What is God and how does this fit into my life? Firstly, we must look at what “it” is not. God is not a man, a woman, an it or any new fangled plural you want to add here. God, Goddess, Gods are not a human being. It is interesting that I said “What” vs. “Who.” A Who would indicate a person. A What indicates a thing and object and even this is not correct. I look at God as an entity. A higher power, a supreme being, a non-mortal. So, first, I want to put it into this context as I am speaking here.
When the Bible says that Adam was made in God’s image and Eve in Adam’s, it does not mean that God looks like Adam and Eve, it means that he made them pure, honest, and true; two innocents, as they were not God but yet they were in his image. We are all God, or rather one with God and God is in us. Like Alanis Morissette’s song “What if God was one of us?” And, he is all of us as her video so aptly displays. God is also the animals, the trees, the rivers, the mountains, the grass, any object that is on Earth, even those that are man-made. This is God because he exists in all of us, our energy is in all of these things and so it is all God.
Adam and Eve were the first to fall apart and take an un-God like direction on their path, as an unconscious supplicant, to self-exploration and growth. They led the way for all of us to behave in un-Godly ways and then to blame God. What happened was they developed an ego, they gave birth to children and so on and so on. God did not MAKE them eat the forbidden fruit, they chose this. This was their free will. We make choices everyday that are our free will to make.
Blaming God is like yelling at the couch. He didn’t do it, we did. Our ancestors are responsible for slavery, wars, power and control issues, conflict, and we are now responsible for whatever it is that we have personally done to others. We are responsible for our lives and the choices we make. God is there to lend a hand, to whisper in our ear, to yell out to us in our head “Don’t do it!” but it is us that does not listen. When we do, good things happen and when we don’t bad things happen.
Even when we are good people, sometimes bad things happen when we are not paying attention. It might happen because it is a part of a bigger plan that we are not aware of, we are just the conduit that is being martyred for the greater good one day. Naturally, no one wants to be a part of this but sometimes we do not have a choice.
I love history. Everything that happened in history has taught us something about good, bad, choices, and what life was like without laws, without a sense of self. We can learn from this now and choose to live our life differently. Unfortunately, so many people want to live in blame. In 2019, I heard Nekole Alliwood, a Native American woman from the Delaware Nation, speak at an Ohio History Conference about this topic. She said it way more beautifully than I remember but I will rephrase it here. She spoke of not blaming because if we do, then we are not growing as individuals. I will add that we are suffering because of our pride and ego, that is trapping us in our pain rather than taking responsibility for our own actions right here and right now. People behaved the way they did in history because it was what was going on at that time. The way we behave now, is based on what is going on at this time. Instead of worrying about the past, why not worry about the present and what we will give to the future?
God is there for us to turn to. It is us connecting to our higher consciousness. An energy, a force that we do not understand or have control over. We can align with this power and move with it. We can ask for things and get whatever it is that is best for us to receive. If we don’t get what we ask for, we must ask ourselves what was this reason. Perhaps there is still something we need to learn.
As I can only speak for myself and no one else, I will put this in a real-life story form.
I am a very spiritual person. From childhood to elderhood, I have believed in a higher power. I have put this in context of God, Goddess, Gods at different points in my life based on whether I needed masculine, feminine or just wasn’t sure so I pluralized it to include the yin/yang. At the same time, I have been on a shamanic journey with different types of pain and suffering over the years. I am not calling myself a shaman. I am saying this because I have read about the life changing events shaman’s go through to become the great spiritual leaders that they are. Whatever I will be, I am on a journey that seems shamanic to me.
Each time that I had pain and suffering or obstacles presented to me, I naturally came from my ego; at first and blamed. I defended myself by calling out names to the perpetrators of this injustice. Of men, of family, of parents, of strangers, and this soothed my pride, my humiliation, my wounds. This blaming and calling of names did not make ME a better person. It did not heal me. It did not ease my suffering. It made me like them. It put me as an equal because I did not rise above this (in the moment or in the aftermath) and behave in a Godlike way. In time, I would soothe my self through the influences of spirituality, books, workshops, therapists, and come out on the other side. A more enlightened side.
