Emotional Enlightenment

What Are You Here for?

It’s the age-old question, the source of our existential angst….

Ultimately, it’s a much bigger question than can really be answered in a blog post, or even two or three.

But I’ll give it a try…

So why are you here?  What are you doing here in this body?  Why are you here, in this spacesuit of skin and bones, looking through your eyes?

It’s clear that the identities and meaning we create through social media aren’t always the authentic version of ourselves, and the freedoms we have sought through the mobile worlds at our fingertips sometimes only serve to keep us more bound up in one version of reality.  We have created a vast world for ourselves through technology in the name of broader horizons, yet have somehow managed to stuff our true selves deeper down into hidden places, far beyond the online profiles and photo collages.

Engaging with technology requires us to constantly engage with stimulation outside of ourselves, to seek answers outside of ourselves.  We think perhaps we can fill the many voids and spaces within us with the knowledge gained through this continuous engagement with information and content.  But what if all the answers we seek already lie within?

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Personal Stories, Spirituality

How Spirituality Found Me (a former skeptic)

I’ve contemplated writing about my spiritual awakening experience for a while now, but it has never quite felt like the right time.   Words aren’t always adequate to capture an experience that’s both deeply personal and is best understood as a felt, embodied sense rather than something that can be described and analyzed.  But I am going to try my best because it feels important to begin sharing how my own path has included twists and turns for those who may have had their own interesting, unexplainable experiences.

I grew up within the Catholic religion, experiencing all the prescribed milestones throughout my childhood: Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.   I even had the opportunity to visit the Vatican and see the pope from afar in my teens. While I always appreciated the rich tradition that Catholicism provided, beautiful religious art and architecture especially, as I grew into my late teens and early 20’s I began to look at religion as a cultural signpost, a representation of my heritage, rather than as a spiritual tradition.   I recognized that religion did provide spiritual support for many and good moral foundations, but it had never fully connected the dots for me and the dogma didn’t seem to fit my developing sense of self-autonomy.  And so I left it at that….without the drive to explore further, I labeled myself as agnostic in my young adulthood and visited Church only on holidays.

Science and research became another “religion” of sorts for me in my late 20’s as I entered graduate school for psychology.  It seemed to provide solidity in a way that was comforting, in a way that I could get behind.  There was a prescribed sequence of inquiry, analysis, and data that research provided.  My analytical left brain found satisfaction and excitement in finding new ways to explore the world of human nature through reading, citing, and conducting research.  I felt like I had a greater understanding of the world, a foundation from which to base my decisions, actions, and worldview.  And I did….but little did I know, as I entered my final year of graduate school, that things were about to get a whole lot less linear.

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