The White Elephant…

4

God. There, I said it. Honestly, it is such a freeing feeling to write the word, ‘God’, knowing that I am going to say it out loud. For those who are offended by the word, perhaps this is not an article for you.

The word, ‘God’, is like a white elephant, in some settings. I have actually had to sign contracts that I wouldn’t mention the word, ‘God’ in some of my speaking engagements.

Honestly, I can’t deny it anymore and it has felt like such a lie that I actually have my life together simply because I focus on the positive, feel grateful for the little things and decide to integrate my passions and gifts into my life.

The reason that I remotely get through any day is because I have a strong belief in something bigger than myself, in addition to focusing on the positive, feeling grateful for the little things and choosing to integrate my passions and gifts into my life.

I could not imagine my life without God. I cannot imagine not having this belief that there is some magical, mystical and mysterious entity that binds many of us together.

The one night when my life made a drastic shift, I had been crying frantically while walking along a dark highway, in the middle of the night. I ended up crawling onto a picnic table, overlooking the water and noticed the largest, most beautiful moon I had ever seen.

That night, I decided to pull myself out of a very difficult time and whispered the words, ‘I surrender’, out loud. I remember allowing all of the theoretical walls around me to crumble.

That night was like releasing all of the expectations I had of myself, all of the mistakes I had made, all of the complications of life and handing them over to something larger than myself. I could no longer carry them alone.

That entity was what I call, ‘God’. Apparently, so does the majority of the world.

I had been raised in a religious school. I remember going to ‘confession’ for the first time and refusing to share my sins. I think I was only in grade three or something, but felt offended that I had to tell a stranger that I said the four letter ‘s’ word in front of my younger sister.

I ended up causing a scene and telling the teacher, very assertively, that I would confess my sins directly to God. I proceeded to sit in the pew and apologize to God, in my head. That was my first true conversation with God.

I remember when I had to miss Sunday service for dance trips that I felt left out, as I was not allowed to receive the ‘body of Christ’ the following week because I had not attended service the Sunday before.

I learned that we were all sinners and had to constantly repent. In retrospect, I felt repressed and being ‘religious’ was not good for my self-esteem.

As the years passed, I drifted further and further away from religion and went on to make messes in my life. I always felt like a failure and that I was not worthy. I remember stories about a woman turning to salt and worried that I was next.

When I wanted to reconnect to religion, decades later, I decided to venture back to church. After a series of visits to various places of worship, I visited a church where there was a petition against same sex marriage, at the entrance, followed by a sermon that ostracized anyone who was homosexual.

I walked right out of the church that day, during the sermon, and couldn’t help but feel sad for anyone sitting in that building who was, or had a loved one, who was homosexual and how that must have made them feel.

I ended up deciding that I could not align with any group where people were not welcome, empowered or allowed to be who they were.

Instead of focusing on religion, I chose spirituality. I reignited my relationship, directly with God.

I found myself feeling comforted by the fact that even when I am utterly alone, I am never alone.

God is who I talk to, in my head. God is who I thank for all of my blessings. God is who I chat with, out loud, when I need to convince myself to keep going.

God is my support, my encouragement, my wisdom, my guidance and my stability, when life feels out of control.

I am tired of denying this entity that is the glue that holds my life together. I am very appreciative of my Aunt and Godmother, who never wavered in sharing her prayers for me and with me. Thank you Auntie Sharon…

At 45 years of age, my life feels the most together than it has ever been. I love my family deeply, I feel that each day I am moving closer to my authentic self. I feel that we are so blessed in our lives.

Even when there have been difficult times, especially in recent years, I feel that there is nothing that we can’t handle. When I cry, when I am angry, when I feel lost, or when I am happy or excited, I feel connected to God.

I write in my journal to process issues, I talk out loud with loved ones for support, I tape weekly 30 minute episodes of Joel Osteen and watch them when I feel the need to get back on track and I talk, often, to God throughout my day.

By the way, thank you God, that my hubby just handed me two chocolate covered beaters from mixing brownie batter. Life is good!

When I drive anywhere in the morning, I list the blessings in my life. I figure that gratitude must go somewhere… because blessings always seem to come back.

God, God, God. So glad I finally said it! Now, people will know what I am really doing when talking to myself in my car…
‘I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.’ ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Archives of This Rocky Life can be found at: www.Facebook.com/ThisRockyLife

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Julie Hryniewicz
Julie Hryniewicz is the Wellness Director at Mane Street Salon and Spa's Wellness Centre" (Fitness and Wellness for Women). Julie has been an inspirational speaker, adult educator and workshop leader for over a decade. She is the author of ‘Whole Living’ (2009 – DVD), ‘Natural Balance: How to Energize, Heal and Simplify Your Life’ (2006 – Book) and ‘What Happened to my Tires?’ (2004 – CD). You can find Julie on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JulieHryniewicz

4 COMMENTS

  1. I shared this on my facebook page, and this is what I said: Way to go Julie. Sorry that you couldn’t find a church family…In my opinion, it helps. I belong to a welcoming church/faith who accepts and loves me even when I muck up. And I try my best to return the favour to others! Sounds like your authentic self is pretty on-track!

  2. i agree with you completely. Such brave words to speak in this modern age of skepticism. I was raised probably in the same church as you, and it has been a real struggle to find my own relationship with God.

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