Sunday, 14 July 2013

July 14: Sunday Sermon

31 Days of Self Love
Day 14: Stop Feeling Like a Victim

Do you blame others for being unhappy? Do you complain that you hate being a victim? Playing a victim is your choice. Nobody can force you to give up your power to choose what you want. People Pleasers complain about who did them wrong. It’s YOUR choice to accept behavior you don’t like, or to love yourself enough to change your response to it.

Relinquish self-pity and change your situation! Why stay a victim? Taking a stand makes people less likely to take advantage. YOU control how folks treat you. Complaining is a cop-out. Nobody uses someone who won't allow it. And nobody is a victim unless they choose to be. Victims feel helpless, which brings self-esteem down and down and down. But you’re not helpless.

You always have spiritual support in uplifting yourself from living as a victim to setting boundaries and being happier. It’s all in your court. Think about what makes you feel like a victim and how you can change the dynamic. The more you nurture self-love, the less you’ll allow people to treat you poorly, and the less you’ll feel like a victim. Taking responsibility for how people treat you and loving yourself much better!

This is hard to do! It is the one thing I have a big problem with. In some ways feeling like a victim is just another addiction besides it's a whole lot easier to blame others instead of myself. This is one lesson I'm still working on.

Sunday Sermon
July 14: Church of Kindness

Today I want to talk about the difference between religion and spirituality. First I will give you the dictionary meanings, then I will give you mine. After that an explanation is probably in order. 

According to Merriam-Webster online 
Religion is :
1a : the state of a religious religion
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2): commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

and Spirituality is:
1: something that in ecclesiastical law belongs to the church or to a cleric as such
2: clergy
3: sensitivity or attachment to religious values
4: the quality or state of being spiritual

According to the dictionary spirituality is derived from religion, in my opinion they are two different belief systems altogether. I operate from a different perspective because I have been religious and now I consider myself spiritual.

Religion and as a result religiousness is a set of rigid beliefs about what is considered worthy behaviour in order to get to heaven. It is a set of rules based on the interpretation of a book that has been heavily edited and has a very male bias. At least for most westerners for other areas of the world I am not sure. Understand that my background is Christian so I can only speak to that. I was raised in two different Christian sects and explored several others so this is what my interpretation of religion and religiousness is based on.

Over the years after I finally left church life behind in my twenties I searched for something that I could latch onto. Most of us need to have faith in something even if it is faith in ourselves or science or "the man". It is a part of being human. 

During my childhood I was exposed to the belief that we serve the natural world as it serves us and one other very basic rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" It is perhaps the only part of the Christian dogma that I sincerely believe and try to follow every day in my life. 

So what then is my definition of spirituality? It is the acceptance that we are all part of the great cycle of life. It is the acceptance that there is a higher power or maybe several out there that listen to us and try to steer us down the best path for ourselves and the world. It is the acceptance that we are all here because we need to learn something even when we are not sure what that something is. It is the acceptance that while we may be alone in our heads we are not alone in the world and that our focus needs to go beyond ourselves to others who we can help even in as small a way as sharing a smile.

Spirituality is all of that and so much more but is boils down to one big thought, we live on this planet with billions of other humans and our "job" is to help as many of them as possible in as many ways as possible without sacrificing our own needs but forgoing most of our wants in favour of helping others live to the best of their ability.

Its a lot of words that mean only one thing "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Period.

So simple to say but so not simple to do. We have become a very self-centered society here in the western world and we need to learn to be more world centered. 

For a long time I lived my life like that and then I was diagnosed with not one but two different syndromes. I had been living with them for a long time but to have a name put to them sent me into a downward spiral that I am trying to work my way out of but as anyone knows who has been there that is a whole lot easier to say than to do.

I have spend many years feeling sorry for myself but a little while ago I read words similar to the words in the Self Love article above and realized what I had been doing to myself. Since then I have been inching myself back to life and living the way I feel I should. I am not there by any means I have days where the whole world is just one monotonous shade of gray and I feel leaden and lost. All I can do is keep reaching for that silver lining and one day I will finally be able to touch it.

Take heart dear reader, you CAN think yourself better so I'm told and you know what so far it has been working for me. The grey days come a lot less often than they used to. 

365 Photo Challenge
Day 14: Old and New
Photo A Day Challenge
Day 14: Edible

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