Some people don’t like the term God.
Others shiver-me-timbers when they hear Allah.
Maybe you don’t resonate with Spirit, let alone Holy Spirit, let alone Great Spirit.
Or you don’t like Holy. Holy Schmoly, you think.
Do you shake your head when you hear Holy Heart?
Do you think no-no-no when someone says Buddha?
Or good lord NO when Jenny says goddess?
Or please don’t when Joe says Jesus?
What about Creator, supreme being, avatar, deity? (Do these rock your boat?)
Can you resonate with Higher Self with a capital “S” to distinguish the human ego-self with the lower-case “s”?
What about Brahma, Shiva? Jehova, Elohim Yarweh Adonai?
What if you don’t believe in something beyond the human ego and mind and spirit at all?
What if your religion is what’s-happenin’-now?
What if it’s Presence, the power of now, this sacred moment?
What if you want to check the box none-of-the-above?
What if you’re turning off your device and heading off to drink a beer and dive in a cold lake and kiss your baby and who-cares-about-this-holy-shit?
I’m voting to embrace it all, as usual. Yes, yes, yes.
Call the Holy what you will, or say the Holy doesn’t exist–and that’s all OK.
We can talk from where you are right now.
Religious or agnostic or atheist. Yes, no or inbetween.
I’ve gone for days or weeks without talking spirituality with anyone.
It doesn’t matter.
What matters to me is my relationship to what I call Holy. And the Holy shows itself back to me in rainbow colors of belief and disbelief and non-belief. In deeply religious appearances and ordinary everyday washing the dishes, tending the wood stove.
What do you call the Holy? Does anything point you beyond the rational mind and human ego toward something which encompasses, which gestures toward love?
Day 24 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.
All of the above probably suits me best. lol! I’ve been dreaming of goddesses lately, goddesses who beckon me into a deep forest or through portals of some kind. I used to be uncomfortable with pretty much all of it, but have been dropping some of the baggage I used to carry around. I suppose it served a purpose, but now it’s just weight I don’t need. Spirit, Holy, God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Goddess, Shiva, Shakti, Presence. I can’t be sure, but I suspect God doesn’t care too much about names. That may be why we’ve been provided with so many of them. It gives us an opportunity to choose. 🙂
Thank you for another wonderful post, Kathy. I’m heading out to the woods today to visit with the God in the Trees and Forest Floor (or maybe the God of Sunlight and Soft Autumn Breezes).
Robin, I do hope you enjoyed your visit with the God in the Trees and the Forest Floor and maybe even the God in the Ferns and Autumn Leaves. Sounds so lovely. Have thought about your goddess dreams today…maybe it’s that when we use different names for the Holy we get a different feeling-sense of it. Goddess brings a warm feminine energy in, where God brings a more upright feel. Yin and yang maybe. Thank you for sharing here.
I don’t think I call it any one thing. And I don’t like it when someone tries to convince me their way is the only or best way. I don’t talk about my relationship with whatever is out there with anyone, because it feels so personal to me. I think everyone’s relationship is different, and perfect.
Dawn, it can just feel so uncomfortable when folks say there is only one way. That is a challenge for me, too. I love the way you’re accepting of the differences, and that it feels like it’s just something private to hold in your own heart. Thanks for sharing this.
I seldom talk about God or spirituality or religion unless it’s with you or one or two other close friends. I, like Dawn, find my connection to the Holy very personal. Sacred.
As far as how others talk about their belief or deity of choice, I have to confess something that’s not very nice about me. It all depends, for me, on how it’s presented. I cringe at FB posts that say things like “I bet you won’t profess your undying love for Jesus Christ today” or “Let’s see how many are brave enough to share that Jesus died for them, and they’re not ashamed to say so.” Frankly, those kinds of public posts cheapen the Holy, for me. There is implied guilt and manipulation behind the message. Or something. Conversely, if someone straight out posts or says “I love Jesus or Buddha or Trees and I am so grateful for my savior (or whatever),” I think that’s wonderful and I admire the person’s love and dedication. Is there anything sweeter than seeing another’s solid belief and joy in his/her Spirit of choice?
Such an interesting and thought-provoking blog, Kathy. Thank you for this today. Many blessings and lots of love!
I am feeling how sacred and personal this is, Susan. And am honored that you will talk about this with me–thank you–I’ve gained so much from hearing your thoughts and feelings over the years.
As for your “not-niceness”…I appreciate you sharing what challenges you on FB. That feeling of guilt and manipulation can take away from the Holy. But posting without that flavor feels true and lovely. So thank you for sharing that. Glad you enjoyed this. Early in the day I was wondering if anyone would resonate. But the faithful readers came through and shared their thoughts, yay!
