Our connection with the Divine or whatever face or name we give God is very personal. It is an intimate relationship. And we human beings, being we human beings, see and experience the divine in a multitude of ways.
I don’t know about you, but I see and sense the Divine in many places – the tiny fingers, toes, and ears of a newborn, a sunset over the ocean, in the face of a loved one, trees, always trees, and those eye-welling moments of compassion and gratitude when I am witness to something much grander than myself. I guess you can say that my version of God is pretty much everywhere. This may or may not be the norm for you.
I believe in saints, angels, ancestors, and the Other Realms. The older I get, the more multi-dimensional I become in my outlook. I think many things are possible. I am keen on the world of energy and that is tied up with my idea of the Divine as a high-vibratory Being, who, in my book, is all about love.
For me, the spiritual life is as much a part of my reality as the desk at which I sit and the computer upon which I type. My spirituality is an active connection with the Divine. It gives my life more depth and greater meaning. It helps me to make sense of my life from a big picture perspective.
My spirituality is about being a good person. I am with the Dalai Lama who says, “My religion is kindness.” Moreover, I want to act with integrity, remain open to non-physical dimensions, experience again and again that we are all connected, honor and allow what is before me in the present moment, operate from an open heart, and heed the whispers of my soul.
Needless to say, this requires my attention and takes conscious awareness. They are days when I struggle with my crabbiness, critical nature and snarky thoughts. I am lucky if I remember to bow my head in gratitude and say thank you. But, like most of us, I endeavor to be the best version of myself that I can be with each day gifted to me. And I understand and accept — like Don Miguel Ruiz taught us in The Four Agreements — that “our best” can vary from day to day given the vagaries life and who-knows-what circumstances.
And that Best Self has evolved through my sense of spirituality, which, for me, is essentially all about the heart, which means variations of love such as compassion, acceptance, mercy, caring, kindness, generosity of spirit, forgiveness, service, tenderness and, even, on occasion, keeping my mouth shut,
The late, great cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien outlined a wonderful way of looking at the heart through a shamanic and cross-cultural perspective in her book, The Fourfold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer and Visionary. She posed these four questions:
- Is my heart full?
- Is my heart clear?
- Is my heart strong?
- Is my heart open?
She encouraged us to ask ourselves:
Where am I half-hearted rather than full-hearted?
Closed-hearted rather than open-hearted?
Weak-hearted rather than strong-hearted?
Confused or doubting in my heart rather than clear-hearted?
Arrien’s thoughts are wise, profound, seemingly simple and most inclusive. These questions and the attendant actions resonate mightily for me and serve as an excellent outline as I consider the path of my heart and the direction of my spirituality.
I figure the closer I get to an open, full, strong and clear heart, the happier I am as a human being and the closer I get to the Divine.