Third installment for 2011 tradition exploration
Continued and Renewed tradition: Religion Expanded - I should note that I have thus far avoided making my religion a regular topic on this blog. I love my religion and believe in the teachings, but that’s not really what this tradition is about, but rather the media through which it is expressed.
I believe the Spirit Is not a static thing, but rather something that responds by growing or shrinking away based on the energy and time invested in it. I often claim in a somewhat sarcastic way that certain rules/phrases are part of my personal religion, but for every time I joke about it, I have a similar moment where I truly believe that my personal spirit responds to such a belief. For instance, in the gospel according to Britt knitting is as important as running and seat belts are as important as music in a car. While my beliefs fit within an existing religious institution I also know it is easy to get lost in a religion by forgetting the basics. The past year I took the opportunity to attend meetings regularly because I was asked to teach for an hour each week. I taught an amazing group of individuals who helped me focus back on some basics. The idea that if something is worthwhile and good it does not have to be labeled for a specific religion. My class had better discussions than I have had in ages and I realized (and hope my class learned) how important love is. My religion should be lived through love, not judgment and negativity and if we can love more people for who they are we can make a bigger difference in their life because we can understand their needs better. When I say difference I don’t mean convert them to my religion, but rather get to know people for who they are. Laugh with them, cry, smile, goof off, and become friends. We can just love them as friends, neighbors and cohabitants of planet earth. That is enough, be friends who talk about everything even religion when appropriate, but we don’t have to always bring up our beliefs because that is weird (no really, weird if you have nothing but religion to talk about).
So this year, I’m feeding my soul, in hopes that I can recognize more good in the people around me and good in more people. More that I love about people and less that drives me crazy. My methods for feeding my spirit are clearly connected to my religion and my upbringing, and I can’t wait. More reading of scriptures, more reading of modern teachings, more sincere prayer and less complaining about the institution that I have chosen (because it is a conscious, and difficult choice to remain part of the religion I grew up in).