“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare
Ah that Shakespeare, such a wise man.
I’m struggling with something very personal at the moment. If you’ve been following me for any length of time you may have gathered that I went through a pretty major existential crisis about a year ago. Over the past year my mind and heart have expanded exponentially. Since leaving a very strict Christian church, so strict that it has been labeled as a cult by some, I have been exploring spirituality with a very different world view. I’ve been working to connect with a higher power of my own understanding.
Today, I want to take a moment to chat about a major block in my spiritual journey: prayer.
For the last few months I haven’t been praying. Why? Because I don’t know exactly who or what I am praying too. I don’t know what to call “it.”
What do I know? I know that I believe in something, some force, that is greater than me. I believe that this force is within me, within you, within a leaf, within everything. What’s more, I believe with all of my heart that this force is conspiring for my good. It is helping me grow, it’s pushing me towards my life purpose. Yes, I believe I am on this planet and living this life for a reason. My past life experiences have made me sure of this.
And what exactly is this force? I don’t know. I strait up don’t know, and that is okay! It’s took me a long time to be okay with not knowing. But now I believe that a big part of my life purpose it to get “in touch” with this force. This, I believe, will be a lifelong journey and I am excited to be on this ride.
So, I will begin praying again. I will pray to the force that gives me life, that gives me breath, that ordered all of the cells in my body to be just so in order to create unique and beautiful me.
I’ve realized, like Shakespeare did so long ago, that it doesn’t actually matter what I call this force. But, just saying “force” or “power” doesn’t really do it for me. So, higher force/power, how shall I refer to you?
Unfortunately, the name God now has a negative connotation for me. I’ve come to the understanding that I do not believe in the Christian definition of God. And since all of my life I’ve been associating the name God with Christianity I don’t feel totally comfortable calling this higher power God. This name makes “it” seem (a) male, (b) judgmental, and (c) confined to the Bible. I no longer believe this higher force is any of those things. In fact, I don’t want to use a name associated with any specific religion.
I like the name Source. I think that Source is perfectly descriptive of this higher power. It is the source of all things; of life, breath, joy, pain, happiness. However, it doesn’t fully express the sense of awe I feel.
I’ve been avoiding the term “universe” because it’s so trendy right now, and I have this major aversion to jumping on trends and fads. But, ug, it feels so good to say! I like it, guys, in spite of my typical nonconforming self.
The word universe brings to mind swirling galaxies and twinkling stars. In encompass endless iterations and therefore endless possibilities. It is something that I (and even top scientist) may work our entire lives to understand, yet know that we never will. It keeps surprising us. It includes everything that ever has been and ever will be.
The universe is not defined by a man, or a religion or a heritage. It includes them all. All of us. Together.
So, with a slight cringe, I choose to call the higher power that I pray to, conspire with and gain inspiration from the “universe”. Don’t judge me.
Thanks for working that out with me dear reader!