It’s that time of year again, it seems to come around quicker the older I get, or maybe that’s because the children are getting older and going for bigger presents, its more expensive than ever before.
Well 2018 has been the most challenging year for me health wise, having to stop volunteering in March was so devastating, I do hope to return but we will see. Being more confined to the house has had one major positive, I have been concentrating on me, not my ego but my soul and mind. Learning how to turn my constant worrying into meditating on my thoughts, understanding that my worries are formed by where in my life I was (mentally) when events happened. A worry is heightened when I can’t see that the circumstances surrounding it are relevant, also knowing the way I see myself in that particular is so different to how others see it.
Its amazing how much easier it is to prepare yourself to be spiritual by understanding a bit more about self, after all, how I think and speak is what defines me to those I communicate with. The most important part of this spiritual growth is ultimately becoming open minded to a whole new level, open-minded about myself and open minded about others.
With the word ‘religion’, there comes this expectation of singlemindedness, an idea that you see those who conform to the belief you have as being the elite. Its like a huge wall that people fear going near in case they cause offence or maybe be rejected. The sad thing is there are very good reasons for these thoughts, they are not just thoughts, they stem from actual experiences of exclusion and where there are experiences, there are stories of these experiences passed to others. For someone to say they’d rather not know or discuss this subject is far from surprising. I really do feel that more and more people are becoming radicalised by religion as a whole, antisemitism and anti-Islam stories hit the news too often, religion is causing more division, even those who don’t believe in any particular religion are using the religion of other to give an excuse for hate. People excluding others for lack of belief is also not right, to teach exclusion is never a good thing. Year’s ago, when I was young, we were taught to respect elders, respect other people, not to stare or taunt people for being different and if we didn’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. I was fortunate to have parents where religion wasn’t a main thing in family life so I knew this respect rule wasn’t exclusive, everyone should be treated well. I do think that this was the same for religious families as well.
The truth is that you don’t need to belong to any religion to be a good person, but that also works the other way, not everyone belonging to a religious organisation is a good person. We control our own choices and if we do bad stuff there are consequences which in some circumstances should last A lifetime or longer.
Anyhow, here I am going off track again, always happens but those close to me know that I talk too much, after 2018 I just feel there is so much to say.
So again there is a nice Christmas tree up in our living room, kids are making chocolate truffles tomorrow to give as presents and I feel at even more peace about why I still do Christmas with the family. It still does have meaning although I don’t fall into the category of being a Christian, it symbolises that I do believe it is highly possible a man was born in extraordinary circumstances and did a lot of amazing stuff. He tried to tell people to quit judging outcasts, to love everyone, no exceptions and that sod religion that’s irrelevant in helping others (see the good Samaritan parable). He taught some pretty epic stuff so enjoying Christmas is not at all a festival unique to Christians, this festival is about a belief not just a religion. It’s all from keeping the mind that little bit more open, allowing yourself to accept your own understanding of things. I may identify as Hindu, believe deeply in the key beliefs of Hinduism but I’m also a human building knowledge and love. Hinduism is how I live and Christianity is how my children live and are building their esteem, morals and understanding, with my support. They are open to other religions in a way that’s mature and accepting and no matter where future choices take them it is important they know that being different is something to embrace because it is that which builds understanding.
If what you believe makes you love yourself more, understand yourself, gives compassion for others, creates smiles and most important gives you every reason to love and none to hate, you really are on the right track.
Happy Holidays All