True Religion Lived Is Love
I read this post by Heather well over a year ago, but it has stuck with me. I do not know her personally, but I loved her words and wanted to share them exactly as she wrote them. The words she writes here speak to my heart and the way I feel about one aspect of spirituality and religion.
For me, it's not about 'rescuing' or 'saving' someone from their own beautiful beliefs. Or trying to convince someone to believe exactly as I do.
It's about choosing to love people for exactly for WHO they are,
not IN SPITE of who they are.
Love for yourself and love for others. It's about diving deep with your relationship with God and tuning in to that divine light and guidance He gives you to know exactly what is right for you personally.
By Heather Madder
Shared with permission.
Where you see a hyper-focus on religious rules, you can know there is lack of personal, intimate relationship with God. In the absence of the warmth and connection of this relationship, the religiously trained mind lives with a hole inside and needs a way to feel good enough, so it lines up all the rules they've been taught and wraps them around like a security blanket. As they fixate more and more on the rule book, they become increasingly displeased with others and want to fix them. "*I* will make sure you follow the rules." They remove love and acceptance to emotionally manipulate others to be better in their eyes so they are not always feeling the pain of their own inability to love for no reason. They don't see others as good enough because they don't feel good enough themselves. (Imagine the hell of being so religiously committed but breaking the central commandment to love others.) This heals when they surrender their hearts completely to God and come into true intimate partnership with Him (and Christ.) When the heart is open, love can fill it. Viewpoints becomes more kind, mindful of a larger picture, and patient. They become more trusting of life, people, processes and that God is in charge. Then they are able to see that no one here "measures up" to the rule book, everyone is flawed, we are all equal anyway and what saves us from our mortal condition is an open, surrendered, heart that submits itself to Christ hour by hour. You can know true spiritual practices from pseudo-spiritual practices when you feel love, compassion, kindness and equality with others. A useful introspection: How does this thought or conversation I'm having make me feel? If I feel expanded, hopeful, lighter, kind and closer to this person...I'm on the right track. These are the fruits of religion being lived out in a TRUE way, and spirituality that actually has the power to alter behavior and lives for good.