“Leave the matter of religion to the family alter, the church and the private school, supported entirely of private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.”Ulysses Grant
I chose this quote to show that at one time the lines were not so black and white on political parties. You would never hear a quote like this from a republican these days, but President Grant was a republican back in the 1800s. A time when the lines were a little more blurred and just maybe they worked towards some common goals for the people.
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H is for Higher Power
I may regret this one, they say never talk about politics or religion, and I rarely do. This is a very personal thing to me. For years I didn’t know how to sum it up, then I started going to Alanon and heard a “higher power” described as anything having more power than you. It could be science, nature, music, God, etc. Without going into great detail, let’s just say this idea clicked with me.
I grew up with a Mom who was VERY against organized religion as her grandmother gave away her life savings to the church. I have always found it odd that reading the same book can bring about dramatically different views on what it means. So in that same sense I don’t believe in organized religion – it is just another form of a social gathering really.
My Dad tended to lean to more scientific evidence. How can you argue with the facts right? I still didn’t fit in 100% with no God, no higher power so, I still searched. I liked the stories of the Gods for different areas in Greek, Roman and Norse mythology. I liked the views of Mother Earth and Father Time. I pulled a little bit from each of them.
Like I said the higher power theory stuck a chord with me. At the time I was doing a lot of soul searching and taking walks in nature (parks, lake, trails). I could go from total chaos dealing with an alcoholic, to a relative calm in nature hearing the birds sing and crickets chirp. It was an “awakening.”
Now I say I do believe in a higher power. I am still not sure of his/her/its name, but I know there are things of beauty in nature that just take my breath away… something is responsible for that and I am eternally grateful for that higher power.
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This is a post I am kind of afraid to write, but know I have to include it as a part of what Christmas means to me. First of all I chose spirituality instead of religious as I have never felt I was a religious person, but I am spiritual. And I take my spirituality as something very private and personal, so that is why I am afraid to bare my soul.
The saying Jesus is the reason for the season comes to mind every year… and I do believe in God and Jesus’ birth (although I have heard more than one person say there is no evidence that it happened on December 25th). I don’t really care when it happened… I care that we take this time of year to acknowledge His birth. I put a star on my Christmas tree to represent the star that lit the way for the wise men. I buy presents for those I love like the wise men brought presents to the baby Jesus.
I also believe there is a certain spirituality in the story of Santa… children have to believe in order to get presents on Christmas Eve. You have to take a little faith in miracle like behavior (visiting all children in one night all over the world, flying reindeer, knowing what the children want) to keep the magic of Santa alive for the children.
There is not a year that has gone by as a parent that I haven’t felt a great deal of awe at the magic of Christmas. There is just a feeling I get… you know one of those warm and fuzzy moments you can’t really explain… when it is late at night, the house is quiet and all the gifts under the tree sit in the glow of the tree’s lights. A feeling I get when I see a child, my own or others, open a gift and express pure joy. A feeling when friends and family are all gathered together however briefly it may be when there is love all around the room… THAT is the feeling. That is the feeling of spirituality at Christmas. A greater presence in the room. A love showering down on us all.
I believe in the spirituality of the holiday… of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and any other celebration that brings together love and faith. This is a magical time of year. And I wish you all love, light and peace this Christmas season.