Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mormon to Human; still "moral" and "spiritual"

This whole year has been such a great year, and I've never been so happy, but it has also been a period of self discovery. Quite a while ago I was running and was thinking about what I believe (see previous post). I've always thought that being religious is a way of abiding by certain morals and values, and that people (Mormons in my experience) act like if you aren't religious you are an immoral person with no values or guiding system; a sinner. This has always bothered me because I've never thought that you had to be "religious" to have morals or values. I believe that morals and values are inherent to human nature because they benefit the whole of society. Realizing this made me feel much better about not abiding by any particular religion.

Somewhere along the run I then began thinking about what it means to be "spiritual" and to have the "holy ghost." Once again I thought that religious people (Mormons in particular) think you need to be religious to have spiritual experiences and to be able to feel the "holy ghost." I just don't agree with that idea because of what I've observed in all people I've ever met, as well as my personal experiences. I decided that a sense of "spirituality" is inherent to human nature as well. So to make a long story short, I decided that spirituality is a common bond that all humans experience on some level. It is a feeling, not a power. It is a connection to a feeling that ties us to other people, places, experiences, and things. It is also a human characteristic that causes us to form bonds, listen to our bodies as well as nature, and feel compassion towards all people and things.

What I Believe:

A while back I was thinking about what I find to be spiritual, and about my stance on spirituality. I realized that I am a humanist. I always have been, but now I feel like I am able to define myself as a humanist without religion getting in the way. It is nice to know WHAT I am. It is nice to feel like I have an answer for when people want to know what I believe. Someone might say they are Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Baptist, Muslim, (or whatever) AND I can say I am a Humanist!

This is WHAT I believe:
I value morality on all grounds because it affects all humans. I value the here and now because it is the time I have to live, and I believe I need to be the best I can be for all people that come after me. I don't believe that all people are capable of living up to the ideals that make the world a better place, but I believe that we all are connected by our basic needs, and vulnerabilities.
There is something so extremely beautiful about life, and all people's commonalities, something so beautiful that I am always deeply touched when I see or experience humans coming together and helping each other, or overcoming high odds, or reaching an unexpected potential. It is the feeling I get from these kinds of experiences that is "spirituality" to me. It is because I believe all people have potential and are so much the same yet completely unique that I seek to understand people, and am bothered by unfair judgments, not only when people unfairly judge me, but when anyone is unfairly judged. I believe in logic and reasoning. I believe in finding the beautiful in the simplest of situations and people. I love when I know someone with a huge disability achieve some simple task they have at hand, or when they reach a goal they've been striving to achieve for a long period of time. I love when people begin to understand something they never thought they could, or grasp some nuance that changes their perspective or attitude.

People are truly beautiful and I feel honored to be associated and connected to all people. I am grateful for every day of my life and all experiences I have had. I am deeply grateful for all of my relationships with other people and the lessons I've learned from them. i am especially grateful for my husband. It is because of him why I have been able to fully discover myself, and truly experience life through every little nuance in every situation I encounter.