Following a spiritual path feels a little tight lately. I’m feeling like it’s just another way to help me be right; like this’s the way to be if you want to be good, or successful, or whatever.
I’ve taken it all a little too seriously, I admit, and now I’m ready to have more fun. And I really think it’s the fun; the rich, passionate, spine-tingling life that we’re after, not a right way to do it. I was baptized Catholic. I grew up in an Italian-Catholic family and followed my grandmother to church on Easter and Christmas. The family members who were supposed to make sure I did more than that never did and so I wasn’t forced into my first communion or regular church. The me today, thanks them.
Over the years I’ve felt religion to be too constricting; a way for a group of people to make certain rules and get other people to follow them.
A way to say one way is right and another is wrong.
And so I never fell into that trap. There are just too many people on the planet and too many possibilities for how to live to buy into one way. My spirit has always climbed the walls of those prison cells and clamored for freedom.
Naturally, I gravitated to spirituality vs. religion. But now I’m realizing that even “being spiritual” has its walls. And the place I’m in right now – this soul-speaking, life-loving, star-gazing, sunrise-devouring place? There are no walls here. I love that. I love staring at the moon and praying for empowerment and breaking all the rules during the day.
Rebel? Yes. Irresponsible? Possibly. But who would I be responsible to if there were nobody driving the bus of my life? Me and only me. As soon as I label it, its definition and rules start to grow like a weed. Sooner or later I feel strangled by the very thing that was supposed to make me feel free.
So instead of following a spiritual path I’ve decided to follow what makes me laugh until I cry, and feel things I’ve never felt before. That’s spiritual maybe, but to me, it’s just living fiercely alive. Awareness is spiritual, but religious people are aware (maybe). Instead of labeling any part of my life as a way to be, I’ve decided that feeling every part of my life might be more fun, and productive.
When you decide to show up and feel all the stuff of your life it becomes tantalizingly alive, ripe with color, taste, and texture. Vibrating with sound. It elevates you to a level of aliveness that you’ll have trouble going back to after you’ve played in that playground. Spiritual? Maybe.
The only right way? I don’t know.
But it’s fun in the meantime. It’s really fun, and excruciating sometimes.
Because part of this means you’ve agreed to feel it all. Yin and yang baby. Light and dark. Can’t have one without the other. If you want bliss you better be ready for despair. Most days I am. Or at least I think I am, until I’m forced to remind myself I signed up for this; the despair thing.
It’s easy to be attached to joy as the ultimate, end-all outcome. It’s easy to feel like you’re failing when you’re depressed. I’ve chosen to celebrate the depression. And observe the joy. And celebrate the joy, and observe the depression. The extra meaning? Unnecessary.
The labels? Unnecessary. Right or wrong? Unnecessary.
Today I’m just curious about all the ways we try to be right, good and perfect. And I’m wondering if we can drop all the labels and go at this life without any sort of judgment, but instead, with a ferocious passion for feeling it all. And being curious about our desires. And honor our souls.
Instead of trying to be right by being any particular way, how about we just be the way we’re being called to be, the way that lights us up so brightly the fire never goes out? The way that allows us to give and receive the most love. And help ourselves and others the most. Join me in the comments and share about the things that have become walls for you. How are you breaking out?
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Laura Di Franco, MPT is an intuitive writing strategist, holistic physical therapist, published author, poet and third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with over two decades of experience in healing. She teaches transformational tools and powerful strategy for nourishing and inspiring your fiercely alive whole self. Learn more about Laura on her website.