Living Intentionally: Nourishing your Spirit part 2
I have always been a laid back person for the most part, more on the joyful, optimistic side of life, but not an extreme either way. Sometimes when I would view people during church or at conferences, or just in conversations, I would find myself comparing my "spirit" with what they were exhibiting and finding myself lacking, because surely I should be experiencing what they were and manifesting it the way they were. But that couldn't be further from the truth. I just had a hard time seeing it. Guess what, you are perfectly you, I am/was perfectly me, and that's okay! God doesn't look at one or the other and say "I like her spirit much better than hers or his". Nope, He loves each of us uniquely.
The other thing I kind of assumed was that the only way your spirit could be fed was by doing "spiritual" things..going to church every Sunday, reading your bible and memorizing scripture and doing devotions, worshipping and praying for hours. I was wrong about that too. Oh, those things can certainly do it, but they aren't the only things that will. And sometimes when done with the wrong motives or looking through a inaccurate "lens", they can actually become somewhat detrimental because we begin striving for a performance driven life. Which is not what God ever intended.
Two and a half years ago, for reasons I won't go into, we stepped away from the church we had been a part of for over 20 years. That was one of the most heartbreaking things for us because we had poured so much of our life into it and the people. It is still painful, but one thing I've come to learn is that when you step away from something, you get a different perspective, and I realized that a lot of what I thought and believed so strongly in, really were just opinions, and I believed them because, well, that's just what someone at some time told me was "right". Funny thing is, who's to totally say who's right and who's not. Who's lens was that "belief" birthed through. Anyways, my point is, I learned that I didn't have to go to a church building to have my spirit fed. I discovered that while I love some worship songs, I realized how much songs contradict themselves, all within one service. I came to a place where, when I would run into people in the store and they were "concerned" because we weren't in a church, any church I didn't feel like I needed to justify anything. I still loved God, I am still the same person I was, just with a slightly different perspective on some things. Funny how we have certain ideas of what it is to be "spiritual" and what is vital for our "spirits" to grow.
I don't always wake up feeling like my spirit is "alive"....at least not always a conscious awareness, and I definitely know I need to nourish it more and more, not out of a sense of duty but because I truly want to live as one connected to my source of origin (God) at all times and with a constant awareness of his always present presence. One thing I do know is that as long as we have an awareness that we are created to live a vibrant life and that even through ups and downs, heartbreaks, and joy, if we stay true to who we are and we always keep an attitude of learning and being okay with not knowing or having all the answers, then our spirits will thrive.
Maybe tomorrow we'll look at some ideas for nourishing our spirits, and at some point I'll also share some books or other things that have helped me.
With Joy Unquenchable,