I love your Holy Heart! And I think it’s all ok as long as we recognize we are not the end all of everything, there is a creator, a higher being. My son, whose 36 now, was in and out of the hospital a lot in his young years, 17 surgeries before the age of 20! He had an imaginary friend( he called it) and he called him Holy. I loved it! Holy gave him comfort and strength during very difficult times. Of course I felt it was the Holy Spirit, part of the sacred trinity, watching over him during tough times. We are in tough times now for sure, we could all use a little Holy! Thank you for your writings, they are a blessing to me!
I love that his friend was Holy. That is beautiful.
Gay, this is such a beautiful story about your son and his friend named Holy. I cannot imagine having a child go through that many surgeries before age 20. You all have been through a lot. So glad Holy was with him and strengthened him (and maybe all of you) through those rough times. Yes–a little Holy for all of us! And thank you for saying these are a blessing. That means a lot, Gay.
I refuse to do Facebook, so I’m probably not the kind of person to respond here. However, I think your post, Kathy, is well-written and very thought-provoking. I consider myself religious, with a deep faith in the Almighty. I respect others, whether they are Believers or not, and appreciate that dialog (in a loving way, of course) is the best means of coming together to understand one another. My faith is the core of who I am. It’s very personal to me, and I’m not comfortable trying to jam it down somebody else’s throat. Blessings to you today and always!
Debbie, this is a beautiful expression of your faith and I am glad you shared it here. I have felt how your faith informs you since we met–a few weeks ago now? Your willingness to listen and dialog and share and not judge is a balm. Thank you so much for saying this. It makes me happy–and blessings back atcha too!
What do you call the Holy? A great question for which I don’t really have an answer. I tend to call many things Holy, so maybe everything? Or everything positive, empowering, loving? I don’t know, but I do know that I’m not hung up on what anyone calls a higher power, nor am I hung up on whether or not they believe there is a higher power. Must muse further.
Oh good, Ally Bean, we keep inspiring each other to think more. This is a hard question, isn’t it? It looks easy on the surface until you start looking at it deeply…then watch out! By the way, do you remember in one of your blogs when you were talking about new words we might learn? And I said I had learned one but couldn’t remember it? It was chicanery! That was the new word. I’m not sure it’s holy, but maybe it is. Must muse further. 🙂
I do remember your new word that you couldn’t remember. How fun that you remembered it. It means something like trickery, doesn’t it?
I think political trickery or something. And did smile ear-to-ear that the rusty memory actually recalled the word!
My favorite terms are Holy Spirit (which I believe is the divine within us), and Creator (because I believe in something greater than humans). God the Father is a bit scary to me because my earthly father was not so good. Jesus the Son is more relatable, and as the song goes, “Jesus is just all right with me!” He is an example of all the possibilities (that most of us squander). What else? All of the Saints – humans not squandering the possibilities.
Did I leave anything out? Oh yes, what others believe is their deal. The quest for Truth is personal. XOXO
I like the Holy Spirit, too, Stacy. Or any version of Spirit with a capital “S”. And can totally understand how God might be a little traumatizing to you. I remember singing so many Jesus songs in the old days. My whole spiritual journey started from Jesus. (Also, love what you say about the Truth being personal. That is something to remember again and again.)
I notice that most stuff can be perceives as Holy for me – and it depends mostly HOW I look at it. Looking FOR the Holy helps me notice it – since it takes some willingness to stay quiet and present and a will to see beyond surface to essence.
Oh Leelah, I do like reading your thoughts on this. How we look at life can make all the difference. Taking time to quiet our minds and rest in presence can open up so much. Thank you.
Yo Girl, you opened a whole can of worms here! LOL or maybe a whole realm of possibilities!
I was a religious kid growing up, I needed something, God, was what was offered or taught to me. Yet I was more drawn to the “Saints” there was more reality to their presence, their flawed imperfect lives before having a spiritual experience.
Now years later and 31 years of recovery I have heard the word God and spiritual experience more often than not. I have heard stories of so many people not liking the God part, especially when they first come around. To witness men and women get sober, to assist them get out of their own way so that they can allow their Higher Power enter. It is a shift of mind, a letting go of old ideas, old behaviors, being willing to do whatever it takes. Discover what what feels right for each of us.
It’s a whole realm of possibilities.
Yo, Jeff, I’m laughing out loud! Can o’ worms indeed! But I figured that most people who read and comment on this blog are up to the challenge. They wouldn’t still be hanging around if they had issues with this more expansive sense of Holy. Thanks for sharing about the recovery process and how many struggle with the God part. You can really sense when this word just doesn’t resonate with people. There was a time in my life when it didn’t resonate with me, either. Now it feels just as open-hearted as Spirit or Jehovah or Allah or any sincere love of the divine.
