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Spirituality

July 26, 2021

Choosing my religion

Many women find their faith early in life. Perhaps they grew up in a

household where going to church every Sunday was a part of life. It was

expected and dutifully followed. In many ways, I feel that they are lucky

to have a foundation for their faith. It is much easier to keep on the

same traditions you had in your family or the conviction that you want

something different.

When we start our own families, we face having to

adapt to our spouse’s faith or have them adapt to ours. Often this issue

is kept under wraps until they start having children. I know

that I was not baptized due to my Father being a catholic and my Mother

was a protestant. Their brilliant solution was not to baptize me at

all. Therefore, my Mother would have us hop from one Christian

religion to another.

My faith is better than your faith.

This system seemed to work okay until I got to high school. For the first

time in my life, I was enrolled in a catholic school. I was not brought up

in this way like most of my schoolmates. They already know how to

work the system, and I clearly did not. On the first day of school in my

religion class, the teacher asked each girl to introduce them and

announce proudly what religion she was baptized in. I was in one of the

last rows, and this had me absolutely terrified. Everyone girl in the

room was baptized! This was my nightmare come to life; I was sweating

by the time she got to my row. When it was my turn, I mumbled my

name and that I was indeed not baptized. I did this in such a quiet

manner that only a handful of girls around several and me heard

gasped. This did not bolster my confidence. Finally, on the third

attempt, which was actually audible, the teacher, who of course was a

nun, dropped her jaw and asked me to repeat it as if she heard the

angels in heaven gasping for air, too.

She asked me to stay after class because she needed to speak to me. I

knew from the reaction of the entire class that I was in big trouble. In

much trepidation, I approached her desk, and she asked me if I lived in a

town about 45 minutes away and rode the bus to and from school, and I

replied yes, that I did. She then told me that since I wasn’t

baptized, if the bus crashed and I died, I would go to hell.

This traumatized me for years to come. My parents tried to calm me

down and defend their actions by saying they didn’t baptize me because

they couldn’t agree and thought it would be best to let me decide when I

was old enough. Perhaps this is why I went to every church in town

growing up, so I could pick one.

Sometimes religion is not enough.

Needless to say, when I got married, I was easily adopted by my

husband’s religion. I just needed a stable foundation for my future

children. I would not put them through what I went through as a child

and young adult. So when our first daughter was baptized, I was

baptized right along with her. I can’t say that I felt much different, but it

was still a right of passage that I needed to do, just in case.

But the reality was that I have always been very spiritual and not very

religious. There are several reasons for this, including that I have

spiritual gifts and have this sense of knowing that I can’t explain, nor do I

know where it comes from. There were many years of me seeking

answers through different spiritual classes and experiences.

As women raising families, we all have the sense of responsibility to give

our children a good religious foundation. It is up to them when they are

adults to carry on with the family traditions or to discover their own

faith, either way, we have done our job.

Finding more in spiritualism

But what happens to our faith when we become what I call “women in

full bloom”? I coined this term for women who are finally putting

themselves first, healing from the past, and rediscovering who they are

and what really they want. We are no longer are a mentor for our

children and their faith. Most of us are now divorced or widowed, and

let’s face it. We have bruises and scars from the wonderful journey called

life. None of us get to this age or season in life without losing,

disappointment, grief, and pain, whether physical or emotional.

So what becomes of our faith? We start to look for

answers to the many questions we have formed from what we’ve

experienced in life for many of us. Perhaps our faith has been pushed to the limit, or we

have lost it completely. For me, traditional religion has never brought

me these answers, and trust me, I have had many. It is at this time in life

that many of us turn to spirituality. There are many reasons for this and

perhaps as we get closer to death realize that the time is now or never.

Seeking answers and renewing one’s faith at this time of life is

incredibly healing and empowering. Seeing your life and life for

everyone at a higher level brings comfort and meaning. When we were

younger and busy raising kids, working, maintaining a marriage, there

wasn’t time to turn within and make space for our spiritual practices.

This process can start with just meditating for 10 minutes a day. Just

quieting the mind and feeling grounded can be incredibly restorative. It

is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Real healing starts from within

, and being introspective will bring about answers that you have longed

for. Being still and focusing on what is going on in your

body will bring about a release of past hurt and bring about emotional

healing.

Choosing to continue to bloom

As “Women in FULL bloom,” we are aware even at our age that we are

continuing to bloom, which means our petals are fully open, exposing our

glorious centers to the world. It takes years and years of love, joy,

passion, heartbreak, disappointment, and loss to finally bloom fully. We

are survivors and have the courage and wisdom to be fully open and

expose our true selves. Embrace your spirituality and experience the

wonder of self-love and acceptance. It is the greatest gift you can give

yourself.

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Aging gracefully

relationships

spirituality

mental health

Categories

Reading suggestions

Embracing Our Age

 Spiritual Practices

Healing From Within