, as they say. If I could offer up a suggestion, I guess it would be to just be easy (with yourself and others). Tender love and care. As Thay says, treat your anger as a baby. Your worry as a baby. Your sadness as a baby. They are all a part of what it means to be human.

    Hope you’re well!

    Namaste

    • It is great to hear from you Cambre! Thanks for reading and for the lovely insights. I think you are right about not engaging in a debate. So many times I have attempted to defend my views, allowed myself to get defensive and feel bitterness towards people who I perceived were judging me…it’s all such a waste of energy! I will heed your words and let my life be my explanation! I do however LOVE discussing these matters with people who are interested in furthering their own views as well as mine, I guess that the purpose of this blog, for us to share our experiences and learn from one another.
      Have a gorgeous day!

  11. So Kaycie…I see this separatism in belief systems all too often. You, like me, know that belief comes from within. No religion or book or words will even describe it. Teaching Yoga gets me going all the time. People are afraid to “aum” or chant or whatever it may be. They think If they want to do yoga they need to be a Hindu or Buddhist ect… It is hard for people to understand or imagine a place that Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, alike can come into a room and share their space and energy…all reaching within for their own devotion. I have never felt more supported than in a yoga classroom. No one will “preach to you” or make you feel like what you believe is wrong. There is nothing but respect and honor. Your practice, efforts, dedication, all go up to your higher power, WHATEVER THAT MAY BE. I think it is important to keep an open mind and heart and I think there needs to be more education on religion. We need to respect all traditions…There are many paths up to the top of the same mountain. We all end up there! What I find to be most interesting is that in any structured religion I have studied most of the ideas are the same…one being love and accept all beings…So it has always boggled my mind that most “religious” people are so judgmental to anyone who doesn’t wholeheartedly follow their beliefs to
    a T. I have learned to never be bullied by this, but to keep sending those people love in hopes that they find what they are looking for inside themselves rather than searching for it in me.

    xoxo!

    • Sara…I like everything you said! I hope that when/if I rub people the wrong way they decide to send me love and understanding. I appreciate your respect for the beliefs of others. I must say that yoga classes are accepting, but so was the Buddhist Temple I attended in Baton Rouge. I went there to meditate and people of many different faiths did as well. Thay, the teacher/Buddhist monk that led the Sangha, was very good at making everyone feel welcome and respected. I pray that I can be more like him and less judgmental of others, because that what I want and need from people, too! Be the change you want to see, right?!

  12. Kaycers, I have sent an email to your gmail. Jerry, I have googled your book Love 2013 but can’t seem to find it. Any way I could procure a copy?

  13. Gill,
    If you go to smashwords.com, type Love 2013 it should come up. You can read/download shorter book “Heaven on Earth” (free). If you don’t have Adobe Digital Editions, you can install that from smashwords.com webpage (free). If the book you are composing is your first, and you are unfamiliar with Ebook formatting, download “Smashwords Style Guide” (free) and you will avoid a lot of headaches. How’s that? Everything is free today!
    Jerry

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