I’m cautious when there is only one way or one truth. I see the possibility of many paths. I often turn to Nature for solace and, yes, it does seem holy to me. One thing I’m sure of is I’m not in charge or in control. I’ve given up on that idea. My spiritual journey still seems a work in progress.
Barb, like you I feel that caution or reluctance when people are claiming only one truth. We’re such a wide variety of people populating this planet. The Holy–in my opinion–doesn’t just point to one religious group or one spiritual leaning and only bless it. As for being in control or ever reaching an endpoint–I am less and less certain that will ever happen. It’s the journey, not the destination maybe?
Thank you for sharing this Kathy. 💛
“I’ve gone for days or weeks without talking spirituality with anyone” resonates with me! Although I teach gentle yoga most days via zoom, so I get to share the importance of centering around the heart, recognizing the divine with us all and tending to our mind, body and spirit. Being able to blog about spirituality is a wonderful way to feel connected to a greater community…. yet at the end of the day it is a very personal relationship I have with the Divine, Source, Spirit, and Holy Presence. I can also say the God word now 😉
Val, smiling with you–I am glad you enjoyed this. It is wonderful to be able to blog spiritually, and I am enjoying reading your posts. Even writing every day here, I find it impossible to express some of the depth of what I feel toward/with the Divine, but it’s been interesting to see what comes out from the typing fingers. So nice to be getting to know you some more.
Living in the south, I have mixed feelings about the names. In the land of absolutes, Jesus is the answer and born again, I am careful with my words. I honor the Divine, the Spirit and I pray “May your wish for me come to fruition.” I believe my yoga practice is my daily prayer. I believe that the Divine guides me through desire, creativity and the essence of who I am. I deeply believe I have a purpose and part of that purpose is to notice beauty and experience joy. I enjoy learning about the Divine Feminine. Jesus is just alright with me.
Sarah, isn’t there a song “Jesus is just alright with me?” I enjoyed reading what you’ve shared here about your prayer, your yoga practice, your divine guide. And like what you said about noticing beauty and experiencing joy. Am sitting with that now and thinking about that as a purpose. This has been really fun to hear what all the commenters are expressing about their personal faith. Thank you!
And thank you for writing about spirituality.
This is so much fun, Kathy! Yes, so many names for what is Holy. What IS holy? Oh, you and I could list a hundred things in a minute, couldn’t we? Like nurturing a baby – not much more holy than that. Walking outside in the crunchy leaves. Holy Totally. What is HOLY? L O V E. xo
I am–as always–lovin your enthusiasm, Pam. A hundred holy things a minute! I am suddenly picturing the million stills that make up a movie. Each one a holy snapshot. Also loving your answer to what is holy? LOVE. Amen, sista!
Spirituality comes in so many forms, so it is so individualized – and that’s why I like this post so much. Just because someone is an agnostic doesn’t mean they aren’t spiritual. Surely we all agree that Carl Sagan stood in awe at the creative universe. Just because one is an atheist doesn’t mean they aren’t moved by a spirit when they stood within a glorious cathedral as La Segrata in Barcelona. The list can go on, but you made the point. Yes – I’m Christian – but perhaps what is holy to me also depends on time and place. Great post, Kathy.
And I like your comment so much, Frank! You are so right about how spirituality is individualized and can be expressed and felt in so many different ways. Thank you for sharing this.
This made me think of the Einstein quote; “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
For me, I might change the word “miracle” to “Holy.”
…. One is though nothing is Holy. The other is as though everything is Holy.
To answer your question; I choose the latter.
Wow, this was really powerful to me for so many reasons. First being how insightful it is, it’s like exactly how my soul feels spilled onto the lines in front of me. “Holy” as you said can be what you want it to be and thats a message that I can really feel. So amazing, fantastic job.
Sean, I am so glad this resonated with you. I love your sentence about your soul–that is so beautiful. Thank you very much for pausing to share this.
I don’t know exactly what I call Holy, Kathy. I know I believe in goodness, kindness and love. I know I believe in nature – and as I write the word ‘nature’ it feels like Holy, but is it? I will have to give that some thought. I do believe though that every individual has a different concept of what Holy is to them, which is how it should be.
Joanne, this is quite the musing, isn’t it, to try and figure out what we call Holy. I have pondered this more than once, and sometimes get close to an answer, but maybe “holy” is never meant to be pinned down.
I suspect it’s more a “feeling” that there are no words to describe.
Yes, Joanne, I suspect you are right.
Ahhh, beautiful… thank you, Kathy. I love this pointing towards the Holy, in whatever form we see it. May you find peace and rest in your connection with it.
And also with you, Reggie–as they used to say in my childhood church. Peace be with you. And also with you. ❤
Thank you, Kathy. Hugs!