I have been on a spiritual journey for a little over two years now. It started with a strong interest in Paganism and all things having to do with the earth and the energy within. I was struggling to embrace the Catholic beliefs I was raised with. Everything I was taught became a hard pill to swallow. From the requirement to believe the stories in the bible to the collection and sacrifice of one's hard earned wages to the constant repenting for one's sins or be damned to hell for all eternity. I was tired of having to constantly monitor my behavior and then also inflict the same guilt I was raised with onto my children.
The Catholic faith, through my eyes was an overbearing and watchful parent with no patience for bad behavior. I felt a deep need to explore something kinder and more nurturing. I had always been attracted to paganism ever since a classmate had introduced me to it in high school. At first, it was the idea of having power over people through the casting of spells that lured me in. Over time, and with much studying I began to see it as a way to tap into the earth and become more in tune with nature. As a matriarchal religion, I found comfort in knowing that this religion was congregated mostly by women and women were also revered and held positions of power within their respective covens. At the time, I felt I had little power in my life and certainly wasn't feeling any more powerful by following a faith that made me feel like nothing I did was ever good enough and I was ultimately damned to hell.
When I was 32 I found and befriended a fellow pagan and we would share ideas on the subject and perform rituals and spells together, much to the chagrin of my husband who was trying very hard not to be too judgemental. He did after all think he married a Catholic woman, so I was faced with the dilemma of guilt......Catholic guilt, since we had married under the pretense that we were both Catholic and would raise our children as Catholic. My husband felt deceived and I felt bad for coming into the marriage not knowing precisely where I stood religiously.
I remember at that time feeling especially torn and stressed over the situation and wanted nothing more than for there to be happiness and harmony again around the issue of religion in my marriage. At the time, I was also dealing with an injured shoulder that had been bothering me for about a year and had made arrangements to get surgery to alleviate my pain. I remember being on Cafemom.com one day when one of my "friends" sent a link to the movie The Secret. I had heard a lot of hype about The Secret, but hadn't really been interested in checking it out. I decided to watch the movie.
By the end of the movie, I was in tears because of the powerful message that was delivered throughout the movie. Everything they spoke of was true and that truth resonated within me with such force that my I knew that my life would be forever changed. I had found the holy grail to personal power and satisfaction in life. The key to happiness and abundance! I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I needed to trust the universe to deliver all that I needed in my life. I cancelled my surgery for my shoulder after my mother suggested I use alternative therapy (which is not my mother's style) and used acupuncture, meditation, massage and gentle range of motion exercises to heal my shoulder. I was healed in about 6 weeks. That was the first miracle!
The second miracle.....I was finally happy for the first time in my life! Life was suddenly magical and held so much promise. I found the courage to start my own business and make my own products, beginning with stunning ribbon bookmarks, which led to key rings, wine charms, note cards and jewelry which I affectionately refer to as LUXE Luther Creations!
My beliefs in paganism or any organized religion fell away as I became more and more aware that all of it originates from one truth, that there is a Higher Self, a Higher Power, a God, an Energy in this universe that we all recognize and seek to understand. Societies around the world all have their own interpretation of God and they choose to put a label on it. Sadly, in my opinion, this is the reason for so much war and hostility in the world. If only we could all simply agree that there is something bigger than us out there in the ethers that is also within us and not try to put a label on it, perhaps world peace could be possible.
I myself am currently agnostic as I explore all the different facets of faith and spirituality. I may never give my beliefs a label and that's fine with me. I take comfort in knowing that my Higher Self is guiding me through intuition and leading me to every happiness life can offer. As for the religious debate in my marriage......my husband doesn't care anymore what path I follow as long as it doesn't involve witchcraft.
Until next time.....
Thanks for reading!