Birth: Born Again

Many people have told me they are Born Again Unitarian Universalists. This is how they describe the realization that there is a religious community they can call a spiritual home … a place where they don’t have to compromise their beliefs to truly belong in the community.  The experience of being born again, as I understand it, is a transformational moment of realization that shifts a person from one world view to a completely different view. Not necessarily an “opposite” view – that would be too linear of a description.

I think finding a spiritual/religious home where one can be fully self-expressed may be one of the most liberating experiences … a liberation from the fear of rejection, fear of being wrong, or fear of looking bad. But finding such a home is just the first step. Though we may not see how these fears are operating in our lives, they can keep us from feeling deeply connected with people in our life … even in our most welcoming spiritual home. Fear keeps us playing small, failing to live into our largest possibilities. 

Do you have people in your life with whom you can explore your deepest emotions, most curious questions and your greatest dreams? Are these people part of your spiritual community? Friends you’ve had for many years? Family members? Where can you be most curious and courageous in your life? Who inspires you to be your largest self? Where are you born again … delivered from your fear into the realm of possibility?

‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so? … While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others.’
– Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles

Jan Taddeo

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2 Responses to Birth: Born Again

  1. Tim Bartik says:

    Your remarks on “born again” UUs reminds me of the Woody Guthrie lyric (music by Slaid Cleaves), “This Morning I am Born Again”:

    As this song suggests, I think being “born again” in UUism is for many people more than simply being able to express themselves. It is an experience of being focused on being engaged in this world, which, in my opinion, is one of the core distinguishing features of UUism, for example if you reread William Ellery Channing’s sermon on Unitarian Christianity.

    This Morning I Am Born Again
    Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Slaid Cleaves

    This morning I was born again and a light shines on my land
    I no longer look for heaven in your deathly distant land
    I do not want your pearly gates don’t want your streets of gold
    This morning I was born again and a light shines on my soul

    This morning I was born again, I was born again complete
    I stood up above my troubles and I stand on my two feet
    My hand it feels unlimited, my body feels like the sky
    I feel at home in the universe where yonder planets fly

    This morning I was born again, my past is dead and gone
    This great eternal moment is my great eternal dawn
    Each drop of blood within me, each breath of life I breathe
    Is united with these mountains and the mountains with the seas

    I feel the sun upon me, it’s rays crawl through my skin
    I breathe the life of Jesus and old John Henry in
    I give myself, my heart, my soul to give some friend a hand
    This morning I was born again, I am in the promised land

    This morning I was born again and a light shines on my land
    I no longer look for heaven in your deathly distant land
    I do not want your pearly gates don’t want your streets of gold
    And I do not want your mansion for my heart is never cold.

    • Tim,
      This song really resonates with me and my idea of the core concept of what being “born again” means, as it pertains to me, personally. It’s about discovery of the connection that we have with everything around us, and awareness of the eternal in this (and every) moment.
      Thank you so much for sharing these lyrics. What a brilliant connection!
      ~ Christiana

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