Gaining One’s Definition (G.O.D)
I am being harassed and pressured to write by 2 people who shall remain nameless or not. Hey Edith and Elita. Happy now? Both E’s. Surely there is a story here. I’ll explore it one day.
I have had discussions over the years and most recently with philosophical, lover of history Warrior about religion. He studies it in depth so he can go on and on for days about its origins and meaning while I am content with my UCZ (United Church of Zambia) and Fatima Girls Catholic School Religious Education class fundamental teachings. We both agreed that Catholics have a high level of no judgment zone compared to most. My Religious Ed class taught me about Catholic Saints, the Prophet Mohammad, Buddha, Gandhi and Jesus. It was never about how their way was right and everyone else was wrong and doomed. I’ll forever appreciate them for that.
I got it early that the world was huge and it was not all Christian. I refuse to believe that only the percentage that believes in Jesus are right and the very large number of people on the planet that don’t are the worst. That would be like saying white people are right and everyone that is not white is wrong. Or if you are born male or straight you’re right while whoever isn’t is wrong. I just don’t roll like that, never have and never will. So it’s no wonder I align myself with like-minded people and do my best to stay away from the separatists.
Something else I’ve always known is that we are all out here holding on to something. We all have a North Star that is our compass. Our North Star is whatever we choose it to be. We evolve of course so we may try several north stars but eventually we center into that one something hold us, sustains us, makes us, well, us. The North Star’s purpose is to guide.
Some people call this religion. Others call it spirituality and others call it the universe. I’m sure somebody somewhere calls it bubble bath and calming white candles. Hey, call it what you may. It is your North Star. It further came together for me when I heard Common refer to it as Gaining One’s Definition (G.O.D). I’m not certain if he coined this or got it from someone but it was all the Aha! I needed when I first heard it. It’ all about what it means to you. That is why I don’t waste my time trying to convince people into things. You can have come to your conclusion in your own way, I know this full heartedly.
I’ve had my own religious life cycle. My own spiritual awareness phases, my own experiments. I had to go through all of that to get to where I am now. Funny, I’m exactly back to where I began but with a much deeper and fulfilling understanding of it all. I went to Church every Sunday with my family and learned about Noah and the Ark, Joseph and his brothers, Jonah and the while, and little 8 lb. Jesus born in a manger. All of that and the bright color books or sketches we acted out satisfied my under 10 year old understanding. Then I moved into the more practical in my teen years and saw religion in action more at the Catholic boarding school I attended from age 12 to 17. This is where I first felt God and thought, “So this is what all this is about.” I chose to get confirmed since I’d been baptized as a child already. Confirmation to me meant I was walking into this with both eyes open and ready to be this new person everyone wrote books and sang about. I was so disappointed to not have seen the bright light coupled with the puffy white cloud once it was said and done. I remember thinking, “I took weeks of classes and did all this and that was it?”
My 20’s were full of confusion and anger towards the whole thing. It started off with growing pains and hated being on my own at such an early age. I hated navigating a new land and making big decisions on my own. Couple this with seeing people for who they really are wounded my tender spirit. I couldn’t believe that God made people who were this evil and insincere. I had my own Captain Dan on the boat moment (Forest Gump for those of you not in the know. I speak in song lyric and movies) and screamed out WHY at God then decided to just to leave people and God alone and simply go about my business.
I explored too. I went to Buddhist service and got to chanting. I went to the Mosque. I checked them both off the list. Then at about 33 I started drowning fast and none of the life jackets thrown at me would fit. Although my North Star was still there with me all along, I felt out of touch and seldom wrote in my journal and prayed. I just couldn’t do Church. In my mind that made me null and void to this whole God thing. Each time I attended Church it was with an eyebrow raised. I always felt like the off one out. I never had my Amen ready with everyone else. And when they danced and got their shout on, all I wondered was when it would be over. When they fell out and were filled by the Holy Spirit, I rolled my eyes and wondered how this thing always missed me and why I felt nothing. So I stayed home. If I was going to be in Church wondering what was on my DVR, then I needed to stay home and watch my DVR.
33 was a pivotal age for me. I got tired of feeling tired and crying all the time. My life fell all the way apart. I came undone and was left bare and exposed. The mask was off. My happy picket fence life gone. All I had was 2 pairs of brown eyes staring at me and waiting for my next move. I needed peace in my life. I needed my happiness back. I couldn’t figure out where it went but I knew that this was not life how it was intended and like Mahogany, I had to go get my man or happiness back. And I knew exactly where I had to go to start the process; right back to Church. So I went with my family weekly. Right back to basics. And slowly I was rebuilt. Piece by piece, I came back to peace. God was with me and I felt His presence again. I even had an encounter with Him. That was in 2010.
It’s been a process. The biggest mistake we make is to think that we have it all figured out. This journey is never ending. It goes on and on. We experience highs and lows. I love looking back because I not only see my maturity in age but I see my spiritual maturity as well. Two weeks ago I was given some news that would have left me on the floor years ago. I literally would have checked out for at least a week and spent it under my covers. A year ago I would have still freaked out but maybe for two days. Six months ago, maybe two hours. Two weeks ago, my level of freak-out-ness was at zero. Seriously, zero! I was so calm and collected.
Know why? My level of knowing that God’s come-through-ed-ness exceeds every freak out session in me. I seriously went about my day, thanked God for all my experiences and straight chilled. Wanna know what happened next? Within days, two days to be exact, He came through and it was handled! I know not to pray and worry anymore. It doesn’t work. I know for sure to simply rest on all God stands on and believe what He says to be true. Nothing else matters. I live in peace fully resting upon that. Life is beautiful. I thank God for my journey.