Are you religious? Are you spiritual? Are they the same or different? How does this belief affect your life? Do you pray? Does it help?
I am turning 46 this summer and find myself questioning my religion. I was raised a very strict Roman Catholic and am and have not been a practicing Catholic for many years. In my very late teens and early twenties I made it a point to go to church on holidays, but now I don’t even do that. I was taught to pray every night and that practice probably ended sooner than not going to church. Now as an adult, I feel like what is really important is being a good person!
Do I think that I am spiritual? Absolutely! There is no doubt in my mind that I believe in a higher power. Do I still call that higher power God? Yes, but I don’t always see this being as the same as when I was a child. I see God as the earth, as others doing good things, and maybe others that I can’t think of now.
How does my belief help me and how do I see it helping others with regards to depression, anxiety, and stress relief? Seeing beauty all around me relaxes me. Taking care of the earth and being good to animals and people makes me feel good. Saying a quick prayer, or asking for help, or being thankful to the spirit calms me.
At almost 46, being a good person, being thankful, respecting the earth, respecting myself, being good to others is what is most important. I don’t need to pray specific prayers. If that is what is helpful to someone, than that is what they should do. If going to a formal church service makes someone feel better, than do it! If just being a good person is what makes you feel good than do it! Be thankful, remember the golden rule, treat the earth with respect, treat yourself with respect, treat animals and people with respect and you are good. Thinking about what you have to be grateful for and saying thanks to your higher power be it an animal, nature, God or whatever you believe is helpful in seeing that life is good even when bad things happen!