Interestingly I have been hesitant about using the word “God” in my writing preferring the “Universe” or the “Divine” as more neutral and politically correct. I respect that not everyone chooses to believe in a God or Gods, and for that reason I always try to tread lightly around the subject. However, to paraphrase Carl Jung, “I don’t believe, I know.”
Rolling Around Heaven
That declaration was strengthened exponentially this week after reading a book that has provided me a life-changing perspective on the Holy Spirit. That book (Roll Around Heaven)* deserves its own post which I will devise in good time. But, right now my attention is firmly-focused on the political hell that is the road to the 2012 election. What does that have to do with God you ask? Good question!
Politics Make Me Sad 🙁
I must start by saying I don’t consider myself political – although I have been known to get into some pretty heated debates with Republican friends. Not to sound self-righteous, but I don’t associate with politics per se, but rather consider myself to be ethical and focused on my own overarching policies such as the Golden Rule and the medical imperative “first do no harm.” I believe that everyone has the right to believe what they wish as long as their beliefs do not hurt others. I also believe in the words of Gandhi, “there is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed” which in short means the rich should not in good conscience continue to amass wealth on the backs of others without considering the very people who helped them succeed – the worker bees who weren’t born with silver spoons in their mouths. I can already hear one of my pals screaming, “Socialist!” and that is alright by me, because I would much rather be that than “Elitist.” When politicians own multiple homes and make boatloads of money by selling off companies and cutting American jobs I find myself ill when they have the nerve to bring up “God” – which is exactly what has riled me to the point of finally sharing my God’s honest truth about the holy one.
TJ Knows Best
Last night as I was getting my daily news from John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, the only news people I can stand to listen too, I saw clips of Romney slamming the Democrats for removing “God” from their platform this year. In spite of my recent God revelations I was 100% in favor of such removal and for the reason why I will allow my pal Thomas Jefferson, you know one of the Founding Fathers, to do the talking:
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.**”
And, as a former Rhode Islander who is privy to the birth of that state (thanks to one heck of a history professor, Brad Smith) I will go on to remind Romney and any other suddenly holier-than-thou politicians that Jefferson wasn’t alone in his belief of religion and politics not mixing. Roger Williams, the father of RI, left Massachusetts to escape religious persecution. In fact, the whole theme of religious freedom was pretty big with the founders of this country, but somehow that notion has been forgotten. Which is of course why there are laws prohibiting many people from marrying who their heart desires, and what goes on in a woman’s body is free reign for political discourse. Sigh. If putting “God” into a speech would change all this I would be totally on board, but alas, it won’t so I defer to keeping things separate. I can scream “Praise God” from the roof tops, and you can too, but our politicians they should really be more concerned with finding solutions to pressing issues like the many working Americans who are not able to feed their children – don’t cha think?
The God I Understand
So, that was a bit of a rant I know, but one that I had to get out of the way before I share with you just why I think God would agree with my assessment of this situation. For one, the God I know is filled with light, love and a pretty good sense of humor. He or she would not be in the middle of a political mud-slinging, and I believe, would also not want to even be part of the political process as it is a dirty and unseemly business that doesn’t really fit with the “love thy neighbor” positivity that God is known for. How do I know all this? I can’t really explain it, but reading the aforementioned book this week gave me much confirmation for what I have always inherently felt, that all things happen for a reason and God is orchestrating it all for our good so if for some reason “God” was left out of the DNC platform he/she may just have had a hand in it.
Giving it to God
As with so many people, I first felt the presence of God when I was at my rock bottom. I had come to the realization that I had a third autoimmune disease, my family had moved away from my childhood home, and I was in a horrible job where I worried weekly that my paycheck was going to bounce. In addition, a close family member was beginning the slow descent into Alzheimer’s disease. That all added up to such severe anxiety that I was nauseous nearly every waking minute. I felt so ill that I didn’t want to leave the house. Yet, I had just received a call from my parents who were wrapping up a month-long trip to New England. My Dad had requested that my husband and I meet them for lunch in Massachusetts an hour’s drive away. I just couldn’t say “no.”
It seems so sad in retrospect that I approached a meeting that I desperately wanted to attend with such anguish. I remember getting into the shower and letting the warm water soothe me as I got myself ready. Somehow I think God often finds me in the shower because that is where I tend to have the deepest thoughts and personal epiphanies.
That morning I didn’t realize that I was talking to God, but I was muttering to myself little mantras, “You can do this. You will be fine. Love is with you.” Once in the car, the muttering escalated. I could feel myself slipping into a state of panic that would normally have led me to ask my husband to turn the car around, but I wouldn’t give in! I suddenly closed my eyes, put my open hands on my lap in a position I learned from yoga symbolized receptivity, and began to say to myself “Give it God.” Over and over again, “Give it to God. He can take it from you. He will carry you. You are safe.” I kept this to myself knowing that my husband (an atheist) would find it strange. Within minutes I was totally fine. In fact I felt great. The anxiety passed as quickly as it came and suddenly I was feeling really empowered. When we finally met up with my parents I was overflowing with joy and I’m sure they felt it as well. We had a wonderful lunch together and I was perfectly content saying “Good Bye” that afternoon because I could feel that my connection with them had nothing to do with their physical presence. They were with me all the time, as was this newfound God.
The Bottom Line
This is just one example of feeling the lifting presence of a higher power. I have had so many more in the past couple of years that I can barely keep track. But, the bottom line on these experiences is that I own them as mine and mine alone. I share them only in hopes of making a point or possibly uplifting a reader, but they are deeply personal and I cherish them as such. You too can have your own beliefs and your own personal relationship with God. But, what we both don’t need are any politicians getting in our way.
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**Quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state