How I Found God
One thing I need to say, I am the last person you would expect to write this. I had grown up without any religion what so ever. My parents were Catholic and my mom even went to an all girls Catholic High school and College. My parents were virgins when they got married at the ripe age of 21 and even taught marriage counseling classes at their church (which is kind of ironic since they ended up divorcing after 15 years of marriage and six kids to boot). I was the youngest at 18 months old when my parents divorced and it was at this time spirituality was replaced by reality. Raising 6 kids on her own, my mom had barely enough time to think let alone go to church. Divorce was also a complete no-no, so Catholicism was out of the question.
Growing up I found I ran away from anyone who preached anything about "God" or "Jesus". I saw these people as being somewhat delusional and out of touch with reality. I went along with the scientific approach and couldn't believe anyone could think anything differently. Creationism was an interesting story at best. I preferred to think we came from monkey's.
I did however believe in more of the eastern philosophies such as Taoism and Buddhism. In my high school years when the going got rough, I found solace in these teachings and wound spend many a day by the creek by our apartment appreciating nature and breathing it all in.
The years went by and spirituality was not even a part of my vocabulary. Then came my divorce. Elizabeth Gilbert, the New York Times best selling author of "Eat, Pray, Love" had a similar experience as I did when she divorced. When she hit rock bottom, or the bathroom floor at 3am, it was here that she prayed to God, even though she had not done this before. Mine wasn't a bathroom floor, but my meditation bench. It was here I started to feel something so big inside of me, I knew only one thing... I need to find out more!
My hunger for spirituality became insatiable. I had this feeling in me that felt like a little tiny door, similar to that in Alice in Wonderland. And through that door I knew there was something so magical I felt like a bug being sucked into the light smiling ear to ear along the way. I still didn't know what to call it, but it was then that my searching began.
I went to Buddhist temples, thinking that was it. But in truth it didn't feel right. I read book after book on spirituality and finally come across one that said something so profound and right it finally made me believe in God. All it said was God is in all of us. "He" wasn't something outside of us, rather a part of us.
Now, this made perfect sense! I still found I tiptoed with this new idea, since again, I had been a non-believer all my life and still held onto my scientific ways. The interesting thing is when the doors open, the Universe finds ways to help you walk through.
So, here I was at my gym, the same one I have been regularly going to for several years, sitting on the same bench that I have sat on hundreds of times. As I lay there between sets I look out the window and my gaze went directly to the church across the street. It made me pause in wonder and quite frankly took my breath away. I had never even noticed this church before! I felt a jolt go through my body, not painful, but rather one of pure love. It was then that I knew there was a God.
I have now come to realize in every part of my being that yes, I do believe in God. God to me is pure love. Whenever I want to feel "Him" all I have to do is ask, close my eyes and breathe. I often find myself come to tears because the love is just so powerful. Like a warm river of light permeating through my body, helping me know without any doubt what so ever, that the God I was searching for was in me all along.
I now feel God in everything I do. I feel "Him" in the trees; in the laughter of my kids; of my patients eyes when we connect on this wave of pure love. I feel "Him" when I stop to listen to the rain dancing on my roof or when I take my sandals off and feel the grass between my toes on a warm summer day.
I feel "Him" in everything. And when I don't, because sometimes I won't, all I have to do is breathe... and there "He" is.
The message to this blog is to encourage you to keep searching. Life is so much richer when we know we are not alone. My happiness has exceeded levels I thought possible. I owe this to my connection with God, truly. In fact my nephew recently went to Ghana, Africa and he said they were the happiest people he ever met. He asked them why they were so happy. You know what they said? It's because they have faith in God. Plain and simple. I second that!