Are you Spiritual or Religious? The Holy Bible, Quran, Tanakh, Vedas are some books that people all over the world use to guide their daily lives depending on their religion or beliefs. Well, I only knew about the Holy Bible growing up. As a child, I had so many questions about the scriptures, stories in the Bible and rules at my home church. I was like the character ‘Curious George‘. I was very curious about life and not afraid to experience new things. During my era, a child couldn’t question many things and we didn’t have the internet to research. So, we simply tried to be obedient to our elders. Also, I couldn’t attend other churches to explore other faiths.
I believe my interest in other religions began when I went to college and joined ODU’s ‘Ebony Impact’ a gospel choir. We traveled to different churches to perform. This was my first time ever attending both a Catholic and a Pentecostal Service. I must say I loved the 1 hour church service at the Catholic Church but the Pentecostal Service scared me. As I got older, I attended Non-Denominational Churches. Why? I guess I didn’t want to be categorized. This was the beginning of truly seeking knowledge and becoming open to other ideas.
After marriage, a baby and moving my mother in to live with me, I begin to seek God for strength and patience. This was a challenging time for me being in my late 20s. During this time, I met a spiritual advisor through a local radio station in Columbia, SC. After attending one of his seminars and later attending 1 group session, we became friends. He encouraged me to get back to singing. The biggest life changing advice he gave me was to read 10 books in my lifetime that would change my life. I have to admit that I haven’t read all 10 books yet but there was one that I read that has changed my spiritual journey and that book was called “Man’s Eternal Quest” by Paramahansa Yogananda.
This book started me on a spiritual journey to seek knowledge and confirmed that all those questions I had as a child but could not ask anyone except God was a good thing. The biggest lesson I learned was that Love is at the center of many religions. What makes a religion is different beliefs. This may sound kind of corny but think about it. If two people in any type of relationship, romantic or non romantic (kids, coworkers, significant other, family and friends) LOVE one another, they wouldn’t want to do or say anything to hurt the other person. If we love one another unconditionally, there would be more peace in the world and more satisfying relationships. Just imagine. I believe this is the secret behind long lasting marriages too. Trust me, I do understand it can be challenging to Love Unconditionally everyone but it doesn’t hurt to try. Why is it easier for parents to show unconditional love to our children but not with adults?
So, I challenge you to start your creative journey by stepping out of your comfort zone and read something different. Pray about it and God will lead you to what you need to explore next. I’m glad I did.
I will be sharing the other books from that list that Mr. J.C. gave me in a post each month. If you contact me and share your story with me about your spiritual journey, I will provide you the list of 10 books in advance.
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Again, thank you.