If, I had not experienced tragedy in my life, I would not be able to be the psychotherapist I am today. In my most recent painful experience, it occurred because I was behaving in the same ways I always do in relationships. I stopped being myself. Instead of being “giving,” I gave in. Instead of standing up for myself and being a strong woman who asks for what she wants from others and sets boundaries, I became silent or I was too outspoken but not really from a place of authenticity. I spoke from a place of fantasy and wishes.
God brought this last person into my life because I was ready to be in a relationship. He was not and thus, I was not either otherwise, I would not have suffered in the end. Instead of nurturing the situation and being patient, I pushed and pulled. Instead of being the wise woman that I am and communicating from the empathic space that I give to others in my profession, I caved into my insecurities. This was not God’s fault, it was mine. I failed to live up to what God wanted for me. He gave me to this person for a reason and I failed to be the person I should have been. At first, I blamed him – the person I love, because I naturally go there. And, I am not saying he was not without blame. I am saying that I can only control and take responsibility for my own actions, not those of another. Now, I look at the situation from a different perspective and realize it was all part of my own doing, or un-doing.
God brought him into my life and whispered words in my ears to help things get started. Many signs and signals were given to me along the way to tell me this could be really a great thing. I took this for granted rather than remaining mindful of my actions each day. I began to become vulnerable the more I gave in and continued to lose a part of myself. When I stopped being me, it makes perfect sense that what God had brought to me was being destroyed by us. The ending was shocking and painful, as dishonest as we were to each other. By this, I mean neither of us spoke our truth out loud. We both were too afraid of what was in front of us. The destruction came to put us both on a path of growth.
In the aftermath, I experienced all types of pain and discomfort. I blamed at first and then focused on forgiveness. During this time, I focused on reading the Bible, on workshops through Daily Om, reading about healthy relationships, following a blog in regard to the Course in Miracles, and listening to God. The more I listened and followed my instincts or higher consciousness, the less trouble I got into and the less I aligned with the continued destruction that tried to seek me out. In my prayers to God on a twice daily basis, the struggle began to turn into an answer within. As a result, I am now in a place of forgiving myself. I am in a place of loving and trusting myself but above all respecting myself. This is what I gave up, willingly, and now I have gotten it back with a renewed since of faith and protection from above. Before, I had always given up to spirituality in a nonchalant “Oh yeah, I am spiritual.” Now, I am allowing this to guide me and I am listening.
God is a powerful force for anyone to turn to in their life. I am more the intellectual sort so churches are places to sit in that are quiet and soothing. I don’t need the song and dance or the rhetoric. I need to go within. Some people need this and I don’t think this is wrong. I think more people need to incorporate this in their family and in their relationship. When I have known couples who both follow a God and belief of their choosing, devotedly in their own way, I see long-term healthy relationships. The caveat though is that the two people must follow their Godlike beliefs with integrity to each other and to themselves. This does not mean the person who dictates how their partner will behave or forces them. It means both have come to a place with God together and they follow spiritual principles that both value and agree on.
Whether God exists or not is another question. I do not hear miracles coming from the mouths of Aethists or Agnostics. Nor do I hear happiness in their lives. The same for couples and families who put God in the backseat or say “Yes, I am a Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc…” but say this as a word rather than a practice. And, at the same time, those who believe in nothing are growing toward something. Where they end up, who knows. Where I end up, who knows. What matters is that path we are on toward self-growth. I think it is easier when you have a belief that you truly follow because you are aligning with your higher power. It is harder when we resist anything, especially God. Again, you have free will and it is all your choice.
I write this based on my path, my discoveries along the way, my truth, my wisdom, what has been shown to me. Just as everyone else who writes, are telling you what they have learned. I have been given so much love in my life, through God/Goddess/Gods, my higher consciousness, wherever I was at, at that time. I am where I need to be right now as this is where I have been brought – from my own actions and choices. My shamanic journey has come to these conclusions. The healthy relationship is with myself and the people I work with. It is with my family, those that I choose to share my life with, and God standing beside me. It is with you, the reader, the listener, who cares to be a part of this ride and take from this whatever resonates with you.