Harbor: Spirituality

My spirituality is my safe harbor.  It is the one thing I have carried with me my whole life.

I grew up in a Pentecostal church in New York.  My parents were fundamentalist Christians.  I did not know it at the time but we were an EXTREME family.

There was no drinking, dancing, smoking, questionable language, after school activities, parties, or anything that did not take place outside of the circle of our church community.  If angry words were spoken we prayed.  If angry actions were taken we prayed more.  Whatever the situation, whatever the problem, the answer was prayer.  And if we didn’t pray hard enough because the chips fell on us just like they did on everyone else but in our house – there just wasn’t enough prayer.

When I left for college, a very nice non-denominational liberal arts Christian college in Oklahoma, I met my first non-Pentecostal Christians.  These were good devout friends who took their spiritual practices just as seriously as I did.   They prayed, they knew the scripture, they loved the lord – they danced, they drank (although not very much), they grew up playing sports, spending the night with friends, going on school trips.  They were Lutherans, Presbyterians, Jews, and Catholics.  A whole new world!!!!

Since then I have been Methodist, Catholic, Unchurched, and now Unitarian Universalist.  Our children are Atheist, Jewish, and something in-between.  In our house we have a Buddha in the front yard and Druid cards in the basement.  We are a modern spiritual family.

I am not sure which of my life experiences has molded me or turned my head most often to one faith or another.  I dare say it has been during the times of deepest despair and absolute joy when I turn first to my faith and think about what I believe about life and the world here and afterwards.  If I look inside, really really look inside of me, I see the answers and I know my truth.

One thing I do know for sure . . . this is the most important journey of my life… my spirituality is what makes me tick.  I will never ever give it up.  I just can’t.  I don’t have all the answers yet.

Lydia Patrick

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