I don't often write about spiritual or religious beliefs on the blog. Mainly because those are my own personal business/relationships. I have had a particular belief system forced upon me most of my life, and I do not want to do that to another soul for as long as I live. A person's relationship or lack thereof with a higher power is of their concern and not for any other person to judge.
I've read and studied many different religions and spiritual beliefs. To me, they all contain beauty and mystique and a great level of faith. To me, they are all important. Each and every one has added some insight into the human condition for me. They are fascinating.
But... that is not what this post is about. This post is about listening to the universe, God, nature, the voice inside yourself, etc.
I have been attempting to lose weight off and on since high school. Back then, I was doing it for boys to like me. In college, my mindset was the same. A few years ago that changed, and I started trying to lose weight in order to love myself. None of those reasons stuck.
Then, last year, I decided to try it again... for my health and happiness. Guess what? It has stuck, and in the meantime, I have begun to learn how to love myself. Not because I'm thin... because I'm far from it. But, because I have to love myself in order to better myself. Have I lost a significant amount of weight? Well, 20 lbs is significant, but when I think that I still have 115 left to lose, I want to cry. So, I binge on food/soda. Then, I binge on workouts, and I keep off the 20 lbs I have lost, but I don't lose anymore than that. It's a deadly cycle because in the end it is my health at stake, and lately, I've been reminded of that everywhere I turn.
Heart disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer... these are a few of the health concerns that run in my family. Thoughts of these enter my mind a few times per day. I do not actively think of them. They just appear, spark something inside of me, and then disappear. This has been happening for well over a month.
Then, at work yesterday, a colleague and I were having a conversation. She quit smoking 88 days ago, which is AWESOME, and just started talking to me about it. She told me how she had been sick. A conversation between herself and her mother. She spoke, and I listened. Then, she said. "The Lord was speaking to me," and it was like time stopped. So, that's it! All my puzzle pieces began to fall into place. The thoughts of illness. The desire to get out of the house and enjoy nature. The terror that consumes me when I hear my father complain in pain because I'm afraid he's having a heart attack. My own pain from carrying around more weight than is healthy for my own joints. All of this is just part of the plan to get me where I need to be. The universe/God/nature/etc. wants me to be healthy. Wants me to do this just as badly as I want to do this.
Sometimes, when you've meditated and prayed on something for so long without hearing anything or seeing any kind of sign, you can begin to question your own faith, your own beliefs. Then, in a single moment, it can be answered. Am I magically thin now? No! That's not how it works... at least not in my belief system. BUT... I feel more composed and more in control of my own life than I have ever felt. I know I can do this. I have faith in myself and in my belief system. I know it will be a lot of work. I will be pushed to my limits only to defy them, but I will not give up.
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Phillippians 4:13 -- I have a new found love for this verse.
"But, Sarah, I'm not religious," some of you may say.
Guess what? THAT IS OK! You do not have to be religious to find inspiration or strength in a religious text. You do not have to be religious to have faith in yourself! Believe me, if I sat down with most of the people in my family and explained my belief system to them, I would probably be stoned to death. Why? Because they do not see faith the same way I see faith. They do not understand spirituality in the same why I understand spirituality. They do not walk the same road or have the same relationship with the divine that I have, and I am happy about that! If they did, we'd all be living the same lives and that would be so boring!
It doesn't matter what you believe, how you worship, if you worship, whether you meditate or pray, or only believe in science.
Just love yourself. Love who you are. If you do not like something about yourself, take the steps to change it, but never forget it. Those pieces shape us into who we are and who we are going to be. Put your faith in you or the universe or God. Do what feels right to you! Do what is right FOR you! Just take the time to listen because there may be a voice inside of you cheering you along on your way.