This week: Spiritual StrugglesEdited by: Kittiara
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Are you struggling with spiritual questions? Searching for answers? Don't worry! You are not alone.
This week's Spiritual Newsletter is all about our quest for the unknown and, possibly, the unknowable.
Have you ever experienced a spiritual struggle? If so, you are not alone. It’s quite normal to doubt. Quite normal to question. Quite normal to search for answers.
I grew up in a Christian household. My grandmother was a member of the Salvation Army (and a member of the choir). My great-aunt and great-uncle were members of a different branch. My grandfather was the leader of a Christian church that’s akin to the Salvation Army. My ancestors form a long line of Protestant church leaders. My aunt and my cousins are members of the Catholic church.
I went to a Christian primary school. Several of the kids in my class came from different faiths – Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu. It was never a problem. We were interested in each other’s religious festivals and practices.
It was later in life when I began to question my faith. Or, not my faith in God, but in organised religion. I have always had a questioning mind. Even as I child I asked where God comes from, and the answer that He is eternal did not make sense to me, just as I always wondered what’s outside the universe, and what’s outside of that, as everything has to have limits, and an end and a beginning. Within organised religion, questions of that kind weren’t always well-received.
It’s probably no wonder that I ended up studying Philosophy. I have the type of mind that’s always busy, always searching, always wanting to know the unknown, and possibly the unknowable. Through my studies, however, I have met many different people from many different disciplines and many different spiritual paths who have struggled, too. There people varied in age and in their ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Perhaps everyone’s searching for the truth, to a greater or lesser extent.
Some of these people left their faith. Some became atheist, or agnostic. Some joined a different faith. Others stuck to the faith they grew up in, and in some cases their questioning of what they knew, and their search for answers actually led to a stronger faith than they had before.
It is good to question, I believe. I know that not everyone agrees with me – you may well strongly disagree – but what value is there in that which doesn’t stand up to scrutiny? My grandfather was once like I am now, and he found the answers that he was looking for. That’s what made him a good church leader, someone who helped many others. I remain hopeful that, one day, I will find the answers that I am looking for.
I realise that I may not find all the answers. There may well be things that will, indeed, remain unknowable. I am okay with that, just as I believe that God is fine with my many questions – He’s the one who gave me such a questioning mind, after all.
I am fascinated by the world around me, and by the universe. There is so much that we don’t yet know. Humanity keeps on learning. Sometimes we end up on the wrong track but that, too, is knowledge, even if it is knowledge about what not to do – what to avoid. Who knows what we will know in ten years’ time, or in a hundred. Over the past 100 years we’ve made it into space! Life now is very different to what it was then. It will no doubt be very different again in the next century.
As we learn, our understanding of the world around us grows, as does our understanding of each other. We’re not there yet. Not by a long shot. I remain hopeful that one day we will have lasting peace. That we will live in harmony with each other, and with everything around us. I guess I dream big.
Maybe, when that time comes, we will learn which religion was correct. Maybe we will learn that all religions and faiths were correct in their own way. I don’t know what we will find. Maybe it doesn’t truly matter.
What matters, right here, right now, is how we live within our faith, always learning, always growing, until we find ourselves in a place that we are comfortable with. Though I reckon that as with anything in life, we’ll carry on learning. The difference is that we’ll be doing so with our hearts and souls at peace.
Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, I wish you well. May you found all that you are searching for.
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