When I was younger, I was always in religious education at my local Catholic Church. My mom signed me up year after year in order to complete each of the sacraments that most young Catholic people do. I honestly don’t really remember what I learned but it was definitely something that stressed me out due to the amount of memorization we had to do.
Although my mom was adamant about the classes, once I was out of class most of why I learned or what was expected of me fell off to the wayside. My family was never strict about practicing Catholicism and I think that was a good thing. It allowed me to experience the world with the eyes of someone who is willing to learn without any bias.
So as I grew up, I saw myself outside the Catholic Church a lot of the time. Even though I spent a good chunk of my time there.
I grew up with a different view of how the world worked, one in which everyone was free to believe in things without consequences and where we should be accepting and loving of all people. This made it hard for me to see or understand how it was possible for all of humans to be connected to each other. I, like so many others, saw very clearly the lines that divided us every day. There was not a world that I felt spiritual and religious.
In fact, the years after high school were a lot of just doing things due to obligation. I found a church, which ended up being a safe space and a way to relieve stress as I got involved in the choir. I made sure I attended mass weekly. I checked the bare minimum of boxes in order to be considered Catholic. I still didn’t understand the spiritual aspect of religion.
I actually spent a lot of time trying to figure out a concrete definition of what spirituality meant. And all Google could come up with is that spirituality is dealing with the spirit. How was I, a person who needed a concrete answer, supposed to figure out why I didn’t feel spiritual.
It wasn’t until my last year in college when I started to learn about tarot and crystals and the law of attraction. Everything was so new and I gravitated towards it quickly. Understanding that we are all connected by the Universe made sense to me. We are all made of the same materials and therefore are the Universe. Really getting that universality and recognizing my out power was a unique starting point for me.
I found myself looking for ways to understand connectedness within myself and the world through a variety of means. I found Gala Darling on YouTube and read tons of books. All of which have lead me to finding my path to understanding how we are all connected through the spirit within each of us.
I know it sounds so corny and a little too out there. But this is what worked for me. In a weird way, the most woo thing helps me step back from the logical part of my brain and activates something else which allows me to see life and the world as something we can create and not just be a bystander in. And I like that.
I always find myself seeing the similarities of ideas about the Law of Attraction in Catholicism. And I still believe in God. I don’t necessarily think that these two modes of thinking have to be separate. But I do think that they can learn from each other. I think that we are meant to find what we need from institutions and use them according to what what we need in order to move through the world as an empowered being. So if that means being spiritual but not religious or being religious and not in the woo type of spiritual, that’s fine. As long as it is what you need in order to thrive.