Victoria here! Peace be with all of you in these distressing times. But I’m glad you stopped in to check out the second blog of the May series. If spiritual talk makes you uncomfortable, I used to be atheist so you never know where you will end up.
Anyway, without further ado here it is.~
The benefits of having a spiritual practice
Often, when I remember I pray an Our Father to God for His will to be done before I decide what to do next. It helps. Christ before me, Christ around me, Christ above me, Christ in all things be His Glory.
I used to be an atheist many years ago. It was the emptiest time of my life. I took off to New York City when I was 18 to become a famous actress/singer. Well I was too busy panhandling, doing drugs, squatting in an abandoned apartment building, and God knows what else. I came back after one winter there, broken. I started rehab with my parents help and started going to NA meetings. This is where I found God, or He found me. God is not lost; we are.
So I took very seriously the steps of this program. I was asked in my recovery to find a higher power that was greater than myself. Well, I was compliant and one day I was at the beach and I chose the ocean because of its vastness, power and beauty.
A few days later it struck me that something had made that ocean. I came to believe in God that easy. Later, I accepted Jesus in my heart as my personal Lord and Savior and eventually reverted back to the Catholic Church my childhood religion which I practiced for 20 years. I became attracted to the teachings of the Buddha although I am not Buddhist. The open teachings of the Buddha took me on my continued spiritual path. I’m not sure what I am now, but believe it doesn’t matter. I do believe in Christ and much of the wisdom of Buddha and do still consider myself a Catholic although not practicing.
My favorite saying by the Buddha is to “Do no harm”. And I try to live by that principle.
I am going to share with you my very personal spiritual practice. I used to be way more religious prior to receiving the gift of schizophrenia in 2006 and then for a year and a half when I was psychotic and thought I was receiving messages from God.
Then nothingness… for many years. The meds stopped it all, the voices and messages. Emptiness, silence, and peace at last from the demanding messages. It was a bittersweet period for several reasons. But eventually I wrote a book, which is no longer available, about some of my spiritual beliefs. I do have a few copies if anyone wants one though.
It is called, “Loving God, suffering and being in His will for all”. It is a blend of my first book and has a book in it. I’m complicated with no apologies though because at the time I felt inspired by God to write and finish it and it took a lot of years to do so.
We have a thousand and one choices every day and if I don’t take care of my spirit, all else doesn’t matter. If I do a good deed, I try to keep it quiet only sharing when I hope it will inspire others to think of other people as well. There is just so much need right now and we can’t do it without the power from above, under and around us. Can’t see the wind but it’s there. Same with God. I can’t feel Him but believe in His loving presence in every aspect of my life.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
I start my day with prayer, Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. Then I read the Church teachings. I meditate throughout the day and offer up all my suffering to God . I pray my rosary at least a few decades daily and love the Memore.
I think the point I want to get across is that whatever your belief system it is good to have a routine of some sort. Starting my day with prayer enables me to look up to heaven and place my requests before God for the day. But your routine might not look anything like that.
Some sort of Higher Power, without sounding too NA, in your life will really help you to take care of your spirit.
For those non-believers who have made it this far, God only knows your reasons for not believing in Him or something greater than yourself, don’t fret. Stressing will not lead you down a good path. Just relax and offer up an intention in the wind for some sort of belief in the unknown.
Only when we die will we know the truth and I don’t believe it stops there but I will repeat what I have heard many times in my life. I would rather err on the side of caution and if the day I die there is nothing everlasting it won’t matter but if I do believe in something then wham! life everlasting in heaven, nirvana or endless bliss for all our suffering on earth and despite our misdeeds will be rewarded for an act of kindness. So go do one good deed and let your intention be to believe in something, anything.
I don’t always have faith but I believe despite how I feel.
Many people with Schizophrenia suffer from religious obsession; but then can’t connect with God once on medication. I feel for you and I have no answers beyond that although we do not know why this has happened to us, it has and many people have it worse. If you are reading this blog and are in this category start with yoga and meditation, which is the next topic in this series. Relax and take it easy. Don’t be hard on God for He gives to those He loves the most the hardest sufferings and having Schizophrenia is indeed a huge suffering.
Where I feel I could improve is to do my chores with an intention while doing them, or to remember to set one before starting long or short mundane tasks.
Peace be with you, in Christ,