Faith is something that I have touched on over the past few years, but it isn’t something I have spoken about very freely. Yet despite my hesitance, faith is something that I think about an awful lot. It has helped me get through some of the darkest times in my life, and has been especially important to me over the past few months when my health has become so bad that I have had to re-evaluate my role and purpose in life.
Faith has helped me to find strength in my weakness, see meaning where there seems to be none, and it is also what encourages me to become a better person, no matter what. By that I don’t mean that it makes me to act in a certain way or live up to some prescribed models of behaviour, but rather that it inspires me to seek out my own truth and live with integrity by being true to myself.
And that is why it is so important to me to start sharing more about our faith and spirituality, and how we integrate this into our day-to-day activities. Because faith doesn’t have to be something that is stored in a place we only reach for on certain days and in certain circumstances, it can be what we turn to in every aspect of our lives.
So what do you believe? How would you define your faith?
Well that’s a tough question to answer! I don’t prescribe to any single religion or path – my faith is both very liberal and very fluid. I draw inspiration from multiple sources, and so does TJ. We are raising Little Man in what I consider to be a “multifaith” or “religiously diverse” style, in which we are open to any and all paths, and we trust our inner guidance to tell us what is right for us. I explained this so well a few years back when I wrote the following:
My faith is one of unity. It is one where love transcends all else, and even in the darkest of days there is a little light flickering away, reminding me there is hope. It is one where there is no “right” or “wrong” only what is. It is one where God is in everything, God is everything, and so there is no need to do or be anything other than who you are. That doesn’t mean you cannot strive to be the best person you can be, but it does mean that if you ever fall short there is nothing but gratitude for your trying.
For me, this means that there is a beauty in every single faith and religion of the world. They can be misused, of course they can, but in their very essence there lies love. And this is why I often feel drawn towards reading passages in the Bible or quotes from religions I may not know so well, even if I do not always agree with the dogma that states I cannot or should not interpret it the way I do. For me, faith is personal and to have an intimate relationship with the Divine, whatever form that may take for you, is the most exciting and precious thing you can do. For me, scripture is a guidebook, not a manual.
The greatest thing about this, for me, is that it is so inclusive. It means that whilst I have a different idea of God to TJ, who prefers to call it “Great Spirit”, we can still celebrate and explore faith together. It means that TJ’s exploration of Paganism and Shamanism fits in perfectly with my exploration of Christianity, Metaphysics, and even Atheism. In fact I often find I agree with my Atheist friends far more freely than I do with some of my Christian friends, but that doesn’t mean I do not believe in God… for me it isn’t that clear cut and I love that there isn’t a simple answer. After all, what is faith if it isn’t exploring something you cannot easily prove and which is uniquely personal to you?
So when I share things on my blog about our celebrations of Pagan Sabbats (we have a great feature wall in our living room for this) or a quote from a Sacred Text or Spiritual Leader, I am sharing them because they mean something to me, not because I think they should mean something to everybody. I’d hope that some of it may speak to others and spark a shared understanding of an aspect in life, but I’d also welcome the opportunity to learn about different viewpoints too. As long as things are shared with love and respect, does it matter if we ultimately agree with each other on everything?
How can I find out more about the things you talk about?
I’m glad you asked! I cannot possibly hope to cover everything on this blog, and definitely not on a single page within it. So it is my delight to share the following links with you. They are all organisations and people I have personally found truly helpful in my own journey, and I hope they help you on your own path through life.
The Methodist Church – we attend a local Methodist Church and find it very open and welcoming
Modern Church – an international society promoting liberal Christian theology
Progressive Christianity Network Britain – seeking a credible and inclusive way to follow Jesus
Quakers in Britain – their meetings offer a welcoming space to explore the Divine
Thrive Moms – an online ministry for mums (including two free online retreats per year)
The Unitarians – promoting individual freedom of belief
Damh the Bard – fantastic blog written by this popular singer & songwriter
Druid Cast – podcast created by the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids
The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (OBOD) – worldwide group dedicated to Druidry
Pagan Dawn – news, features, and reviews for the Pagan Community
The Pagan Federation – UK based network promoting awareness and acceptance of Paganism
What about kids? How do you teach your child about faith?
This is a very good question, and one which I tried to answer on here many times but simply couldn’t give it justice. Which is why I set up another blog dedicated entirely to the subject of “raising spiritual kids in the modern world”. It is still relatively new, but we are adding new content all the time and would love to see you over there.