By Meilena Hauslendale
There are so many differences in our world. Our cultures are different. Our languages are different. And our beliefs are different. We come in different shapes and sizes. We each have personal differences and ideals that allow us to identify who we are and what we contribute to our societal makeup. Each one of us is an intricate part of the whole. Our differences allow us to complete all the functions that are required for our world to run smoothly. However these differences are not always applauded for their greatness. Instead they are used to continue our separation.
We use these differences as excuses to not pursue unification. We use them to divide, not conquer. Even the realms of religions have at some point divided us instead of uniting us. Perhaps what is missing is the pursuit of spiritual tolerance, a belief that allows us to tolerate others' religions, race, or creed by simply focusing on our own spiritual identity. After all, our experiences of spirituality are personal. Even though our environment and encounters influence our direction, it is up to us to decipher what path we choose to take. We can choose to recognize our path or we can choose to avoid it. Some paths lead to spiritual groups and some lead to individual practice. Some people may identify with particular religious beliefs and some may choose to establish their own belief or practice.
As long as the goal is for a universal goodness, the belief or practice is of worth. Whatever road allows you to acquire your spiritual identity, travel. Whatever practice allows you a tranquil mind, then by all means succumb to your intuition. If we stop to listen and address what we feel is right and proper, then we are addressing our own spiritual identity. We need not cling to a practice or belief simply because we were born into it.
We can create our own beliefs and therefore our own identities. Our beliefs would naturally be different as all of our experiences in life are different. No one individual has had the exact same life as the other. Sure we have similarities, but our journeys are really quite individually mapped. It would be only natural for us to develop our own concepts and pursuits based on our experiences.
Spirituality is not a matter of force or inheritance. It is a matter of the seeker pursuing a higher understanding of themselves and the world around them. Spirituality is what we acquire when we stop and take a moment to realize a universal greatness is at work here. This universal greatness does not separate us, but unites us as whole. This universal energy relies on all of us despite our religions, beliefs, culture, or language. It is the core of our identity. It is the makeup of our existence.
Some long for the camaraderie of group belief structures and that is quite acceptable. However, do not allow the group conscience to overcome your own. You still have the responsibility to identify yourself and your own nature. A group may assist you in self realization, but they do not govern your own intuition unless you allow them to do so. Pay attention to yourself. If something doesn't feel right or comfortable then chances are your intuition is right.
Don't be afraid to develop your faith and practice it on your own. If you feel comfortable with this concept then it is for you. If you need guidance or others with similar lines of faith then a group may be more suitable. Allow your spiritual practice to go where it needs to. You will eventually settle into a foundation that will continue to grow and develop throughout the years.
The beauty of spirituality is it allows us to define and focus on our roles in our society. We no longer need to focus on what we feel is right for others as that is not our responsibility. When we focus on our own spiritual goals and attainments, we are doing a great service because we are essentially allowing others to do the same.