Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Truths

Good morning one and all! We spent the past four Tuesdays exploring the Four Absolutes. I hope that discussion got your spiritual juices flowing. I know it often helps me understand and internalize if I simply write something out. I have to engage my mind much more when I am writing, especially if I am writing from my heart, or my experience.

In January, I will be leading a Men's AA Spiritual Retreat. (ok, at first blush that's just plain frightening , lol I get that!) The committee came up with this for a theme: "Spirituality, the Essence of Recovery." So, in preparation for that, I thought I might toss about a few components of spirituality for us to ruminate upon.

How about we begin with the word itself: spirituality. What does it mean for me to be spiritual?

For me, I help define the word with notions of what it is not. Religious does not absolutely equal spirituality (and don't you think that was a big relief to learn early on in AA, whew!). Having said that, I know that I feed my spirit today by attending and worshiping in church. However, that is but one (albeit major) component of my spirituality. In my understanding at over 14.5 years sober in AA and 3.5 years a converted Catholic, spirituality is my relationship with a higher power and how He manifests Himself in my daily life.

While I get my spirituality from HP (God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my case), I MUST tend to it as if it were a garden if I am to benefit from the relationship. Ideally I tend to it well enough that I have enough "produce" to share with those about me. If I am to be "spiritual," I must leave earthly realms and enter into a two-way relationship, even a covenant with my HP. And then I MUST bring that relationship to fruition here on earth among my friends, family and all whom I encounter. For me, one of the most wonderful components of my spirit is that I can and do find HP where ever I look, if i look long enough. God is truly everywhere, He has his hands in most everything. And so, I can connect spiritually with Him whenever I choose, but (and here's the rub...) I must choose to connect. It is a two-way relationship.

Let's continue along this vein next time. This is really only a bare beginning. Please share with me what your experience has been when it comes to matter of your spirit.


Syd said...

I am not a religious person in the sense that I no longer belong to a church. I am a spiritual person and believe in doing what I can to make the world a better place. I believe in treating others how I would like to be treated and in having compassion towards all. I have written quite a bit about my spiritual evolution on my blog. It has truly been an evolution of the mind and soul.

izzy said...

I wanted to read your 4 absolutes, I found two-
Spirituality, of the spirit. I used to tussle w/ soul (and how that fits in with body, mind, spirit)
What does your spirit believe ?
My concept of faith is our 'purpose'
and the origins of that.
I did not have the strong religious base from my family and so had to go in search of truth for myself. Those findings are my beliefs today.

Scott said...

syd- I've enjoyed your spiritual evolution, via your blog, and have learned a bit about myself and relationships with others from reading your blog!

Scott said...

izzy- thanks for commenting...

My spirit believes in a God, a power greater than myself. I believe that I am called to serve God by lovingly carrying His message of hope and faith, and by helping others around me. I don't always live up to these standards but I believe those to be my purpose.

drybottomgirl said...

I was raised with religion my whole life. Parochial school, church, volunteering etc. and it never felt right. Something was missing. It wasn't until I came to AA that I began to see what it was. God had always been there, committed to me, I just had committed back. You are so right when you say it's a relationship. You get out of it what you put in in. My God is a loving and nurturing God. He holds me accountable, but he love me unconditionally and wants me to carry his message to other's as well. For a while I was really struggling with orangized religions and churches. The politics, the corruption, but as I worked my program and became healthier my sponsor told me something " your worship in church is your community. Where you openly praise God in fellowship with others. It doesn't define your relationship with God. Your personal relationship with God is your religion. The one on one". This changed my entire view of things, and opened my soul up to receiving the wonder that is God. Spirituality is different from religion. It's a state of mind, to me rather than a belief. I do believe that we can posess both, but they are different from each other. (Just my crazy ramblings) but what an awesome topic you picked!

Dulce said...

Really interesting as well as helpful
Thanks for sharing :)

Scott said...

hi drybottom :-) I have heard so many people tell your story, where they were raised in church, but didn't feel a personal connection with a Higher Power until coming to AA. I believe that church and religion is the expression, or extension of one's own spirituality. As a catholic, I have struggled with the people in the Church. I have to remember that they are weak and failing humans just like I am. I can't let them off the hook, but I cannot let them chase me away from a beautiful faith either!

Scott said...

dulce- thanks for coming by :-) I'm glad you enjoyed!